• Kaleb A. Brown

Black Mixpage | Poetry


Collage of various black poets. Anne Spencer, Audre Lord, W. E. B. Dubois, Margaret Walker, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Maya Angelou, Amanda Gorman, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ntozake Shange, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Kaleb A. Brown, Amiri Baraka, Phillis Wheatley, Lucille Clifton, James Baldwin, Terrance, Hayes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Beyoncé. A record and a needle are in the center of the collage while an open book is on the lower right corner.
Clockwise: Anne Spencer, Audre Lord, W. E. B. Dubois, Margaret Walker, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Maya Angelou, Amanda Gorman, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ntozake Shange, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Kaleb A. Brown, Amiri Baraka, Phillis Wheatley, Lucille Clifton, James Baldwin, Terrance, Hayes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Beyoncé. Shoutout to PhotoCollage.com

A "mixpage" is essentially the word I use to describe a cento or collage poem in which I create a new poem using various lines of existing poetry. This particular mixpage was created using from the works of various Black poets. The sources for each stanza can be found at the bottom of the page.

Black Mixpage


For those of us who live at the shoreline

standing upon the constant edges of decision

crucial and alone


where can we find light in this never-ending shade?


On my brow an unfading frown

and hate in my heart always—


[Because] some such lesson I seemed to see

in the faces that surrounded me:


Some view our sable race with scornful eye,

"their colour is a diabolic die.”


They pyrred a race of black, black men,

and burned them to ashes white, then

laughing, a young one claimed a skull.


You know how dangerous it is

to wear dark skin —


In Sanford, something happened in Ferguson

and Brooklyn & Charleston, something happened

in Chicago & Cleveland & Baltimore & happens

almost everywhere in this country every day.

probably someone is prey in all of our encounters.


My country tis of thee,

late land of slavery,


America was never America to me.


yeh

our people

yes people

every people

most people

uuuuuu, yeh uuuuu, most people

in pain

yester-pain, and pain today

(Screams) ooowow! ooowow! It must be

the devil

(jumps up like a claw stuck him) oooo

wow! oooowow! (screams)



Whatever shall i do with my dead,

my tombs & mausoleums?


For my people lending their strength to the years, to the

gone years and the now years and the maybe years,

washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending

hoeing plowing digging planting pruning patching

dragging along never gaining never reaping never

knowing and never understanding:


Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.


You rise. Although

genial, you are in yourself again.

I observe

your direct and respectable stride.


Let me make the songs for the people,

Songs for the old and young;

Songs to stir like a battle-cry

Wherever they are sung.


I dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it

I twirl on them haters, albino alligators


I battered the cordons around me

And cradled my wings on the breeze,

Then soared to the uttermost reaches

With rapture, with power, with ease!


And while I know there’s still darkness in this country as far as my

eyes can see, I don’t let the hatred stop me from spreading my wings.

Black Mixpage Sources
.pdf
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