Ghazal, After Ferguson By Yusef Komunyakaa

Ghazal, After Ferguson


Somebody go & ask Biggie to orate
what’s going down in the streets.

No, an attitude is not a suicide note
written on walls around the streets.

Twitter stays lockstep in the frontal lobe
as we hope for a bypass beyond the streets,

but only each day bears witness
in the echo chamber of the streets.

Grandmaster Flash’s thunderclap says
he’s not the grand jury in the streets,

says he doesn’t care if you’re big or small
fear can kill a man on the streets.

Take back the night. Take killjoy’s
cameras & microphones to the streets.

If you’re holding the hand lightning strikes
juice will light you up miles from the streets

where an electric chair surge dims
all the county lights beyond the streets.

Who will go out there & speak laws
of motion & relativity in the streets?

This morning proves a crow
the only truth serum in the street.



Yusef Komunyakaa’s books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize, Warhorses, The Chameleon Couch, and most recently Testimony. His plays, performance art and libretti have been performed internationally and include Saturnalia, Testimony, andGilgamesh. He teaches at New York University.

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Issue #45 April 2015
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