Poet of the Week: Tracie Morris

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Blackout 1977

Red hued brick and siding holding porous heat, stars blazed out
Adjacent to the round-top cement building, a former synagogue

We sat around eating fried food in our natural habitat
Partitioned Brooklyn between Berriman and Hegeman Sts.

White noise of the freezer, then a rumble, reached its ta-da,
Went down to kitty sound, sleepy, then silent.

A sound – applause? Nope, the cast-iron stove’s collected works.
July’s oven-roasting. We consume the meat’s enzymes in order

to save them. Everything sienna off quiet brown
appliances of my recall. Cabinets sunny disinfected yellow.

Afternoon sun crisps Bronzeville outdoors. People
dig out sliver Everreadys from cushioned

car seats’ couched, commandeered from kids’ Popeye,
Farah Fawcett transistors set to James Brown.

Hot Pants!! What news, man? Who needs the same ol’ same?
Con Ed made all a forced vacation – Welcome to our club!

(Crack your mother’s back with them high bills.)

Twisted silent G.E. toasters, Maranz stereos, Philips TV parade
down the street, Looney Tunes a year late, the spirit

of America. We watched from the block, cuttin’ up! Cee-lo,
hopscotch ‘til the sun set and we couldn’t see, throw.

Flour-dusted chicken legs, make gas pop blue-flame red. A lil
Girl carries Chinet plates to plastic white + blue weave lawn chairs.

Lawnless though, play sub-urban. Johnny pump sprinkling all
out. Gramma going from red bone to teak, frying all day.

Now my home’s seasoned cast iron skillet’s refract echoes. Car horn? The ram gave himself for new years. Mortar crackles the wall.


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