INCOG-NEGRO BY HENRY 7. RENEAU, JR.

I will no longer lightly walk behind


a one of you who fear me:


Be afraid.




-June Jordan




All of our selves


a mugshot posed revolutionary


even under duress. We see everything


despite Amerikkka doesn't see us


been at the mercy of


gravity's slippery slope & back-


slide of momentum


as if criminally visible


were a cultural accessory of lubricated impediment.


As if muscle memory


required we lower our eyes &


shut our mouths. A type of


call & response


that both clarifies & demeans


so that we can know & finally


see. The prey


that conjugates the Blue(s) into prayer.


All of our selves a colorful stereotype


multi-


colored the suffocation dangled


like a Billie Holiday meta-


phor strange fruit/: a hope &


a prayer murmuration of feral voices


that is by definition


we who persisted to survive. Immersed


in the chemical pheromone of stealth


crouched one kill stroke away


from the second


the outside gaze falters. All of our selves


the dignity worn on our chest


even silence could not keep hostage. Our umbrage


the singed hairtexture


of uprising


a ball-


peen rhythmic tribe of hammers. The boom-


boom-booming of gangsta' rap bass


pummeling the trunk of the hoopty cuttin' the corner.