This work was featured in Issue 17:4, Fall 2016 — Slam Issue

Joel Dias-Porter

Two Poems

Volume 17:4, Fall 2016
Slam Issue

 

SPL*TT*R

(after Jackson Pollock)

“Stlil Lfie wtih Ariozna Iecd Tea and Siktltes” * Arpil sunrise-RED
smaer on a lihgt blue tlie * GRAMMAR LESSON-The blood of a black
boy lyas in the steret. It deos not lie * Grass clipipngs from the
Mialamn’s botos-more Jnuk Mial * Monring fog-Eral Grey on the
tognue * Oustide the front door a mudrer in broad dalyight-Crows on a
brnach * Pop Art depneds uopn a fuschia wehel brarow glzaed wtih
spring water beisde the pink chikcens * Crcak Feinds-Bewteen the
sidwealk two piegons pekcing * Evneing rian-How quikcly her glass is
refliled * Spirng drizzle the gtuters slosh wtih Cherry blsosoms *
Mirgiane-A thosunad nedeles udner the Xmas tree lihgts * Flahsing
roadside in the cop’s Avitaors-F*r*fl**s * Bonucing off the roit
shelids-Gibobus moon * Hlaf a cryaon-Our son gtes a tatse of the blues *
Tire scpras-The remians of a tern in the road * Brsuhnig off my
Fernch-Croissant flkaes * Frist day of Srping-A roibn pceks crcak vails *
Pryaer’s end-The sihgt of a rilfe in the Pwes * Foruth of Jluy-The pop
pop pop of raindrops * Ancient Cunefiorm-Gosoe trakcs in a muddy
feild * Jnue atferonon-The Italain Ice man shvaes smlies * Brick
wlal-Wrtiten in cusrive his pee * When doevs cry-Leanring puprle as a
shade of bule * Deecbmer moon-Autumn laeves thruogh a crakced
widnow * MODERN ART so mcuh depends uopn a white poreclain
“Foutnain” sinegd by an R. Mutt beoynd the plae cirtcis * Nihgt
Flal-The trcaks of a tear gas canitser * Black ice-silpping into soemhting
less cofmortbale * The fianl edit in RED-paepr cut

 

THE DUMAS IN YOU

(after Henry)

And from Virginia Ave.
(as far as Chelsea)
why do I pretend
to be deaf
as if open ears
might hear
in the Spring shift
of the dunes,
in the swaying
bayside marshes,
the lilt of
that lilac song
that buckles even
the knees
of the most natural man?
Even in Brigantine
the soak of
its tsunami
darkens the beaches
with root song.
Doesn’t all stock
in one store
still fund obsession?
With piles
of gray ash
I won’t draw petunias
or the idea of other blooms
which aren’t your perfume.
Greenhead flies
punctuate my ankles
in exclamation.
In Ventnor
Mini cars are all parked,
yet the side lights caution
that the color
of crushed petals
may stain.
My lips part
for ribbons of wind
to tongue their thin edges.
Seabirds, like clouds
fold their wings
and caw mono-eyed,
their beaks of asphalt
and feathers of chalk,
claws of dusk gloaming.
But here even Adinkra  myths
have no merge.

These hands slick
with sweat,
unlike these boots
which are merely spotted
with symbol shaped drops.
Beloved, how do the bells
of your budding lilacs
fluoresce echoes
whose shimmer
never quarters,
never wanes?

Joel Dias-Porter (aka DJ Renegade) was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He represented Washington, DC as a team member or individual competitor at the National Poetry Slam for six consecutive years (1994-1999). He made the Individual Finals five years in a row (94-98) and was also Heads Up Haiku Slam Champion two years in a row (98-99). His poems have been published in Time Magazine, POETRY, Mead, The Offending Adam, Callalloo, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, Red Brick Review, Asheville Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and the anthologies The Best American Poetry 2014, Resisting Arrest, Gathering Ground, Love Poetry Out Loud, Meow: Spoken Word from the Black Cat, Short Fuse, Role Call, Def Poetry Jam, 360 Degrees of Black Poetry, Slam (The Book), Revival: Spoken Word from Lollapallooza, Poetry Nation, Beyond the Frontier, Spoken Word Revolution, and Catch a Fire. Performances have included The Today Show, SlamNation, and the film Slam. A Cave Canem fellow, he lives in Atlantic City, NJ. To read more by this author: Eight Poems (Summer 2002); Two Poems (Split This Rock Issue, Winter, 2008); "Saturday Poem" (Audio Issue, Fall 2008); Four Poems (It's Your Mug Anniversary Issue, Spring 2009)