By Nikki Giovanni
A set of 80 all new poems, Acolytes is highly Nikki Giovanni, yet varied. now not softened, yet extra encouraged by way of love, occasion, thoughts or even nostalgia. She goals her intimate and sparing phrases at friends and family, the deaths of heroes and neighbors, favourite food and sweet, nature, libraries, and theatre. yet in among, the deep and edgy judgment of right and wrong that has outlined her for many years shines via while she writes approximately Rosa Parks, typhoon Katrina, and Emmett Till's disappearance, leaving doubtless that Nikki has now not traded one technique for an additional, yet easily made room for either.
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The rat with one punch, at the age of 16 and 1/2, I knocked out my father, a cruel shiny bastard with bad breath, and I didn’t go home for some time, only now and then to try to get a dollar from dear momma. it was 1937 in Los Angeles and it was a hell of a Vienna. I ran with these older guys but for them it was the same: mostly breathing gasps of hard air and robbing gas stations that didn’t have any money, and a few lucky among us worked part-time as Western Union messenger boys. we slept in rented rooms that weren’t rented— and we drank ale and wine with the shades down being quiet quiet and then awakening the whole building with a fistfight breaking mirrors and chairs and lamps and then running down the stairway just before the police arrived some of us soldiers of the future running through the empty starving streets and alleys of Los Angeles and all of us getting together later in Pete’s room a small cube of space under a stairway, there we were, packed in there without women without cigarettes without anything to drink, while the rich pawed away at their many choices and the young girls let them, the same girls who spit at our shadows as we walked past.
The white poets the white poets usually knock quite early and keep knocking and ringing ringing and knocking even though all the shades are down; finally I arise with my hangover figuring such persistency must mean good fortune, a prize of some sort—female or monetary, “aw right! ” I shout looking for something to cover my ugly naked body. sometimes I must vomit first, then gargle; the gargle only makes me vomit again. ” “yeh. ” he asks. ” “I was here before. you were rather short. ” he put them on me.
I realize that there is very little chance for any of us. poetry won’t save us or a job won’t save us, a good job or a bad job. we take a little bit and hang onto that until it is gone. gongs ring, dances begin, there are holidays and celebrations… we try to cheat the bad dream… poetry, you whore, who will go to any man and then leave him… the bus driver has Hollywood Boulevard I sit next to a fat lady who lays her dead thigh against me. there is a tiny roll of sweat behind one of the bus driver’s ears.
Acolytes by Nikki Giovanni