Or,

Or,

By Thomas Sayers Ellis
Or Oreo, or
worse. Or ordinary.
Or your choice   
of category

            or   
            Color

or any color   
other than Colored
or Colored Only.
Or “Of Color”
         
            or   
            Other

or theory or discourse
or oral territory.
Oregon or Georgia
or Florida Zora

            or
            Opportunity

or born poor   
or Corporate. Or Moor.
Or a Noir Orpheus
or Senghor

            or   
            Diaspora

or a horrendous   
and tore-up journey.
Or performance. Or allegory’s armor
of ignorant comfort

            or
            Worship

or reform or a sore chorus.
Or Electoral Corruption
or important ports
of Yoruba or worry

            or
            Neighbor

or fear of . . .
of terror or border.
Or all organized
minorities.

Source: Poetry (October 2006).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2006
 Thomas Sayers Ellis

Biography

Thomas Sayers Ellis is the author of The Maverick Room (Graywolf, 2005) and a chaplet, Song On (WinteRed Press, 2005) and his interview with Bootsy Collins appears in Waxpoetics #18. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Lesley University low-residency Creative Writing Program.

In April 2014, Thomas Sayers Ellis was a featured writer for Harriet.

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

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