Blanche Bruce Does the Modernism

By Douglas Kearney Douglas Kearney
let us go then let us go then I said
and the band was I lone every which

way way my spit slicked the sax’s brass chitlins. I said
    such wet would

mud dust and soil red rock. I said
doors to some room blown out the out

blown in. let us go then let us go then. I said
   check the spit’s phlegm

tenements. I said
its slow typhoon syrup. it blooms the axe up and

loams gypsum I said
   earths marblebaster. let us go then let us go then I

preference of red or white I said

my spit. where I was was where to

be when I was there and what I made was it since it was where it was
wasn’t it I said.
    but the body mustn’t be there I said.

but the shapes are

there I said
here’s what we’ll do. let us go then let us go then wailing

and whaling till one was off the chain I said
fuck it. keeping time in a

gorilla suit for the mud to come on uh i uh ii uh iii    ...    uh cxvii and
took it to the bridge to throw down wet

    wet I said.

mold on that alabarble a salad

a crop gainin on yuh in a gorilla suit I said.
gaining on you I said

I’ll take

my time and yours and the bandstand gardened out let us go then let
us go then and then we


Editor’s Note: This poem is part of a larger portfolio, “Freedom of Shadow: A Tribute to Terry Adkins.” The rest of the related work can be found in the September 2014 issue of Poetry.

Source: Poetry (September 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2014
 Douglas  Kearney


Poet, performer, and librettist Douglas Kearney grew up in Altadena, California. He received his BA from Howard University and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is also a graduate and fellow of Cave Canem.
In the Los Angeles Times, poet David St. John observed, “What Doug’s articulating is the fragmentation of the self and sensibility that you see prominently in T.S. Eliot and The Waste Land. He’s at the . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Music, Theater & Dance, Social Commentaries, Race & Ethnicity


Poetic Terms Visual Poetry

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.