Terrance Hayes


For Crying Out Loud - Poem by Terrance Hayes

And I understand well now, it is beautiful
to be dumb: my tyrannical inclinations, my love
for the prodigal jocks aging from primetime
to pastime, the pixilated plain people and colored folk

with homemade signs. Cutouts, cutups, ambushes,
bushwackers. The clouds are overwhelmed
and vainglorious. MC Mnemosyne showed up

around midnight like the undetectable dew
weighing the leaves, and I was like Awww shit.
Why ain't I dead yet
like the man who wanted to be buried

with the multi-million dollar Van Gogh he bought?
(Members of The Arts League said No
because there was culture to be made into money.)

The volant statues of the aviary, the jabber-jawed
cable channels and the book in which nothing is written
but the words everyone uses to identify things
that can't be identified. Not that I ain't spent

the last ten years of my life refining my inner cyborg.
Interview questions included how did the DJ break his hands,
who's gone bury the morticians who bury the dead,

And what to do about the sublime and awful music
of grade school marching bands?
Not that Neanderthals have a sense of the existential.
Me and my forty-leventh cousins lolling, and LOL-ing

like chthonic chronic smoke, like high-water suit pants
and extreme quiet. Everybody clap ya hands.
Like fit girls in fitted outfits, misfits who don't cry enough,

who definitely don't sob, but keep showing up sighing.
Everyone loves to identify things that have not been identified.
The rabbit hole, where ever I find it, symbolizes solitude.
So that's exciting. And an argument can be made

on behalf of athletes, rap stars, and various other brothers
who refuse (click here for the entire video)
to wear shirts in public when one considers the beauty

of a black torso. If and when the dashiki is fashionable
again I will sport it with the aplomb of a peacock plume.
For now, I have a row of coin-sized buttons tattooed
down my chest so it looks like I mean business

when I'm naked. I know that means a lot to you.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, November 2, 2015



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