Biography of Tyehimba Jess
Tyehimba Jess (born Detroit) is an American poet.
He graduated from the University of Chicago, and New York University, with an MFA. He teaches poetry and fiction at CUNY College of Staten Island and is the faculty adviser for Caesura, the university's literary arts magazine.
His work appeared in Soul Fires: Young Black Men on Love and Violence, Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago's Guild Complex, and Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry.
Tyehimba Jess Poems
mr. haney owned shreveport 's general store where a dollar a week
Hagar in the Wilderness
My God is the living God, God of the impertinent exile. An outcast who carved me
the war speaks at night with its lips of shredded children, with its brow of plastique
Blind Tom plays on…
Who am I to deny this world? This gift of music storming through me? It howls out my fingers when I reach into God's mouth
General Bethune on Blind Tom
I had no idea Tom would make me rich. Blind and crazed, like a blessed up idiot, he'd sing bluebird songs in perfect pitch,
Charity on Blind Tom
They say Tom takes darkness and makes it moan. I was his darkness. And Lawd, did I moan when he came out to light. And moaned some more
What the Wind, Rain and Thunder Said to ...
Hear how sky opens its maw to swallow Earth? To claim each blade and being and rock with its spit? Become your own full sky. Own
Blind Boone's Pianola Blues
They said I wasn't smooth enough to beat their sharp machine. That my style was obsolete,
What Marked Tom?
Did a slave song at a master's bidding mark Tom while asleep in Charity's womb? The whole plantation would be called to sing
martha promise receives leadbelly, 1935
when your man comes home from prison, when he comes back like the wound and you are the stitch,
Freedsong: Dream Song
Our Box Henry hid away. John Berryman's Ol' Henry sulked. I see his point—he was trying to put one over.
Blind Boone's Vision
When I got old enough I asked my mother, to her surprise,
We three warriors were called forth to be, forever, enemies.
Let me tell you how white hands kilned me in the moonless middle
Hagar In The Wilderness
Carved Marble. Edmonia Lewis, 1875
My God is the living God,
God of the impertinent exile.
An outcast who carved me
into an outcast carved
by sheer and stony will
to wander the desert
in search of deliverance