Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 1



Angelita Hampton


Black girl time travel

The projection on white screens
of black images and immediately
you know what it means
if you know what I mean.
I call myself a hippie
but imagine that I was part black arts,
movement of space and time as
a duality races with mine,
miscegenation, miseducation
miss Edification and miss Ann, plantations
of ideologies implanted through mime,
the divergence of thought from the mind
grouped and defined.
The minstrel as mensual as the moon keeping rhyme,
your reason of treason as plain as the nose
that you cut off to spite
the rose, the name the same as any
but I will never know,
ancestry ensconced in mystery as pyramids projecting dreams
stolen from time I am transported
in your imagination, a candle called a conflagration
when I am but the vigil for myself standing in the mirror
looking out the window of your soul.




In a parallel universe

In a peril of universe
protecting parallelograms
like the peril of anthems of antonyms
heroine in grams
measured out like metrics
of privilege in doses
like epidemics,
Americanisms-
“speak English.”
Like clear denunciations
proclaiming pro crack
but proclamations of war:
on drugs but it turns out.
It was on people. Turned out.
And because they were Brown
but parallel
did not turn out so well.
So, karma reincarnates
who comes to the well
but methods don’t,
like methadone,
necessarily too late,
equate
By any means.




Technicolor Revision

Technicolor Revision is a visual poem and requires image support.




boxes

Juried boxes counting false accusations
fill like jewelry boxes with stolen diamonds,
insurgency countering
as sides of coins that tell on themselves,
a COINTELPRO of pros that con unreasonable doubts from truth
as troops in hidden barracks barricading freedom
make enemies of the sum where there were none.
The Enlightenment of men charging in, shining
in bright lights of interrogation casting shadows
like the darkness of imagination chasing boogeymen
made of them.
What genome like G-men has markers
for crimes against humanities,
a science against reasoning and beyond reason
with proof of suspicion suspended like disbelief on reels
with rear suspension failing, spinning wheels
of justice, feigning God.




Painstaking

Daughter of the hip hop generation
angry bass beaten on my eardrums
in cleared fields full grown as crops of weeds
seen painstakingly as beautiful standing where they are not supposed to be.
Child of a woman from bebop times
where jazz consummated poetry
love and hate in the throat
when nigger was still a bad word
and the threat of lynching
hung in the air
near trees over the sidewalk
at countertops.
Music keeps from killing,
it keeps from dying.
Somebody's Blues are turning black,
some black has stars
some stars are more beautiful than the bluest skies
as the first sun burnt out
seen only from the heavens where the expansive dark
marked skies before they were skies
everyone beautiful before the making of human eyes.
So fashion drums with cement and palms,
words out of echoes and the births to come
screaming children trying to make their way.




Black girl poetry

I was born in childhood books of poems Honey, I love
with the Brown girl on the cover and Brown words affirmed inside
and Shel Silverstein riddled me verses of the surreal
with sketches bringing them to life in real time like movies on the reel
I grew up with e.e.cummings pushing me across the page
and down it and all around
dancing with the words and
Edgar Allan Poe, recited in my father's voice like James Earl Jones
deep and black,
this raven hearkening to me to hear a poetry dark as its wings and pinned in ink
I came into womanhood with Nikki Giovanni
sitting with me in the high school library telling me what the world could be
Brown like me
With Audre Lord taking me to college, pasting me in a warrior collage
of female power and the power of knowledge
and Adrienne Rich holding my hand
standing on the bridge of our Native Land,
This is how I was written,
meant to be forbidden
but everything I read
said the poetry of me was a given




The size of the end of your pinky

A poem recipe for my mother, “conglomeration” :
if soup is the recipe and my mother is the metaphor
where for art thou before the facsimile of family
Apple pie du jour and déjà vu
of my eye, take out this tree
Amazing Grace now I can see to disseminate a diaspora
like cinnamon to cassia, begotten unforgetting, reversing
distillations like stars in condensations Red Sea permeations
twinkle, twinkle wish I may, sprinkle dash a little shake
the more of you, the more I make like yester’ games of mother
may I red light green light corners fast fold in butter or Crisco fat
Karo syrup to Cairo to Canaan land, baked in flat Corning pans
the flavor of promise in loving hands




Passing

this putting off of time and self
saving it for good that never comes of it



starting in the middle of the page
the middle of rage
an adolescent angst convalescing age
what life we make of scraps like conglomeration:
Mama puts ground beef with whatever else there is and gives it a name
this is what we are
streams of consciousness like overgrown creeks beside the Village Pantry down the street
Little House on the Prairie on TV in black homes in white neighborhoods
slightly mixed
not shaken or stirred but
tonics for the soul the indelibility washing over me rewritten in memory quieter now like then
quieted down, hush child, God bless me let me make my own
noise chatter chigger bites
I have not remembered for ages
time immemorial in monuments never built
moments like fossils pressed in stone
hard place on the other side pot and kettle call me black
Aunt Jemima and Union Jack
red crossing without the Red Sea
And a frenzy biting flesh tossed over like tea
with bells cracked like whips and Patrick Henry given liberty
but John Henry death, what legacies
one of ancestry and one a folklore, of folk
of people dragged on shore
Listed stolen, words translated into stowaways
of books and illegality of knowledge passed down now phrased
illegal aliens, captives of strawberry fields that Beatles could not know but boll weevils grow
picking cotton clean as ethnic cleansing's many names synonyms of slavery
Thesaurus roaring like archaic dinosaurs
evolving bones, grinding God to dust, conquering glory
an ego of ergo
and Eros birthing humanity.




Gestalt Assault if a tree should fall

should I be polite,
well behaved shy little black girl
grown into this woman screaming
under her breath quiet rage?

should my mother
act her age,
born in the 40s
to be calm and demure.
the moderate sage?

or should we hold hands
jam the machine                                               and tear the page?

 

printed on small cards
that in small print explain
as if deafness is not to our pain

like our black lives matter                                                                            to the minds of the vain?

a miscegenation of what is understood as the gentrification of neighborhoods,
indecency like density, sinking bodies, floating wood, you may cast us out to drown
but she has taught that fierceness sounds like black voices shaking ground,
falling in the forest is the rise of the protest, holding on,
the storm before us



Angelita Hampton: “I am a writer, visual artist, activist, sister, and daughter. My studies in Psychology and African American Studies at Earlham College and The Ohio State University, along with my time living abroad in Mexico, deeply inform my creative work. I am inspired by and dedicated to social justice. I am an Indianapolis native, residing there again after returning from living in Chicago. I enjoy all of the arts, nature, and maintaining close ties to family. I have self-published several books of poetry in addition to having poems published in Bay Windows, RagShock, and the Broad Ripple Gazette.




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