Jazz by Jasiri

BOMB 59 Spring 1997
Issue 59 059  Spring 1997


I’m the next coming to suffering, but I remember my birth
When I first brought pain to the table as an offering to my people
It was accepted and passed down; I give it rhythm … .
The horn played the time my wife left, when Daniel died,
when Nigger was a noun and boy was my last name.
Lives are expensive
It cost me power to take one
with no promises but a come around

All my ends never filled the hole
May power respect my ritual
May my body have head to see the villain at my table
May it affect me
May we agree
May it be true that if I hurt you, then I meant it
May apologies reach my right side before my left hand
May instructions hold me till my word works and my face is enough
May I love this when I meet me
                      Hope we still cool

Read more from the Brooklyn Moon Café Poets portfolio, compiled by Zoë Anglesey.

Vivian Vázquez Irizarry and Gretchen Hildebran’s Decade of Fire by Roya Marsh

Decade of Fire is a remarkable tale of the Bronx’s rise from ash, standing to set the record straight about the fires that ravaged the borough in the late ’60s and ’70s.

Susan E. Cahan’s Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power by Terence Trouillot
Cahan Susan 01 Bomb 134

A 1971 photograph by Jan van Raay shows artist Cliff Joseph leading a group of artist-activists—members of the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (BECC)—in the dead of winter protesting the Whitney Museum’s controversial exhibition Contemporary Black Artists in America (months before its opening on April 7, 1971).

The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind, Edited by Claudia Rankine, Beth Loffreda, & Max King Cap by Timothy Donnelly
The Racial Imaginary 01 Bomb 133

“I can’t distill it all,” Evie Shockley confesses in her contribution to this vital and multifarious print offshoot of Claudia Rankine’s online Open Letter Project.

Originally published in

BOMB 59, Spring 1997

Featuring interviews with Tim Roth, Amy Hempel, Emmylou Harris, Matthew Ritchie, Wallace Shawn, Christian Wolff, Gilles Peress, Kendall Thomas, and George Walker.

Read the issue
Issue 59 059  Spring 1997