Please help the Black Earth Institute continue to make art and grow community so needed for our time. Donate now »

a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 1: Earth/Body/Substance

Robert Gibbons

Robert Gibbons
The Dead Lecturer
for some of us it is not all racial, but it is spatial
cruising the corners of the Village in search
of the muse, swapping poems for the dirge
in the bottom of the Yippie Cafe and I saw the bee
hive as historic as the Black Panther Party
I saw Hettie, the five floor walk up , I saw
the dream deferred in between the storefront
and the liquor store and the gay club, it is the
muse that will never be quiet, the storied
imagination of broadside, and perturbation,
the disturbance is my attraction, we studied
in the library on fifth and people called him racist
and anti-semitic, and people listened to eight
track tape and c.d.’s and talked about O’Hara
taking road trips to Mexico and Ginsberg infatuation
with toilet paper, this is solitary, this is only the life
that one set of eyes could see, only live once in
a lifetime, in our lifetime, we witness, the blues
people, the yugen, the bluesology, the black
dada nihilism we witness the junkie christ
with his rape of the trope, and call me
experimental and then call me a chain gang,
a rope hangs my neck like a lynching
and they are no black poets on Broadway
take all the packaged poets back down South
and then reborn and come back and search
for fame, and if you really want your words
to be heard then you take construction paper
and crayon and staple them together and
pass them out like the subway poet, your
words are too academic, not bluesy enough
you say, I am black intellectual
I am six forms in one dark body, you see;
you do not know me, these birds squawk
and my door swells after the snow like my
feet, so as long as their breath the dead
can only bury the dead, but the lecturer
rises up from the pulpit, from the corner of Lenox
peddling mix tapes, the lectures remains
with the speeches of Martin, Mandela,
the lecture with the gospel in the throat of Sojourner
when she asked is God dead, Frederick Douglass
certainly, he is yet alive.

Robert Gibbons moved to New York City in 2007 in search of his muse-Langston Hughes. He is originally from a small southern town in Florida called Belle Glade. He has had the opportunity to read at many of the venues in New York City such as Small Jazz Night Club, Cornelia Street Club, and Otto’s Shrunken Head. In 2012 Three Rooms Press published his first collection called Close to the Tree.

Top of Page


©2024 Black Earth Institute. All rights reserved.  |  ISSN# 2327-784X  |  Site Admin