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 4

Tony Medina

Tony Medina
Hair! Hair!
I am seeking a certificate of live birth
For Donald Trumps’ hair—
A red rooster sloshed and flopped
Over a sloped forehead’s scrunched face;
A dead possum playing possum, propped up
Road kill on the windshield of his strained face—
I am checking for its authenticity
Does it exist in the same time zone
As his head which functions as a
Hollow silo for his receding brain
I am seeking the purity
Of each strand of hair in pain—
Waxed, dyed, fried, wrung
Like a wet mop and hung and slung
Every which way devil may care—
Hair! Hair!
It may be a distraction
It may espouse brash rash reactions
From the pie hole of his smug fat fish face,
Blow hard words caught in the gullet
Of a mouth never on pause, whose fabrications
And aspersions are claws stuck in the bottom
Of a barrel full of Dixie Land flags
Waving desperately in the wind of defeat
Like charred ash flakes from a
Bombed out lung
But I am also seeking the legitimacy
Of the hair on his tongue
Tony Medina is Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University. Two-time winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People for DeShawn Days (2001) and I and I, Bob Marley (2009), he is the author of a number of books for adults and young people, including An Onion of Wars (2012) and Broke Baroque (2013), finalist for the Julie Suk Book Award. He recently received the Langston Hughes Society Award from the College Language Association and the first African Voices Literary Award. Medina recently edited an anthology of poetry on police brutality, Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky (Jacar Press, 2016). Look for his work at



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