Three Poems and Three Digital Art Works by Upfromsumdirt

Standard Charges May Apply

lissen to
the pop-art
in my pidjin

brogue knows its way
around beatbox
but is older

it’s beyond the flashdrive
of social cinema culling
auguries from cement

and broken beliefs.
in my hand the tongue is
a tissue / is love / is

a connective tendon
where village rides
the void / a collective

vox voudun. voice
has a foothold upon
the black fetish

a so-called
‘hex message’,
in aboriginal slang

Saint Cesária
is my inner spirit’s
service provider…


Black Stélé In The Hour Of Chaos

                I got a letter from the government, the other day.
               open and read it; it said they was suckers. – Chuck D.

everybody wanted to blame Heru when
the riots broke out, but everyone knows
Heru is a man of Peace. sure, he might tag
his name in hieroglyphs and other modern forms

of graffiti, and he loves his beer – the original recipe
with hops and oats as thick as a pharaoh’s asp; and
sometimes he hangs out late cold lampin’ with
The Sphinx, pitchin’ pennies and pinchin’ ass,

but lead a riot? no sir, not Ra… not our Heru!
sure, disturbing the peace is in his d.n.a., but that’s
more his daddy’s racket (if someone cut my dick off,
sealed me in a casket & tossed it into the sea

then I might up and rebel as well. no, no might)
but all that was ages ago. at least what? 7?… 8
thousand years? now, I know for a cold stone fact
he did pitch a fit the day he lost his lottery ticket –

it was him, Nikonos and one of them Hapshetsut boys
doing belly flops in the Nile, naked as a sacrificial calf.
that’s the day they found that little Ahmose kid drifting
down stream from Nubia – the escapades that day

turned the whole reverent world around; “Akhenaten”,
Ahmose’s great-great grandson, would inherit his
penchant for chasing after parables, glass houses,
and monotheism – why Ra anem let the whole thing

unfold the way it did’s beyond me; vanity I guess.
them 1300s B.C. was a bad scene for holy rollers.
after that came plagues & pandemics then eventually
came the Romans and everybody’s name got washed

off the stones; nothing of that ‘old-timey ‘ligion’ was
held sacred. they even broke into Tutankhamun’s
tomb and filled his coptic jar with microchips.
no doubt the Hyksos or other heathens did it and to

this day, conspiracy theorists still blame it on the cult
of Bill Gates traveling back in time; Ma’a says we
should all keep our eyes on them Nazarenes, trouble-
makers, the whole lot. stealing Heru’s legacy anshit;

they probably the ones that pilfered his powerball
(I wouldnt put it past them) and if you wanna talk
a riot, then them Romans: from Carthage to Thebes
them thieves were known to paint a town red. Bacchus,

Simon Peter, Gaius Germanicus – oh shit, talk about
the Ptolemies and all bets are off!
you couldnt turn
over a fig without coming across some drunken god
sprawled out – tunic torn, morals shorn, goats & virgins

worn out. there were 30 wonders of the world before they
moved in. and don’t get me started on Zeus! he the worse
one! back then, Olympus was just a parking lot behind
The Memphis Meat Market; the little monocled Monopoly

Man was a prototypical son way before Mercury and look
at that pantheon now! the whole civilized world in ruins,
from the mighty Euphrates to the River Niger, from the
cairns of Nubia to the calamity of Kiigbo Kiigba –

every fact, every fictitious facet’s been in retrograde
ever since; and of ol’ Heru with the cinnamon breath
chanting 16 bars? these days, he rarely even breaks
into song: your mama’s favorite hero, he barely

even hums; all sigh-fi & mopin’ mics & hired glyphs.
I heard he’s barista at a gentrifying bookstore in Hell
For Certain, Kentucky; but still, the entire western
canon tells him there’s no future in his frothin’.

Tea With Bojangles

for fuck’s sake is why you come, as did your
elders a century before breaking
bread over cavier or raspberries:

reinvisionism is a freedom,
if not a luxury, the tongues of your
indignant gods in my painted mouth like
a mud dauber in pink cotton candy

the cursory rhyme of hindsight as if
there was never minstrelism to your
own survival counting syllables in
my memoir as dissertation for a
merit badge; don’t come with cautionary
snarl like simon legree with prosaic
verse mislabeling the nature of my
being – unless first, in equal meter,
you ledger your grandfather’s confessions
working through oppression, crying the blues;
did he inherit a ranch? did he beat
a beast? was he beaten by one? how’d he
‘void being eaten (on the face of it)
as you by jim crow’s most ravenous maw?

because in black light i see the burnt cork
staining the collars of hubris while you
click bait for black poets on your work break.

yes, we all have our lenses… i prefer
to see forward in time through mine with an
hitherto-unknown lightness and presence”.

paul laurence must be some anathema
to our progeny looking back in woe
with his limericks on twists & twiddles
and lying masks grinnin’ brightly groomed like
mom beck Black Hat, true temple of my familiar.

upfromsumdirt thinks himself a troublemaker but he’s just a poet; a lowdown, filthy poet. twitter: @upfromsumdirt. Website:

Art works: Banner is from “Pedagogical”, 2. “patronsaintofblackart, 3. from “Awaken Your Gods” series. All works by upfromsumdirt

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