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Two Poems


black apollo / head cornerstone

I remember
the blistered petal whispers of your lisp
a slingshot seeking the smoothest stones
a sniper peaking out from a parapet
your slick words and syllables
thick with the sulfur and saltpetre
of barbs about my fish lips and nappy hair and jokes you haven’t even told yet

every one’s a fucking comedian

but now I’m paid to show body
gazed upon the way
an art school succubus
with a cup of soup
and interest in collage and abstractions
searches for beauty at the margins
in salutary shadows
that don’t ever heed the heat of the sun

carved from the womb of my grandmother’s blessings
a real negus andromeda
(you better ask somebody)
i’m primitive and futuristic
burning at the centre
prometheus and the fire next time

my tongue a spigot of field song
talkin’ blues
and sound system toasting
more bass less treble

the gawds are always in the details
I find my level in the strokes of a fresco depicting the battle of Adowa
and the scribe of Monte Cristo

can’t see me

just look for me in the whirlwind
apollo dancing on the moon

hang me up a wall
let me write the title card for you

black apollo / head cornerstone: a nude sketch of the gawd
aka the stone the builder refused
artist – unknown
b. 19** – ????

not a monument
but I’ve always been monumental


scarborough soundsystem solstice 

new moon
selectahs got new tunes
new medley
a dimly lit basement
red lights
riddim up
bass deadly
rub-a-dub style in the corner
bodies pressed into service
all praises due
we deserve this
wine upon wine upon wine upon

we buss a skank as skirmish
turn and twist
bass rattled bones wish
in fresh linen
I’m no man of the cloth
but I’m filled with spirits
floral membranes
butterflies for the ladies
pepperseeds and tatties for the man dem
water pumpie
cool an’ deadly
in tandem
watch  dancing!

kerchief in my back pocket
wipe the sweat of my brow
pooling at her neck
she smells of citrus
orange blossoms perhaps
this one bredda
steps on my criss boot
says easy my yute
no disrespect
we exchange lion paw
just as the selecta
rings the alarm
Tenor Saw to Shabba to Super Cat
Desmond Ballantine coaxing
waistline valentines
classic material
majestic and imperial
this empire of sound
bound by bass
she shines
I grind she grinds we grind together
trussed at the waist
an epistle in the body
no need to read minds
love falling
with just one piece ah wine

Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in and by Scarborough, Ontario, Kevin Reigh is an experienced arts administrator, writer/poet, sometime musician, and DJ who has released one album (Ground Provisions) and two volumes of poetry (Love Universes All Things and Bedroom Bully). Kevin has collaborated with numerous musicians and dancers throughout the Greater Toronto Area and has had his work included in T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers as well as Paranoid Jack’s album The Last of the Funky Cyborgs. Kevin is also the founder and editor of Gangalee Media—a literary hub with a perspective shaped by the art, music, food, and culture of the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora.
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