The Orange Line II

On the Orange Line

some carried

boom boxes like briefcases

babies like groceries

and stout little bottles

like bibles

protected inside brown bags

from thumping

It’s about what people do

and what people say

On the Orange Line

On the Orange Line

I can see Michelangelo’s innerness

like the monk

the anonymous critic

who said, “The David”

is a homoerotic composition

a platonic love for the male body

that approaches erotic dimensions

On the Orange Line

with so little movement

on this human-scape

Clean and safe

inside the rubber doors

deliberately close to the gallows

David wanted out of his dirty world

When he described the disorder

Giovanni built cathedrals on his back

and rose windows with his hands for him

On the Orange Line

On the Orange Line

My father looked at me

like Noah looked at Ham

when Ham looked at Noah

as if he did something

ungodly and unplatonic

to him

In love so completely ruptured

Ham tried to stay

the flow of blood

with women too beautiful

for proverbs

Their eyes were

divining rods

for sex and dreaming

On the Orange Line

On the Orange Line

They beat him down on the threshing floor

he was too beautiful for words

They gave him something to cry about

and like the Egyptians

they sodomized him in turn

For the sake of the Orange Line

they made him their little boy

For the sake of the Orange Line

On the Orange Line

The housenegro in church on Sunday

said nothing about who would

be bought and

who would be sold

on the auction block tomorrow

and no one asked, and no one told…

What do you do when your enemy

goes to the same church you go to?

On the Orange Line

without room for rapture

or space for rape

I rested my stop on

my fingers

and the mad boy

the made boy

came on

Political obscenities abound!

The Million Women March

will reproduce

the matriarchal society

and transform it into what ~

new and improved Black Madonnas?

The Million Women March


the Million Man March

without the benefit of prudence

When the Million Man March

goes down in history

as an epic tragedy

you have facilitated

the perpetuation

of the sacrificial black woman

You risk the future

of born and unborn children

for generations to come

Duplicating unwise

and circumscribed politics

The fat lady is singing again

But this is not a corner stoop

in Harlem

and she is far too milky

to anticipate the social

and political implications

of a Million Women March

You cannot answer my questions

without trying to suckle me!

This is what I am afraid of…

Keep your blouse on!

Your ample bosom

is an integral

part of the problem

~ not the solution!

Do the black man a favor

take his body down

beat your heart

weep and wash his feet

wrap him in fine linen

and cover him with spices

Maybe if you mourn him

you can resurrect him

He might make an appearance again

Not only did the Black Madonna

leave him on the cross

she won’t take him down

Take him off the cross now!

Everyone else has

Maybe you like the view

from the ground

We are beyond Brown and Newton

we’re on fallacious arguments now

Where are you going

other than the ground

On the Orange Line?

On the Orange Line

I saw dog paws

tattooed on her thigh

and red daisies

on her boots

My prism came from


and landed on my skin

In random chimera conceits

I think

of blue nights and black mornings

The full moon in the white Winter sky

with pink Cirrus lips

demons and febrile mouths

Rimbaud, and blackbirds in epic simile

Squirrels that wait for green lights


and white girls

on billboards

on black streets

And the mad boy sang

“Ooh day Ooh day….

You got me humpin’…”

On the Orange Line

The station point

where esoteric beginnings

are setups

for sublime endings

Copyright 2004 by E Maria Shelton Speller, Explode.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Orange Line is inspired by The Last Poets’ On The Subway

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