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Quincy Troupe


the star speeding across a midnight sky
is a voice in the shape of a glittering comet,
a bird burning as if it were pulsating
with a need of sex, as are these words carrying
a primal scream, hot & dripping with longing,

the star speeding across a midnight sky
is a voice in the shape of a glittering
bird burning as if it were a comet,
pulsating with the need to explode




in oaxaca, eye heard melodious syllables rolling
supple from mouths of wooden flutes,
they bring to mind caressing breezes of caribbean alizes,
whispering rain showers, delicate as soft breath cooing, easing
from lips of sleeping babies, seductive as sweet tongues of lovers probing moist &
passionate in mouths of people they adore,

eye listen as music from these flutes circled slowly, lyrical –
like fused bodies of lovers do doing the do -
serenading us through this fragrant, mysterious air

    like magic, in oaxaca,

we are gathered here around the venerable tule tree –
a tree some say is the oldest living thing on earth -
are shocked to see 20-foot-high veins evoking giant anaconda snakes roping down its
sides to the bottom of its trunk -
which legend says takes 30 people to surround with outstretched arms,
or 100 people standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder –

the snake-like veins stretch skyward, bloom into a green bouquet
from its womb underneath gravel & sand loam, which
the mixe people say the tree took root from a walking stick
one of their gods planted there way back in the day -

it is magnificent, all these green leaves bunched on branches,
shaped into a gigantic natural afro hairdo,
it is mysterious, absolutely stunning, magical even –
& it is still growing next to the red, white & blue
catholic, santa maria del tule church, with its ornate twin bell towers
on display spanish conquistadors built in the 17th century -
they show the influence of spain’s islamic moorish conquerors –
eye look around & see growing next to the tule tree
round & transparent hairy plants they call the “old man’s balls”
& think, perhaps, people were doing the do underneath
this wondrous tree back then, with the woman’s legs wrapped around
the man’s shoulder’s or back, while he was busy plunging deep around & around in her
wet, sucking vice-like grip,
his two balls wrapped in the skin of a scrotum swinging steady
in the hot oaxaca air, like replicas of steel balls in newton’s cradle –
minus three – set in a frame on someone’s desk,

now eye return to listening to the sighing music
rolling through oaxaca’s air around the looming sacred tule tree –
many call the montezuma cypress - & hear very old voices

whispering bloody history into my ears,
whispering, sighing, whispering into my ears,
whispering, sighing, licking like a sexual act

into the vagina opening of my receiving ear




eye look out my window & see waves
rolling in from the caribbean sea,
one foaming whitecap after the other,

they look like pools of salt-tongues
dissolving into blue-green water
beneath a sky full of cruising sea-horse clouds
pushed hard by whipping march winds,
so musical they make leaves shake their green bodies
in collective ecstasy, eye watch the sweet dance
of sparkling light wash shimmering over
bouffants of trees dangling mangoes, breadfruit,
while underneath papayas dazzling alpinia
purpuratas shimmy on their stalks, ladder up
blossoms of flames, as heliconia rostratas,
with their drooping pelican-head flowers
of red & yellow remind me of lynched men,
whose heads are akimbo over a taut noose
rope, as they turn slowly in air streams,
sagging, like these drooping flowers
on vines, or sagging tree branches,
now, eye watch the light grow dimmer,
dying as the sun drops over the mountains
due west of here, where the day is still bright
but growing darker by the ticking second,
as the love felt by those who go to war grows
black as the sky above where they fitfully sleep
& die when the moon stares down silently
its milky eye of a blind man, though light
for those probing into shadows, a beam
for nocturnal creatures scavenging through
the hours needed by prowling vampires,
though earth’s incubating seeds still ripen,
grow when the moon is at its zenith,

eye follow the footsteps tracking across
the beach’s sand, the alluvion, carnivorous
tide eating its essence, one foaming wave after
another, soon it will go the way of some men
at war – dead upon arrival, never knowing
what shot them through the heart was greed
of men – like themselves – who want
everything, who understand so little




the roll-up door lifts, reveals a yellow light bathing
the black & white photo of miles dewey davis
resting on the white wall of our house in goyave
as a cool sea breeze tongues in, messages my face & toes
where eye am stretched out on a black & white couch,
looking at the leonine “prince of darkness” dressed in black
lizard pants, open white shirt, a slender black scarf hangs
from his neck, he is young, handsome, beautiful even,
looks taut as a black panther slouched in repose,
his face looks pensive, lost in thought, he holds his golden
trumpet cocked in the air, as if about to play with the night
sounds of frogs, birds & crickets syncopating into my house
as they serenade us with their pulsating musical groove,
outside imagined ghost-voices emanate from shadows,
tremble through bushes clinging to fences,
eye hear a bat’s sharp cry cleave the night like a razor
slicing through flesh, bone, gristle, as a blood curdling
scream of a dog hit inside rush hour traffic reminds us
death is always near, right around the corner
& all is not paradise here, though close as anything
eye have ever imagined, close as anything beautiful
can be to the paradox of mystery, death & wonder




it is sunday morning, 5:30 am, when the roosters began
crowing throughout my goyave neighborhood,
their cockadooddle-do’s reverberate up & down hills of this valley
in their age-old struggle for supremacy of the voice, too be the first
to announce the rising of the sun from its grave in the night sky
somewhere in the east, the morning breaks through
powder-puff gray clouds over a tranquil caribbean sea, mirrors
the sadness of the earth below, where these strutting, preening roosters
remind me of puffed-up politicians crowing their bogus pretense at sagacity,
peddling machiavellian snake-oil schemes of compassionate hope
to neutered flocks of sheep making bee-lines for edges of cliffs –
it’s an age-old maneuver to sacrifice the poor
& over crowded populations –
now my thoughts spin north
to the american capital, bumbling dupes of the bush administration -
the gang who can’t shoot straight, keep their ducks in a row -
who come everyday spinning with straight faces in place,

today, throughout this dark, desolate period of our lives
there are so many political hatchet men, all over the globe–
the hypocritical “lap dog” of england, the avaricious
hyenas all over africa, the oil-drunk royal pigs of saudi arabia,
the slimy, fez-wearing fool of kabul, afghanistan,
the bumbling idiots leading israel & palestine, the lizard eyed weasels
all over the caribbean, mexico, latin & central america, paralysis all over
europe, canada, australia, the far east, russia, everywhere, these men -
& women – imitating fat croaking frogs wallowing in cesspools,
surrounded by phantasmagorias of poisonous reptiles
flicking out tongues, eyeing their next prey,
what are the root causes of all these age-old disagreements,
these fruitless wars without end, this poverty of spirit, imagination
sacrificed on the bonfires of vanity, greed, power, racism, xenophobia,
these dangerous, self-righteous religious creeds, this exhausting
mind set of white-skinned privilege – by themselves & others too -
as an unconditional birthright to do what they want,
when they want, to anything & everyone on earth,
is an absolute recipe for endless conflict everywhere

where has all the love gone on this grieving, polluted planet

now my thoughts turn back to these tribes of roosters crowing
throughout this beautiful valley around my house,
eye see their need to out do each other each other when thrown together
in the same back yard – they argue & fight – but do not kill each other -
unless trained by us - as we humans have, since time immemorial

still, all eye know for certain is that it’s sunday, march 25th,
it is beautiful here in goyave, today is the birthday
of my youngest son, porter, 24 years old, living out his dream
of becoming a professional basketball player,
we can only hope he will, that he’s well, very happy,
hope we’ve taught him to love, live peacefully with others,
too do the best he can with what he’s given, to be thankful
the sun rises each morning in his life, thankful, too,
he is blessed with great gifts, the sweet love
& good cheer he brings everyday into our lives,

& into the sacred lives of so many others