A Poem Robert Davis Will Have to Understand

by Jonathan Moody

     Great God Almighty the black face   the black
face still face down on the ground   wham   tap   tap
 thump   thump   thump   Not okay for black face
black face    black face to clown below sea level
Not okay for black face   black face to clown on land
‘cause that boogie-woogie back talk don’t fly   so the
black face   the black face   the black face frowns
something terrible   & if the black face   the black
face ain’t cheezin’ then the black face gets wham bam
shop-a-loo-bop rocked   sho’nuff   I’ve seen the black
face scraped down to the white-muscle meat  sho’nuff
I’ve seen the black face emptying blood into the gulf
& sho’nuff the black face made eleven o’clock news
municipal fists going wham   wham   shoeprints all
over the black face thump   thump   thump   shoeprints
all over the body   thump   thump   thump   The black
face a shoe-in for best performance in an amateur
video   the black face never frowns   the black face
be steady cheezin’   the black face put roosters out
of business   the black body be on kitchen counters
the black body knows its place & don’t go nowhere else
   folk grab the black body   hang it upside down
palms going thump   thump   tap   tap   tap   How much
you wanna bet the black body’s gonna add   uhm uhm uhm
 to stacks of buttermilk pancakes   & hi-di 
hi-di-hidee ho  to scrambled eggs & grits   thump 
thump   tap   tap   tap   Black face steady cheezin’
body in a shitload of paaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnn
no boogie-woogie back talk neither   such a solid performance
tonight after a nightmare sho’nuff I frowned    tonight after
a nightmare I caught you on the news   tonight after a
nightmare your black face stripped down to
white-muscle meat   tonight after a nightmare
your blood emptied deposits into the gulf
tonight after a nightmare the 14th amendment
fell through the hole in my lily pad