I know I'm not sufficiently obscure
to please the critics - nor devious enough.
Imagery escapes me.
I cannot find those mild and precious words
to clothe the carnage.
Blood is blood and murder's murder.
What's a lavender word for lynch?

Come, you pale poets, wan, refined and dreamy:
here is a black woman working out her guts
in a white man's kitchen
for little money and no glory.
How should I tell that story?
There is a black boy, blacker still from death,
face down in the cold Korean mud.
Come with your effervecent jive -
explain to him why he ain't alive.

Reward out specific discontent
into some plaintive melody,
a little whine, a little whimper,
not too much - and no rebellion.
God, no! Rebellion's much too corny.
You deal with finer feelings,
very subtle - an autumn leaf
hanging from a tree -
I see a body!