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Across The Blue Chasm, Poetry, Big Drum Press, 2000

Across the Blue Chasm, published by Big Drum Press, 2000

Good Poems

Are rabid dogs that
Foam at the mouth,
Fearless and fanged.

They puncture necks.
Lives seep through the wounds.

I hide
In corners,
Under rocks,
In the quiet places
Where I’ve heard
Good Poems
Can’t breathe.

But they find me.

They drag me out,
Hold shotguns to my head,
Force my confessions.

Home is Where: An Anthology of African American Poetry from the Carolinas
Edited by Kwame Dawes, Hub City Press, 2011

Home is Where: An Anthology

"True Master"
“Who’s the baddest low down, mofo round this town?”
   -Sho Nuff, The Last Dragon

Imagine Kwai Chang Caine
As a four foot eleven black woman
Gray hair, gold rimmed glasses
But not as stiff as David Carradine
Imagine Gordon Lui
In the 36 chambers
With a big black pocket book
Instead of a three section staff
Grandma moved her energy from the ground up
She practiced in house dresses and stockings in
Gum bottom Reeboks
Her empty hand techniques were pinches
To ears and palm strikes to bottoms
Her kitchen broom style was lethal
Yellow straw descending
Too fast to duck
Only matched by her green switch form
Swung Bruce Lee quick
She cultivated her chi with collards and cornbread
She meditated in a lazy-boy
Her glasses just at the tip of her nose
A National Enquirer in her lap
Her Kung Fu grip held my hand
When we crossed busy streets
She told us that the Manchus
(Or republicans) were not to be trusted
Under any conditions
And democrats, only as far as you could throw them
At age 82 she walked through a group of
Teenagers with skateboards and painful piercings
Daring them to stand in her way
A gallon of milk in her right hand
Cocked like a Jet-Li sidekick
The crowd made way for the master
In annals of Shaolin this is called:
The Battle For The Harris Teeter Parking Lot.

From the upcoming book: Grandma's Kung Fu: Poems/Rants/Essays

Howard Craft Grandma Kung Fu 1 Howard Craft Grandma Kung Fu 2 Howard Craft Grandma Kung Fu 3

"The Winning Boyz Magic"

I got the winning boy’s magic
Got polka dotted rocks
That turns up seven and eleven
Each time they magic bean jump out my hand

Got the goose, the harp, the golden egg
And the giant to ride me round in a rickshaw
With 22’ rims, while beat boxing
Dougie Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew
Hip- Hop classics

That’s the winning boy’s magic
I walk on water in a lime green suit
With a white Kangol tilted
Ace duce to the side like old
Harlem Cats standing in front of the
Apollo with a mouth full of action verbs
Playing the dozens with Malcolm Little
Circa 1940s, gangsta lean
In Suga Ray’s Pink Caddy
Magic, like a wonderland rabbit
In an a Yankee’s fitted
With Jesus piece and gold tooth
Giving discount tickets to anyone
Brave enough to go head first
Down The Rabbit hole

This magic is wrapped up in sky and sealed in ocean
This magic is bathed in dream and dried in smoke
This magic is written on the back of your favorite cereal box
With the cheap plastic toy inside
This magic is the space mooning you between the lines
Of an old Leroi Jones diatribe

I learned it from a dread locked prophet in a mud cloth vest
I learned it from an old Antillean with bottle top glasses
I learned it from a Vietnamese monk with a Sunkist smile

I floated away with Shine while the Titanic sank
And he wrote the magic down on a silk
Dry clean only handkerchief, as he sang
Bobby Blue Bland songs over a Pepsi and a pack of nabs
I only use it for good, the magic
I only use it like Harriet used her Roscoe
I only use it like a spring switch in April
Or a chicken bone shank in a secret meeting
Of Negro Cabinet ministers

And it’s got a sound to it-
Something like David Ruffin after Rain Wishing
Or a Black Arts Poet from Mississippi before a deep nod
It looks like what’s under Dunbar’s mask
Old and new at the same time
It’s seven and eleven coming out
Polka dotted rocks that magic bean jump
Out of hopeful can’t lose hands

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