An excerpt from the first pages of When Rap Spoke Straight to God, the new book-length poem by Erica Dawson, associate professor at the University of Tampa.
When Rap Spoke Straight to God
When U-God from Wu-Tang said, You ain't heard
us in a minute, rap spoke straight to God.
When I broke bread, it was a syrup sandwich.
I licked all the body off my nails.
I saw two birds stalking a basketball court,
rivaling a confirmation when they spotted
buckled asphalt and saw a growing squall
go smooth. And when they dove to break the surface —
a reconciliation. I said to God, Just watch
the demonstration every night. You'll see
blackness kept in its station. I saw peace,
one time, in fuchsia dusk — a fair tomorrow.
And I saw dusk that plagiarized my one
and only prayer —
Hallelujah. I'm ready
to go searching for that mysterious dark
when nightfall proves to be empty before
the heavens turn red from the fire.
A poem from Florida Man: Poems by poet and journalist Tyler Gillespie.
Alligator Named Florida's Official State Reptile in 1987; or, Birth Year
A male gator bellows: heart-stopping roar
to attract females & claim his territory. They mate
then he peaces out (as some men do ...).
She makes nest: mud & sticks call it
single-mom ingenuity. She lays up to 90 eggs
incubates & waits months for young to hatch
If baby cannot break shell on its own
she takes egg in mouth gently does it
herself. These newborns instinctively
know how to catch their own food but
they can't yet protect themselves from predators.
so the mother defends her offspring from a father
who eats everything — his young included —
if he ever gets hungry enough to come back.
A poem from Tasting Like Gravity, the latest collection by Florida's poet laureate, Peter Meinke.
A Poet Looks at the Largest Moon
A poet's moved in on our block
He unclasps his pony-tail and sleeps
in a deep magenta hammock from Yucatan
Books spill over the floor and sofa
He eats acorns picks mushrooms
from the neighborhood lot
In early morning he nets mullet
on the bay across the street
Boys jump off the bus
yelling Hey d'you smoke pot?
They toss bags of garbage
on his small bed of wild bergamot
At home after sunset still
smelling of fish he drinks tea on his porch
toasting the swollen moon
as it tips the benighted stars on top of us
and writes his poem
A poem from the anthology All We Know of Pleasure: Poetic Erotica by Women, edited by poet and fiction writer Enid Shomer.
The 4-Barrel Carburetor On a '72 Chevy Camaro
By Lorna Dee Cervantes
He could make love like a 4-barrel
carburetor on a '72 Chevy
Camaro. Man, he could go. Pumping up
the pistons, discharging with a growl.
He wasn't all that to look at, mostly gleaming
chrome and wire. Slick in the upholstery
and revved. He was a 2-bucket seat
palace, a chariot of wiles. He was
coming back. He was a place off the map.
He was coming home and he was moving.
He was a reserved parking space, a handicapped
spot on the heart. He was a ticket
waiting to be written, a stop-on-a-
dime promise of forgiveness. He could
pick up in the alley, carry away on the charm
of his engine. All the draft on a knife
point of design and desire, his get up
and go: his knack.