About the poet
Anthony Joseph is a Trinidad-born poet, novelist, musician and lecturer. He began writing as a...
Michael X (Narcissus)
Wednesday the Queen signed his death warrant.
Malik in a cage.
That Friday we were driving,
warm leatherette/Austin Cambridge.
In the midday passing
between San Rafael and St Joseph.
Wind and the radio and the radio was sayin'
how 8am that morning Malik get hang.
Hang from the gallows by the neck, by the neck,
by his neck for an hour till dead.
Blood in the hole and the radio was singing,
What a morning!
When the trap door split.
The neck bend bad
Crick crack, it breakin'.
Crick crack like story
In the strange, stained hell
of the Royal Jail on Frederik Street.
Is only shit and piss and blood in there.
Skerrit - the barber - cousin to the man
Stanley Abbott - ex paratrooper
of her majesty. Hakim Jamal : black power,
cousin to Malcolm, apparently.
'Dole' Chadee - commuted to life.
Parmassar, too kongosa.
When throat to cut he talk it.
from her life, clutched dirt in the lung
and under the nails, struggled to leave
her swirling scene. Apparently.
She had been shown around the bamboo.
She had asked 'What is this hole for?'
And Abbot tell her 'This is a hole for decomposed'
A hole dug to quench mercy.
- Go from here - run!
A hole dug to suffocate tears.
- leave from here! Go!
A hole built to control death
- Dust to dust.
Muscle grip her by the neck.
Yes, by the neck.
By the quick string of her neck.
Soft flesh to gash and a bellow of breath.
In this island of stone and heat and green hills buzzing.
Blood in the morning, fire at noon.
Merciless, Lord of bush.
Flash of teeth
and a flinging blade.
Malick : And where you going?
Skerritt : I am going to build a getaway from here.
Malick : No man Joe, come here. Go dig a soak-away
in the bandon land where it moist and swamp
and big leaf dasheen growing wild like jungle.
Is only bees and butterflies and snakes inside there.
Drink rum and dig it deep. When you finish, call me.
And poor Joseph Skerritt, the barber, mammy nice child
bent his back in the wicked blaze
and punctured the earth with his spade.
Malick himself was said to have held him by the hair
and flung the first blade.
Malick himself was said to have lifted the impossible stone.
To shatter the skull.
To split time into stars.
To crack the seal of resistance.
To grind the brain to pus.
To cleave the barber's breath
DO-D O O O M
DO-O O O O M
The ear drum bursting.
The skull crushing.
You go tell? Tell who?
Except the devil when you reach where you going.
But later that February, Malik get hold in a coalpit
in Guyana. And the commune burn down.
Malick in Hilton with safari suit and Chelsea boots.
Malick in The Bomb and the Evening News
Malick round the savannah drinking coconut water
with Nehru jacket and a dagger in his waist.
The whole dream of Malik.
His life in London and killer instinct.
His 'Malcolm my brother the X'
His Michael Defreitas
in the photographs of Horace Ove
Cage of lies and the wild dream of locusts.
Blood in the thorax and animal death.
in the throat
unpublished poem, © Anthony Joseph 2013, used by permission of the author
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