A Black Man Primer

if in a car remain calm
at the one eye cyclops:
pullover. place hands
at eleven & three, assume
this will not go okay. recall
brown, bell, martin, a trail
of blood. ignore the raven
hovering the rooftop. it’s not
a matter of respect, speech
or liberty, understand
survival be now, if you
survive. swallow that pride
as it can foster death. forget
all men all created equal
24 hour news cycle reveal:
unarmed furgeson man shot
with hands in the air   .or.
police chokehold turns wrong
in staten island. again, ignore
the raven & please remember: 
you the invisible boogie mane,
a 3D fright, a proletariat
coming home with attitude.
open season means you baby boy
the target zeroed into
a circling bull’s-eye—you
this not a game or test, but
sadly, you the game. facts
will be misremembered: he
lunged, appeared to have— 
a bulge, looked wronged,
reached. a shiny object—
the raven hovering wants
your death. fuck that,
take a breath, & prepare
for the figure approaching—


Invisible Privilege on the One Train

fast as the sun swells into a fireball
     parallel whose length which to gaze

distance between infinity plus one
     becomes problematic. falling through

zero in the dark objects appear closer
     but more so time bends space warped 

spotlighting race. we don’t get to
     withdraw from the tête-à-tête with

i don’t see color. riotous how color see
     the lone figure 

aureate & delicate, 
     priceless in its referent to the west.

stabbing through impenetrable veils
     of ignorance dunce-like, the lone figure

inside a metal train car, drowning
     head first in a quicksand full of lies. 

Randall Horton

Issue 16 • Fall 2015