ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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I’ve been around a long time / my face is black like the sun

& I don’t mind the executioner's song / my Beloved, your desires are mine



In the Mirror I Am My Beloved

By Rudolph Lewis


i  quest


I heard your tears drop

across the sky green globe

your inflated sighs

the wild wails of a saxophone.


Let us dance upon the tables 

of the Left Bank

all our cares drowned

& carried to the sea.


I feel good when any woman

makes love to me.


My love is all here for you

Tell me, my Beloved, come

tell me, what you want

tell me what you need, you know

I’ll do anything

any dream, in or out of fashion

for you, the world's a token

my Beloved, please, I don't want you

to leave still wanting more.


ii  concurrence


I’ve been around a long time

my face is black like the sun

& I don’t mind the executioner's song.

My Beloved, your desires are mine.


Idols haunt me.
Ice houses

crumble to the ground,
my house flooded with sun.

Crooning women stroll

in my evening gardens

in my embrace.

I am a giant fruit tree

in the smallest seed

moving beyond the dark
melting universe.
I fall asleep

expand into the endless space.

Colors and forms

want to be in you & night.
Our mirror reflections

burst into the laughter of sweet love
iii  ecstasy


I am your lover

let my hands touch you
see your body everywhere
bury me, bury me

bury me

in your body

like I used to love you.
There is no elsewhere.

Under your robe


my church, my temple

my mosque.
My forehead touches the earth

mountains sing

with a thundering voice
like flowing water

in your tent.


You tear your heart to shreds.


iv  chant
I went into the streets

that flow

in my veins:
your blood is wine

your flesh is bread
the faceless sun

in a triangle
burning incense.

I light a candle
in the mirror

souls of past and future
a hundred years fit into moments,

the everyday passing of my life.
We can not watch everything

happen like a disturbed dream
of causeless grief.


In the dark-roomed school
I slept

I grew up and wept.


v  affirmation

My mother was

a rambunctious spiritual.

My father a traveling man.
She is silent, he lies cold.
I weep for them
they still love the sun.

I ramble from bed to bazaar to bed
climbing mountains, resting in forests
I look for you who will tell the tale of sunlight.
I want to love your mouth, your nose, your ears

your warm heart and sleep on your lap.

The tree I am grew out

of your heart

streams, meadows

herds, the land I live in

fallen from heaven

In you, all is


your tongue sings

my lullaby
my folk songs, tells my tales

you prod, touch

my innermost self.

posted 18 July 2005

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 20 October 2011




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