John Murillo III
This project is one I came up with while dealing with the not-so-well hidden vitriol of my department toward me, my project, and my thinking.
It’s called “The Dark Album: Conduit” because this is a set of conversational remixes. I’m putting myself in conversation with other poets, musicians, and artists, living and dead, through interweaving my writing with some of my favorite of their works. As much as I am speaking with them, I am also a conduit for what I found to be essential to their works and to be hidden in their voices, and so I chose this title.
This is the fourth poem of the 31 I intend to produce. I’ll post some of my favorites here, and maybe, eventually, I’ll post the whole project–let’s hope it actually gets published, instead, though.
Note: All parentheticals from “Locked Insider” are supposed to be concurrent with the text; everything else is read/sung as their own lines.
I'm locked inside A land called foolish pride Where The Man is always right He hates to talk, but loves to fight Is that alright On real cold days He loans us lots of hateHate Hate Hate Hate my best days uh I stress days uh I get frightened I, see I get frightened I my best days uh I stress days uh I’m locked inside my best days uh I’m locked inside I stress days uh When will we end this genocide? my best days uh The color black means it’s time to die I stress days uh Is that alright? my best days gasping for water uh tumble in tidal waves uh overwhelmed by drown’s greeting, the call of the grave “No one’s in the lighthouse” body is concave uh (locked inside) con vexation uh sin space station donde Donda duerme con angels that wrote the stave philosopher’s stone magical liberation, slave to being alone uh (locked inside) slave too far from home uh slave two ways splayed facedown in seafoam my best days uh I’m locked inside I stress days uh reaping rage I sewn skin prickles breeze blowin’ don’t “know when to bless the situation when to grab the chrome” uh expectation of failure scribbled on jagged bone splintered from violent collision with rainbow monochrome black smashed into prism uh schism: the rainbow’s born uh (time to die) phalanges razor-tipped (locked inside) dipped into blood to scribble chisel the stone quote: “‘this is my story, this is my song’ and to these rudypoos welcome to the horrors of my terrordome wrote each pane into existence with some alchemy I got from home one part each: blood, dirt, night and chrome two parts each: pain, tear, scream and moan three parts: dark light, black stars, good food, clean air, and home all thrown into the black hole cauldron molten with rage ink well poured onto the cosmos, my pages words like burns and scars that darken with age fleshy spectral sentences that haunt with ghastly faces (whispering) atomized, reassembled, gilded then cast in ebony life and innocence transmuted into death and cosmic felony zombie scriptures sculpted into deathly rhythm and verse gravity equals the infinite force of the absent hearse, unmarked grave, unnamed loss and lost, mourning church congregation, borderless nation of the damned and cursed, we thieves in the night playing in the dark of the dome, we lurk vampires, zombies, cyborgs but always niggas first murder of blacks MOBbin and fighting for better and worst, sangin, cryin, tryin, survivin and dying of hunger and thirst" dying of thirst—oh! dying of thirst—oh! dying of thirst—oh! dying of thirst—oh!!!
Oh! How Oh! How I need you, baby Keep me from going crazy I really need you, baby I really need you I need you to stay Oh! How Oh! How I love you, baby These people are so crazy I really need you, baby I need you to stayI love you so And I'll never
(Never) Ever Let you down And when these words are found Let it be known that God's penmanship has been signed with a language called love That's why my breath is felt by the deaf And why my words are heard and confined to the ears of the blind I, too, dream in color and in rhyme So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house 'Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth A touch of God rings outthese are conduit words spilling worlds and universes in shatter verses explode the voice box with candomble prayers and voodoo curses, and caws calling like zombie claws clawing out this absent hearse cosmos large, horde of the murder of blacks walking dead with hunger and thirst
John Murillo III is a PhD student in the English department at Brown University, and a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with bachelor’s degrees in Cognitive Science and English. His research interests are broad, and include extensive engagements with and within: Black Studies–particularly Afro-Pessimism–Narrative Theory; Theoretical Physics; Astrophysics; Cosmology; and Neuroscience. He is currently at work on a novel, Dark Matter, and on a graphic novel of the same name. Find him on Facebook or Twitter.