Porous rock, water words in pores of rock, liquid swords and words and worlds spill and pour from rock; pores like lockless doors in precious ore, portals to the fluid folklore of my and our ongoings and befores, and all the pools of hot, cold, cool, thoughtful, and thoughtless thoughts. Earth and water, earthen water, water in earth, vast and salty, oceanic, thick with the refuse of loss and refusal branding those we know and cannot possibly know we lost.
Bear it all, bare it all, all born of motes of dust, raindrops, and minerals, borne like quakes, torrents, droughts, blizzards and squalls; so, worn well like Chance’s khaki overalls, and worn well like 6’6 knees after twenty years of chasing ghosts with basketballs; so, born and borne and worn doubly within and in the flesh. Skin, organs, blood, bone, and marrow, crimson mantle and terrain, with gilded brain and black spirit, the bubbled, bubbled, toiled and troubled waters of Umi’s soulful liquid plane.
Sediment stitched together, woven sandstone clastic barely holding rolling wakes, murmuring slaves in holds and those who sought to choose their fates overboard the wooden slakes, flooded streets in the quarter carrying caskets and gravestones loosing the lost forever among the breaks, waterways oil-polluted and lead-laced, groundwater poisoned with fracking waste, acid rain that burn when it clean ya and all the tears flowing tracks of joy, rage, love, pain, and grief down each black-so-crackless face—all these waters .paak’d and packed and stowed and stole’ behind the granular fragments wholly pressed and locked into the rocky holey whole, unevenly woven, compulsorily interlaced.
What lurks in the quartzose matrix? Spy what in the sketchy latticework? What’s etched in between the lines on wet and stony faces? What stories tattoo these vessels? What are the hieroglyphic narratives of the blackest work?
Cryptographic cartography, code comprised of contours, crossings, textures, and shadows, every facet and façade, seek and see and heed and hear and read how their beloved eyes were watching God, peep how Dionne mapped in verse the geography, the rolling hills of slow, soulful, swaggin, solemn songs of Ursa, NourbeSe, Yasiin, Solomon, André and Phife Dawg; peep the long division trickling maths in sweet tea made with stank water from the crooked letter humpback river, or maybe the Combahee, or maybe where Margaret Garner smiled, an attempt at creatively building from the geometries of assata’s and Angela’s calculations while solving for X’s autobiography; peep and decipher the whole new languages of Fanon and Wynter’s sociogenies; peep the funky crag, crack, and crunk of Susana’s collective, Alexis’s spill, Roxanne’s untamed badness, Chanda’s offing, Selamawit’s fire, Chinyere’s golden light and indomitable will; and feel the Sharpe edges, the Lacy bends, and trace the tributaries of Spillers’s offerings—spy and touch the named, unnamed and noname’d rage and love shaping the complex topographies.
Marks, nicks, scars, and etches spell the lost and hidden water arts of past, present, and future ages, read the fleshy edgy incantations and heed the shared refrains: We are the ones we have been waiting for. We the bits and fragments of the black whole. We will make the arrangements; we will shield your names in streets, homes, classrooms, outer space, and on pages. Carved, modded, scarified, branded, tattooed onto the collective stone of water bearing folk, the black and standing rock called “we,” we, the earth and water bending sages, shifters of soil, silt, salt, and sound into currents, flights, and homegoings, conjurers of tide and tectonics, present a hard and full dilemma for the massas, deans, officers, overseers, agents, and presidents who would bind our oceans and continents in cages.
A reading problem producing graffiti composed of misnamings and death sentences from the unrepentant underwriters for whom the matters of black life and death remain unreal and unwieldy; unwilling to even try to be hydrogeologists, the tough fluidity of our illegibility remains unyielding. All this outpouring through pages and lines, this pouring out of incantations and rhymes, just impenetrable niggerish gibberish to putridly stagnated minds whose eyes can only see shit because shit is all they want to see, and whose grammar cannot contain, so crumbles beneath, the grandness of our designs.
This that hip-hop, this that Black rock, strings of everything vibrating, shook, and plucked and struck, in the bass-line riff ripping the fabric of reality and arrhythmi-ing the cosmos because Black rock stays flooding and fucking it up. Stays and holds: Blackness’s fact is a slick, hard truth, life and death incorporated into heavy, slippery, enduring paradox; and Black folk bear and bare the crash and the crush, “we,” this holey, wholly holy rock.
This be a simple song in an age of terror for black magical resilience, “we” harbingers of brilliance, who hold death, drown and dance in our chests, the very vexed “we” testifying in the clearing and the cold and lonely “we” barely keeping warm outside the inn with hands prayered in our sex, so that we might never forget that in name, tongue, and tale, and fraught as “we” is, “we” are and must be aquifer-avatar at our best: flowing water in soul, and sturdy stone in bone and flesh.
Dr. John Murillo III is a conjurer. Often, that he practices Black magic with words, rife with nerdy references and citations—to/of Mass Effect, Doctor Who, Yasiin Bey, Umbrella Academy, Pokémon, Hortense Spillers, Steven Universe, Theoretical Physics and Afropessimism—infuriates misguided, uninformed, and petty nonbelievers of all kinds. He channels their dismissive and baseless hateration into inky spells, deathly cast into wordy, cinematic, weird, loving, enraged, and sorrowful sentences on comic book, essay, poetry, and novel pages. Unlike them, he believes in the “promise” and the practice “of the infinite,” tries his best like “Umi Says,” and imagines the unimaginable through, for, and with Black life and death everywhere. His curls have been described as “a portal into the boundless absurdity and wonder of the cosmos.” His favorite dish is mole negro. Find him on Facebook or Twitter.
 By himself and literally no one else.