A Letter to Comrade Czerny

A Letter to Comrade Czerny


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes




Selected Poems from

Nia: Haiku, Sonnets, Sun Songs

By neo-griot Kalamu ya Salaam




Books by Kalamu ya Salaam


The Magic of JuJu: An Appreciation of the Black Arts Movement  /   360: A Revolution of Black Poets

Everywhere Is Someplace Else: A Literary Anthology  /  From A Bend in the River: 100 New Orleans Poets

Our Music Is No Accident   /  What Is Life: Reclaiming the Black Blues Self

My Story My Song (CD)


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a letter to comrade czerny,



“being” is all the destiny there is—that we can move, choose to do or not do

one action or another, travel or be tethered/anchored, seek the sweets we

want to taste or complain about the bitter shoved down our throats, that we

are random bits of chance and circumstance somewhat directed by choice

and consciousness—well, that is all i believe there is, indeed, what is

commonly called “fate” may be nothing more than our futile attempts to

make sense of the hugeness of coincidence and the meagerness of our own

human abilities to both micro-manage and intellectually justify all that

happens, which is also why people say “god knows,” in both exasperation

and explanation, admitting that while it is impossible for humans to know

the mysteries, it is unthinkable for someone or something not to know the

meaning and workings of life.


some say the world is so well-ordered that the basic and interrelated

structure of the universe is, in and of itself, proof of the existence of god, but

the sun rising and setting every day (well, really the planet spinning on its

axis) is not what really astounds us; no, what causes pause is the unexpected

meeting, the fortuitous number played in a lotto, a phone call from an old

friend, finding five dollars on the sidewalk, an old picture viewed from a new

angle years later when our hearts are in a different place, etc.


what we make of our being, that is not the gods or the universe, that is our

own doing and for those of us who are conscious, who are political, who are

alive—you said i sound young, like a little boy, if so, perhaps it is because i

am still growing.



I am thinking of water, big bodies of water. lakes. long rivers too deep, too

wide to wade. oceans and seas. sitting on a seawall watching the waves and

letting the heavy, in-and-out of water motion relax, make love, in a sense,

to us. african americans are water born(e).


some mornings when the familiar is missing and, on the other hand, those,

whom we normally hold at a distance suddenly sit uninvited on our faces,

slow-stirring our inner feelings until we ache and are forced to accept the

intensity of an undeniable longing to talk softly with that someone, that

particular person whom we consider a comrade of the heart, even when,

indeed, especially when, that person’s physical being is not present, they are

in some space we are not. it is disconcerting, isn’t it, to realize how much we

can miss what we never experienced but what we “know” might have been,

and in some minute instant even believe might still become, a union we

know that would have been/could still be welcomingly warm—”know” is

such a weak word for what we feel, and love is too particular a description

for this vague sense, comforting as an after-the-rain summer twilight,

perhaps this missing is a personal saudade, a feeling of loss for a flower that

never bloomed but whose fruition we are certain could have been

undeniably beautiful—there are parts of me that are you, most times far too

small to notice but nevertheless so potent that when you called, enough of

me was moved that the rest of me had to wait a minute while i stood staring

into the air and wondering about your voice—touch is so unerring in

piercing my vulnerability. 


be blackly well, comrade czerny.


a luta cotinua,


*   *   *   *   *

music website > writing website > daily blog > twitter > facebook >

*   *   *   *   *

Men We Love, Men We HateSAC writings from Douglass, McDonogh 35, and McMain high schools in New Orleans.

An anthology on the topic of men and relationships with men

Ways of LaughingAn Anthology of Young Black VoicesPhotographed & Edited by Kalamu ya Salaam

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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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If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

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


*   *   *   *   *

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

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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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updated 9 April 2008



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