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ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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  www.nathanielturner.com

 

Selected Poems from

Nia: Haiku, Sonnets, Sun Songs

By neo-griot Kalamu ya Salaam

 

 

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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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when i came to i didn’t know where i was

on the ground, prone, near the levee bottom–i blacked out

while jogging, got up, walked home, still laboring a bit

between deep gulps i told nia as much as i could remember

 

my brother is a cardiologist, nia urged me to call him

tuesday morning early i take an ekg and the results are so disturbing

keith schedules me for a battery of tests an hour an a half later

i still have a meeting to do in between, my blood pressure was normal

 

i reappear, am radioactively injected, get wired up and climb on

a treadmill, lay under a nuclear camera, chat as though nothing

was wrong, submit to a sonargram, nia is there the whole time,

the results are negative, acceptable, i did not have a heart attack

 

keith can not determine the etiology of the alarming ekg

but i know the hard truth: at fifty i am almost through

i am dying and perhaps there is a metaphysical reason

no break down showed up on the machines this time

 

as the world unravels around me i coolly center the resulting chaos

within the calm of my karma’s core–this is how i exist i dare to do

all the good i can, i accept the unevenness of chance, i simply love

life for what it is and when my time comes, i am not afraid to exit

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updated 9 April 2008

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