ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Diary Notes from 

The Marcus Bruce Christian Archives

University of New Orleans



Books by Marcus Bruce Christian

Song of the Black Valiants: Marching Tempo / High Ground: A Collection of Poems  / Negro soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans

I am New Orleans: A Poem / Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900 /  The Liberty Monument

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 Fever of Love & Cry the Beloved Country


January 1, 1960

This is done on New Year’s morning and I am a half-hour late starting for the route — 1960. The fire has been turned out since three and the room is now cold:      

Laying there stretched full length in the chair, I began to think of a poem in biblical fashion, a thing told as the olden one told their tales; told with a fervor and soft labor that follows one like the insistent scent of a perfume that will not dissolve in air, clinging to one like a comfortable garment of special make and texture, fashioned for his soul’s delight.

And so I began to type this thing in the same manner as in which the poet must have penned Cry the Beloved Country:      

And the man came to the woman and said, “Solace me for I am heated of body and distracted and uncomfortable. The fever of love is upon me.”      

And the woman said, “Solace you, indeed, and why should I do such a thing for the likes of thee?” 

And the man said, “Because I am a man and feels as a man feeleth overmuch at times, and because you are a woman and having that which is a woman’s, you should have answer in your heart for one man who is like me, and take heed unto his needs, for it is not meet in a land of many women that a man should go around hungering for a woman’s soft flesh.”

And the woman answered, “Go to, I do not like you, so why should I trouble myself with thee? There are others in this place, why have you not tried elsewhere, where there is a woman more in mind of such things?”

And the man answered, “But I saw you and my heart went out to you, and I became sore and weary with a great pain in my soul and I would make sweetness with thee and have you make sweetness with me.”

And the woman looking at the man a second time, and feeling something within her woman’s soul, dropped her eyes, lest the man should see that which leaped up in her heart, and her cheeks blushed furiously, for she had never felt before in this way for this man as she looked upon him, and deep within herself she was sore troubled, being at first angry at him, she was now angry with herself for having been disturbed by his advances.

And the man, seeing the woman veiled eyes and deep blush, became importunate and began to talk more earnestly and the timbre of his low voice and the heat of his desire began to communicate itself to the woman.

Whereupon the man, boldly advancing, like a hunter who has caught sight of his quarry, began to plead even more earnestly with the woman who stood now disturbed before him. She desired to flee what was arising within her and yet remained rooted, her fair shapely feet making marks upon the hot, dry earth and her eyes burning into it.

“When I first saw thee, I longed for thee,” said the man, “not as a great man hoping to scale a mountain, not as a great sailor burning to span an ocean, but as a diffident one gazing upon the star of his dreams, daring not touch it. And holding myself from thee, increased my thirst for thee, hearing thy sweet voice echo through all my being, increased my ardor and the hunger rose within me tenfold and I determined that I would have solace of thee though I should die no sooner than we became one.”

And the woman standing before him, blushing more than ever and now tongue-tied, tried to say something but her heart was not in her speech nor her mind in what she said, being so disturbed and confused. She made motion to say words, but only smiled and stammered and hesitated and then grew silent and inscrutable.

And the man placed his hands upon the woman’s shoulders and she shrank smaller and would have crept into the circle of his arms, but with her head held low, she could see that the lower part of his body moved nearer to hers and was now upon her, and his left hand slid down her back and encompass her in the crook of his arm; his strong right hand reached for her body and his long, lean fingers began to tease at the nipple of her breast and she was filled with longing and desire for him.

And the man said, “Will you not solace me? Let the sweet benison of thy mercy flow out and give me peace, for I am sore hungered of you that I would eat and drink of you forever. Come, and give me solace, and let me give you solace, and let us solace ourselves together.”

And his left arm crooked closer about the woman, forcing her to him, and his right hand began to bruise her nipple until she moaned into his ear and bit her lips hard to keep back her agreement, and her eyes looked up into his, intent, questioning, half-frightened, resigned and half-daring, and her right breast pressed sharply and insistently into his chest, and though the word of agreement would not come, her head began to nod slowly as she gazed up into his eyes, and lifted her face unto his.

And the man now wrapped his strong right arm about her and pressed her against his body so hard that she could scarcely draw breath; her head fell back in abandonment and her long hair streamed in the soft, caressing air; the man’s strong face came down to hers like something floating, swimming out of dreams, and he kissed her soft full mouth bruisingly and hurtfully, but she did not flinch and their bodies became light.

 <<—Previous  Next—27->>

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Selected Letters  Selected Diary Notes

Memories of Marcus B. Christian (CainsChristian’s BioBibliographical Record    Introduction to I AM NEW ORLEANS 

A Theory of a Black Aesthetic   Magpies, Goddesses, & Black Male Identity

Activist Works on Next Level of Change   Intro to I Am New Orleans   Letter from Dillard University

A Labor of Genuine Love  Letter of Gift of Photos   Letters from LSU and Skip Gates

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Negro Iron Workers of Louisiana: 1718-1900

By Marcus Bruce Christian


Study of the blacksmith tradition and New Orleans famous lace balconies and fences.

Acclaimed during his life as the unofficial poet laureate of the New Orleans African-American community, Marcus Christian recorded a distinguished career as historian, journalist, and literary scholar. He was a contributor to Pelican’s Gumbo Ya Ya, and also wrote many articles that appeared in numerous newspapers, journals, and general-interest publications.

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Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

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Hopes and Prospects

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

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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

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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 12 January 2012




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