Govern Yrself Accordingly

Govern Yrself Accordingly


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



know that you are warmly / welcomed for howsoever long

you should choose to stay / here, you need no keys



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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Govern Yrself Accordingly,  You Can’t Survive on Salt Water,

 If You’re Still the Same Afterwards, It Wasn’t Love, and Be About Beauty

Poems by Kalamu ya Salaam

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Govern Yrself Accordingly


                   By Kalamu ya Salaam



i have dismissed

the minister

of emotional defenses,


confetti to all

the guards and given

faithful and ever vigilant


several days off


the city

of me is well ready

to joyously receive and

rainbow celebrate

your unanticipated but

nonetheless profoundly appreciated

arrival into the intimacy

of our space


know that you are warmly

welcomed for howsoever long

you should choose to stay

here, you need no keys

no door is locked to you

every window is open


feel free 


Source: WordUp. 18 Apr 2010


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You Can’t Survive on Salt Water

seven haiku for old Orleans


                      By Kalamu ya Salaam



dead dogs hang from trees

bloated barges sit on the

wrong side of levees



dumb pigeons have flown

now it’s people’s turn to perch

roasting atop roofs



a caravan of

yellow busses drowns because

the mayor can’t drive



official death counts

exclude so-called looters shot

on sight of their skin



dry folk uptown hold

their noses, rejecting wet

people’s funky stank



things that go bump in

the night: your boat against a

dead baby’s body



a son returns, finds

four month old bones wearing his

missing mother’s dress

20 April 2010

Source: Wordup

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If You’re Still the Same Afterwards

It Wasn’t Love

(to nia, thanx for making me better)


              By Kalamu ya Salaam



to say

“i am touched


by you”


is to be



            / into

a person neither of us

was before

entering the other


more open, a sun of sensitivity

emotionally nude, erupting joy

& willing to kiss life open mouthed

emoting the vibrancy of glow

endemic to souls in the flow


in fact, it’s even unscientific

not to evol

ve/not to love, not to

grow & give back


the only humans who actually evolve

are lovers

all others

just simply fuck and reproduce


the transformation

of touch


that’s all

love is

21 April 2010

Source:  WordUp

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Be About Beauty

                                By Kalamu ya Salaam


be about beauty

as strong as a flower is

yet as soft too

as an open petal

receiving the mist

of a midnight raindrop,

be about beauty

no matter life’s dirt

be about beauty

Source: WordUp

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Flying Over America


                      By Kalamu ya Salaam


                        i’m flying home

                       flying, flying, flying, flying

                             flying home


this, ancient land was once

not unified but free to be

whatever the sun shone upon

not furrowed by industry

nor ribboned by concrete

but simply a life path

trod by bare and moccasined feet


now from coast to coast,

from great lakes to gulf

there is the mechanical roar of engines

the boom of bombs

the staccato stutter of hand guns

the quiet binary clicking of computers, and

the tortured cry of nature writhing

twisted by modernity


i am an african encased in aviated metal

surrounded by the sad contentment

of civilized progress anxious to maintain

its hegemony of coercion

as we fly forward into the future

unmindful of the feces we leave behind


intermittently dozing i dream

of appreciating the simple silence

of a heavy metal epoch rusting to dust

of meditating in the amber

of a muted spangled banner song


this land we jet across was ancient once

and though i know we can never again

atavistically return home

into a nostalgic past, still i long

to see this soil be ancient once more



by a social order so unrepentant

in its disdain

for the womb

of our earthly environment

that only its death

can justify the manifest destiny

of this nation’s existence


only death

can possibly cover the debt &

repay the cost of creating

this hubristic nation state

which so wantonly & methodically murdered red,

so avariciously & cruelly enslaved black


if this is truly one nation under god

then surely their god must be a devil

25 April 2010

Source: WordUp

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

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Guarding the Flame of Life

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John Coltrane, “Alabama”  /  Kalamu ya Salaam, “Alabama”  / A Love Supreme

A Blues for the Birmingham Four  /  Eulogy for the Young Victims   / Six Dead After Church Bombing 

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

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 – Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 – Don’t Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 – Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 – Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King

#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

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#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Hopes and Prospects

By Noam Chomsky

In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky surveys the dangers and prospects of our early twenty-first century. Exploring challenges such as the growing gap between North and South, American exceptionalism (including under President Barack Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza, and the recent financial bailouts, he also sees hope for the future and a way to move forward—in the democratic wave in Latin America and in the global solidarity movements that suggest “real progress toward freedom and justice.” Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race. “This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the world—to millions, I suspect—for the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him.” —John Pilger In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism . . .the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us.—Publisher’s Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”

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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

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

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


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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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ChickenBones Store







posted  21 April 2010




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Related files: Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come   Lonely Woman   Govern Yrself Accordingly

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