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by Douglas Kearney and Bao Phi (listen and download here)

DK BOTH BP
We meet at the crossroads
of convenience stores
in a galaxy of bulletproof glass,
chanting a battle hymn
of broken English.
We remix dynamite
and bullwhips. Pull sips from tears
in the crow’s feet scratching
black eyes.
I said:
we remix
dynamite
and bullwhips
into poetry tattooed on bamboo splinters
and the walls of Angel Island.
Tattooed on tattered bandanas
and black skies.
We are flaring signatures of arms and legs
names flying over Chinatown gutters.
Urban hurricanes sweeping streets
like Jet Li to a chophop beat.
Scissor kick heaven and called craps
cuz we cipher in the parking lots of 7-11s.
We are
Shaolin dancers hi-yaahhing
to breakbeats to find the Dao of Hip Hop,
no poo and motherfuck you
if you see me as a destination.
Steel spine of America massaged
by yellow fingers in the west.
The iron backbone stroked
by black hands in the east.
Call and response
of hammers and sparks.
The breakbeats of broken
backs bent under the glinting eyes
of lamb-skinned jackals
extracting silk and cotton from our bowels
with pitchforks—
replacing them with opium and crack.
But we drank the pot liquor of stewing rage,
quickened with the ginseng stored
in the hearts of ancestors,
and carved poems into the forehead of your masks.
We carved poems into your clubs
embossed on our skulls.
We carved poems into the throats of your children.
We carved poems into the margins
of your history book.
Carved poems into our own eyes
so we could see ourselves without you.
We carved ourselves homunculi
cuz for too long you sold Kung Fu-grip,
big-lipped representations
of big dick rapists
and dickless yellow peril,
sterile, sexless castrations.
We meet at the crossroads
of convenience stores
in a galaxy of bulletproof glass,
chanting a battle hymn
of broken English.
We meet as Afro/Oriental
as fools flap they dentals
but lack fundamentals.
We knock out occidentals
cuz we re/call the call of hums
and ancient names shouted and sung
over indigo and sugarcane.
We flying first class
in boom boxes
jostling for space
on white train dreamscapes.
We paint wildstyles on rice paddies
and Caddy chassis.
Hurl our tongues like meteors.
Intersect at Kung Fu and Boom Bap.
We jungle babies in eagle talons
pop-locking free.
And at night, we reach for black hair
and love our people with every ounce of venom
we can pour into our pens.
We be the bumpin bibimbob
b-boy Buddhists be-bopping
butterscotched colored hip hop;
best believe I don’t need weed
cuz I was born chinky eyed.
Get it? We are the veins on subway trains.
The new urban version of the transcontinental. East or west?
Fuck that, we center our tongues,
empty full lungs. We the Bruce Lee,
the Muhammad Ali of the Boxer Rebellion
of the Black Panthers holding scripts inside fists
and knocking fits of fury,
our throats coated by exploitation
and our feet are calloused by stories.
We are taking back the beat.
We are taking back the tattoos.
We are taking back our dicks.
We are tuning out the hype
by turning up the breath of ancestors
and turning back pages of yesteryears.
We meet at the crossroads
of convenience stores
in a galaxy of bulletproof glass,
chanting a battle hymn
of broken English.
I believed the megaphones.
I called with bullets and bricks.
I believed the telecasts radiating
storefront stick-ups and illiteracy.
My hatred strafing
through palm fronds and storefronts.
My hatred cutting like ice
with cold stares and misdirected fists
burning “justice” from yellow husks like huts. Burning love from the pale remains
of honorary whiteness. Pale fires
of Lost Angels, yellow black browns
paint red while the guards in blue
stand watch by the whites.
The resolution will not be televised,
the resolution will not be televised.
Who will be left alive
to cut the bodies from the tree limbs,
free them from the rubble,
raise them from police backseats,
release them from beneath the wheels of jeeps.
Who will bring them back
with voodoo and reincarnation?
Bring back for get-back?
Bring back for get-back. Never forget that.
Do we need to get martyred before we start this?
Do we need
to get martyred before we start this?
Do we need to get martyred
before we start this?
Do we need to get martyred
before we start this?
Do we need to get martyred
before we start this?