Last year I came across this book of poetry and hard time putting it down. On reading the back cover I learned that its author, D. S. Marriott (right, photo from Salt Publishing), is the same person as the David Marriott a 40-something (b. 1963-) Briton of Jamaican parentage, who published the study On Black Men (Columbia) in 2000, and Haunted Life (Rutgers) in 2006. I thought about typing out my favorite poem in the book, "For Invisible Black Vampyres," but it's too long, so here is another one I keep returning to. It closes the volume.
Trying to figure out
what message I should write,
watching the sun sink into the soulful dusk,
and snow falling on the Avenue. The security
of having a mask packed, this one
newly purchased. But the lone protester
keeps on collapsing under the police dogs.
The couple sitting on the park bench (so deep
in thoughts of sadness) nodded yes
as we traipse across the frozen grass
reading poetry aloud with seven kinds of irony,
word by word to avoid boredom and the war
of spirit because the whole sense of speaking
is itself a form of death. "Makes good copy,"
he says, "please write it down." A cab drifts by
and speeds away for maximum nigga-nohow effect.
Copyright © 2006, D. S. Marriott, from Incognegro, Cambridge: Salt Publishing.