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Author’s Introduction: Disinterested in traditional performances of black identity, FREAKOPHONE WORLD is a series of occult recordings, hauntings & invocations performing new black diasporic identities in an increasingly globalized society. At times Afrofuturist, Weird & intensely intimate, this is an unruly, resistant poetry whose infectious speaker utters itself as a fictional, yet recognizable other, & whose textual body is itself a diaspora.

 

from FREAKOPHONE WORLD

 

*

 

when a committee

casts

 

             my goat-body into a whitestwhite-

 

nowhere so starved & beaten

 

                                   i’ll tell you anything

at the merest gaze

of a chamber

                                   shocks of jonquils

 

babble from a suture like

 

                       this suffer-maggot lapses

 

through the scrim-between-

worlds

kharak-kharak

 

excuse me     any more room?

 

for my microbeak crowning

 

                           through a bullet-

 

wound in my temple     my new neck

lolling like

no-complaints-here—

 

                     i am the corpse-lord

 

of a country that doesn’t

exist

 

                      can i help you?

 

                        if i stop moving

 

i’ll probably die

 

                                 in my goo

 

money is so tight

this humble earwig-

                                      demon sells the jonquils off

 

my moss-belly—

clicking my cleft-

                                       tooth

 

when i am floating in the oil-scrim

 

leave a copper bowl in the attic overnight     in the morning     spill me

in the milk of your first-born     in your arms     & look down

 

into my eyes     in the end     when you too become a patina-green-    

earwig-freshly-spit-into-the-infraspook     it will be your turn to show me

 

a love     without the barest

   invasion

 

               across the border

 

i’m not the only polyp

 

conspiring against the toad-

lord—

 

my bog-snout winnowing

 

                   in the marsh-fat-

lipping-along-the-harbor like

 

no big deal     this is my friend

 

madam-silence—

 

when we billow

 

through this orchard

of tongues

 

an air-strike sends

 

me & my twenty-orphaned-

flagella

 

back into the infraspook

 

                            in the fallout

 

scientists studying

the stump-rings say

 

if i want to see

 

i must roll my eyes

 

back through the wide-black

poverties

 

of sunflowers

 

sprouting from every

socket

 

this body was evicted from

 

the well     the photograph thrown

 

into these aseptic-zip-tied-

lips

 

every murder in its glass

periphery

 

behind each tinted-

 

lens     there are treasures

 

so filthy we can hold them

 

to the neon

                        & see ourselves

mercury of my mercury

 

                        rising to meet the dusk

 

above the rubble where

my new hologram-

 

body crabs out to the fringes of its terminal

 

to ask the seafoam

 

how to shiver

 

 

*

 

when i am gone

 

                        & these fiber optics still ignite

 

as an ad for Nike

                                                what then?

 

my gamma-tendrils spreading

 

                               over the hills like a klepto—

 

i wasn’t looking to be saved

 

when the maple-sprouts shoot

 

through a slit in the page

 

                                         so my eyes can hatch

 

in a village along the tree line’s polychrome-

shimmer—

 

i scrape myself out of

                                             the velvet-

 

pram in the glade-chafe

 

where the child-corpse deposits its mineral-

ring

                              before falling—

 

i hop a fence

 

& core the photoplasm from the book

 

                               like the purest cut of factory-

black—

 

for a thimble-breath of darkness

 

                                    outside the sentence

i lift the veil

 

so my nematode-

sprites can get a whiff of empire—

 

when the first solar rose

 

repeats in the hillside’s optic-

nerve

 

            we wring the image from the model like

a dye

 

& chew on its viscera

 

 

 

 Madison McCartha is a black poet whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, DREGINALD, Full-Stop, The Journal, Jubilat, Yalobusha Review, The Pinch, and elsewhere. He has served as the Design Editor for Cream City Review, and became the Poetry Editor for Storm Cellar. Madison holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame and will be a 2018 Artist-In-Residence at The Millay Colony for the Arts.
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