The Mad Dog Black Lady gives the Daddy fever
crossposted from Daddybstrong
“Desiring to “rehumanize the dehumanized,” Coleman focuses upon the lives of the “down and out”; thus she populates her texts with working-class individuals struggling against daily indignities and social outcasts struggling simply to survive. The primary voice represented in her poems is that of the African American woman whose head is bloodied but unbowed, who is just as tough as the harsh city in which she lives.” --Answers.ComHe wants it hot, rough and funky
He wants it deep, dark, and dirty
He’s got the hots for the tough-talking diva, got the
lil Willie John for the crazed truthseeker.
The daddy's burning for the Mad Dog Black Lady like
Talking bout Wanda Coleman, the poet out L. A. way, the Sistah whose books you generally don’t find at a Barnes & Noble because her books, like her life, ain't so metered, ain't so refined, ain't so academically wordsmithed to the point where real life, real truth, real soul, is sucked out of it like marrow out of a bone.
Talking about the Wanda Coleman whose more than 2,000 poems, 100 short stories, and books spit fire and cuts deep like an AK 47 on a dark night on Martin Luther King Drive on south side Chicago.
And she gives the daddy fever when she talks about the position of poor black women in patriarchal, white America, when she compares black women's lives to prostitutes peddling their wares on mean city streets, forever treated like dirt, forever demeaned, forever put down, forever going down, wondering if they’ll ever see the sun.
She gives him fever when she talks about the way some police officers in inner-cities treat brothas and Sistahs like animals: acting as gatekeepers for U.S. corporate world runners who live on water on big boats and yachts or homes near rivers and lakes as black folks brave the streets, the cold concrete, struggling to keep a crib in projects or apartment complexes with bad plumbing and without air conditioning--the way they lurk like wolves near their door, poised to take down black prey.
She give the daddy fever when she talks about the state of much of black male/ black female relations, about the heartache and loneliness of black women sitting alone behind closed doors long after midnight, about Lady Days singing the blues yesterday and today.
Lady knew about the jive-assed brothers together
with their “philosophy” the big-mouthed the big word
the big-wow talking the cause sweet-tongued, zip-witted
zipzag b-brothers all play all theater all curtain call & no cast party
Lady knew about the hours between gigs
when hunger is blues, the hours between lovings
when hunger is blues, the hours between laughs
trying to kick the ain’t shit blues,
going home to greet the dust and the echo of a life
i’m on my knees rocking
on the floor on my knees groaning on the floor
into the scratchy hi-fidelity
on my knees as i sing along
twenty-three years forever bluesing out my brown eyes
and i wonder as i romance the night
will i be unlucky and live tomorrow?
And the daddy's still craving the tough-talking diva, still
shaking with the lil' Willie John for the crazy truthseeker; and
he wants him some Mad Dog Black Lady like yesterday.
Sistah, where you at?
Note: Wanda Coleman, a native of Los Angeles, won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize in 1999. She has authored the following books: Mercurochrome (2001); Love-ins with Nietzsche: A Memoir; Mambo Hips & Make Believe: A Novel (1999); Bathwater Wine (1998); African Sleeping Sickness (1990); A War of Eyes and Other Stories (1988); Heavy Daughter Blues (Poems and Stories 1966-1986); Imagoes (1983), and Mad Dog Black Lady (1979).