Issue #134 Fear and Poeming in Upstate New York

Fear and Poeming in Upstate New York

Mohammed Zenia

Misha Dutkova, Untitled, Naarm, 2022. Courtesy of the artist.

Issue #134
March 2023



Jim Jones crying under the watchful eyes of funk flex dressed like a bootleg pirate king from the 80s

Jim Jones

cryin under the light of

the wolf,

the worm, earth, mother, grandmother


In the half shadow of saturday mornings when your mama was crying in the kitchen

under the cover of innocence



what you call

your lover

Your little cousin whos

a little off


your mixed little brother playing pontiantic dreams in the scrap yards of philly ;

With the letterings of letters

not yet ready to be born birds.




is cryin


the sign

of the

star and shield



Aruba-to Atlantis

the lost kingdom drowned between-

the foruscent lighting of

Funk Flex’s midtown studio

is simply wormholes and graveyards.

trainyards, undoing only to achieve prized becoming, mourning-death.




This is how we’ve always


survival, the shuntering towards a failed kingdom or an abyss

The hostile swagger when you spit in the face of the apocalypse or a genocide; the feeling I had the first time I fell in love with a man. I was eleven and it was through the television. Denzil was hard and soft and I didnt know that was allowed.





The feeling






The ridiculous and

messy; the slow drip into

The other


(read either)

preening sighing,

emotional wallops

and manly grins

as if


through it all

Funk Flex was transference



Me—-to —you



To Jimmy’s grandma-

To an old woman

singing parimendou

(and all at once-

lightning strikes a plantation-

blind dogs scrape their way through continents and still find


-a bridge is a back)


We made

it ;

because our mothers made us,

tears that are

A tri-gerantional

blood price



with a different set of office furniture,

Funk Flex really could be

your low rent welfare

therapist, who doesn’t really

care, but’s alright,

I guess




Bosompra (tough/strong/firm)

Bosomtwe (humane/kind/empathetic)

Bosompo/Bosomketaa (brave/proud/courageous)

Bosmmuru (Respectable/distinguished)

Bosomkonsi (the virtuoso)

Bosomdwerode (the eccentric/jittery)

Bosayensu (The truculent)

Bosomika (the fastidious)

Bosomafram ( the chiraous)

Bosomafram (the liberal/kind/empathetic)

Bosomafi (the chaste)




The Ntoro

Is the spirit of the Askan children who have yet to come into

their becoming


And what are rappers but

lost boys

leading other lost




Into a wilderness, out of another one,


into burning trestles in an arabian night

a maze through a mass grave

without bread crumbs to lead

You home.



Showing Feet at the pray haus




eats the wormhole

one day a stockade in Charleston, Louisiana Sun

death wades the long meadows that

ache southern sin crushed ankle +

ruptured bloodlines And then, just as suddenly

as a rapture, Hell comes hurling with US

Cleveland too true North

religious forest fires

heavens harvest frost and Iron ore

there you go- towards

Apocalypse .




Your People are dying!



the walls of the celestial city

pulsate red stone and manure with limp

black bodies and

the carved thighs of the natives.






Cant you smell the tire salesmen skirting over the Berkshire smog

musk under bugler tongue?






rough shot through

an ocean smile

and imperial forests-


textbook nature &

gods dubious
wealth among

the gazebo earth




A white maroon,

so much so that upon

setting eyes to the moist baby puke hills








shaker forge

Mt. Lebanon NY


Return to Issue #134

Sudanese/Eritrean poet Mohammed Zenia is the author of the book-length poem Tel Aviv, released on Porosity Press in April of 2020, and the forthcoming collection James Baldwin’s Lungs in the ’80s from Chat Rooms. Mohammed was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1988 and currently lives in New York City.


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