Baritone Body by Daniel B. Summerhill

shaping-of-black-america.jpg!Large

Body-
breaking, 
		     black bodies
bodies	        breaking
	besides gurneys 
news,
	    breaking news!

A bodies been broke,

		Black
		Boy
		Bad
		  Broken
		  Bronzed
		  Bucked
		Brazen
		Baritone

		Eulogy-	Black
			Boy
			Bad
		Broken
		Bronzed
		Bucked
			Brazen
			Baritone

			Broken

		Breaking

			Bodies

 

 

Daniel B. Summerhill is a poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an MFA candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed and taught guest workshops and lectures throughout the U.S, Europe, and South Africa. He has published two collections of poems, Crafted and Brown Boys on Stoops, and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk and Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Pine Hills Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and The Voice among others.

 

Artwork, Shaping of Black America, by Charles Wilbert White.

Dialects of Praise by Daniel B. Summerhill

Romare Bearden-After-Church Dialects of Praise Daniel B. Summerhill

Offering envelope stuck to day-old gum,
	   hypocrisy between the pews
I accomplished this for fun
	   during the break 
of the choir director's direction
	   Beside me, the sound a sinner makes 
Gold-plated cufflinks anchor the hands
	   that left my sister's neck blanched 
one night prior 
	   His immense voice 
and carefully rehearsed tongue 
	   yielding the dialects he praises in-
Sometimes, Oh Happy Day,
	   when he washed 
the blood away from his hands	
	   Sometimes, Waymaker,
just before palms become fist 
	   and he sends invocation 
Each song, a tithe
	   envelope I stick to the gum 
between the pews

 

 

Daniel B. Summerhill is a poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an MFA candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed and taught guest workshops and lectures throughout the U.S, Europe, and South Africa. He has published two collections of poems, Crafted and Brown Boys on Stoops, and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk and Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Pine Hills Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and The Voice among others.

 

Painting, After Church, by Romare Bearden.

Jr Drank his Coffee Black by Daniel B. Summerhill

Jr Drank His Coffe Black Daniel Summerhill

Jr Drank his Coffee Black,

and by black, I mean,
no shade other than his oil-slick
skin was allowed to get close

enough to share the same air.
If he was reading this he’d say,
that goes for dominoes,
checkerboards, cows, penguins,

Zebras, soccer balls and cars too.
‘Say, white vehicles aren’t allowed
in the same lane on the highway.
Say, I got a double barrel and bail

money for anyone who becomes
brave behind the wheel. Jr speaks
only when spoken too, sir & mam
book-end each sentence unwieldy.

Story goes: Jr’s battalion, a slew of white boys
wary of napalm, sent him into the
grey of the unknown to get confirmation

and Jr has drank his coffee black ever since.

 

 

Daniel B. Summerhill is a poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an MFA candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed and taught guest workshops and lectures throughout the U.S, Europe, and South Africa. He has published two collections of poems, Crafted and Brown Boys on Stoops, and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk and Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Pine Hills Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and The Voice among others.

 

Photograph of retired Vietnam veteran Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Harris by Justin Connaher. Harris served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years with two tours of duty in Vietnam during the Civil Rights Movement.

#Immigration: Broken English by Daniel B. Summerhill

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Ahmed’s English breaks
after each word,
a slight pause
of interrogation
as if discovering
each term mechanically.
Perhaps
it’s his tongue rebelling
against colonialism,
the way it spills
its discourse
and expects you to pretend
there isn’t mud trudged
through your home or
front door left open.
What happens to the mouth
as it sculpts
a new language?
As the tongue finds
new ways of expressing
its distaste
for subjugation.
How each vowel becomes
malignant. How it breaks
English un
evenly.
How Ahmed pronounces
his name
wrong now.

Daniel B. Summerhill is a poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an MFA candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed and taught guest workshops and lectures throughout the U.S, Europe, and South Africa. He has published two collections of poems, Crafted and Brown Boys on Stoops, and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk and Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Pine Hills Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and The Voice among others.

 

Painting by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.