The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2018

All Issues
SEPT 2018 Issue




should I acquaint you
with my neurosis.
crack blackness open.
       the goddamn night.

the crystal carpet.
       a deadline’s glass armor.

this heat in the meat
of the future.

first trace first place.
if a spotlight peeled
       away the rain.

the ruins of Great Zimbabwe
did not teach much to Robert Mugabe.





Hills momentarily rotting
under the sun.

Semi-colons walking across
saturday’s bridge.

My messy lines do lean
on my messy lives.

There’s a party going on
inside your body.

It’s really loud.





He doesn’t just stop
at the animality of humanity.

Every disappearance
leads to another appearance.

Were you there when
Negritude became a tourist
attraction? Awfully so?

Call it dismay. How good it
is to rage again. Leave
the sandbox. Stay on the lam.

Passing down the crown. A heart
that writes. There is nothing to lose
if you wait for the tide to answer your questions.

At the height of it
60 thousand souls took
to the streets of Paris
for your liberty in 1971.

Either way you kept your options open.
Move it. Now.





In places I’m getting inked
can you pass the mind-flower test?
The sky is a unit in the summer
of wrath. I will live well without
revenge. A light in the service
of language. The horn fugue
in a river birch. Simply, sincerely,
sublime. Those mutating arabesques.
A way of fooling away the days. Don’t
just sort out the fray. Flee
the norm. Make the hour glow.





A getaway car that never
got driven. Or the woven
noons & tempos of a pink
lingerie slip. As close as
you can be in the vein of
tone & color. Mania’s dinghy
willow. But nothing ever starts
from zero; no one ever begins
to exist from zero.



Uche Nduka

Uche Nduka—poet and essayist—is the author of twelve volumes of poems of which the latest are LIVING IN PUBLIC (2018) and FACING YOU (2020).


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2018

All Issues