Calling Names

Lady in Red, Free Verse Poems About Life

Free Verse Poems


You keep calling me names
and James Will’s tarred shadow swings
from Cairo’s fragrantly stark magnolias
repeating Colts’ reframing shells upon
the Shawnees’ skinned at its tannery.
You keep calling me names,
Dark- burnt sienna women bear tortured
mulatto fruit in Mississippi’s mouth
enraged by its sediment banality.
You keep calling me names,
Fleeing the Southern Nephilim’s
malice through muddy glades and
tangled mangroves heading due North
by moon shiner’s kettles blazing.
Why keep calling me names?
Sweat hurls hurting lashes at
the sun and is cropped for the
You keep calling me names,
Shackles laid 2X2 on poplar planks
in the swaying hulls of my
generations’ miry misery.
You keep calling me names,
Occie, Kizzy, Mamie, Toma, Dunbar
and Candance strode in rusty chains
following claret drenched lucre on
the mind.
You keep calling me names,
Animal feet are boiled in weeded fat,
Roots are dug from the fallow mire,
Cooks stir fluffy-dirty cayenne rice
with drops of black-strap molasses.
What a tonguing treat, but scant meat!
And you keep calling me names,
Nig.., Nig.., on the brain.
Where will you roam now that you free?
Back to the creek, the tobacco leaf
and Master’s licking boot for me.
You keep calling me names,
Bit.h, Bit.h, what will you do now
that you be old?
Ho., Ho., can’t take much mo’ of you
calling me names!
Boy, boy that’s yo’ name at 74.
Girl, girl, mother of nine,
Sucker, sucker from another.
Yet, you keep calling me names.
Deferred reveries are expressed in
vivid tableau as festering wounds
bleed and stink onto the country’s
placid conscience and seared history.
You keep calling me names,
What mislaid fences have crumbled
beneath a ruptured veil?
What love could not heal?
What dead dog hangs on the line?
Instead you keep calling me names,
Visits from Selma, Angola, Beaumont,
Sing, Sing, Thomasville to Greensboro
Woolworth’s lunch counter disturbing
Mr. Charlie’s- Crow System.
You keep calling me names,
Hillbilly Cash gave me strips across
my shoulders for his sport and a small
pension from his mill.
Mr. America there’s no record of my
labors in your mystery text.
X marks my name but then I never
could spell.
And you keep calling me names,
Those stamps,green and foody booty
don’t register on the pale patette
of your descent.
Still you call me names.
Fight, fight for the right
not the might.
War after war,after war it’s the law.
Real fools those Housewives of profit,
couldn’t be schooled but rather played
the hoops and never missed a loop with
blinding shade.
You keep calling me names,
I ain’t bitin’ just recitin’ for
damantion coming to a theater near you.
Provoking the witnessed eye to discern
madness’ sour countenance in reflected
soul sickness and steeped in an
ungrateful heart.



Photograph by Ryan McGuire


Image Curve’s Manifesto


Debra Bishop

Read, don't read, understand, don't understand Fill your mind, or still your mind, It's you who decides. As for me, I' m in the flow. I am a writer. What else is there to say?

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