Ode to Powerline

Winner of the 2022 DISQUIET Prize for Poetry

By DARIUS SIMPSON 

 “if you’re ever lonelayyyy, stop, you don’t have to be.”
Powerline                                    

you, thrust open leather vest glisten chest in the desert
you, both knee beggin in silver pants plus rain
you, break a lover wide to see what lyrics may flow                                                            

chorus basically a moan stretched out the measure 
of a messy long distance relationship run its course
and the reason i know Max was a Black boy 
and you was the first star he seen sparkle his hue
VHS says fiction but i recognize them shoulders
descendent of moonwalk-glitter-glove solos
i know a bad mufucka by how the spotlight 
don’t even add much to the performance
i know Jodeci’s lost member when i see it 
Sisqo’s inspiration for Afrofuturist aesthetic
heard it’s a planet out there missin a spades partner
heard it’s a sunrise somewhere waitin to go down you
the one who taught me if you love someone
you better get on stage and make em feel 
like the only person in a packed auditorium
like the last scoop of warm peach cobbler
another Black superhero with another
electric superpower / the jig is up 

 

Darius Simpson is a writer, educator, performer, and skilled living-room dancer from Akron, Ohio. He believes in the dissolution of empire and the total liberation of Africans and all oppressed people by any means available. Free The People. Free The Land. Free All Political Prisoners.

[Purchase Issue 24 here.]

Ode to Powerline

Related Posts

two white daisies next to each other

Translation: Poems from The Dickinson Archive

MARÍA NEGRONI
No—posthumous—inquiry will manage—never—to see what I wrote. What I lost each time—to / discover what a home is: stiff body inside the openness it has created. No one will know how / much I insisted, how much I demanded—and with no defenses.

image of white small bird on a stalk of grass. wing feathers are gray

New Poems from YOU ARE HERE, edited by Ada Limón

ADAM CLAY
On / the Golden Record that’s out of the solar system / now, scientists deemed the sound of birds / important enough to include as a marker / of our planet. Listening this morning to a clip / of what someone or something might hear one day, / I can’t help but wonder.

The parthenon in Nashville

March 2024 Poetry Feature: New Poems by Our Contributors

MATT DONOVAN
On my flight to Nashville, after / telling me the Parthenon in his town was far better / than the one in Greece, the guy seated beside me / in the exit row swore that Athena was an absolute / can’t-miss must-see. Her eyes will see into your soul, / he said, no goddamn joke.