Gloria Wade Gayles:

Black Men

Prince Albert Indeed: An Epitaph for My Uncle


Loving Again

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Snally Gaster's African American Phat Library Experience

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Black Men

Black Men are




refusing their backs
to those who come
with maps

They gallop
gallop away
fast fast fast fast

like wild Stallions

making winds of dust
leaving no hoofprints
galloping fast
to open fields of their dreams
where no one can break them in
tame them
train them
name the trails for them.

Black Men
are also
dancing gentle


who cushion their backs
for those
without spurs
who ride light
with stroking hands.

Prince Albert Indeed: An Epitaph for My Uncle

An odd name they gave you,
my uncle,
Black hoboman
Black streetwalking man
Black PRINCE Albert indeed
who never knew robes.

They called you Beale Street Red
the Black man with hair the color of sand
shaking the cards
pulling magic from your slim fingers
and singing naughty songs for people
who drangk down their laughter
and forgot to dream.

You were the poet of the lost ones
most brilliant
when sweet wine made your rythms quick
and your rhyme long syllables of
wind-blown desires.

I loved you,
my uncle,
even when you shamed me
I loved you.

I loved you as a child loves
a game
a diversion
a clown wiser than paying spectators
a somersault going higher
turning nowhere.

I loved you acting out poems
you had penned from your soul
or making poems that rhymed
with the aroma of cheap wine
and then being a poem sad
you recited with bitter laughter.

You made your life a game
shattering rules written for those
who must always lose,
even the small stakes,
you said.

And you
won your lost life

We dressed you in brown,
they placed you in bronze
sleeping without breath.

At last you were your name
A Prince whose long poem had ended.

In the stillness there was rhythm
and I could see your smile
like a crooked river finding its source.
In the silence there was rhyme
and I could hear your laughter
making new poems
and polishing the old ones
that had named you


Some men have not learned that heartwounds
as deep as a woman's need for love
do not respond to phoney curatives
of roses, sweetend words and
make-up passion in scented rooms.

They do not heal themselves
with the passing of time
which erases time only
but not pain and the memory
of pain.

Let untreated
heartwounds become
ugly reminders of flawed love.

Some men believe
woman were born
to understand
to forgive
to be irrational in all things.

It is that way,
they tell us,
with the pull of the moon.

They will not learn
perhaps cannot learn
that a woman's heart
damaged by multiple wounds
beats faintly

and then


Loving Again

Last night
we loved as if the gods
had announced only to us
that the sky would fall while we slept.

We loved
thinking only of pleasure
giving pleasure,

and I knew I would not grieve
if life should end as you held me.


The sun slid silently
into our room
kissed our faces
and lay softly
in our love bed.

The sky had not fallen.

The earth had not disappeared.

We were alive
to love again.