Ishmael Reed Poetry


Jacket Notes

poem from Mumbo Jumbo

beware : do not read this poem


Jacket Notes

Being a colored poet
Is like going over
Niagara Falls in a

An 8 year old can do what
You do unaided
The barrel maker doesn't
The you can cut it

The gawkers on the bridge
Hope you fall on your

The tourist bus full of
Paying customers broke-down
Just out of Buffalo

Some would rather dig
The postcards than
Catch your act

Amile from the drink
It begins to storm

But what really hurts is
You're bigger than the


from Mumbo Jumbo

Look at them! Just look at them!
throwing their hips this way, that
way while I, my muscles, stone,
the marrow of my spine, plaster, my
back supported by decorated paper,
stand here as goofy as a Dumb Dora
Lord, if I can't dance, No one shall.


beware : do not read this poem

tonite, thriller was
abt an ol woman, so vain she
surrounded herself w /
many mirrors

it got so bad that finally she
locked herself indoors & her
whole life became the

one day the villagers broke
into her house , but she was too
swift for them . she disappeared
into a mirror
each tenant who bought the house
after that , lost a loved one to

the ol woman in the mirror :
first a little girl
then a young woman
then the young woman/s husband

the hunger of this poem is legendary
it has taken in many victims
back off from this poem
it has drawn in yr feet
back off from this poem
it has drawn in yr legs

back off from this poem
it is a greedy mirror
you are into this poem . from
the waist down
nobody can hear you can they ?
this poem has had you up to here
this poem aint got no manners
you cant call out frm this poem
relax now & go w / this poem

move & roll on to this poem
do not resist this poem
this poem has yr eyes
this poem has his head
this poem has his arms
this poem has his fingers
this poem has his fingertips

this poem is the reader & the
reader this poem

statistic : the us bureau of missing persons re-
ports that in 1968 over 100,000 people
disappeared leaving no solid clues
nor trace only
a space in the lives of their friends