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Rico Frederick

stormy song, to drown the rattle

someone get the scotch tape / A boy is leaking
/ all over the floor / over the pavement /
pieces e’ry which-a-way / and here we come
screaming down Malcolm X Boulevard /
march on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard /
Sean Bell Avenue / Do The Right Thing Way
/ thick as a platoon in jungle mud / here we
come scrawling our voices against the sky /
Say ain’t it funny how another ngh dead & the
biggest movie of the year was a white girl gone
missing? / Stop / frisk yourself / actin’ like
Watts ain’t grandpa to Ferguson / L.A. Riots
ain’t kin to the Katrina massacre. We should
treat riots like family reunions / We all got a
uncle/sister/brother/cousin got arrested like
freedom is a lie on police patrol / pull yourself
over / nothing strange in the water / blood
and badges get thirsty / my lady is beautiful /
my lady blk / my lady knows the minute god
grants her a child / she invest in a stopwatch /
my grandma’s rosary got worn out beads / blk
women know how to cherish good things that
don’t last / the only thing fun about dying is
you don’t have to do it again / an / again / an
/ again / an/again/an/again/anagain

Title taken from the Langston Hughes poem “Fantasy In Purple”


Rico Frederick is an award-winning performance poet, graphic designer, and the author of the book Broken Calypsonian (2014). He was the first poet to represent all four New York City poetry venues at the National Poetry Slam, of which he was Grand Slam Champion in 2010 and 2012. His poems, artistic work, and films have been featured in the New York Times, Muzzle, No Dear Magazine, The Big Apple Film Festival, and elsewhere. He is a Trinidadian transplant living in New York City.


See full list of 2016 Emerging Poets Fellows