Two Poems from the Future: Oak Morse

DaBaby, the 49th President

Lime Lamborghinis for college grads

Diamond grillz for senior citizens                 

Extra! Extra! Read all about it

A Nigga in da House, No Cap

Strippers hanging from the chandelier

Pool with ocean water from Bahamas

Slogan: Make jokes. No stress. Love. Live Life.

Breaking bread with feds over hip-hop

An iced-out ear to the streets and to Congress

Steak and Four-Seasons for the homeless

Treaties with France for unlimited Hennessey

A DaBaby’s smile on the hundred-dollar bill

Inner city outdoor concerts, admission is Mary Jane

Showing love to the people through verse

Lesson 101-Fall in Love with the Hustle

102-Making Broke Illegal

Extra! Extra! President slangs books:

Turn Piss into Lemonade, No Cap

Ricardo

It’s early February of 2020. COVID-19 could be
caught up in my chest, who knows—I never had
a cold quite like this, my voice never sounded like
someone ripped out my vocal cords, scraped
them against concrete. I am a busted Buick,
wheezing and steaming on side of the road,
but I truck on into work, half-dead—high
on DayQuil. I knew there were students waiting
to be revived, waiting to laugh, get Merry like
Christmas in my classroom, a theatre teachers’
duty, a mantra of my own. Today’s lesson is,
Vocal Variety, yea the irony, with yellow tape
all over my voice, but like a gritty runner with
a sprained ankle limping towards the finish line,
I push through. Tonight, there is a communion
between God and my prayer hands, to crank me
back to zest, to fill me back into life. It’s the next day,
I am a spark of static. School doors opened,
and I am immersed into a stampede of students,
a school of fish, but there’s always one that emerges;
fifth grader Ricardo asks, Are you feeling better?
It felt like Triple A fell out his mouth.

Oak Morse lives in Houston, Texas, where he teaches creative writing and performance and leads a youth poetry troop, the Phoenix Fire-Spitters. He was the winner of the 2017 Magpie Award for Poetry in Pulp Literature, a Finalist for the 2020 Witness Literary Award and a Semi-Finalist for the 2020 Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. He has received fellowships from Brooklyn Poets and Twelve Literary Arts. He is a Houston Texans’ Stars in The Classroom recipient, a Pushcart Nominee and a Warren Wilson MFA candidate. Oak’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, PANK, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Nimrod, Cosmonaut Avenue, Solstice, among others.

Image: digitalservices.npr.org

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