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Monday, August 13, 2018


by Charlotte Innes

Photo by Andrew Harnik / AP to accompany “Black pastors betrayed their community by standing with Trump": opinion by Solomon Jones in The Inquirer, August 8, 2018

Malcolm X what happened?
it’s a hundred degrees
and sweat’s already
streaming drowsily
I browse the web
and then I see
sitting beside the pres
Martin’s niece
smiling hard
a pastor’s telling D
that he has done
the best for blacks
of any president ever
no it’s not
a dream but heartbreak
something like the death
of Malcolm X
he routed “tokens”
now look they’re back perhaps
I’ve been a token
but not like that
oh Malcolm we need you get up

Charlotte Innes is the author of Descanso Drive (Kelsay Books, 2017), a first book of poems, and two chapbooks, Licking the Serpent (2011) and Reading Ruskin in Los Angeles (2009), both with Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, The Sewanee Review and Rattle. They have also been anthologized in Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Beyond Baroque Books, 2015) and The Best American Spiritual Writing for 2006 (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), amongst others. She has written on literary topics for the Los Angeles Times, The Nation and other publications.