Black History- Poems about The Body. Calvin Forbes, “Picture of a Man”

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Poems about The Body. Calvin Forbes, Black poet- “Picture of a Man”

He draws a man,
bright swirls of red.
And I say give me a tree.
He points to the middle
of his red and says
“there’s a tree!”
Tonight without complaining
he goes off to sleep
asking why in his story book
the big boats have little
boats. He shouts
goodnight: I ask if he wants
the lights out-

he says no, that he can’t see
without the light.
A different excuse than
last night when he was plain scared.
Later I turn off the light-
his face soft as a breast.
And I know then what another man
meant when he said
maybe I could have loved
better
but couldn’t have loved more.
I thought of a woman like that once.
This child is all I have left…

—–

BUY:
USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=calvin+forbes&kn=poetry&sts=t
NEW: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780807126660

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/calvin-forbes

“Calvin Forbes teaches writing, literature, and jazz history at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Blues and jazz inform both the rhythm and content of his poetry. He often uses ballads to tell family stories or the ups and downs of romance. But Forbes updates the tradition with surreal techniques, epigrammatic humor, and changing voices. He described his work as “simplicity shacked up with complexity.” His first book, Blue Monday, appeared in 1974 and his most recent, The Shine Poems, a book that resurrects the African-American folk character, was issued in 2001.”Image

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