Coal Black Voices The Poets  
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(for Ricardo Narario Colon’)

Tu’ eres mi hermano
mi jibaro
the hypotenuse
of the golden triangle
that graphed itself
from spanish docks
to african shores
to the Americas
via another cristobal’ theft
puerto rico
the rich port

Tu eres mi hermano
Mami Francisca’s
Pastels y coquito
sit forever
on my tongue
apologizing for my k-mart Spanish
i will be belly warm
and bacardi full

Like romulus and remus
Separated at birth
Spirited away from our regal domain
raised by los jibaros de cana
taino y caribe
blackfoot & Ashanti
worshippers del sol
we now return to claim
our dual heritage

As international scribes
priests & thieves
dropping culture
littering the earth
with crescents
and murals
adventuring to atlantic oceans
caribbean seas
appalachian mountains
knowing the tombstones
will show us the way
el camino al hogar
viajando a las sepulturas
de los magnos
hombres negros
black rock gardens
brushing off snow
dripping juice
inhaling a ceremonial
bendiseme aire
que respiramos
blessing the very air
we breathe

Tu eres mi hermano
almas azules y blancas
de Faith y Francisca
mama’s boys
criados de pecho
breast babies
umbilically linked
forever homogenized
para que todo el mundo sepa
to see, to know

Somos familia
frater colon’
our seeds
will inherit the earth



Frank X Walker's book available on


Affrilachia Cover

Paperback: 112 pages ;
Publisher: Old Cove Press;
(March 1, 2000)

"Finally, a gathering of words that fiercely speaks to what it truly means to grow up African-American in Appalachia. These are not stories of those of us transplanted conveniently into the territory for whatever reason. These poem-stories are from a native Affrilachian heart, more specifically, from the man who first created the word in order to define and not be rendered invisible.

Nikky Finney, author of Rice


View a video clip of Frank X Walker reading "Kentucke" (requires Quicktime)


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