Poem: Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia


ain’t nobody ask you if you was a fan or not. shit, don’t nobody give a fuck about you at all. for real, ain’t nobody here even talking to you. shit, why don’t you just turn your ass around and go back to whatever the fuck it is that you do cuz one thing’s for sure you don’t do this. you ain’t about this life.




above. child. game.
                                    it’s summertime
                                    we own these streets
                                    we got our hands ready
                                    for fire hydrants
                                    heat ain’t got shit on us

                                    we got a ball. we got next.
                                    we gonna lose but somebody ’bout to look
                                    a fool for a second. for at least one play.

                                    don’t make us go all Spud Webb on your ass
                                    up in here.
                                    fine, we don’t have ups like that
                                    but we faster than you
                                    and ain’t been tired
                                    since coming out the womb.

it’s summertime
my curls just doubled in volume
glasses slipped to meet nose’s tip.

it’s summertime
ain’t nobody going to tell me shut up
unless they got fist enough
to strike me dumb.

it’s summertime
I got jokes.

it’s summertime
the shot clock is running
the sun is playing tight D.
kid, we gotta take them threes
the lane ain’t for us.

it’s summertime. everything is cool.


those days are gone. settled out of court. but the vision remains.
the periphery. the placement. the way to lay down a pass. the assist.


floor general
wherever hardwood
or blacktop
is laid


it’s hard to smell the sea. Coney Island is nowhere near me other than in my stories and there’s no room for you in those nor your two cents.


if the sun goes down sooner than expected surely something else will come up. there’s always something to miss out on. pick your pleasure carefully.


when did invites become nightmares
how did overwhelmed come to define the season

how did we grow up into this place?
what trades landed us here?

I was busy being a bookmark earlier, stuck in the middle of the story. I was a paperweight trying to keep the plot pinned down. I was not made for conversation. or I was but I lost my destiny getting here.


where’s the control
my instincts have waged war on my senses
intuition is a form of revenge.


there are more fears than there are aims.


old school courtesies have been given up. those playground rules unwritten have been torn up. there’s blood on my gums. maybe some on your hands too. we’re red. we’ll share this. we’ll rename our mutual disdain and call it minding our own business.

our own business to commodify memories
sell an experience
into the bigger picture.
to partner up and merge
only to take over
to grow
to expand

Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia is the author of Playing Dead, This Sentimental Education and ROBOT, in addition to being the founder of ALTPOETICS. Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Garcia now resides in Albany, N.Y. His work has appeared in Horse Less Review, Barzakh, BlazeVOX and Brooklyn Rail. More of Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia’s work can be found at kjpgarcia.wordpress.com.

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