2morrow2day – by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo

where tomorrow always feels like yesterday
in the blink of an era
can’t get the taste a de rope
offa me tongue
hung; hanging from the letter of the law
again; men in white cloth and blue heart
blue cloth and white heart
spilln blood red
red blood spilln
killn by proxy…
by unspoken words
and obligatory hellos and elevator cringes
and pocketbook tucks
and suspicious skin…
guilty at birth skin…
2016 divided by america=1865
can’t get de taste a de rope
offa me tongue…
yesterday another Black man was hung!

~ Iyaba Ibo Mandingo

Poet Iyaba Ibo Mandingo is a painter, writer, poet, actor, and musician. He migrated to America with his mother and sister at 11-years-old and credits his grandparents, a seamstress and a tailor, with being his greatest artistic influences. He has three chap-books of poetry “41 Times” (2001), “American Exile” (2005), “40 days, 40 nites of write” (2011), and “Sins of My Fathers” (2012). His first full-length novel and a new collection of poetry, “Fu You Tongue Heavy lakka 56,” is available spring 2017. Mandingo’s award winning one-man play, ‘unframed,’ about the 55 days he spent in homeland security for his poem 9-11, had a successful run off Broadway in 2011-2012. His new play, ‘Oh No Not Another Play about Angry Black Men,’ is being developed by New York Theater Workshop, where he is a resident playwright.

Guest Editor Z. Hall is a poet whose work features ekphrasis, and explores race, gender, and culture. She is an essayist and has served as a PEN Prison Writing Mentor. She is currently a writer-in-residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation. As an art writer and scholar, her peer-reviewed publications include works on Beyoncé and Jay Z’s ‘Drunk in Love,’ the field recordings of Stephen Wade’s “The Beautiful Music All Around Us,” emergence of the Christian film industry in Lindvall and Quicke’s “Celluloid Sermons,” and the political cartoons of the 2005 Muhammad Cartoon Controversy as rhetorical art, among other works. Hall is the Executive Director and Producer of Salon~360, a monthly, Kansas City regional event that brings together artists whose work focuses on challenging societal issues, for which she was awarded an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant.


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