Leveler Poetry Journal
About Leveler Submission Guidelines More Poems

testimonial of a depressed & disillusioned student
who seeks salvation–or an easy answer– in the
“historically black” nature of an HBCU & doesn‘t find
what he thought would be There.


If there are no sounds in space, then where should i direct my cry of joy?



It’s 11.11 & idk what i want.
@ times i speak in this classroom of strangers
abt ‘pure, destructive consumerism’, ‘white supremacist capitalist patriarchy’ n other salient issues.
otherwise i suffer in silence & the comfort of a persistent lowkey buzz
staring blankly @ the constellations on the tiles in the ceiling
or @ the blinds imported from Venice
or @ the unwritten possibilities on the blank board
or @ the wood pulp taking the form of a table posing as a desk.
i am feeling detached from “my community”: this room full of hyphenated american youth:
a cosmopolitan collection of experiences dumped into the same pigeonhole.
to combat this cognitive dissonance
i stretch my hands to the heavens
reaching out to touch the divine garments of Yeshua Osiris, The Supreme One, Lord of Death & the bathing apes_
to suggest we try reading each other’s minds
by holding hands in The Void singing arrhythmic negro spirituals.


There we shall form a new community of common spirit_
discrete points connected: a cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts
based on the Authentic Black Experience of darius rucker: a radical expression of Self that dissolves bodies in thought as they fall to their knees and rejoice
thank U Based G-d for this blesséd day in an ideal cipher:
12 Beings being
-filled w/ angst
-sick till death
-crushed under the weight of Freedom
hands gripped in a fraternal manner_
hearts beating, beaming OM out from our chests into the universe
as somewhere in america a zen garden blooms n my generation exhales the stale air of this establishment.


The Question is one of Belonging;
As: I’ve absorbed the platitudinous allusions 2 Mother Afrika,
but these posited ontological bases of identity are necessitated, not sufficient;
As: my earthly father is heavenly
from the eastern shore of pluto, around the corner from hestia, hephaestus, heracles, ares, apollo, & orpheus.
I am marooned on the journey to Satchinanda in an underfunded classroom in
a human sacrifice: dragged 2-hell, bloodied and left for dead under a moon rock prowling for the mystical colony of like minds
draped in a worn, beige cotton tee-shirt featuring Hegel in a kangol_
a colony of like minds
out to stake claim to space the place:
planting a flag colored hope confusion disarray:
floating, weightless & spinning, with genuine passionate fervor towards some undefined transcendent end.


next to my notes on this shared table-desk i have a hot coffee to chase a vivarin.
Non-caloric energy
needed to uplift myself & the level of discourse betwixt peers:
fellow refugees of the ongoing civil war of self-confrontation_
a largely non-violent struggle between 2 hemispheres of consciousness
watched over by a koolin’ Kronos:
smoking king-sized lavender joints, munching on camels, turkish royalty, &
arnold palmer between meals of us, his children_


as: we’re living bound by echoes of “black is beautiful” while trying to make moves to the promised land with the albatross of charred skin piled @ our feet, chained 2 our ankles:
voices swallowed by a disinterested Nothing,
launched ass-backwards thru History into The New Century.


I haven’t bathed in days but still I rise:
fresh & clean & articulate:
purifying myself with Gauloises, frankincense & myrrh while driving thru future ruins of civilization
in order to get here not too late,
so i can silently sit thru a rehashing of the monica lewinsky scandal via a series of false dilemmas proposed by a professor drunk on palm-wine.


I am a human skeleton with a noticeable, bold outline in 3-dimensions
looking at the ceiling and out the window
looking for the X way out
wondering: what am i even doing Here?

Tilghman Goldsborough