Adrian Matejka

Mulatto Ego Remix

This is a hell-bent invitation
to my other ego:
that hybrided trait grunt,
that warble of sum and funk.

A swole thing, a mixing
thing—browns and browns,
whether skin or feather.
Can I say that?

Where skin meets feather
it’s a uncleaned spill:
like wine on terrycloth
like anything made of pleather.
Brown skin doubled
or dubbed together.

Redundancy: hobnailed
for the hook inside the craw.
Mixed beats is all straw
like the meat inside the scarecrow.

Ego, you’s a silly Jim Crow creeper.
You’s the dark peeper
in the Glee club. Ben Harper
or Vin Diesel before the name
change and the shaved head.

It’s the syndication time they call dub.
But name-calling is postcolonial,
no matter what white folks say.

No matter what black folks do,
remixing the letters
in a name doesn’t rearrange
the phonetic frown.

Because naming is an example
of mismanagement: LaToya
still means “female toy.”

The same way a“turkey
wasn’t tasty turkey
until Estvanico christened
“an ugly peacock.”
All those colors couldn’t protect
it from being a meal.

All that red waddling couldn’t
keep the turkey out of season
because foul language is still foul.
And ducking is called “ducking”
for a reason. What’s turkeying?

Adrian Matejka

Posted on May 21, 2006 8:38 AM