after “The Urban Wild Coyote Project” by Mandy-Suzanne Wong
old man coyote // demigod/shape- shifter / dons a missionary’s collar/ & snakeskin boots// cocks his head/ a God engine of whisper & smoke // a politician’s wink & a grin/ sound /byte filtered honey/: incognito amongst the People of Hope
// coyotes // the symbolic chaos of disorder in white myths/: the illegal indigenous colonizing their cities/ mercilessly shot/ & tortuously caught in traps/ their progeny/tear-gassed inside their dens
// but wild things are wild/ not a rib to be subserviently yoked/ because the walls we build to contain them/ mean nothing to them /& their Other-ness is the filth/ that makes them feel //
coyotes are entangled/ live under constant surveillance/ in many Amerikkkan urban networks/ where the native tribes who venerated them were ousted or exterminated/ but coyotes survived (trickster/ finagler/& taboo breaker)
/: in Chicago/ radio-collared coyotes work as civil servants/ hunting rodents in the city center / but gunshot splayed if they overstep their place
// their refusal to lie down & die/ their adaptability/ tenacity & elusiveness/ their uncanny staying power even as white folks/came a-slaughtering /& Progress swallowed up the land/ the guns & concrete & asphalt of Manifest Destiny/ in the name of ‘sivilized/: a self- generating meta- phor vermin //
we are people from shithole countries /kid- napped in tall ships /Atlantic crossing into the Gloaming/ between bated breath & the muted silence of dread //
now/ we root ourselves in tribal birthmarks/ & blooms of bruises of old blood/ remake ourselves from jaw bones/ gri-gri wishbones/ & backwoods ham- bone Blue(s) /like blood diamonds ground down /to whispers on the color line / the comet in us / fur-sleek over sinewy muscle/ our multi-Colored chanting Jubilee // we were told we no longer belonged/ as our endeavor to persevere/ marched on Baltimore/ Ferguson/ & Sanford, Florida/ seething to the surface irides- cent in hoodoo magic/ & pixilated kaleidoscope to replicate ourselves/: as many as They can count /plus one more/ like schools of minnow glimmering gunshot celestial neon with galaxies /or Mason jar caged electrical ball lightning of fettered fireflies / phoenix up- risen/ to roar again/ singing mighty protest songs //
Note: Philadelphia, Denver, Toronto, and the Gotham Coyote Project in New York City boast research organizations devoted to metropolitan coyotes. In Chicago, radio-collared coyotes work as civil servants, hunting rodents in the city center. In Tucson, biologists found that 50% of the city’s human residents enjoy seeing coyotes in their neighborhoods. Up to 85% believe coyotes pose no threat.
-- henry 7. reneau, jr. writes words of conflagration to awaken the world ablaze, an inferno of free verse illuminated by his affinity for disobedience—is the spontaneous combustion that blazes from his heart, phoenix-fluxed red & gold, like a discharged bullet that commits a felony every day, exploding through change is gonna come to implement the fire next time. He is the author of the poetry collection, freedomland blues (Transcendent Zero Press) and the e-chapbook, physiography of the fittest (Kind of a Hurricane Press), now available from their respective publishers. Additionally, his collection, The Book Of Blue(s) : Tryin' To Make A Dollar Outta' Fifteen Cents, was a finalist for the 2018 Digging Press Chapbook Series. His work is published in Superstition Review, Tri-Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Poets Reading the News and Rigorous. His work has also been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.