Chairman Meow

by diane green©

Chairman Meow
Professor Black Lightnin’
Mojo hand candidate
He’s my city kitty
of 9 lives he’s landed eight

Longhair black
He’s my 3rd one ya know
The first two were in Memphis
Lightnin’s from Chicago

Swirling premonitions
His shadow came to me
Humboldt Park hunter
he was trying to catch
a squirrel laughin’ in a tree

Now Lightnin’ I named after
Old blues Hopkins Mojo Hand
I used to sing that song ya know
When I was in that Hellcat band

Now black cat paws
Can scratch and grab
Fast as an alley rat
Lightnin’ knows where he’s the boss
He’s the inside cat

Old and ornery
Black and beautiful
Meow Morning sun
Meow Get up
Meow Get busy
Meow cat food run

Dark as night full moon or
Meow lay down and sleep
Meow get to bed
Meow sleep like me

Meow now your mantra
Meow under your fur
Meow for nirvana
And when you get there Purr


You’re strong as an ox he groaned

Southern backstreet bad

Guttersnipe boned

I was wrestling my dad 


I had double vision

He was triple tired 

I was nimble in quicksand 

Cornered he was mired


Coins tossed for his reasons to fight

My runaway jaunt 

Made Ma’s hair ghost white

She was grieving and gaunt


Greyhound busted 

Back from out west 

Mama had missed me like 

I’d been in the cuckoo’s nest


Dad would’ve thrown me out

But he was torn

Between the woman he adored and

The daughter he scorned


And I was just like him

A renegade spin

Proverbial haystack 

Needled in gin


Space between my teeth

Button nose slim

My dad and I were thick as thieves

Way back then


He was an orphan 

I was not 

His past life of misery 

He never forgot


Until I awoke like a sage 

Uncanny outrage

For the government settlers

Who made our people rot


Our underground ancestors

Grew into trees 

I roamed through their roots 

On my hands and my knees


I knew I was born outta

Dust weeds and grit

A twisted old oak

Said don’t feel so different


In a whisper, the tree spoke

To my spinning redhead

Your father & mother

Will someday be dead


Like your grandma your grandpa

Like all theirs and bleaker

We hear you loud and clear

We know you’re a seeker


A tribe is a circle 

Unbroken. Untamed.

And you’re strong as an ox 

As your dad once proclaimed




There's this poem about Craig 
Stalking me lately 
But I haven't written a word of it thus far, 
I reckon I don't trust its coyote paw prints 
Or it’s shadow moths kept in a jar.
I remember the day Rick Ivy called me 
And how I didn't even cry 
For Craig by then was right there beside me
Some shine tricksters never die.
It's a poem about the Ones, who ride the side Other, 
No one wants to believe what I see
On how I saw sweet Brady Green dancing 
In a Memphis cosmic sky-mist Xmas tree 
Or her face shining 1000x from the chapel door Exit 
How Aunt Elizabeth in her own wake smiled at me 
Something I could never fully describe.
It's the one that explains how it's really beyond words 
That I’d best make a painting instead
Some Ones have a way of living unspoken, 
Eternal visions remaining unread.
So a poem is no measure, 
For this that I owe you,
Nor dances, or paintings one-step beyond
It is the Light-show connecting the Love that you gave me
To others, when they come around.
Long after I left you without looking back
Your care kept me living a life above ground
Now you know that’s why I do what I do
You helped me back then so that I’d stick around
And be here for someone else too.

I'm a poet and I know it

Smacked in the jaw

By Robert Browning's glove

Now Bob Dylan can sew it


As if all those other poems

and paintings and jobs and


were shavings

for the night worker to sweep up. 

This is it. Quality. Perfection. 

No shit.

Look it over.
Look it up and down.

Under, behind, inside and out.

Lovers friends children ancestors ghosts demons and angels

This one's for you,

Stay thirsty my friends.

The best student always failing,

loves failing again,

Her spiraling human misfortune has floundered diving into pools of


madness is not only a myth a burden

a caricature of itself

it is the lifeboat

sinking and rising

again and again


©dianegreen 2016

At Blue Island & 16th Street: 

Deep down inside. 

You know the place 
with faces in the walls 
that you can't really see 

you know they are there 
and they can see you 
but you don't really care 


you've been there too 

the cool damp dark hard dirt grit 
twisted metal rust
stone walls grind away 
any memory of a home... 

if you ever had one 

2008  Pilsen/Little Village in Chicago.