Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Born in 1967, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is the author of multiple books of poetry...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Muse, a Lady Cautioning

 
by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

for Billie Holiday

There's fairness in changing blood for septet's
guardian rhythm, the horn blossoming
into cadenza. No good pimp's scowl, his
baby's voice ruined sweet for the duration.

Yes, these predictable fifths. O, the blues
is all about slinging those low tales out
the back door (sing: child pried open on that
stained floor). O, Billie hollers way down dirt

roads (sing: woman on the verge of needled
logic). She's aware--yeah, I'm going to
kiss some man's sugared fist tonight. O, this
tableau's muse, a Lady cautioning me: 

Just tough this thing out, girl. Sweat through the jones.
Don't ask for nothing.  Spit your last damned note.






From Outlandish Blues by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Copyright © 2003 by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Reproduced by permission of Wesleyan University Press. All rights reserved.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.