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About this poet

Mahogany L. Browne was born in Oakland, California. She is the author of several poetry collections and chapbooks, including Smudge (Button Poetry, 2016), Redbone (Aquarius Press, 2015) and #Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online (Penmanship Books, 2010).

Browne is the founder and publisher of Penmanship Books, which she created “as the answer to the performance poet’s publishing problem.” She is also the author of Unlikely & Other Sorts (Penmanship Books, 2006), a collection of poetry and essays, and the editor of His Rib: Stories, Poems & Essays by HER (Penmanship Books, 2007).

Also an award-winning performance poet, Browne is active in the spoken word community. She has released five LPs of her work and serves as the poetry program director and Friday Night Slam curator for the Nuyorican Poets Café. She is currently pursuing an MFA in writing and activism at Pratt Institute in New York City.


Selected Bibliography

Smudge (Button Poetry, 2016)
Redbone (Aquarius Press, 2015)
Swag (Penmanship Books, 2010)
#Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online in 140 Characters or Less (Penmanship Books, 2010)
Unlikely & Other Sorts (Penmanship Books, 2006)

Redbone Dances

If you ain’t never watched your parents kiss 
             ain’t neva have them teach you 
‘bout the way lips will       to bend & curve 
against a lover’s affirmation 

If you ain’t never watched the knowing nod 
of sweethearts worn away & soft 
as a speaker box’s blown out hiss 

If you ain’t witnessed the glue 
that connected your mother & father 
—how they fused their single selves 
into the blunt fist of parents 

If you ain’t sure there was a time when 
their eyes held each other like a nexus
breaking the lock to dip dark marbles 
into certain corners of a shot glass 

If you ain’t never known a Saturday night 
slick with shiny promises & clouds 
wrapped wet in a Pendegrass croon 

If you ain’t been taught how 
a man hold you close      so close 
…it look like a crawl 

If you ain’t had the memory 
of your mother & father sliding 
hip to hip         Their feet whisper 
a slow shuffle & shift       Her hand 
on his neck grip the shoulder of 
a man that will pass his daughters 
bad tempers       & hands like bowls

If you ain’t watched a man 
lean into a woman His eyes 
a boat sliding across bronze 
             His hands 
pillared in her auburn hair       Her 
throat              holds     the urge 

to hear how her voice sounds against 
the wind of him 

If your skin can’t fathom the heat 
of something as necessary as this… 

Then you can’t know the hurricane 
of two bodies    how    the bodies
can create the prospect of a sunrise
how that sunrise got a name 
             it sound like: a blues song; 
a woman’s       heart breaking; 
From the record player skipping 
             the sky             almost 

blue 

Copyright © 2015 by Mahogany Browne. From Redbone (Willow Books, 2015). Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 by Mahogany Browne. From Redbone (Willow Books, 2015). Used with permission of the author.

Mahogany L. Browne

Mahogany L. Browne

Mahogany L. Browne is the author of Redbone (Aquarius Press, 2015) and #Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online (Penmanship Books, 2010).

by this poet

poem

I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free
I wish I could break
All the chains holding me —Nina Simone


today i am a black woman in america
& i am singing a melody ridden lullaby
it sounds like:
              the gentrification of a brooklyn stoop

2
poem

Bam got tight eyes 
             Real tight 
He crazy, girl 
             But he fun to be around 
He’s so funny 
             He the life of the party 
He the oldest of them boys over on Alcatraz 
             He love them birds – the pigeons 
That’s what I heard 

poem

& then the poet became G  D/like
just’a rolling his tongue everywhere
like G O D must’ve
when the earth got birth(ed) & even

           after the fertile soil turned
over on herself/  & the sky--a mix

between "blue&what you looking @?"

(that was sometime