Explore O:JA&L’s Buttonhook Press offerings on Amazon.
Subscribe to the O:JA&L YouTube channel.
Become an O:JA&L Member through Patreon.
Follow O:JA&L on Facebook.
Support Pamelyn Casto’s text for writers: Flash Fiction: Alive in the Flicker
Support O:JA&L’s free presses.

jamilla vandyke-bailey

black curses as songs

Fudo Myoo by Kano Hogai

the world isn’t ready for you,
and it doesn’t deserve to be.

we’ve made you out of ancestors:
loud and fearless and black;
all lungs of thunder and voice of bass.

learn quick —
cut their boots off at the ankle,
season their food with your curses
and refuse their need for humility.
rebel and revel in it.

burn loose the songs of the saints
and make mud of the fears of the slaves.

try to make goodness of the world,
and leave the rest to god and the songs.


About the writer:
jamilla vandyke-bailey is a pro-black feminist poet and essayist. She is the author of a poetry chapbook than we have been (Weasel Press, 2022) and a  full-length collection of poetry, the womxn (Finishing Line Press, 2023).

Image: Fudo Myoo by Kano Hoga (1828-1888). No medium specified. No size specified. 1887. Public domain.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprints Buttonhook Press, HOT BUTTON PRESS Contemporary Issues, and HIGH BUTTON PRESS Contemporary Art, supports writers and artists worldwide.

Follow O:JA&L on Facebook.

OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) recommends the services of Duotrope.