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Negrotopia #3 (Self Portrait as Heaven)

By Julian Randall

We like the promised land of the OGs
-- Kanye West

Cue the Anthony Hamilton/and name me a mansion/tell everyone there is space here/if you
believe in the reincarnated/I am already somewhere/that somebody has gone/after they
died/so I am heaven/cue the gold clouds/the gospel songs/the voices you didn’t know you
missed/until you heard them/for the first time/watch me glitter/watch me gold/watch me be
exactly the show you were promised/forget what tried to kill you/just for a second/forget its
name/and only remember that it missed/cue the wings/cue the rain/I promise this is not the
end/I promise we get to be everywhere now/I promise that
the only heaven/that can hold us/is us



Listen as Julian Randall reads "Negrotopia #3 (Self Portrait as Heaven)."

Added: Tuesday, November 13, 2018  /  Previously published with Word Riot. Used with permission.
Julian Randall
Photo by Nicholas Nichols

Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT, and The Watering Hole. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian is the curator of Winter Tangerine’s Lineage of Mirrors. His work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, and Poetry, and anthologized in Bettering American Poetry, Nepantla and Furious Flower. He is a candidate for his MFA in Poetry at Ole Miss. His first book, Refuse (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), is the winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He talks a lot about poems on Twitter at @JulianThePoet.

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