Kwame Opoku-Duku


bought status in the land
of the incorruptible/ & a
backscratcher with gail

devers’ fingernails/ as you
close your eyes & push the
button/ take off your veil &

get that look up off your face/
be cooler than duke ellington
on a swedish night/ take mdma

& see the prison camps for your-
self/ be cooler than duke ellington
on a swedish night/ satisfy that

man in uniform fantasy/ lest we
forget the names of our most
masculine brothers/ lest we

succumb to the devils in the
dim fluorescence of a parking
garage/ if you want this

work my nigga i’ll give
it to you/ just take off that
veil & get that look up off

your face/ be cooler than duke
ellington on a swedish night/
as close your eyes & push the

button/ i’ll scratch your back
with lee press on nails/ bought
status in the land of authenticity

the old head verses (ecclesiastes) 1 – 20

1 an old head once broke it down to me like this:
2 life ain’t shit
3 wisdom ain’t shit
4 pleasure ain’t shit
5 suffering ain’t shit
6 work ain’t shit
7 money ain’t shit
8 power ain’t shit
9 justice ain’t shit
10 promises ain’t shit
11 your hood ain’t shit
12 your city ain’t shit
13 your country ain’t shit
14 tv ain’t shit
15 the internet ain’t shit
16 music ain’t shit
17 drugs ain’t shit
18 progress ain’t shit
19 no one knows what is coming
20 time & chance happen to us all

Kwame Opoku-Duku’s debut chapbook, The Unbnd Verses, Vol. 1, is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press, and his poetry, fiction, and interviews are featured or forthcoming in BOMB, Massachusetts Review, Booth, The Adroit Journal, Gigantic Sequins, and elsewhere. Kwame has been nominated for Best New Poets 2018 and The Pushcart Prize. Along with Karisma Price, he is a founding member of the Unbnd Collective. Kwame lives in New York City and serves as a 2018 Adroit Journal Summer Mentor.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.

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