A Lopsided G-d

A Lopsided G-d

This is one of a series of poems exploring Manhattan’s African Burial Ground. Learn more.

For Jupiter Hammon, the first published Negro, who lived in Queens Village, New York, during the 18th century

Another text, he wrote; tossed it

off his tongue addressing “Negroes

of the State of New York.” For his own

part, for his splayed heart (knowing

slavery to be unjust) he did not want

freedom but understood his brethren’s

discontent and yen, especially after

17’s—that adolescent century’s—76.

(A new nation plumped by old ways.)

He wished Negroes liberty. (Gradually).

Corinthians his prod: “Servants be

obedient to your masters according

to the word… in singleness of heart

as unto Christ.” Religion should

make you an eager plantation

a field to be tilled. For servants

on earth are guaranteed a seat

in heaven. If Jup himself refuted

freedom he would at least emancipate

his alphabet. He who thought it

hard for the downtrodden to earn

a living. (Yet living is the earnings

of birth.) And who would want to

obey a lopsided G-d or heed a slave

of African descent without a mote

of his own dissent? With Jesus’ motifs, Jupiter

likely had thought no to the license of his

own breath because he was inching in years

65—and lacking the spirit and ire of that

adolescent century, that nascent, pink freedom.  

shortlink: dogb.us/lopsided



More Remarkable Finds


Freedom?! I live in a lawyer’s clamped attic with Minnie and Cudjoe who ain’t free.


White peacock with tail of cloud and flame sweeps before us through blue wilderness.
Free Golf

Free Golf

Can a Michigan family deliver their youngest son to rehab for gambling addiction without disaster striking? Don’t bet on it.


Track your submissions at Duotrope