quick recipe for genius

by Makalani Bandele

take a feeling
black people ain’t really felt in 600 years,

say freedom
but, sing liberty.

take mama’s big, brown eyes,
and curio with intersectional.

pour in half
piano and half amazing.

the tchaikovsky is for thickness.

take it all in.

sprinkle a lil sumthin sumthin
of sumthin mad
peculiar on top. chill

and stare indefatigably.
if you like, you

can add a fresh sprig of
technique for garnish, to make white
folks more confused
about their humanity.


Makalani Bandele is a Louisville, KY native and member of the Affrilachian Poets. He has received fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council, Cave Canem, Vermont Studio Center, and Millay Colony for the Arts, and his work has been published in several anthologies and many print and online literary journals. He has published one full-length book of poems, Hellfightin’.

Consider supporting Protean Magazine on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!