Gail Ingram
New Zealand

spectrum rap

there’s this graffiti
art called    SPECTRUM    at the Y

half a-room white     the-other-half     
a riot

of red/blue/green spray-paint   over Margaret Mahy   
a rhyming dictionary

a coca-cola can  i show
my teenage son    a tag    <shake city> 

his ear-buds rap    the world’s

a ghetto of guns n picket signs  
the wind can cry now
he lets it run
through his pores     black-voice disaffection

from America    huh yeah  
he wears

their gold chains and rhythms  
i lean towards him    from the other side like a ghost

bleaching in and out    crying   
let me

touch u
yeah huh   it’s Kendrick Lamar he says    

i saw him on Youtube   i answer strategically   giving
to Amnesty International   i

conceal thoughts    of dollar-dollar
consumerism   rap videos    i’ve watched over his shoulder  

and the undulating black women
in 10 Feet from Stardom      backup singers

we hum to     not knowing their names  he
won’t know their names    how far

the sound has come    a long tube of
white noise between usand white male

architects behind this colour    despite the content      isn’t it strange
my son   how the disaffected inspire them

with i was here     tagged on skateboard ramps at Wash   and i lied
it’s not just a blank

wall by Tilt      but

   have u seen it before     how the women wail to
<SALE ENDS TODAY>?         perhaps

this ululation
of an old generation’s

images    in new packages
comes from living

at the end of a shaken earth   i turn and
in my dreaming

     he’s gone
to the next room   

when i catch up  he lifts his chin  says
  it’s sick G    smiles

and amid the scrawled colour I wanna   rap it

Biography Gail Ingram
Gail Ingram writes poetry and short stories, which have appeared in Takahe, Fineline, NZ Poetry, Cordite Poetry Review and Flash Frontier among others. She has been placed in various competitions including the 2013 Takahe Short Story and the BNZ Literary Award Flash Fiction competitions. She is the immediate past president of the 'South Island Writers Association', and is currently doing her Masters in Creative Writing at Massey University.

The Island - Rosie Whinray - 2015