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  Derrick Harriell
Derrick Harriell
Derrick Harriell
was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He received a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at Chicago State University. His poems have been published recently in the Cream City Review and elsewhere. He was a participant in the 14th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference, and he has given and hosted many readings statewide. Harriell has taught for Woodland Pattern's summer Poetry Camp for kids, and he performs with the Hip Hop group Black Elephant.

Mama's Grosry List

Derrick Harriell
Sweet potatoes wit no suga
Blue collard greens
and apple cornbread
Migraine headaches from 'sixty two
Need some atomic aspirin
Hockey puck size
Steel pap'a bags
(wit no holes)
2 packs of Winstons
so I can kick dis cancer
A 45 caliber
For dem doctors try 'n to amputate ma good leg
and ignore ma bad one
How bout a 2 liter of oppression
I think I'm thirsty
Maybe I'll burp ma freedom
or hiccup my inequality
I need 2 bags of explicit words
wit da morn'n news
A pack of Civil Rights hangovers
wit my coffee

(Baby hand me a pen so I can write dis down)

Ask da butcha for fifty five pounds
of too much weight to carry
Da clerk for da frozen dreams section
Some pills to knock out forty years of rejection
(If dey not all out), git ma a free pass to Ghana
Hear dey usually up front
Buy me a blunt and fill it wit reality
I feel like smok'n tonight
Maybe I'll call my girlfriends
You betta pick up a fif
of incarcerated children
(that'll lighten the mood)
Maybe we'll git drunk tonight
Here's an extra twenty
Grab plenty of cold stares and throw dem at me
A lead can, (cauz I don't need help cross'n da street)

Go to customa service
Tell dem to page da preacher
Ask him where you find a nirvana
for Negro's
See if he says America

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