Poem 167 ± November 18, 2015

LeVan D. Hawkins
I Gotta Dance

Head tossed back
Hands raised to the heavens
Beatific smile on my face

My body
with the rhythm
to the rhythm

People on the sidewalk
Frown and shake their heads
They don’t understand

I gotta dance

Can’t take no more sorrow
Can’t take no more meanness

If I cry
The Lord will have to call on Noah
If I yell
Buildings will crumble
And the population will run for cover
If I let go
My anger—
If I let go
My anger
My words will choke you
Till your tongue leaps
Out of your head like a cobra

I gotta dance

Can’t take no more frustration
Can’t take no more heartache
Can’t take no more


People are yelling
They don’t understand
I’m trying to stop myself from sinking—

I gotta dance!


LeVan HawkinsLeVan D. Hawkins is a Chicago-based poet, writer, and solo performer. His poetry has appeared in publications such as Spillway 10, Voices from Leimert Park, Best of Austin International Poetry Festival, InVerse Literary Magazine, San Gabriel Valley Poetry, and City of Los Angeles African Heritage Month Cultural Guide. He has read and performed at venues such as UCLA Hammer Museum, Highways Performance Space, the World Stage, Disney Hall Redcat Theater, Los Angeles LGBT Center, and the Henry Miller Library.   In Chicago, he has read at Links Hall, The Center at Halsted, Alt-Q Musical Festival,  Gerber-Hart Library, the Homolatte Reading Series, OUTspoken! and This Much is True Chicago storytelling series. He has received writing fellowships from Lambda Literary Foundation, Millay Colony of the Arts, and the Dorothy West and Helene Foundation.

This poem is not previously published.