George Elliott Clarke: Three Poems


George Elliot Clarke


John Wentworth, Governor of Nova Scotia: Libertine




My Lady’s Champagne sex—

bubbly, prickly,

toasts a garden-party



Madame sports cake-frosting lace,

but she’s just perfumed pork.


Dark, greasy vermin

rapture her flesh.

They hold her; cuckold me.


Don’t she love to pivot upon

a bull-headed, bull-thighed, bull-cock black

til convulsions vomit his guts,

his brains shit out his mouth?


I don’t lie.


His lamb’s tongue rams her slit;

his “log” hogs her till she’s soggy.


If his “pumping” balloons her belly,

my gubernatorial sword will tap his blood,

smear her sticky with his ruddy shit.


(I’ll end his life end just as briskly

as wine sunk down a drunkard’s throat.)




Smell the pig odor of my ripe-cunted bride!

She parades the stink of her Maroon Moor

so it daubs all our pious house.


(She adores his “rock core,”

his igneous genius,

his ape part that gleams as it plungers her.)


I think he gores her beautifully,

looses an obstinate musk.


Their savage menagerie caws and dins.


When she straddles his length,

ahe looks every inch

a butterfly atop a crocodile’s nose.


Her normally parsimonious mouth

O’s chartitably.


Enthroned upon his thighs,

her body fidgets—


just like a diamond

tossed bout in a black hand.




I’ll invest myself in small-breast black gals

(whose legs mirror soft, skinny scissors),


or take their luscious, mammoth mamas,

whose asses insist on strenuous routines.


(The only deficiency in a whorehouse?



I’ll lick up sparkling liquor—

not wholly tears, but holy wine.


I need wine and a whore—

to have pleasure and forget Death.


(We don’t die like gold—

to be buried, then unearthed.)


Send me a cargo of petun*

and a payload of putains

(much confected dirt).


Ship me nicotiana tabacum+

and whiskey sweet as Salvation.


Lemme bust the virginity

prized by every brothel.


To govern is to execute:

To impregnate une femme,

to castrate un homme….


[Halifax (Nova Scotia) 3 & 4 février mmxi]


Lady Wentworth, Wife to the Governor of Nova Scotia, Considers Love (1799)




Monsieur’s monstrous lechery

churns my guts;

retch I, wretched.


When my carriage swims mud-stew streets,

I can sniff my lord’s half-breeds—

the char and phosphorous spew

of his salvos of sperm—

the cockeyed debacle

that is each crude “dropping”:

his bastards denied dignified births.


Jealousy?  Vengeance?


I buy a stocky, rock-necked buck;

claim “Caliban” as my caliph.


Let him thrust down the Lust that bothers my belly.


Let his angular iron perforate

my silken perforation….


(True lovers say my watery triangle

Boasts a juicy, sapping grip.


This despoiling wreath

is my thighs’ very heart.)




Gov’nor Wentworth dolls me in mink.

I prefer nudity; it suits Debauchery.


I need one heck of a lecher—

Man genitals that do witchcraft;


I want cunnilingus that is statecraft:

I hate the waste that’s posthumous Beauty.




Any squeaky-clean lad’s a dud.

I like a black who’s fun to fuck.


Let us swim—

Crotch to snout.


Lying upon him, nailed to him,

I’m a replica Christ.


My dribbling pelvis baptizes him—

Even as I’m baptized.


My house nigger, trim as a tomcat,

Buggers me like an angel.


When we twine, zebra

Rhymes with Scotia.


[Dartmouth & Enfield (Nova Scotia) 5 février mmxi]


Richard Preston, “Apostle to the African Race,” Lands in Nova Scotia (1816)




The late war—



a bio out of Butchery


let me slip chains

for the sea,


to make waves…




Arrived, I hear the xenophobes proclaim,

Our Nova Scotia

is not your Nova Scotia.”


I agree:


My Nofaskosha

ain’t your “Novice Scotia.”*




In Haligonian streets,

possibilities get priced in pounds;

doubts in dollars;


but for Coloureds,

a buck, a pound,

either sum counts for nothin.




The Loyalists who boss this colony

look dirty as a dung heap.


Each political preacher

stews in a toilet.


The common cur here

got more fleas than hair.


(Paradise is always an illusion—

except for its ruins.)




The Gov’nor carpets his way

with coinage—

minces as he mints—

pausing his coach

only for his predictable

public urination

from his mouth.


(He’s proof that colonists reside

in a Scotia less nova than said.)


Always intoxicated tight to the tips

of his teeth


(he swallows Happiness

with his Guinness),


his glossy pallor,


his truth all froth and fog,


befit a bureaucrat

whose pitch-black heart

pumps golden piss

out his latrine-style mouth.


The puffed up, pudding gut—

the urinal priest—

is no misanthrope:

Nope:  He’s an anthropophaginian

sporting tassels and Latin.




History is built on shit,

but bad poets cover up this fact,

pretending that our foundations

are marble or gold.


Luckily, just as Scripture says,

Filth shows up.


[Halifax (Nova Scotia) 24 septembre mmxi]


* Brazilian:  Tobacco.

+ Latin:  A tasty type of tobacco.

* Cf. Kerouac, Mexico City Blues (1959).



George Elliott Clarke is the current Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15). He has received many laurels for his poetry since his first book appeared, thirty years ago. This selection of new verse for Lemon Hound is from an epic-in-progress, “Canticles,” which addresses slavery, black theology, and the creation of the African Baptist Church of Nova Scotia, where Clarke was born.