A Garden Grows in Brooklyn: Bomb-man vs. The Flower Devil

by Jonathan Andrew Pérez Issue: Spring/Summer 2020

The Golden Legacy Comic Book History

The Golden Legacy Comics were the brainchild of Bertram A Fitzgerald; they featured black history in the form of a comic-book strip.  There is a feature on Toussaint L’Overture, Martin Luther King, La Amistad, the Saga of Harriet Tubman and other moments in Black History. The goal of the work was a joint brain child with Joan Maynard, the Weeksville Heritage Center’s historian and artist.    

             Right in the middle of a city block, a vacant lot, a girl imagines the wildflowers grow.
In the bombs of pollen, a yard, of inequitable history, A Golden Legacy, there rose, 
            an undetonated
            Mephistopheles of Rosaceae, colonialism, 


Inside the bombs that we impregnate with meaning, a thick rim of cigar smoke, 
            an interpretation: the Amistad mutiny, a pistol, a knife, an imagined battle.
Good vs. Evil, or the Hibiscus. The flower devil reached out, 
            we bloom waiting for that evening
for a winner to rise, for the booming above the cemetery,
            the first to thrust herself between cruelty and the enslaver. Good versus evil.

B A M. 

To sound a final blow the Golden Legacy stayed afloat. The flower devil being caste,
            out of stem, ovary, and stamen; Bomb-man, made sure
a Superhero turns to the young girl, in awe, hands on hips,
            Do not worry, lad, here, there will be no botanical resurrection,
this panel is the final blow. Like Tony Tallarico, 1965, gather your horses,
            the first black cowboy in mainstream comic book history.

                    HEY, WOW NALLY

At the end of days, an atypical weed pits the vacant lot, lacking petals
            flowery infernal charred -  unfurled remnants winged. 
A leaflet like Demonology. The brutality and survival of Harriet Tubman
            The Moses of her People. The end of the Universe, trumpeted 
In code, bristle-like ear lobe. And the Human Race, shoot leaves, shoot green.
            She’d be grateful for what the mystics foretold in the un-basal globes:
Golden history, the end was not so brutal. Good prevailed. Somewhere a mini-bomb man
was destroyed from the ends of the imagination.  And the lush green is a return to liberty. 

Jonathan Andrew Pérez

Jonathan Andrew Pérez has published poetry in Collateral, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fractured Literatury, Prelude, The River Heron Review, Blood Tree Literature, The Bookends Review, The Westchester Review, Crack the Spine Quarterly, Silver Needle Press, Projector Magazine, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Rise Up, BARNHOUSE, The Chicago Quarterly Review, Worcester Review, Hiram Poetry Review and Quiddity on NPR, and forthcoming in Frontier Poetry. Jonathan is in POETRY in January 2020. Jonathan is also a Professor who teaches on Systemic Inequity History and poetics, and senior attorney dedicated to social justice and criminal justice reform. You can check out his equity work at Justiceology.com.