Love Crime (Ishmael Reed x Frank Ocean)

Ishmael Reed x Frank Ocean: Love Crime 

I only just realized that these two poems (one musical and one written) share the same title. I happen to love them both. It’s a total love crime experience to listen and read at the same time (although I hear for some people those are conflicting tasks)! I chose this dark poem, breaking with the overall celebratory theme of the month, since it would be inaccurate to portray love without the shit that threatens it or makes people act to defend it righteously.

When I came home you
were in the dining room
you’d had a couple of
shots and you were crying
I asked you what happened and
you told me

that you didn’t
know a nurse was
supposed to be present when
a gynecologist examined you

I went to his house
I was so mad the steering
wheel was shaking
I knocked out his Doberman
I disarmed his alarm system
I waited for him to come home
And he finally did
Driving up in an obnoxious
Utility Wagon
4 miles to the gallon
He was whistling a tune
A tune that I hate
A tune from a bad musical
When he got to the door
of his 3 million dollar
Tudor home
I came up from behind the bushes
He didn’t recognize me
in my Mickey Mouse mask

I treated his throat the
way he treated your cervix
I wrote some graffiti on
his garage door
The police will call it
a hate crime
But they will have it wrong


-Ishmael Reed (New and Collected Poems 1964-2007)


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