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The Day Biggie Smalls Died

(aka Christopher Wallace, March 7, 1997)

It was windless on Long Island Sound:

The weather that kills

from somebody else’s life.

A note cut like Thelonious Monk

conjured, accidental beats,

shining texts certified diamond


Brooklyn grieved

five songs in his head

he never wrote down.

The DJ’s discs spinning radiant

mythological badness.

A pair of stone prayers

attempting flight.

For hunger swung clean.

For hunger’s one-track wail,

he stood. To know him

by his susurrations.

He blew seamless.

A city named breath.

The Black Frank White.

Becoming the traffic

to chance anything.

His dizzyingly adagio

delivery, a murmurous

dictionary, wreathed.

A torn riddle.

from Broken HallelujahsFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2007
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Poems Sean Thomas Dougherty

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.