A Speculative Fiction by Greg Tate


There are no  A, C, B or D trains running tonight. 

This makes it the sixth night in a row. 

We not even be wanting restitution or reparations.

W’d just like a simple repair. 

None of the above will ever be forthcoming.

This is how its been, this is how its gonna be. 

    Darkness upon the face of the deep  forevermore. All ever since.

 As in Ever Since that night. 

The night of  two trains running. 

I’ll never forget that night. 

I can still hear them singing. 

All the way to heaven. 

The sad thing is I envy them. 

As if the tragedy was mine. 

Like any man who’s missed his chance at glory all I can think of is the circumstances that put me on one side of the sliding doors between cars and all my Beloveds on  another. 

    Given another scenario, it could have been me. 

There are fates worse than death and deportation.

Most peoples fate’s are worse than their deaths. 

My fate is worse than immortality.


That’s all I’ll be thinking about between here and 125th street: Other peoples fates, not my own. 

    Philosophy does that to a man.  Curses him with contemplating man’s fate even when  his own feet have begun to ache  and crack  after seven nights and days  of walking to work and backt Harlem from Times Square. 

   So unavoidable the bachhanal Harlem has become after a week without electricity.  

Like Amiri one wrote , ’The shapes in the darkness had histories’.   True enough, but  they had fun being those shapes too. And shaking loose of those histories, contorting out the storybooks that had  swollen up behind there eyes, deep  in their pores.

  This is how I keep track of my rambling selves without the ghosts around to remind me of  the multiple personas I used to cart around.


Author: Enter My Cipher

Author/musician/cultural provocateur who thrives in Harlem, Howard U Bison Nation rep-at-large, co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, leader of the Conducted Improv big band Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber since 1999, Rivers On Mars collaborator, That Dude whose books include Flyboy In The Buttermilk, Flyboy 2 The Greg Tate Reader, Midnight Lightning:Jimi Hendrix and The Black Experience, Everything But The Burden--What White People Are Taking From Black Culture and the forthcoming Beast Mode:Iconic Gods and Monsters of the Black Atlantic (FS&G,2020)

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