Excerpts from Kangalee: Monocords & Blitzes | The New Engagement

Excerpts from Kangalee: Monocords & Blitzes

By Dennis Leroy Kangalee




Who are the men

Behind the wall

The men who creep

and plan the fall

of journeys planned but never pronounced


When do we become men?

It is when you acknowledge a past

That you realize you have a responsibility


All responsibilities are thwarted when we concentrate on the tiny loans taken out on our life and the energy spent trying to be free


Like a cricket dancing beneath the glass trying to be free

Not realizing that every single shout and thrust of his body contributes to the demise of his legs which tremble not because he's imprisoned

But because he can see through his walls.

It’s what we are missing and can't attain that forever haunt us under Capitalism.

And art – a justifiable peaceful protest - is just a benign scream that tries to express the confusion of it all.






The feelings of a half-sandwich and bent straw of a homeless hand

There is nowhere to eat outside of your own room


you'll get arrested

if you grow your own food




It started with a wrestle

a trestle,

a boom,

one man's bang.
A lie in the air, a truth somewhere in the gutter.

It began and it will end in the same place, same moment.

Is death always the same? Or does it possess its own variety?
What about the men who can't live their lives on the stretch?
The demons lamping in the shade of a gigantic toilet bowl

for that righteous

flash of flesh.




In some way, the world had already been fought.
In some way, we had all been fought.

In some way, I had died
just enough to realize that my words
mean nothing
because they lack the mystery
and glimmer of truth
that lurks in the bottom of a closet
or an occupied bathroom.

I was
and am
not sure of where
to turn
but know
when one is in doubt
the only compass to rely on
is the internal one

The North Star for the slaves of the 21st century
is inward
somewhere deep in the cosmos
of your mind

There is but only one emancipation
that can be proclaimed
and it is not one that can be writ
it is one that must be bled




Unseen Portrait


I realized this morning that I could never have met Mandela after he had been released from jail
Because I was not famous

Just another brown face trying to carve out my legacy amidst rejection letters, poorly written poems, and richly dreamt dreams that try to reconcile all of the sins
of irresponsible men in waiting rooms
and the eulogies for all tomorrow’s children
who, further removed from the gray heaven of blood and electric typewriters,
have come to accept a world where folk heroes are not born
but made
by a media conglomerate
who had no interest in freedom or humanity in the first place

I accept tonight that I will never meet the Dalai Lama,
I am not powerful enough
In fact, I am quite weak –
Too weak

And, as some bird in the twilight corner of the sky knows,
The way my sore teeth concede:
A raw nerve never gets a break
It only gets




The world is becoming more acquainted with the names of dead Black Men as opposed to living ones


We've been perverted and tamed into caring when a Black Man or Person gets murdered 

uttering liberal platitudes and marching instead of fighting for them - when they are alive. We're all in collusion. Black men, in particular, like Christ or the Artist are preferred dead.  They're easier to love and remember then.  We prefer to mourn the dead rather than praise the living.  While it is true most people on the planet -- living or dead -- don't deserve an after-thought in the cosmos, there are still uniquely luminous individuals amongst us, quite often they are loners or at the end of the line or perhaps they startle when entering the cafe or mesmerize when crossing the street, sometimes it’s their words or voice we remember or the scent of their clothes.  But it is safe to say that these people are never in positions of power.  When they are -- their murders sting, but they don't surprise. Instead we pretend we're shocked when a harmless child or a struggling beaten down member of the Proletariat get killed.  But all along we were just riding beside that Police Car, dispatching ourselves to the Fascists and believing in the sacrifice of our own rather than the annihilation of a system that seeks to destroy the Black Man with text, on screen, over radio, and in flesh.  


Imagine a world where there will be no more funerals because there will be no more soil left to cover the bodies of the exterminated. 




I Want to Hear the Sound of Capitalism Dying


I want to hear the sound of Capitalism


As it takes its last breath

I want to hear Angels – not singing

But flapping their wings

As they commemorate the end of a

Wicked carnival

A station-agent’s sunrise

As he tip-toes into a new orange glow

Of possibilities


I want to hear the death rattle

Of the Unconscious

And the shimmer

Of their warped souls

Taking leave of their lovely

But contorted bodies

Hands that could not help

Legs that could not jump

Mouths that could not

Utter words of love

Eyes that could not see

No matter where they looked


I want to hear

The beating

Of hearts

Instead of the vulgar


And expected yarns

Of Self-Hatred

And all that makes

The Ghettoes


With ripe ideas

For a Television series

That will cash in

As it pushes out

All that I’ve sworn to fight against


I want to hear the shovel

Kiss and hug the dirt

Before malevolent coffins

Are lowered in

Just barely deep enough

To be covered

But close enough that the wild dogs

Will have something still

To find

When we have vacated this

Awful experiment

Called the 21st century


I want to hear my lover’s morning stretch

Her smooth sigh

That sends the only real vibrations

I am still able to feel

Straight up my spine

Between the yawling drone of

Ambulances at 1AM

And young women

Who should know better


Not like drunken sailors

But the way a 17 year old boy



That his mother won’t hear him


I want to hear my darling’s wishes

Not her fears

But the gentle breathe of her desires

Still healthy and fertile

But beginning to show

Just a tiny bit of dust

I want to hear them released

And fulfilled

Instead of a motorcycle

That thinks

My city block

Is a suburban

Parking garage

Or Caribbean Island


I want to hear the sound of Hollywood


Not crashing down

But receding

Slipping into the earth

Like quicksand

Incurring the politicians

To realize that

Their days, too,

Are numbered


I want to hear my thoughts

In a language

Only I can claim

As my own

As the rage in my head

Calms down


Numbered like a lithograph

Takes stock of itself


I want to hear the sweet sound of demolition

So I can pray

That the next city


Is one we can

Be proud of

Or one

We gladly


To rot



Born in 1976, from Queens, NY. Best known as the director of the cult classic “As an Act of Protest,” DLK was the first artist to ever induct a Black Theater Seminar at Juilliard and one of the youngest theater directors in the 1990s. Poet, performer, essayist, Protest art historian, radical media ecologist, he is an advocate for the independent and political artists working outside and underneath mainstream culture. He returns to the screen in Brian Alessandro’s “A Saintly Madness” which will be shot in the Fall of 2020.


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