• James B. Golden

Jesus & Nipsey

(On the Occasion of Nipsey Hussle’s Murder)


The blood of Jesus that

saved souls in Southern California ghettos

was then poured into

soil outside the Slauson & Crenshaw

plaza, mixed in with the

remnants of what they left of us.


March 31st was never the same

in Los Angeles, where fire demolished

272 buildings in 1965, affirming a

Watts War Zone and its Black

burnt before the Lord—charcoal

sacrifices.


Where April 28th 1992 preached a

sermon on a sick six day assault

as LAPD beat beat beat Rodney King

to a Nigerian folk song and the

people used incense to let it

burn again.


We repeated rosaries for every

wound, bandage, grave

dug beneath Inglewood Cemetery,

where Sugar Ray Robinson attempted

heavyweight rest, and

Ella Fitzgerald’s whimper remained.


And now,

we prepare the embalming salve,

the tomb for us because

we will revolt once again

if we must

as we die in front of our own stores.


We will set Los Angeles afire if

they won’t name a building for us,

where we handed harmony on blue platters

declaring bullets ain’t got no name

bullets ain’t got no name,

no name no name bullets ain’t got

no name.


No loyalty No righteousness No home No amity

No name.


Accordingly, we all became one

from Watts to King to Jesus and Nipsey.

None of us have a name.


There has only always ever been

the blood

shed on Calvary or

Slauson & Crenshaw

and we

do this in remembrance of him.


#nipseyhussle #poemfornipsey #salinaspoetlaureate


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© 2019 by J.B. Golden Group, LLC.

James B. Golden

Salinas Poet Laureate