Read Me My Rights

Harryette Mullen teaches poetry and African-American literature at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“I’ll be emotionally disturbed for as long as it takes.”

Harryette Mullen

If You Should Go

by Countee Cullen

Love, leave me like the light,
The gently passing day;
We would not know, but for the nght,
When it has slipped away.

So many hopes have fled,
Have left me but the name
of what they were. When love is dead,
Go thou, beloved, the same.

Go quietly; a dream
When done, should leave no trace
That it has lived, except a gleam
Across the dreamer’s face.


[it’s rank it cranks you up]

by Harryette Mullen

it’s rank it cranks you up
crash you’re fracked you suck
shucks you’re wack you be
all you cracked up to be

dead on arrival   
overdosed on whatever
excess of hate and love
I sleep alone

if you were there
then please come in   
tell me what’s good
think up something

psychic sidekick
gimme a pigfoot
show me my lifeline
read me my rights