Chinaka Hodge


Chinaka Hodge (?-present) was born in Oakland, California. She graduated from the Gallatin School at New York University and received USC’s Annenberg fellowship for the school of cinematic arts where she received her MFA in writing for film and TV. She has published two poetry collections– For Girls With Hips: Collected Poems and Writings, and Dated Emcees. She is also a founding member of the hip hop ensemble The Getback. Source

Small Poems for Big

Twenty-four haiku, for each year he lived


when you die, i’m told

they only use given names

christopher wallace


no notorious

neither b.i.g. nor smalls 

just voletta’s son


brooklyn resident

hustler for loose change, loosies

and a lil loose kim


let me tell you this

the west coast didn’t get you

illest flow or nah


had our loyalties

no need to discuss that now

that your weight is dust


that your tongue is air

and your mother is coping

as only she can


i will also say

that i have seen bed-stuy since

b.k. misses you


her walk has changed some

the rest of the borough flails

weak about itself


middle school students

not yet whispers in nine sev

know the lyrics rote


you: a manual

a mural, pressed rock, icon,

fightin word or curse


course of history

most often noted, quoted

deconstructed sung


hung by a bullet

prepped to die: gunsmoke gunsmoke

one hell of a hunch


here you lie a boy

twelve gauge to your brain you can’t

have what you want be


what you want you black

and ugly heartthrob ever

conflicted emcee


respected lately

premier king of the casket

pauper of first life


til puff blew you up

gave you a champagne diet

plus cheese eggs, welch’s


you laid the blueprint

gave us word for word for naught

can’t fault the hustle


knockoff messiah

slanged cracked commandments, saw no

honey, more problems


a still black borough

recoiled, mourned true genius slain

the ease of your laugh


the cut of your jib

unique command of the room

truthfully biggie


what about you’s small

no not legend not stature

real talk just lifespan


yo, who shot ya kid

n.y.p.d. stopped searching

shrugged off negro death


well, we scour the sky

we mourn tough, recite harder

chant you live again


of all the lyrics

the realest premonition


rings true: you’re dead. wrong






Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Music & Sports

Poetic Form

Pop Culture

Rap & Hip Hop

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


A Japanese poetic form with seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.


the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


replacing the name of a thing with the name of something closely associated