Saturday, May 28, 2011

R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

O Say Can You See (Ode to Gil Scott-Heron)

My friends,
when a poet speaks of revolution
do not be confused or afraid.
Revolution is change.
And the most natural thing in the universe is change.
And we all know it is what it is. And the revolution is no rerun;
the revolution is live.
Turn off the television, put down your remote and step outside:
Revolution doesn’t come from Super Bowl 45, Survivor, American Idol or CSI.
but still see that I’ve
arrived to speak in rhyme scheme
to describe the crime scene:

O say can you see—
the flag’s drowning stars, bloody bars and seams?
My country ‘tis of thee—
Land of lactose-intolerance, deadly diets and diabetes;
Where any rebellion-to-be
is an unsweetened tea party.
Your mascots truthfully speak:
The Yankees stole the homes of the Braves
and Eagles caged in coins will never fly free.

O say can you see—
Students pledging “one nation under God” from K-12
though the lesson is never heaven in when education is hell.
So they skip class and hop-scotch over knowledge
and end up having to pop lock and drop out of college.
They missed the shot coming up,
now they live and die by the BUCK! and buck—
And the GREEN has yet to rust so in GREED they trust;
some eat the whole pie and some feed on the crust.

O say can you see—
Money-hungry hogs pigging out on spoiled milk and honey—
The toilets are clogged and there’s no-doubt the people are plunging.
So we support political campaigns to claim, “Yes we can change!”
but end up voting for warfare and hypocritical campaigns
and the metal shards from exploding bombs
aluminumb our emotions and can pain inside our hearts.

O say can you see—Our Mother Earth aching?
O say can you see—Our Mother Earth quaking?
Children, Hurry! Start running! Hurricane Tsunami’s a-coming!
The showers are drumming! The Powers are mumbling!
“The towers are tumbling!” And the hours are crumbling!

O say can you see—
us walking out from the under rubble of the past
forever standing, hearts together, hands clasped—
lifting every voice and singing something
because we know the revolution is coming!
And revolution is change and change is money and money is time
so, the revolution is a time that cannot be filmed or televised
simply because, the revolution first takes place
when we wake up and change our minds.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"College Grad: Indentured to serve"

"College Grad: Indentured to serve"

I walked out of high school
with 13 years rolled into a diploma.
I was a young black male on the rise,
groomed, shirt slightly unbuttoned,
sporting my suit neither noosed nor tied.

After the graduation caps rained,
that thunderous applause came to a fade
and I knew I had weathered the storm.
So I folded all of the pain from my gain
into a paper plane, found the closest garbage can
and aimed.

I stood on the shore of my success,
calling out to that sea of scholarships and grants,
waiting and wading, just jumping and waving at the tides.
Sadly, that glass bottle with the letter inside never replied.
Financial Aid was a lie; it couldn’t even afford to buy me a free ride.

And just my luck, Uncle Sam pulled up to my house
in a dented Chevy Venture with a taxi sign on the roof
that spelled out: “C-O-L-L-E-G-E”.
So I forgot my best interests, listened to society,
packed my bags, opened the side door and stepped on in.

He threw his arm over the passenger seat,
looked back and spoke with a grin:

“And you don’t think you can afford to roll with me?
Well, for a fixed rate on your liberty, I will loan
you thousands of dollars you have never seen.
With your degree, you can get a high-paying job
and make so much money your wallet will scream.
You’ll be swimming in waves of green from sea to shining sea.
Then you can buy you a nice car,a big house,
and find you a wife to pop out 2.5 babies.
You can diet, straighten your nappy-ass hair, dye it,
and then bleach and brace your crooked off-white teeth
to get that picket fence smile like the stars on TV.
And forget bonds, you can invest in your wants and neglect your needs.
Then, as you sleepwalk in the chubby smog of your American Dream,
you can cough up the money—to pay back to me. All you gotta do
is sign on the promissory dotted line. Come now neph, we family!
I WANT YOU to trust in yo' Uncle Sammie.”

So I looked him dead in his dollar sign eyes,
and told that drug lustin' love rustin' oil slick talkin’
outta his gas guzzlin’ elephant donkey ass mind
relative of mine, "Fine, Now shut up and drive!"

Three years passed, and I’m teary-eyed, wallet dried,
in the driver’s seat with my hands shackled the wheel;

I’m shackled to steer
this taxi of government taxing
and I drive like a road-raged
slave tryin’ to escape his fate.
But after 4 years of speeding
through subsidized red-lights and fines,
there is no mo’ Moses conducting the ride,
no mo' boarders to cross to get off the plantation,
no mo' Mason-Dixon line.

It took me until my senior year of college to learn
how to be a wooly-eyed, black sheep lost in the herd.
And after all of my diplomas and degrees burn,
I will still be a field nigger, indentured to serve—
for the rest of my cottonpickin’ life.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

tragedy of the english, man

"a tragedy of the english, man"
watercolor x ink on latex-coated fabric


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Loneliness is
two spinal hands
all fingers and no wrists.

Loneliness is
an invisible of set ribs
caging the heart in its clench.


Soular Savior

To any concerned Who, I am the solar savior;
Mr. Coolest of Cool, peep my polar behavior:

I see—icy, frozen ponds of prose in bonds.
Got no time to dispute over pros and cons.
POOF! ABRACADABRA! I chose my wand…
BOOM! Shattering matter; my flow’s the bomb.

Roll stones from the tomb, son, I rose the GOD.