Saturday, June 30, 2012

Are you Experienced?

(Jimmy Hendrix to his father, August 1965)

Dear Dad, 

I still have my guitar and amp and as long as I have that, no fool can keep me from living. There's a few record companies I visited that I probably can record for. I think I'll start working toward that line because actually when you're playing behind other people you're still not making a big name for yourself as you would if you were working for yourself. But I went on the road with other people to get exposed to the public and see how business is taken care of. And mainly just to see what's what, and after I put a record out, there'll be a few people who know me already and who can help with the sale of the record.
Nowadays people don't want you to sing good. They want you to sing sloppy and have a good beat to your songs. That's what angle I'm going to shoot for. That's where the money is. So just in case about three or four months from now you might hear a record by me which sounds terrible, don't feel ashamed, just wait until the money rolls in because every day people are singing worse and worse on purpose and the public buys more and more records.
I just wanted to let you know I'm still here, trying to make it. Although I don't eat every day, everything's going all right for me. It could be worse than this, but I'm going to keep hustling and scuffling until I get things to happening like they're supposed to for me.
Tell everyone I said hello. Leon, Grandma, Ben, Ernie, Frank, Mary, Barbara and so forth. Please write soon. It's pretty lonely out here by myself. Best luck and happiness in the future.
Love, your son, Jimmy

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Thresholds

The nude fieldhands you caught slowdancing with an invisible whip in the middle of a busy harvest, are modeling for a story about post-emancipation fantasies that will run in TimeOut and be funded by an ad for Crystal and another ad for fake eyelashes. The clash causes silence. You fold that into a gentle house and enter it. It's the black Betty Davis versus the white Betty Davis saying in unison-- you will all crave the duel I carry in my image like kites meeting in the wind and strangling one another with affection but nevermind -- they can only cooperate as bards, they can only pray the visitor isn't another pudgy dandy afraid to remember them but loves to say their names in trouble. But the models in the picture for the story that will run in TimeOut, about a defunct plantation turned brothel, are in a duel-craving phase, but have so much dignity they seem naive and bold and impossible and only you and they know better than to pose like this but say nothing cause it pays so well in choices to make a decision--

If it wasn't for the coup I'd be back there now --- I only like masters, I only like masters --- our whole rebellion turns us back into slaves and famous articulate traps and it's as if the tender warcries have been hijacked and scattered across the over-crowded intercoms of several divergent streetcar lines, and the cries are disguised as destinations and catchphrases in the pace of truce and don't wait up -- - don't back down, don't back down: Paris, Mississippi, 1960, Wu-Tang Mountain-- And the dirty clapping blood in the sound of the announcements makes you cheer, up, say way/say what, you're in luck, you're so lucky there's a man tucked in my mind where the risk should be -- I'm so free, I'm not free. I have to dance alongside his lassoing whip so it misses me, he keeps missing me. Most people see rescue as a threat, oppressive. So do we keep all this justice to ourselves? When I'm less distracted I'll save your soul

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What Redeems Technology?

Thinking holds to the coming of what has been, and is remembrance. 
How do you use it against itself?
How else
What does it does mean, never argue with the movies?
I was just looking for a movie to score-- A happy combination of this-worldly and other-worldly  incentives.
Did you find one?
I found every child thinks her tribe is the whole universe, until you tell her so. Proof somehow reduces trust to an idea, replaces the true subject with a concept of it.
Now I believe in the people I can't explain, and who can't explain themselves
What are their technologies?
That I want to know them. The sudden mystique of simplicity is that it doesn't need you. That's the elegance of it. The most advanced technology won't need us, but will teach us new ways to produce desire so that it wants us, and forsakes us again and again until our language re-enters indecision and our thinking holds to the coming of what has been and is remembrance

For What? (Pride chases you backwards into the shambles of eternal love))

Raise your hand if you blame the black angels

Friday, June 22, 2012

The important thing about ping pong is the courage

It goes like this

Before I had the chance to remember my birthplace, I thought in limber griot dialect, offtime. We learned to use the radio in mid-ocean, we yanked away the mammy costume with the violence of lambs. No it won't solve the colonial problem. Only kneeling. Only falling on the candle in your want and evasively wearing me to the dream

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What is devotion?

Songs of the banner at daybreak

Be true. Be as true as his lie is, to you
Full of volition, full of joy, then loosen, launch forth, and go and compete 
with the banner and pennant a-flapping

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Go in fear of abstractions

Listen to that silence that heaves after his screams
Cleans up all the shattered meanings
I'm trying to find the reason--
Why it's so beautiful

You tell me it's because it
 doesn't exist, go back to sleep, dreams can't hurt ya

Monday, June 18, 2012

A study of the ways fate seems to take to itself

Patience is awful
Patience is like awe or wool caught in will picking cotton off the silhouette of a plantation like I'm gonna forget it was there and move in

He promises to stop using analogies 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

We tap dance our little hearts out

because ultimately no one can extract from things more than one already has

The beautiful consistency of beautiful souls

goes on for a sweet shuddery infinity wherein we don't remember the difference between tears and music and are happy and cheerful among nothing but hard truths and the very fact of our existence enrages everything that has bad blood in its veins and yet we know to beware of picturesque men and  any sterile mosaic of their pretend grace and we are the great benefactors of subtle and broken and supple and token and absolute and remote, all-nearing, change, and hope, of excellent and soothing chaos and reform and homecoming, from generation to generation, weather we know it or not

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Special Danger

Blackman lunging forward
Recovering from your earnestness by
gushing, bracing yourself in it
Holding your sublime incidents
in midair and in vogue
and loving it so
I don't
what   you

And god's only excuse to you is that he did not exist
How a man must have suffered to be in such a need of playing the clown
I don't mean god I mean the clown who played him

'Round midnight, 'round midnight

Blackman returning home and finding god's one excuse to make it

This particular night

In attempt to come to terms with the betrayal without giving up on the promise
hid blackness in the quickest place
not the safest
 or where the heart is              for Americans who can't find peace in the valley without a touch of longing for that other frontier where Robert Johnson passes for a moment, petrified, running down some pliant town scene of a child of a road like the whole voodoo run down into a ditch made of you-- are why he's glancing over his shoulder with a smile

Solstice Triptych

Friday, June 15, 2012

The exact solidarity of eras

They won't exploit me, I promise
The merciless kind of love is truest
You tell your mom
To calm down
To watch some of the movies you watched in college
8 and a half an eighth/where it's more profound as simulation and you can tell the winner cause they turn him inside out and he remains beautiful, gets even more so. The stunt is hope. The pipe is hope. The crack in the pipe is hope. When they ask you to play yourself in the film about your life, there's hope. When you refuse there's a lowdown alley cat preying on you and you write him out the script just like that. Sometimes it's safer to be obvious and all you sacrifice is when they ask/I promise.  When the drive-in re-opens. When there's a sicilian tornado overhead. And It's romantic. Dread is romantic. Maybe Cicely Tyson was too steadfast. Maybe I'm the one who will get him to quit. You think. You think Don Cheadle will make a good Miles Davis? You think we know how to play ourselves yet? Shit, I hope so. I wanna try bye bye blackbird
                                                          for a while
     and get my habit back

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The alter-egos softly personified

                     In on it (pandering)

        Irony (birthright)

Charisma in public (charisma is public)
 Privacy (his quietness)                               not even

                                             Love bracket (lust bracket)

Not sufficiently subtle (not sufficiently cold)

        Bare shoulders ( shudder with me--- the whole reason)

Shucks (jive)

My ignorance was almost saintly (Nigga/home training)

But I've had it (I've got it)              
                                                   this time

  I have seen both sides ( I am both sides)

                         And the glow of youth that spreads about us (but I'm offended when you call it resilient)

And the thrill is gone (with liberty and justice for all)

Damn, it returns. In that tension that comes when almost everything is implied, when the best secrets are hiding in plain speak

I mistreated you baby, but I can't see no reason why

You run without moving from a terror you do not believe in, toward a safety in which salvation is a joke, the best you can do is cry for that beautiful lie 

And in  the reprise: someone said they saw you. Being chased by a boy. I said. We were all chasing each other. And I beat everybody. And everybody beat me. It was a tremendous day. And we got home.

That blackness in your heart, that's the greatest industrial experience that I have ever had.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Noble Eightfold Path

Right View
Right Intention
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration

Right Knowledge
Right Liberation

Right cool
Right bop
Right habit
Right swing
Right Contradiction
Right devotion
Right hope
Right nobody's fault
Right blame
Right forgiveness
Jazz is beautiful. Jazz is the best.
Right outburst
Right inch by inch
Right mile
Right acre
Right mule
Right reprise
Right future
Right all along, all along the watchtower
Right joker
Right thief
Right robin
Do you believe any of this?
Right batman
Right sidekick
Right badmind
Right goods
Right services
Right play him to the left
Right fancy meeting you here
But we knew all along we could do it
Write the songs they run on and go away walking

This is crazy, this is like a new day

Monday, June 11, 2012

That wandering ambiance

inevitably finds its way out the commons

Here's the difference

It was frightening it was banal  it was out of control it was
         hercules the kneeling man lifting his lonely hurculean moon into the night where the word gentle's been creepy ever since David Lynch shot out of the screen to say "that's a better fantasy" as we sat on the couch discussing the big feelings and it didn't even startle us we just kept on-- no longer martyrs to the difference

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Soon after abolition

I'm still so fragile
Still so strong
Don't flinch when the sun comes out
But I weep when he's gone

We cannot be afraid of all that is actual

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fables of 56 Hope Road

Why was he so successful with women?

Because he was shy

Why did you call section one I got what I wanted but I lost what I had?

I called every section that

Why did he keep coming back?

Why did I keep coming back?

What is a man's place in the world? When he possesses the imaginative power to want more than he's told he can have? What separates men and women from each other? Why must they suffer guilt not only for their transgressions but for their best hopes?

Am I allowed to talk? He asks

Does the sound or the silence make our music?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Damn it feels good to be a gangster (takes 1-7)




We are all just pimps. And politics is dead. Was there ever a pulse in the space between two colors?

Let's not stagger into ready, let's not act like we're voting for him just because he's/black/back up off/ the tour/ and tan/ fantasy/

Caravan/slanderous version/pick me/pick me/pick your afro daddy cause it's flat in between--

Let's stare at the ballot with alien indifference, but crave it ferociously, and check ourselves-- cause it's a pristine wilderness, we're running it as running from it and everything else 'been done-- Interruptions are not even petty

Cut to the wide open pride of a knot in James Baldwin's voice as he's acapella, crooning-- no I don't love capitalism, no I don't even love a black president sometimes, and nah I don't love them hoes, but sometimes I love them both, so much/ stuff at this grocery store/ and it's always open-- precious lord, precious lord, lead me on

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Loving vs. Virginia

But that's where the resemblance ends--- and once you learn the value of gibberish and murmurs, it's not so bad to be the anything--- the harmonica is burning swans that waft up into my sages and something a braid can fix makes me very superstitious that they want it and they want it, as ostintato, as a lake close by, closer-- rumour that the trial was about folding us into lanterns and cranes, and into the refrain-- hold it together, hold it together

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Messages Plus Anciens

The Anti-Hero's Pep Talk

A thrill turns common, your despondency is ruined, you don't believe in tragedy, once upon a time you knew. When was that? That was then. The square root of pretense. Then again, Lauryn Hill still has it. Remember the Hennessy stain on his laugh. Avoid yoga classes. The demographic in them was primarily women in their late thirties and early forties who felt trapped in unhappy marriages to wealthy men. The words 'the soul of the bible' hung from the shop in red neon, members only. Was it a whorehouse? Were we astonished? I didn't think it. It came to me. Not tamed. Not tamable. Not a moment goes by. Not a moment goes by that I don't note the residue of a moral blackmail that drains the virtuous life of any transcendent purpose. Not sure what to do about it. (Blues connotation I don't believe in believing in) Being too good will get you into trouble. Once you get into trouble it strokes you tenderly. Once you leave you know you miss it but what you retrieve is that irresistible feeling that something's missing. You don't feel it. It comes to you. As songs and a manner of kneeling that isn't prayer but looking under the furniture for that one book of maneuvers-- code words, good words, miss thing of the early suede tree swaying don't worry about the words that break a day into scoffs and claps but save them if they come to you like ghetto children with attitude problems believing in themselves. Avoid television. Pretend you're finished pretending. Malik's eavesdropping on himself again. The audience cheers, as if they have been told a secret.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Actions (write on/ be free)

Moses released the horse
for one day from his harness
so that a man might keep pace

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Adequacy of Virgil Tibbs

Is when he slaps the sheriff -- a catalytic mirror made of hustler genes whisks us away to nowhere-- anywhere you wanna go

such that we understand the strife that ensues between two fantasies.

Both in need of some external regulatory force that they also body forth

So I've been trying to find out

that it is unprecedented; that it is infused with the plexed singularity of its fellows

The influx of freedmen

and when the calligraphy of their consciousness remains a secret, a rough privilege

When I watch it I'm so present I'm unavailable, it takes me to a place I recognize coping with, phobia of folk heroes, love of those I fear most-- I can't analyze this

Were they lying about the violence In the Heat of the Night

Was it tender on the side

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's easy to forget how young this country is

 how little distance separates us from the beginnings of the myths