Wednesday, February 27, 2013

She often wants to tell the story of jazz

and American music (black music/black muses/black magic), inside another story, so this one is about how love, the highest form of human flexibility, becomes the precondition for moving past slavery

she thinks all children who grew up near water do this
we even improvise our myths

  Jiří Kylián's PETITE MORT from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sound has a gaze

and a grammar that re-invents the field, beyond names and forms and from it he calls: be careful lest in casting out your devil, you cast out the best thing within you

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Notes on the Myth of the Birth of the Hero

Peering out from the transcendent field we enter a field of opposites which we won't enter-- these are two eternities (Hollywood Forever is a section about the two eternities, two black men, or maybe seven black men, who I can love at the same     ego,  Go Find Your Father is a section about the same ego and Focus on Sanity   is the code  of the significance of the forbidden fruit... we get around eachother and we wanna have sex all day, taking breaks to listen to new records, he thinks he's an egoist but he really isn't, same with her/perfect for drummers  

for dreamers
      for drummers 


I wake up thinking about music, true to my own code, true to my code     In the distance   I can see these cops beating him (eternity number 1) on the head  with sticks again. Up-close, America was looking for talented rebels to point the way out of the deadbeat conformity. When he got home, I didn't know if I was gonna get a little beating or get made love to, in his eyes I could still see those cops beating him over the head with sticks.   We turn on a nice beautiful ballad like All the Things and get in bed

   In the divinity of it all I think they have to be forgiven, both eternities, all the blues ideas, uncle sam's cold war cultural army still tripping over its mission today, the very funny religion, the black madonna so righteous in her sin, all of the monstrous devotion, all of him, all of me. And when I say all this, it is full of admiration for this jungle, its rituals of repetition and non-repetition, it is not that I hate it, I love it, I love it very much, but I love it against my better judgment

To enter the transcendent field we started in, were born in, you must assimilate those opposites it gazes at, and then you have to testify as them, one by one, alone. And then suddenly, absent-mindedly even, you have killed the dragon and tasted its blood, and you can be song of nature

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In a landscape

We were all sharing the water, dividing it into taut america-the-beautiful portions when temptation, temptation, temptation (they're not the same three temptations, but they are three temptations), marched ahead of the thought, tore open the chorus, and I became the well itself, gleaming like the center of a hit song ricocheting across a fan in summer/ some mercy on my lungs when you speak for me like a real proud hunter, but I'm so busy listening I'll forget everything you say until the cage shuts and we're waving at it from the outside, running backwards hand in hand like damn, what was that?

Monday, February 18, 2013

But we acknowledge the dark in which the two eyes of the soft panther shine

The profound joy, the secret ecstasy, of knowing how to invent a thought

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The man in the first garden

Watching all those harps on the conveyor belt, we now know how to cut the tightrope in half looking for new sounds. Let's gather in a circle and watch the new sounds fall up the soil and break of the sun's tumultuous decency into mangoes and peaches, patterns and taciturn, I'm sometimes so taciturn as I eat orange fruit in the morning, revolution is the only thing. You punch me in the heart again, I can see you're trying to learn me like algebra or zebra, and bright red flowers bloom of us, all mine, what I can see

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Funny Valentine in TIme

Eternity for me has always possessed these immaculate bay windows that look out onto blind alternate takes of the last time I saw my father before he entered that great always on February, 15, 1987. He, a mahogany black man at about 6’3,’’ roused from his habitual afternoon nap for the event, was being arrested by a couple of stout white cops at the door of our Iowa home. I had turned him in; I had lied and said it was his brother Percy at our door, my mom’s advice, I was five, I was high yellow and what did he do to be so black and blue. But I knew even then how he was a true artist and healer too: a singer, griot, town crier, such wise moans he could make us see our bones and mend them just sitting at his home piano being honest– Famous, fearlessness, anonymous, 52. Maybe the beatings were just him trying to paint my white mother, his second white wife, 25, into his delta of pain and promise, his inability to believe that her love for him was real and his need to make sure she was irrevocably his until she would wear it like a tattoo. I believe that to be true. My mother and I both loved him as if it was, we trusted the double scenario of him as a symptom of this country’s chronic post-traumatic slave syndrome, and still do. And then sometimes understanding is fatal. That was our special danger there in that house, three half-martyrs to the so-called race problem cheating at our family game of musical chairs and someone had to stand for it: for the interchangeability of tenderness and terror, exhilaration and dread, black and white into silver screen or smoke screen.  The last words I remember him saying were but if you guys leave me I’ll die.  My romance, doesn’t have to have a heart.

I don’t think I’ve ever been numb and I certainly wasn’t numb to his plea, I was just certain we would all go on forever being who we are, I wasn’t under the bribery in that moment, plus I was five. It was like why it might be easier to write a myth in a language you can only half speak, or to trust one in that same half-grasped language. All verbs are in the present tense and the conditional if feels absurd and almost violating: what do you mean ‘if’ -- promises were like signs of illiteracy and I knew he was too powerful for that finite feeling he enacted then, even as I knew he meant it, he never broke his word, his word never broke him as the internal hymns of powerful men roll off their common speech like prophecy. And the next thing I remember we were on these cots in battered women’s shelter, my mom and I. We had a really benevolent social worker and a friend at the shelter with sleeping sickness who would fall asleep standing up in the elevator all the time just when we needed to enter the dream like a metronome for our infinite chances and wispy inevitability. We were hiding I think, from my father’s family who lived in the neighborhood and who we knew would be irate about my father’s young white second wife having sold him out to the pigs. The race was on.

It wouldn’t be long before we would fly to San Diego to be with my grandparents on my mother’s side, who I ironically called “the white grandma and the white grandpa” cause of their pitch white hair, not cause I understood that the race was on. My mom was about 8 and a half months pregnant at the time. It wouldn’t be long after that, before I would watch her slide down their hallway wall weeping like one of those dimly lit daytime TV ads for anti-depressants at the news of my father’s eternity and all I could say at that casually intense, impatient age was It’ll be okay. Stay, Valentine, stay. Three days later my sister Sara was born.


Let’s try again. The last time I saw my father he was running through a field of mute purple flowers holding on to that pale brown Stetson hat he always wore with one hand and flipping the invisible the bird with the other. Everyone coughs up blood in the back of the ambulance on the way to the hospital, it’s tradition. Flashback to the precise moment I first waved to him from the white horse on the carnival carousel one time, cotton candy ink coating my gloriously tiny fingers as I turned the corner crooking my neck to watch my favorite audience, magic. We’re moving forward toward our myth. I’ll pick the cotton candy if you sing to me a blues about it. Dye hue number 7 blue. But don’t use that word. Rhymes with idle. Don’t worship idols. Don’t talk about color anymore either. Eternity for men.


One more time. The last time I saw my father he was tore up on and off his lithium like a radio signal sitting at the piano bench half asleep writing a song about me he called Midnight Girl, this gigantic elegy for himself that I could come to mean, transcending. Happy elegy. Carefree elegy. The meek ain’t gonna inherit shit, ‘cause I’ll take it, elegiac leadership. You can’t be with me, cause you’re a midnight girl, who no one can ever own, cause you belong to the world...


No, that’s not all of it. The last time I saw my father, gun in one hand, cross in the other, don’t panic. These are the two objects beneath all modern love buzzing like a partially-flipped light switch, coming to terms and then leaving terms for speechlessness or to function. They switch hands, the heart opens and flutters and you tell your first born under a lucky sign how one thing leads to another...


There’s more. I think there’s more. The last time I saw my father he was driving me everywhere like a purpose. He wore that same pale stetson and said you okay... it wasn’t a question. The car disappeared and I woke up in a tree with a craving for drums, spunky tambourines, new associations, the burning candle, to be as delicate as I am and so tough I disperse when you try and touch me with envy and I turn into him for then, he offers up all of his weapons, the guns, the getaway cars, and I chose the voice again. If you conflate intelligence with repression, and reward decorum like it’s a triumph, you’ll understand the Western view of tragedy as the highest form of art and aspire toward it and that would be tragic. Wear the red dress with the black spirit and the white privilege, fuck everybody who asks you what you’re mixed with or just lovingly ask yourself, what are you mixed with?


 No, I think it went more like when blame is obsolete and the breeze is so light it aches like a cure, who do you love? What do you love about them? Forget everything else. Become that.

Who do you love?

 What do you love about them?

Become that.   

But not like a vampire, that whole effort will expire in you like the magnetic flowers, it will droop and deplete you. Become that, like a champion, on your own... admitting that sometimes what you love about another is what you're most afraid of about yourself. Heal from that fear. Put down the telephone. Put it in the moment. Admit it,  that some love is cowardice, laziness even, and still so radiant and what it devours and how to pray to yourself in the near dark facing the mirror, sit up straight, relax your shoulders, smile with your heart, say, you make me smile with my heart... you're the one forever one, it's been you all along

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No Slavery Above this Latitude

And you don't have to be anybody's sleeping beauty

Are you a member of an elite?

Has the civil war really ended?

It's still so disorienting/liberty? 

Who are we?  Again, this morning?

In the evening whole families play and sing for fun

It's miscellaneous in a deliberate way. We have fewer and fewer real heroes with the illusion of less and less to resist, but they don't shoot us when we're singing.

We sing in pursuit of phantoms and call it hip... and what is hip? It used mean a kind of ease and moral authority in the face of all sorts of bullshit... Therefore the coolest dude in the room was like a Miles Davis... he's black, he dresses really well, he knows what the shit is, he's not into the bullshit, he has soul and clout, a dance intelligence, a music intelligence, the most explicit silence--- broken and shredded by sirens          and the sound of his bloodied woman running naked into the yard to greet them /when blame is obsolete/falling in love again           She didn't even blame him as her knees buckled toward the dewy morning, lights the color of the flag reflecting in her golden skin,

she didn't even know him til then

Monday, February 11, 2013


Means king kinda, kin, climb but not, oh yeah, not past the meaning but just beyond, not in the past, a future thing, a two step giddily hoisted into the air during an affair, maybe, we do so much dancing and lopsided flying during an affair, free from the tyranny of conventions and our intentions rhyme like sin with winner with, this winter is beautifuler than intention and doesn't even try to pretend to make you comfortable. Riveting. We do so much and we're never quitting. We take back the power of our kings and turn it into how we are, pure being. We allow ourselves to be invaded by unity.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Virtual Earth

So much of race that the new lift in mood was a surprise/invisible/seen it/ scenic and colorless. Prissy like a monolog about your childhood. I always say mine was pefect and I cried almost every night about how beautiful it all was and brutal. Millitant and a little wry around the will like I've been flirting again

                with the bent note

                                for a verse that never was

 Duke Jordan, Star Bright, just the first few seconds looped like

Ever notice how men can hold a whole discussion, a really warm, articulate one, by just grunting names of someone who moaned them to sleep one time when no one's around don't you mind the fame in your legacy, does it get in the way of itself, they preach back and forth how it just be's that way, it just is, and you crave your creed and it's the smoothest way to live and everyone swings with exuberant commitment

                           and I keep clutching my fetish  

                                                                        and it just goes to show

Friday, February 8, 2013

Night Whistler

Let's say silence is slang for love

of such splendid isolation/ such sweet/

intuition such winged perimeters      on the children and churrin/hush then if you came to win--

those phantoms are us and hustlers have fallen asleep in the middle of their stuff and it's such good stuff they dream you're always puckering at the wrong moment and your emptiness glistens out on that limb and emptiness is slang and gushing for authority and you're fearless/finally/infinite and finite at the same time, let's see a tentative smile as we reunite for capital and fold our yankee dollars into slang for sorrow posing as concentration on that vibration just ahead of the utterance, trembling puzzle, trembling pleasure. Let's think it loud and not say it yet like how we're living forever under the pressure of what turns out to be our very own power--- the word agency mouthed turns into three women, all me, peeking at their reflections in his smoothest brass

I'm waiting for the sun to unravel like a black father addicted to music listening himself to tears in a fit of silence cause that's more natural than all the trees we've ever smoked or hung from to be the son of that father or to love someone beyond himself for it

Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd
Donald Byrd

What begins as a courtesy turns into a need once we sound it out/such splendid isolation/such sweet
intuition is rebirth

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Love Is

Raw, greedy, gutsy soul

replaces cotton as the biggest industry in Memphis

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Eat that food in your thought

You had carved the infallible thoughts of my enchantment, with a dagger whose coral handle forks into infinity so that your blood and my blood would become one

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Thirteen ways of being your immortality/2

What you will know of me is the shadow of the arrow that has hit its target. To remake myself and remake you I return to my state of garden and shadow, code and tone, cool reality and that well/lit fantasy that sells as what you think you know of me or all you wish you'd stolen, ship after ship, after-- and the acapella version of Tupac's Black Cotton over James Brown's Big Payback over Amiri's Mass Angel Costume, few people know my whole name, he shouted, from your mouth. Your insolence must be kept in bounds by dignity, but your dignity's gotta be soul, ruthlessly. Isn't history obnoxious compared to our best intentions. Didn't we posse up like we meant business and march right in on the pleasure principal like I place my cheek on the suede of his drum and that's where this speech comes from