Friday, May 31, 2013

Indigenous (an etymology for the Antique Blacks)

Not far from awe / if the eye is for eye saw it / the old new omnigenerational eloquent as child holding stuffed gender/rose/ up /again /gener  ous  and genric     regenerative   to shout it  I believe in good luck also  the way Lee Perry does    the belief (to do a belief,  infinitive verb)  shows up in webster's english as adverbs    used   in the  ghetto lights to make them shine on  the nerve willed and wild and well,    always

    The dig is for our favorite indigo   our favorite mood after   so what     and velvet  the dig is for    reasonable force  the dig is for   grove or orchard  you can almost picture but there's always some mandingo in the way   hanging  there   breaking    loose the solitude  and into the bear juke  so we be dancing   out of nooses and into good news  

     Dare I say    The dig is for I do dare    the dig is for ignant ass... stereo  show   type   hoes   for salt in the sham of the words of us scuttling a motion and better rhythm  don't close   those clammy hands    around    the quarry    just know it's there   in the most open thing     yeah, man!  You dig,  you excavate, you remove the holes by making them into wells , belles, yeah man,  belly in like having the guts to be so    we made a well , a cave     Bullets and tears hold neurtoxins, we learned,   so we cleansed there and then and now also, we renamed them after bodies of water and niles and mississippis unclenched the elements       We saved ourselves, yeah, man, we saved ourselves a glass ceiling and broke on through to the other     side   It was a high level post-genetic trophy wife thing   for ambivalent genius antique black   thugs only         for we who valiant be

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Baby, baby, baby

look to the sky
Seeking to find
That third eye

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Go for it!

Before vessels there were halos ; succulent with motors and scooting around the devoted like the bones of good dealers, and before vowels /\  the polite wheel of voids   almost deviant but   saved   delivered    hoisted to the center of a word like   first seed  in a maneuvering    of views   toward    the   bluest dream   of   you    of    I    of I   am    of   I/ambic    of I amber     of I myrrh      of I mercy  of a sea of murders and bleach of I saved    for all seeing   as     I  hurry to the deed like a child   healed  in the land of the lamb  by the wheeling drum circle  hero we  rose     by the   feeling   of purple along the will   of   I will    of I wheel   of I willing  of  it thus   that their is no thief   of   us    that we were never captured that  we are here on purpose  of I lurk of I   wild of us all /shielded of   the myth of a negro  past       where  we were savage / it  is a compliment/ their drab  folly       for the savage   are saved   and    of eye  rise into the void as     saviors   ourselves

I've started to take more still lifes, like a police photographer, for the inverse of shatter, collecting evidence as a witness. I've started to borrow a different strategy than that of the classic

                                                                      maybe that is     it        So harrowing      so harrowing      what a  difference a wing makes      in a   row of    hands pounding the   snare    like     kings  and kingfishers   and sure shots  //   sure  to make your body rock     and now    the metal  emits all seven sounds   and we're  flying just as high and rogue , black and yellow style   gods  in a mellow tone  all young melanin and chrome    been so real   like the unknown  unseen   clone in the mirror real like to call your own name is to crawl across the hall of mirrors and only   see   what you hear    and it is good that way   no more weary blues  and no fear of them        high tide in the waiting room  weightless   and firm   stay that strange angel crowding  the world with zone     ecstatic and mundane in the same home of plain value         And make sense of that, be the zodiac of bait and of tackle, bull and marrow, bloodstone and  the Pharaoh's Dance in the pace of because we can,  everyday

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happiness is Easy

Do not smile to yourself
Like a green mountain
With a cloud drifting across it
People will know we are in love.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Black Love

Once you trust the fact that some of the most militant demons come in the baffling real-thing acts of black angels ; it all just goes to show — 

                                                                                                                                                                You could call the hoax a stepladder to the great hope, or you could call it the tall black guy who
tries to hide his demons from the frontlines and they end up towing across his mind like ghetto alphabets and veteran ghosts and close-ups of his mother's motor of a smile running him into his child/self again and again/ he tries to pretend you're her and fails again and again, over and over     himself in a melting pot      and then he takes the aggregate and rearranges it  into some half-assed fame bent on   bent on   audacity and then shame     pretense   pretense    You thought he was tense before he got noticed        Now what to call it?  A fallen angel? A poster child for I know why the caged bird goes silent mid song once in a while. Makes you stop and think though       Now that White America kinda discovered blackness thus, but not like kin like  in road to  what time it's been

                                                   I'm changing, not gonna let it be Columbus Day in this radiant heart but sure am   part umbra part runner all star and keeping it more than one hundred  

percent total   didn'tchaknow    l i g h t      growing always upward in soul force


              And then at the end of the day, can you blame him for being so tense? I mean, his day just ended on a president's empty netherland neverland nervous and green, and he's trapped in the attic of his will / (to) dream  with a blindfold made of cactus roses covering his knuckles with his second sight and third ethic ; and the slow blood of total opposition drips through the supple petals into one of those dopey abusive apologies about who he can't be when the blinds are closed     or how the microphone is pressed against his tone so it echoes  the future  heir        and he can't hear himself    anywhere he's turned love into an excuse for hate  or  pit one against the other til he's the sum of all their fears     Until there are no fears for some

Let's pray that this is a great myth, the myth of the man who blames his mother for his father's absence and falls in love with the light source that they all recover-- and know that I'm the hero of it, here to re-envision the crux as a celebration, hear that I'm the sun gripping through that sterile window so abundant it makes you wonder where you come from again and how to get there while it still makes sense


You're in the Band

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Before I bring a Sun of the Morning

Before I bring a Sun of the morning/touch him not ever with the power of night/call not his flame to the darkness of night/ know him and see him, one of our brothers/Lifted from the darkness into the light

Monday, May 20, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What else is there to say but everything

In the owl's generous interval of darkness,  where she builds you up and builds you up and then drops you so you love it, into midair at sunrise— so you love it. And she has a way of arresting every offering of nuance there and turning it into some calm refusal of the absolute that can only be traced back to ambiguity and trance, which, if you don't blink, answer one another back and forth for the better part of the best days

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Total Virtuosity


The Man from Paradise Valley

He wrote a narrative to two renegades knowing he was the third. Left himself out as an act of dominion. Won that round/by the skin. Of his. Mixing metaphors is a black privilege and feels as triumphant as laughing at a Redd Foxx joke you've heard over a hundred times. He screams, Wash Yo Ass! Watch the master become your slave in the dark that's all that matters is who washed. A sacred laughter hobbles out of you for a change. Knowing what matters is a black privilege. Paradise Valley is a Black neighborhood. You're that third man. Adrenaline runs through you even in idle moments and you transmute it into jokes and hygiene. You've sworn off blue jeans as they are a sign of a casualness that is a lie. The cops are the only white people there, and the guys who own the record companies, and the teenagers who want to be black when they grow up, are on their way. None of them are wearing jeans in public. The point is, we're reclaiming paradise. Old men in white tank tops and starched trousers, thick leather belts with gold buckles, almond and sin colored skin sitting in plastic party chairs the shape and color of birth/daze(d) talking about a revolution on the horizon and looking up each lady's skirt by accident, cold lemonade between their lips, sun streaking across the scene like angry cattle, and a stereo scuttling Bessie Smith's love oh love oh careless love that statics into a news report about a protest just around the corner, another kid shot down in between home and company store by a cop who thought his beauty was a sign of aggression and impossible freedom, and these men, almond in bloom, stand up in unison and bow, the boy's spirit having crossed over into them and pumping young unlimited blood through their huddled veins, they turn the radio up in time for the song to resume.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beyond the Pleasure Principal

To the black female children. Indignation is a prison. It disregards the supernatural things about you. The result of individual sentiment is applicable only to the soul. There is a dreadful need in man to control. It disregards the pure instinct to love. The mother loves each child. The child promises nothing. The earth dismantles itself and gives birth to the water. Her heart determines the caliber of every land. Action destroys ignorance. Strategy undermines oppression. You, are the fetishized of the earth. That is as if you were lotus beside a skyscraper. To be fetishized on this planet is to be a symbol of envy. And you must ward off envy’s evil eye at every turn. Because your beauty is deathless. You are as indiscriminate as the breeze. You are the child of Venus. And her natural affection is justice. She will guide your belly with her song and you must learn to trust it, because love is all there is. And you are are here to triumph in its defense.

Monday, May 13, 2013

At the Renedez-Vous of Victory

Where we have our monastic conversations in an endless deferral to decadence, which is blackness, which is revival, which vulgar and corrupt and transcendent and beautiful, the most accurate people on earth, which is love oh love oh careless love, which just one verse in the universe earth is just one mumbled or belted song or chant, where we have our magnetic conversations in an endless deferral to the visible world, which is like this but too nervous to admit it, except some of us admit it, at the rendez-vous of victory

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Black bodies on video tape

Do you know how to change the pitch of silence? It's not a riddle either. You pretend you're just about to go off an one of them, one of those wanna be gallant boss types posing like revolutionaries in capes and newsreels, and then freeze-frame, don't mention it. We're getting even better at letting the stories tell themselves. Without being victims... we're just right—and so the sun shines on black bodies on video tape and the shadow is our silence pitched down to grunt and not even anger,  grunt like hunger fulfilled, perfect rigor, and the blunt abstractions melanin on melanin—  Resemblant of song /Somebody left out the word dialectic. In order to repeat himself. I and I noticed. We fall in love to find it, we don't need the other/slavery, no more

And despite this atunement to the infinite, you can maintain your free will, I promise

There is a beauty aloof from struggle, but there's also this need in me to call out on radios, and video tape    what's your slave name, what's your slave name, till both sides buckle and fold from their knees sobbing and wailing and then the sound dims just enough to make everyone look like a ghetto mystic tumbling across his own shadow into a fix of vogue


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Like dancing with your eyes closed

That's Entertainment (part 1) (take 1)

I'll never forget the time ---  so much confusion between race and love still pent up in the glove compartments of our experience who knows what might come out with it's hands up---- we were in college at UC Berkeley, probably had studying to do, but on one of our ritual who-cares-what-night-it-is we need to find this music, excursions in San Fransisco dreaming up ways to sneak me into a DJ Shadow show since I was 'underage.' The rest of the crew had made it to 21 but I had a year to go. A previous attempt to sneak into a performance by Wesley Willis at a benevolent Berkeley pub fittingly named the Starry Plough, had been unsuccessful. Unless you call success being turned away with your other too-young homie and drowning your f.o.m.o. in greasy Chinese food. So we were feeling like we needed to be a little more bold and strategic this round. We drove up and down the hills of sf for what felt like hours looking for parking, playing Bjork remixes on repeat and singing  I miss you but I haven't met you yet in unison like a prophecy for all the coming into our own we wanted to be doing collectively and as individuals. We were earnest about it. Pre-race, not post race. But what is pre-race in the context of an elitist United States university, a group of friends in a safe German-built vehicle, mostly white, one mulatto (innocent as charged), and an Asian and an Indian, bumping an Icelandic pop diva's anthem about the something missing. Is pre-race the feeling of something missing that spawned the hostile, voyeuristic, rampage that we name colonialism in the first place, or first degree? The reason we were all able to be earning our first degree in the same American empire. When we parked and got out of the car and headed for the club, my tall blond homie took a prideful survey of my fro and outfit and exclaimed, don't worry about getting in,  people should have to pay to look at you. What naive nobility to see our shared pride in one another as casual and not remote, as a finger wiped across the sil of the subconscious, Intruding on the Dust. That's the part that started me thinking I'll never forget...  It made me feel proud and sold out at the same time. A little righteous, a little trite, a little light, a little bright, a little lightbright, a little bit, shit, you're right. A lot suspicious of what it meant to be right. I didn't manage to sneak into the show, but my fear of missing out had been assuaged on the spot, almost for good, cured in the shadow world.

But then there was the time in Portugal with a white boyfriend. We'd ventured into a small town on the outskirts of Lisbon and my fro, and the outfit I chose were just as Commodify you Dissent like, common but bright like a diamond, and this time, as we walked around the town, me being the only one who could speak the language, cars halted and honked, people pointed or stopped on the street to try and touch my hair like I was a walking museum. I thought of Josephine Baker, I thought of my father, I told my boyfriend we needed to go back to Lisbon immediately before I became a scene from Dave Chapelle's When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong and told these curious, invasive neo-colonial or pre-race Portuguese village people about themselves. His response: why are you complaining about getting attention? Right then I knew, you could almost queue that hip hop anthem, He's not the one. But the feeling uniting and severing these two events in my mind, the way the bind into a continuum and sometimes a vacuum where screams and silence are mutually primal, that feeling lingers and lures me into the heart of difficult discussions, and shoots beyond the droopy wings of left-brain analysis into the well of well sheeeit, I guess I should listen to the Velvet Underground and think about it and remember the time I realized again, how we never forget.

I initially sat down to make a list of divas and collectives of all races creeds and colors, everyone and other I could think of off the top of my head or from the crux of my soul, and this came forward first. This must be version one of my list of divas and collectives, toward a more detailed meditation on the border that separates the gaze or the 'looking at' from love or solidarity, and at the same time the ways that being looked at can feel like love or compensate for the something missing, or how what's often missing is a mutual understanding of the devastatingly subtle difference between praise and parade or between feeling praised and feeling preyed upon. And the common questions will maybe create a common bond. Questions like, What is entertainment? Why does blackness seem to be so intimate with Western models of entertainment or, my favorite euphemism, expressivity, in our synapses and associative minds? Isn't the Black experience rife with uninhibited intimacy? I can hear people wondering behind the semantics of their own minds and mine. What are they doing to Lauryn Hill? What did they do to Michael Jackson? What did they do to Tupac Shakur? What are they doing to Antoine Dodson? What aren't they doing to Charles Ramsey? Who are they? What about your friends? What about you? How come? How come that's entertainment?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Can't he be a god and a king

Jackie McLean on Mars from Ken Levis on Vimeo.

Miss Thing Dances With Her Shadow

In a moonlight cracked with vigils and suitors. Must have been some celestial czar taught the black male invisibility as a survival tactic, to match the crescent thinking don't blame me if disappearance becomes its own rival.  Or trivial like a given.  Or if tenderness is the wildest thing, afterall, in the whole black imagination rubbing through like a hustler's diamond, pressure and chimes, crime and medicine. Plunging through the velvet curtains with a pyrite mask on, Just to watch these movies, man, and hear your mother say, everything is going to be okay, don't cry, as you sob in the middle of An American Tale. Forever Young. Even the way we use our bodies is so open it closes or encloses, cloaks us in the joke with poker faces, total youth, and soda addictions. Get off that shit, it kills you slowly and starts by clamping your mind in its carbonated rubble.  And I won't try to trace the steps which turn this dancer's grunts into music. And I won't try to trace the way the steam on the slave's hoe every day in the field, how does it feel, how did it  feel, how the heat on metal turned the cornmeal into cake, and we ate it. And it tasted hip and bland like a guitar tar baby, it tasted like your maker, like your makers mark, drunk on corn and plow we arched our shouts into the air until the mask was no longer theirs. Today we call them hoecakes, just the same, though it's all so bougie and designer sometimes, the soul food sutra for trouble in mind, I'm blue, but I won't blue always. I just can't stand a bougie black man planning dinner around the movie... lots of the rest are in prison or motor vehicles from dusk til dawn. I digress, we get a slang from it, hoes, raw cakes, didn't you know about all the black gods who only eat raw fruits and vegetables, backlash, backlash. Don't mess with us for too long, you may activate our super powers by accident you done us so wrong. Field holler for Thomas Jefferson. Field holler for Biggers. Field holler for how thick and proud it feels to not be blond. Field holler for... shhhh... we got so deep into the sound it healed us and we weren't even trying for such a heel. But now I see these detached bougie families, huddled around a television and some popcorn, I see them on commercials, I see them on our minds, and we need another celestial czar born say so what to our sorry excuses for progress and news; we need another Malcolm X to ask it plain, how does it feel to have made it to the sofa, from the hoe's steam to the sofa and all the slow cooked corn in iowa won't forget the bulging black knuckles stuck to its genome. We consume ourselves, and mash the pulp into magic.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Against voyeurism

I was a hostile witness. I watched ghost kill a ghost. It was just after the armistice day ball. His speech started: my attendance at this armistice day ball is made possible by... and trailed off. Have the guts to act worthy of yourself. When I say jesus I mean justice. Cause the golden eagle is your only friend. I mean the golden ego is your only friend. Neither. I mean, you're a benevolent gangster genius and you need to feel brand new in the music. Shout it. I'm glad! I'm glad. (louder) I'm glad you're here but you're gone. As if the music is waiting for its time. When now's always the time. Look up at the lemon hue of irony and detachment patching the third eye of the living sky in a fat pink on black Mint Condition tone. As if the music would spew into that oblivion, a new coherence. On a clear day. Ten arguments against a pale god. Starting with yourself

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What is in the falsetto

that thins and threatens to abolish the voice/ but the wear of so much reaching for heaven? The chill of terror, the thrill of almost there, the calm tender triumph, which is barren from having gained everything by becoming its own opponent. We reach through the vulgar into something so delicate its eyes are forever blinking like a light in the dealer's mind, like a light in the addict's mind, like the blind shadow of the child trailing them both toward the timeless light of exchange that ritual refines and dims and brightens and dims and slurs and brightens and wins, nimble dancers with thick pixelated thighs rockaby and alibi the hour until it's ever so simple to remove the clock from the wall. Why don't we think of The Man like a clock? How the white god your momma worships has a black cock in her not-this-time, this time I'm not falling for the martyr myth, prayer written on a tear-soaked napkin, pathetic, until she reads it at the alter just when everyone was expecting a vow and a kiss and walks out. This is how we remix destiny using desire until the divine is just a matter of time and time is a black dancer you want her beauty to rhyme with her pain until she chooses you over words. Why didn't I think of that before? Why has slaughter become a thought away from the warmest love in all our hearts? In order. It goes like: a picture of wolves, another picture of wolves, then a picture of us making like vowels to run up and down a quartzcrowned mountain without slipping into race, not this time, this time I've crumpled the race card, corvette, dart board, space ship, cadillac grills, in a primavera silvergreen and the entire event is sealed in releasing until can't tell the difference between talking and singing and chanting and standing still. It makes no sense to keep pretending there is one. Heaven's really for the sinners, the song promises, the song stands still in a prom dress and feather light purple lights sway us awake as one word breaking to higher in the throat, not to be more, just to be higher than that place where meaning drives itself toward one particular object, just to be where the thing and the meaning of the thing are the same thing, we do our thing this way just to get there

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

13 Ways of Being your Immortality, 5 (on Saturn)

I saw a naked dancer shuddering convulsively under an invisible rain of fire. But while everyone shouted believing her to be possessed by the rhythm, I stared into her eyes and just for a second, felt her reserve, her remoteness, her inner certainty that she had nothing to do with that admiring audience of american foreigners. All Harlem was like her. In any event, one must speak clearly, I have not come here to entertain you: I do not want to and simply couldn't care less. I am here to fight. Fight hand to hand against the complacent mass. With a beauty that has no roots and reveals no longing but hugs mystery so close to me that we become the one thing, the thingness of the things, thugs and the most high level angels