Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wednesday June 15, 2005 - Cave Canem

This is what i turned in yesterday to Erica Hunt's workshop

Bassman

I was planning to forget calypso
and go and plant peas in Tobago
but i am afraid
i cyah make de grade

cuz every night ah lie down in meh bed
ah hearin' ah bassman in meh head...
Mighty Shadow (Bassman, 1974)

The bassman is a drunken joker
spinning like a fightin' cock
two sticks half a sponge ball
on the end of each
lickin' the multi-toned drums

laughing and sweating
this is how he sounds
the clarion call of tormented muse

bringing the calinda
out from the fields
distracting the trill of an aguinaldo
from the cooking pot

None can hear the bassman
and get easy rest
every neglected song
and unwritten poem
is an empty panyard
Carnivbal Saturday morning

and the bassman like a Midnight Robber
rears up and boasts
all of Picton Road Laventille Hill
in the pirouette of sticks

all sailor in the dance
all devil mas'
all jamette and chanticleer
heed J'ouvert heed Dimanche Gras
and las' lap
following the bassman's crazy
flapping of wings
from Jerningham Avenue over the peal
of the clock toweron the other side
of the Savannah in Queen's Royal College

from canboulay
to a Minshall King of Carnival
wingspan taking up the width of the entire stage
the bassman claims all of these
muse
duppy
douen
and calls them to the streets

That sound in the black bard's head
is a Judas-kiss a heart beat
no to be ignored
even the Shango woman
waiting on a Tobago beach
to complete Shadow's moaning
knows he is nor more a disciple of pigeon peas
than the bassman a connoisseur of wine

so the Shadow bounces
ramrod straight
taking the spirit possession
like a man
bassman in his head
driving him crazy
from fightin' cock mornings
to a heavy horn
the Black Shadow endures the conquering duppy
and everything falls into place

So that's it. feel free to say what you think. i'll post the thing i'm taking to class today later afetr i've got some sleep to make up for the sleep i didn't get last night (damn freakin' drinkin' poets!) i'll also post the poem i handed in the first day. i much prefering the poems i've got out of the retreat this time than i did last time (which is as it should be, i guess).

by the way, run out and get Luis Francia's "Museum of Absences". He is the Filipino-American writer with whom i featured at the library last thursday. his 9-11 poem seriously challenges Espada's Alabanza as the best 9-11 poem i've come across - not that they even bear comparison, but in terms of the fondness i've developed for Alabanza since 9-11.

later

1 Comments:

Blogger jonesie girl said...

i cld smell it & taste it
when i felt it right here:

laughing and sweating
this is how he sounds
the clarion call of tormented muse

bringing the calinda
out from the fields
distracting the trill of an aguinaldo
from the cooking pot

None can hear the bassman
and get easy rest
every neglected song
and unwritten poem
is an empty panyard
Carnivbal Saturday morning

1:50 PM  

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