Sunday, March 26, 2006

Monday March 27, 2006 - 12:38AM

Like i need to be awake at all...

these past two weeks were crazy. on the week before the 18th, i had laryngitis, but had to rehearse all the way through that to get ready for the VisionIntoArt "Sounds" show on the 18th. Got that done and then headed out to Oakland on Tuesday evening (leaving straight from school) to go do the last leg of the teachers' diversity training i did in february. after doing like a student and teacher survey on wednesday, me and maureen benson, the prinicipal of Youth Empowerment School and ultimate fly-ass human being spent much of wednesday evening and thursday figuring out the agenda for the actual day of professional development on friday, and after eschewing sleep for most of thursday night and friday night, i got on a plane at 7AM to get back here, go straight from the airport to the chelsea art museum and do the sounds show all over again. i slept for 9 hours straight last night - didn't even get up to pee.

but since then, i've had a new poem. i'm kinda diggin' it because it's the first halfway successful poem about my 20s that i've been able to write so far and it fits into both my super-hero and sports poem collections. so here goes...

how black folk changed the world again (or) saga of Michael Jordan – superhero

his every glide a stork’s
he was Magic a defiant black man
before we knew he didn’t
stand for nothing but rings
and sneakers

we knew him children of the trickle down
80s when he was still bling
dropping 63 on the Celtics so amazing
Bird said he was God in short pants
shit! he made long shorts and bald heads
coming to the All-Star game
in rope chains and sweatsuits
older cats (Karl Malone) swingin’ on Mr. Charlie’s nuts
just hating on the newest player
and his newest game
had old white set-shot shooters
arguing about the death of fundamentals and passing
before he knew he was a brand name

we knew Mike
had ascended to Godhead
when we rose from our living room couches
for the inevitable dunk
and he switched hands mid-air
scooped a finger-roll so tender
off his elongated fingers
we heard it kiss
the backboard before it dropped
through the nets dropped 36
on a pre-HIV Magic
and L.A. showtime that night
and his Bulls won
the next four games
and their first title

What you know ‘bout 1990
standing on the cusp of N.W.A.
and gangsta rap
before he leased his soul out to Nike
before the L.A. riots and Ice Cube’s Predator
before “can we all just get along?”
before Mike said “Republicans buy sneakers too”
before he developed a fadeaway so sick
he seemed to be in the fourth row floating
before he released

and so he became “if I could be like Mike”
and even those of us
with no game
getting all conscious in college
when we knew he wasn’t shit
when he was screaming on Scottie
for having a headache in the playoffs
even those of us
mimicked his moves on the courts
in high-school gyms
in the East New York courts on Cozine
in Marcy playground

Mary J. Blige and Grand Puba’s 411
making background tracks
while we get our swerve on
at Bentley’s and The Underground
Mike was already getting love
in China
me and Luis them days
best friends forever if we didn’t die first
swinging fists and bats outside the Copa’
in rayon shirts and hammer-pants made in South Korea

style – Mike fakes and John Starks
flies into the stands
Mike uses Craig Ehlo
for a game-winning final shot
drops 40 on Joe Dumars
while holding him to 4
55 on the Knicks in his comeback
who gives a fuck that you’re a .200 singles
hitter in Double-A ball
when you’re scoring at a faster clip than Wilt
when you drop 36 in a half
against Seattle – shrug your shoulders
like you don’t even know
what’s going on

style – Mike gave us that
changed the game
made brothers attack the basket
- and some white boys too –
we all practiced kicking our legs out
like we were treading water
in pursuit of more hangtime
so long in the air
had time to tuck his feet in
like a landing motherfuckin’ gear

C’mon – look how far we’ve come
who cares about sweatshops
$150 sneakers in the hood
with dried blood on the laces
Mommy turning tricks for the newest
Air Jordans

Mike is on TV
breakin’ niggahs down and sipping Gatorade
Spike Lee is shufflin’ as Mars Blackon
Rodman’s wearing a wedding dress
and black folk
are changing the world again

So of course, i'm willing to have any discourse on the poem that people feel like having; about super-heroes, sweatshops, michael jordan, basketball or poems themselves. i've read hella-stuff (can you tell i've been on the west coast?) that i should be turning y'all onto at this point, and been in hella places this past week that i can't tell you except in person, because well... i'll have to implicate folks to tell you on such a public forum.

back to the chirren tomorrow...


Anonymous Bird (robinbird) said...

ohh, and here you are, mr. loveliest roger bonair-agard! i was, three marvelous times, one of many rapt members in an audience where you performed. leaning my ghostpale face eagerly forward, hiding awed & eager behind my dayglo pink fluff of hair. but your words, from the first time i heard you read them seemed to be some mystical deification of the word kickASS. (or beautiful, beautiful.)

i saw you 3 times when i was going to sarah lawrence college, and just: to have the opportunity to speak with you through your language woven; to read your powerful, revolution startin', tears in my eyes words of fire. yes, it was definitely love at first sentence for me & your words. (though, of course, those words don't really know me personally: so it's probably not MUTUAL love at first sentence!)

i came here looking for a c.d of yours, perhaps, perhaps, hoping as i have for a couple years! [i -- probably still in awe & stumbling to your table -- bought both of your first chapbooks during the three amazing times you came to read at our college.) especially when you came down to us, just two days after 9-11 & our precious city was in crisis & racism was lashing out like wild-snakes everywhere & the world felt like it might just finally tear at the seams: it meant so much to me (and so many others, i know:) sitting in the auditorium as you read loving, fiery, revolutionary words. as you spoke some of the first *pure, painful truths* i heard anyone let themselves utter just after 9-11 "happened."

sooo; wow, i possibly seem a little like an semi-stalker fan. but fear not! i'm just a giddy, feverish pink girl who's been following your work; in awe-love-passion; for several years. and i feel so lucky to have stumbled upon your journal, a space to peek into your daily thoughts & new poems. a blessing; incredible gift unexpected!

thank you -- thank you -- for all you've meant to me & so many other scattered soul-touched people. it's may sound a bit corny, but it's truly people like you who i believe: word by word; brick by brick; can change the real fabric of this stunning/horrible/beautiful/twisted greenblue planet where we're spinnin & spinnin. thank you for being a voice of such reverberation in so many hearts, of such magnitude, of deep emotional honesty & Raw Fucking Truths. thank you for words that have lent me sweet solace through sad, dark nights; sharing your books with friends whose eyes seemed also to always grow inevitably wide. they, also, blown away, temporarily speechless (before the onslaught of intense raw reaction) at witnessing the magic you weave & waltz into your writing.

[and a totally random aside: i love that you mentioned 'the ethical slut'! i have almost idential feelings to the way you wrote about that book, and am forever encouraging anyone who really wants to have open, healthy, fulfilling relationships -- polyamorous, monogamous, or some balanced inbetween, regardless -- just to read that amazing book. a small squeal of delight that you mentioned it!] so just one more; softly echoed through the sleepless early a.m. of this hotel room; THANK YOU. emphasized with every cell in my severely fuckin ill, fighting, kicking, breathing, living body. thank you for all that you do, and then some. and then some more.

all good things;
love, love,

6:40 AM  
Blogger Dreamtrini said...

Ahem, roger boy forget the brushing of teeth, 90% my arse, you have REAL skills boy!



6:04 PM  

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