Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ode to my headphones

You anoint me youth-culture, black,
blank gaze and swift to fist; my head
in the vice of your grip & under
this hoodie, I become 20 years
younger; a stick up kid, a flight risk.

Because I look like a runway signaler,
like a crazy tarmac matador, my hands
slashing the air as you bulge from my temples,
I stay in flight. Just short of a helmet,
unleashing a steady assault of bass
directly to my heart, you stay
defibrillator, dance instructor, hypnotist
and hip-twister.

You are the godfather of hip-hop
in every head-nod and stutter step –
I lose myself in my footfalls’
own beats – you are guardian
of the long-distance train ride,
the long-distance run,
the long distance dream
of black boys everywhere

cuz you deliver me Fela, Kanye,
Wayne, Marley, Sparrow,
Mos Def, Black Stalin, Wu Tang Clan
Prince, Michael, Amy, Beres, Cube,
Rudder, Biggie, Pun, Nina, Super Cat,
tomorrow, history, Brooklyn,
Trinidad, my mother, Chicago, home
my skin, my unborn children,
my permission to speak,
my love for everyone in this prison,
this train, this bar, this city - flight


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