Tuesday, April 06, 2010

a real G!

i was recently forced to move from my beloved apartment of two years due to some excessive slumlording conditions that came to a head. over our heads. look for the post about hundreds of dollars worth of water-damaged books, no heat, and no electricity in january coming soon. but the beauty in that misfortune, aside from the oodles of natural light streaming through my new living room, is the rinky dink library i moved next door to.

the brower branch of the brooklyn public library system is a goldmine, precisely because it's a one-story building with seating for 38 adults and 20 children.

their poetry collection is bananas, literally overflowing with black classics!
they had two copies of a wreath for emmett till. one in hardcover!

i found my girl gwen breezy in there, chillin. shinin. delightin and crowd excitin.

so, here's my birthday present to you:
excerpted from mama gwendolyn brooks' "the third sermon on the warpland" in to disembark:

West Madison Street
In "Jessie's Kitchen"
nobody's eating Jessie's Perfect Food.
Crazy flowers
cry up across the sky, spreading
and hissing This is

The young men run.

They will not steal Bing Crosby but will steal
Melvin Van Peebles who made Lillie
a thing of Zampoughi a thing of red wiggles and trebles
(and I know there are twenty wire stalks sticking out of her head
as her underfed haunches jerk jazz).

A clean riot is not one in which little rioters
long-stomped, long-straddled, BEANLESS
but knowing no Why
go steal in hell
a radio, sit to hear James Brown
and Mingus, Young-Holt, Coleman, John, on V.O.N.,
and sun themselves in Sin.

However, what
is going on
is going on.

That is their way of lighting candles in the darkness.
A White Philosopher said
"It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness."
These candles curse—
inverting the deeps of the darkness.

The young men run.
The children in ritual chatter
scatter upon
their Own and old geography.

The Law comes sirening across the town.

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