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POEM: original black

original black

three men in white
investigating black
all-caps BLACK

digging at:
        the roots
        the rhythms
        the rhymes

blood samples
lined up against
blue-black bodies
strands of DNA
leading to Pryor’s
“original black”

Andrew Lamb
(“The Black Lamb”)
lives behind this poem
his saxophone weeps
for New Orleans
salty tears running
down black cheeks
saliva on cane reed
sweat on his brow

there were two black
kids in my high school
out of twelve hundred
one Cambodian girl, too
(“a boat person”)

“the thing I like about you”
John said to me
“is that you talk
to black people
just like other people”


/ / /

This poem was inspired by two things: going to see Vernon Reid’s Artificial Afrika at Dixon Place last night and then listening to Andrew Lamb’s brilliant album New Orleans Suite again this morning.

Published in Jazz Music My poems Poetry Politics & Activism

One Comment

  1. Jason, I read this when you first posted it and kept a tab of it open in my browser for about a week, I liked it so much. I didn’t comment. I don’t know why. Maybe because that would open the can of worms that is poetry writing for me, and I didn’t want to do that. But now Adrienne Rich is dead and I realize that the only option is to keep writing. Thanks for this. It was wonderful to read.

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