Madness & Poets (For Marvin X).
Article Type: Poem
Author: Nzingha, Ayodele
Pub Date: 12/01/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Pan African Studies Publisher: Journal of Pan African Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Journal of Pan African Studies ISSN: 0888-6601
Issue: Date: Dec, 2010 Source Volume: 4 Source Issue: 2
Accession Number: 306754432
Full Text: Ayodele Nzingha is a poet, playwright, actress, producer, and director. She directed Marvin X's In the Name of Love, Laney College, 1981, and One Day in the Life, 1997-2002. She now operates her own theatre in West Oakland, the Lower Bottom Playaz. She recently produced and directed August Wilson's Gem of Ocean, Opal Adisa's Bathroom Graffiti Queen and Marvin X's Flowers for the Trashman, Graffiti Queen, and Ayo's Mama at Twilight were featured at the San Francisco Theatre Festival, 2010.
Madness & Poets
(For Marvin X)

   All poets are mad Baba.
   It's in the saying of unsayables
   the seeing the unseen
   mad from murals of mundaneness
   masquerading as meaning
   we tag truth in acid
   with lethal pens we
   carve epiphany on the
   heaving breast of humanity
   hear me: I am
   Godz voice,
   you see?

   Crazed with grief
   lack of sleep
   poems keep knocking
   howling accusations
   insisting on justice
   or blood
   and the terrible knowledge
   they may be the same.
   Knowing its ill to be well
   in insanity
   we are religiously mad
   listening to the jokes Godz tell
   about the planz men make
   we invoke open eyes
   amongst the blind
   literate itinerants
   healing wounds
   stapled with the gutz of prophetz
   whose spines have been
   broken open so poems
   can be stitched to their
   cleaved carcasses.

   Poets grow in
   the recesses of society's
   bowels deep in the
   world's shit we
   spin beauty in the beast
   to soothe the savage
   someone should dance now
   like poets spin
   daring poems to be dervishes.

   The trajectory of a poem
   spit with accuracy
   resembles lyrical alchemy
   turning impossible into
   the color blue.

   I am a poet
   long past caring about
   disposed scholars who
   lie in standard English
   we break tense like fences
   that separate us from them:
   flow oceanic
   if you ain't up on it
   long tongue ju ju poets
   say soothes
   somber inelegant truths
   salvaged from graveyards
   laureates go hard,
   sharp spiters are split
   at the larynx hurling
   neologisms like clever hexes
   some like sharks
   eat the open mic
   & spit back
   silk stitched caresses.

   In words we are invested
   & you said
   the devil is in the language
   so sometimes it be ebonics
   we stay hooked on phonics
   & known to slam in spanglish
   poets float but don't drift
   past tipping points
   blaze in smokin joints
   bent on makin points
   angels dance on pointed tongues
   bleeding metaphors
   & poetry ain't the whore
   its poets who crush lyric
   on temple floors
   its poets who commit
   commissioned sins
   in the name of the mortgage.

   Loosely intercoursing textually
   he said:
   the poems have left
   the building
   stop texting me,
   but I can't
   because words are
   like sex to me
   I'm mesmerized
   by poetry's ejaculation
   I trick without hesitation
   love it passionately
   ain't no reservations
   even when it dogs me
   I'm stuck in the relationship
   It's good
   I don't trip
   without poetry's caress
   my wig would slip

   I'd blow up not a little
   but a lot of shit
   poetry is my drug of choice
   & my weapon
   I keep a full clip
   I'm poetry's bitch
   & I'm good with this.

   Baba all poets are mad.
   On this we can agree
   Grand Baba Amiri & you
   & like fruit & trees
   I guess I be mad too.
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