Ode to Dan Lish


Erato’s Love Notes Part 9

I evoke you
…Out of the babel
Of Babylon, in the cadence
Of our hearts’ embrace — like
Love inciting poetry
& verse inviting passions
Of the soul to be its
Epitaph, as the voices
Inside my head splinter
Then rejoin & rejoice in a chorus
Of the syllables
Of your name swinging
Off & on the branches
Of the echo tree
For eternity to adhere
& infinity to see…
Even through the confines
Of night, “striding
Across nothingness.”

*Quote from Zora Neale Hurston



Volunteer Sunrise

In Remembrance of the Bard of Harlem

“Hey! Black soul being told…”
(with “permanence, perseverance & persistence”)
–The Last Poets
(& Thomas Carlyle)

I am the progeny of your
Jazzical folk lore, Mr. Hughes —
Your presence is the essence
Speaking life
Into why I
Even write

Words are my warriors
Fighting off
The censors & critics
Of freedom for all

Who’d take pride in
Killing the messenger
For they are unrealizing

Of the extent
That the message
Has been sown

Which is exactly
Why I continue
In the name of truth
& let it be known
Because that’s where
Wisdom is found.

©2018, 21stcenturygrio

Ars Pictura: Basquiat


All I’d want to say to these two is You, both of you, have been my own up close & personal musiquarium alongside Stevie, Marvin Gaye & Donnie Hathaway, with songs in the key of my life scored in the pores of my soul…
My mother loved Michael as did I, she said he could easily be the next Bojangles, Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly if the vultures would’ve left him alone…
I preferred Prince though I really don’t know why, other than he did so many things behind the scenes that people slept on…
But, both of your souls play on in mine