Roll Call

 

Slanger in Orundide

the curtains are pulled back

lights up & here we sit

in the mist of the muddle of Babylon

lead by mumblecrats

who babble on

wielding ink like a wand

stalwart stewards of the status quo

deciding the borders between here & there

& who has the right to air

we are here

in the doorway

breathless

after crossing redlines

after sundown

after being

studied vilified

unbenignly neglected

surrounded & drowned

washed on to sidewalks

tent cities under freeways

& next to exit signs pointing

the way out of town

after generations of

building up

pouring out

& sanctifying

after suns setting on our sons

through wars on drugs

& other wars on us

balloon bombs eating houses

& the ground they stood on

after leveling those posted on

by trains ran on us

we are here

realities ruptured

as wheels turn

deals are made

the status quo safe

is a town just a place

or the people

hearts beating

drums sounding

something about to burst

we are here

amongst the jackhammers & cranes

as the ground shrinks

and the sky recedes

water rising

with bruised real lives

that read like make believe

instructed by history & memory

no resting place

since refugees dreamed

the shades of blue

flowing from & to

the 16th st train station

building in the narrows

determined to live

the narrative

of us thriving

we are here

the storm again

arrival called for

by survival

here in the doorway

& we see you

we see you

? are your eyes open

tomorrow is listening

? can you hear us

shrill horns

rumbling piano keys

refrains of constraint

echoing through halls

stretched like shadow

painted on tall walls & eclipse

by taller walls

beyond resource seeking recourse

? can you hear us

starving on broken promises

we won’t take beads & fire water this time

are your eyes open

all roads lead here now

to bridges

built or burnt

cymbals crashing like waves

we will write the story of

you this place this time

this moment calling

across the land for

héros tall dreams

all in the pot

you with us or you not

speak now or mumble on

& that’s what we’ll put in the song

we are the storm

The Town

forever embedded in discourses of liberty

we remember to remember

bleeding for the world

that’s still watching still waiting

we are here

speak clearly they are listening

here in the midst of the muddle

of Babylon decide which chracter

you will play in the history

we make

the path is clear

the stage is yours

but the story is ours

we are here

the cameras are rolling

& everybody pays for their mistakes

no retakes

this is one shot

ready or not

close ups baby

we here

so clear some seats

set out the feast

we here to make sure

everybody eat

no surrender no retreat

stand up straight

so we can see

if you hit the right notes

this your moment

don’t choke

yup that mic is hot

sang

make it a banger

we can bang

from the flats to the hills

rising in effervescence over the lake

the sound of the peoples will

let it reverbervate

while we cruise

all beautiful free to

be

in crystal clarity of early mornings

in the balmy bloom of late night

in the glow

of our own lovely light

& just chill

cuz we here

still

film at 11

About Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I create; therefore I am.
This entry was posted in Black Arts, North American African Perspective, spokenword. Bookmark the permalink.

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