Yet, in a casual gesture, if it's talk you want, we can say
Cesaire, Damas, Depestre, Romaine, Guillen
You want us to say Dumas, Pushkin, Browning, Beethoven
You want Shaka, Askia, (& Roland Snellings too)
Mandingo, Nzinga, you want us to drop
Cleopatra on you or Hannibal
what are you masochists
paper iron chemistry
& smelting
I aint even mentioned
Toussaint or Dessaline
or Robeson or Ngugi
Hah you bloody & dazed, screaming at me to stop yet,
No, hah, you think its over, tradition song, tradition
poem, poem for us together, poem for arthur blythe
who told us again, in the tradition
in the
tradition of
life & dying
in the tradition of those klanned & chained
& lynched and shockleyed and naacped and ralph bunched
hah, you rise a little I mention we all saw the tradition of amos and andy
hypnotized selling us out vernons and hooks and other nigger crooks of
gibsons and crouchs and other assorted louses of niggers that turn from
gold to shit proving dialectics muhammad ali style
But just as you rise up to vote I scream COLTRANE! STEVEIE WONDER!
Shit & whistling out of my nkrumah, cabral, fanon, sweep – I cry Fletcher
Henderson, Cane, What Did I Do To Be So Black & Blue, the most perfect
couple in the language I scream Moon Indigo, Black Bolshevik, KoKo,
Now's The Time, Ark of Bones, Lonely Woman, Ghosts, A Love Supreme,
Walkin, Straight No Chaser, In The Tradition
of life
& dying
centuries of beautiful
In the tradition
of screamed
ape music
coon hollers
even more profound
than its gorgeous
In the tradition of
all of us, in an unending everywhere at the same time
and motion forever
like the hip Chicago poet Amus Mor
like the Art Ensemble
like Miles’ Venus DeMilo
& Horace Silver reminding us
& Art Blakey sending us messages
Black Brown & Beige people
& Pharaoh old and Pharaoh new, Blood Brotherhoods
all over the planet, land songs land poems
land sculptures and paintings, land niggers niggers want still want
will get, land
in the tradition of all of us in the positive aspect
all of our positive selves, cut zora neale & me & a buncha other
folks in half. My brothers and sisters in the tradition. Vincent
Smith & John Biggers, Color mad dudes, Elizabeth Catlett, Charles White, William White, Bob Thompson
& the 60’s muralists. Jake Lawrence & Aaron Douglass & Ademola,
Babatunde building More Stately Mansions
We are the composers, racists & gunbearers
We are the artists
Don't tell me shit about a tradition of deadness & capitulation
of slave masters sipping tea in the parlor
while we bleed to death in the fields
tradition of cc rider
see what you done done
dont tell me shit about a tradition of slave masters
& henry james I know about it up to my asshole
dont tell me shit about bach mozart or even ½nigger
get out of Europe
come out of europe if you can
cancel on the english dpts this is America
north, this is America
where's yr American music
george washington won the war
where's yr american culture southernagrarians
academic Aryans
penwarrens & wilburs
say something american if you dare
if you
where's your american
Nigger music?
(Like englishmen talking about great britain stop with tongues lapped on their
cravats you put the irish on em. Say shit
man, you mean irish irish literature . . .when they say about that
you say nay you mean irish irish literature you mean for the
last century you mean, when you scream you say nay, you mean yeats,
synge, shaw, wilde, joyce, ocasey, beckett, them is, nay, them is
irish, irish as the ira
You mean nigger music ? dont hide in europe – “oh that's classical!”
No come to this country
nigger music?
that's all you got
mumble Gershwin?
mumble Copeland?
Even you got better sense than to say Leonard
you don't know
Nigger Music
you better go up in appalachia and get some mountain some coal mining
songs, you better go down south in our land & talk to the angloamerican national
they can fetch up a song or two, country 7 western
could save from looking like saps before the world
Latino, Native American
Bomba, Plena, Salsa, Rain dance War dance
Mgical invective
The Latin Tinge
Cherokee, Sonny Rollins w/ Clifford Brown.
Diz & Machito, and Mongo SantaMaria

Coming Coming Coming the World Saxophone Quartet you cannot
stand up against, Hell No, I Aint Goin To No Afghanistan, Leon
Thomas, million year old pygmies you cannot stand up against, nor
Black Arthur telling you like Blue Turhan Bey, Odessa, Romance can
Bloom even here in White Racist Land It can Bloom as Beautiful,
though flawed by our oppression it can
bloom, bloom in the tradition
of revolution
sounding niggers
swahili speaking niggers niggers in turbans
rna & app & aprp &cap black blacks
& assembly line, turpentine, mighty fine female
blacks and cooks, truck drivers, coal miners
small farmers, iron, steel and hospital workers
in the tradition of us
the reality not us the narrow fantasy
in the tradition of african american black people / America
nigger music's almost all
you got, and you find it
much too hot
in the tradition thank you arthur for playing & saying
reminding us how deep how old how black how sweet
we is and bees
when we remember
when we are our memory as the projection
of what it is evolving
in struggle
in passion and pain
we become our sweet black
once again,
in the tradition
in the African american
open us
yet bind us
let all that is positive
we go into the future
carrying a world
of blackness
yet we have been in the world
and we have gained all of what there
is and was, since the highest expression
of the world, is its total
& the universal
is the entire collection
of particulars
ours is one particular
one tradition
of love and suffering truth over lies
and now we find ourselves in chains
the tradition says plainly to us fight, plainly to us
fight, thats in it, clearly, we are not meant to be slaves
it is a detour we have gone through and about to come out
the tradition of gorgeous africa blackness
says to us fight, it's all right, you beautiful
as night, the tradition
thank you Langston/thank you arthur
says sing
says fight
the tradition, always clarifying, always new and centuries old

Fight! Sing! Fight!
Dee-doo dee dee dee dee dee dee dee
dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee
dee dee dee dee!

Thank you.

Last updated May 16, 2023