Category Archives: poetry

Mystic Vegan Tap-Dance Boogie

As part of festivities for the slight re-branding of this blog, here’s the latest posting in the form of some rhymes and images. Lyrics by me. Music by Djelimady Tounkara. Pro-vegan, pro-Earth, pro-common-sense, pro-peace, pro-people, Afro-positive bars.

Lyrics:

Chamber music provokes the mystic vegan tap-dance boogie

Unfold your arms, children, boss-up like righteous hooky

I am neither John Cassavates nor a Wookie

That means the only thing I do is resurrect the Chinese Bookie

.

Boogie-woogie, that’s the way of life that I promote

So the rookie wins, with bowling pins to stay afloat

Cargo cults that curry favor for the flavor of the wild oat,

And open up the gates that pen the billy goat

.

Though, it’s a long road, the other shore’s way over yonder

So in the meantime, the mystic tap-dance make’s you ponder:

Is this the best we can do, the human Cadillacs

Hacking each other down, Kalashnikov’s the battle ax?

.

Blacks killing blacks, capillaries full of plaques

Paranoia over mosques, migrants, money and Macs,

Stupefied by Sarah Palin, Mama Grizzlies going whaling

While the planet burns and floods like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

.

It’s a fact: the way we live is making ice shelves crack,

From meat and car culture to the war in Iraq

Which isn’t over, shift change to mercenary soldiers,

Different bullet casings, feral caffeine binges on Folgers

.

But the mystic vegan tap-dance boogie is real

Earthshine on the moon, still a light you can’t conceal

Hot: the soul-searcher bringing out her own potential

Not: the fake pundit telling lies through his credentials

.

A tap-dance thunderclap roars through the plains.

Knocking over all the rafters, bulldozers and cranes

That wanna spread suburban sprawl all the way past Saturn

Real estate Tourrette’s tics, the same worn pattern

.

Using drapes, curtains and shades, dealing aces and spades

But the tap-dance bottle-caps the ignorance raids

On your conscience, the subway ads for beer and pomade

The Times Square sonic light-show free-trade brigade

.

But the boogie boogies forth, as the tropics wander north

No fear, the tap-dancing clan has a plan to take a stand

On rock-solid ledges of a pluralistic thought,

The rise of the ubuntu, bumuntu, bananas bought

.

For the bounty, shared from the Bronx to Kisangani,

No need to kill for water or food like Handsome Johnny,

Cultures of violence and their vultures of silence

Might fade away, and that includes the restive oil fields of Bonny

.

The mystic tap-dance boogie shows that world peace isn’t hard

Beacons of light written in flight by buoyant bards

The inhospitable wardens across the planet

Must have obsidian souls while the boogie’s soul is pomegranate

.

Plummeting the hegemonic phonic of the fold,

To an abyss, all the white noise, the ambience, the hiss

As our own dance taps drown out the sound of cold

With the sound of bold, the human beings that blow a kiss

.

From Kinshasa to Fortaleza to Ogbomosho

Strong-willed strivers winning over all the no shows

To learn the mystic vegan tap-dance boogie in the Sun

Sustainable quilombos keep the corporate forces on the run

.

Clean and easy living, walk the land like Bodhidharma

Leave the car at home, empty the zoo and clear the karma

Bring the brothers home, close the jails and fund the college

The liberationists for revolutions must have knowledge

.

Pro-human pedagogies, no more spikes on planters

Science and traditional knowledge mix, we’re plant enchanters

Vandana Shiva is the general, and people like her,

Waangari Maathi, and plant more trees and be a biker

.

The mystic vegan tap-dance boogie looks like land and freedom

Mau Mau sounds preferring death until the stacks are even

Boogie men and women marchin’ to the sun

Teeth, tongue and tap-shoes – more stopping power than a gun

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Ten the Hard Way

Random comments on the zeitgeist to follow.

Seems repubs are going buck-wild right now. Talkin like global warming doesn’t exist. Talkin like undocumented migrants ain’t human. Talkin bout trashing the 14th amendment. Scared of people building mosques in lower Manhattan and Staten Island. Paranoia and naked bigotry being ejaculated all over the TV screens. Hate crimes exploding across Shaolin’s north shore, and many of those guilty of the atrocities against Mexicans have been young male Africans.

Imperialist wars continue – US troops in Iraq to only be replaced by legions of private security contractors, while the Afghanistan occupation only gets wilder, includes Pakistan too, forgets that brown life has value, jettisons all morality in pursuit of blueprints for political appeasement to the saddest constituencies in Amreeka. Dems love war! Carnage and penury ftw!

Desperation in the streets, a hot shoot ’em up summer in Brick City. Stop the violence rallies get louder now, even move to block highways and flood downtown with the message, but the blacks that wanna kill blacks are wearing earphones and sleeping masks.

Proxy war goes on in Mexico, feeding the voracious Yankee drug habit with gallons of blood over the border, a real gore and guns killem shootem full scale war. Few seem to care; Arizona wants brown folks to carry their stars of david (‘papers’) or else; Utah releases Hitlerian lists of them.

Homelessness spreading like wildfire, fine homes abandoned, boarded up to the banks by fiat and clever artifice versus the masses. Desolation angels in real life are born across the land, jobless, lost across the rust belt, the plains, the rockies. Coast to coast crookery with no free cookies.

Belt buckles detonate from town to country, city to village, obese babies born like bears. Stubborn minds hate to see people walking streets without sidewalks, try to run them over in their ramming vans. Splatter of road kill gets cannibalized, skin turned to leather, soft gloves of an infant and her velus.

Jails gorged with Africans, Mestizos, Chicanos, Boricuas, Quisqueyanos, Indigenous, even a few blonds. 2 million strong. Army of inmates shut away from the sunshine. Life sentences are death row. Inmates as slaves working for pennies an hour to clean the gulf, or they lose their good behavior glint.

Haitian babies as currency, foster homes emptied into North America with random and flimsy arrangements. Haiti itself gets neocolonized after the temblor, the coasts prepared for maquiladoras, free trade zones, the further destruction of native agriculture.

Boots scar the ground all over, Indian state stepping on Adivasis, Congolese state in concert with its rebels stepping on women, Somali Al-Shabab militants stepping on soccer fans.

Papuan revolutionary dies crying freedom while the pigs call his blackness savage and stupid to his dying face. Meanwhile Uncle Sam renews adulterous ties with Kopassus, Indonesia’s merchants of death, assassins of East Timor ’til it got free.

Troublesome days.

What’s good? California saw reason, struck down prop 8 because it’s anti-human. The sun still glows hard. Brilliant fires burn in almost seven billion brains trying to figure out the game, its meaning and message. Crowded planet, but many opportunities in the flavor of new faces exposing fictions with fact fixations.

Passions are chased, paper or no paper, pleasing the eyes and ears with the sights and sounds of success. Failure is interchangeable but fools keep rolling for the win, because it’s that hard and humanizing to fight.

Fighting spirits stay the course, stay human, stay next to freedom and their capacity to be brutally honest and true to self. Living nothin but one’s purpose. Or else die trying – we didn’t ask to be born. Only one life to live, the true just lightworks life with no rank, just crafty hands that build victory and a tolerant civilization from scratch with the angel dust of common sense sprinkled on the gas lamp.

Just keep burning! Third world unity!

Will it be humans aflame, or humans in flames? Bet.

Benjamin Zephaniah, Afrikan Poet, Vegan

As for me, I’ve kept linking to random nice things lately, instead of writing long articles, because I’m still finishing up this novel. Coming soon, in late July, I’ll be co-hosting a sustainability/ food co-op/ community gardens tour in Brooklyn with my homie who teaches at Kingsborough Community College, and I’ll be posting a lengthy write-up on that (I’ll be done with the novel by then). That’s just the beginning of the next phase of things around here.

‘Til then, the Guardian UK has a nifty interview up today about Mr. Benjamin Zephaniah, an awesome UK-based Afrikan (via Barbados and Jamaica) poet I’ve long admired. We’re of the same feather – we both went vegan at age 15, and we’re both Kung-Fuists! Read the interview. This is like a two-birds w/ one stone shout-out, for both another vegan brother and a fellow creative.

The Observer Food Monthly over there has as their magazine feature vegetarianism in general, some basic stuff, though comparatively progressive since I’ve never seen, say, the New York Times Magazine shine this much light on vegetarianism, and wouldn’t expect it – they’re still having a hard time taking Michael Pollan seriously at the editorial level, whether or not his stuff gets published with NYT from time to time.

More to come. stay tuned.