February 8, 2013

Poem of the Week: It Was a Funky Deal

IT WAS A FUNKY DEAL 

Etheridge Knight

It was a funky deal.
The only thing real was red,
Red blood around his red, red beard.

It was a funky deal.

In the beginning was the word,
And in the end the deed.
Judas did it to Jesus
For the same Herd. Same reason.
You made them mad, Malcolm. Same reason.

It was a funky deal.

You rocked too many boats, man.
Pulled too many coats, man.
Saw through the jive.
You reached the wild guys
Like me. You and Bird. (And that
Lil LeRoi cat.)

It was a funky deal.

1965


[This is the second PotW about Malcolm X this month, and there are two more slotted for the last two weeks of February. The late Etheridge Knight, acclaimed today as a great poet, wrote this in the days he discovered his poetic vocation, while doing a 10-25 year bid in the Indiana State Prison for a mugging. (He wound up serving eight.)]

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