April 4, 2013

Poem of the Week: jewels of thought (for gil scott-heron)

jewels of thought (for gil scott-heron)

Ras Moshe

to all the times i saw you/floating/passing through the streets
all bones and clothes
eyes ablaze
a lightening rod for new york elements
but quite ready to put some disrespectful child in check with wisdom at any given time/we still laugh with you
i actually saw your pain when you realized that this revolution is televised after all/dashikis and pharaoh's records collecting dust in the closets of the defeated
i hope you can see that some of us took heed to your etchings in red/the point of it all/made very clear/these earthly battles fought

but, what if there's only a battle here on earth and not in the star trek hereafter? ah yes..that's what you were saying after all.
we rode the no. 2 train together and that was like a lifetime of school for me/class in session/the end of concession
we be your graduates/in jazz splendor


[Ras Moshe is  a NYC-based jazz musician and composer. A good interview with him is here. If you are in the New York area his gigs at the Brecht Forum are well worth catching. This appreciation of Gil Scott-Heron is based on actual experience, and addresses in passing what the British Marxist historian Christopher Hill called "The Experience of Defeat." ]

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