Unplugged
 

I am the negro unplugged
I am Toby and Tiger Woods
crucified to the speed of light
my telepathy is on the floor
of a methadone clinic
injecting the ace of spades, spaded

I am the knife in Caesar's back
the bullet through Kennedy's face
I am jheri curl juice
and hog-maws
Sambo with his eardrums stolen
I guess you can call me
the most deaf, fried chicken
dressed in nightmares and flames

I am the never not never
the always not not
I be who I say I is
because I am
a slave ship in the middle
of the Sistine Chapel
I am Stepin Fetchit
wearing blue prints
of the constitution
dying a death so beautiful
man we so beautiful
we suffer with our eyes closed
blindfolds, gold fronts
fronting because we have
to survive this constant Christ-ing

massacred martyrs us be
hence the thus, therefore, I am
Toussaint Louverture
fractured
hammered to the sky
french doors and all
1804 and all
I am Harriet, Condoleezza
rice fields, cane fields, cornrows
afros, the perm
the conk, the weave
and the pressing iron
irreligious and sacred, like
Garvey's bones on display
at the Louvre
I am Jimi Hendrix
guitar plugged into the ocean floor
galactic high hat, high hat
snare
kick drum
kick drum
snare
spirit
gentrified to Picasso

I am the double-headed
cubist in the belly
of ten shredded tomorrows
I am tomorrow yesterday
a burning church inside of
the whites only water fountain
a metal dream, a song so
bitter
we split the atom
the black
Baghdad
the Moorish now
Beirut on
a cotton gin
spliff between his teeth
facing his inquisitors

I am face paint and tribal scars
crack pipe and tribal scars
track marks and tribal scars
Harvard and tribal scars
I am Dubois
old, wrinkled
wearing the Black Star Liner
around his neck
to Lincoln's assassination
I am Malcolm at a Starbucks
in Harlem, the espresso machine
making love to his bullet wounds
I am a blind musician
with no song to sing
I am the black resistance
dreaming of white girls
with long flowing hair
like Rapunzel and Snow White
and Sleeping Beauty

Michael, wake up: the American
mind-fuck has rearranged your face
I am a bottle of bleaching cream
poured into the palms
of Jack Johnson
I am genocide
in every lyric that Big wrote
It’s the ten crack commandments
I've been in this game for years
it made me an animal
there’s rules to this shit
I wrote me a manual

I am the Rolling Stones
The Beatles, Bob Dylan
and Elvis Presley all in black face
I am the Black psyche
one-eyed, mouth of blood
whispering womb juice
into the fabric of Old Glory
I am a black boy
on a street corner
in Brooklyn
freestyling his way
back to god.