Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In a band of poets

in a band of poets
for langston hughes
but someday, somebody'll
stand up & talk about me
& write about me
black & beautiful
& sing about me…
from “note on commercial theater”
in a band of poets u’d have been the lead;
yr gorgeous tone & phrasing, yr range & deceptive speed
would dazzle longhead jazzers in some harlem cabaret;
even haughty hipsters would stop to check yr play
& everyone who heard would feel yr need.

in a pride of lions u’d have been the first to feed;
the alpha lion, yr dominance would let you seed
the pride with yr issues. u’d certainly have yr way
in a band of poets.

blending mood & rhythm, u did skillfully succeed
to scale the racial mountain. joy turned to ecstasy indeed
when yr poems, racial in theme & treatment, made way
for the blues & bebop to set the cadence; to sashay
like a buck & wing; a fresh new laureate to read
in a band of poets.

©Joseph McNair; 2009