Wednesday, June 10, 2009

for mari evans (15)

for mari evans
who can be born black and not
sing the wonder of it?
from ”who can be born black?”

i heard yr exulting voice, yr forgiving clarities
calling to me not from sinister sirenic beaches
littered with random whitened skulls but from a
safe, nurturing poetic place, a precious heart
space that rejects guilt-ridden self-treachery. in
that poetic place u preached/plotted self-naming.
yr poems, vital, vibrant agents of living deliberately,
suant self-expressions of primary personal choice.
how long heretofore had black been something
acutely noxious? how long were the black arts
declaimed evil invocations. yet u sang of the
joy, challenge & wonder of being black, the heady
sound above sound power of being black & coming
togetherness. u forged adequacy between
self & color; between self & self-expression,
that both must be the result of deliberate choice &
creative work. how easy it soon became to exclaim
black is beautiful, a beauty not derived from the
absence of all color but from the quintessential
quantum materia prima from whence all created
things come. yr poems pointed the way to wholeness
& gave to us much more of ourselves to love. yr black
arts were additive not subtractive magic. how
easy came the awakened sensitive sentience;
the resurrected judgments of sentiment & taste.
more difficult the next evolutionary leap, from
color to culture, where color is jettisoned when it
runs out of propellant & falls away, or the next,
when a less dense consciousness ignites, unburdens
itself of the weight of culture, reaches required
velocity, attains spiritual union, & shares a mystical
body wherein all who dwell there contribute to the
good of all & share in the welfare of all.

1 comment:

  1. Mari Evans passes the poetic torch from Danner, Walker and Brooks to Sonia Sanchez, but you remind us of the poignant life-affirming legacy that she left us all. Additive black arts, indeed.