I am not exactly a conventional musician, you know…
I couldn’t tell you anything about theory.
I can’t even read music. No,
I’m just like this wild man of the woods
born of the swamp, singing
if not screaming to the heavens
and sometimes to my people
and I’m gonna use whatever
I have on me to be able to do it.
I’ve been told to believe in equality
but if that’s reality, it’s never been seen
when you see a color before a human being
and feel like a target every step up the street
you ought to stay home, don’t give ‘em the bait
keep away from the windows, they’re no longer safe
if you’re gonna be out, don’t make it too late
how many more years? how long are we gonna wait?
I don’t care if you’re hip.
I don’t care if you’re woke
I’m not looking to be anyone’s token
I’m so full of rage
I could choke with the pain
I’m looking for a friend
who won’t fade away
like smoke in the rain
how many songs, mantras, manifestos will be written?
you don’t have to leave it to the blowin’ of the wind
we might depend on the poets to express what we know
or say it ourselves in the world that we grow
I gaze outside at that rain breaking ground, and
I won’t abide the same recycled old sounds
I won’t abide fear in my own hometown
Am I ready to lay my destiny down?
Well, I’m done with a discourse of making the rounds.
I don’t claim to know what another man feels
but I have had wounds that never did heal
and you’ll never understand the reason we kneel
until you recognize the wounds as real
I want a country, a home, a creed in which I can believe
A flag and anthem that rings true to me
But I’ve gone too long, unheard and unseen
I’m tired of waiting, and I can’t breathe
I read your words late this morning to rock and roll in the living room booming, resounding as clouds roll, overcast in mysterious oncoming afternoon daze………
Are we here? Is everybody in? Is that working now. Is it just me? Do I type too fast? I am just? Trying to type my poem, for Kerouac triumphant having licked the devil toward the end of his book of pomes I like that lip drummer Pome little sketches all that was familiar to me returns to me as Jack and I lick those demons once again yea once and for all
I keep reading about your life wanting to know more and see, increasingly how much one can learn from you, by your example. your level of commitment your discipline, vision your athleticism and focus a keen intellect. with respect to your craft and further… a heightened awareness of self
a devotion to your family and your friends
I know the mamba as the mentality lives it continues to elevate an inspiration to millions as the image of you, determined and true lives on, a global icon, yea but also a local hero a beloved father husband friend
we wave the purple and gold numbers 24 and 8 we hold up that jersey bearing your name
from your hometown of Philly, from which signed & sealed, came the USA to that golden coast your adopted home to these streets of LA
here your legacy lives far beyond the game, as we honor all that you gave and worked to create, in others and in yourself it’s a calling, a cause to celebrate a reminder each day, of what it is to live