about the gun


The poet carries his context with him, in rhythm
Like Satchmo on a train.
Like Coltrane when you can catch him.
My soul is improvisational, moving not static.
Don't start none, won't be none.
And inter-generational but not automatic.
Don't have one, won't use one.

I done felt the pressure
I done heard the lies
I've witnessed false prophets in every disguise.
Don't go tellin me you got what it takes
Heat for the fire-eyed
Poison for snakes.

My gentle brown eyes
My tender dark skin
How can you share this and venom within?
Half hearted warrior boys, vice-lords and sellers
Mirror twain suburbs all gun hands on decks
Ammo in cellars await vindictive verbs
From side-talkin' necks.

And no one stops the train.
And no one stops the train.
Knowin' how funky...
It doesn't matter...

I'm livin' medium.
Looking for garlic and window cleaner.
Marley's on the box and I wriggle my toes.
I'm not the sheriff.
I got Pampers and tedium.
I got an ATM card and a bush with one rose.

There's a bandwagon rolling through town
and people askin' me Michael B, are you down
for the sound
that allows us to finally tax
the racist motherfuckers that been ridin'
the backs of the blacks to the max.
And yo dog, says the daddy of the mack
this gat's for you, yo I got your back
Take it to the hardcore, bust it, true slang
and don't look back 'cause its a black thang.

And I pause for a second as the biggest threat
To my humanity shows its face as a Duke yet
Somehow Sir Duke I know plays on the Keys
Of Life.
Lookin' back at when I...

And I must admit, that rhythm is slammin'
Sound of taxin' sounds like justice.
Bo! Bo! Bo! sayeth the 1
And my spirit edges out to grab the grip
And finger the trigger against what I know
to be evil. Yo, the mack says go!

Who gives a damn about my mental fitness
When I'm on Darryl Gates' shitlist
And to the media I'm shiftless
I want to make a hitlist
If that's my elevation
the only way to consideration in this nation
dark skin kin incarceration
the other 25% on probation

On this genocide the nation is silent
That's enough to get violent.
And even as my hometown burns
For the unjust returns of a brainwashed jury
I can see beyond the films at eleven
Beyond my cynical fury.

Beyond the scope of narrow curricula
The hard brick rhetoric and National Guard
Hard rap de rap show and cultural pegboard
Small holes to shoot from, small boxes to die in
. Small wonder small children are cryin'.
Small treasons of intellect, puddles of blood
crises and coverups, mangled sentences
deported bodies, shotgun racks and computers,
helicopters and orange juice glass shards
videocameras and paddyrollers,
parkinglot pickets and newly discovered old corruption.

Independence, freedom, justice.
Little goals to shoot for.
And then when I'm done, kick it
I think I can get there, without gettin' wicked.