they say
midwestern poets spozed to be more ideological
this seems a reasonable assessment
especially if you talkin bout the ones
west of van brunt & east of troost/us
there’s something to be said for
the penetrating quality of bar-b-qued jazz and blue funk
the cumulative effect/steam & smoke rising
from ribs/saxophones & shoes worn slick
by work and dance

in l.a. they said
before the officer shot the kid
he read an article on children who commit murder
so i read one on the overthrow of capitalism
& handkerchiefhead negroes
who front for grinnin storm troopers
& themselves
our blue-veiled encasement
& how the tail wags the dog
the working class without a party
in an ax fight without an ax
& how we die
but often being too contrary to go to the graveyard
get up the next morning
& snatch bright moments & children
from the very devil’s gnashing teeth

if you don’t know/but want to
ask somebody who does
but don’t ask the devil bout jah
quayle bout ra
or ted kennedy for a ride
after the party
don’t ask reagan bout actin
dogs bout quackin
carl sagan bout world history
sharon bout palestinian misery
or dick gregory bout whether or not
it’s true

that while you still be in the parking lot
at gates
they be sayin
“hi, may i help you”
he don’t know
he’s a fruitarian

do ask questions/questions like
why is frank white so black
do ask questions though/but ask somebody who know
ask ellsberg/stockwell & agee bout secret files
ask vanessa bout commercial beauty queens & plastic smiles
ask revolutionaries bout the masses leadin
& not just bein led
ask general franco & jesse helms bout still being dead
ask jehovah witnesses bout going door-to-door
ask a greedy man bout wantin some more
ask sisyphys bout pushin boulders
eddie lavert bout being up in the shoulders
mr. holder bout the uncola
& then ask the white south african army
bout how they got dogged by the cubans in angola
whooof! that’s where george clinton
come in
ask tina turner bout leggin
tyrone davis bout beggin
kamikazes bout not bein afraid to die
& ask john denver/barry manilow/neil sedaka/lawrence welk/
andy williams & perry como bout bein dry
ask yourself
if you’d fight to free you and another
then ask clarence thomas bout his mother
ask marcus bout forerunnin
miles bout big funnin
the dells bout harminizin
“girl won’t you stay/stay darlin…”
& kwame bout decolonizin
ask house parties bout grindin
flag women bout windin
apartheid bout slimin
& if you need to know bout timin
ask the world saxophone quartet
ask brown & clinton the pharaohs bout funkin & jam

ask kevin garnett bout dunkin
i mean gettin way up
floating/rock & rollin/turn around/behin the head
ask jack the ripper bout gashin
dc-10’s bout crashin
colonial school systems bout lashin
& popular upsurge & unity bout smashin the exploitation
of man by man

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