this video quality is subpar, but the sound and energy of the song are not. enjoy.
by Richard Wright
And one morning while in the woods I stumbled
suddenly upon the thing,
Stumbled upon it in a grassy clearing guarded by scaly
oaks and elms
And the sooty details of the scene rose, thrusting
themselves between the world and me….
There was a design of white bones slumbering forgottenly
upon a cushion of ashes.
There was a charred stump of a sapling pointing a blunt
finger accusingly at the sky.
There were torn tree limbs, tiny veins of burnt leaves, and
a scorched coil of greasy hemp;
A vacant shoe, an empty tie, a ripped shirt, a lonely hat,
and a pair of trousers stiff with black blood.
And upon the trampled grass were buttons, dead matches,
butt-ends of cigars and cigarettes, peanut shells, a
drained gin-flask, and a whore’s lipstick;
Scattered traces of tar, restless arrays of feathers, and the
lingering smell of gasoline.
And through the morning air the sun poured yellow
surprise into the eye sockets of the stony skull….
And while I stood my mind was frozen within cold pity
for the life that was gone.
The ground gripped my feet and my heart was circled by
icy walls of fear–
The sun died in the sky; a night wind muttered in the
grass and fumbled the leaves in the trees; the woods
poured forth the hungry yelping of hounds; the
darkness screamed with thirsty voices; and the witnesses rose and lived:
The dry bones stirred, rattled, lifted, melting themselves
into my bones.
The grey ashes formed flesh firm and black, entering into
The gin-flask passed from mouth to mouth, cigars and
cigarettes glowed, the whore smeared lipstick red
upon her lips,
And a thousand faces swirled around me, clamoring that
my life be burned….
And then they had me, stripped me, battering my teeth
into my throat till I swallowed my own blood.
My voice was drowned in the roar of their voices, and my
black wet body slipped and rolled in their hands as
they bound me to the sapling.
And my skin clung to the bubbling hot tar, falling from
me in limp patches.
And the down and quills of the white feathers sank into
my raw flesh, and I moaned in my agony.
Then my blood was cooled mercifully, cooled by a
baptism of gasoline.
And in a blaze of red I leaped to the sky as pain rose like water, boiling my limbs
Panting, begging I clutched childlike, clutched to the hot
sides of death.
Now I am dry bones and my face a stony skull staring in
yellow surprise at the sun….
one of my favorite jay-z songs. remember hurricane katrina? yeah…that happened. after the rain, we forget…’cause we’re a nation of forgetters.
sure, i ponied up a mil, but i didn’t give my time
so in reality, i didn’t give a dime or damn
i just put my monies in the hands of the same people that left my people stranded
nothin’ but a bandit
left them folks abandoned
damn, that money that we gave was just a band-aid
can’t say we better off than we was before
in synopsis this is my minority report
Today, I learned that a friend I made during my time in Haiti, Jeffrey Brown, passed away recently. He was pure sunshine and love. Peaceful, patient, warm, and bright. His heart was infinite. He was a retiree from Austin and all he did was find different ways to spend the remainder of his life being of service and spreading love.
In our last correspondence, he wrote the following:
“Love is the answer, no? The journey gives us so many opportunities to love each other, and as many challenges to test our understanding of that truth. I struggle often to stay focused on how patience, understanding, and peaceful, ‘gentle’ loving is always the most profound and effective way to connect and be with our brothers and sisters. When the love connection occurs, it’s the best thing in the world.”
Today, I’m saddened because we lost a really good person, an active contributor to improving the conditions of this world. However, I’m also inspired to love deeper, wider, further, freer, and bolder. Love is not a finite resource; it has no end. Should we ever find we might have emptied our well, all we need to do is dig deeper.
Thank you to my friend for leaving a legacy of love for those of us you touched. We appreciate you.
i first read thich nhat hanh almost a decade ago in college. to me, then and now, he’s fly. eternally wise with a bright spirit. watch.
happiness is a living thing and we need to feed our happiness in order for our happiness to last.
it’s like love. if you don’t feed your love, it will die.
and the practice of mindfulness is to practice understanding and compassion.
and that is the foundation of happiness.
kyle abraham‘s work is captivating and emotive. i’d be in a place of joyous emotional overwhelm if he choreographed my favorite songs, so it brings me great pleasure to see this project he’s doing with photographer and filmmaker carrie schneider. over the course of the next six months or so, abraham and schneider will release dance shorts inspired by james blake’s overgrown and kanye west’s yeezus, among others. this is elegance and artistry. enjoy.
view more of his work on vimeo.