And I am not a singer.
They say people hate what they don’t understand,
So music and I have been at war since I can remember.
It’s the ammo in the media’s gun,
Firing at my ears every day
Yet people keep telling me music is life.
If music is life
I’m an adult stillborn.
My inner rhythm was arrested before it could beat
In Islam I pulsed with the centuries-old echo of
First performed live from the cuboid beatbox in the heart of Makkah
Where old idols & old albums of thought were beaten to death,
Back in Taekwondo the war drums of the Korean Army
Silenced by time but still banging my eardrums
Every time me and my fellow warriors-in-training cried,
“Hana, du, sei – Eis!”
Back in Army Cadets I learned to walk:
“Left right left right left right left!”
In the cradle of European expansionism
Believing we never never never shall be slaves.
All that combat conditioning makes music to my ears
Trigger Post-Traumatic Song Disorder.
Don’t get me started on the stereotypes:
How can “someone like you” not know
How to sing or dance or groove or rap?
Yeah I see it for myself but…
Are you sure you’re black?
Since quitting Islam I’m in a ceasefire.
I’m trying to let life into my life.
Dance is trying to lubricate my rigor mortised joints,
Song trying to clear soil-clogged airways,
Rhythm trying to heal the scars
Infarcted into my cerebrum from so many years of
Lashing the emotion out of me stroke by stroke.
I think I’m too far gone.
I don’t get what the big deal is.
I don’t understand the fuss over Beyoncé & Jay Z,
Or Michael Jackson,
Or Jessie J
Or – ugh – Lil Wayne.
I admire Eric Benét’s body of work
Especially the chocolate legs,
Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston could make miracles
Paired or separately,
And I confess that I feel like a monster
On the energy of Skillet!
Maybe truce is sprouting after all.
Maybe when it’s a fully-grown tree
I can extend a branch and
Shed some oil from my fruits to make
Harmony slip more smoothly from music’s lips.
© One Tawny Stranger, June 2015