Thursday, January 14, 2016

"The Rare Birds" by Amiri Baraka

The Rare Birds

for Ted Berrigan

     brook no obscurity, merely plunging deeper
for light.  Hear them, watch the blurred windows tail
the woman alone turning and listening to another time
when music brushed against her ankles and held a low light
near the tables edge.  These birds, like Yard and
Bean, or Langston grinning at you.  Cant remember the shadow
pulled tight around the door, music about to enter.  We hum
to anticipate, more history, every day.  These birds, angular
like sculpture.  Brancusian, and yet more tangible like Jakes
colored colorful colorado colormore colorcolor, ahhh, its about
these birds and their grimaces.  Jakes colors, and lines.  You
remember the eyes of that guy Pablo, and his perfect trace of
lifes austere overflowings.

                                               Williams writes to us
of the smallness of this American century, that it splinters into worlds it
cannot live in.  And having given birth to the mystery
splits unfolds like gold shattered in daylight's beautiful hurricane.
(praying Sambos blown apart) out of which a rainbow of anything you need.
I heard these guys.  These lovely ladies, on the road to Timbuctoo
waiting for Tu Fu to register on the Richter scale.  It was called
Impressions, and it was a message, from like a very rare bird.

Source of the text - Nice to See You: Homage to Ted Berrigan, Edited and with an Introduction by Anne Waldman. Saint Paul, MN: Coffee House Books, 1991, p. 174.

TJB: Feint praise; memory-of-art as art. Baraka remembers Berrigan by placing him in company of the greats: Bird, Trane, Hughes, Picasso, & more.

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