Tuesday, May 2

The High Yellow Superhero poem

It was really cool that my friend the Reacher labeled a post about my slam victory Slam Superhero. That references one of my poems, a perennial favorite among poetry fans everywhere. Since so many readers of the reach came over to check out my blog, I thought I'd share the full text of that poem - at least the current text - with you all.

Get up! Get on up.
Get up! Get on up.
Get up! Get on up.
Say it loud. I'm black and I'm ---

I love James Brown
I don't know if I'm as
black and proud
as I ought to be.
I want to be cool.
I want to be strong, to last long.
Speak smoothly, walk tall, never trip and fall.
I want to be what you want me to be
if you want me to be me,
raw and uncut.
See check this out.
I want to be a high yellow superhero.

All the little kids will run up and say,
"Hi, high yellow superhero."
If somebody asks, "Do you want to get high man?"
I'll say, "I'm already high. I'm the high yellow superhero."

If I get a blank stare, I'll elaborate,
High yellow,
not high on drugs, on weed, on some dirty deed
but high on poetry.
On the differences in rhythms
in the words and the messages.
It's like the differences in the wind and the air
in the rain and the water
the suds and the soap.

Yellow because I'm scared.
Scared to love the wrong color.
Scared to make the wrong move.
Scared to tell you how I feel.
Yellow, like a tooth or a funky toenail.

And I've got superpowers too.
I hold my breath without turning blue.
I write poetic lines to fight crime.
I disappear into the clear daylight.
I pass for Latino, Arab and White.

Yet I want to do more.
I was us all to take the ball and run with it.
I want to take you on a journey with my tongue.
I want to speak Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, Italian,
Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, Spanglish,
Amharic, Swahili, Cherokee, Ibo and Ebonics.
I want to be your secret agent man, your undercover brother,
your high yellow lover.
I want to be all you want and need.
Your Fort Knox, your mixed breed,
your candy, your butterscotch, your saltwater toffee,
your cookie dough, your cornbread mix.
I want to be your everready handy dandy
friendly neighborhood
high yellow superhero.
It's one of those have notebook will travel things.
Wind him up and he sings.
Assimilate this.
I want to unravel the lies and mysteries
about this world we live in.
I mean what is the sin
you should be most worried about?
Loving too much or not enough?
Too much pride or too little faith?
Clinging to what's real or not seeking the unseen?

I want to find out.
I want to jump and shout.
I want to speak rhymes to power.
I want to be your hero,
your high yellow superhero.

--- updatae ---
Today, April 3, is the day James Brown was born.
Happy birthday to the hardest working man in show business, soul brother number one, the star of the show, my hero, superbad, Mr. James Brown.


Anonymous T said...

I remember when I first heard this poem. I still like it as much as I did then.

May 18, 2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger Girlworthseeing said...

I still find this poem fascinating... enjoyable and humorous in that "you speak truth" way. I am sure it is better to see it performed. So, let me know if you're ever in the DC area doing this one... or any for that matter. I've never seen a superhero in person!

November 19, 2007 12:34 PM  

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