Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Pretend" by Buddy Wakefield

I'm a girl, who rarely cries, but yet I've cried three times this month. Frustrating, liberating, exhausting and confusing.

I've listened to this poem many times over years, but tonight it prompted crying spell number three. Below is an example of the brilliance that is slam poet, Buddy Wakefield.

Buddy Wakefield performing "Pretend" at Wordstock 2008 in Portland, Oregon

Pretend / On this side / There's a monkey
Makin' bass / In a jug / With'is tongue

Pretend / On this side / There's a pitch black woman / Dressed in a slow
Who looks so much like the night time / She almost turns blue in the sun
She's gonna carry us through this tune / With / Huntsville, Texas / And The
Soul-Lifters Gospel Choir.
That's my back-up diva.

Pretend / Behind me / There's just one / Big / Bang.

Now it's you.
Pretend yer just bein' yerselves.
Pretend ya live for a living.
Pretend / Inside yer skin / You've got a friend / Who's willing to give you
everything you ever wanted
In exchange for all you've ever been.

Pretend you're more obsessed with this moment / Less with the way it ends.

And / For a moment / Pretend / This is a plywood lemonade stand
With a sign on the front / It reads:
I got no more lemons / Just my OPINIONS / yours, for a DIME-A-DOZEN today
And they'll always be on the table / But only some gonna set ya free.

Now here's where I'll needya to believe
Believe that here stands a man who pretends not to fall apart
Who gets so mad / His lips peel back / When we give out slack to the dark
Who gets so God-solid nervous / Yer gonnawannatalkabouttomorrowagain
That he'll pretend to stand and listen / With a sharp look on'is face
     While a monkey plays BASS / BASS
With a back-up diva / Pullin' back-up faith
For this one-man / Cross-universe / Relay race / To try and be more than
Beginning and ending / Moment by moment / Rolled over / Re-birthing again
Because history is repeating itself in record time, y'all,
And we gotta stop actin' like nothin's happenin'
When we've got 6-billion dawning truths setting 6-billion different suns on
But we 6-billion gods are all still up-in-arms over what it will cost to
follow through
So that YOU can be ME forever / My friend / At the same time I get to be YOU
So ya can rock me, Brother Rock
     And you can soothe me, Sister Soothe
Like one / Big / Bang -
Beause I don't believe the big bang really happened yet.
I think a small bang mighta went pffft.
But the big bang / Is just on its mark / Gettin' set
And is REALLY / Ready / To go
Kinda like a slow tornado / Growin' / Larger than 6-billion words
Movin' faster than a sky that flies farther away / From every square inch of
us racing birds -

It looks a lot like it would  if just / One brain / In the heart of this
place / Rose up
To the actual size / Of the actual voice / It actually contained
Into just 1 head / Singing just 1 song / With a word
     And 6-billion looks on its face -
To see a monkey play BASS / BASS
To feel a back-up diva / And'er back-up faith
Goin' off
Like one / Big


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