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Word works.

I'm about how words work up a gumbo of culture stamped and certified African delivered on southern American soil In my word house We spit out articles and prepositions like bitter chewing tobacco We lean on words that paint pictures of galait and grits and good times sittin' under gallery shades sippin' lemonade wearin' the afternoon like a new dress

This, my birthright, gives a sence of place that gets under your skin like a swamp leech or a good story out for blood The region gives you toast or beignets with jam The R&B, Blues, and Reggae rhythms spice Saturday-night suppers and street parades when the Grand Marshall leads the 2nd line after a funeral or any good excuse to party where umbrellas dance

Folk all colored from pale and yellow to midnight blue-black never just stand back and watch they gon' say it how they see it how they feel 'bout everything and then some from roaches to do-rags from daddy-do right to David Ku-Klux Duke to sisters wringing the barest budget for another meal So, here's a taste begun in a roux sauteed in lines like "trust a man as far as you can see him 'cause you know stiff stuff don't have no conscience"

Sista Sarah said She had nine kids and three grandkids didn't look a day over 40 Said she was preserved'cause "she left the fun box in and took the trouble box out"

Then Hebert cut in from the curb and fun was all he heard Said he was "the women's pet the sissy's regret and the whore's lollipop" And Sista Sarah said "pass the bread, 'cause that's baloney for true!"

So, call this a Crescent City mambo of days in peopled streets or nights in low-lighted clubs on boulevards where passers-by pale and bloom like days-old irises or azaleas the places where neighborhood front porches and side galleries stand vigil for tall talkers and pass-the-time rappers here, in my house a Crescent City mambo in words
COPYRIGHT 1993 African American Review
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Section 3: Sayings, Sermons, Tall Tales, and Lies - Contemporary Black Poetry; poem
Author:Saloy, Mona Lisa
Publication:African American Review
Date:Mar 22, 1993
Previous Article:Tunnel rats.
Next Article:Homecoming.

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