Friday, May 30, 2014

The Great Whatever Works In Mysterious Ways: Twins, Friends, and Nikki Giovanni in Harlem. What an Experience!

When Kwame Alexander invited Abu, Lossine, and I to his event with Nikki Giovanni, I couldn't believe I was going to have the opportunity to meet the poetry Goddess in person. Since teaching in Louisville, I've known her power and taught her voice to students. Last night I got to hear her voice and to be at a dinner with her following the occasion.

Having a photo taken with her is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and being provided the chance to be with a legend was something I never imagined for myself.

This was from the book signing after the event and before the dinner. She read her poem, "Ego Tripping - There May Be A Reason Why."

I was born in the congo
I walked to the fertile crescent and built
   the sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
   that only glows every one hundred years falls
   into the center giving divine perfect light
I am bad

I sat on the throne
   drinking nectar with allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to europe
   to cool my thirst
My oldest daughter is nefertiti
   the tears from my birth pains
   created the nile
I am a beautiful woman

I gazed on the forest and burned
   out the sahara desert
   with a packet of goat's meat
   and a change of clothes
I crossed it in two hours
I am a gazelle so swift
   so swift you can't catch me

   For a birthday present when he was three
I gave my son hannibal an elephant
   He gave me rome for mother's day
My strength flows ever on

My son noah built new/ark and
I stood proudly at the helm
   as we sailed on a soft summer day
I turned myself into myself and was
   men intone my loving name
   All praises All praises
I am the one who would save

I sowed diamonds in my back yard
My bowels deliver uranium
   the filings from my fingernails are
   semi-precious jewels
   On a trip north
I caught a cold and blew
My nose giving oil to the arab world
I am so hip even my errors are correct
I sailed west to reach east and had to round off
   the earth as I went
   The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid
   across three continents

I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal
I cannot be comprehended except by my permission

I mean...I...can fly
   like a bird in the sky... 

Last evening will go down in my repertoire of life as truly miraculous. Although a late evening - and we're all exhausted - I will process this experience for many years to come.

I am so thankful that the Great Whatever introduced me to Kwame Alexander (via Rhiannon Berry) and, in return, he introduced me (and the twins from Syracuse, New York) to this icon. Wow. Amazing in all sorts of ways.

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