The Interrupters (Song For Commencement Muralists in Gentrified Neighborhoods)

Photo Credit: JoeBenjamin. CC-BY-NC.

(With a nod to the nigga that didn’t get credit for writing revelations)


The painters stretch their hands.

The painters stretch their hands
to their neon painted meridians.

The painters stretch their hands
to their neon painted Meridians
and piecemeal bootleg collages.
Pass us not, oh gentle savior.

Heretical life in faith strokes
Join together color coats and rags.
They vivify both temples and dawgs
then batter the abyss in strand,
batter gentrifications of ankhs
and plastered sun gods
and clubs on grounds of slums.
There, in the austerity of Sunday suns
the painters make their space.
Hear our humble cry.

The creative line is a windmill beyond air,
the whirl that makes the currents
around towers, blocks and tenements
and various states of deconstruction,
the re-applier of cadences and times decoded
and recorded from the drum.
We are hood creatives,
Do not pass us by.

Storefronts, Mosques and miniscule ballparks
reverberate songs of seconds kingdom.
Do not pass us by.
Singers seek keys where the souls of men
are cleansed in a pitch beyond perception.
The saved are released to syndicates of waters
yet the excommunicate’s line is a life raft.
Do not pass us by.
The barge from closed and leaky poisons
that keeps but never encloses,
the carrier from where no one
or no spirit can move.
Let us work, savior.
We will work, savior.
Do not pass us by.


To the exile, home is a cacophony of the clear.
To the hill, shiny temples
are zoned land da-capos
with tops glittered high to the sun.
Notes are made of bones here,
though long past and gone.
We all been gone to the river.
By terrace ghosts
the painters create by concrete,
foundations are transfigured
beyond the matters of needles,
beyond the temporary arrested threads
of double Dutch spindle gone to soils.
By iron transfigured, lovers toil and toil
We all been gone to the river.

They create beyond the plaster of gutters.
They stride along paved tedious utters.
We all been gone to the river.
They remix earth bur roughed traverse and pitfall
past elders and cops flipped out signal.
Past cities on the bad foot, they toil among clutter,
We all been gone to the river
their good foot on the one and never the other.
We all been gone to the river.

We who cannot walk through the streets of the city .
We, the finished and the practiced on.
We freighted with the stench of sweat and rock
too thick for breath or song.
We freighted through contraction
of the sick hopeless sinner’s
search for god through liquid lakes of fire.

We cannot walk here, the living and the living dead.
We the lives skulls and deadened brows.
We keep our burdens in the new jack dead land
in banks unkept) below the green bough.
Beneath inconsistency of the mourner’s bands
we have forgotten more than we’ll ever know.
We all been gone to the river.


The artists create in slender threads.
They make worlds of beat box shapes and reeds.
They re-lace lost elders rosary beads
in code switched cubists cries.
They raze the stone images
then raise the binds of recollection
in their refigures of the faded torn asunder.
We will go sweeping through the city.
Where our homies and homegirls gone before.
Created chariots fuse with low rides
in grey hills fused to lime neon valleys.
We will build by the banks of the river.
And be away from them no more.
as the black past becomes concrete
Through new commencement alleys
and the b-boys and girls speak in tongues,
as the round a way choirs
are resurrected with a boom box
that rumbles through their pebble ground aisles.
How they sample the soul clap.
How they mix masters the holy ghosts.
How they bends the piru thunder
through the trombones of shared marrows.
How they go step by step to higher mountains
and above the blood memory of a hill
where the singular is written in fire

One black morning, when hood life is over
we’ll fly away
to a land where niggas never end
we’ll fly away.
We’ll fly away hood niggas
we’ll fly away.
When we die, and they burn us by and by
we’ll fly away.
Gentle Savior,
Gentle Savior,
B-boy Savior,
Homegirl Savior,
do not pass us by.
Do not pass us by.

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