The Gun Solstice: An Anti Journey

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(After W.B Yeats, Mahalia Jackson, Thomas Dorsey, T.S Eliot, Wallace Stevens, 
Stevie Wonder, Carl Sandberg,  The Staples Singers, and whatever nigga that 
didn’t get credit for writing Revelations. )

“I think what happens now is we go up to Ash Street and clean them out," Police Sgt. 
Sam Thrall said. ". . . We have a real concentration of bad guys there and the 
neighborhood has finally clashed with them face to face. The fact that nobody 
got hurt--it is kind of amazing."

Unidentified officer, September 23rd Los Angeles Times, 1989

BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG
I believe in god,
           I don’t like the nigga that much.
He makes me lie down in concrete pastures.
He creates seasons that-
in bunches of  metaphors-
makes all look like tombs and shadows.
The last light of blue upon black in the sky
   	dies suddenly by the street lamp.
The earth is the Crips and everything in it
in migrations and handkerchief tassles.
The gunshot-tonight-is the final sign
past cop cars and shadow led outlines.
past boats with out water, seas without waves
and rides without horses or skies

Twenty four hoods and twenty four elders 
make the block simmer hot like a bomb
Twenty four hoods and twenty four elders 
Blow the trumpets that blow off limbs.
Under the stations of dozens of rock houses and crosses

Twenty four hoods set twenty four tables 
And gunshots are the dividing bells .
Twenty four hoods set twenty four tables
 Under the sign of magnums and shell 
As holy gates lock and closes 
The tree of life is bare, every room is sealed
and now you are stranded from home.
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG  
And the sky-from a distance is a liturgy of lead.
The Sister’s basket carry are rituals of the head
that have gone through myriads of fields.
Hampers move through the side streets like shields
as Georgia sisters move in sequence.
       Run, run homeboy run,
       Ride to the city of refuge
And Bangers move, oblivious to passages
and the comings of crystal pastorals.
Fiends and knuckled heads hear their own chorales
but the sisters move away from the spirits
sound and thunder strands both charged and passed 
singe above them in contrasts of judgments.
        Run run homeboy run.
    	      Ride old Keds above.
Singe in the red of a sunset abyss
and their memories of clay and dark stars .
Singed, the rhetoric of diligence and work
invisible in twilight routine walks.
The spirit-in rock markets-doesn’t know how to talk
and the carrier of their burdens lies meager.
        Run run homeboy run.
        Ride to a city of refuge 
Players, mothers, iced up lost sons,
the lost sons and daughters
and the daughters before them,
travel in a wilderness of keys.
Displaced is the keeper penitence and dreams
yet the sisters move north toward the sea
                   	If I had two stacks.
                           	Ride old Keds above.
                   	If I just had two stacks.
                           	Ride old Keds above.
                   	I would get momma a big house
                           	Ride old Keds above.
                   	A big ol safe and wonderful new house
                           	Ride old Keds above.
The sisters move north and home toward the sea,
but there is no place to go after the water.
       Run run homeboy run.
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG 
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG
And we will excavate the graves of your brothers and sisters.
We will pile up dream ones for combat and sport
       We are the summer soldiers
       We are mighty.
And pile them on the intersections—corners—blocks
and pile them in scorecards, stories and tracks
and dead sanctuary strands.
       We will even take your dreams.
Shovel them to rappers and soldiers of fortune
Shovel them to the cripped out children of corn syrup
and the crip soul catcher on the hill.
The step of our soft shoe will cut to your heel
       We will even take your dreams.
And pile, pile them into our memory.
And pile them from new kills and old cotton bones.
Stack them into fibers that transform into chapters
That you write and write alone
Two generations? Ten generations?
 Homeboy, stop wondering among this set fight.
What world is this? Where am I at now?
       We are the summer soldiers.
       We will even take your dreams.
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG 
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG 
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG
The rock house shootout is it’s own season
Niggas and vigilantes break-beat the air
With pipe flames of incandescent terror .
complexions of mad dog fill the sky
and the streets are mirrors of commotions 
Shadows of battles and tributary potions 
flood every street block and door .
       Niggas will be cripping on that dark day.
           	      Po pos will do nothing on that dark day.
Figures who set-trip surround here an island.
Niggas who set-trip multiply by the thousands
as the last squab shall be a first here—
as a hood’s bang stratifies the mind—
as hoods bang from their sneaks to their cars
and junkies run to the rock
       Junkies will be screaming on that dark day.
Silhouettes rise off kilter as a barbecue pit
becomes a mile long.
       Niggas will be shooting on that great day.
Silhouettes and bodies real and imagined
jump at the body and face.
They flood and transform all definitions of place
and transfix by their sharp sunken eyes.
Ghosts, yet alive, fallen to rise
In threshing floors imagined and actual
The re fracted fury of un wearied eyes
Coats the real city in flames. 

Fall! Fall, Nigga! Paradise is a lie.
    Its has become a home for the demons
and a haunt for every homie,
    a haunt for every unclean and detestable deacon.
 And all the niggas who have 40 proofed their adulteries 

Fall, Fall Real nigga city! 
Dressed in red linen and blue uniform
You glitter with new and dug up bones.
Power is jacked by an awesome god
and precious memories linger too long here.

Their sins have piled them on to heaven.
   God has remembered nothing but crimes.
Tonight the plagues have overtaken us 
   in the blood jubilee social .
We are consumed by fire in the Piru pastorals 
  and fire is the burnt rainbow sign.
A lamppost to the thunder and the black rose of Charon.
A lamp post to the lightning on that dark day saying
       “ who shall be able to stand”

I believe I god, 
                        I just don’t like the nigga that much
I believe in god, 
                       I just don’t like the nigga. 

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About Robert Lashley.

Like his hero James Baldwin, Robert Lashley wants to be an Honest man and a good writer. His full length book, "The Homeboy Songs", will be published by Small Doggies Press in April. View all posts by Robert Lashley.

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