Tuesday, April 7

Flyest Poem Ever

There are poems I love with all of my being. There are so many of those poems. There are poems hidden in my apartment. I put them in the pages of books and on the inside cabinet doors and in desk drawers so that I can be surprised every once in a while. I can be a teenager in the corner of the bookstore learning history, stanza by stanza, again. I love poetry. I say "YES!" to poetry. I say "I do."
I will not ever have a favorite poem. Impossible. That would not work. They all are strung together, one making the other stronger, louder, more real, more raw.
But there is one that gives me pause, that has brought tears to my eyes as I've listened to it read by a six year old girl, that sends a chill down my back. It is well-known and much-loved. It is Ego Tripping by Nikki Giovanni, the first poet I ever really read, whose early edition books I collect the way others do seashells and postage stamps.
Here it is.

Ego Tripping

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...

Those last nine lines once rocked young B's soul.

1 comment:

sophistiphunk said...

i love your blog so very much!