The Nothing Concept
I haven’t done this in a long while, it is called spontaneous prose; just write what is on your mind as it develops without—looking at the dictionary, or research books, or anything, throw all the garbage away and clear the mind, and just write. And the first thing that comes to mind is a conversation (don’t look for anything scholarly here). Somebody read something on one of the internet magazines, told me “They have this concept, of something coming from nothing.” And I nodded my head as if to say, “Okay,” and I don’t like making a question out of a statement so I just looked dumb at him, and he finally said “Is this possible?” As if I was Carl Sagan, or Will Durant, or Stephen Hawking. I mean, they think so. But Shakespeare wouldn’t agree with them, he’d say: “Nothing comes from nothing,” something like that. So I said, “Well, yes and no.”
“Yes and no, what kind of answer is that, sir.” He remarked, disappointed.
“First of all,” I said to him, “when you talk to someone, and you ask him a question, as you are doing with me, know who you are talking to. I’m a Christian, so you know God is going to be involved, and with most philosophers, or scientists, or even psychologists, you know what you’re going to get, the opposite. So if you want by belief, I can tell you, but first we start with God. If you don’t believe in God, why would you want to listen to my answer?”
“I’m an agnostic,” he said.
Well he filled in that quick. And went on to say, “I’ve read this and that, about what I’m talking about, and if I believe in God, than God created it, but how. If I believe in no God, then we got a Big Universe out there that always was, but that isn’t any different than the God concept, I mean where did it come from.”
So I told myself, he’s at least open-minded about this, perhaps I’ll not waste my time. So I said, “God created something out of nothing.” And he seemed happy about that, but he wanted more, he gave me pert near the evil eye.
“Okay,” he says, “show me his trick?”
I think that was a question, or statement-question, not sure which one, but I said, “I’ll try (and I looked for an oversimplification—not necessary because it was for him, but because I get tired easily from talking too much, too long), it shouldn’t be all that complex, we got a starting point anyhow, better than those three fellows I’ve mentioned before.” And he gave me a chuckle.
“Okay,” he said, “I’m listening,” as if I’m trying to dig into my hat and pull out a rabbit.
“Make a circle,” I told him, and he did, on a napkin of all things. “That is God.” I said. And now he was silent, waiting for the elaborate, complex diagram which was going to make the big difference, but I didn’t make a big diagram or complex one, I made a figure eight out of the circle, and asked: “What now do we have?”
“An eight,” he says.
“Yes, and no,” I said. “We have two circles, or the number eight. So we have two things. Perhaps we can call these two things, the Universe, being one, and life being two, and we can make two more circles out of the eight, I mean we can go on and on and on.”
“I don’t get it,” he says to me.
“We just created something out of nothing, or something out of God, who, with a twist of his torso, became an eight, or double-circle, or a hundred eights. He became more than what he was, or created out of what he was or is something that never was.”
“Isn’t that kind of cheating,” he implied.
“Why,” I asked, “God never inferred he created all you see without his endurance, and that is all it really is. The scientist will refer to gravity as the magical formula, not knowing what or where gravity came from, but it is a force; or they’ll run to Darwin’s Bible.”
“So it’s endurance that creates something?”
“Now we’re starting to talk God’s language…” I said.
Black Poetry Undercover
(By a White Man: Four Poems)
The Chick-bone Poem
Black is black
And White is white
An’ it don’t matter (to me)
What Youall like—
Its chicken-bones for me tonight!
No: 2899 (2-27-2011)
Derek Walcott’s Poem
I aint wrote poetry like this for a long while
I think I’ve lost my style
Perhaps the goat and the rope
Perhaps after this poem
I’ll lose the Black votes…
But Derek Walcott don’t care
He’s a fresh wind over old Roman
Balconies—he’s on the Obama’s list
As the outstaring anthropologist…!
He even breaths in white air
When he’s in Washington signing books
He eats drumsticks made out of stones—
So, I hear; I wonder if he’s ever ate
A Watermelon Whole…?
That would be worth buying a book or two.
No: 2901 (2-27-2011)
River in the Ocean
From Africa to America I came,
The hard way…
It wasn’t on a four engine plane
With me, I brought some poetry
Made of black speech and music….
(a little drumming and dancing too)
We had more rhythm than the baboons.
From our ancestral tongues
That’s how poetry was begun…!
Then, from the slave ships and all
From their Deep suffocating halls…
We got the call! More poetry due
Homer and Dante and Shakespeare
They weren’t around: didn’t know a thing
When they came, about Negro poetry,
Not even the Jew…That’s how it was
We were a River in the Ocean—
No: 2900 (2-27-2011)
Sister Marlo, was on her elbows
Praying away one day…
When de gallopin’ hoss of hell
Passed her by…
He say: “Come on here, come…!”
“You de devil’s voice,” she say
“It aint God doin’ de callin’.
And de devil he say: “How
Youall know that?”
And sister Marlo say:
“I knows he can afford a chariot,
When he comes a calling,
Not no humdrum mule.”
No: 2902 (2-28-2011)