Black Poetry : sammy davis jr. (revised)

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by romusthepoet, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. romusthepoet

    romusthepoet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    sammy davis jr.
    by romus simpson


    sammy davis jr.
    at the sands hotel
    amid the millions of auburn lights
    in the godly glow of bronze
    in the slow acquiescence of the
    velvet crimson curtains dragging their weight
    & height across stage like a
    sparkling & jealous night
    the hall golden like the palm of god
    like an inherent memory of the privileged
    like the remainder of the sunset sitting
    in the burned & beautiful sky
    sammy davis jr.
    but simply stood at center stage
    like the pivotal point in the shimmering universe
    & turned & smiled
    & began

    hiz voice like a sentry come back starry eyed from
    the mysterious horizon
    a hand brushed against the weary cheek
    the calm humor of the inherently impoverished
    like knowing men are returning in winter
    hiz voice waz an incantation ringed around
    the sick child warding evil away
    & hiz voice waz lonely
    a solitary caroler az if singing one world to the other
    like he waz not real
    like our collective imaginations need perfect performers
    lost in the ghosts they conjure
    who die then live again then are lonely
    who stumble though the gauntlet of noise
    & cities in the mundane repetitive adoration
    mumbling appreciation

    sammy davis jr. knew that a thousand i love u’s
    chorus then fall into condolences that wear glitter like strange women
    he knew the dreaming damned
    sammy knew the faces pushing into the periphery of hiz eyes
    were images from the past that recreate people who remind us
    that the immediate iz the future & that the past lives with
    the pain we create & that songs outline the silence & the absence
    & the insecurity
    he knew that stage will always exist az
    long az people hurt & are marginalized
    sammy understood this at the center of the world’s stage
    & sang for being the only negro in the rat pack
    for the racist jokes sinatra bludgeoned him with in new york
    how he waz never just talented beyond belief
    but waz always the spook allowed the shunned white women
    & how dean martin wore a white hood on stage in 62
    & mississippi stood still & the underbelly of alabama
    let its ghostclocks run to midnight
    & sammy laughed a laugh that hurt from the knees
    cried amidst the heaving & rolling cried for malcolm
    & emmit till cried for paul robeson abandoned to the balconies
    cried for marcus garvey seeking asylum in the laps of sharcroppers
    cried for josephine baker naked in a leering paris cried for
    satchel paige hurling history on the chicken circuit
    cried for jackie robinson in the outfield of a white world

    sammy held his laughter & the tears mixed with the sweat
    & sinatra waz crying in joy the type of ignorant joy that
    denies children & slaps women
    & dean martin’s red eyes were squinting & fixed on sammy
    hiz teeth perfect & grinning & there waz the recognition
    that white boys have after they exercise power
    after they spare the available negro in their inherited american revelry
    & dean waz still staring accessing the pain & grinning &
    frank waz doubled over the piano ranting about fried chicken
    & joey bishop did monkey dances & put hiz finger in hiz nose
    the rest were in tears & their laughter waz tremendous
    az if the cultural humor exceeded itself
    & when the chaos had ceased & frank taken leave & dean
    left to refill hiz drink sammy moved to center stage & sang bo jangles
    hiz throat weak & appropriate
    moving slow into the words
    making eye contact with the black busboys
    nodding to them between the words & phrases
    & they gathered in the kitchen door wiping their hands
    az sammy sang of the old dancer at death’s gate in the
    southern jail & hard love & traveling by foot & by hunger
    & not a noise waz made az sammy floated & prophesied
    he waz crying & the white audience thought it to be an amazing farce
    but the black busboys knew that sammy waz emotional
    out of loneliness & that the country waz deaf & arrogant
    & that he had no friends to speak of & that he, frank, dean,
    & joey & peter and the rest were linked by the liquor & lust & that
    faking whiteness waz like massaging the coming cancer in hiz throat
    it waz a denial called upon of great blacks who don’t stand straight
    it waz the weight of the planet rolling over hiz body
    it waz jack johnson in detroit with lions on leashes & white women
    crawling up hiz crotch it waz joe louis silent at the tax audit
    it waz redd foxx acquiescing comedy into poverty it waz dr. charles drew
    bleeding on that stretch of road being denied the care he invented
    & sammy knew that hiz name waz never largest on the marquee
    & that sinatra’s jealousy waz loud in the bar when between hiz colloquializations
    of broads & ******* he called sammy an organ grinder monkey
    an illiterate moolie sweeping floors between hiz acts
    oh sammy iz in town, oh sammy iz in town, oh sammy iz in town
    then on to watts where he, frank, dean, joey, peter, and the rest will be
    a riot
     
  2. UL820

    UL820 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Powerful and enlightening piece
    thanks for this insiteful look
    at THE CANDY MAN
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    beautiful display to da man known as sammy davis jr.
     
  4. Heartbeat

    Heartbeat Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is awesome. Sammy Davis , Jr. was my first hero. His book "Yes I Can" is the first book I ever read. Thank you for this well written and powerful tribute to a man that made the way for many.

    BE
     
  5. alyce

    alyce Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I must agree with all before me. Sammy was that special blend of style, talent and versatility; a professional's professional.... one of our important trailblazers... outspoken, and unafraid to be an individual. He is one of my heroes as well.

    Thank you for this. Excellent as always!

    a
     
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