(Copyright 2001 The Blacklisted Journalist)


(Photo by Myles Aronowitz)
(Copyright - 1997 Myles Aronowitz)

[This poem first appeared in Amiri Baraka's self-published Razor.]

Word From Sun Ra

"You on the Space Ship Earth
& you outward bound
destination unknown.
But you haven't met the Captain
Of the space ship yet!" 

   Like the Dr. sd, suppose you actually believed
In God - but you don't....aint no reason to, mammy jammy
Don't exist-but suppose you actually believed
And therefore didn't understand that aint nobody
At the controls of this number...and them suckers
With the guns, is fighting to see who gonna be in charge
Of the crash!"  

If you was Shine, you would laugh
Cause you remember the real Titanic
And how them drowning ghosts
Was screaming your name
As you predicted Michael Jordan
With your Thelonius back stroke
From the Antarctic to Harlem River Drive. 

But if you aint Shine, and don't understand
That this space ship is a disaster gonna waste
Almost everybody in the sky sea and land  

What can I say, and if I did say something
What wd it sound like to you and the ghost
And the deeply ill this explosion will kill  

Say this, to answer that. . . .Aint much time
And Shine done sang his song. But you got
Any Sun Ra records or DuBois books?  

You gon die
With the murderers
& crooks.  

Sun Ra


I got a Message from
        Sun Ra
        Sun Ra

We got a message

   From Sun Ra

             Sun Ra

            Sun Ra

Sd "The World is in transition
  Your world & your condition"
Sun Ra returned
 & visited Philadelphia

Sd, "I left for a N.Y. minute

  But I came back to hell ya."

Got a Message

A Message

From Sun Ra

From Sun Ra

& this what Sun Ra 

"This world, your world,  

             is in transition

      for Both the Living & The Dead


(Alto) So what did Sun Ra say

            Sun Ra

            Sun Ra

           What did Sun Ra say

(Drum) Sun Ra Returned 

            Hovered over Philly

  Some thought he was the Mother Ship

   But we knew he was being Hip


     Sun Ra
     Sun Ra
     Sun Ra returned

       Sun Ra
     Sun Ra
        Sun Ra left a message,

        & this is what
               he sd

(Singers & Piano & Bass)
     "I am nothing but a color
     nothing but a name
     nothing but a flash of daylight
     nothing but an ex-slave
It is the present that is running
& the past it never came
I am the missing future
& the vision that you claim

Sun Ra
(Dancer & Tpt)
     Sun Ra returned to say
went away to help you
     if you only Seize the Day

(Reed & Alto)
     Translation was necessary
Cause Sun Ra Speak in tongues
     Jupiter language & like our own
     Like dig the way its sound
"Hya dee/way do play/re died doo
& the frown put Giuliani/Caesar boy again
Re work inside you/modee the soul
& sun & nature, water like bebop
Sunshine.  Ok, kill the dog & open up
The day!  

(Tpt & drum)
        Sun Ra

(Alto & tpt)
     Sun Ra dig he
     Swayin cross the stage

      Sun Ra, Sun Ra
     (Open scat style- All)

So the sky
        Moving over
        Where we all come from
Inside the world is Blackness 
     Everything is dark & sky
     Blood is light & water  
     Breath is heat & sun 
Sun Ra was before anything except
        He was nothing as well
     The pygmies
     Wore Sun Ra tee shirts
        But they looked like their skin
Little Red dudes was Black as Ptah before 
    Was Ra's 1st band, only Arkestra in all land 
              Sun Ra
         Sun Ra  
                   Came back  
                 Hung around left a message  
                      On what we lack
                                         Sun Ra Sun Ra came ba


Was a message
           Older than
            The Hear
          Was making language
              Lay-up-in-the-tree language
                Thumb language
                  Vowel language
                             lst to see
                                             the Sky  

         Sun Ra
         Sun Ra  
         Sun Ra returned  
          Left a message for the Diggers
                            Left a message for the
                                              Worldly wise (for those with ears & eyes)
                            Left a message in his music
                            A message from the Sun
Sun he dug everything was here 
                                    Was every                
                                                  Her hear  

                             Can you hear the message
                            Left by Sun Ra for the Hip

                    "the world is everything  
                    the world is every where
                    & whatever said or done
                    is just description of the there"

Sun Ra
Sun Ra
Sun Ra returned  

When we got to signifying
                 Once we leaped up off the ground
                  Like inside the electric brain
                   Van Allen Belt
                  So the Beast cd not pursue
                                                            Us there


        Was Sun Ra Was Su Ra
        At night at the Black Arts

        Was Sun Ra Sun Ra
          Left to say he gone
           Returned to say Come On

        "Oh, world, you backward  
        Look in the mirror
        & read the Scripture right  

        Wake up Get up, like the Wailers sd
                                  & look yrself in the Head

          Was Sun Ra Was Sun Ra

           "Everything the same thing
           Not one God but one thing
           Everything is the this
           Everything is the same  

'time & Place a moment
A moment just the same

        "Here is there & there is here
         & Gone is Come and Come is Gone

       "All is Opposite its All is Opposite
           One is two & two is One
           & Everything is Nothing &
           Everywhere is Nowhere
        & Aint no Place & Aint no Space
        & All me is was will & when
        & what come will come again?
Was Sun Ra Is Sun Ra
                Be Sun Ra from inside
           Trembling light Earth to Saturn to Jupiter

"From Black to Ultra-Violet
  To Indigo to Soulful Blue 
   Take me take me take me  
            Take us take yrself
            Green is Born
            Yellow watch me Brown upon the earth  
            Atop a tree I paint the world  
            Like my   heart- Oh Beat Beat
            Oh Beat   Be-At
                   Sun Ra Sun Ra Sun Ra
                       Returned to say
                       "Feel me at night
                      See me in the Day?
                                     Was Sun Ra
                                               Sun Ra
                                       Sun Ra
                                     Come Back

"When I caught a fire (was always on fire)
           I came like a comet, was a Planet
           Invisible cd sing in yr head
           Then I turned Red 
             Was a Black Bird
             Cd sing, was a Black Bird
             With a flaming tale
             Cd rap cross water
             Beat a log like a sailor  
             Was a wave like a sea  
          Was a crooked piece of sunlight
            A color was a name?

            Was Sun Ra Was Su Ra
            Was Sun Ra Returned
         & Red was explosion
                     going home
                     from on a mission
         Exploding Red through nine past Suns
         Beyond Sun & myself Sun Ra Sun Ra

(All Voices, Ensemble, under that solos, Break dance, jagged sudden stop-go steps from all.  Reeds hard, Band free, Some squat, Some leap, some scat, some play, some sing)

            Was Sun Ra, When he returned
                          Way go deep way off
                                   Be sleep Go on
                                       Wake Sun
                                                  Oh, Gone
                                             Way it clear
                   Was Sun Ra Sun Ra
                             Sun Ra
                             When he returned

(Repeat ... alto)

Why all they here without the rest
   Of us the we
          No one there  
                    Without is
                      As love
                              Under you
                             Under All  
                             From ON
                          Rising Gone
     Sun Ra return
     "Everything aint a nigger
       you already dead
        Everything a slave master
           You gon' die instead  

Sd Sun Ra
      Sun Ra  
       Sun Ra  
        Sun Ra  

(All solos-& break - raise each instrument)

         I am Sun Ra
(All, each, speak)  
             I am Sun Ra
             We are Sun Ra
             You are Sun Ra (2)
           Nobody is Sun Ra (2)
             The world is Sun Ra (2)

But aint seen no God We seen the Sun
        Aint felt no God Have felt the Sun
Ha!, Aint no God!
But we know the Devil Real!  

So the world
                  Sd, Sun Ra


     Sun Ra
     When he Return
'so the world
        In transition
     & the mighty people  
        all the many colored niggers  
        like the hip of your body  
        like the flashes and funk of  
                        your mind

So the many colored flashes of
               Divinity - Sd Sun Ra Sd Sun Ra
               When Sun Ra returned
"Divinity is Infinity
               to tell the future is Divine
               The world isn't really matter
               Independent of your mind.

"All you different colored Niggers
               live & live and Rebuild
               the dying World

"When the Dogs & Beasts are Dead
             When they suicide the fools &
                 Kill themselves
When you have slain the ugly  
                     Beast then
             All you Niggers  
               Different shades and forms
               & languages & figures
               All you Niggers
                                Gonna live!"

That's what Sun Ra
               Thus spoke Sun Rs
                    So Sd Sun Ra
                         When Sun Ra Returned

& if you think we lying
              then you about to get


Sd Sun Ra
Sd Sun Ra
Sd Sun Ra
When Sun Ra Returned

(Do Steps, sequence as before)


Sun Ra

Sd Sun Ra

Sd Sun RA 

All you different kind of niggers gonna Live!"

AB 5/31/98 ##



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