Lines for LeRoi Jones (the Imamu)

God help us Imamu. Stop playing the  foolImamu
as you babble unhinged in your kente hat.
Bebopping Mao is so very uncool—
what up wit dat?

Flirtations with Castro (Fidel to the faithful)
and free Cuba Libres imbibed with the Beats
inflamed discontent and your verses turned wrathful
in the streets

Predictable tirades where whitey’s the foe,
and attacking your hosts like an Afro/eccentric
get’s old. It’s a stagnant unmusical show:
dull dialectic.

So what if the liberals that bankroll you love it?
Who cares what your most recent pseudonym is?
You old and you mad cause’ you can’t rise above it,
mired in the shizz…

Your lines are pure mannitol; dumbed-down cocaine
(The blow on the head by that riot-cop lingers!)
the syntax is whack in your ghetto refrain
(Snap fingers)

Still you wait for your war— or the Black Star-Liner…
Your rage was your royalty, paid in white money
your verse did not give the right wing a dark shiner;
it’s not funny.

Insulting, belittling others more noble
your legacy leaves nothing hopeful or witty
Just putrid black waters, the flow uncontrollable
under the city.

Inside of your Kabaa are yet many idols;
your New Ark of verse does not save from the flood.
You mau-mau and bludgeon with words all your rivals
but draw no blood.

Lighten up, wise Imamu. Your age is soon closing.
You wrote for the stage and said some of it well.
But your verse has gone rotten and yields, decomposing,
a nasty smell.

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