Army Arrangement


does not always seek to soothe the savage beast within us.
Sometimes, music is torn cartilage,
cracked ribs, broken limbs
and fractured skull fragments of rhythmic trauma,
crushed and rolled into a blunt instrument of melodic force.

Sometimes, music is a weapon,
or a narcotic
which stones you into a coma,
seduces you to death and back again,
hallucinates you into madness
and refuses to cuddle your spirit;
cultivate your societal sophistication;
sprout wings and take you deeper
to the more sensitive parts your psyche.
Fuck that

Sometimes, music is an instigator.
A political commentary,
in which the fourteen minute intro riff
of a baseline of drums
and West African style bass guitar
is just the eye of the hurricane,
before the sixteen minute cacophony
of the orgy between the baritone saxophones,
the trumpets and the horns.

The keyboards and the electric guitars
slap you across of the face
before the revolutionary song-man
says, “wake up; our government’s fucked up
and now we need to take our country back.”

Sometimes, music is just a speech.
Sometimes, music is Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro
talking shit
about American imperialist foreign policy.
Leila Khaled
hijacking the planes of our consciousness 
with a passionate outcry for the freedom
of Palestine.

could be a butterfly’s burden, trapped
within the stanzas of a line of a page of a poem
by Mahmoud Darwish;
Yassir Arafat saying, “This!
is my homeland. And nobody can force me to leave it.”
And anywhere people of color have had to suffer 
the same indignation,
i could play you the same song.

Fela Kuti,
the legendary Nigerian creator of afrobeat music, who said,
“with my music,
I hope to be the change.”
I say, sometimes, music
is Chopin, and sometimes, music is Beethoven.
Sometimes, music is Mother Teresa,
but sometimes, music
is Malcolm X.

Sometimes, music
seeks to soothe the savage beast within us
and sometimes, music
sets it free.