Tuesday, March 03, 2009

We Are Each Other's Business


Paul Robeson
BY GWENDOLYN BROOKS

That time
cool and clear,
cutting across the hot grit of the day.
The major Voice.
The adult Voice
forgoing Rolling River,
forgoing tearful tale of bale and barge
and other symptoms of an old despond.
Warning, in music-words
devout and large,
that we are each other's
harvest:
we are each other's
business:
we are each other's
magnitude and bond.

7 comments:

paulwchambers said...

you know, just to hear that one sunday morning before bread and wine would fill me up beyond measure...

hope you guys are well

Variations On A Theme said...

So nice. Now it's my turn to brag. :) Bill Moyers never mentioned my brilliance, but when working at Poetry Magazine, I met Gwendolyn Brooks, and she was about the nicest, down-to-earth person you could imagine.

Somehow the subject came up of me seeing one of her posters from a Poet's Day reading she'd given many years ago. She said she'd love one of the posters if there were extras.

The next week, I sent her one of the posters and she sent me a very nice thank-you letter!

I hope you know I'm teasing you with kind jest. :)

jdaviddark said...

Good to hear from you, Paul.
I receive your kind jest kindly, Lisa. And I'm encouraged to hear word that G. Brooks is everything I'd've suspected her to be.
Somehow, this exchange reminds me of the evening Sarah played a downtown venue. You and I had both only recently met her and shortly after she and her band had done an inspired cover of Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks," you casually remarked that she was/is cooler than me. You were/are right, and, to quote JCM, your words hurt so good. I thank you for them.

Variations On A Theme said...

Ha! So nice to know that something I said was actually remembered! I remember that night. I must have said that because as an outside observer, it seemed there were a great number of women in your midst who would have willingly been your romantic other, but perhaps you were too cool for them. ??? But then Sarah...well, you know the rest of the story. :)

(Oh! And by the way, after I met Sarah at Lon's party, I knew you'd marry her. I said as much to Rob at the time and he probably thought I was an idiot. Which I really and truly was. But not about that.)

Variations On A Theme said...

Oh no. I peeked back on here to see if you responded to comments, and I re-read my comment. It totally came out wrong. The women in your midst were unquestionably "cool" and I know that you knew that as well. There was just this...mystique about that whole group that seemed to put you in an unfair position.

I'll stop now before I make it worse. Peace.

Variations On A Theme said...

In OCD mode right now, and I can't stop feeling bad, though most likely no one is even reading this. Against my better judgment, I'm going to go ahead and spill out more crazy.

I finally figured out how to explain this. Do you remember that episode of the X-Files where David Duchovney said to the chic (can't remember any names right now): "You make me human." (Have you used this same analogy yourself?)

Not that you weren't always human, of course, but from an outside (and immature) perspective on our parts, you were unfairly put on a pedestal. Sarah broke through that mystique and suddenly you were "one of us." I guess love humanizes us.

jdaviddark said...

This makes complete sense, Variations, as do the earlier posts. Your discernment, then and now, enriches my memory of those days (believe it), and you've nothing NOTHING to feel bad about. Thank you for taking the time to put more insight into words.
i hope y'all's spring break is beginning beautifully.