AMIRI BARAKA A PYRAMIDAL PRESENCE
By Malkia M’Buzi Moore
Almost eight decades of daring. This step pyramid ascending on new truths. Each decade a different rung on this ladder. Up past oppression. Up moving forward. Ascension a public act. A massive movement. Progression a people’s perfect step. Then stumble. Then up again. Amiri’s growth very public, very local, very global.
How to perch on a pyramid? So sharp. Pinnacles of pure passion. Spiking growing expanding pulling us forward. Boulders and sand meshing. The mouth molding sound into new spaces where life flows into a well of wonder where we drink and are made stronger than we know. More malleable and resistant. More we less I. Always us.
He the hammer. We the wrench. He the screwdriver. We the drill. We worked as one to build on truth. This pyramid this place this space this concrete caressing earth this sun exploding eclipsing colliding embracing evolving renewing.
Moving unencumbered by the weight of the people because love made us infinite boundless elements of energy floating in the light of truth ascending. Making it possible for us to reach the pyramid’s peak because he wouldn’t go there without us. Couldn’t be up without the constant bottom beat keeping his balance. Amiri never left his rhythm section behind.
Sun fueled ideals. Revolving propelling on this set of pyramidal promises. Sacred space where democracy lives. Where redemption resides and renewal washes us clean red rebirth red rain washing clear washing clean.
He wrote and wailed where he lived. Rested in the village on the streets. Blackness the warm womb the birthplace of new movement. Created extensions to ancient truths. Stretched and pulled ordinary into magnificent and made mud a salve to heal the cuts of chains too tight .
Amiri hung with other architects building new liberation movements. They shared visions of places where people lived on pinnacles. Stretching always upward into the space where truth lives. People extraordinary by their everyday ways. How did he/we come to this? This red place. He took us on a journey on a road filled with steps where we had to jump to keep up with his reach.
Amiri compelled women and convinced men to form armies on the strength of his brilliant analysis, his creative designs. He built pyramids of truth formed by logic and magic.
Amiri asserted and ascertained analyzed and reevaluated reconsidered and capitulated apologized and made amends. Rebirth his middle name. Brave and bold. Unafraid to think new thoughts speak real words give old ones new meaning. He gave us tools that break and build and we worked merging architects and builders and framers and prospectors and dreamers and cleaners.
This man the real ark so many crossed over on. Over to truth. Over to light. Then he stepped up to another platform wearing Africa on his sleeve and in his heart as he carried vestiges of the old onto the new.
You have known love if you knew Amina and Amiri. The bond bold beautiful bright and bad ass. Loud and soft. Strong as a whisper. Loud as the wind. Rough as a rope. Soft as a ribbon. Their love lived for decades eclipsing pain and loss. In light and shadow casting forms for family to fold in to. Love only eclipsed by the sun of struggle which they soaked up in lock step together.
Each movement a syncopated step into a higher place of mass resistance. Deliverance from the insanity of injustice, static space, placid places. Empirical evidence collapsing empire. Faith and facts. Ritual and reason. He birthed new poems on ancient papyrus for a time when Black was upper case and then stepped over and up to a place where freedom was more than a song. Found a new church and ancient rhythms rumbled with new syncopation. What was this new music?
A new composition. Another step toward a heightened sense of heaven where democracy is sacred. A place where empire tumbles and the steps wear away. Where democracy becomes the smooth rock and warm brook and free space where we can all live.
This man’s sun soaked eyes warmed us with his gaze. His brilliance illuminating ancient winding roads strewn with new technology. He walked with us. His stooped back got stronger as it got bolder bent steel unsheltered frame. Strength in elements made more magnificent with age.
Amiri kept the fire burning. Cremating stagnation sloth decadence. Capitalism burning this decrepit baby a smoldering mess of foul debris dissolved in the red bowels of the pyramid. Empire felt the pain of burning ash. Justice for those who devoured our dreams and ate our young, tried to perish our potential and stagnate our brilliance. The fire consumed the putrid smells and bloated greed imploded. Empire died.
Amiri didn’t. He resurrected in the smooth terrain of pyramidal promise. Freedom -mass movement upward. The movement effortless with the clarity of catharsis. Vision clear globe eyes saw the promise and wrote the road map and carried us forward steppin’ on time, in tune.
Have you heard a poem strut? A dance drool with delight at the ensemble improvising? Then you met Amiri. Have you seen steel shimmer? Metal melt then mold into spaces thought impenetrable? Then you knew Amiri. Have you felt a sun kiss run down your spine? Then you heard Amiri read and rant and rage and welcome all who entered with good intentions and strong convictions. He embraced the worn and the wary and saw the weary wake bold and bad pumped up with new truth. If you heard this wonder of words cascading then you heard this man, this elixir, this valiant victor. This man.
His love lives in the words. The work. Riffin’ raw rhythm. Rich ritual. Real magic. Polished. Peaking. Pure poetic passion.
Don’t you hear him blowing? Blasting bold blue real red.
Don’t you hear the cry of new birth?