T.S. Eliot's Lost Hip Hop Poem
By Jeremy Richards
Let us roll then, you and I,
the evening stretched out against the sky
like a punk ass I laid out with my phat rhymes.
The eternal footman is no one to fuck with.
Alas, he shall bring the ruckus.
You think that you can step
to this, and Lo, I hear your steps like Lazarus
echoing through my soul.
Bring the bass.
Straight out of Missouri,
Harvard University in your face.
I've got ladies in waiting all over
the place, singing each to each;
do I dare eat a peach?
You are damn right I’ll each a peach.
Who shall stop me, with my Prufrock hip hop
non-stop, clippity clop, clippity clop
I hear the horses carrying the wassailers,
I'm ready to impale their ears with my rhymes
rolling off of my parched tongue
the way trousers roll off my ankles.
I get it done better than John Donne.
Pound for pound, like Ezra Pound,
no other literati around can confound
the post-Victorian quickness I bring
to the microphone, though I shall die alone.
But not before I rock the house.
Watch me douse you in my eternal flames
of a freaky-ass style, my crew has the flow
with European tangent, Kto vahsh otsiets saychoss--
the Russian for Who's your daddy now.
For I will tell you.
That I have scuttled across the floors of ancient clubs,
and yea, knowing that you may never return,
I will tell you this:
That I have been over to a friend's house
for dinner, and lo, the food was not any good.
The macaroni, soggy. The peas, mushy.
And the chicken tasted of wood,
like the wooden coffin I've created for myself;
if this is going to be that kind of party
I will stuff my desire in the mashed potatoes.
But I tell no lie, I will show you fear
in a handful of hip hop,
making your body rock, your soul shudder,
your utter disbelief when the old school,
the ancient school, returns
from dusty book covers and scorned lovers
to reign again on the open poetry mic.
Bring the pathos! Bring the pathos!
You wannabe MCs just can't stop...
...'till human voices wake us,
and we back the fuck up
Copyright © Jeremy Richards
Jeremy Richards is a writer, actor, and radio host living in Seattle. His work appears widely, including in “The Spoken Word Revolution Redux,” The Poetry Foundation, McSweeney's, The Morning News, Rattle, and on National Public Radio's “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
In tours and competitions, Richards was a two-time member of Seattle's National Poetry Slam team, a three-time winner of the Bumbershoot Poetry Slam and was invited to perform on HBO's Def Poetry.
His new collection, “An Inaccurate Theory of Everything,” was recently released from Destructible Heart Press.
Jeremy Richards' website
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