Long lost Ani

I 'happened' to rediscover my Educated Guess album this morning and decided to post
this spoken word piece "Grand Canyon".  I'm listening obsessively to my uncle's band 256 also,
out of Grand Rapids, MI.
The poem is a bit long, but please enjoy. the meter and rhythm really comes out if you read it aloud ...  
 
I love my country
By which I meanI am indebted joyfully
To all the people throughout its history
Who have fought the government to make right
Where so many cunning sons and daughters
Our foremothers and forefathers
Came singing through slaughter
Came through hell and high water 
So that we could stand here
And behold breathlessly the sight
How a raging river of tears
Cut a grand canyon of light
 
Yes, I've bin so many places
Flown through vast empty spaces
With stewardesses whose hands
Look much older than their faces
I've tossed so many napkinsInto that big hole in the sky
Bin at the bottom of the Atlantic
 
Seething in a two-ply
Looking up through all that water
And the fishes swimming by
And I don't always feel lucky
But I'm smart enough to try
Cuz humility has buoyancy
And above us only sky
So I lean inBreathe deeper that brutal burning smell 
That surrounds the smoldering wreckage
That I've come to love so well
Yes, color me stunned and dazzled
By all the red white and blue flashing lights
In the American intersection
Where black crashed head on with white
Comes a melody
Comes a rhythm
A particular resonance
That is us and only us
Comes a screaming ambulance
A hand that you can trust 
Laid steady on your chest
Working for the better good
(Which is good at its best)
And too, bearing witness
Like a woman bears a child...With all her might
Born of the greatest pain
Into a grand canyon of light
 
I mean, no song has gone unsung here
And this joint is strung crazy tight
And people bin raising up their voices
Since it just ain't bin right
With all the righteous rage
And all the bitter spite
That will accompany us out
Of this long night
That will grab us by the hand
When we are ready to take flight
Seatback and traytable
In the upright and locked position
Shocked to tears by each new vision
Of all that my ancestors have done
Like, say, the women who gave their lives
So that I could have one
 
People, we are standing at ground zero
Of the feminist revolution
Yeah, it was an inside job
Stoic and sly
One we're supposed to forget 
And downplay and deny
But I think the time is nothing
If not nigh
To let the truth out
Coolest f-word ever deserves a fucking shout!
I mean Why can't all decent men and women
Call themselves feminists?
Out of respect 
For those who fought for this 
I mean, look around 
We have this 
 
Yes
I love my country
By which I meanI am indebted joyfully
To all the people throughout its history
Who have fought the government to make right
Where so many cunning sons and daughters
Our foremothers and forefathers
Came singing through slaughter 
Came through hell and high water
So that we could stand here
And behold breathlessly the sight
How a raging river of tears
Is cutting a grand canyon of light
 
words and music by ani difranco © 2004 righteous babe music / BMI 

 

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