“The Rise of The Mad Griot”

Part 3 of The Mad Griot trilogy 

“Alas! Alas!
a hammer
of iron
my breast

my people
to a seventh hell
made from dreams
made manifest
by minds
made mad
from too long
looking at
mirrors they thought
held themselves
when all they beheld
was nothingness
Alas! Alas!

my people lie shattered
and scattered
at the furthest corners
of the Four Directions
forsaking the language
of the trees
and of the birds
and of their ancestors.
Stopped up ears
Gag-ged mouths
Darkened eyes
deaf, dumb, and blind
their time is
at an end
and worlds upon worlds
weep for them!

Alas! Alas!

Still I strive!
Still I give birth
to sooth-sayers
and sky-walkers
and vision-seekers
and song-sorcerers
but when they call
no one responds
but me
and they know naught else
to do

but wander my breast
made broken by
the hammer that fell
the line of tribes is ending

and the fire is too weak
to forge a new beginning
Alas! Alas!”

I was at a party
celebrating something
and I got very drunk
and thought I saw
Huxley and Bradbury
standing in a corner
and I said to them
“What do we do?
We’re at the brink!
What do we do?”
they laughed
and said, “Too late! Too late!
naught else to do now
but drink.”

they put drinks in my hand
soma in my hand
someone switched on a TV
so we could ignore each other
more easily
I tried to leave
but Orwell blocked
my escape
and said there was a place
on my face
that was just right
for his boot

I woke up in a cold sweat
and my Muse was there
she had stayed
just like she promised
she would
and I heard the mountain
outside my window
so I stepped out
into the night,
and could feel the earth
buckle underneath me
her cries were too much
for me
too much for my ears you see
so I jumped in the car
drove like
the dead
pulled into the lot
of a home renovation store
because my home needs fixing
you see

I threw a brick through a window
and ran down the aisle
and grabbed a pickaxe
and grabbed a sledgehammer
and jumped back in the car and tried to find
the spot
where the earth cried out to me
but she was crying out EVERYWHERE
you see

one spot
was as good

I got out of the car, and
with my pickaxe and sledgehammer,
I drove them both
into the asphalt
into the sidewalk
hammer then axe then hammer then axe then hammer then axe
both arms working
arms spinning
like windmill blades
like a cartoon character
getting ready to sprint
the earth still lamenting
and me screaming, “I’m coming!”
“Hold on! I’m coming!”
but so were the flashing red
and blue lights
and sirens
and all of a sudden
this plan of mine
ill-fated, so
I fled the scene of my crime
so I could return to the old one and
hid under the bed
put headphones in my ears
turned on the TV
so I could ignore the earth
more easily
and while
the voices on the screen
droned on
I made a vision board

“Where would you like to see yourself

in one year?
In two years?
In five years?
In ten years?
In twenty years?
In fifty years?
In a hundred years?
In a thousand years?”
In a million years?”
In a billion years?”

Do you see yourself in eternity?

How long before you manifest your
dream job? Your dream lover? Your dream car? Your dream children? Your dream feelings? Your dream thoughts? Your dream body?

Do you not know that you echo throughout eternity?

hands grabbed me around the ankles
yanked me out from under the bed
“No,” I screamed. “No deux ex machina!”
but my Muse had me
and heaved me out
the window
I cartwheeled through the air
for a long time
over a great distance
and I landed at the foot
of the mountain
whose ROAR
I’d heard before
and the mountain thundered at me
and the mountain raged at me
and I screamed, “What would you have of me, mountain!?”
and the mountain said

my Muse was there
my ancestors were there.
I wept when I saw them.
I wept for them.
and for me.
I told them
I wanted out
I wanted off the boat
leave me on the side of the road
at the next exit

but instead of salvation
they gave me my drum.
they gave me my rattle.
they gave me my prayer stick.
they gave me my mask.

and they said to me,


“What do I do?” I wailed.

they taught me prayers.
they taught me songs.
they taught me
the mind-sight
and they said,


“What do I do?” I wailed.


This I did
for I knew
naught else
to do.

this is was the aftermath
Black Superman’s death

all of this came to pass
when the Muse came to stay

and though not everything
you’ve heard
actually happened
all things are true
after a fashion


One thought on ““The Rise of The Mad Griot”

  1. Damn! So good. Keep it coming.
    And thanks for getting the word Griot out there in circulation. I had never heard of it until you started using it. Plus now I know what soma is and what the phrase deus ex machina means. So thanks for the education sir.

    But I have to say that at that party I think Huxley would have at the very least offered up these nuggets of wisdom for you….
    “Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.” or
    “Cynical realism is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.” or
    “The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.” or
    “It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder’.”

    And I really think Ray would have looked in the eye as he handed you a drink and said
    “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” And as he refilled your cup he would have said “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

    Now what ol’ Georgy O said to you…SO him. I always knew he was real dick.


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