“Lake Bud,” a poem by Ishmael Reed

May 1st, 2015

budp51

Lake Bud

Lake Merritt is Bud Powell’s piano
The sun tingles its waters
Snuff-jawed pelicans descend
tumbling over each other like
Bud’s hands playing Tea for Two
or Two for Tea

Big Mac Containers, tortilla chip, Baby Ruth
wrappers, bloated dead cats, milkshake
cups, and automobile tires
float on its surface
Seeing Lake Merritt this way is
like being unable to hear
Bud Powell at Birdland
Because people are talkiing
Clinking glasses of whisky and
shouting
“Hey, waiter”

_____

reed1

Ishmael Reed (born 1938) is an American poet, novelist, essayist, songwriter, playwright, editor and publisher. Reed is known for his satiricalworks challenging American political culture, and highlighting political and cultural oppression.  Reed’s work has often sought to represent neglected African and African-American perspectives; his energy and advocacy have centered more broadly on neglected peoples and perspectives, irrespective of their cultural origins. (Wikipedia)

Read my interview with Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed’s website

_____

Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, and others in Paris, 1959

*

merritt
Lake Merritt
Oakland, California

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