At this point in the lockdown I was knee deep in our August Wilson discussion group (you’ll see references to Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Piano Lesson). Today’s retrieval from the archives was inspired by a Saturday webinar, #OctaviaTried #7, hosted by three writers and friends of the great science fiction writer, Octavia Butler.
I just listened to the new Bob Dylan drop.
Some kind of weird incantation –
A forced repetition, for a hypnotic effect,
a magic ritual in an ancient oral tradition.
Also, a shout out to the musical ancestors,
Invoking each of the gods by name.
An African conceptualization is what Toledo
would call it. Oh, you don’t know Toledo?
How could you? He was Ma Rainey’s piano player.
Ain’t never been the same fool twice. Don’t worry,
You’ll see it on Netflix when it comes out.
A piano lesson disguises the real drama.
Old Bob gives the devil his due. Play that funky
music white boy. Spell it with a K in B flat.