Nina Simone

13 11 2009


Nina Simone (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003)


Blood in the fountains. Ropes dripping from trees. Whispering in the bar rooms. Electric lights flickering. At last Jesus breaths. Again. Raining so hard. Water canons. Mississippi mongrels. Teeth so white. Snarling at the end of their chain.

Elegant fingers. Fred Astaires. Dancing across the ivory. Large hard eyes. Filled with softness and pain. Nina. A voice like an exotic flower. So much anger. So much injustice. So many men falling into holes. In other men’s flesh. Too much stupidity. Too much vulgarity. Too much nothing.

She wept into the microphone. No one will ever be happy in this country. Except at the end of a gun. Nina sat silently. Patiently. Would not move. The world is mad. Like a dog. If I tip toe across the stage, will it catch me? Would someone kiss me on the breast. And clear the fog. From my eyes.

Sang Mississippi Goddam. A Baptist bombed. Church in Alabama. 4 dead children. Who were playing with their dolls. Which were white. If I sing with anger, will it leave me alone? Will it not sneak up. At night. And grab me. By the ankle. Or a lock of my hair.

The world is filled with terrors. The bookie man wears a badge. Or a three piece suit. He smiles from the front row. Or you’re bedroom. His jacket torn at the shoulder. Like Jesus crucified in tweed.

Running. From the black wolves. Of night. Driving her car through the narrow streets. The madly French darkness. I tell you, everyone is going to die. Such a shame. Wouldn’t it be lovely to do this all over again?

After Nina died they took her ashes. Like an old rocking chair out on the verandah. And scattered her laughter. Over the African savannah.




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