Ntozake Shange

Jermaine Tolliver II

My father is a retired magician
which accounts for my irregular behavior.
Everythin’ comes outta magic hats
or bottles wit no bottoms & parakeets
are as easy to get as a couple of rabbits
or 3 fifty-cent a piece, 1958
My daddy retired from magic and took
up another trade, cuz this friend of mine
from the 3rd grade
Asked to be made white on the spot
What any self-respectin’ colored American magician
do with such an outlandish request
Cept put all them razzamatazz hocus pocus zippity-do-dah
thingamajigs away cuz
colored chirren believin’ in magic
waz becoming politically dangerous for the race
& waz nobody gonna be made white
on the spot just from a clap of my daddy’s hands
& the reason I’m so peculiar
cuz I been studyin’ up on my daddy’s technique
& everythin’ I do is magic these days
& it’s very colored
very now you see it
now you don’t mess with me
I come from a family of retired
sorcerers/ active houngans & pennyante fortune tellers
wit 41 million spirits critturs & celestial bodies
on our side
I’ll listen to yr problems
help wit yr career yr lover yr wanderin’ spouse
make yr grandma’s stay in heaven more gratifyin’
ease yr mother through menopause & show yr son
how to clean his room
YES YES YES 3 wishes are all you get
scarlet ribbons for yr hair
benwa balls via hong kong
a miniature of Machu Picchu
All things are possible
but ain’t no colored magician in her right mind
gonna make you white
I mean
This is blk magic
you lookin’ at
& I’m fixin’ you up good
fixin’ you up good n colored
& you gonna be colored all yr life
& you gonna love it
bein colored
all yr life
colored & love it
love it
bein’ colored
Spell #7 from Upnorth-Outwest Geechee Jibara Quik Magic Trance Manual for Technologically Stressed Third World People