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2002-09-10

Father Divine (b. George Baker)
B. c. 1877 Rockville, Maryland / D. 9.10.65 Philadelphia
Old Age

Code Orange kiddies—scramble for cover! Man the TVs—squat in their light and receive. . .
So anyway I’m in Harlem—bright sunny Sunday afternoon on 125th Street—and there’s a flyer on a store window saying come to this rally, show your support for Mugabe, Take Back the Land! And I’ve been thinking for weeks, months, whenever I hear a complaint, Try being a white farmer in Zimbabwe! So then the next window is all plate glass down to the ground and crowded right up front inside there’s a row of bare leggy women just sitting in folding chairs facing out—and I’m like, What’s that—a tanning parlor?
Absolution through panic—emergency cleanses, war-making’s made pure. Now a national pause for remembering panic, reviewing the footage (more grisly details released!)—a fat infinitely volume-displacing immersion in whatever it takes to get that renewal stamp on everyone’s personal innocence—just in time for the next imperial foray.
No—everyone’s like—sshh! That’s braids. . .
Let me wear it on my face—Africa’s the future, not the past. All nonsense and misinformation, confusing its various states of development with any lack thereof—Africa’s fully developed so far it’s what every place else is becoming. Life, skin, cities, hairstyles, mass murder—everything happened in Africa first; nothing new under the sun if it’s overhead anyplace other than Africa. Put to the flames by Islamists, one mercantile monument, occupied—pah! Africa says, Babies, see you in a thousand years.
The future—
let me wear it on my face that I’m ready.

Consolation Site: Come what may

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