Friday, February 14, 2014

In a Café Called Heaven, I dreamt of White Girls

Way back when, heart of Mississippi I’d be dating a nappy haired girl
But I’m living in the city, where the girls come from all over the world

Couldn’t tell you how I got to be this way, but I looked at an Irish girl
The most fragile thing I’d ever seen, sitting before me like a sick bird

It was something I didn’t know then, that a blonde chile had me illing
Turned my back on the afro do’s on big boned girls, who were willing

They saw me as a brown boy from Africa, swung on trees in the jungle
I never did cuddle or mingle, a boy named Terrence called me monkey

Grew up on honky tonk, drinking beer at the bars, sitting with white boys
Listening to Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakem, country in the Big Apple

We was heavy metal, we was grunge, Kurt Cobain killed himself with a gun
Grew up on Africa Bambaataa and RUN DMC, schooled me some EPMD

But the brothas were never around, it was always the Latinos and Chicanos
Learned about sex from an Italian girl, not a Bronx girl from underground

They were getting jumped in Brooklyn, bringing white girls to Bensonhurst
I sat in cafes drinking coffee with women from Belgium, un petit peu

The Little Prince, she promised me a love letter if I read The Little Prince
Comment ca va? Ate fast food with French girls, art films with Israeli divas

In a world so white I never saw a black person, Benetton was the exception
Came about some black models from the United Nations, ebony sensation

Gorgeous black girls who did fashion, running away with the kente cloth
They were getting it on with business men, I was too rock and roll then

Wearing Doc Martins, listening to Einsturzende Neubauten, going to Heaven
Sat smoking herb with kids from Portland, Oregon, the trend had begun

High school girls with cigarettes, sipping chocolate mochas with palookas
Old men with wrinkled faces, put in place to sit and gawk, watch them talk

Like the blonde Irish girl named Siobhan, not one black girl to be found
I seduced one into singing for me, a Jewish high school Liza Minelli

She had a thing or two for the black boys, made them out to be vampires
Kept a book of poetry and paintings, had her thinking we were lovers

It was a love of song and creation, waking up to snow, listening to Billy Joel
I wouldn’t have survived Mississippi or that night in Howard Beach

When black boys were beaten bad for the color of their skin, call it sin
But the white world show me the way, when I was rejected, left in a bin

Shut out from the world, not a friend to my name, into my life they came
One after the other, from German boys to Swedish hustlers, we were friends

Met their Spanish mamitas who were into European men, I was lonely then
It was a time of Public Enemy and Do the Right Thing, hip hop songs

Where were the black boys who played Brand Nubian all night long
To this I say I had a black brother who rhymed with the best of them

Took his troubles to a Harlem roof top, fell a thousand miles down
It was time for change, call back ghosts of lynchings, burning churches

Changed my white name to my birth name, called up the spirit of Nkrumah
Father figure of my mother land, I hadn’t it in me to be a white man

To them I was colored, but they had taught me how to act, in their schools
And uniforms, played the fool, but what for, shed tears many times before

To be black and alone wouldn’t be the worse thing, sitting at a café
Taking it all in, the white boys drinking, the white girls talking about men

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