By TERRY BLACKHAWK CITIZEN POET: FOR SEKOU SUNDIATA “And so are some souls like stars.” Johnny Cash And so here we stand, one foot in your Bodega Republic, The other reaching for Alpha Centauri or wherever it is You’ve migrated to, crossing some cosmic Mason-Dixon line Between the blues and eternity, submerged now into waves of light Like the Atlantic you loved, the amber waves of grain you refused To revere. Street corner poet, denizen of grandeur And elevators, bebop, jazz, addiction, and diggerido, Haunted by hanging trees and the last outposts, Now that you are in the shooting stars, may we never forget The first beats you gave us: the music that comes From the steady racket of the wheels Tracking over the rails. Today in the studio, I learned how gray Becomes the blues: you overlay the paint. Each alphabet is a sign, A destination. Each word, an encaustic target. You overlay the paint. You apply the heat. It’s not only artists do this, Space Man. Which, of course, you knew. The principle of collection Is to accept, accept: the doo-wop, the hip hop, the both/and, thumbPopping tabla-tapping rhyme-junkie, alliterating your traumas, Adding those extra syllables just for the joy of the count, turning Towering terror into questions and light, and yes, call it — magic: Some kind of conjure to help us overcome, lift up and hold. Through The sonic screen and the oversized close-ups, What you channeled channels still, to us here, where here and there, Possible and impossible, merge as one. Oh wild and wiley — Your reverberations from Space beam on, Widening the orbit of you, dearest mindful one, beloved wallMender, molasses voice, kindest heart, Oh ju-ju man, our Lazarus — 128 Our peace.