NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 63

While riding the 87 Bus down MLK Drive a man tells passengers he ’ s named after Paul Revere . He claims the Africans sold us to Europeans bearing gifts and trinkets from the New World . How could they sell mother son daughter father sister aunt uncle friend lover ? The bus driver cannot pick up or discard passengers . Excuse me , the lady says , but I am getting off at the next stop ! Didn ’ t you hear me ring the buzzer ? The dirty 87 Bus passes women staring out windows breasts plopped on folded arms ploughing pillows perched on windowsills . One screams : “ Missed the number by four yesterday girl !” Silhouettes sit in chairs , stand on sidewalks , smoke cigarettes drink cans of beer covered in paper bags . Throw opaque cartilage of two-for-a-dollar chicken wings to pigeons . Landlords with frilly white strings hanging from the side of their pants walk past the silhouettes : Scum . Detritus . Porphyry . They come to collect rent for apartments they would not play fetch with their dogs in .
Suddenly , I thought about the blues . Where are the blues ? Those funny cigarettes that girl over there smokes ? Where are the blues ? Blues sung after midnight and before daybreak blues ? The blues , the blues , the blues that trains were written about ? Blue-black blues caressing the backs of willing downtown women who knew that soul was north of the very contentiousness that brought them here in the first place ? Where are the blues ? Humming , walking in and out of clubs at night hunchbacked , pimp walking , and cool blues ? Crippled just got out of the hospital blues ? The blues that says hey , baby , you remember me and you never saw her in the first place ? The blues as audacity ? The blues as double-dutch with no rope ? Those blues ?