Ryan Boyland – ‘Creation’

By Button Poetry

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Ryan Boyland, performing at Button Poetry Live, July 2019.

Transcript provided by YouTube:

00:01

as inspired by the ghost of James Brown

00:05

the new king of soul version of the

00:08

Bible reads as follows in the beginning

00:12

was my blackness and my black was with

00:15

God and my black was God and God was

00:18

black 1 in the beginning God created the

00:22

heavens and the earth now the earth was

00:24

empty without form darkness was over the

00:25

deep and the Spirit of God hovered over

00:27

the surface of the waters and God said

00:29

let there be light and there was light

00:31

and God called the light day the

00:34

darkness he calls beautiful and there

00:39

was waiting from the junk my blackness

00:42

I feel freshly picked and patted running

00:45

who exactly forgot to pay the light bill

00:47

and that was the first day and then God

00:49

said let there be a space we might raise

00:51

our hands to clap on beats 2 and 4 and

00:55

God called this place sky and one day a

00:58

woman named Aretha filled it with such a

01:00

joyful noise that God Himself wept and

01:03

all of our thirsty skins ranked in the

01:05

sunlight the way it was supposed to and

01:06

there was evening and there was morning

01:08

and that was the second day and then God

01:10

saw that the earth was dry and barren

01:13

so he made collard greens and yams and

01:15

short ribs and Jesus started doing the

01:17

electric slide and this was the first

01:20

cookout and when we saw and when we saw

01:23

the glory that he had made we were all

01:25

black and happy and full and there was

01:27

evening and there was no more mourning

01:29

and that was the fourth day and then God

01:32

turned to the angels and said let us

01:33

make man kind in our image in our

01:35

likeness and Beyonce sprang forth from

01:38

the sea like the black goddess of love

01:40

she is drops of ocean clinging to her

01:43

kinks the water so grateful to be near

01:45

something so divine that the drops

01:47

turned into diamonds before they ever

01:49

reached the ground except these we

01:50

didn’t press into our gums we use

01:52

something to play hopscotch or to skip

01:54

rocks and no one paid for them in blood

01:56

and that was the sixth day and on the

01:57

seventh he rested you know one of those

02:01

good naps you good after Thanksgiving

02:03

when you had way too much of Grandma

02:05

stuffing too and on the eighth day he

02:08

rose and stretched and yawned and called

02:10

this place heaven just for us and we

02:13

named it home he

02:14

here we don’t say that we become angels

02:16

because we never stop being holy and we

02:19

don’t fill our poles with the names of

02:20

dead black children because they’re

02:21

right around the corner and the name

02:23

Trayvon is unremarkable and image is

02:25

unburied and we don’t call them alive

02:27

because here we have never known death

02:30

here every jump shot goes in every batch

02:32

of mac and cheese is fake to perfection

02:34

the sweet potato pie is always hot and

02:36

sweets father’s always make it back from

02:38

the corner store mothers never weep the

02:40

street lights never come on so the kids

02:42

can play outside into our bodies melt

02:44

into the night sky here the people make

02:46

the most beautiful constellations here

02:48

we are beautiful here we are here we’d

02:51

be black and somehow that is enough

02:59

[Applause]

This post was previously published on YouTube and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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Photo credit: Screenshot from video

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