My Father Is a Retired Magician
(for ifa, p.t., & bisa) my father is a retired magician which accounts for my irregular behavior everythin comes outta magic hats or bottles wit no bottoms & parakeets are as easy to get as a couple a rabbits or 3 fifty cent pieces/ 1958 my daddy retired from magic & took up another trade cuz this friend of mine from the 3rd grade asked to be made white on the spot what cd any self-respectin colored american magician do wit such a outlandish request/ cept put all them razzamatazz hocus pocus zippity-do-dah thingamajigs away cuz colored chirren believin in magic waz becomin politically dangerous for the race & waznt nobody gonna be made white on the spot just from a clap of my daddy's hands & the reason i'm so peculiar's cuz i been studyin up on my daddy's technique & everythin i do is magic these days & it's very colored very now you see it/ now you dont mess wit me i come from a family of retired sorcerers/ active houngans & pennyante fortune tellers wit 41 million spirits critturs & celestial bodies on our side i'll listen to yr problems help wit yr career yr lover yr wanderin spouse make yr grandma's stay in heaven more gratifyin ease yr mother thru menopause & show yr son how to clean his room YES YES YES 3 wishes is all you get scarlet ribbons for yr hair benwa balls via hong kong a miniature of machu picchu all things are possible but aint no colored magician in her right mind gonna make you white i mean this is blk magic you lookin at & i'm fixin you up good/ fixin you up good n colored & you gonna be colored all yr life & you gonna love it/ bein colored/ all yr life/ colored & love it love it/ bein colored/
Spell #7 from Upnorth-Outwest Geechee Jibara Quik Magic Trance Manual for Technologically Stressed Third World People
From Nappy Edges by Ntozake Shange. Copyright © 1972 by Ntozake Shange. Reprinted by permission of Russell & Volkening as agents for the author. All rights reserved.
Poet, performance artist, playwright, and novelist Ntozake Shange is popularly known as the author of the renowned play, or "choreopoem," for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.
Date Published: 1972-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/my-father-retired-magician