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Lemon Andersen Performs Please Dont Take My Air Jordans

Lemon Andersen Performs Please Dont Take My Air Jordans

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Published by: alany on Jan 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lemon Andersen performs Please don't take my Air Jordans"
"My Air Jordans cost a hundred with tax. My suede Starters jacketsays Raiders on the back. I'm stylin', smilin', lookin' real mean,   because it ain't about being heard, just being seen. My leather Adidas baseball cap matches my fake Gucci backpack. (Laughter)  Ain't nobody who looks as good as me,  but this costs money, it sureain't free, and I gots no job, no money at all,  but it's easy to steal all this from the mall. Parents say I shouldn't, but I knows I should. Got to do what I can to make sure I look good, and the reason I have tolook real good, well, to tell you the truth, man, I don't know why.Guess it makes me feel special inside. When I'm wearing fresh gear I don't have to hide, and I really must get some new gear soon or my ego will pop like a 10-cent balloon. But security is tight at all theshops. Every day there are more and more cops. My crew islaughing at me because I'm wearing old gear. School's almost over.Summer is near. And I'm sportin' torn Jordans. I need something new. Only one thing left to do. Cut school Friday, catch the subwaydowntown, check out my victims hangin' around. Maybe I'll get lucky and find easy prey. Got to get some new gear. There's no other way. I'm ready and willing. I'm packing my gun. This is serious  business. This ain't no fun. And I can't have my posse laughin' at me.  I'mma cop something dope, just wait, you'll see. Come out of thestation, West 4th near the park,  brothers shooting hoops andsomeone remarks, 'Hey homes, where you get them Nik's?' I says to myself, 'Yeah. I likes 'em, I likes.' They were Q-tip white, bright and blinding my eyes. The red emblem of Michael looked as if it couldfly.  Not one spot of dirt. The Airs were brand new. Had my pistol and knew just what to do. Waited until it was just the right time,followed him very closely behind. He made a left turn on Houston, I pulled out my gun, and I said, 'Gimme them Jordans!' And the punk  tried to run. Took off fast, didn't get far. I fired,'Pow!' Fool fell  between two parked cars. He was coughing, crying, blood spilled onthe street. And I snatched them Air Jordans off of his feet. While laying there dying, all he could say was, "Please man, don't take myAir Jordans away." You'd think he'd be worried about staying alive. 
As I took off with his sneakers, there was tears in his eyes. Verynext day, I bopped into school with my brand new Air Jordans, man,I was cool. I killed to get 'em, but hey, I don't care,  because now I needs a new jacket to wear." Thank you. (Applause) For the last 15 years that I have been performing, all I ever wantedto do was transcend poetry to the world. See, it wasn't enough for me to write a book. It wasn't enough for me to join a slamcompetition, and while those things hold weight, it wasn't the driving force that pushes the pen to the pad. The hunger and thirstwas, and still remains: How do I get people who hate poetry to love me? Because I'm an extension of my work, and if they love me, then they will love my work, and if they love my work, then they willlove poetry, and if they love poetry, then I will have done my job,  which is to transcend it to the world. And in 1996, I found the answer in principles in a master spoken-word artist named Reg E. Gaines, who wrote the famous poem,"Please Don't Take My Air Jordans." And I followed this guyeverywhere until I had him in the room, and I read him one of my pieces, and you know what he told me? "Yo' wack. You know what the problem is with you, homie? You don't read other people's poetry, and you don't got any subordination for verbal measures to tonal consideration." (Laughter)  Now he kept on rambling about  poetry and styles and Nuyorican Friday nights.  Now I could have quit. I should have quit. I mean, I thought poetrywas just self-expression. I didn't know you actually have to havecreative control. So instead of quitting, I followed him everywhere. When he waswriting a Broadway show, I would be outside of the door. I wouldwake him up at, like, 6:30 in the morning to ask him who's the best poet. I remember eating the eyes of a fish right out of the sea   because he told me it was brain food. 
Then one day I told him, "Reg E., what is subordination for verbalmeasures to tonal consideration?" (Laughter) And he handed me a black-and-white printed out thesis on a poet named EtheridgeKnight and the oral nature of poetry, and from that point, Reggie stopped becoming the best to me,  because what Etheridge Knighttaught me was that I could make my words sound like music, even my small ones, the monosyllables, the ifs, ands, buts, whats, the gangsta in my slang could fall right on the ear, and from then on, Istarted chasing Etheridge Knight. I wanted to know which poet heread, and I landed on a poem called ["Dark Prophecy: Sing of Shine"], a toast signifying that got me on the biggest stage a poet could ever be: Broadway, baby. And from that point, I learned how to pull the mic away and attack the poetry with my body.  But that wasn't the biggest lesson I ever learned. The biggest lesson I  learned was many years later  when I went to Beverly Hills and I raninto a talent agent who looked at me up and down and said I don't look like I have any experience to be working in this business.  And I said to him, "Listen, punk fool, you're a failed actor who became an agent, and you know why you failed as an actor?  Because people like me took your job. I've traveled all the way fromCleveland and Essex in East New York, took the local 6 line up tothe hookers of Hunt's Point who were in my way on my way tomaster the art of space, and the one-to-infinite amount of man,woman and child you can fit in there only so I can push them to the  back of the wall with my experience. People have bought tickets tomy experience and used them as refrigerator magnets to let themknow that the revolution is near, so stock up. I'm so experienced that when you went to a privileged school to learn a Shakespeareansonnet, I was getting those beats kicked and shoved into me. I can master shock of "The Crying Game" with the awe of a child beingcalled an AIDS victim by a bully who didn't know that it was hisfather who gave it to my mother, and that's a double entendre. I'm so experienced that when you went to the Fell School and all the richlittle fairy boys decided to sponsor a child in it, that was me, but

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