Millie McKoy & Christine McKoy Recall Meeting Blind Tom, 1877 by Tyehimba Jess

tyehimba-2

*The McKoy Sisters (1851-1912), were conjoined twins. They met autistic pianist Blind Tom (1849-1908) in 1877.

Source: Brooklyn Magazine

Advertisements
Millie McKoy & Christine McKoy Recall Meeting Blind Tom, 1877 by Tyehimba Jess

Mark Twain v. Blind Tom by Tyehimba Jess

Some archangel,
cast out of upper Heaven
like another Satan,
inhabits this coarse casket;
and he comforts himself
and makes his prison
beautiful with
thoughts and
dreams and
memories of
another time
and another existence
that fire
this dull clod
with impulses and inspirations
it no more comprehends
than does the stupid worm
the stirring of the spirit within
her
of the
gorgeous captive
whose wings she
fetters
and
whose flight she stays

I’m sent from above-
like rain on blue prayers.
blessed with Gabriel’s lost notes, I
can see up to God’s throne, yes,
while he plays this soul
of flesh free- makes me
the music of piano, the
breath and
burn in the
stormcloud’s roar from
when sound called up,
first made me whole.
sounds like love.
weighted in my chest
-it finds freedom after
hurt. I hear Earth’s tremble harsher
-better than the soil itself. When
land and tree sing to me, I hear
notes
wildly
blooming inside- a spirit
shadows across my face,
breaking free
unloosed.  I play the wind
in my blood.
 

**  Left side is original quote from Mark Twain’s Special Letters to the San Francisco Alta  California August 1, 1869

*Blind Tom was a highly popular autistic and blind pianist who performed throughout the US from 1860’s until his death in 1908

This is a stunning form – I’d love to experiment with something similar!

Mark Twain v. Blind Tom by Tyehimba Jess