image Poetry of Kent Foreman

Tradesman


by Kent Foreman

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Seriously, I’m a gravedigger,
                I dig   
                                gravely.

Hey, it’s a gig,
                you know,
                                 a job
                                Shit, it’s a semi-skilled trade
                                So when it comes to calling a spade a spade
                                I can hardly be afraid
                you dig?

I’m a gravedigger
                Half a poet big
                Three-quarters nigger
                Lord, as lonely as the only survivor
                of some decimated horde, sword
                still speckled with an adversary’s blood
                Or, lonely as the pioneer droplet
                heralding the coming of the floods.

Machines penetrated much more efficiently than I.
Automated to this rock-bound cemetery clay.

Hey, I’m a gravedigger.
                I dig the gravely   
                                changes.
                                                Dig the grotesque tragic comedy of funerals.
                                                Dig Papal Heads or Thelonious Monk    rappin’. 
                                                                Life    ends?!

                                                                Naw,
                                                                                Changes, you dig,
                                                                                                changes.

Cause there’s Einstein’s changes
                and Marx's changes
                there’s Darwin’s changes
                and chemical changes
                there’s Aphrodite’s changes.
                The light     
                                changes.

And then there’s the changes that everybody’s got to blow
                ’cause everything changes.

                All this I dig and more
                for
I’m a gravedigger.

I dig history, philosophy, ballistics
and thermo-nuclear physics.
                Uh-huh,
                                GRAVES!

Now to all Euro-centric ethno-centrists
                I smile and say:
                                “I will bury y’all.”
                                                So long as there are people
                                                my business is certain to thrive.
My trade must be plied by the last man alive.

For I
                am a gravedigger.
I dig,                
                Gravely.