"Sometimes I Feel Like I Don't Have A Partner"
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Even as Caron Butler does it again and again, true WizzNutterss occasionally shed a tear for the man-child we had to set free to get Caron in the fold: Kwame Brown, who suffered the indignity of being traded to Southern California to play for the best coach in the game and with the best player in the game. Of course, Phil Jackson soon agreed with the former best player in the game regarding Kwame's apparently pre-harvested nuts, and we all wondered: Would the change of scenery really help, or would we be back to having tantalizing potential flashed in our faces without any hope of such potential consistently flashing us?
Now we know: All Kwame needed was a superfan. And his name is Flea.
Flea, who played bass on an album I heard so often when I worked for Trader Joe's that I now involuntarily shudder whenever I hear the word "californication," now has a blog on NBA.com, a blog so full of incites that it doesn't allow you to link to individual posts, that you may be better forced to read the entire thing and let the genius really get all over your shirt. Those who lack time to savor it all, though, would be advised to scroll down to the post titled, with the parens, "(An Open Letter to Kwame Brown)" and subtitled "You could be a hero in this town." Already we see the rhyming acumen that has made Flea's songs so popular. But the post itself is a poem even more inspiring. (Some naysayers, citing the title, may insist that this is a letter, but anything with capital letters this few and line breaks this arbitrary has to be a poem. Just ask any unpopular fifteen-year-old!)
Though I am saving the full analysis of this epic verse for my book "Poetry, Thou Hast Met Thy Match: In Your Fat Face, Harold Bloom!", I can nonetheless share with you some of the moments that must have been most inspirational to our favorite French-dressing guzzler.
i know that you are a man of reasonable intelligence
It's always inspiring to be addressed by someone who believes you're reasonably intelligent and who has left none of his thoughts dormant!
and you cannot leave the greatness within you unexpressed
Here Flea introduces the motif of "the unsung song" that will come to dominate the poem and subtly asserts that there is another planet deep in the cosmos that is keenly following Kwame's various turmoils. Of more immediate interest is the seemingly awkward but actually deeply meaningful line break between "hoop" and "court." For one thing, the line break emphasizes the word that follows it - perhaps Flea is trying to make Kwame recall his love for the game by invoking another meaning of "court." But "court" as place of judgment also seems apposite here, for it is on the scales of public opinion that Kwame has been found to be lightweight. Flea addresses this in the climactic lines of the poem:
now i ask you please not to take offense at this kwame
What can you say about how Flea sets up that parallel construction, pounds it home with that undifferentiated repetition, then suddenly flips it both syntactically (the adverbial phrase "once in a while" now preceding the verb phrase) and semantically? TWO-HANDED REVERSE JAM FOR THE BIG MAN! Also, Flea's refusal to punctuate or capitalize anything really comes in handy here in presenting himself as a humble supplicant to Kwame's outsize talent.
The thing is, it's worked: Ever since Flea pled Kwame's case on February 10th, the manchild's been scoring and rebounding more. As we conclude April, which of course is National Poetry Month, Kwame's become a force to be reckoned with as the Lakers try to block out the Suns. Which leads any Wizznutt with one question:
Where the hell were you, Ian MacKaye?
POP QUESTION: Name a Rock-Poet & Player combo you would love to see, a perhaps, a line or 2 of the poem...