"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
and a man of considerable emotional depth
so i write this letter, leaving none of my thoughts dormant
hoping that i can be of some inspiration to you

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
it would be a disservice to the universe
unless of course you know in your heart that you would rather be doing
something else and you are only in the nba for the cash
in which case you should go do that other thing
because you do only get to live this life once
and it is a crying shame when people leave their song unsung
but to the pedestrian fan like myself
it sure seems like you were born to tear it up on the hoop
court

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
i do not pass judgement
but it seems to me that something is troubling you
and keeping you from your own greatness
and you need to work it out

i see you not try sometimes
i see you not go for the rebound sometimes
i see you not get back on defense sometimes
i see you not help out on defense sometimes

and once in a while i see you block a shot get an awesome rebound and
explode to the hoop like a genius and put the ball in the hole with
great gusto

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...

...............................................
posted by Rex Immensae Majestatis Chapman
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8 Comments:

Jahidi White is the "Fat Man in the Bath Tub" with the blues that the late Lowell George, of the once great Little Feat, was singing about. When the Fat Man asks what Juanita [Dixon] "is up to" references the endless taunts Jahidi spewed at J. Dix for not showering while he bathed.

By jklein, at 12:43 PM  

Stephen Malkmus and Ray Allen. Californians turned East Coasters finally relocated to the Pacific NW, both gifted with extraordinary game, both plauged with accusations of sloth and selfishness, both ultimately impressive yet so disapointing. Key Track - "You're Killing Me" or perhaps "debris slide"

By Dr. Chestnutt, at 12:55 PM  

Stephen Malkmus and Ray Allen. Californians turned East Coasters finally relocated to the Pacific NW, both gifted with extraordinary game, both plauged with accusations of sloth and selfishness, both ultimately impressive yet so disapointing. Key Track - "You're Killing Me" or perhaps "debris slide"

By Dr. Chestnutt, at 12:55 PM  

Obie Trice and Andray Blatche.

who the fuck takes one in the arm?

By Unsilent Majority, at 1:29 PM  

oh you said "rock/poet" not "hiphop hangeron"

Kurt Cobain and LaBradford Smith, they both died in 1994.

By Anonymous, at 1:34 PM  

Alfred Lord Tennyson & Dwight Howard

My good hops carve the casques of men,
My tough dunks thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten,
Because my heart is pure.

By J.E. Skeets, at 8:34 PM  

Oh, yeah, Tennyson was in Pantera...

By J.E. Skeets, at 8:39 PM  

I thought Tennyson and Wordsworth were in Van Halen...

By Unsilent Majority, at 12:46 PM  

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