The Poetry of Black Music Month

We would like to close out this year’s Black Music Month with a tribute to Stevie Wonder from WONDERKIND, which celebrates his musical genius. The collection was recently released by one of our founding authors, Curtis L. Crisler, Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne.

 “Stevie’s music is the soundtrack for our lives,” said Crisler. “It’s always scary for a writer to create something, then give it to the world, but I always make that choice. Stevie makes that choice as a musician. He is all about giving to the world, and I wanted to acknowledge that fact in this collection. Stevie’s songs are about love–he comes at you heart-first, his heart on his sleeve. However, Stevie’s also an activist–one of the poems, ‘Stevie Boycotts Florida, 2013’, reveals a part of him that we don’t always see, the tough-love Stevie, but it’s just yet another facet of his love.”


Stevie boycotts Florida, 2013

Mister Mister, let me be

Let my Hohner clavinet speak me up and bend sound circular

Let my voice jump bombastic from R&B to Rock&Roll to galactic

Let my Grammys, my Lifetimes, my No.1s gather dust

if I can’t ripple the water


Mister Mister, let me be

Let the ten fingers of Lula Mae’s baby play this Hohner clavinet sideways

Let Syreeta and Springsteen and Elton and Chaka hold me conscious

Let the UK, the U.S., the D.R., and the new South Africa reverberate

in the spasms of chords I lay down  for baby justice


Mister…let me be

Let my chromatic harp hum the effervescent hum snapping the spine of AIDS

Let MLK’s birthday, “That’s What Friends Are For” and Trayvon Martin stop moaning

Let me be the father blowing his breath into the instrument of life,

else, kill Lula Mae’s boy, now


Sir…I’m “this” close

You don’t understand, I got speared in the forehead, and beat death down to raw

I swear on Lula Mae and my children and Mandela and the word “movement”

If you don’t want to throw down with a blind brother from the past, present, and future,

one you can never see coming,

just throw your hands up,

please…throw your hands up