This is the Opposite of a Suicide Note (Graham O'Brien Remix)

from by Guante

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I met the devil in the Midwest,
dressed like a promoter, floatin’ on the limelight,
eyes like supernovas,
his shoulders: the Minneapolis skyline
Needless to say, I turned the opposite way,
not welcoming tomorrow today;
I mean I gotta relay a legacy before they off me
I am not tryin’ to leave yet, I am not sorry
So I’ll assemble an army of rappers
and spoken-word poets and activists and dancers
and yeah, they’ll be half an hour late,
but they’ll show up eventually
and each will have a chapter
And after the manuscript we’ve built is assembled,
I’ll scribble on the last page “dedicated to the devil”
Book’s heavy as religion embedded in blacktop;
first page, eighty two point font in caps lock, screamin’
This is the opposite of a suicide note;
pin it to your chest, sing it under your breath,
tattoo it to your children, graffiti the fortress,
scrawl it on the tip of every nuclear warhead
Said this is the opposite of a suicide note;
let it raise the fallen, call to arms, instill fear
Let my life be as jagged as my penmanship
‘cause shit, if you’re hearin’ this now, it means I’m still here
And my advice is to love your life,
and if you don’t have a reason, keep breathin’ out of spite
‘Cause that’s a form of self-love too;
some days I fight just so I can tell my demons “hey, fuck you”
This is the opposite of a suicide note;
my roots too deep in this earth to move
I made allies of axes, friends out of chainsaws,
so how the hell you gon’ tell me to take off?
I’m a stay on the table ‘til after the eight ball
sinks for the last hustler’s pay off,
drinks on the house then
and then we’ll slide out with the bubbles
in the champaign fountain
‘Cause this is the opposite of a suicide note
If I’ve ever said anything right, make it this
make a fist for something bigger than a paystub;
dedicate this to everyone who never gave up
even in the face of oblivion, we crack a half smile and
daps to the fallen, songs through the silence
And in the rain, never put the hoodie up; we stay fresh
want to feel every drop to the depths
So yes, let’s assemble an army of teachers
and homeless children and union organizers,
cops and drug dealers, prostitutes and preachers
and factory workers and students and truck drivers
and doctors and soldiers and mothers and ghosts
and everyone can add their own chapter
And after the devil comes for me, with a smile and a receipt,
and pockets like black holes as wide as they are deep,
I’ll hook my arms inside yours and tell him sorry
This is my poetry; this is my army
We stand together, and live every word we wrote
All I got to say, is “not today”
This is the opposite of a suicide note


from A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry, released January 1, 2015



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Guante Minneapolis, Minnesota

MC, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, activist and educator.

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