Drinks With Langston

I do not recall having been oppressed,

a situation I cannot completely comprehend.

Nor have I ever been the oppressor.

The blessing and curse of my

white skin does not by its mere existence,

instill in me that inclination.


Nor does this curse and blessing

prevent me from being enthralled by

Langston Hughes,

or listening — eyes closed, slight smile −

to the saxophone of Charlie Parker.


I have to wonder though, even in this modern age,

if I would be welcome at a table with Langston

in a club predominantly, distinctly, black,

listening to The Weary Blues.


I would like that; to be in that smoky room,

full of vibrant sound and life, to watch his face as he

absorbs all the room gives…smiles…

takes pen in hand.


At dVerse today Victoria asks for a Literary Allusion Poem. Due to certain time constraints I am posting a piece I have been holding on to for a while. I think it fits the prompt. The Weary Blues, by Langston Hughes.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

25 responses to “Drinks With Langston

  1. Mark–I hope you could sit with Langston…

  2. Mark, this is what you have inside you. It is a truly beautiful thing–Poetry!>KB

  3. dude, i would love to spend a bit of time with mr hughes….have a compilation of his words…love his range as far as topic and i think that would bode well for our conversation…ha….he is an easy rhymer too at times…so it would be cool to hear him speak…

  4. what a great, warm feeling this gives off. beautifully done.

  5. margaretbednar

    Love this pondering poem. I wonder, too, if you would have been welcome back then. But what an honor to be there…

  6. Laurie Kolp

    Me, too!

  7. Such a shame that the colour of skin ever had to prevent anyone from enjoying anyone’s talents and gifts. Crazy, wasn’t it.
    Great write Mark.

  8. i’d enjoy spending times with Langston Hughes too, but I wonder the same you do.

  9. Yes indeed. Very good, and you closed the last stanza with power–pen in hand.

  10. What a great tribute piece, and what a wonderful poem to share. The Weary Blues is a new one for me, I had not read before, but so had to read it out loud, could hear it in my head in regional dialect. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, Mark–yours and his!

  11. i do how you would…and love it when I learn of new things. Much enjoyed.

  12. wonderful tribute and what a magnificent time you would have, it is a shame color of a persons skin has to stop interaction so many times. the color of our hearts, tears and blood are the same and that is what is the final most important thing. Love the one true God and love your neighbor…doesn’t say check out skin color first! If we just do those two things everything else falls into place , does it not?.

  13. I like where this poem takes me. A terrific ‘literary allusion’.

  14. I would hope you’d be welcomed and offered a cigar!
    Fun poem

  15. I’m with you…Hughes challenges us to enter into spaces that we don’t know. I like the idea of sitting down and having a drink with him. I wrote once of coffee with Mary Oliver!

  16. oh that made me smile…Langston Hughes and Charie Parker in one poem..even in one stanza…love it

  17. magicalmysticalteacher

    I’d say you were already there in that smoky room…in spirit!

    Another Whirl with Simon

  18. Great piece right from the title.

  19. I enjoyed this a second time today for Pantry, Mark! A really strong write.

  20. I have felt that, too, especially when working with and alongside another culture. My white skin, the skin of the oppressor, bothered me as I felt it was a barrier , though they came to trust my honest heart. Very thought-provoking. I long for a time when skin is ….. just skin. It is some ways off, still. I, too, hope you would be welcome in that room, kiddo. Lovely write.

  21. So heartfelt and wonderfully written. I suspect you would be welcome at the table. If I may be bold enough to join you, I would want to hear him read his poems!

  22. Shawna

    “or listening — eyes closed, slight smile − to the saxophone” … Yum.

    Delicious ending as well. I’d love to be there too.

  23. Love the poetry of Langston Hughes, and I can see the smoked-filled room and hear the music.

  24. Pingback: Houston Blues World, February 22, 2003 « Becoming is Superior to Being

  25. Pingback: These are a few of my favorite things:#6 (Life is Fine by Langston Hughes) « Ritu’s Weblog

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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