Tapiwamugabe is an original Cool. You don’t see many of his caliber today. You never did. Him and Sinatra. Him and Muhammad Ali. Him and Hughes. Him and Him. Tapiwamugabe is a poet who knows himself, whose self-awareness is raised to an art, with this science of reflection backing it. An open soul and open-minded man, you don’t see him mixing in the lists. No, he bides his time and hits the Dash with verse that was what you needed before you needed it. A soul poet. A chill poet. But deep in his core, a poet of fire, cultivating that fire in a long-suffering discipline.
/I am just a social urchin/
The word /just/ is the key to this line. Just is often used as a catch word to justify a gross assumption. “I’m just one man.” “I’m just tired.” “I’m just angry.” But here Tap plays with the notice by introducing the concept of a social urchin. Urchin means a worthless or poor person, a reprobate. Think Dickens’ Oliver Twist and you have it. Here the speaker calls himself a social urchin and so one of the rejects. By throwing in the word /just/ he further emphasizes the limited, unappealing forgettable status of his existence. /lost my zeal for reverence—mixing religion with capitalism/. Tap builds on this them of the social urchin or reject by showing the urchin outside the holy, combining manna with the metaphysics of higher existence. /Hate the garden of Eden as an institution/ You know Kanye’s new album came out and there is something about this line that makes you feel if he had heard it, he would have swiped it. It’s magnificent. It completely changes your view of the garden and makes you look at the story in a different way. Is the garden of Eden a myth of perfection and bliss, something deep need within us for this place, or is it a creation of authority as a means to keep one focused on some goal that is altogether meaningless. The use of the word institution is profound and marks Tap as an up and coming Sharp.
/I met a pulchritudinous soul/
It’s always groovy when a poet forces you to the dictionary. Pulchritudinous: physical beauty. We have here again Tap’s style of contrasting ideas and mashing them together without apology. This soul he encounters feels physical to him. And that gets wicked profound. There are people you meet who you will never touch and yet they seem to somehow be a part of you. You can feel their skin. You can feel their breath. Sometimes it’s sexual. And sometimes, and this is what trips us out and makes us decline everything back to sex, it is deeper than any physical desire or fire. To feel something and not want their body, not want to take them in any way, it confounds the mind and disturbs the soul. We shrug and nervously laugh and pretend we wanted the bedroom just to delude ourselves from the much more deep within us. All of THAT from one line of Tap’s. /Plus a smile that made the sun blush/ and you know Tap’s got the lines. You know he has developed his sentiment to such refinement that he can say without pouring on the game-lame that this soul makes the sun itself nervous. And that’s what’s so misunderstood about being sentimental. It’s not a weakness. To feel, my god to feel existence at this level and still be able to use your reason and discipline to write a poem about it that doesn’t fly off into a greeting card, it is the hardest thing in the world. Easier to just put on some gloves and hit a punching bag. But Tap is after a meaner animal than any hunter knows: A Perfect Line. All poets know.
/I used to make apologies…/
Disclosure Yeah: I kicked this particular poem to the Howitzer when it was first posted by Tap because it was wicked cool. This is one of Tap’s signature pieces and it is magnificent. The poem discusses the expectations of being a man, the hard line, the dead space in the heart, and it develops into the poet’s declaration of who he is and who he will be and how he will choose a different path than what has previously been given. /I used to make apologies for having softness in my man-ness/ All male poets know exactly what he is talking about. We hid poetry from the men in our family. We even hid our manly poetry, our lines about fighting and hunting and football. We hid everything. If your grandfather caught you reading you lied and said it was for school. You never admitted that you liked poetry, that you liked the world, that you liked soft evenings and flower petals at your feet. Somehow this was all effeminate. The irony being that to develop into the flower of your manhood you had to crush all flowers. But this is a machine sentiment and a barbaric one, and Tap will have none of it.
Tapiwamugabe is a poet to watch for not only does he have the lines, the call, the vision and depth, but he’s also cool as fuck. He reblogs other poets. He digs your posts. He encourages you with almost like, can you call it Tap Nodding. You can just feel it from this dude. He’s just nodding to your work, saying yeah man dig it yeah. And this is the New School of Poets, Poets who are tired of that Robert Frost/Ernest Hemingway style of competition with each other where every other artist is looked at as a threat to your prestige. Those days helped produce the situation we are now in, where poetry is considered a weak man’s art, and writing itself something only done by those who can’t do for themselves, who lack strength to tackle life. How did we go from a writer being able to cultivate a relationship with an actual editor to needing an agent a manager a pr specialist just to have a cover letter accepted by the intern of the second distrubution editor who would then pass the intern’s notes of your work to the assistant editor who…. It is because artists stopped working together and started working against each other. But it is in collaboration and conversation that great art is made and if you can, have a conversation with Tap. You won’t regret it.
Dig this Poet Yeah