I’m a tough lover. And so was, Prince. Rebellious birds…! All we who go thru this thing called, life… as: Artist, Musician, Poet, Author…

Friends and colleagues, greetings to you as always; I’m glad you made it! The truth is out!!

It’s the shame that got him. The Dove had a monkey on his back. Crazy, Prince had no place safe in the jungle to jump. Trapped in the cage of the body, his electrical system had become heavily reliant on opiates, and his consciousness could not see beyond the split of public scrutiny that he knew was destined. Ultimately, he just wanted the pain to stop.

If you had not heard the news, AP has reported that the toxicology of the music icon revealed an, “exceedingly high” amount of Fentanyl in his system. The inept show of words didn’t end there as the article concluded with the summation, “…a pretty clear smoking gun.”

Isn’t life just so, so, so terrifically funny…?

Flashback! Thursday, April 21, 2016. I was rounding out a three-day escape from New Orleans. I have a little place out on the bayou, my land and water - God gave it to me. I was still reeling from a terrifically unfortunate circumstance with the City of New Orleans - whose demolition contractors, only days before, had bulldozed the last home of Danny and ‘Blu’ Lu Barker. More than the owner of record, yours truly had exceedingly high hopes for salvation of the property. And of course, they lied…

Back on bayou, blessedly with no mass-media I utilized my only form of contact to the outside world - my flip-fone - to check-in with old NOLA darlin’. After the routine platitudes of, ‘Happy Thursday’ - from the Bywater came these words, over the phone:

“Oh, you haven’t heard… Prince died.”

“What?”

“It was announced earlier today.”

Split moments of shock and immediate disbelief… Ilona came to my mind. My cousin nine days younger than I who had been in the NPG before, The Revolution, ever since she awakened to, “Soft & Wet” (his first single.) She picked up the phone…

“Yea, you know I’m devastated…”

“WHAT HAPPENED…?!”

“They said he was found in an elevator.”

“Hmp, he punched a higher floor.”

~+~

I had a virgin! I recently went to see, Purple Rain with a friend who had never experienced this epic ‘B-film’ - her mother would not let her, way back in New Jersey, at the age of eleven. Indeed, I had not seen the classic since that balmy Boston afternoon in the summer of my 21st year of this thing called my life -1984. But this time, at the Broad Street Theatre, it had its kicks since it was also a matinee. B.Y.O.(Baby) is the feature as young mothers (and fathers) can bring their infant children. In fact, yours truly was the, ‘Grand Daddy’ of the day; all of the parents present were younger than the film itself. Yes, a father and mother resplendent in their, Musicology tour t-shirts wheeled in their production. Another mother had a three-week job resting quietly on her bosom.

My virgin said I was a scene-spoiler, but of course, I was just having my fun… reclaiming my youth, maybe. I had altogether forgotten much of the thin scenes that did not involve a musical performance. And so lo and behold, completely lost in the foggy ruins on my time and space, again was The Kid’s suicidal fit right up there on the big screen. As Louis Armstrong would say, “Hmp!” Of course, music saves The Kid… He composes the lyric to Wendy & Lisa’s music… He rocks the house, gets the girl, and goes on to be a star. Maybe, as Lester Young, ‘Pres’ was known to say, often.

Prince is the not first artist or entertainer to succumb to overdoing it. From Mozart to Hendrix… Tchaikovsky to Jackson… We are susceptible to the firing line. The Moths… when we are not, The Cicadas. We place our consciousness on the edge of things. It’s a dance for sho’…! The zone in our existence where the sacred and the profane meet, this is a collective space - obviously. And with many various forces of energy which can - of course function constructively and destructively. The Hymns mixed up with the Blues, mixed up with the Hymns…

I don’t mean to come off as supercilious. Nevertheless, this is serious business. (As Mr. Barker told the mid-70’s twenty-one year old Xavier students ultimately when explaining, Jazz.) As gently as I, Esquizito, can put it: We are in an eternally massive flux of creation-destruction-creation-destruction-creation… Most human-beings are apparently content to stay away from the fire. For the truth seekers, this realm of being requires very careful negotiations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys, Brother and Sisters: We, the poets and musicians, are all seeking a way to pray in public.

“Everybody’s looking for the ladder…” “Dance on, dance on, dance on…” “Anna Stesia come to me…” “Breaking me down, down, down, down, down…”

Snow… in April.

Songs are in a continuos sequence.

Esquizito,

Cafe Istanbul, New Orleans

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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams

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