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Bryonn Bain
Bryonn Bain, a Harvard Law School graduate, is also an accomplished writer and poet. He is the 2000 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion and a member of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe 2000 National Slam Team. Bryonn also placed second (out of several hundred) in the 2000 Individual Competition at the National Poetry Slam in Rhode Island.

A book written by Bryonn recounting the events of an ugly confrontation with NYC police is scheduled for release in Fall 2001. His story has been the topicdoc Chris Matthews, Johnnie Cochran, Oprah, and Mike Wallace for CBS' 60 Minutes.

Find out more about Bryonn on Verbs On Asphalt

In the Temple

Before mine eyes had seen the gory
Gang rape of a little girl disowned
By her own for bringing the child
Of a holy war into this world

Before Father John fell on his knees
One silent night to pray
On that child defiled
Because he was afraid to disobey

I useta worship in the Temple

When I had never seen the scriptures
Encrypted in the leaves of trees
When I had never heard hymns
Hummed in harmony by a colony of bees

When I had never learned
That elders are angels
Sent to watch over me
I useta worship in the Temple

I useta sacrifice in the Sanctuary

But in my youth I got the gospel Truth
From a blade of grass
And witnessed the wisdom
Of the water running in my bath

And wind was my religion
Telling the future of my past
I useta worship in the Temple
I useta worship in the Temple

I useta recite psalms in the Synagogue

Until a woman who had a way with words
That made me want to do away with words
Performed her poetry on me
Without saying a single word

Strumming sonnets on the strings that sing
The song of my manhood
Strumming sonnets on the strings that sing
The song of my soul as good

As worshipping in the Temple
I useta worship in the Temple
I useta worship in the Temple
I useta sing suras in the Mosque

Where Karma couldn1t catch a cab
On the corner of the Cross
Unless she double-crossed Krishna
For 30 pieces of Shiva

And meditated with mantras under mangos
And contemplated Siddhartha under a Kangol
Cuz a Kangol looks like a halo on a Negro
Whenever we go out to eat angel hair pasta

Or sit beside a Rasta
Blasting reggae remixes of Rumi
Out his radio and translating Revelations
Back into Ebonics from Ibo

While chanting nam myoho renge kyo
Nam myoho renge kyo
Nam myoho renge kyo
Which is just ancient jive for-

Everything is everything
Cuz everything says so
And everything IS Everything
Cuz Everything says so

So holy water is no holier than water
in your well right now
And church bells are no holier than cowry shells on the ground
And rosary beads are no holier than dime bags of weed somehow
And yesterday and tomorrow are no holier than NOW

Cuz now and then

Buddha be coming back in the newborn body of a blue black baby
And St. Mary is blind, crippled, crazy,
and living out of a box like an
old bag lady
And Shango shoots up tornadoes to shoot the breeze with Jesus Christ
And Persephone and Vodun menage-a-trois with the Moon
as soon as you go to
bed at night

But I see
SKIES OF BLUE
Have you gotten the gospel Truth
From a blade of grass?
   CLOUDS OF WHITE
And witnessed the wisdom
Of the water running in your bath?
      BRIGHT BLESSED DAYS
And is wind your religion?
Telling the future of your past?
         DARK SACRED NIGHTS
I useta worship in the Temple
And sacrifice in the Sanctuary
            AND I THINK TO MYSELF
I useta worship in the Temple
And recite psalms in the Synagogue
               WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
I useta worship in the Temple
And sing suras in the Mosque
                  WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
I useta worship in the Temple
I useta worship in the Temple
I useta worship in the Temple
I ustea worship in the Temple
Until I realized...
                     EVERYTHING AROUND ME IS GOD

© 2000 Bryonn Bain

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