In The Company of Genius
A Poem for Janfrey Preston. Ark-Eye-Text, 1939-2020
By Eugene B. Redmond
His Forebears revered
Ancient Things--Stars, Pyramids
Proverbs & Kinships--
Endured Middle Passages
& Great Migrations UpSouth.
Nestled in Their Dreams, Janfrey trailed The
Birth of Jazz Ntu East Saint Love.
Beloved East Saint Love of Sheer Growth
Sheer Sketch Sheer Sound Sheer Rhythm Sheer
Heights Sheer Where-With-All: To Create.
To Empower. To Design/Endow Empire. All
The while Preston after Preston Pressed On!
Like Jazz, Janfrey knew no limits &,
Like Jazzicians, he improv’d upon improv upon
Genius. As he drew mighty breaths, he
Drew a mighty edifice that cried, “Call
Me The Mary Brown Center.” Another crooned,
“My name is Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary
School”—so “Jump back, honey, jump back!”
I love writing in Lincoln Park. Olympians
Al & Jackie Joyner grew up nearby.
Lincoln High School & St. Paul Baptist
Church are also Neighbors. Miles Davis went
To the school, church & park. And
Janfrey would re-Imagine/re-Build all
Three. The Moral: Genius Keeps Genius Company.
East Saint Love: Village
After Village—Stars, Kinships,
June 4, 2022