The Revolution will not be synthesized.
You will not be able to imagine it, and then draw a diagram of it.

The Revolution will be total. not a toy to put into your hip hop song.

The Revolution will not trick people into thinking that it’s real.
It may be doubted,
It may be shouted,
but it will be something you feel.

The Revolution will not be a product,
The Revolution will produce.

It will not be consumed, my brother,
It will do the consumin.

The Revolution will not date itself
with immanently out of date technology.

It will be felt! Not below the tongue,
But Above! Because It’s sung!

The Revolution will not be replaced
because you found a better model,
The Revolution is always the newest model.

It will not come from a box, it will come from human hands.
Human hands that hit, but hands that also touch electronica,
as well as the arms that guide them.

The Revolution may be sampled,
but it will also be recontextualized.

You will be able to remember it.
but you won’t be able to replicate it.

You’ll be able to carefully arrange it,
but you can’t control it.

You can vocode it,
but you can also voice it.

You can automate it,
but it fades with every playing.

The Revolution will have its pitch shifted,
And it shifts the harmonies wherever it exists.
The Revolution is not your bitch.

It is not customizable for your comfort,
Although it is engineered by precise fanatics.

The Revolution can be composed,
but no one can determine the composer.

It will have authority,
but no author.

The Revolution is never an offer.

You can communicate it through words,
but it does not reside entirely within language.

You cannot isolate its algorithms,
but you can accompany its rhythms.

We may find that we have already revolted,
And The Revolution is always insulted.

-Sometime in february of 2010. When I was just starting to think of how to perform my poetry with a live band, and I finally found one. Lilac Inferno. Never really performed this song with em, tho, altho I definitely very intentionally looked at Gil Scott Heron as a vocalstylist very intensely then. Here’s a recording I did of it around march 2010.

The early sounds are made from my voice speaking very closely to a silkscreen, traditionally used for printing purposes, here used as a bow for the vibrating string which my mouth resembles during speech.

Still continue to record and perform it live in new ways. haha, I have an addendum to this poem i always ad lib live. Always start from the line “THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE UPLOADED ONTO YOUTUBE” and pretty much the spirit always takes me somewhere from there.

I did perform it live once, memorably, at GODgaveUSbossVEGAS, an arts and music festival I helped organize that did not even break even.

I held an entire room of partygoers at attention with just a microphone and these words, tho.

Since Gil’s passing I still look to him for inspiration for my vocals. May his star ever shine when we close our eyes, teaching us how to live and read instead of sit and sit.

It most recently found its way into my science fiction universe. In the speculative religion forming a bible (which Gospel According To A Robot may or may not end up being included with it), they often perform psalms before speeches or musical performances. It is psalm 48, and it is performed before an e-mail urging the inclusion of The Robotic Word: