I called the poet Quincy Troupe in New York today to ask him if he would send us an unpublished poem we could print in The St. Louis American. I wanted to publish something of his in advance of his appearance as part of the "BAG and Beyond: Old Friends and New Friends" events, Sept. 12-14 with the Nu Art Series in St. Louis.
He is old friends with our publisher, Donald M. Suggs, and our culture critic, K. Curtis Lyle. And, I suppose, to a far lesser extent, with me. As I was saying to Curtis today, "I was grandfather'd into this thing - or, I guess, grandson'd."
"Grandson'd is more like it," Curtis said.
Quincy said he'd send the poem. I was happy all day. What a gig, I kept thinking to myself. I got to help make a tiny, but significant, contribution to winning Missouri for Barack Obama and securing him the Democratic nomination for president - and Quincy Troupe will send me a poem to publish - and my publisher will not only let me publish the poem, he will clench his fists and close his eyes and exalt when he sees what I have done.
I'm glad it didn't happen to somebody else.
We will publish Quincy's poem alongside unpublished work by Curtis, Eugene B. Redmond, and Shirley LeFlore in the Sept. 11 edition of The St. Louis American. I am getting ahead of myself here, because I've not yet spoken with Redmond or Shirley. But we're all family, so I think it will work out all right.
Quincy was, as ever, full of stories. Before he comes to St. Louis, he has a studio date in Las Cruces, New Mexico with an Apache guitar player. After the St. Louis performance, he heads back to New York for the shooting of the new Miles Davis movie. Quincy wrote the script, based on his book Miles and Me, which is about the relationship they evolved in working on Miles' historic 1990 autobiography, as-told-to Troupe.
The producer of the film, Rudy Langlois, was previously a print media editor. He assigned Quincy the article about Miles that led to the book deal. "Rudy got the rights to my book," Quincy told me today. "I said, 'Who is going to write the script?' He said, 'You are!' I said, 'I've never written a movie!' He said, 'I'll walk you through it.'"
As Curtis would say: Man, Quincy.
Samuel L. Jackson is playing Miles. Laurence Fishburne is playing Troupe. Yeah. Man. Quincy.
I told Quincy maybe this would take off for him - maybe he would become a scriptwriter next.
"Nah, nah," he said. "I'm a poet."
Picture of Troupe live at New College in San Francisco in 2007 from some guy's Flickr site.