I the Father which wert in heaven conjure and command thee
O Legba master of the crossroads to connect this cowboy’s circuit to Guinea and summon forth:
Cousin Zaka who will parch their fields and slaughter their livestock and make their herd winding up the Chisholm stumble into a Twilight Zone
O Gu rust their fire firearms and cause their horseshoes to slip off the animals’ hooves
O Judas Iscariot who ratted on the Ghoul give me the treachery to turn this town upside down and spill evil from all its pockets
O Jack Johnson give me the power to rise for the bell until Yellow Back Radio is down for the count
O Doc John, Doc Yah Yah and Zozo Labrique Marie Laveau the Grand Improvisers if I am not performing these rites correctly send the Loa anyway and allow my imagination to fill the gaps
O Mack Hopson blood of my blood teach me the secret of the 12 rabbits and the cheesecake
O Baron-La-Croix grip Drag Gibson so that every other day last rites will be requested
O Johnny of the delicate feet
Marinette of the dry arm send the dead swiftly to make my vengeance so complete and artsy craftsy that I though an amateur will be admired by houngans the world over
O General Dig, bury Drag Gibson in the stomach of swines next to George allace
O Black Hawk American Indian houngan of Hoo-Doo please do open up some of these prissy orthodox minds so that they will no longer call Black People’s American experience “corrupt” “perverse” and “decadent.” Please show them that Booker T and MG’s, Etta James, Johnny Ace and Bojangle tapdancing is just as beautiful as anything that happened anywhere else in the world. Teach them that anywhere people go they have experience and that all experience is art.
A hoo doo spell/curse/prayer from Ishmael Reed’s 1969 novel Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down.