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Professor ARTURO
Posted By: Craig Kapilow on May 09, 2008

Professor ARTURO, a poet and fiction writer from New Orleans, is a Spoken Word artist, educator, performer, editor and speechwriter who received a Master of Arts degree in Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. degree in English/Journalism from the State University of New York-College at New Paltz. As one of the original Broadside poets of the 1960s, Professor ARTURO has collaborated on a medley of projects with a melange of artists including painters, musicians, photographers, dancers, singers, fire eaters, waiters, cab drivers, and other members of the Great Miscellaneous.

He has performed his poetry, fiction, toasts and “jazz poems” on a solo basis or with musical accompaniment at Ebony Square, Vincent’s City Club, the Contemporary Arts Center, the Louisiana Folklife Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Urban League’s Annual Golden Gala, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Tulane University’s Amistad Research Center’s Achievement Award Banquet, True Brew Coffeehouse, the Maple Leaf Bar and an array of public/parochial schools, colleges, and churches nationwide. He has also served as Featured Performance Poet at Sweet Lorraine’s jazz club and co-founded the performance series “ARTURO and Joe’s Old Skool Jazz & Poetry Open Mic Night” at the legendary Edgelake Bar (featured in Elvis Presley’s “King Creole”).

His work has appeared in such diverse publications as FAHARI, the American Poetry Review, the Shooting Star Review, the Minnesota Review, the Gallery Mirror, EBONY, From a Bend in the River, Mesechabe, Word Up, the Chicory Review, the New Laurel Review, the New Orleans Tribune, We Speak As Liberators, Black Spirits, A Broadside Treasury, and Swapping Stories: Folktales From Louisiana.

He has taught at educational institutions ranging from Northeastern University (Visiting Poet for the Africana Studies Center) to Texas Southern University (Writer In Residence). He has served as Academic Instructor for the New Orleans Urban League’s Computer Operations Training Center and as Poet In Residence at the Neighborhood Gallery.

Millennium Man
to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
(January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968)

Lift up my voice like a trumpet
for I sing Your Name in poetry and praise
Lift up my voice like a trumpet
for I walk in the splendor of Your Name...
I walk in the Name of the Comforter
I walk in the Name of the Healer
who has raised the dead to eternal life
I walk in the Name of the Father
-His kingdom and power
-the glory of His Word
-His family of love and light,
light and love...
In the Name of the Holy Spirit
In the names of the Apostles and Prophets
In the names of the sinners and Saints
I walk by faith, not by sight
I walk in passion and progress
I walk in His wisdom, His mercy and strength
I walk in the fullness of His presence
I walk through Him, with Him, in Him, of Him
I walk in the Way, the Truth, the Light of Worlds
I walk in human dignity
I walk in a New Age of New Ideas
I walk in an Old South and age-old fears
I walk in the sisterhood and brotherhood of a higher, moral law...
I walk in His Word
I walk in His harmony, love, peace and liberty
I walk in His legacy and light
I walk in the World (its hunger, confusion, death and disease)
in confinement and injustice
in the social stagnation of segregation
in times of adversity, doubt and tears
trial and tribulation, in suffering and death, pain and purification…
I walk in erupting violence and non-violent resistance
I walk in prayer and emancipation
in a dream, long deferred-
a nightmare of cattle prods, ax handles, boycotts and bats
in challenge and controversy
in coolness and calmness amidst calamity
I walk in salvation and craving, solitude and sadness
I walk in a conscience, awakened
(up from slavery and into the millennium)
I walk in the bittersweet fabric of destiny's garment
and accept this cup (for many are called, but few are chosen)
for I am a native son
a spook sitting by unopened doors crying "I am"
I walk in the comfort of His Hand
-the Hand of the One Who stilled the water
-the Hand of the One Who raised the dead
-the Hand of the One Who healed the sick
-the Hand of the One Who comforted the afflicted
-the Hand of the One Who pulled me from the clutches of the World
-the Hand of the One Who looked out over the darkness and said:

I walk in America, where the streets are paved with pennies
and lined in aluminum...
I walk on Oretha Castle Haley
(I used to walk on Dryades Street)
I walk in "Treme"
(I used to walk in the Sixth Ward)
I walk under the Claiborne Avenue I-10
(I used to walk under trees)
I walk in the Name of the Father, the joy of my youth
and blessing of my aging
(for I am I and I and Eye)
I walk in life and learning
I walk in rhetoric and reasoning
I walk in the harmony of heaven
I and I and I and Eye...
I walk in life and all love
in my Father's footsteps and blessings from above...
walking in space
walking in the rithum of my Father...
thankful, ever thankful
for the power of His Word...

I proclaim the delight of Your glorious deeds
I accept this bitter chalice, this challenge given by Your Hand
I await Your final call
and sing Your Name in poetry and praise...


Martin (Pray for us)
His legacy and work (Pray for us)
Martin King (Pray for us)
Martin Luther King (Pray for us)
Dr. Martin Luther King (Pray for us) Right Reverend Dr. King (Pray for us)
Blessed Martin (Pray for us)
Minister to the poor (Pray for us)
Drum major for justice (Pray for us)
Strong, vibrant voice (Pray for us)
Nobel recipient (Pray for us)
Man of peace (Pray for us)
Cause of our joy (Pray for us)
Modern day martyr (Pray for us)
Inside agitator (Pray for us)
Champion of rights (Pray for us)
Why we can't wait (Pray for us)
Profession of faith (Pray for us)
Messenger of humanity (Pray for us)
Dreamer, deferred (Pray for us)
Voice of the voiceless (Pray for us)
Health to the sick (Pray for us)
Disciple of love (Pray for us)
Just-us justice (Pray for us)
Your mother and your father (Pray for us)
Yo' momma and yo' daddy (Pray for us)
Yo' maw and yo' paw (Pray for us)
Big Mary's #1 (Pray for us)
Big Mary's #2 (Pray for us)
Chirrens in the middle schools (Pray for us)
Two-ton Tessie (Pray for us)
You know the girl messy (Pray for us)
Yabba-Dabba Doo (Pray for us)
Bip Bam-Bam (Pray for us)
learned the magic (Pray for us)
from a man named Sam (Pray for us)
Two-faced Cassie (Pray for us)
She doggish like Lassie (Pray for us)
Timbaland-Magoo (Pray for us)
Biggy and Woo (Pray for us)
"Want ma money'-worth" (Pray for us)
Ba-a-a-ad mamma jamma now (Pray for us)
Basin and Canal (Pray for us)
Claiborne and Dumaine (Pray for us)
Tulane and Broad (Pray for us)
Weedy and Wooty (Pray for us)
Teedy and Tooty (Pray for us)
Yo' gran'ma passes (Pray for us)
stinky greenhouse gasses (Pray for us)
(No, he didn't) (Pray for us)
You ain't nuthin' nice (Pray for us)
Chicka-boom Chicka-boom (Pray for us)
Chicka boom-boom-boom (Pray for us)
Gotta git together (Pray for us)
Sooky- sooky-sooky, now (Pray for us)
This is a serious poem (Pray for us)
So back to Dr. King (Pray for us)
Keeper of the faith (Pray for us)
Disciple of peace (Pray for us)
Harvester of harmony (Pray for us)
Solace to the lonely (Pray for us)
Comforted of the afflicted (Pray for us)
Healer of the addicted (Pray for us)
Joy to the sorrowful (Pray for us)
Spiritual vessel (Pray for us)
Minister to the imprisoned (Pray for us)
Lover of his enemies (Pray for us)
Saint amidst sinners (Pray for us)
Mover of nations (Pray for us)
Minister of the word (Pray for us)
Cannonball Adderley (Have mercy on us)
Son of all martyrs (Have mercy on us)
Watcher of the Word (Have mercy on us)
Keeper of the Flame (Have mercy on us)
True believer in the Father (Have mercy on us)
Generator of justice (Have mercy on us)
The ultimate price (Have mercy on us)
Middle Passage souls (Have mercy on us)
Crowded, stinking ships (Have mercy on us)
Mr. Medgar Evers (Have mercy on us)
Viola Liuzzo (Have mercy on us)
Schwerner-Chaney-Goodman (Have mercy on us)
Emmitt Till-Mack Parker (Have mercy on us)
Lil' Bobby Hutton (Have mercy on us)
Everybody else (Have mercy on us)
Burning churches and the crosses (Have mercy on us)
Mutilated bodies (Have mercy on us)
Birmingham bombs (Have mercy on us)
Bullets on the balcony (Have mercy on us)
A conscience awakened (Have mercy on us)
His legacy and light (Have mercy on us)
Grant us peace (Have mercy on us)
Grant us peace (Have mercy on us)
Grant us peace (Have mercy on us)...

Thanks be to God
Thanks be to the heavens filled with His sweet accord
Thanks be to the people
(lifting every voice and singing)
Thanks be to the many rooms in my Father's mansion
Thanks to His praise and honor
to the heavenly banquet that awaits us all...
Thanks to a burden-lifting God
an awesome God
a perfect and everlasting God
Thanks be to the light of His presence
amidst All Saints' gospel and glory
Thanks be to an eternal dwellingplace in the heavens
Thanks be to the Great Thanksgiving
the fire, the flame
the fineness of His love
Thanks be to God
to His perpetual light
to being one with His Spirit
to the Father's loving Hands
to the ultimate price and measure
to dwelling in the house of the Lord, forever
to our faith, eternally in His Hands
to being free at last-
asleep in the bosom of the King of kings
(his soul, now freed from death)
Thanks be to God
to the new life of the mortal bodies
of His children of the dust
to their victory over death's dominion
their souls, now freed from longsuffering and want
to the place prepared for them in God's embrace
Thanks be to His kingdom, power and glory forever
Thanks be to God
and the memory of His ever-faithful servant,


ARTURO "Professor" Pfister
February 8, 2002
Copyright 2002
All Rights Reserved
(Friday nite befo' Mardi Gras Day)

Inquiries about the author’s availability for workshops, readings, collaborative projects, seminars, residencies, and publications should be directed to:
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Now That was Captivating. Umm Umm Umm. Keep up the good work, at least you are among the proud mark leavers even if we pass on to another life. God Bless.
Monday, June 16th 2008 at 6:48AM
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