Sun Ra – The Damneded Air (rec. December 1962) (poem)

“There is no place for the past in the realm of the future,” Ray Stubbs darkly intones over a quivering and querulous trumpet and piano in his 1962 performance of Sun Ra’s apocalyptic poem “The Damneded Air.”

The Damneded Air

around the earth
circles the infinity of the damneded air
the damneded inheritance of the earth
are the same vibrations it ever was
we need new air
we need the air that vibrates with the
sound of another kind of mind
we need the beam of the future to strike
the earth
like the lightning and the power of a
in order that the dying embers of the past
should suddenly be extinct
there is no place for the past in the realm
of the future
except temporarily as an exhibit of that which is taboo
because the past is the past
and the future is the future
the eternity of the limited past
was for those who were taught the limited
the unlimited reach of the future is
another kind of forever
there is an inner darkness and there is an
outer darkness
those who become subjects of the inner
darkness dwell therein
those who become subjects of the outer
darkness shall dwell there out
out is the way of the outer
and in, the way of the inner
and in of the inner in
is different from the end of the outer in
because the outer in is the outer on
out is the outer and in is the inner
the way out is the way to living, breathing
let’s blast the damneded air and claim the
right to be a part of the outer heavens and
outer space
that we might live and breathe and be
eternally alive
let’s blast the damnded air
the imprisoning circle that bans the earth
with the echoes of the dead truth of the
damneded word
lets the light shine upon the darkness
that enchains the meaning of the
knowledge that has been used as the law
to destroy


Here Listen


Here download

this planet is doomed
the science fiction poetry of Sun Ra
Kicks Books (2011)
The damneded air   pp 64, 65

Many thanks to FromNowhere and  OtherPlanesofThere for their insightful contribution to this post.