Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

new poem: Run Tell That

run tell that 

dear antoine,
our country is a place
where misfortune makes
you famous
where the humor you summon up
to fight back tears & rapist 
becomes detached hot air
staccato laughter 
spittle hitting laptop screens
& water coolers

in this place your face jokes
quicker than bullets
before you can drop kick & stop him
a slap of a gun tongue
turned slapstick
before you can outrun him

your kicking screaming cruel world
gone cartoon cool world
attack mushed to entertainment
black anguish 
made black music

antoine, we have not met
like you, i grew in the projects
learned early
to ball my mouth
into twelve fists
to shout 
on behalf of women’s bodies
i, too, mastered the art 
of falling
in a small home my mama didn’t own
people like us 
manage, nobly,
to dream despite
our brushes with nameless sadists

people like us medusa neck jerk
to scare & stun invading neighbors
poet people like us carry scars
suffer fools who carve fear

into community
a whole nation calls you viral

but you were the one who named the sickness
“they’re raping everybody out here”
alas, i know this to be true

your heart, i know
to be true
defending your sister’s
some gulp it down like punch line
but antoine, i bring you water
i cheer you & i hear you
directly addressing 
the newsman's camera
shrinking terror

sometimes there is a tremor
so forceful
in the gut
it tickles
our country a slum lord tenement
where ghetto disgrace
suburban boys giggle

where trauma-cum-fun
where panic can be sampled

where rage can be remixed 
& self-defense makes dollar download
where strangers claim
the copyright
to your rhythmic urgent threats
the tremor is where we live
but antoine, it wasn’t funny
so i refuse to dance
& did they find the thug?
hug your sister for me, antoine


cuz i dream 
a home 
for you
in a safe & spacious country
where your very own 
can sprout
from joy

from joy