Month: January 2017

gangsta poetry

Gangsta Poetry

(written during the George W. Bush era)

 

I’m finna get gangsta and pop some hot lead in ya ear

maybe then the signal will come in mo clear

cause it’s easy to ignore the heat

till your ASS is on fire

 

now we done voted Pinky & the Brain into the white house

again

and gave them gangsta fools another reason to win

cause they can see

that as long as we getting two or three

crumbs

we stay numb & dumb

blind to their gangsta grind

 

& believe you/me

they put a lot of work behind the smirk on that jerk

he ain’t nearly as stupid as you think

I seen him wink

at Condi while her arm be

reachin’ for the button to put us on a

hunger strike like Gandhi

 

Cheney just shifted into third

& we still ain’t said a word

bout how he got us barreling toward hell in a

50-cynlider

8000 horsepower

leather-interiored handbasket that seats 88

and gets 12 miles to the

5 dollar and 52 cent gallon

 

Cause we busy worrying about

Angelina, Brad & Britney

Halle, Bobby & Whitney

Lil’ Kim, MJ & Fitty

Martha Stewart, P Diddy

 

all these people who don’t even matter

we sitting in front of our tv’s getting fatter and fatter

and fatter

 

eating Sausage McCancer Cakes with a side of heart attack fries

watching t&a videos and ignoring our children’s twisted cries

for attention – they just got gansta and went to have their own babies – maybe then somebody’ll listen.

 

Cause we’re headin’ for armageddon

lazy, paranoid and ignorant sheep

following the boy king to eternal sleep

unless we wake up

and take up arms

not guns – well, maybe one

 

but I’m not talking about gangsta flicks with guns blastin

i’m talking about gangsta fastin

clearing your mind of the social debris

turning of the damn tv

thinking critically

 

teaching your children what they missed in school

and not letting organized religion make you a bigoted, self-righteous fool

not buying a bigger house every time you get a raise

what about building wealth to give our grandchildren better days

 

I’m talking bout holding them accountable for their gangsta acts &

making them pay for their gangsta stats

they took all our freedoms

we takin’ em back

 

If we gonna beat these gangstas at their gangsta game

we gotta break loose from these mental chains

otherwise, it’s just more of the same

 

Diversion

Dispersion

Domination

Altercations

Extinction

see her

SEE HER

By Thembi Duncan

(Trigger Alert – violent imagery)

A bit of math, inspired by a seminal text of the black womanist movement:

All the women are white. All the blacks are men. All the queers are white men. Therefore, I do not exist.

No room for intersectionality in a zero sum world, and yet I breathe. Through my nose. For the brown face in my mirror has no mouth. I serve my voice to others for breakfast. To children. To men. To women who forsake me. To people who benefit from privilege that I will never hold in my hands.

Every 28 days, a fresh snuff film is released for the consumption of the masses. A black life is seen ending. I refuse to bear witness. I know full well that the images that you see – become a part of you. Funny that I have never seen anyone post a video of a black baby being born. Only death. Despair is my constant companion. Each day, the chants get louder and louder – Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Often countered with – White Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. There never seems to be enough room on their signs for the rest: “More than yours.”

Black Lives Matter. A social media, social justice, boots-on-the-ground movement sparked by three black queer women. To call attention to black men being lynched in the United States of America. To humanize

American citizens who are being hunted and murdered – American citizens who are given less regard than known terrorists in war-torn foreign lands, for whom our American military MUST respect the rules of engagement. And when they do not, they are prosecuted. But not here. Not in our beautiful, slave-built home – the United States of America.

When I see those queer women, walking the front lines, pounding this blistering, racist American pavement, marching for justice, inspiring more queer black women to take up fists in Canada, London, Israel…I feel my feet begin to stomp. I feel my fist rising, rising, rising…I feel my voice fighting its way to the surface.

But then I breathe in through my nose, and I smell the charred body of Goddess Diamond, who was only 20 when she was murdered and set aflame. Why is she not mentioned among the famous black martyrs? Why is she not a symbol of this Neo-Futuristic Technological Civil Rights Movement?

You say – Maya Young, Reecey Walker, and Dee Whigham were not stabbed by police officers. You say – Skye Mockabee and Shante Isaac were not bludgeoned by police officers. This is about extra-judicial killings, you say. Mercedes Successful and Kandice Johnson were not shot by police, you say. Veronica Banks Cano and Keyonna Blakeney were not mysteriously killed by the police. Yes, Deeniquia Dodds was shot dead in D.C. on the Fourth of July – but not by racist police. You’re mixing apples and oranges, you say.

But putting a woman’s very identity on trial, finding her guilty of inhabiting a mind and body that you deem unacceptable, and then playing judge, jury, and executioner in this twisted, violent injustice – is that not an extrajudicial killing?

If a transgender woman is murdered in the woods and no one is there to record it on their mobile phone, does her death make a sound?

If all of these Black Lives Matter vigils, marches, die-ins, blog posts, hashtags, speeches, poems, plays – are to galvanize us toward social justice, and BLACK is the operative word here, why are black transgender women still not a part of this conversation? This year so far, they have been killed at a rate of almost two per month. Do we not even care? I do. I recognize that I hold so many marginalized flags that my cisgender privilege is often obscured from my view. What about you?

This is not the Oppression Olympics, though if it were, black queer women would surely pull silver.

Tonight, consider what most black women do – for most of their lives – think of someone else first. Open your eyes a little wider and see her. Her black life matters, too.

power of poetry

“What’s important about poetry in the context of leadership is that most of the time, power has to do with dominance. But poetry is never about dominance. Poetry is powerful but it cannot even aspire to dominate anyone. It means making a connection.” -June Jordan