Tag Archives: race

You Never Know

25 Mar


It’d be nice to buy in to the “colorblind” stuff. “I don’t see race, I just see humans.” But it doesn’t work. And in the end it will be better that we don’t.

It’d also be nice to be able to say that after living in Garfield Park, all stereotypes are obliterated and I’m without preconceived notions. But again, nope.

So it’s always nice when stereotypes are obliterated. It reminds me that I really can’t judge people by what they look like, that people can, and will, always surprise me…

On the bus. In the back. Observing. There’s a young guy, sagged jeans and a black hoodie. Hard face. A man in a wheelchair gets on the bus. The man with the hard face relinquishes his seat in the handicapped section. A few stops later, another handicapped person gets on. The bus driver lowers the ramp, and it’s the second long stop in a just a few minutes. The young guy with the hard face gets up to help raise the seat for the newcomer. At the same time, a better-dressed, older gentleman, gets up and exits the bus, rolling his eyes, clearly frustrated with how long everything is taking.

I thought to myself, “I would’ve put those people in opposite places.” Usually age means respect and compassion. Youth, impatience and frustration. But on the bus that day, everything was flip-flopped. And I was glad.

I can always use a reminder that boxes never fit.

white-wash-room 4

18 Mar


We were in a white room and white
was the subject
and it wasn’t hate or lavish
shame that shackled me to the carpet
Though the tight-rope walker outside

Could’ve fallen and I wouldn’t have cared

But to know the depths of our sweet
disgrace, our gullible frieze
like an orange popped into a blender
smiling and buoyant, rustling its pulp for a night on the town
I strychnined the waterhole

The whale beached in ragtime
I wondered
How many dollars did it really buy us
to sell our cultures for a bit of land
and if things hadn’t been that way

Would They be spread out among us uncheated and straight
and powerful? Instead of cooped up in flashbulb neon’s
making Bucks for Booze
Or a savings for a life distracted from its original fuse?


whitewash_by_rosetigerdragonConstantine may have been good or bad.
but we’ve all had our evil thoughts since

Roll up our bed mats and family traditions
It’s each for his own and this man is America
stubble and rubble and heave-ho the oar-pull

Still reflections that’s really just ripples

Scamp, pick me up! we’re goin’ out,
Cammie’s in town
Go, I said, I’m white and boring


whitewash_If love should cover all manner of sins

We all need to start loving like a head-on collision

Never stop,
don’t breathe,
don’t step
Unclog our valves

Slick the sidewalk with our whitewash
of Humility, forgive us and tramp us, scamp us, herald

Not one of us for basic utilities
Search in futility for a man who knows himself
better than the bison knew the plains

its thunder and mountainous pail

Glinting, like a cracked marble, or a sea-shone
stone dropped back into the surf

Into my eyes, pale demon and sword
cloaked in sunlight from cracked shades
of white
This room,
where sons of sailors and laymen,
daughters of cartographers are now
run of the mill

Because we built ourselves in
Run the grain, Flynn, run it over our heads

We are one, and we are no one

Our breaded faces are testament to
It. Its peace and truth. Our stone-ground heritage nothing
more than nothing really, It’s
All the better, Flynn. Really Is. All the better.

Plump blueberries and oranges, cranberry
Cocktail. Sleep. All the better.

Silence From Those Infinitely Lost in the Long Mist

16 Mar


lifelines lost, unraveling in solid
frozen sand. fog. this bridge

// sticks and twine

disappears into bloody mist,
the matchhead redness

and far

test tubes filled with it,
genetic mysteries lined up on rented shelves
their kids’ tuition and

// Christmas

and waiting
in lines, online and for the mailman.
results black and printed

“…Cote d’Ivore…”

“…praise the Lord!”
they are fevered, gracious, and meals
thrown with family over family ties; maybe tickets.

// 14 hours

to see that land
only to find reported later

families whipped into dust
and deck planks. genealogy lost in
that ship’s
blood-churned wake



Cornell West @ St. Sabina

10 Feb


this man is one of the most brilliant, most hilarious, most disconcerting speakers I’ve ever heard.

cornell west. google him.