Friday, June 12, 2015

It all happened here (dedicated to Kalief Browder)

I was young, never thought life could get so complicated but it was
Bronx born, I was still compel to chase butterflies if the moment struck me.
But it all happen here

They accused me, said that I, 16 years old committed some robbery,
I did not commit no damn robbery!
But it all happened here

Down in central booking I was scared and confused but tried to hide it.
They put me in jail! My parents could not afford to get me out!
But if they could. No bail!
But it all happen here

In a cell with others that looked like me but one happen to see me
He said nigga who you looking at? Want some beef!
Scared, confused, I did not answer just looked away!
But it all happened here

Noticing my age they place me in a cell alone
No charges, no bail, but in jail at 16
But it all happen here

I began hearing whispers counting the hours teasing me
Hey do you know what day today is? (laughter)
It’s your birthday (laughter)
But it all happen here

Monsters came into my cell to inflict pain on me
Pull on me, beat me, I ain’t supposed to be here I yelled!
I ain’t supposed to be here!
But it all happened here

Dim lights darkness, no appetite, they say a pill will help
But I still here the voices, they’re going to hurt me!
Can’t go to the yard without fighting monsters in the daylight (Swing)
But it all happened here.

Needing to escape, I try to teleport myself through the walls because the voices say I can
The voices are getting louder, so I pop one pill, then another, see the doctor, and another pill
This all can’t be real, I am going to leave through teleportation. All I need is this bed and a sheet.
The voices are still there
But it all happened here.

Three years and they let me out, yeah they let me out. They knew I was innocent but the voices are here
I thought I left them in that dark cell, Shut up! I am not listening to you shut up!
They’re quiet now.
But it all happened here

My story gets out, I am a local celebrity, Jay Z came to see me, believe that? Believe that son!
That lady Rosie Odonnell gave me a computer for school, so I can go to college
I love college but there is so many people in class and in my head is saying “they are going to hurt you”
But it all happened here

I said, I am not at Rikers, This isn’t Rikers, No bars no guards
They say they’re here so I left
My family says they love me, they love me, why didn’t they come get me?
Why did they not save me! Why!

I’m fighting monsters, they’re coming through the door, more and more and more, they are shocking me! (aHHHHHHHHH!)
Why did no one save me?

Today my mom is frying fish, I can’t wait to eat. I am hungry the monsters are here today but I am not listening.

I want some fish, they are knocking on the door, it’s getting louder, and I am not letting them in.
I have to get out of this room, I’ll go to the next room and hide, they’re are still trying to get in!

I know I will have to teleport one last time, I need to teleport last time
No more monsters, No more monsters
But it all happened here
In America

Khalief Browder
committed suicide after being incarcerated at Rikers Island with no charges for more than 3 years. He was abused by the officers and the inmates so much that he developed a severe case of paranoia. Despite his release it was hard for him to adjust to life and fight his demons. His story is memorialize in the New Yorker written by Jennifer Gonnerman. This poem is dedicated to all of those who are abused in correctional institutions.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

For The Stolen Ones (Dedicated to Mike Brown)

I've never experienced the lynchings in Mississippi or Alabama

60 years removed from today yet more relevant than ever

I don't have to be that clever to realize that the hands of time

are creatively being pushed back to the times of despair for the darker ones

Our children are being stolen from us, their lives extinguished as if they are being teleported to another realm

As we weep over our children deaths, under tragic conditions that we are witnessing live!

Is it only I who notice that Southern Whites are lynching us with ammunition?

No ropes, No trees, just police officers bullets cutting through the Southern breeze

Strange fruit lying on urban streets

Their life force extinguished like leaves falling to the earth from a dying tree

Despite it all

We fight, unite, yell, scream, cry, ask God why

Protest, unrest, cursing, hearts bursting

Shoot me too, I am ready to die!

At least I will decide under what condition

No longer allowing the hands of policemen to casually suck the air out of my environment

We are here to save our children from the goblins who

use to come for them at night but now

extinguish their souls in broad daylight

For the stolen ones we are here ready to fight

For you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Poetic Ventures Writers Collective and NBAT host Philadelphia 1st Annual Black Poetry Honors

If you enjoyed movies like "Love Jones", Slam, or watched Def Poetry Jam, you will be in for a treat on May 1st 2014 where Poetic Ventures Writers Collective and The National Black Arts Tours will present close to 30 Philadelphia Poets awards for their tiring and amazing work on the urban poetry scene of Philadelphia. Many of these poets have set the scene for poets such as Jill Scott, Black Ice, and Wadud Ahmad. The fantastic artist have shared their talents unselfishly over the years with thousands of people in and out of the city of Philadelphia. Now it our time to recognize them for their work, a time to celebrate one another in vibes and verses. Poets Kimmika Williams Witherspoon, Lois Moses, Runett Nia Ebo, Thelma Sheldon Robinson, Kyree Superstar Mitchell, Pat McClean, Nish Pugh, Debra Wright, Oni Lasana, Lamont Dixon, Lamont Steptoe, Kyle Morris, Ronnie Way, Nikki Taylor, and many more. Come join us at the University of Pennsylvania campus at the Rotunda at 7pm and meet the Authors and Honorees. There will be a special tribute Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and Gil-Scott-Heron. See you there!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Temple Station WRTI 90.1 Radio Interview

Join me and a host of great poets as we discuss the legacy of Amiri Baraka and the history of the Black Urban Art Movement of Philadelphia. Lamon Napalm Dixon and a host of New York poets will speak about Amiri Baraka legacy and I with poets such as Lois Moses, Kimmika Williams Withersppon and Dr. Maurice Henderson will speak about the work of Philadelphia poets that speared a movement. So join us on April 25th beginning at 10pm on Temple Station WRTI 90.1 FM

Monday, August 5, 2013

180 degrees (ode to Oscar Grant)

It took 24 hours for Oscar to touch strangers lives as his life was about to be extinguished Fighting his demons off left and right all in order to make his mother, his ,daughter, his love proud How would he know that turning 180 degrees, he would face such head winds standing side by side with his friends as he beats back his demons as they confront him on the train as punches reign suppressing their attack He was just trying to make his way back.....home He was just trying to make his way back..... to his daughter He was just trying to make his way back..... to his mother How would he know that turning 180 degrees, he would face such head winds Serve and protect grabbed him, his friends, with wreckless abandonment but tonight the fight for his rights would end with his ultimate silence and the utterance of, Why did you shoot me... I have a daughter.... Why did you shoot me....I have a daughter.... How would he know that turning 180 degrees, he would face such head winds We going to be alright he said, We're going to be alright but known demons came to remove Oscar's light but they can not extinguish the faith, the hope, that we will stop the senseless killing of our children. So until this stop we will continue the fight. because he could not know that turning 180 degrees, he would face such head winds.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Southern Trees (Trayvon Reflection)

Southern trees swing in the breeze as the blood of strange fruit absorbs in the soil The spoils, of another soul promise for greater things as a shot heard around the world rings. Southern trees swing in the breeze Where we once lived in a nation when a slave ran to escape a plantation a time long past until a night that would open old wounds fast Southern trees swing in the breeze still in a nation where my skin is my sin no matter how innocent i seem still not to be able to win my struggle will not be in vein despite the pain nor will my memory wain for many shall carry on my name as Southern trees swing in the breeze some say I am the new Emit Till and I say I am the reality that you are living still Not free, Not free, to be me as Southern trees swing in the breeze A strange fruit,.....