by Mari Ann Roberts, from Emory University
This poem wants to make a change . . .
To be a strong yet silent raised fist in Mexico, 1968.
To stand at a window w/a shotgun writing the words
“By any means necessary”
To sit in at a lunch counter in Birmingham, Alabama
Until it is read
To start a breakfast program in Compton, California
In order to feed hungry minds
To stand up for its rights in Akron, Ohio and shout,
“Aint I A poem?”
To integrate an all white book store under protection of the National Guard
And if George Wallace says to it,
“You will not enter unless it's over my cold, dead, body...”
This poem will gladly take him up on his offer.
But now this poem feels that perhaps it is too militant,
Maybe it and Spike should just “Do the Right Thing”...
Take the hand of other poems deep in the South Georgia woods and lead them to freedom
Under cover of night-light.
Take its brothers and sisters out of “the man's” world and
Into Aaron's “Boondocks,”
Play it's own music, live in Jamaica and
Grow Nappy Locs,
Start a union with A. Phillip down at the docks,
Be read by Martin while being pelted with rocks.
Find out what would happen
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
This poem will get accused of “Ego Trippin” but
will not take it personally while saying
“And Still I Rise”
It will invite other poems to a free concert headlined by
Marvin, Stevie, Chuck D, and Black Thought
This poem will do what it should, not what others think it ought...
This poem will be munificent...
Will give because so much has been given to it...
Will do because so much has been done for it...
Will be able to sit down because so many others have
Stood up . . .
But this poem can not sit still for long...
Because this poem has been disenfranchised...
This poem was told that there is no longer a need
For affirmative action
and has had it replaced with definite inaction
This poem cast a vote in Florida, only to be told that it did not count...
This poem watched its country expand our “melting pot” to include all kinds of ingredients,
Then scrape the black off the bottom of the pan...
and send it back to Haiti on a raft
This poem has been pulled over for being DWI
(drafted with intelligence)
This poem was profiled at Hartsfield Airport,
And made to take off it's...blues.
This poem never cast its vote for any species of Bush,
It's not concerned with whom you marry,
Nor does it desire to trade the blood of young soldiers for oil, but look what it got...
This poem wants 2 b a revolutionary...