Poetry and Art


My Voice

They said I wasn’t mainstream enough

with my beatnik mouth and street words.

That my style was gutter

like faded Snicker’s wrappers

and hazy glass on the corner of

Jensen and Caplin Street.

That my poetry made a sound like

the aftermath of a sucker punch.

And so, I went and told them

that before my life was through

I’d prove what the granddaughter

of an almost slave could do.

I dared them to put their

two most divergent roads

against even one of  the byways

I have travelled.

Place their bravest pioneers in

the face of the dangers I have encountered.

Lay every tear they’ve ever wept

while in the valley of unrest

next to mine and let me show them

how a Black girl’s words can concoct thought

from salt water and a sample of existence.

For I am the language of the people.

The real people.

The huddled masses,

the congress of outcasts

living with infinity skin

who, even under the threat of death,

live each day more magical than the last.

I am the chorus

for disembodied voices

left to suffocate beneath the stripes

of the American flag.

I am the vision

sparkling with fractured light

even after police batons

attempt to beat us into darkness.

I am the uniform of a people

and my words are badges

that show what an honor it is

to fight to be heard.

So lay your best line next to mine

and let my words soak it in venom.

My lines will teach you

how to treat threats as decadence.

Hand my pen your schoolboy freedom.

It will show your page

how to set the stars on fire.

Let your page play it safe.

Let it marshal all of your emotions in a line

like strands on a loom.

Mine will gladly unravel,

come completely undone beneath a lover’s touch.

As you count the many ways you love her,

my lover will slip into the cold ether of my words

with no idea of where he will emerge.

My poem will confuse and steal love’s breath.

While your stanzas watch from the ground

my lyrics will remember how to fly.

When your brittle story

slumbers beneath the veil of privilege

like dawn slumbers in the memory of dusk,

my story will fall into chaos,

be scattered into nothingness


and begin again.

Try as you might

to destroy,

to exclude,

to fade it out of existence,

I am the statement of Genesis

and my voice will forever be

in the fabric of your cells.

 The Poem is by me and the art is by both Courtney and me.  

The art is called Creation of the Moon by The Cy’On Collection Sean JohnsonArtistSeanJohnsonArts.NetAll My Heroes Were AssassinatedAttachments area

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