TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Friday, October 2, 2009

FROM THE REBELLIOUS SIXTIES? YES, I REMEMBER: TWO POEMS

The Daddy grew up in the South. He lived in projects and old houses in essentially black neighborhoods in the inner-cities.

When he was about ten, he lived about a block from a hospital. Blacks in the neighborhood didn't trust the doctors, nurses and staff who worked there and only went there in the event of an emergency. The women said they were "fixed;" their "tubes were tied" so they couldn't have children again. The men said they weren't given proper care, and they treated rudely. However, the older men, drunks, and addicts would sit on benches just off the front entrance, drinking cheap liquor, nodding, or sleeping.

The Daddy thought about this hospital which was in his neighborhood but was no part of the neighborhood-- this hospital which, except for a few janitors and cleaning ladies, was staffed totally by white people at the time. He thought about the older black men occupying benches below administrative offices peopled by young white males (No blacks, no females) who were literally climbing up escalators of success. Then he wrote this poem entitled "where i live."

where i live

1
where i live
vicious dogs bark loudly at
smiling couples strolling past then
crawl meekly back under the house when
alpha owner buses home at the end of day.

2
where i live
homeless men with stomachs empty and coats rain-soaked
medicate aching backs, stained teeth and tired bones
with swigs of red Gallos straight from a dirt-stained box while
averting eyes from Gradys, which won't help unless
they drink themselves a minute closer to death.

3
where i live
phrases like "quality care" and "community health" flow like
red Gallos from empty suits high up escalators as
neighbors just below sit on weather-beaten
benches
averting their eyes from Gradys, retreating into
Gallo boxes, lifting
their heads to an ever darkening sky but
seeing nothing in particular.

YOU CAN'T KILL A REVOLUTION; YOU CAN ONLY KILL A MAN!

"Shoot, you cowards! You can't kill a revolution. You're only going to kill a man!"
--Che Guevara, Bolivian revolutionary

The Daddy's new book, The Sixties? Yes, I Remember, was written in memory of Emmitt Till, the 14 year old black boy from Chicago, Illinois. While visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, Till allegedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store. Later that evening, he was pulled out of his bed, beaten to death, and his body was thrown in the Tallahatchie River.

This act angered Americans, white and black, and galvanized the country. Many blacks who had refused to register to vote out of fear, now registered in droves. American had had enough.


IN MEMORY OF EMMITT TILL,
ANOTHER MANCHILD IN THE PROMISED LAND
CUT DOWN MUCH TOO SOON


Black male, curious youth
Galvanizer of a movement to reclaim humanity
Sometimes, when I walk along the banks of the Mississippi
I hear your hands push above the water, makng waves still

I see your muscled black right arm
Jump out of water, soar above the fog
Clinch your right hands tightly and
Thrust it high into the sun
(But only for a second) then
Descend just as quickly back into the hole
From which you came, making waves still

Above the hole
I see the wind gather steam, spin in circles then
Skip across the water and circle the shore as if to say:


"I'll never let you forget."

4 comments:

Akannie said...

That's some kind of powerful poem, daddy, thank you.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

I really liked the first one.
I wonder if the black colleges would add your book to their shelves if you donated a copy?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful suggestion, Kit. Sad to say, our young
ones aren't as sharp as they should be on our history.
struggle and achievements. I've read through Mac's book three times now. Powerful in evoking the mood
of the sixties. A keeper!

MacDaddy said...

Akannie: Thank you.
Kit: That's a good suggestion. I had never thought of it. I'll ask a librarian friend of mine who attended Spellman how would I go about it. I'm coming over to check out your blog now. Thanks.