- 76 (revisited).

Seventy-six tombstones.

Passed out amongst the youth like

Summer camp is in session and it's

time for their lunch and juice.

That should be tough to swallow,

but the pills of truth often come

In doses so daily that they've lost

Their effect on society as a whole.

So we, in turn, pass indifference

Back in an even exchange,

off like shunned responsibility,

out like it's been a long night

When it's really been a long life

of indifference. And suffering.

And suffering. And indifference.

Except for those seventy-six.

Add ten to completely nix things,

& stand on the sidelines quietly

to show more concern for the game.

Well, A.I. doesn't have the Answers,

the Doctor can't save them,

and J's have never made for good bulletproof vests.

But I suppose it's easier to pass

than to take shots at ourselves

for taking shots at ourselves

while the children emulate us

and start taking shots, themselves.

No movies are being made

or pictures being taken

with flash photography.

Just flash fatalities.

While the children look on

standing atop the tombstones.

- Tied.

With a precision Windsor knot,

Staring at the feet of my favorite beach.

I overlooked the waves crashing

at the most inopportune moments,

putting the serene scenery out of reach.

Nobody has to become a victim

if everybody would just dive in, see?

I chose this body of water as

large of a congregation to

become a noisy backdrop

to have a quiet funeral, for on(c)e.

Kicked sand over the body to kill some time

while I awaited the arrival of the high tide.

Figured that it would wash away all:

(y)our sins, the sand, my love for you.

You.

I adjusted my tie, and left your rope

perfectly tied for the incoming tide.

- Black.

Black.

The Fridays, the Markets, the Plagues.
Supposedly it is only to be anything cheap, or illegal, or deadly.
Black.
The eyes, the hearts of scorned women, the souls of evil men.
Bringers of death, depending upon your crime against them.
Black.
The color of the suspect, the color of the murder weapon, the color of the mourning.
Black.
Shades of the oppressed, mimicked & mocked.
The underlying spirit of White suburbia, rock n roll, style & grace.
Black.
The world's acting like there's ever been a color better than that!
It makes everything look, sound, and *feel* damn good.
When it comes to getting dressed, what color can it not match?
On roses, the beauty is understated.
On models, under-appreciated.
Black.
Sitting on a porch at night in the countryside, listening to nothing but the crickets chirp.

Have you ever heard that?

In the pitch darkness, getting suddenly kissed by your lover & you don't know where to kiss back...have you ever felt that?
Black.
Beautiful as a backdrop for the moon,
Powerful as the Panthers pushing for change,
With as much depth and potential for the limitless as space.
And you.


Black is beautiful.

On Race, Sexuality & Responsibility

So that the intent of this is not confused or potentially lost in translation, this is not a "woe is ____" entry. Instead, it is merely another attempted thrown stone at the glass house of racism, bigotry, & the complete lack of understanding and basic sympathy that some people seem content to reside in.

It appears painfully obvious that not much has changed in regards to human relations and interactions in this country. Perhaps this is a global-sized epidemic, but I can only speak on what I have witnessed up close, with my own eyes and skin. I have mulled over one seemingly simple question for over the past decade of my adult life, and never could seem to come to a concise answer that would best sum up a nation-wide sentiment:

 

How does it feel to be a 'Black' man?

 

Well, I finally have an answer, after working for managers who wake up with a cup of White supremacy every morning, after serving overseas in the military side by side with good ol' country boys whom apparently have never encountered a Black man who both fully enunciated his words and looked said country boys in the eyes while speaking to them, after being arrested for "jay walking" and being accused as a drug dealer (even after having all of the contents of my pockets emptied & having to tell police exactly how much money that I had in my possession, and why), only to be released when they stumbled across my military ID. How does it feel to be a 'Black' man? Exhausting. It is exhausting to constantly be seen as a threat by people whom you have zero personal history of threatening, and very little cultural history of threatening. It is exhausting to be stricken with an indescribable fear when a police car pulls behind you - seat belt already fastened, license and registration intact, music already at 'non-threatening' levels. It is exhausting to see and hear so-called representations of your culture on television and radio, all shucking and jiving and thugging and pimping, all of the time. Commercials, movies, (promoted) music, etc. It is exhausting to have to hear so-called game plans from people who have long ago turned off their emotions, as they tell you "you've got to just learn how to play the game, youngster", as if playing the game how society wants you to play it won't simply lead to the same cycle being repeated. It is exhausting because broken homes are looked at as the cause of problems, instead of the result of problems. The disproportion in the race percentages that are jailed is a problem. The promoted image of what a Black person looks like, stands for, is capable of, is a problem. Those mentalities that buy into the projections by the media (on all fronts, in all races) are a problem. Those mentalities that buy into the fallacy that racism has long since evaporated, like some cup of water that was left outdoors on a typical Arizona afternoon, are a problem. The large-scale problem of racism in this country has so many layers to it, that the large problem appears to no longer exist. False. 

The focus on LGBT issues is a very necessary one, as well. Oddly enough, the shift in focus was an attempted "hot shot" topic by the media, to take the eyes off of the ever-present race issue, despite the similarities in both general disdain and ignorance/lack of willingness to understand being just as prevalent, if not more. In fact, the disdain and ignorance is more prevalent, because amongst those that promote an undeserved hatred towards the LGBT are people who are very familiar with how it feels to be treated like they have a contagious disease simply because they exist, treated like they are less than human, treated like they have to keep quiet as they go about life, in hopes of not disrupting the supposed "natural order" of things. Here's looking at you, Black community. Just as we do not wish to be looked at as people who are going to rob every single White person within a 50 foot radius, a person whose sexual orientation is homosexual does not wish to be looked at as someone who is going to harass every single person of the same sex within a 50 foot radius. Will it take something as ridiculous as some cherry lovers harassing, shooting & beating to death strawberry lovers for some to get the picture? Perhaps. 

Point being, whether you're of the opinion that people choose their sexual orientation or you believe that they are born that way, we as humans are all different. Nobody should have to go through life feeling like they are being ostracized by society, or are wearing a target on their back for simply stepping outside as who they are. Maybe these words mean nothing to you. Maybe they mean the world. I just hope that some type of basic human compassion can be reached so that we can finally get to the point of being able to live with each other. For as long as this planet has been inhabited, as long as humans have existed...we have done nothing more than do exactly that: exist.

It's time that we start to live with ourselves and each other.