Friday, March 9, 2012

Jim Crow 2.0

JimCrow2.0 300x271 Jim Crow 2.0
Affirmative action has been part of our social and political landscape for over fifty years now, ever since JFK signed an executive order in 1961 that called for  "affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." Four years later, President Johnson took it even further when he stated:
Nothing is more freighted with meaning for our own destiny than the revolution of the Negro American…In far too many ways American Negroes have been another nation: deprived of freedom, crippled by hatred, the doors of opportunity closed to hope…But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please. You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair…This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result…To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough.
So here we are, trudging through another presidential election cycle, and as always, Republicans have begun to talk about the inequality of affirmative action. They call it “preferential treatment.” They inspire students to sue colleges over it. They claim that it’s no longer necessary in an America willing to elect a black president. They say that the United States can never be a country based on equality as long as we continue to offer a leg up to a part of our population.They’re right!
Read the rest of the story on The Urban Twist.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Lovely Luna is waxing and nearly full. Here's one of my Lunar Cycle poems, this one published in Life in Me Like Grass on Fire. This one was inspired by being surprised by the moon being clearly visible one early afternoon in Reisterstown.


I love to see
the moon,
at noon,
in cerulean
the bright Sun,
Her own power
does not rely
on His

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Promised You a Hate Poem

At least week's Maryland Writers Association, Baltimore Chapter meeting I read a series of hate poems I wrote around twenty years ago following the painful break up of my first marriage. This poetic triptych helped me deal with my emotions and was the basis upon which I established my writing cred in the coffee house reading renaissance taking place at the time. Two of the poems, Embers and Clean Rinse have already graced this blog. You can click on the link to read them, along with Daisy Field, one of the many bits of writing inspired my mother's death.

Below, you can read the harshest of the three hate poems. I hesitated from posting it because of how harsh it is, but this poem, incorporated into a collage, helped me get into art school. Rest assured, I got over the break up of my first marriage long ago an no longer harbor these feelings. I likely owe that, in no small part, to this poem:

Final Letter to Maria

You think you're so fucking slick
with your adoring looks
& your sly touches
all the while pretending
you don't care

You want to confuse me
as if you hadn't hurt me enough
and you hadn't let me fall
a million miles
once you cut me from your web

And I hit hard,
You know I hit hard
shattered to a million pieces,
& now that I'm almost whole again
you want to try and rip me apart

Well, it's not going to work
because I'm being held together
by a force you could never understand:
more complex than your jealousy,
stronger than the smell of your cunt

So you can have the money
you think you deserve
(I've met whores who deserve
more than you) & you can have
my advice in times of utter despair
(Funny, you never wanted it
when I first offered)
but I won't let you have my heart,

Not so you can crush it
between your palms, again
& smear it on the walls, again
like some gory graffiti
for all to see
...besides, it's no longer mine
to give.