Thursday, February 20

for Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and too many more

Let Words Do the Work

i let my words do the work
suspend all animation
make any sudden movement
life threatening
i do not stop to put my hands up
do not genuflect or gyrate
tap my tongue but do not move my feet
hands, neck, chest, head, or hips
tossing and turning like kids
put in time out i refuse to move
cannot be still enough
as if movement is threatening life
as if at this moment i'm
staring down the barrel
of a floridian's gun
with the right to stand my ground
but not to move
as someone yells out halt,
or wait, who goes there
black man, stop, or drop
nigger or gun, intruder
or terrorist, or worse yet
i remain stone stiff
standing my ground
as long as i can
as if movement itself is life
i still have my words
keep sending them out
let them do the work
as an S.O.S.
as a send help quick
as a scream, “I’m in danger”
not ‘the’ danger, but in it
and cannot give even an inch
cannot take the chance
that my movement, life threatening
as it is
will give some
a reasonable doubt.

Monday, October 17

In Memoriam

I cannot believe it has been 10 years since my older brother, Solomon Wesley Belton, passed away in a car accident. It seems I've commemorated his death each year with a reading of this poem I wrote many years ago, a few weeks following his untimely death. Since I do not plan on doing any spontaneous readings (although I'm tempted to sit-in on the Occupy Wall Street protests when I'm back in New York in a few perhaps I will share it then). I miss you big bro. And wish that you were still here to share in all the wonders of life with me. 

In Memory of Solomon Wesley

Certain memories wait for their view
            shifting, cross glass-encumbered street:
     on bench beside bus stop, asleep on southbound 9, a train
     crossing midwest, en route to san francisco
            hearing click-click, click of roller coaster as it ascends
     on ferris-wheel, in parking lot, summertime basement party
     hot-dog stand, buying tickets, the alley behind st theresa’s
            the familiar tree house

Certain memories wait
     beyond the sublet I rent to keep myself from spacing:
            scattering out beyond sulphuric spheres that envelop god’s earth
     beyond effect & artifice, beyond the park where children are trained
     to dangle, beyond the songs sang at grandmother’s burial, & still further
            scattering, beyond fenestra’s dressing bedroom, beyond hudson, jersey-skyline
     or in descent, beneath gasoline puddle reflecting sun’s light, beneath warm blankets
     darkness, crouched, beneath wandering twilight:

                        I see at night / think better in the pitch / and feel better
                        About you leaving in my dreams / where we are still
                        Chasing the ice cream truck / for blocks at a time
                        To obtain enough penny-candy / to last us until morning

                        Enough tootsie rolls & blow pops
                        Enough slushes & ice cream
                        Sandwiches & sodas & poe-ta-doe chips
                        Enough oatmeal pies & jellybeans

Certain memories wait for their view
            spastic, of me and you strutting through old neighborhoods
      telling what it was to hold, hush, brush & make delight for first time, or fifth
      after waiting, pushing for it, beneath stairs, passenger seat pushed back, all-night
            to a woman, a man, anyone, everyone, we met our first weeks at college

Certain memories are left waiting for a better view of now:
            behind women adorned
                                            knotted scarves & colored hats
            behind leaves with faces
                                            dimpled flesh beneath the rain
            beneath strings of honk & horn & scream
                                            inquiring after accident ahead
            beneath muddled-crumplings
                                            soon mush against the pavement
            behind wheel & steel & windshield
until you
                                                                                flew from the scene.

Thursday, August 11

It's Been A Long Time...

....I shouldn't have left you / without a dope...well, you know how it goes. It's been ages since I've laid any heavy thoughts and theories down on this blog site and, in the paraphrased words of my favorite emcee Nas, "I had time off / was bored with this / I could've written a dissertation / just by close-reading different parts of (Toni) Morrison." Still, Guess Who's Bizack to the blogosphere with a new found fire for entering the public discourse. So much has happened in the interim: my first trip abroad (and to China of all places, check out the blog in the future for more to come about the trip), preparing for my dissertation exams, singing in my friend's wedding, expanding my culinary training, and just trying to survive the rat trap that is graduate school.

Still many apologies for the long delays. With the revamped blog page and renewed interest, I promise to be bringing you dope words to spark the thoughts of your hip hop literacy, or ill-literacy as it were. I'll keep this post relatively short, and add that folks should stay on the look-out for more regular entries as of  August 15th 2011. I hope to be entering a weekly column with more of my musings on the intersections between black literature/scholarship and hip hop culture. Please keep your comments coming and enjoy this little diddy:

Could it be I stayed away too long? / Did I leave your mind when I was gone? / It's not my thing trying to get back / But this time let me tell you where I'm at / You don't have to worry cause I'm coming /Back to where I should have always stayed...I wanna be where you are, oh oh / Anywhere you are, oh oh / I wanna be where you are, oh oh / Everywhere you are, oh oh...Please, don't close the door to our future / There's so many things we haven't tried / I could love you better than I used to / And give you all the love I have inside...