I Understand Peace, Equality, Justice, and Hope (Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
I understand peace, equality, Justice and hope Paz, igualidad, justicia Y esperanza, even though They sometimes remain Elusive, the same as Catching clouds and rainbows The ideals are etched in My vocabulario, en dos idiomas I think of them in English And español in hopes that Two languages can cross The threshold of oppression I stopped dreaming in Abstract lofty ideals that No one can achieve without Struggle, without un movimiento This is what I learned that from an Inspiration that roared from The mind and lips of A gentle man who stood Unwaiveringly, face to face With with the anti-human Racial construct that declared Itself superior to all on la Tierra I was one of those chavalitos Who listened to the spiritual discourse For humanity against the dangers Of racial, ethnic and international Domination through violence, Brutality and subjugation I listen to the revolutionary cry to Value la gente, human beings Over commodities and a denunciation Of crass materialism and racism I listened to a giant, rich of corazón A humble man who loved toda la gente But despised the haters and dominators A man who was a powerful orator Who spoke out, even against The threats of the most powerful Nation on Earth, I learned from The wise man, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr who lived and died Awakening the humanity of People who were tired of living Under the heels of others Then fear and loathing traveled From the barrel of a gun into His physical existence on la Tierra Yet he arose again as winged Consciousness, a free spirit that Traveled far and wide into the Hearts and minds of those Who would listen and learn Someone, like me
When I toss a poem Into the air I want it to explode Like a super-nova. I want you to breathe It through your eyes and Guzzle it down your ears Until it pounds your drums Beating to the rhythm of your soul. I want you to chug It down with a Swallow of emotion.
When I toss a poem Into the air I want it to dance All over you Like a happy dragon. I want it to climb Inside you until It reaches your dreams. I want it to sing you The blues and strum A bass beat so deep That it tickles the darkest Recesses of your mind.
When I toss a poem Into the air All I want is For you to be there To catch it.
A Natural Woman: The Queen of Soul Soul has always Been synonymous With Aretha In fact she was The Queen of Soul She was the voice Of Soul Garnering r-e-s-p-e-c-t From all who listened She was the heart And Soul Whose voice carried Hope and promise Gospel sung in harmony With secularity To the rhythm and beat Of each and every one Of our souls Our cries for freedom Our ambitions for equality Our desires for Rhythm and movement And the dawn Of a new day She was the Queen, The Queen of Soul A Black Queen A royal sister Who felt like A natural woman Singing from the depths Of human emotion Echoing the Aspirations simmering In the rising phoenix Of social justice You'd better think Think about what you're trying To do to me Yeah It was time for this nation To think And the Queen of Soul Passionately sang that sentiment Better than it could be said
As a young child I thought I was an unhyphenated American I was John Wayne, growing Into my role, a real-American Transitioning to a teen, who Grew up in the other-America Becoming the other-American Whose life was consumed in Survivalist strategies, where poverty Was one welfare check away from Extinction, where hue mattered In slums on the other side Of humanity, where I Became a hue-American As American as tacos, frijoles And cornbread, with a scent Of Apple pie on the tip of my tongue
That was before I became a Conscious-American, where Consciousness begged the question, Why hast thou forsaken me, America? Then I became an Angry-American A Mexican-American who sat At the back of the bus Contemplating racism, discrimination, Ghettos, barrios, poverty and oppression Then I became so angry at injustice I had been accused of being un-American Cursing in English and español at Klansmen Wrapped snugly in stars-and-stripes Devotion to yesterday, and slave-owning Presidents, and institutions that constructed Glass ceilings, while thumbing their Noses at drowning aspirations As they taunted...Prove it
That's when I became an analytical-American Asking all the complex whys about a Complex mega society that is America Wondering what makes me look foreign to Them, wondering what type of American I am with so many hyphens, I have evolved into a multi-hyphenated American, navigating the social hyphens That I've inherited from the Socially constructed legacy defining All Americans, every American is hyphenated, from The moment of birth to the Last breath that extinguishes life
Let me see if I can avoid the Tangles of hyphens as I describe Myself: American; real-American; other- American; hue-American; conscious- American; angry-American; anti- American; analytical-American; Chicano- Mexicano-Indigenous-La Raza-Bilingual- Bicultural-working-class-American... A multi-hyphenated-American... Orale, that's who I am
In America Hardened hearts Can lock Innocent Bodies and Souls Away, neatly In cages Little children Can be reduced To non-human Revisiting colonial Debates Of whether those Children deserve Humanity Tears and sorrow Don't exist The only songs Of freedom For innocent children Come from The streets In cities, everywhere Demanding Their release
I remember Feeling the sensations Of waking and Never being able To sleep again Forever realizing that My eyes are open now And nothing Looks the same anymore
I remember having only Surreal, distant sensations I could see my poverty As roaches darted across the room I could feel Hunger and pain And being smothered In air-tight cubicles I could hear My mother crying in the night And densely crowded angry people Wailing on each other I could smell the stench of inhumanity All around me I was a child who tasted life With a bitter spoon
I remember having A myopic view Of a world Where everything existed In a microscopic cosmos A world with a beginning And an end With its own legends And creation myths Where many brothers and sisters Fell into The dark hole Of insane eternity They battled for territory Gladiator/slaves leveling their Victims For an opportunity to survive So they can do it again
I remember the days Of the haze Feeling lost In a complicated maze Talking with a brother Without a head Even though he walked He was dead He no longer had a soul
I remember Being lost in a world Not found in American Dreams A world swept under An enormous rug ... hidden An ethnocyborgenetic realm Invisible to the standard eye Which strains itself ignoring The obvious possibilities That another world which it created In another dimension of reality Really exists Like a fat hippo Hovering ... with its big behind Hanging in the balance Whose mighty fall Would smash a tiny ant To smithereens Just ignore it
I remember not thinking No future or past Only present... only survival Like an animal's instinct Only prefabricated roles ... and America A foreign country That I've only seen on TV A pale middle class dream With two cars and a garage I hadn't been there But, I often wondered What it might have been like
I remember the perplexing sensations Of waking up To a trembling earth Where volcanoes violently Ripped through the ground Spewing enormous flames And black smoke The Gods roared And the skies raged red America was in chaos Major cities were engulfed in flames Oakland, Watts, Harlem, Chicago, Newark, Detroit Liberation was in the air A new world order was looming On the horizon
I remember feeling astonished As the monolithic structures Began to show signs of wear Trembling marble giants cracked Titans groaned and released gas The worn seams Of a faded national fabric Seemed as if it were torn asunder Exposing its embarrassing side Face down
I remember what was said "The ballot or the bullet" "The Chickens have come home to roost” Don't be confused Don't say Malcolm the 10th Say Malcolm X! Say "Free Huey Newton!" Say "Free Los Siete de la Raza!" Say "Free Bobby Seale!" Say "Free Angela Davis!" Say "Free Reyes Lopez Tijerina!" Say "Free Lolita Lebrón!" Say “Free Mumia Abu Jamal! Say "Free Leonard Peltier!" Say "Free Carlos Montez!" Say "Free Kiko Martinez!" Say "Free Native Lands!" Say "Black Power!" Say "Chicano Power!" Say "Boricua Power!" Say "Asian people’s Power!" Say "Native American Indian Power!" Say "Self determination!" Say! Say! Say! Say! “America! Set our people free!”
I remember what was said As I woke up And I can't sleep anymore Now, nothing will ever Be the same