back to the back of the bus

January 20, 2009

Here we are again
honoring  leaders
as if kings and queens.

All hail _______!
( Ambassador, Senator, President, Judge, Bishop, Governor…)

they require
more deference than you.

Their interests
more important
than yours.

It is a paradigm
the founders
could not transcend –

monarchy and privilege,

justified as
the way things are

as the sign reads:

Those of you without a gown –
move to the back of the bus.

On the Outside Looking In

December 21, 2008

You never look
at me.
I often look
at you.

You have
those things
I am told
bring happiness.

I have
those things
I am told
bring shame.

I look into
your restaurant –

you spend
my week’s wages
in a night

so elegant
so white

table cloths
and candles
fine wine
and waiters.

I could go on
and on,

but I have been ordered
to move along…

If you want to love Jesus

December 11, 2008

He looks like this:

street beggar.jpgstreetgirl.jpghomeless.jpgstarvingbaby150.jpg

Not this:

jesus-pastor.jpgjesus 6.jpgjesus 5.jpgjesus4.jpgjesus2.jpg

before you place
money in hand –
blow off the dead
like dust

beggar-child.jpg

Class Warfare ?

May 28, 2008

Why not?
The rich are already
kicking our asses

Our country was born of
contempt for privilege.

Yet we are now besmirched

for having those same
patriotic opinions.

You are trailer trash
until they need you.

to all the extremists

May 19, 2008

you fuckers
you stupid fuckers
look what you have done

Dear Bishop

March 7, 2008

and what about the violence
once they leave the womb?

Newark revisited

January 22, 2008

During the summer of 1967 I worked at a Fresh Air camp in the rural hills of New Jersey. Twenty miles away there was rioting and rebelling in the streets of Newark.

I recall making an emergency trip into that ghetto to return a camper whose mother had been killed by police gunfire. I drove the camp truck and hoped it would be my credential for safe passage. On each corner were crowds of angry black men talking and staring at each vehicle which passed by. Forty years later many corners are still the same.

I was living in Newark in 1968 when Doctor King was murdered. Five of us (all quite white) lived in an African neighborhood. Down the street was Cookie’s Plain and Fancy. We would stop in after class to play pool, shoot darts, and drink High Life. Cookie always had a shotgun behind the bar and James Brown on the jukebox. On the day he bought us a round of beers we felt like honorary members of the neighborhood.

When Martin was assassinated – it all changed. We were told not to return. We moved to the white suburbs soon after.

Evil had its way – with all of us.