b l m

good ol uncle jim
black as night; dark as sin
never left – just sits
in the basement
with his kin

no churches down
in birmingham
need we be in
just the bus stop
in the cold
playin

like a million
othered
children

walking home
hands inside
no sir, uncle
nothin to hide
i live here, see
please leave me be
i can’t breathe
i can’t breathe

and no
please no
’tis just a toy
i got this here
for my boy
my boy, please see
just like me
just like me
…just like me

to our sons
we have the talk
be polite; not your fault
‘to serve and protect’
not you son
be polite
it’s all you’ve got
so be polite
it’s not your fault

so there we have him
good ol jim
black in flight; cold as sin
never left; just been
in the basement
with his kin
taking silence for consent
my god
my god
how long it’s been
our black eye
our uncle jim

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9 thoughts on “b l m

  1. As much as we like to think we are enlightened and are no longer racist, it does indeed live in the basement, not just in the US but every where. We try, many of us succeed. And that racism is on both sides. We like to believe we no longer have this in our world, but we do. One of those ugly things we like to sweep under the carpet. Excellent piece of work. My W.P. is acting up again and I have had to go in and re – follow or edit notification choices. I was wondering why I had not heard your voice for awhile.

    • Well, I haven’t been around much lately to be honest. World events, both in the US and abroad, have had me hunkered down making it hard for me to find a voice. Once again, I hope to be coming back around. As I said to Paul below, I have a lot of catching up to do. 🙂

      As for the topic at hand, it is a very difficult situation. Trading some of my privilege in America for “gaijin” status in Japan has changed some of my perceptions, but my experience is not analog to what recent events have shown. This poem was a 3am write as I read about someone having this “talk” with their kid, then remembering the poem linked above, and having those first two lines.

      All I can say for sure is that my heart weeps for my brothers and sisters who struggle. And I also greatly appreciate seeing two of my favorite poets rejoining me after a long sojourn.

      AB

      • I know you do have a different perspective bring over there and reactions to you. In Mar h, I fell victim to reverse and age discrimination….a beyond painful experience which has laid me low. Most painful and has taken me a bit to recover from. But I’m moving along. Having a supportive spouse means a lot. Akhibara is a different place. Tokyo is ….. awesome but Akhibara seemed to, at the time, cater to all kinds of Otaku oddness and fetish stuff…..not sure if still like that now. Last time I was there was 1994…..long time. I am now trying to put focus on the reason for this busy season and I have neglected my poetry blog so I’m working on that this weekend….and putting up a tiny Christmas tree. Take care of yourself. Blessings to you.

        • And to you! I’m sorry about your troubles; discrimination has no place anywhere. 😦

          As for Akihabara, it seems to have cleaned up a bit. Fetish stuff is still around, but it seems to be mostly anime toys and video games now. Even from my first time in Tokyo, in 2004, it’s cleaned up.

        • Lol, it used to be a really “fun” place to gape. But I und r stand they now really cater to, ah, pillow fan boys. Now that is an oddity. And even Vegas and Times Square has cleaned up…

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