death of a slam poet by Dustin Pickering

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PROLOGUE

(bats eyes at the Black poet, fake mascara)

my so-called verses

swing hearses for the missus

i am an activist

until i read tom paine

paradise lost, paradise regained

now i am deadpan slam

waves arms sings and slings words 

says the innuendo in ways academics say hush

but i am nothing when i am dead

while riding the wave of social ‘insert adjective’ justice

to prove temperament matters more

that eloquence

we relieve those we leave behind

they are writing for the rest of humankind

inclusivity but only for you and me!

to appear liberal is the most apt analogy

to death and destruction of the word

a meeting of minds takes place

on the page, not the stage

i am not sage

i am dead to the eyes of rage

—-

POSTSCRIPT TO PROLOGUE

Academics are stupid, soulless creatures who parrot the trances of their humanity without questioning their sanity. 

And there is nothing amateurish in godlike verse that speaks volumes of an age; but because it is written by a white autodidact, inclusivity fails to include it.

The confederacy of dunces pulled their punches on Swift and kin, 

but again,

the failures of Ireland are demonstrated in the words written

and left for generations–

I am perfectly capable (wham, bam, thank you m’am)

of writing the mantras of slam.

The social justice screamers and dreamers with their notorious clamor

can’t philosophize with a hammer–

but who will it be who chants down Babylon?

You cannot do it with mere song.

Your works must have power and substance

to right all wrong.  

Following a marketable trend of tiring sloganeering

does not count for verbal engineering.

i.

against the grain

these shameful slain

humanoid pants to pain

we all know their names

we say them

a cop is blistered burned and blamed

shot in flames

fired among the slain

we have no pity for the wrongful injury

his gun is slung across hip

like a helter-skelter trip

across a race war 

we’ve known before

atoms of silence

speak to the defiance

of edges of wisdom untold

where all places have their place

all people have their peopled face

say their names,

say them loud

let the world know you are proud

ii.

think i know your demons

they live within me and my semen

because a brother cannot know 

the reality from the show

our allyship cannot grow

look! can you not hear

the evidence piling like empty case filings

against your claims of epidemic killings?

do you just want rage to claim you?

cancel and ostracize those who defy

the sanctity of your lies?

questions are buried 

when false liberalism quenches 

the squalor of those who falter

to know the dialogue

it is true from false–

when i refuse to allow worry in my heart

for the causes you alert me to in bad faith–

i am excluded

again, in bad faith.

iii.

media lies

media lies

like witches brew

drink it up

its black milk

will satisfy your thirst

iv.

just say their names

their names are rage

just say their names

their names are rage

and the ink stains the page

with the lives their mothers gave

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