Written as a New Year’s RESOLUTION…meaning, first reflections from a year where I see myself more clearly…and I thought of photo resolution…and folks posting their top 20 selfies of 2013…and I immediately thought of my best selfie…my best friend. My son. You can see the Six-Word Memoir here courtesy of Smith Magazine.
My most favorite Six-Word Memoir to date! I came up with this one yesterday while I was sitting in traffic (and running late) for my three class, guest instructor visit at New Mexico School for the Arts. A haiku/senryu is 17 syllables…this Six-Word Memoir is 10 syllables…7 short of a picnic…like me…if you know what I mean.
#OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest (A “found poem” and “found Six-Word Memoir by they way! I can’t claim authorship of this one though.) ;(
Check out my Six-Word Memoir published here. Then, submit your own!
A Six-Word Memoir written by me today. My life, my life, my life, my life…in the sunshine…thanks Mary J. Blige. A residual from my workshop yesterday at New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We introduced ourselves to each other via this platform.
Check it out my Six-Word Memoir published here. Then, create a profile and publish your own!
Two Hak-ku and one Nah-ku from yesterday's drive to Silver City.
Two Hak-ku (Hakim + Haiku…really Senryu…= Hak-ku) and one Nah-ku (short haiku-like poem that is a few syllables too long) from my drive to the Poet Laureate Panel & Performance at the Southwest Festival of the Written Word in Silver City.
Big thanks to Silver City Poet Laureate Bonnie Buckley Maldonado for inviting me and sharing a brilliant reading!
Look at You
If your conscience is
so clear, then why do you
continue, to drown it
Reminder (for Career Artist Parents everywhere)
I solemnly swear
to not turn my son’s childhood
into a business
Life is Like a Bad Poem
Life is like a bad poem, where the obvious is painfully obvious…and the subtle is too.
“I guess three hundred
years of evidence is not
enough in Sanford”—Institutional Racism on Trial in Florida: A Haiku … FROM MY FORTHCOMING COLLECTION OF HAIKU. THIS IS ANOTHER HAIKU IN A SERIES ABOUT THE THE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN VERDICT…AND COPING, AS A BLACK MAN IN CYBER-AMERICA.
I’ve been writing a lot of haiku in this “Post-Trayvon America” … probably because not too long ago I was a young, Black man in da hood…and now I’m raising a young, Black man (5 years-old)…in this ‘hood…this hood we call America.
*Hakim + Haiku = Hak-ku … coming soon to a book near you.
CNN Commentator and The New York Times Columnist Charles M. Blow comments on what I call “The Stolen Childhood of Black Males” (perhaps, why I chose to hang out with my 5 year-old son instead of the Trayvon vigil tonight…too soon? Too late? I want to wait a bit before I have the talk with him that my mom had to have with me… - hb)
“I’ve had a conversation where I say, ‘If you’re around police and maybe it’s dark, you might not want to run. You just don’t want to draw that kind of attention to yourself, and you don’t want to look like maybe you stole something. You just don’t want that problem.’ And a lot of people have had that conversation with young black men as it relates to the police. You just don’t want to draw attention to yourself in that sort of situation. What Zimmerman was saying about Trayvon was that he was walking too slowly, and it wasn’t as if he had already stole something, but like he was about to do something. And that struck me as saying, at what…is there any way that they can hold their bodies? Is there any way that you can telegraph to someone who might find you suspicious, that you are not suspicious. That I am not the enemy. That I am not who you think that I am. And I’m struggling as a parent to figure out, what is it? What can I say? Maybe there is nothing that I can say? I struggle with the idea that my boy has to be divested of innocence. That either I have to do it, the man who loves them, or someone else will do it who does not love them.”
This first haiku is for a forthcoming book of haiku, I am publishing (don’t bite the copyright ;) … However, current events have recently made this short poem very popular and very potent. Thank you to poet and friend Susana Rinderle and organizer, childhood friend and mother Tangi Lancaster for asking to use this poem as their mantra to grieve and get something that at least resembles justice in the Trayvon Martin case. The haiku that follows Black Poem for America is brand new, and titled Only in America.
Black Poem for America
I’ll stop writing about how Black I am when you stop reminding me
Only in America
Only in America are dead Black boys tried for their own murder
Blow on Trayvon Martin : A Conversation with the New York Times
(Listen to the audio of me reading it at Soundcloud above the pic.)
The “boying” of Black men Knows no age
This is ageless Been happening for years
There is no graduation From skin color Grades won’t get me out
In prison At best Straight A’s get “Good Behavior” “Good Boy” Not a guarantee Not justice
As it should In February His mother Will place 18 candles on a cake That will wax Smoking entry wounds Down to the plate As she celebrates both The month he was born And the month He became Black History
And he Was Black History Made history Red, white and brown Or otherwise
Timeless Like the “boying” of Black Men There is no legal age Only legal limits The right to booze Smoke or check a square Never made him more a man Neither did White neighborhoods White shorts Or White women
From O.J. to Trayvon Brother Journalist Asks America If we made progress Like O.J. and Trayvon had Anything In common
Born the year Of O.J.’s acquittal 17 years since His trial And Zimmerman’s lack there of
Brother Journalist Wasn’t pointing out How the crimes were different He was pointing out How we isn’t
Is this another O.J. moment for America?
Do we need another poll To tell us that Being Black in America Is different than being white?
To tell me That most Blacks Think that George Zimmerman Is guilty of a crime
To tell me that We ain’t “boyz”
To tell me That I believe That he would have been arrested on the spot If he shot a White person
Ask Plaxico Burress, Gallup Poll! A Black person’ll get arrested for shooting they damn self!
The only time we get polled Other than to tell us “We don’t count” Is when we get sent to polls That don’t count us
O.J. and Trayvon Were as common As their single mothers Who believed they could work enough jobs To love their Black sons Away from jail and death
That’s where the commonalities end.
Trayvon knew he was different The Retreat At Twin Lakes in Sanford Didn’t even smell the same color As the cocinas in Miami Gardens
When he visited Dad And Dad’s fiancee In her gated community He stood out Like O.J. Simpson On a high school football practice field
Trayvon was different He was never a boy Playing a man’s game He learned he could never Outrun his race
Cause it doesn’t matter How fast you can run Only how fast you can run … with a ball
George Zimmerman didn’t need a white Bronco to avoid arrest All he needed to walk Was his white skin
Was the boy with the candy Given the same presumption of innocence As the man with the gun?
“These guys always get away,” he said Before he Stood Trayvon’s Ground Stratling the Finally quiet Teenage body Slumped Beneath him
Bloody gloves didn’t get the job done So now, It’s bloody hoodies
Use words like “Neighborhood Watch” To let us know what time it is
So I tell my Black son “Trayvon’s birthday cake Only had a couple more candles than yours. Now he’s gone. Put out like a fire hazard…
But remember what he looks like
And know that he got killed For hanging out.”
And his neighborhood was the noose
Our country has been strung out on race Since the Summer of 1919
1995 “If he wasn’t guilty, why did O.J. run?”
2012 “If he’s not guilty, why is Zimmerman A.W.O.L.?”
“Well, Why did Trayvon run if he was innocent?”
Because that’s what we do The price we pay is so high We couldn’t afford to sell out If we wanted to
Not even O.J.
Due process And Do Karma Are as different as O.J. and Trayvon
America is the same As O.J. and George Zimmerman Just different colors…
Yes, Gallup Poll I want to put George Zimmerman in a box Not because he’s dead But because he is broken
I want to return him To the America he was made in
I don’t want a refund I want service
I don’t want corrections I want justice
Because you made George Zimmerman, America So only you can fix him
And there will be less O.J.s And there will be less Trayvons And we’ll all be different
But at least At Least…
We’ll all be treated the same.
Copyright Hakim Bellamy April 11, 2012
Read the New York Times article “From O.J. to Trayvon” by Charles Blow here.