Oh, Look At The Tree! I Can’t Breathe!

It’s Christmas in the city; they’re about to light the tree
It’s a magical occasion, just as far as we can see;
All the networks have their angles—it’s as festive as can be—
New York City in December, oh, such pride!

Folks are marching, folks are chanting, folks are caught up in the day
But the tree is not the focus—no, as near as I can say,
It’s not ornaments, but prejudice, that’s clearly on display
Damn, I miss the war on Christmas—no one died. [Read more…]

What’s In A Shirt?

It took me a little while to figure out my own particular problem with what has become known as the #shirtstorm. Oh, believe me, I was and am on the side of those who saw the now-infamous shirt as problematic. And I am on the side of those who currently are insulted by it.

But… see, I used to run a daycare. I see things, as often as not, through the eyes of those who have not yet learned to be as cynical as I am.

It is all too easy to claim “free speech” from the point of view of a comfortable, privileged majority. To say “I have every right to wear this shirt”… which, while showing off an edgy sense of fashion, also happens to show off a message which will tell the next generation who is in charge and who begs for scraps. Anyway…

Twinkle, twinkle, little shirt
How I wonder how you hurt
Who is watching? Who is there?
Who expects that you might care?
Twinkle, twinkle, little shirt,
How I wonder whom you hurt.

Twinkle, twinkle, what you did,
How you change tomorrow’s kid
When she asks what can be done,
Glad you had your day of fun
Twinkle, twinkle, what you did,
How you’ve hurt tomorrow’s kid.

Twinkle, twinkle, no surprise,
Outer space was meant for guys
If she asks if she can play
Yes she can!… some other day…
Twinkle, twinkle, no surprise,
Outer space is filled with guys…

“Black Twitter Is The Internet At Its Best” (a villanelle)

“The following alert is not a test”,
The TV said–We knew that they were wrong:
(Black twitter is the Internet at its best.)

When ranks of cops, in riot gear were dressed,
They tried to quell the crowd with this strange song:
“The following alert is not a test!

We urge you to comply with our request!”
“Request”? A lie, but not for long:
Black twitter is the Internet at its best.

The propaganda leaves us unimpressed—
A fading view they’re trying to prolong–
“The following alert is not a test”

But… yes, it is; it measures the unrest,
The inability to “play along”…
Black twitter is the Internet at its best

Black twitter sees the marchers, ten abreast,
As canisters of tear gas hit the throng…
The following alert is not a test:
Black twitter is the Internet at its best [Read more…]

And To Think That I Saw It On National News

On the tube or the net, the distraction I choose
Is to sample a bit of the national news
I look for the stories that tug at my brain—
The ones that are tricky, or hard to explain
But the story today? Well, we’ve seen it before;
Just another sad death in a long, bloody war;
A conflict that seemingly never will stop…
Just another black kid who’s been killed by a cop.
[Read more…]