Friday, January 10, 2014
Poem for Trayvon Martin
By Mackie Blanton
A living thing seeks above all to discharge
its strength—life itself is will to power
In a pick-up parked innocently vicious against the curb,
Greatly out of sorts,
A movie script shooting across a screen in his brain,
Sanford’s heterosexual, vengeful, macho, vigilant mestizo
Citizen childlike stalks
The gated air
And street lamps
Through his windshield.
The day hushed into a darkening wardrobe.
The eyes of day shut.
The oncoming evening listened as it embraced
And snuggled within in wait for the night.
The eyes of night refused to blink.
George’s jigaboo radar on annoyed alert
For layabout outliers. owleyed
He swiveled his neck left, right, and behind to scour
Everyone this night will be pieces slipping like nails unrailed
From the stigmata palms of angels.
Irritated, irritable, he hears hissing low ground through the grove his
Voice and his wife’s doubling back underfoot over stale ground and tales.
They had fought and he hissyfitted away,
Leaning into his anger and anguish.
He would be no sissy for no pussy,
He swore, often as much.
From that evening on, his every evening unrequited would be premeditated.
A breeze as supplicant as Florida seedless satsumas palls the cobalt air.
Trayvon flips his hood up.
George scowls, then smirks, A hood in my hood in his hood.
O, Jack, what have they done to you?!, a bloodstained Dallas echo whimpers.
In a nation whose members of Congress do not read its bills
They are content to lie about, whose ensorcelled citizens are eager to suck
The swords of lies down their gullible throat one gulp at a time,
Dumbstruck awe arises from opinionated silence.
This is a nation of deep-throated idiots.
Shall I be vaguer so that you may understand?
Everyone of us a continent unto ourselves has been stone nuts
Ever since our tonguetied bowels first grunted syllables
Of a falsehood about separate bodies and private minds.
Our lips, stammers, and stutters ever since have screamed
Unredemptive hatred across Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas.
Tooth and talon, we have ripped to threads one another’s flags,
Banners, and books; to dust each other’s art and laws. Nothing
But a species alone, blind to the difference between seduction
And molestation, we choke off each breath of another.
Anothering others, we other our lone self. Trayvon and George
Are every continent, every language, every burp, grunt, belch,
Rape and kiss.
Unleashed on highground on this Florida evening, up to his thighs in dark light,
Stroking his way home, Trayvon struts, bounds, and slips along past the lair
Of locked temples of joy toward his father’s face. His pace unaware.
I cannot be vaguer than this for you to understand.
O, Jack, what have they done to you?!
O, Jack, don’t you weep and moan.
O, Malcolm, don’t you weep and moan.
O, Martin, don’t you weep and moan.
O, Bobby, don’t you weep and moan.
George is surprised that Trayvon does not weave and bob.
Nor does he slouch.
In a grim endurance of the moment, their worst natures
Will puff up and break forward through their breasts even
Before George steps manly onto the street. Their world
Is thinkable only by them. Neither is our victim or idol
To hold so dear to our breast. Each is but a nurtured target
Of his own internal breeding
And lack of evolutionary wisdom.
Loping across the highway, across the grass, tilts his head
Toward a shadow in the car as if staring to make sense of the face
Of a corpse in an open casket. Crazy crackers, lurking honkies,
Deceitful rednecks get you going and coming every time, he thought.
Perhaps had never heard of Mersault. There was no sun blinding
His way, no pistol in his fist. He had only open palms to ball
Into hammers or to curve into scythes. These two not yet boys
Into men, a veil twisted around their brain, sentinels invading
A self-imposed remorseless purdah of the spirit like no other,
Inhabiting our stories without end, will not become leaders.
Each beside himself. Each without the courage to perceive
Consequences and to not condescend toward sacrifice:
Each a reflection against a surface.
Each a tangled thread swerving
Through an entangled universe
Hurled by dark matter, dark energy.
Each lacking the fiercest compassion
To forgive the most unforgivable,
Their love of anger uncritical.
Their brutish cheeks smeared with the thinnest patina of belief.
A face against a table top, a piano top, a counter top, a bar top, a high hat
A face against a pavement
Lap to lap, chest to chest, breast against breast, fists into chins,
Pedophile against child
Rapist against boy
Palms to palms
Fists gnarled by death, hijacked by a despotic brain
They but gravitate
Toward what tastes best to them: compulsive impatience and suffering.
They do not exist because the world exists.
Their world exists because they
Slipping into heat and madness, into the cummerbund of nastiness,
Easy Anger’s twins, accusers in each other’s face, stand their ground
Above a mournful heap of rotted bodies now shrouded in suburban
Green: one an instigator in his stance, an insinuator behind his eyes.
Another an instigator in his mere being; an insinuator in his hesitant
G pulls his penis from his rectum and assassinates
T slumps down between G’s legs into his lap where he
Unarmed, undone, outgunned
Sighs into dying.
Sways Swerves Swoons
Gunpowder empires, for reasons that neither will understand,
Each might have judged the other and be judged by us as cavalierly
As the unconscious visitation of a bullet casing arcing in trifling
Anger down toward the afternoon grass.
Crossing the memorial whirl and waves of infinite annoyance
G will dance a two-step toward acquittal.
T will bristle statuesque toward innocence.
In our own anger and pain, in our own good health and joy,
Sorrow, grief forever, and madness,
Sill may not understand that the tight corners we each occupy
Are not as we are taught:
Who owns the narrative?
Speaking from a position of privilege?
Crossing as time and water cross dimensions
Calm and turbulent, we will never be sure
Of the answer, yet must ask:
If they did not exist, what would we be doing?
What would we be doing if they were not the case?
Mackie J.V. Blanton, a pro bono advisor and group leader to the Gestalt Psychotherapy Institute of New Orleans/New York, was an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of New Orleans, Department of English, and an Associate Dean of Student Life for Multicultural Affairs. Having written essays in linguistics, poetics, scientific and technical discourse, Louisiana dialects, and Sufi and Hasidic sacred language, his current research is in subtle body mysticism and in sacriture, i.e., the practice of and the study of sacred discourse and sacred study as categories of a psycho-hermeneutic phenomenology. Mackie has traveled extensively, since 1964, in North Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Europe, and Asia Minor. Presently (May 2007), Dr. Blanton is teaching in Turkey. firstname.lastname@example.org