Poetry is not my strongest suit.

Utilizing the juvenile coping mechanism known as avoidance I had successfully evaded any and all relevant opportunities to render words in a more lyrical form, suspecting that the resultant excrement would harm the credentials I’d established within my own consciousness. Deciding to indulge in a senior-level class where writing poems, and writing them relatively effectively, was the only reason for attendance reflected the distant possibility that I may actually be maturing in my old age.

Or maybe I was willing to do anything for the credit.

Regardless, with several opportunities at continuing to flee from a form of communication that I believed myself to be incredibly ineffective while using…I promised myself to become better. A semester later and your guess is as good as mine, but wouldn’t you like a little more assistance in providing a more educated one?

Presented before you are excerpts from the final portfolio polished up and turned in earlier this week. It doesn’t rhyme, you can’t sing it, but there’s heart and soul involved, with the slight glimmer of skillful delivery. Hopefully, that comes through when the curtain falls. Let me walk you through what you’re going to see.

The title page is what it sounds like, the first piece is a bit of a cheat, serving more as introduction/mission statement/manifesto, but I liked it well enough and it survived the final edit. The second piece was written while temporarily trapped in the mind state that I was spinning in perfect circles. Number three was a post Sept. 11 effort at social commentary, and the last one…well…what can I say…the last one is the reason.

Hope you enjoy.

angry black man

poems of a stereotypical nature

by

Brandon Thomas

WIPE YA FEET

This is Brandon Thomas speaking…
With a confession to make

Preparations have been made

In secret

With contemporaries
Committed to changing perceptions
Altering viewpoints
Reversing type stereo

Making things new again

We’re going to take over the world
We would very much like for you to help


Come along now….

…we don’t have much time.


restless

uncertain futures careen upon
consciousness fostered, supported, anchored
by central ideas as yet unrealized
providing fertile ground for thoughts of futility and unrest
desperately struggling to interfere with that which must come
that which must be
for self-doubt and recriminations
only end result in
stagnation
derailing destiny felt in life’s blood
in life’s soul
offering proof that even by itself fear is everything
doubt is infinite
as optimism struggles for purchase in sea endless

i hunger
patience threatening to break free of its glass cage


Ain’t It Funny-Remix

It’s almost funny

But it isn’t

Irony not lost
When the enemy’s face
Looks more like yours
With melanin no longer indicative
Coarse black hair and tangly beard
Practicing “strange” religion
Jihad yelled thunderously
And entire countries
Whose location we care not to know
Are equated with brutality
Through the actions of a minoric few
Then

The profile changes?

And the names become Walker
Bishop
Providing new dimensions
Where ethnicity no longer signals guilt
Where pulling every Arab-American
Off of every plane
In every airport
Throughout the entire continental U.S.
May
Still
Fail
And the detaining of “suspects”
Under the auspices of Homeland Defense
Taken from families
Cries ignored
For being a despot as alien to them
As you and me
Becomes an exercise in futility
As the question becomes:

Who profiles the profiler fitting the new profile?
People don’t fit into a goddamn box
Or a category
Or a statistic
Or a likelihood of traits
Or a successive pattern
I don’t give a shit what the tv says
People don’t fit into a goddamn box

You find what you’re looking for
Pose a question
Proceed to pose an answer
Take a breath
Turn off the tv
Fuck Bill O’Reilly, CNN, and Fox News

Is there anything America fears more than a white Taliban?

Only when the presence of race is subtracted
Do things truly become dangerous
Terrorism truly defined
When you are as suspicious of me
As she is
Of the Muslim down the street
Whose uneasiness grows
At the fair-skinned lady clutching her purse

What’s so special about your bag miss?

Abandon your profiles
All ye who enter here
They prove as useful as pop commentary
From some social pundit
Making six figures
In a lofty residence
While their sons mainline heroin in the kitchen
They come to work in a shiny suit
Telling America who the true enemy is


It’s almost funny

But it isn’t


The Reason

I Am
Fate
Absolute
Undeniable
For fate does not falter
Or turn from what is true
It was written…before you even realized the meaning of the letters strung together unconsciously by a force that continues to guide
To this day
You are meant to touch heart and soul
Delight and infuriate through clever wordplay
This is the hand that fate has dealt

I Am
Flame
Inextinguishable
Rending surroundings to nothing
Voice poured through filters
Strained by format
Distilled before you
From ashes have risen
To tickle the soul with flame
That has become welcome
For fate meant this to be through flame

I Am
Rest
Garnered through the act
Relaxation
Soothing a conflicted spirit
That demands everything
In turn
Receiving nothing
With standards elevated to unbelievable depths
This is the still that cools fate’s flame

I Am
Strength
Height and bulk found
Pillaring esteem and bracing confidence
For fate has dictated that a flame
Strong yet cool
Will become not only a weapon of choice
But a knife
Whose handle
Fits only my hand
Strength gained as fate prepares to make you listen

I Am
Esteem
To which “no” means little
For another course soon identified
Destiny knows several paths
Equally absolute
For the cooled strength of the flame
Is surrounded by only those that support fate
That allow no falter
Accept no excuses
Presence ensuring fate will unleash

I Am
the Scribe
And I cannot be stopped


Peace,
Brandon Thomas

Next Time – Torn between three potential topics…learn what wrote itself next week…

Note: Stop by the Ambidextrous message board and contribute to the thread known as Peep Game (meaning “Look here,” “Take heed,”) as everyone and their mother chimes in on the things they think you should pay additional attention to. Even if you don’t post (which you really should do), have a look anyway. There’s good shit out there, and it stands the possibility that you may not even know about all of it.

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