POEM: Fool

Wow, a gemstone from my way-back youth. I read this and chuckle, finding it hard to believe who I was when I was just fifteen years old. I think about the dumb shit I was into, from then on into my twenties, and wonder how I made it out. I think I might have seen more craziness during that time than a lot of people see in a lifetime. Good thing, though. I don’t know how many people want to see all this madness.

Man, I ain’t looking at you fool.

That wasn’t me standing out by the school

Trying to look cool

Smokin’ that ganja

Hollering at the hoes

Leaning on that old chain-link fence

Near where the grass is dense.

 

That wasn’t me trying to get yo’ girl

Down by the Square the other day.

Seen you in that car somewhere in the world

The Impala that was going my way

You honked but kept to the drive

Nobody pick up white boys down here

Hard for us to survive

But these fists keep me alive

These balls keep me alive.

I’m the man of steel.

 

Saw you and my boys on the playground

Between the yellow and white villages

The fortresses from the white man’s world

His laws and lies and crime

Let me spit at you this rhyme

Before we run out of time

I don’t care that you black

I got yo’ back like you got mine

That ain’t no line.

 

Remember that motherfucker that owed you rent?

Who was the collector you sent?

Wasn’t any of your brothers from the block

It was me

And I went without a glock.

But, I ain’t lookin’ at you, fool.

I’m done being your tool.

 

That’s why I walked to the City and the Terrace

My friends won’t go with me

Saying, “Those places scare us.”

But it ain’t no thing to me.

I go where I gots to go

And be where I need to be.

Ain’t no ugliness I see

Just the welps of poverty

And the luxury of being free

Taken away

Like the little white gravel dust in the wind

Down there, that be me.

Like a shadow by the tree.

 

What you lookin’ at, fool?

My glowing skin?

Blinding motherfuckers in the sun?

Naw, I ain’t gonna run.

If you wanna squab we can have some fun

But, you want to turn bitch on me

Over some shit from the West End?

I’m loyal to the East

The Smokies always been my friend

But I got to make the ends

To stand up when my back bends

From Russell to Portland

You know the set I’m sportin’

Like a motherfucking Spartan

I fight to the death

Claiming my blood to my last breath.

 

These concrete towers

Stand up like lonely hours

If your world ain’t got trust

Then it’s just episodes of wilted flowers

Out here, there’s all types of powers

The bullet, the knife, blood, even the dawn

The street, the heat, a word that’s bond

Love, hate, sex, drugs

Flashing blades and dashing slugs

Busted fools up like plugs

White man’s boots on the necks of thugs

Not my heritage

I don’t claim killers that ravage

I ain’t that savage.

 

When we kill, we don’t kill for thrill

We kill to live; that makes it real

I ain’t one to want blood to spill

I ain’t here to add to a white empire

But, you look at me like I come with a pointed hood

Bearing a bloody whip in my hand

I ain’t that kind of man

I’d rather be tanned

If my head is ever skinned it’ll be because I lost my hair

My heart ain’t got no racist hate

 

 

I’ve walked these streets a thousand times

Market, Lampton, Shelby, Clay

Hancock, Wenzel, Logan and Swan

I been down the alleys in the night and day

I’ve stood at the corner of Jacob and Floyd

Soothing hearts that been destroyed

By needles and pipes

Sometimes I write rhymes that are hype

About spit and spite

And gunshots in the night

About sex in the morning

About sirens and warnings

Sometimes I write bullshit that I created

Or promises I broke

Shattered shit I repaired

And thick white smoke

On which we all choke.

 

You look at me like I ain’t real, fool.

What you got that’s more real than me?

I hear you been talking about peelin’ me.

A dark death comes for those who wait

I guess I can’t escape the hand of fate

But neither can you

So what would you do

If I put the barrel on you, too?

I ain’t want to do it

I hope you don’t make me do it.

But, if you come rolling up on me

Trying to break bad

Talking about the smoke

I’ll have to do what I’ll have to do

And you know that I speak true.

 

But, you and me still got our names under the bridge

And our other boys; the Iroquois boys

We might roll Dirty I even though we from the Smoke

And the CDP out on the Hill

I run with a crew off Doc Hodge

I walk in the Parks after dark

But see, you and me, we been down like clowns

Piled 40 in a bug

Since I came shuffling through these streets

When I had your back up by the tracks

You said I was white like night

Because I was the wrong color on top

My name is down there next to yours

On that concrete slab

And it ain’t no tombstone.

It’s my home.

 

Now the sun is setting

I ain’t forgetting

The words you kicked at me the other day

Telling me I best be on my way

But I ain’t gone

You ain’t the only one with brawn

I can flex and break necks

You know what I can do.

Now, I be looking at you, too

Just like you been clocking me

And stalking me

Walking upon me

Talking hard on me

I ain’t said too much

I carry but few words

My hands will talk

I’ll give you sign language

My knuckles will rap on your grill

You’ll think I got fists of steel

Don’t put no plate upside my dome

Or you won’t make it home.

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