Poem by Jonathan J. Joseph

Artwork © Adric Giles

 

P.S.
THEY STILL CAN’T SPELL
JUSTICE –
J-U-S-T
U-S

they won last nite

Golden States skyline was filled with crimson

and the yellow

of a withering sunflower petal

from Cleveland’s underdog cavalry

who marched onward

triumphant

bringing home one more
historical victory
but,
        I know you didn’t see it…

birthday in five days

we just celebrated fathers

some of who don’t even remember

all their children’s names

Riley Curry got nun to say

Then,
there are those men well known
that never supported
through any material means

somebody made
a meme

Black woman and baby
posed politely
it read:

nothing’s missing

another said

tells dad

do a magic trick

**poof**

disappears forever

each
stereotypical portrayal
published in the name of satire
rapid release, online sketch
pure
comedy

got me thinking

they prolly thought
when your limbs lost strength
after being shot dead

that…
…was just
a joke too

demonized
little boi,

probably off from school

enjoying Thanksgiving break

within less
than ten seconds
your playtime
was ended forever

manipulative media almost remembered

true story

til state authorities

settled with mama for 6 million

hush puppy money

no admittance of wrongdoing

OHh! if only
every moment
niggas were murdered
their family tree won the lotto

five centuries of back wages
delivered incognegro

surely,
the mother continent
should be raking in digits fit
for illuminati conspiracy theories

our rich soil raped

for it’s vast resources,

but we remain the brokest

backs

bent from toiling

in blasphemous conditions

such destructive burdens

my people worked beneath

from daybreak

to nite fall

no breaks,

or overseer will whip

mentally torment, maybe

kill

these
were our labor laws

which even oxen

yoked up, plowing farmland

would find

utterly
ridiculous

suffering succotash

I’m
allergic to cats

but constantly hold back sneezes when people say

“Life is better Now”

bullshit

motherfucker
look around

I was twelve years old
when I held a real firearm for the first time
my brothas and I visited Walter’s house
couple doors down
his pops was a cop
chicano roots
covered up any hint of racism

so we let that conflicting fact slide

the weight itself

made my hands perspire

sixth sense tingling

almost saw Bruce Willis

corner of my eye

I passed it on
grieving the death of our innocence
something
this nation
never believed in to begin with

yet,
       no one ever
                            really dies

however,
the energy transferred
into these words
will not resurrect

Tamir Rice

still I write

hoping
worthwhile substance
might rise
from these lines

TAMIR RICE

every time
I say
that name
it’s like
there’s a ringing in my head

that

won’t go away

Tamir Rice
I will celebrate

You

until

the very life

leaves

this tongue

of mine

 

Artwork © Adric Giles.
Artwork © Adric Giles.

 

Jonathan J. Joseph has had work published in Oddball and Stone’s Throw. He recently was one of the readers for the International Beat Poetry Festival in October 2015.

Adric Giles work appeared on the cover of the Ferguson themed issue of Stone’s Throw.