Credits for graduation don't survive the middle passage

vines of ivy scramble
and choke the life
out of ivory towers bending in the winds
of affirmative actions taken by my mother
father and others as they sat and stood for
my education. pride in the sensational
achievement backs unbent graduating
to study again, picking up the pen to reflect
bad checks written by overseers
john and moses don’t fight fair.
the pair, one on either side like book
ends forcing me to fight a war on two fronts.
the battle is brown versus black.
five page book reviews on the life of
Mexicans and Malcolm X.
searching for answers when the questions are
lies
ties to bind minds
into patterns of despair
broken on the wheel
of an Explorer.
like columbus stealing natives
gives offense for
five hundred years tears
fears of shackles called slavery or
probation
incarceration
retaliation by blank
-men for my
melanin blessings
dressing me down in beautiful browns blacks blues
shoes sliding across the floor
twisting and turning
gyrating to the beat
not the one and three
not the one and three
feet don’t fail me now
showin me how the dances
prances, shuffles, and
troubles that are mine cycle round like
my pelvis. elvis was a pick
pocket, stealing
like his father stole
out of his cave,
looked about and gave a
wicked laugh, scratched his ass
setting his mind to steal the past
but Kemet rises with my Nubian queens
gap denim jeans
curving with shapes
out of memory
remembering the beauty of
pyramids
rising against the morning sun
has time begun? to unravel
we travel like beats of the drum
bu-dum, bum-pudum
bu-dum, bum-pudum
shimmyin and shakin slidin and
takin our time to build
page by page
counterattacks.
smacks in the face of academic untruths
roots so deep, they creep
into the well of existence
a phone line to the most high
operators called
Ancestors
bless us as we try and
fry us some chicken. finger lickin good
the hood is full of maroons, running from
the inner-city plantation to Providence
out of the frying pan into the fire
higher learning means
learning ourselves
shelves full of knowing
of growing into the richness of our past
casting you and me
in a different light, right?
HIStory becomes Mine, descended from
kings and queens divine, surviving European
miscegenation and desecration of
my body.
shoddy words soothing demonic hearts
as they start to wither
from the hate that they carry
tarry just a little while till
I stroll across this stage
my rage contained in the brite white of my smile
all the while I look for my peoples
among steeples built on my back
among steeples built on my back
among steeples built on my back
I am on track to change what is this Showbiz
of integration throughout my nation.
Taking this token made of me
using it to ride the "T"
into Roxbury or Watts, lots of
my brothers and sisters
I need to see. Homer Plessy lived
a little while ago.
I know that his legacy is being passed down
even as I speak. last week, checking on the status of another,
mother of kings and queens, the means for her to endure
turn to manure, shit out of luck cuz
the buck don't stretch that far
credits for graduation don't survive the middle passage
that's what the man said.
hoping she bled all her hope
into the ground. But I found her,
making the question moot
planning how to get much loot
and make her triumphant return.
make her triumphant return and stroll across this stage
her rage contained in the brite white of her smile
as the battle shifts and sways.
brown versus black
replayed
replayed
replayed.

© Reynaldo A. Macias 1996