Thursday, April 30, 2015

Last Day of PoMo

I fell woefully behind on NaPoWriMo, but I had to write a poem today, for the last day. I was thinking a sonnet, but then this one turned...I don't know, political? Inspired by listening to the radio on the way home and having some theory thoughts about all the violence we're experiencing, and then hearing a man talk about the long history of race riots in the US.
In any case, here's my sonnet. It's pretty bad, I won't lie, but maybe I can fix it.

Sonnet for the End Times

every generation seems doomed to repeat the same problem

Today they riot in Chicago and New York and Baltimore.
Before that, Ferguson, and Brooklyn and L.A.
Since America has been a country we’ve been at war
with ourselves. Or let me be honest: they,
the whites, we have been at war with black men. Four score,
a hundred years, a century, more. In 1919, play-
ing at Lake Michigan, a young black boy crossed a line, bore
the weight of ensuing riots on his thin corpse. Today
this same black boy wears a hoodie, does not answer, Sir,
does not defer, physically, to the Law. They will say
he was armed, he attacked, that’s what Police are for.
They shoot; we riot; played by the game.

Tell me, Fire, who burns in the flame?


Lisa B. said...

(a) I love that you are a sonnet writer.
(b) that is an amazing last line.

Nik said...

I read this sonnet on the way to work (at a stop light. I promise.)
I love the broad sweep in the beginning and the focus to one specific instance after the turn. Excellent sonnet, my sonnet writing friend.