For Nazir

My little brother has the sweetest dimples

as if honey dipped happiness puddles on his brown chin

Legs made to run and he’s barely one

I hope he’s quick

burdened by forever fitting the description

I hope he’s fast

with those slave feet

fast enough to beat a speeding mal-intent militant bullet

cruising through your hood in cruisers

I can’t breathe

imagining him laid out

like a Law & Order: SVU scene

flashing on the TV screen

The grand jury content with no indictment

Look, I’m no Al Sharpton

but

Fred Hampton,

Rodney King, Emmett Till,

Amadou Diallo, Ousmane Zongo, Timothy Stansbury,

Sean Bell, Bernard Bailey, Jahzeph Crooks, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner,

Akai Gurley, Oscar Grant III, Ernest Duenez, Christopher Middleton, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown,

my  father, my cousin, my brother

They all deserve better

than a supped up militarized Jim Crow task force

The truth is

they shoot dissenters and threats down like dominoes

it takes too long to turn on the hose

get the dogs

and lynching ropes I guess

Cops kill boys that look like me

all natural haired and sun baked skin

suspect or not

no one wants to die here

Why does your split decision always shatter his life like porcelain

dolls tap dance on bloodied pavement

that all the world’s perfumes cannot sweeten

They unload clips

We turn on each other with weapons

and the violence

spins this world on it’s axis

What if I have a son…

What if I came home and my husband…

 

 

 

I Know You Rest In Peace

Maya Angelou, my hero, died at age 86 in her beautiful home in North Carolina today.

“She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace,” said her son, Guy B. Johnson.

Her poem “Still I Rise,” was the first I ever recited, ever memorized, ever performed, and ever loved. As a kid her words found me in a dark place when no one else’s did, and continue to inspire me to rise beyond who I was. My only hope is that she passed knowing that she moved countless generations to poetry, and that she fermented a love of language that could leap oceans.

Inaugural, outstanding poet, will never cover how much Maya Angelou meant to the literary community. Her life and works awe millions. So I challenge you this day, in honor of a woman who was always more than just a poet, to rise above and believe that words can make a difference. In truth, they are the only things that have ever infected and effected change.

 

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou, 1928
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.Maya Angelou in Oil

Break-in At Breakers Bar

The Burglary

Two men were arrested and indicted after breaking into a local business, Breakers, a billiard hall and bar at 549 E. Meadow in Mohave County, earlier this morning. The two assailants George Butner, 38, and Max Brewster, 24, were apprehended shortly after the crime was committed. They’re currently being held in the Mohave County Jail and charged with burglary, resisting arrest and vandalism, with a bond for each of them of $15,000.

At the Scene

“I have no idea what the two men might have been looking for,” said Manager Hank Ng, 44. The pair broke through a back window at about 4:25 in the morning to enter the club, setting off a silent alarm. Ng identifies footprints outside the broken window, and a barstool had been set under the window for easy access into the room.9819995-large

Troy Delmer, 33, manager of Bill’s Breakfast Burrow, across the street from Breakers, saw some of the action. “It was about 5 a.m,” he said, “Well, I looked up and saw two men run from behind Breakers…They didn’t even make it out of the parking lot when the cops got ’em. Those cops were fast.”

Sgt. Ray Broadmall of the Kingman Police Department, who was unable to comment at the scene, corroborated Delmer’s relation of the events.