Black Poetry : report from the riot

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by romusthepoet, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. romusthepoet

    romusthepoet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    report from the riot
    (the los angeles insurrection 1992)
    by romus simpson


    the whole day waz dark dusk
    & smoke
    a marscape of fire & sirens
    we had gone down slauson past the swap meet
    toward crenshaw
    where bands of wild brothas
    who had been all night without sleep
    ran beltless & shirtless
    some sitting spellbound
    in the infancy of their politics

    cloudless evening of horrified helicopters
    zagging transmitting the faces in the blue clock sky
    normandy lay bludgeoned face down
    glass everywhere its eyes pierced
    budlong a strip of places to hide & plan
    it confused the starling
    the heartbeat air in the city's wild throat
    toothless buildings agape with sirens
    debris resting where it landed
    we ignored the traffic lights
    we drove on the wrong side of the streets

    a policeman waz crying
    in the flight of law & order
    & plumes of smoke like eyeless cathedrals
    blocking the vision of god
    war hiz father had sat silent about
    the ports were still
    left the blacks to destroy the country
    the policeman in the shadow
    in the 27th hour of hiz shift
    hiz radio a shrill lauguageless haze
    let hiz memory stop recording
    turned hiz gun on himself

    & the kids
    so restless listening to the tumult
    had waited since the womb for fire
    fathers in prison calling & chanting
    "this iz it this iz it this iz it"
    implored their ragged sons to riot
    "fire iz free
    gasoline siphoned
    make the summer cauldron
    & remember me"
    they raked against the prison bars
    participated how they could
    refused to eat while the city burned
    screamed in ecstasy from cell to cell

    & other boys were lean by attrition
    their mothers
    half endorsed by welfare
    manning the windows at each
    apartment building like beautiful sentries
    saw their sons ignore the citywide bans
    it waz mutual disrespect
    curfews & riots negotiating over history
    new language saying there iz no proper way to speak
    to ignite the city
    it said shoot back & burn first
    take take take take take take take
    u blueboys electric in the wide avenues

    in phoenix
    los angeles waz an allegation
    a rumor of inconveniences ahead
    an eerie silence in the beautiful desert motif malls
    the television stations there implored the citizens
    to shop to work to write poems to conserve water to pretend

    long beach lay at the edge of fire
    the word came down atlantic like night
    a population of faceless blacks
    projects & small blue prisons
    compton line smoldering
    with its muslim mayor biding hiz time
    the phone company cut their service
    would not allow him access to hiz soldiers
    too many blacks near freeway onramps
    everyone greasing themselves for the frenzy
    the black nationalists in full recruit
    in broken swahili saying
    "here iz a better way
    we warned tom bradley & the world
    ****** will be heard mother****errrrrrr
    each colonized negro tonight
    make your bitterness count"

    the affluent inglewood waz an allegory
    a sudden slang tore its trimmed westside
    going west out the 405 toward LAX
    then landing in the palm of that black city
    the blacks along the manchester thoroughfare
    heavy brothas with quick hands
    moving from their small clean homes
    the thousands of bus stops at every glance
    their eyes looked back searching each motorist
    litter drifted waiting to run
    darkness fell full fluid with the streetlights shot out

    "throw fire"
    he told hiz son
    "remember the smell"
    one kid hurls a gasoline bomb
    flames vine out of the store windows
    they flower gold & red
    he curses the koreans & the whites
    flexes hiz muscles
    spins in the delirium
    how eazy it waz for him to belong that night
    hurl a brick then sprint everywhere in endless energy
    shirtless holding their pants up
    hundreds came mocking the sirens
    block to block all speed looting the ralphs supermarket

    27 hours now of brusque movement
    dr. karenga's message waz in the streets like a rumor
    multiculturalism & egalitarianism after war
    reparations & revenge
    demonstrate the distance
    it waz black & white & in flagrant disagreement
    there waz a crude understanding hid
    in each brotha's pocket like a knife
    dr. cress welsing said "think well then act
    consult the pan africanist soothsayers who
    computer prophesy from 5th floor faculty offices"
    prof. amen ra shrugged hiz 6 ft 7inch shoulders
    said "i told u so" & cancelled hiz night classes
    all the street linguists caucused & rapped their intent

    "we go together like in uganda"
    said dr. bede ssensalo
    "we are the fire that burns the land"
    chad nkansa said
    "ghana iz in it too
    the middleweights come at u!
    lets legislate an omen
    aiyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

    shadows of murderous negros panting
    playing hide & seek
    someone in an impala shoots off a flare
    a thousand run & destroy the chevron station
    a battalion of preachers stood in the advance screaming
    "god iz not dead!
    god iz not dead!
    he iz watching everyone of you"
    & the riot went on

    no electricity
    just an occasional person sprinting from dark to dark
    the word iz a few blocks over there are snipers
    we hear the bullets stutter then wait
    that's where we stand
    near at least a dozen fires
    on some corner where the streets signs have been stolen
    weary & not knowing what iz to come
    nor how to get home from here
     
  2. epiphany

    epiphany Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Romus......

    This is " A Excellent Piece"


    Epiphany :heart:
     
  3. AACOOLDRE

    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Tough poem
     
  4. N2urSoul

    N2urSoul Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is great....like a short story.....Rome, you are gifted!!
    Hollar @ ya' home gurl!!

    N2
     
  5. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    being one of those inglewood hoods...at the time...

    i remember well twenty-four hours of hell...drenched in the smoke of so many fires while the police lined up beyond WESTERN...drawing their line in the dirt...daring all to stay on our side while the media lied and one mother after another cried...not knowing the fate of their young. AGAIN, we sang our song of WE SHALL OVER COME.

    romusthepoet...you've scripted a masterpiece.
     
  6. Hunter

    Hunter Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Romey...

    This is without a doubt one of the most powerful pieces I have this year. Yes...there were rumour of riots....'rumours of wars'...you brought me to the front lines with just one single read poet and I am grateful for this journey. You are indeed the stuff of literature....thank you for feeding my hunger for good poetry today.

    A most excellent, thought provoking, senses-awakening piece!!!

    *black-battlefields*
     
  7. Legendof_1_Spirit

    Legendof_1_Spirit Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ...>floats in>

    Romus, this is truly a masterpiece from a master scribe. U have captured the moment in exquisite detail and depth. Not only did you give a report but you brought it home, you delivered it straight with no chaser; to the mind's eye. Allowing us to see, hear, feel, taste, and touch; to experience it, as if we were there in the streets.
    Thanks once again for the journey into the riot.

    Keep the words moving my friend.

    peace&1luv

    <floats out<...
     
  8. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    wow!!! DA ROUGH TYMES WE FACE and da better days ahead
    u leave me speachless
     
  9. MADDRAPPER

    MADDRAPPER Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    THIS WAS VERY ILL KID LOVING THE WAY YOU BOUGHT TH ERIOT HOME WE ALL REMEMBER THIS ALSO GOOD IMPACT
     
  10. alyce

    alyce Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm getting used to the "speechless-ness" you reduce me to after I've read you.

    I was there...and you brought it all back, and then some.
    And then some.

    a
     
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