Black Poetry : Why You Talk Like That?

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by 1poetsought, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. 1poetsought

    1poetsought Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Poetry by Malcolm London


    Why you talk like that?

    With fake bass in your voice

    Like you got foundation

    Why you talk like that?

    Speak up like police lights on street posts

    Up

    Like that like

    Surveillance

    Can you see me?

    The cabrini green growing in your esophagus

    Talk like you

    Waiting to be gentrified

    Why you talk like that?

    Like coffee?

    Black but not strong like they like their coffee

    Integrated

    Obeying the cream

    Talk like a playground

    In your lungs

    While you hyde park and breathe

    In bravado

    In belligerence

    I see you native to these west side Americas

    I hear the colonialism in your dialect

    Where you grew up

    Where you belonged

    Loose squares is a mantra

    Slurred words like liquor store was on the corner

    Of your cheeks

    See your tongue

    Crisp and crossed

    Like your mamma raise you

    On crucifixion

    Like she pray

    You never come home in a coffin

    Like she know

    These predators pray

    More often

    Often you speak like you can make institutions disappear

    Like magic

    Like voodoo in your veins

    Like you dream

    Of new order

    Or New Orleans

    Talk like you immune to Katrina

    This hurricane

    Of injustice

    Why your slang move like

    Mississippi did migrated

    Into your saliva

    Dixie line dictions

    Stirred in kitchens

    In pots

    Of collard greens

    Turkey necks

    And sweet potato pie

    You sweet talk

    Like you met at the intersection of Arsenio Hall and Fresh Prince

    Transit authority

    That transition to 26th and California

    Is easy for you

    You grew up

    Spitting boss

    Taste buds grew up

    On police brutality

    Dished out in cooke county

    You spit like you thirsty

    Like you been wading in the water

    Of parasites and low income

    Your mouth didn’t dry suppressing all that struggle

    The thesaurus in your throat clogs like a word

    But struggle

    In other words

    You talk like you never been north

    Never been freed

    Like you ignored

    Like you need to be heard

    Like your story has a history

    You aren’t allowed to know

    Like you got something to say

    What do you think of poet Malcolm London’s message and meaning? What do you read in his poems?
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    I read it as an antithetical piece, i.e., he expressed opposite sides: one speaking like white supremacy versus speaking like "Aluta Continua," the struggle continues, the struggle is real.

    IMO, this poem is about how when one Black man hears another Black man talk like he don't know, like he don't understand what's going on, he wonders, "Why you talk like that?"..sounding like you didn't come up Black------And the other side is how the former wonders the same, "Why u talk like that, sounding like you angry, like you aint got it good?"
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    ...This piece reminded me of this poem written in 1954 by Dudley Randall>>>>>>>

    Booker T. and W.E.B."

    "It seems to me," said Booker T.,
    "It shows a mighty lot of cheek
    To study chemistry and Greek
    When Mister Charlie needs a hand
    To hoe the cotton on his land,
    And when Miss Ann looks for a cook,
    Why stick your nose inside a book?"
    "I don't agree," said W.E.B.,
    "If I should have the drive to seek
    Knowledge of chemistry or Greek,
    I'll do it. Charles and Miss can look
    Another place for hand or cook.
    Some men rejoice in skill of hand,
    And some in cultivating land,
    But there are others who maintain
    The right to cultivate the brain."
    "It seems to me," said Booker T.,
    "That all you folks have missed the
    boat
    Who shout about the right to vote,
    And spend vain days and sleepless
    nights
    In uproar over civil rights.
    Just keep your mouths shut, do not
    grouse,
    But work, and save, and buy a house."
    "I don't agree," said W.E.B.,
    "For what can property avail
    If dignity and justice fail.
    Unless you help to make the laws,
    They'll steal your house with
    trumped-up clause.
    A rope's as tight, a fire as hot,
    No matter how much cash you've got.
    Speak soft, and try your little plan,
    But as for me, I'll be a man."
    "It seems to me," said Booker T. --
    "I don't agree,"
    Said W.E.B.
     
  4. 1poetsought

    1poetsought Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for sharing, sister.
     
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