Tag Archives: Poems

The Conversations For Us and the Conversations Between Us

We’re in a world stuck between two conversations.

One conversation is for us. The other is between us.

In one you are telling us what we should do, how we should act, setting the lines between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours, targets and our KPIs.

We’re always performing for you.

Always telling us we’re close to violating your rules. For violation is your key to power (enforcement) and it is only through drawing those lines are you able to keep us boxed, locked, and trapped. You need your head held high, foot stamped down on our already beaten down bodies to feel good about yourselves.

The other conversation is the ones we are having. Conversations about escaping the box you built, cutting open holes to break through, to see some ‘light’, questions about our collective condition but also, to your dismay, also about hope and prosperity beyond profitability. That all those languages and phrases you told us to stop speaking, food to stop eating, dreams to stop dreaming are actually the keys to escaping the prison you built for us, bars forming in our minds every time we do the simple task of living.

You don’t hear these conversations in full from the outside. You try and get bits and pieces and utilize what you think you know to serve your aims but I hate to break it to you.

Your messenger, agents, pawns, rooks, spies, and related people will always be outside of our conversation because you keep our people outside of yours. Your conversations are also the louder ones on big, broad stages, about institutions and where we direct funds, while we chat through hush silences, quiet daps, nods, and no hand(less) gestures on the way to cash our meagre checks at the bank. There may be a conditioned hesitation, hunched backs, broken eye contact – but our souls are still strong and our hearts even stronger than ever. You won’t destroy those.

Difference between our conversations is one of external power – the ‘I’m better than you and can enforce the rules, type of power. ‘Our conversations are about resistance, the we may be disempowered and excluded from your high tables and private consultations, but we still have each other to eat with, consult with, dance with – and believe in.

We may not have fancy plates and utensils but we have our hands and our spices. We’ll get ’em dirty too, rearranging and challenging the ‘man-power‘ of your societies by putting the ‘a’ at the front, while remembering the ‘X’ at the back. Take a minute to think about that one.

Your conversations ultimately comes down to individuals, ours is about the collective. We may be pawns, you may have have your rooks lined up ready but we have numbers and we’ll take our little steps as they come and eventually bring back our Kings and Queens, those dreams I alluded to earlier. The ones I stand with when I am surrounded by Queens in the packed malls of Flushing or Kings in the streets of Harlem.

You will realize you are the rooks of collectivity, of connectivity. You may have technology and laws, that you put in place to maintain the system but we have the root source – our minds – that will rethink your laws, build on your technology, and bring the world together in harmony while doing so.

We realize what you have done by telling us it’s not a black and white game of chess, constantly trying to argue the beige future before us is inevitable, so for the time being you need the reigns – for you are the light (right…).

Well – no – we are the light. We are the descendants of African Queen and the Mughal Kings. We don’t accept your dreams for our future. We aren’t prepared to wait future generations to make this happen.

Give us back what is ours. Either you invite us to our conversation or you be excluded from ours forever.


The B-eautiful Struggle – A Poem about B-Words

We spend so much time focusing on the now and the how that we forget to look


The ways we were taught, the ways we created this perception that our success and happiness depending only our abilities to be the


Those B’s were never good enough. Yet those A’s came rarely. Just as rarely did they tell us that this society was not that promised meritocracy and that evaluation never was independent of our faces and names on the papers they graded – always judging our souls through these problematic processes. So many things I wish I knew


Speaking of before – had I known before too late that our histories were the way they were. That we were never meant to succeed in this colony and that we had a presence they needed in order to


A country on the premise of a supremacy and our eventual demise or productivity. They wanted us in Chinatowns not their towns. They wanted us as second-class and damn well did it for almost a century until we pushed back. That our ghettos were just that but now they say we’re building too many houses on these other


Everytime I rise up with this jumpshot I’ve been working on I feel this 7-footer in front of me.  When I learn that step back, they tell me to step back, and that they now call it a travel. Got me leaning on one foot as if I’m Harden. Every time we fall, I feel the heart harden. Yet the other’s tell us we’re still good because we’re not


We see you and feel you but are those emotions nearly enough? We still clutch our wallet with one hand and give you that hopeful dabs with the other –  hoping you see us too but shaking off the unconscious nature of what too many a-cultural teachings engrained in us so wrongly. From moms and pops telling me it was the music of criminals to white teachers looking disapprovingly at my baggy hoody. Their eyes told their stories and there were no black faces to ask the question of who “Matters.” We were all pretty much


Now that’s a tricky word. Because bias doesn’t exist in reality they say. It only exists unconsciously. Therefore it cannot be contained. Therefore it’s just human nature that we can attempt to minimize but will be maintained. Plus, more importantly, you need to stop playing that race card or investigating these coloured things because you are just creating your own


You knew I would eventually get there wouldn’t you. That I wasn’t done just talking about cues and hues. That Intersectionality teaches us there’s different experiences of one’s abuse.  That chip on the shoulder that acts like a fuse. We feel like these walls are unscalable. Yet, we hold it in because we don’t want our struggle to be anybody else’s


We want to stop burdening those around us we got it. We were initially the Whiteman’s Burden now we serve as each others. We see another person in our community stepping up and in order to make ourselves feel better we dissect them into pieces in ways we would never dare to do to the masters and their institutions. In real life we scared, but we use our screen doors, computer screens, and cellphone screens as our defense to splatter some words to sound intellectual, to mask fear perpetual. But, it means little when they tell us to be more….


They say we can self-help our way out of it. We listen to those same relaxation tapes that tell us to pay attention to the


But what happens when that breath starts becoming hyperventilated, short, a struggle to even continue. We walk between these streets finding that our steps no longer are one ahead of another because we held down with all this weight to find


Imagine a balance beam of our culture on one end and your expectations on another. We don’t have time to put on the yoga pants, stand on the edge of our toes and “feel that stretch.” We’re stretched in our pockets, in our problems, and in our possibilities. We isolated in our own worlds, now tell me….


Where are all the brother’s at that care? Or those men that said they would be our mentors once we made it. Did they disappear once their going got good or the going got tough. Where’s all that so-called good stuff that others tell from their own mentors and generations of lessons learned. Are they hoarding them now like we’re about to steal their belongings. It’s like they took away our glasses and contacts, and left us here


Therefore we follow their lead not our own hearts which continues to bleed.  But truthfully the pages were






as I may be I still put together these shattered thoughts on this page. They can’t take away this pin and paper, they can’t love the girl but continue to rape her, they can’t love the song and dance, but ignore the sadness and despair. You see, we are different in our opinions and positions but see that we’re


To what you just read and realizing you can’t go back as I did it when I first saw and learned about your