do not own your space
nor your virulent reaction. carry nothing, for nothing is yours.
do not be woke.
do not hashtag Black Lives Matter.
how can you take a knee and march and have rage?
you can have more nothing.
did you learn nothing from Ferguson, from Staten Island?
a chokehold will not be avenged, a killing
will lead to federal prosecutors tasked with upholding justice, who binocular their work, no more consent decrees or oversight for anything they deign to recommend, yet
peace! now spoken from every star and striped statesman– o the poor among you,
how dare you shame your city, since judgment will not afford you
the goodwill of the blessed?
you cannot want more than the goodwill of the blessed—the white good people of the world? you shall have nothing if you fail to attain it!
do you think, what’s the point? This is bulksh*t? don’t be vulgar. Why, if you anger them, you will see them give you less than what you have.
sing something, instead, sing something hard.
make it shake their heads as they feel it with you.
or, instead, becoming Love, mouth it to your brother, “blessed be!”
how else can you be helpful to the dogs that stole your neighbor’s life in a rough ride and a beat down just before? They aren’t’ dogs– ask yourself again:
now how can I be helpful?
you can stand still, breathe shallow, carry nothing, own nothing
but contrition and goodwill.
you may think, goodwill is another word for second-hand. perhaps you rage
along the torn page of your mind.
never mind: if he had not (followed the paradoxical barked orders to crawl, hands over head, don’t move, hands out front, crawl /BANG/
smoked weed, sold loosies, worn a hoodie, ran away)…. apologists will cry out as a voice for the shooters, each time, and you will hear it:
“why did he run then? running is a sign of guilt. Only the guilty run.”
will you argue? stop thinking: in those moments
that before death he breathed beholden gasps yet he ran on legs that Could run (his body more free than his soul or his future, which were ash, scattered far from home)
as for the rough ride you asked about, maybe there were a few people in the car, but you weren’t there, okay? A blue blackout…you don’t know what it’s like.
one day, you run from a policeman. he shoots you and you are arrested.
you are charged with trying to kill the one who shoots you. The corporations and the machines are enlisted against you.
the police crowd the courtroom in blue and brass.
do not have questions. do not seek help.
you must be full of grace, and just as grace notes are choices, then–
when the musicians are so moved– the grace notes may be utilized, and border the narratives of song.
it will thrill us, you know? with something fine, something-something Martin Luther, Jr. It will teach us something worthy and we shall bow and something-something pray.
*dedicated to Silvon Simmons, who is waiting to hear if a weapons charge will be brought a second time by the district attorney against him, in Rochester NY. Simmons was shot near his driveway and injured by an officer, and then tried for attempted murder of that officer. A jury found Simmons Not Guilty of attempted murder. The jury found him Guilty of a charge of criminal possession of a weapon but at sentencing the weapons verdict was overturned. The evidence against Simmons was based on ShotSpotter a gunshot detecting product which picked up the sound of helicopter blades..or 4 shots?…or 5 shots, or maybe 6…evidence that had been examined by the police, requested, clipped and packaged by the police, interpreted by the prosecution, and shared in clipped state at the last instance with the defense just before trial. The judge determined the verdict was against the weight of evidence because ShotSpotter was uncorroborated and threw out the criminal possesion of a weapon verdict. Even though there is no new evidence, and evidence admitted in the last trial is no longer in play, the DA has not yet determined that the case is over.
It seems from the verdicts in the previous trial that ShotSpotter evidence would not be allowable scientific evidence at a retrial and that any statement by police which may have corroborated ShotSpotter, that Mr. Simmons shot at the officer is similarly not allowable since a jury determined that Simmons did not shoot at the officer (as determined by legal evidence they weighed). How could the case legitimately be retried?