(elephants in the room)


A riot is the language of the unheard.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I.

if a riot is the language of the unheard what

is silence? the disease of the privileged

the opioid of the wealthy or apathetic silence

is only listening to the loudest mouth

an agreement from the ignorant legislation

of the partisan silence is authorship

by the indifferent cries of the powerless & poor

is silence the echo of contrition drone & dirge

of the duped allegiance to the status quo

silence is sitting in a room when your boss

calls afrika & haiti shithole countries

& saying nothing silence is sitting

in a room to honor a native preacher

of a shithole country called atlanta

& speaking still saying nothing

silence is seventeen in parkland fifty-eight

in vegas forty-nine in orlando twenty-six

in newtown six hundred & fifty in chicago

the nra cash in their accounts loud as an AR-15

II.

unarmed teachers revolt in red states teens

with machine gun vernacular spray

relentless hope angry tears blood

on their nikes they know testing

only assesses the number of prison beds

on the stock exchange at a school in a mexican

community a student wrote he’d build

a wall around the hood to keep trump

out as we worry the windows for tanks

militia or the ins our skin too anxious

for dreams only white men can navigate

the world without code-switching

III.

i am not non-violent i am a teacher

i am not non-violent i am a writer

i am not non-violent i vote

we are not non-violent we care

BYCASEYMCLERRANON AUGUST 1, 2018 • ( LEAVE A COMMENT )

Quraysh Ali Lansana

A riot is the language of the unheard.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I.

if a riot is the language of the unheard what

is silence? the disease of the privileged

the opioid of the wealthy or apathetic silence

is only listening to the loudest mouth

an agreement from the ignorant legislation

of the partisan silence is authorship

by the indifferent cries of the powerless & poor

is silence the echo of contrition drone & dirge

of the duped allegiance to the status quo

silence is sitting in a room when your boss

calls afrika & haiti shithole countries

& saying nothing silence is sitting

in a room to honor a native preacher

of a shithole country called atlanta

& speaking still saying nothing

silence is seventeen in parkland fifty-eight

in vegas forty-nine in orlando twenty-six

in newtown six hundred & fifty in chicago

the nra cash in their accounts loud as an AR-15

II.

unarmed teachers revolt in red states teens

with machine gun vernacular spray

relentless hope angry tears blood

on their nikes they know testing

only assesses the number of prison beds

on the stock exchange at a school in a mexican

community a student wrote he’d build

a wall around the hood to keep trump

out as we worry the windows for tanks

militia or the ins our skin too anxious

for dreams only white men can navigate

the world without code-switching

III.

i am not non-violent i am a teacher

i am not non-violent i am a writer

i am not non-violent i vote

we are not non-violent we care