Soliloquy to America

“There are two ways of spreading the light, / To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”—Edith Wharton

I’d like to shed some “light” on a few things I’ve had on my mind for quite a long time. I am first and foremost a poet. A poet speaks through the mouth of truth with a poetic tongue through keen observations and scrutiny of society and that’s exactly what I will do.

These are the days you’ll remember, a new year has dawned and we hope it will bring us together and with a sense of wonder. I am sorry that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not live to see President Barrack Obama reach the mountain top. I am sorry he did not live to see interracial harmony through marriage and integrated communities once made illegal by injustice, malevolence and intolerance. The children of Africa have risen to the highest heights of America when United States citizens elected Barrack Obama. But as often is the case, the more things change on the superficial level, the more they stay the same on a much deeper, darker level. Unfortunately, racism is here to stay and is still played out in a more subtle way. Why just the other day I was followed around in a retail store for reasons, I believe, was racially motivated.

The “occupy” movement is having its moment in the sun by speaking and standing up for equity for the bottom feeders of society who refuse to run, but instead, get angry. They hail and wail and with them I also question: “what is going on?” I don’t understand why the earth is on fire! Injustice wakes up, injustice stands up, injustice refuses to fall; children playing on lands ravaged by war; mothers sleeping next to coffins; come sun down, the pain doesn’t go away; we can see it trembling in the dark, thirsty for medication, but the government claims that there isn’t enough money to keep the pharmacies open. We need a shift in direction!

Flip flop flip flop! Some say Black people are lazy but moon town sun down we’re working like crazy. Our clock never seems to stop turning; we’re confused about the American promise: work hard and you’ll get some relief but we are being led by official thieves and opposition, so it’s time to cry out in protest for a change in direction. But who am I? Just an inner city Black immigrant who has no vote, shivering in the winter without a coat. I look around me and I see misery snarling in the faces of the homeless and the hopeless; I see children being born fatherless into a world of deprivation; begging for a blessing, waiting for God to dawn an opening.

Way back when, chiefly Africans worked around the clock building America while wishing they could all go back to Africa. I look around and I see politicians listen to the people who elect them with the patience of short order cooks. I see mounting government expenditures and U.S. national debt killing our American Dream and radicals importuning, “How did the president’s speech go over, with an audience stock full of political imbeciles?” All clapping while he sprayed salt on his lies, talking like a poem: saying nothing saying everything while holding haughty fundraisers to generate generosity from those of us already in a state of economic paucity.

So I am coughing these words, for the homeless Jo Black or White he’s still my Bro; selling Spare Change News the only way they know; an honest way of life to eat away the strife. I am coughing these words and it’s nothing Sudafed can feed; for all the young Black men wrongfully accused and jailed; gather your tears in protest and use it as bail. The world is restless as wars for justice and equality go on and on the domestic front, regular folks have formed the “occupy” movement to take back America from the powerful and malevolent; to take back the American promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I see mothers, fathers and children weeping hungry for equity, hungry for a piece of the American Dream. I watch in stupor as young Black brotherhoods gather from the statue residue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an archetype of freedom, liberty and equality, to continue their own struggle against racism and inequity! The futures of our country are playing on the playgrounds as equals, for now unaware of the inherent hatred and inequality stemming from their disparate skin colors. I am sad seeing wealthy white fat businessmen forever feasting on caviar while the rest of us look on like gaunt pitiable dogs; forcing me to ponder “When will the rest of us finally get a taste of opulence and luxury?”

Let’s not make the 2012 U.S. election a “black and white thing” by simply doing “the right thing” as you see fit. For people of color everywhere, maybe in the next century, King’s dream of justice and equality will finally become a reality. But, that doesn’t keep me from having hope and optimism; that one day the poor and marginalized of society will finally rise from the ashes of abject poverty and essentially bask in the glory of human dignity through monetary self sufficiency and finally find liberty, fraternity and equity for all of humanity!

—Jacques Fleury





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