Poet Faizan Syed returns with a call to action. This powerful prose poem, full of protest and proclamation, is a rallying cry.
Arrest the police. Arrest the police and arrest the white men who think they are invincible and arrest anyone who makes them invincible. Fuck Trump. To blame him alone, however, is to ignore the scope of this harsh, dystopian wasteland we find ourselves in. These crimes against humanity were forewarned. In Charlottesville. In the racist rallies. In the conspiratorial hatred. In the debates. This is the new Red Scare. This is blood. In a rotunda full of dicks, the police managed only to shoot & kill a woman? As if she was the most threatening? Sounds about right. Bros before hos, right? Fuck the bro-lice. Fuck their complacency. Fuck their blatant injustice. Fuck their ignorance. Fuck their guns. Fuck their racist mercy. Fuck their Trump-loving asslicking leaders. Fuck their selective extremism. Fuck their fear. They should have to answer for their organized crime. These violent rioters have been vindicated. How dare the police protect them? How dare Trump validate their frustration? How dare Trump celebrate violence in his name? How dare he refuse to acknowledge the trauma that the legislators endured - lawmakers who blindly followed and protected him, only to be betrayed yet again? How dare he traumatize us all? The white man must be buoyed by a force field of narcissistic invulnerability. The white man who storms the Capitol and claims it for himself is declaring his own impotence. The white man wouldn’t dare to pull this shit if he knew what the black man knew. It’s clear now that lives are on the line. It’s clear now that Trump’s power has broken something in us, has released our own personal hellhounds & demons. It’s clear now that Trump would rather watch people die and cower in fear for his name, because in his delusional reality of pure denial and paranoid projection of unprecedented scale, he is fighting a war and he knows only one way to win. The way of the coward. The way of the white man. Threaten. Deny. Stoke hatred. Incite violence. Colonize. Praise God, or at least praise the Dark Lord, and justify everything with a barrage of lawsuits and finger-pointing. Justify the unjustifiable by claiming ownership of justice. Silly white man. Everything you have was taken from someone else. Everything you claim is silly. You can’t own the people of a nation. You can’t own liberty, or citizenship, or the law. You can’t own reality, no matter how many idiots you rally. You can’t even claim responsibility for yourself. You put the baby in baby boomer. You are helpless. Yet your tantrums are dangerous. Your words carry the weight of guillotines. Your beliefs literally endanger lives. America, you have been threatened, you have been brought to your knees. Now you can’t claim that you were ever great. You can only claim that the white man would rather destroy the democracy he once held dear because he’s convinced he is the only one who owned it in the first place. You can only claim that the white man considers you his bitch. His slave. America, we are not the land of the free, we are not home to the brave. America you are homeless. America you are loved almost as much as you are hated. We are the minorities and we are the oppressed. We are the truth-seekers and the truth-keepers. You need us now more than ever, America. You can’t survive without us. So let us in and let us be heard. Let us rebuild the tatters of your broken mind. Let us grieve the loss of your sanity, America. We can be the antidote, we can be the medicine you need, but you have to protect us too America. Protect us from yourself. Because the white man hasn’t gone anywhere. He got to go home. While our brothers and sisters still lay rotting in your prisons. We are crying out for justice, America. We are here and we know how to protest peacefully, even though we are still more likely to get killed in the process. We are here and we are your lifeblood. We will change you for the better, America. And some of us will literally die trying. Just like Malcolm X. Just like Martin Luther King Jr. Just like JFK. Just like George Floyd. We are not giving up in our fight against white supremacy. Your mask is slipping, America. You’re teetering on the borderline and you are staring down the brink of psychosis. Listen to the sound of our voice, America. Trust us. Come back to us, America. We got you.
©Faizan Syed – 2021
Faizan Syed, MD is a writer, musician, and psychiatrist based in Queens, NY and is a member of the Queens Poetic Alchemy Collective. He was awarded the Folger Adams Jr. Prize for 1st place in Poetry and the Graduating Poet’s Award from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been featured on Humans of New York. Faizan’s work has appeared in Montage Literary Arts Journal, Newtown Literary, Cosmonauts Ave, & Empty Mirror. Poems he’s written in collaboration with Matthew DeMarco have been published in Jet Fuel Review, Dogbird Journal, and “They Said,” an anthology of collaborative writing from Black Lawrence Press. One can find him on Instagram @docfaizan or on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/docfaizan.
For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.
#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.
If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.
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