#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 3

Spoken word poet Lloyd Garrison addresses head-on an issue that will likely vex us for the foreseeable future. Just how divided are we?


Worlds Apart?

There is no doubt in my mind that we are still worlds apart. But King’s Dream is still attainable as long as we put aside our pride and finally learn to work together. 

What if we actually opened our ears to hear what he was really trying to tell us?

I know he’s not here anymore…but he left one hell of a blueprint for us to follow in his footsteps. We’ve only had 53 years to pick up where he left off. I won’t bother asking you if you think life is fair…because we both know it’s not…but it sucks even more for people who look like me. Whether we stream it live or see it happening right in front of our eyes…the world as we know it is in a dark place. But at least I can say I’ve met at least one person who cares as much as I do. 

But how can a person begin to justify an injustice? 

How can a person explain the pain that has followed black and brown people for centuries?

I know you can hear it in our voices when we are talking to the media about another lost life…I know you can feel it in our spirits that used to be so full of life and energy. Protesting keeps us in the fight, but our goal is to bring awareness to those who think we are somehow intimidated…we’re not…and never will be….

We just don’t want or need to lose more innocent lives. 

We are just tired of having to step over and beyond the limitations that were never reasonable for us in the first place. Most of us just want our kids to graduate, find a job, and live a peaceful life away from drama and street life.

On the bright side, you’ve shared some things with me that have changed my outlook on life. 

I know now that you had no control over the family you were born into…not everyone was born into riches, burns crosses, and celebrates their misguided viewpoints by watching Birth of A Nation with no commercial breaks. 

I know now that you had no control over the color of your skin…not everyone wants to live in a world that treats some people like animals and others like human beings. 

I know now that just because someone is white doesn’t mean they can’t fight for equal rights…not everyone uses their privilege to support a racist agenda.

We’ll, I’m here to tell you that

I am and always will be worthy of equal treatment and so are you,

I am and always will be worthy of feeling safe whether I am at home or away and so are you, 

I am and always will be worthy of being viewed as an asset and not a liability and so are you. 

All I know is…the more we get comfortable talking about issues some people are scared to confess or address…the closer we will be to giving America what it really needs: A MAKEOVER.


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Mr. Lloyd L. Garrison is the CEO of Hidden G.E.M.S. by LG. Lloyd received his Bachelor of Arts (2001) and Master of Arts (2005) degrees in English from Miami University in Oxford, Oh. LLoyd’s goal is to spread messages of hope, love, peace, and truth through the power of the spoken word.  He’s on the web at hiddengemsbylg.com .

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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.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

When Love Drinks Too Much, & Gets Honest

Love Offers an Apologia to Various Bar Patrons
Between Sips of His Fourth Long Island Iced Tea

To begin, there is no alpha and no omega, I just am. And let me dispel the pop culture myth that I’m all you need, because it’s not true. You need more, you really do. (I said tealights and Beaujolais, not tacos and Budweiser.) It is not my fault that you didn’t write down what she said after those margaritas and it is not my fault that you did not meet him when he told you, nor that you did not wear that little charcoal gray number he likes so much. It is not my fault that he smokes cigars, nor that she has a penchant for them. Could you add another shot of gin to this please? I didn’t name the car in that Disney movie, though after further review I think it works. I’ve never once said that you should say it over and over and over, tossing it around like ‘Hello’ or ‘How’s it going?’ It should be almost-sacred, whispered, shouted, intimate (take that as you wish–intimate and cozy, intimate apparel, intimate friends, into mate). It needs a little rum, too. I do not have wings and I do not go around shooting heart-tipped arrows in some serial-loving rampage that’s going to be on the 6 o’clock news. February 14 was not my idea, neither were those little cards you had to buy for Mrs. Morton’s third grade class. I’ve had it up to here with the TV game shows, the classified ads, and Hallmark. It is not my fault she set you up with the guy from IT. I never told you she would be gentle. I don’t honor redos. I don’t encourage cutesy poems and letters in her locker. Say, more vodka please, the ice is melting. I don’t recommend you wait for him after every practice. I don’t like it when you say tough love and I don’t answer calls on the first ring. ‘Hugs not Drugs’ is not mine (does it work?). You can’t me books, TV shows, outfits, money, movies, cars, cities, or Mexican food. You should, whether or not he can dance. If you really do, she should get another chance. And it’s not a matter of whether you keep on your pants. Triple sec, more triple shec, the balanshe is off. My pet peeves are wishy-washy-ness, unfinished business, and people who use ❤. Since the year dot, I’ve only tried to make it go ‘round. Sometimes you guys should pitch in. At first sight is okay, but it bothers me that the French call it a strike of lightning. What’s the weather got to do with it? I protest words that rhyme with me, I am a wonderful thing, even if he can’t sing.

And I’m definitely better than war.

Un- Titled, in two parts

Un-

titled, in two parts

 

 

I.  Identity

crise always never knowing d’identité mirrors remain unhelpful crise photos only archival de conscience i’ve only ever known what i used to be, visions of what i will become crise what i am remains the (in)variable unknown d’identité reflection always foreign, a stranger—the ‘Hello my name is…’ forever blank;   i have at various times played the Black Widow Gambit, relying on who i was with Her and without;  and Her always either just leaving or just arriving; stay,  it seems, only applied to my execution  crise it is up for debate whether the scars make part of who i am or vice-versa d’identité  i’ve grown accustomed to not knowing my own name, moments where i do not respond to      … one time, after several drinks, i thought i met the man in the mirror—having passed out soon after, i forgot to ask his name   crise   i’ve carried around this cahier, grateful it’s never been lost (no one would know to whom it should be returned);  every word written with my right hand, but i can only tell you what the left looks like d’indentité  i remember very well what they both have caressed, including my own abandoned form;  no book i’ve ever owned has been inscribed; bills addressed to resident; despite regular prompt payments to the phone company, i’ve never heard it ring; it seems long ago i should have ceased posing the question, content with shadows, one-handed scribblings, unaddressed whispers, blank sheets, one hand, empty sheets… i’ve too often heard ‘Good bye.’  i’m holding out for just one ‘Good night ______’; just one.

II.  Obituary

 

The Greeks did not write obituaries; after a man died they only asked one question:
Did he have passion?
Dean to Jonathan in “Serendipity”

 

DS, sometime poet, sometime friend, died last night due to complications under as yet misunderstood circumstances.  At this time, it is only confirmed that he died by his own hand.   His final days are a mystery, though it seems that pieces of his life remain less so.  It is certain that he loved, evidenced by the scarring of three vaguely female forms etched just below the skin on the left side of his chest. The women of his life were always either just leaving or just arriving (why wouldn’t they stay?)—reflections in his eyes and nothing more.  His struggle was complicated by the fact that he defined himself by what he used to be or what he would become; his inability to ever know who he was proved debilitating.                                           .   He was found with an un-dog-eared copy of Endless Life, a small black cahier and a fountain pen, from which the ink  would fall onto paper then leap onto loose lips, and  from loose lips, ink spatter, sprayed as much as said, would fall onto deaf ears and into mute eyes; we can say with confidence that too few understood.   His teeth were stained Bordeaux, he smelled of sage flower and vanilla.  Ink had shaded portions of his right hand and the tip of his left index finger.  His eyes were open. The room echoed with a sax and trumpet, a wine glass shatter.  Nearby, next to the drunken shards, a map, several roads marked “Too few, too few.”   He is survived by a few poems, some scattered, some tattered; by innumerous filled and dusty bookshelves; by the words bouleversant and authentic; by manuscripts long unopened.   Services have not yet been arranged, though it is thought that he only wanted one question to be asked by mourners, and if the answer should prove to be no, that he be buried without…