peter bormuth

Blues For Barack - Work Song - Poem by peter bormuth

The glinty-eyed Roman faces in suits
that stand behind you
are all white, like the papers you sign.

the patrons at the bar in Birdland
would shout work work
when Lester lept into a solo.

I remember why he drank himself
to death
in a small room at the Alvin. Do you?

There are nameless voices that cry out
from the Chattahoochee
Brickyard in Atlanta. Mr Backlash Mr Backlash

sweat & blood stolen like money
transmigrating generations
James W. English, First National Bank,

Coca Cola, Wachovia Securities
work work
god bless the child that got his...

the abandoned graveyard of Tennesse Coal
Iron & Railroad
has been bulldozed

There never were any markers anyway
US Steel owns
the mine now but no memory

of the 30,000 black forced laborers
who died there
what compensation? Work work

there is a woman sitting in a tenament
wondering what
to feed her child today. work work

there is a man sleeping on a piece
of cardboard
over an open grate

there is a crack whore turning tricks
a boy 'shamed
to go to school without shoes.

today we hear that there will be
no financing
of contraceptives. Work work

there are those who speak
of love
without reading history

Pope Nicolas V started the slave trade
to convert the
'Moors, heathens, & other enemies of Christ'

What if i don't want your love?
show respect? ? ! !
Mr Backlash. Mr Backlash

The old ones said do what you will
& harm none
The native peoples advised

take only what you need
& give thanks
when the christians spoke

the light went out of those eyes.
there were black
overseers back in the slave days too

work work

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 20, 2010

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