Treasure Island

Alan W. Jankowski

(March 16,1961 / Perth Amboy, New Jersey)

My Brother


I can't get action nowhere
I can't get satisfaction nowhere
Just rage and hate and shouting and crying,
But it won't bring my brother back anyhow.
Why? Tell me why,
Why? Why? Why did my brother have to die?
The police say it was a gang war
The neighbor says he was with the wrong whore
The kids on the corner say it was a turf war.
I just know I won't see him any more.
Why? Tell me why,
Why? Why? Why did my brother have to die?
He was a typical kid growin' up in the hood
He did what he had to that's understood
His life was rough, his friends were tough,
So much around him and none of it good.
Why? Tell me why,
Why? Why? Why did my brother have to die?
It was a hot afternoon in the projects
He was out scopin' out his prospects
A car sped by, I heard gunfire
Someone shouts my brothers dead.
Why? Tell me why
Why? Why? Why did my brother have to die?
In the projects it's understood
Life ain't worth nothin' in the hood
One day your livin' large with a Porche in the garage
Next day your dead as a piece of wood.
Why? Tell me why,
Why? Why? Why did my brother have to die?
The jealousy and pettiness are insane
It's hard to believe we're in the same game
We're fighting each other, brother against brother
And all we're doing is filling graves.
Why? Tell me why,
Why? Why? Why did my brother have to die?
No one's gettin' ahead here
We're only getting dead here
When your life is measured by the bundles you clock
We should be lookin to get outa here.
Why? Tell me why,
Why? Why? Why did my brother have to die?
Everyday here's another wake
No one want's to give only want to take
Have another drink maybe I won't have to think
About what we love and forsake.
Why? Tell me why,
Why? Why? Why did my brother have to die?

Submitted: Friday, June 29, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Actually an old rap song idea from the 90's...

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