I can't keep you from looking
I can’t make you see
the untold story.
an angry young black man
that’s what you need me to be;
the part you need me to play
I don’t play
I won’t get played
by any. single. part.
an angry young black man
you begin to
any of the three?
I scream to be heard
I don’t think you can hear me
because if your
hearing is as
as your sight
you’re not looking to understand
you’re looking for some new fright
that is why I have to fight.
I fight to tell you
you refuse to be told.
you see me as nothing more than
a bellowing stereotype
when enemies long public
have warned, “Don’t believe the hype”
you still cast me to type
as often as you can
in the role of
angry young black man
that’s why I’m
I am not a bellowing stereotype
so your tired thinking
makes me tired
it’s too difficult to listen to; you can see that can’t you?
maybe the thoughts I got weren’t the ones you sought
they were definitely the ones you brought
and how can a young man like me,
who spends his time thinking in sporadic internal rhyme,
not tire of such one note thinking?
I can’t listen in mono, you know?
where does that leave us?
will I continue to raise my voice,
as the paintbrush of every thought to cross my mind,
to try to get across points that have never crossed your mind?
will you continue to assume
that every display of passion
is one of anger
without ever trying
to distinguish anger from anguish?
if you wish
we can continue with business as usual
it’s bad business
which is something
I make it my business never to be in.
I have no interest in fiscal fear
if I’m to remain part
of the world corporation
I have to be part of a division
that is downsizing division
what’s the point
you see my point?
that will not keep me from making it
the thoughts I paint my mind with
are thoughts that bring people closer
like the strum of the right strings can make millions sing
beat of the right drum can leave millions numb
in dance and trance
I will no longer tell you
what makes me different
no matter how angry I seem
no matter how loud I scream;
it will never bring us closer,
it will only prepare me for
whatever stereotypical role
you’ve decided to cast me in
this isn’t your movie
we need to take bites of the rewrite
and react this entire act so it won’t be our final act.
that’s what I’ll be doing
I’ll be eating my words
that I can spit back
our new words
you can break out of your own typecasting,
get in the scene with me.
you can hear and see
listen and look at me.
maybe I didn’t
you can’t say
v inspired by the painting The Untold Story of Emmett Till by Nolan Lee.
v while the words are not reflective of Emmett Till’s tragic story, I have taken Mr. Lee’s advice.
on his web site he states, “I firmly believe that art can inspire others, just as it has inspired me.”
v these words that I’ve slapped together (I don’t believe that inspiration is an exercise of multiple drafts, do you?) are what his incredible painting inspired in me.
v I think that Mr. Lee is correct; so who knows; maybe someday, somebody will read these
words and find them inspiring.