Poets are often drawn to The Men's Council and men drawn to TMC often become poets. This is a place for them to share their poetry.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Your Need To Be Like Me

Hey! What you looking at, man?

I see you sitting there like some prehistoric sphinx

All propped up and stiff as a week old corpse.

Arms crossed over your chest like breastworks of armored iron.

Are you trying to keep the world at bay? 

How’s that working for you?

The expression on your face reminds me of an old WPA concrete bridge pylon – re-bar reinforced for

rigidity.  No give. No take. No nothing.

A regular Bubba B. Bad of better not bother me, boy. 

And just look at those eyes – almost blank as bullet holes.

They remind me of the impersonal instant-hot of a pair of lasers.

Are you scanning for germs and microbes down on the floor?

Or is this some kind of X-ray vision looking for germs and microbes   

on a floor somewhere down in China – through the Earth’s molten core.

What the hell are you looking at, man?

Here you sit among all this living, throbbing male humanity

Avoiding anything that might possibly signal who and what you are.

No eye contact - almost no contact of any kind. Stuck on auto-pilot.
Your best defense - a cold, hard nobody home. "Go away,"
As you peek out from behind the curtains.

But you’re doing it all wrong, man.I've got to tell you. 

You’re staring blankly at the wrong spot.

See – what you’re looking for is really over here - 

Right in the spot I’ve been fearfully staring at for the last 25 minutes.

by Ron Taylor
April 26, 2014
Coon’s Corner

There were 12 of us standing @ Coon’s Corner
Coon is the name the gave us
It was painted on a 1x4x12 inch plank
Then nailed to the oak tree at the side of the schoolyard
Where the coloreds bunched together like
Penguins battling the cold Arctic air
As if shielding ourselves from the
cold innocent misinformed stares leveled in our direction
by the white children at the other end of the school yard
100 feet away  I remember wanting to be on that side
of the school yard with them
I did not want to be hated

And so there we were poised, set,
ready to enter the walls of the white school
Which up until then walking through it’s doors
Was a fantasy.  We rode past it every day peering
Through the windows of the school bus transporting
us to RALPH J BUNCHE HIGH SCHOOL on the outskirts
Of the once thriving Roanoke River town Weldon, NC

“Colored People need to understand that White People
 ‘don wanna have noth’n to do with y’all Colored People”  I
heard the words coming from his lips  We sat in a small
room my Colored self, his White self, and the counselor
Therapist person White Male, White shirt, Red tie, and
Glasses who had previously ask both of us how we were
Holding this ball of racial tension generated by Thurgood Marshall 
Thank you Mr. Marshall segregation of schools
was illegal under rules of the constitution
And so they wanted us together in the same rooms reading from the
Same books taught by the same teachers they wanted us
to do the work

And now at this time, I hear how White people really feel
As told by the White child sitting across from me  I got
To hear the hatred of all White America from the lips of
This innocent White child vomiting the food being poured
Into his head and heart  “All we need to do is have a
Picnic on the football field and then we’ll see there’s
not much difference between us,” I said.

I scratch frantically in the Grand Canyon of my inner
Self looking for a reason to love myself while trying to resist
all the other isms’ piled onto this thing I see and
Feel but cannot understand  My shadow says
 I am not good enough because I am Colored. 
 I did not have the tools to deflect the projections of fear, anger, and
Ignorance while owning my own fear, anger, and ignorance.

I would be lying through my teeth if I say I am healed  I
Understand it but it still hurts  It hurts that people
Colored and White gave their lives so that we could now
gaze upon our given name painted on the 1x4x12 inch
plank mailed to the oak tree

COON and this is our corner.

by Gregory Blaine

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When Gregory Played His Flute

When Gregory played his flute
Plastic seated them
But the serenade of the woodwind
Lulled them to the waters
Where they cannot drink
Without muddy knees.
That’s the way men go to pain

Much has come from simple mud
Jesus in dust spat
And a man could see.
Good dirt and water. Seeds.
Earth is our much-favored planet
There is no end.

Light follows light
Sprouts always go up
When the breath of the flute
Awakens spring on the earth
One more time.

Grady Bennett Myers, Jr.
April 24, 2003

More Likely: The Man

More likely the man is
and isn't a statistic.
The scene: A man of indeterminate age sits
at his Formica table. We might
call his stare: vacant.
The time: isn’t important, there’s
a November fog and dark moves
seamlessly from night to day
and back. Besides, if he isn’t at work, he’s
just as likely: sitting like this, 2 a.m. or noon.
Specifically: he’s thinking: about her, the wife
who bailed with the kid. Is it a year now?
Next: his father already
a suicide at his age.
He feels: poor, a month behind on rent.
His car needs: insert list here.
She: most likely thought him a loser.
Just as likely: Vietnam/Iraq/Afghanistan drove her away:
the nightmares, the gun under his pillow.
At the table, this particular man
more than likely: has a beer in his hand, on
any given night or day,
more than likely: remote
nearby. Because he’s not black,
he’s less than likely: to have been in prison.
Because he’s not a woman
he’s less than likely: to complain of depression.
He’s lucky that way.

Larry Sorkin
November, 2013