lunes, octubre 30, 2006

Two Poems from Sydnee Stewart

American Arrogance

We are conditioned, oppressed, depressed, accessed

Excused, confused and intrusive.

We are proud, rude and cruel.

We choose capitalism as a spiritual tool.

We are corporate, ignorant, combative, consumers

and humorous.

We are intimidators and interrogators.

We are litigious and imperialists.

We exploit our young and discard our old.

We convince ourselves we are just

Just because

We are Americans.

We are leaders, teachers, students and philosophers.

We are believers, volunteers, dreamers and achievers.

We are mathematicians, astronauts and iconoclasts.

We are Americans.

We have landed on the moon yet have no use for

Harmony with humans.

We are global yet local

We are survivors lost and slaves paid for with a cost.

We are abusers and users mistrusted for

corruption and consumption.

Who can believe an American?

Will repentance reap grief from decadent soil?

Who is to blame for a tarnished name?

Only an American knows which side

the green grass grows.


We wild women ride railroads with combat boots strapped and laced tightly

Protecting our young like sheep our children who sleep with nightmares

We keep our emotions frozen from fiction in history books

We the daughters of Sheba, heirs to the throne

We imbibe on intuition

We bear our burdens on backs barren our gender specific

We are the superwomen

The ladies who give birth to revolutions in boardrooms

Break rooms, bedrooms, bodegas and brothels

Some of us finance romance because of personal circumstance

We survive

We build bridges that generations will cross

We crochet uniforms for marching armies

We pray, repeat mantras, we chant and sing warrior lullabies

We connect with ancestors for answers to questions that six year olds conceive

In Georgia where blood colored soil echoes dreams of four little angels

We climb heights with deer and send out warnings about lightning and thunder

Rain washes our wounds clean and we are positioned for battle again

Our memories are like elephants and our swords are like tusks

We travel in packs and use our weapons when necessary

Our words pierce through flesh that is diseased

We bring forth healing in our metaphors

Some of us are doctors. Some of us midwives.

Some of us serve as counsel and the rest of us wait.

We use our gifts and barter with our dignity to gain honor

We consider property, friends and fruit.

We choose carefully.

Our wisdom has been the passport on this journey

We rub cocoa butter on scars and mend broken bones

We survive

We look until we find the red orange yellow sunset

We sleep until we are tired of being tired

We rise until we kiss the sky

Our mothers are silent because they cannot speak

It is our time now and we have to rely on the moon inside of us

The tide is current. The tomatoes are ripe and the harvest is ready

It is the woman in the mirror who will make history hers

Change around physics to make the earth rotate with her cycle

We are the axis. The center of creation consistent with theology

The marrow in our bones is where Solomon hid his riches

We are virtuous and yet simple complicated and creative

We the mothers of nature daughters of the dusk

Our names are written by scribes and translated into hieroglyphics

We are Julie Dash, Dorothy Dandridge, Lisa Zuré, Martha Stewart, Shab Bahadori, Matahari, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Madam CJ Walker, Zora Neal Hurston, Brenda Stewart, Barbara Walters and Betty Boop

We are the sisters of Lotus. Fuck Charlie.

We love him but this poem is about us!

We forget and we remember

We are welfare mothers with no man at home and five mouths to feed

We succeed

We are crack heads with habits trading places with movie stars

We breed

We are aid to dependent children

We breathe

We are public in our quests to conquer the world

We dream

We are the heads of state, chairmen of the board, senators and presidents

We are free

As we walk miles on roads less traveled with shoes tight around our ankles

The footprints we make are indelibly recorded in the computers of little girls

Who in turn play hopscotch with other little girls and they pass the lessons on to little boys

Our names are documented in court dockets

Scribbled on prison walls in notebooks and typed in code by paralegals.

We are eagles

We aid and abet we teach the alphabet to kindergarten classes

We help the illiterate we make breakfast for the poor and needy

We build homes for the homeless

We make no excuses and apologize only to ourselves

We are the superwomen. We call ourselves She short for Supershero

Our men call us blessed and learn Lamaze

They purify our breast milk for us when we are sleeping. When we sleep

Our spiritual teachers send messages and we use the ocean to interpret

The moon changes our moods and so we are balanced

We believe in ourselves and so we are brilliant

We use the colors of aura to paint our destinies

We are infinity.

We are the Superwomen. We call ourselves She short for Supershero

We discern decipher and identify bullshit with ease.

In our suffering and pain we have conceded

We wild women ride railroads with combat boots strapped and laced tightly

So only the unattainable can render us insane.

Sydnee Stewart is a performance poet, actor and writer. She has won various poetry slams and competitions, was featured in the Langston Hughes documentary called Hughes’ Dream Harlem, which aired on the cable networks BLACKSTARZ, was a featured poet on BET’s Lyric Café and starred in a feature film called Everyday People which premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, the prestigious New Director’s Film Festival at Lincoln Center and is aired on HBO.

At present, Stewart is completing her second book of prose and poetry with an accompanying musical poetry album. She has been featured in The New York Times, Variety, Jane and People, and has published works African Voices, Rolling Out, QBR Magazine, The Lasting Joy (1998), America at the Millennium (2000), Signifyin’ Harlem (2002/2003), and Under a Quicksilver Moon. She is currently writing a screenplay.

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