Poem: This is not a song

And I am not a singer.

They say people hate what they don’t understand,

So music and I have been at war since I can remember.

It’s the ammo in the media’s gun,

Firing at my ears every day

Yet people keep telling me music is life.

If music is life

I’m an adult stillborn.

My inner rhythm was arrested before it could beat

Yet…

In Islam I pulsed with the centuries-old echo of

“ALLAAAAAAAAAAAAAHU AKBAR!”

First performed live from the cuboid beatbox in the heart of Makkah

Where old idols & old albums of thought were beaten to death,

Back in Taekwondo the war drums of the Korean Army

Silenced by time but still banging my eardrums

Every time me and my fellow warriors-in-training cried,

“Hana, du, sei – Eis!”

Back in Army Cadets I learned to walk:

“Left right left right left right left!”

In the cradle of European expansionism

Believing we never never never shall be slaves.

All that combat conditioning makes music to my ears

Trigger Post-Traumatic Song Disorder.

Don’t get me started on the stereotypes:

How can “someone like you” not know

How to sing or dance or groove or rap?

Yeah I see it for myself but…

Are you sure you’re black?

😧

Since quitting Islam I’m in a ceasefire.

I’m trying to let life into my life.

Dance is trying to lubricate my rigor mortised joints,

Song trying to clear soil-clogged airways,

Rhythm trying to heal the scars

Infarcted into my cerebrum from so many years of

Lashing the emotion out of me stroke by stroke.

I think I’m too far gone.

I don’t get what the big deal is.

I don’t understand the fuss over Beyoncé & Jay Z,

Or Tupac,

Or Michael Jackson,

Or Adele,

Or Jessie J

Or – ugh – Lil Wayne.

But…

I admire Eric Benét’s body of work

Especially the chocolate legs,

Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston could make miracles

Paired or separately,

And I confess that I feel like a monster

On the energy of Skillet!

Maybe truce is sprouting after all.

Maybe when it’s a fully-grown tree

I can extend a branch and

Shed some oil from my fruits to make

Harmony slip more smoothly from music’s lips.

Maybe.

 

 

© One Tawny Stranger, June 2015

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