Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rest In Peace


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Malcolm & Yuri
----a found poem

1.

I told him I wanted
to shake his hand,
and he asked me why.

I told him it was for what he was
doing for his people,
and he asked what it was he was doing.

I told him
he was giving directions,
and it was then that he broke away

from the crowd, came
over to me, and held out his hands.
That was how I met Malcolm.

2.

And he felt, too, that it was too narrowed down
when they would use words
that they were just fighting for civil rights.

He wanted to learn all
about the different countries in Africa,
and they were as excited to meet him.

And I think what was so wonderful
is that Malcolm taught his group
about the history of Africa,

where they became colonized.
And then he told the people in Africa
what was happening here,

how blacks were treated,
and that many of the young people
didn’t even know about slavery,

because this country never told them anything.
Malcolm thought that this civil rights thing
was really nothing, because African people

don’t have to wait until some president
of another country would give civil rights,
they already had human rights.

3.

I mean Malcolm had fallen
and he was on his back
lying on the floor.

I went up there
and picked up his head,
put it in my lap.

They tore his shirt
to see how many
times he was hit.

I said, “Please Malcolm, please,
stay alive,” but he was hit
so many times.

People ask, “What did he say?”
but he didn’t say anything.
He was just having
a difficult time breathing.

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Yuri's interview on Democracy Now.

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