A New Blog

January 5, 2010

If you are interested in Rusty-the-poet (as opposed to Rusty-the-baseball-junkie, Rusty-the-incredibly-suave, or Rusty-the impossibly-handsome), there is a new blog for your perusal.

http://rustythepoet.wordpress.com/

In it I will be chronically my output as a spoken word poem, from the beginning.


1968

December 3, 2009

Since Jason brought it up, I have decided to share one of my poems. Now I am normally a spoken word artist and a slam poet, so my poems aren’t written to be read. They are written to be heard.

I think this one works written, though, mostly due to the density of references in it. I imagine that very few people who HEAR it catch them all, but when written, why not?

1968

I was born during the Tet Offensive
When the mighty Americanos
Learned what Sun Tzu knew
About playing in another team’s Backyard.
A year before Neal Armstrong
Proved that there was nowhere
Mankind could nto despoil
Leaving a trail of trash
In its wake.
We watched both on a little box
In GLORIOUS technicolour
Bringing the future kicking and
Screaming into the present
Past a collective wide-eyed awe
Fast becoming jaded as
Horror and wonder both
Became entertainment.
Happy myths such as
Lunar green cheese
And a just war
Joined bobby-socks and
Rumble seats in a naive world.

Writers could spin but
Pictures couldn’t lie,
Right?

We saw what we were shown
And believed it all.
It was a dark time
If you can’t believe your eyes
If your eyes see lies –
Well, I believe in Beatles
Or maybe scarabs
As our view of Arabs switched from
Happy Indiana Jonesian Egyptians
To sky-writing high-flyers
In the blink of an eye
Or snap of a shutter
As this latest fear mongering
Is brought to you by
Slippy Peanut Butter –
The choice of a New Generation

Or germination as the seeds of
Mistrust are planted just below
The surface.

I was conceived during
The Summer of Love
And sprang forth, fully-armoured
During a new year of war
Because Summer always gives way
To the Fall and
Love to Pride
As the flowers fall from our hair
And the girl from the North Country Fair
Sports a page-boy
And looks at me like
She can guess my name.

If it’s all the same
I want a do-over.
Red Rover, Red Rover
I call a sense of optimism over
Or freedom, or even just
Sunshine on a cloudy day
Because sometimes, every day is
Cloudy.
When the desire to stand
And be counted means
Being like Tommie Smith and John Carlos
Put up your fist if all you want is…

I was born during a 5-day sit-in at
Howard University
A week after the Mai Lai Massacre

I was born two weeks before
Martin Luther King Jr. paid the
Ultimate price for asking for a
Little justice.

I dreamed a little dream of peace
Of pieces of a broken world
Built on a crumbling foundation
As all pretence is dropped
And instead of fights for rights
We have squabbles over pay-outs.

I was born during a time of war
I was born during a time of potential
I was born during a time of death
And birth
And principles
And desire
And a movement
And revolution and evolution in collusion

I was born by the river
In a little tent
I was born just in time
Because a change IS gonna come
And I want to be here to see it.