Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
I

However the image enters
its force remains within
my eyes
rockstrewn caves where dragonfish evolve
wild for life, relentless and acquisitive
learning to survive
where there is no food
my eyes are always hungry
and remembering
however the image enters
its force remains.
A white woman stands bereft and empty
a black boy hacked into a murderous lesson
recalled in me forever
like a lurch of earth on the edge of sleep
etched into my visions
food for dragonfish that learn
to live upon whatever they must eat
fused images beneath my pain.

II

The Pearl River floods through the streets of Jackson
A Mississippi summer televised.
Trapped houses kneel like sinners in the rain
a white woman climbs from her roof to a passing boat
her fingers tarry for a moment on the chimney
tearless and no longer young, she holds
a tattered baby's blanket in her arms.
In a flickering afterimage of the nightmare rain
a microphone
****** up against her flat bewildered words
"we jest come from the bank yestiddy
borrowing money to pay the income tax
now everything's gone. I never knew
it could be so hard."
Despair weighs down her voice like Pearl River mud
caked around the edges
her pale eyes scanning the camera for help or explanation
unanswered
she shifts her search across the watered street, dry-eyed
"hard, but not this hard."
Two tow-headed children hurl themselves against her
hanging upon her coat like mirrors
until a man with ham-like hands pulls her aside
snarling "She ain't got nothing more to say!"
and that lie hangs in his mouth
like a shred of rotting meat.

III

I inherited Jackson, Mississippi.
For my majority it gave me Emmett Till
his 15 years puffed out like bruises
on plump boy-cheeks
his only Mississippi summer
whistling a 21 gun salute to Dixie
as a white girl passed him in the street
and he was baptized my son forever
in the midnight waters of the Pearl.

His broken body is the afterimage of my 21st year
when I walked through a northern summer
my eyes averted
from each corner's photographies
newspapers protest posters magazines
Police Story, Confidential, True
the avid insistence of detail
pretending insight or information
the length of **** across the dead boy's *****
his grieving mother's lamentation
the severed lips, how many burns
his gouged out eyes
sewed shut upon the screaming covers
louder than life
all over
the veiled warning, the secret relish
of a black child's mutilated body
fingered by street-corner eyes
bruise upon livid bruise
and wherever I looked that summer
I learned to be at home with children's blood
with savored violence
with pictures of black broken flesh
used, crumpled, and discarded
lying amid the sidewalk refuse
like a ***** woman's face.

A black boy from Chicago
whistled on the streets of Jackson, Mississippi
testing what he'd been taught was a manly thing to do
his teachers
ripped his eyes out his *** his tongue
and flung him to the Pearl weighted with stone
in th e name of white womanhood
they took their aroused honor
back to Jackson
and celebrated in a *******
the double ritual of white manhood
confirmed.

IV

"If earth and air and water do not judge them who are
we to refuse a crust of bread?"

Emmett Till rides the crest of the Pearl, whistling
24 years his ghost lay like the shade of a ***** woman
and a white girl has grown older in costly honor
(what did she pay to never know its price?)
now the Pearl River speaks its muddy judgment
and I can withhold my pity and my bread.

"Hard, but not this hard."
Her face is flat with resignation and despair
with ancient and familiar sorrows
a woman surveying her crumpled future
as the white girl besmirched by Emmett's whistle
never allowed her own tongue
without power or conclusion
unvoiced
she stands adrift in the ruins of her honor
and a man with an executioner's face
pulls her away.

Within my eyes
the flickering afterimages of a nightmare rain
a woman wrings her hands
beneath the weight of agonies remembered
I wade through summer ghosts
betrayed by vision
hers and my own
becoming dragonfish to survive
the horrors we are living
with tortured lungs
adapting to breathe blood.

A woman measures her life's damage
my eyes are caves, chunks of etched rock
tied to the ghost of a black boy
whistling
crying and frightened
her tow-headed children cluster
like little mirrors of despair
their father's hands upon them
and soundlessly
a woman begins to weep.
Maggie Emmett Aug 2015
Lady Macbeth washed her hands
cleaner than Pontius Pilate
with a new improved, bio-enzyme
oxy-bursting, 99.9% germ-scouring
recommended by dermato-logists
scented with rose attar
oils from Arabia
and spermaceti soothing
unguents from long dead whales.

She’s going to the nail bar
for a manicure and application
of semi-permanent, diamond-
tipped, acrylic base-coated
in red blood enamel.

She’ll scratch
and etch rich tattoos
on her husband’s back
with every ******, he will shudder
with pain and delight
He’ll soon forget long, dark nights
bewitched by ghosts and ambition.

© M.L. Emmett
Alternate views of Literature
Kaleb Vernon Sep 2015
everyday at 8:00am sharp, i see the same tiny, tired faces walk 2 blocks south just to get more confused then when they started the day
i wondered how many of these faces would grow up to be politicians
how many would grow up to be doctors
and how many would grow up to still be confused
emmett a young boy that just lives three houses down the street
stopped me on my way to work
he asked me "how come my parents yell at each other?"
not thinking about he said, i responded "go ask your mother"
and continued on my walk.
i pressed play on my iPod to only have loud bangs startle me
and glanced behind me only to see boulders of tears fall from the boys face
the night before i fell asleep watching the animal channel and remembered the young gazelle that was violently eaten because his parents weren't there to protect him
emmett, unprotected, fell to his knees, dropped his head back and cried out like it was the skies fault for this feelings
i couldn't help but be afraid, i heard the anger of his voice mimic his parents bed time stories from behind his closed door
like father like son, what you learn is what you practice
and i could tell that what he was learning was more from home then in the classroom
i wrapped my arms around him, three times over
so he could be closer to a beating heart then he has in months
the earthquake of his tiny nerves dropped from about a 10 on the Richter's scale down to about a 6.3
therefore i knew that i was comforting more then i was strangling this boy against my chest
i whispered, what you feel is okay
what you know if not all to life
there's more then just bomber planes that fly over your families unity
love doesn't normally involve being a prisoner to your bedroom
and certain doesn't involve yelling at the one you planned forever with
his eyes looked up at me like two rays of sunlight peaking through the rain clouds and said "so there's hope"
i never heard three words so sad but so reassuring
ecstatic in his conclusion, i yelled "YES OF COURSE" but obviously with much more enthusiasm then he's use to
he untangled himself from my net, and opened his backpack
he pulled out a piece of construction paper that read "tank you for your helb"
although there was no "h" in the word thank and there was a b instead of a p, i got what he meant
he said i made this for my teacher but i want you to have it
you help me dry my tears so my friends don't think i'm weird
and theres always more crayons in classroom anyways

since then we've walk every day to school together
and that piece of so perfectly written construction paper now hangs in the office of a doctor.
I am Emmett Till
watch me not smile
you can feel me whistling to white America
while I beg to be let in
with agony arising around my soul
severity of envy crushed my heart
She watched with a smile
while I was tortured
by the white men she used
because I would not do with her
the ***
she wanted
white America
I am dead
and I am no longer your *** slave
Bob B Aug 2018
Listen intently now, if you will,
To the sorrowful story of Emmett Till--
A black fourteen-year-old lad
Who hadn't done what they said he had

In August of 1955.
It's possible he could still be alive
If only he…if only…well,
Listen to what I have to tell.

Caught in one of those circumstances
Of having made ****** advances,
Till, whose actions were taken for granted--
Note: his accuser later recanted--

Was brutally tortured, lynched, and shot.
His body was left in the river to rot
Not very far from Glendora, Miss.
How shocking to hear stories like this!

Two white men, in a great hurry,
Were later acquitted by an all-white jury.
Such incidents are a wound indeed
On the soul of America. Watch it bleed!

In 2007 a sign was erected
At the site of the ******, but someone objected,
And suddenly the sign disappeared,
Just as many people had feared.

A second sign replaced number one,
But thugs seeking perverse fun
Destroyed the sign with bullets, and so
Sign number two had to go.

Officials did what they had to do,
And sign number three replaced number two.
Within a few weeks, it, too, was marred
With bullet holes leaving it scarred.

The bullet-riddled sign demonstrates
There's work left to do in all fifty states.
Prejudice and hatred are blinding;
The road to justice is long and winding.

-by Bob B (8-21-18)
Maggie Emmett Aug 2014
You breathed your last breath from the air
in this room;
that threadbare Persian carpet
holds flakes from your skin;
hairs from your head
corkscrew the dented cushions
scattered and idly waiting on the sofa;
bed linen scented with your sweat
the goose down doona that stole
your last warmth;
sleep spit and tears
human moisture that permeates
the acrylic layers of your pillow;
an eyebrow hair wedged in the tweezers;
a clipped nail that flew off
somewhere out of sight;
that new toothbrush used only once;
your flannel and towel still drying out;
the wet press footprint on the bathroom mat;
the talcum powdered slippers
abandoned under the brass bed.
Each moment of everyday
we shed ourselves
shed dead cells and renew -
a cycle of shedding
until the last
shedding of ourselves.


               © M.L. Emmett
Forensic Science programs seemed to be everywhere and I minutely explore my grief in an unusual way
I am no longer master of my time
Master of these greynesses of time
What flowers can I weave for Emmett Till

the child whose soul in mine
lies bleeding....

I die alone from pride
I leave to Emmett Till his death
from horror at myself
An excerpt written by Tchikaya U'Tamsi (Congo), which can be found in the African Philosophy Reader (Coetzee & Roux 2003: 725).

This piece reflects on the brutal death of Emmett Till, who passed away at the age of 14, at the hands of white brutality in a time where negritude and negation was still very rife in America.
Rissa Wallace Dec 2011
And then we are called *****’s
and feel like that is so much better.
As if it’s not the same derogatory word
now its just more “sophisticated.”
Used in lyric like it’s the only word that rhymes with everything.
Since its 2010 you think we are not like Emmett Till, but we are.
The only difference is we shoot our own guns and one by one we make our own selves obsolete.
The “N” word flowing out of the mouths of our newer generations as if it’s the government given name stamped on every black persons’ birth certificate.
Like there was never a revolution
Like there was never a fight to bring us up to what is seemingly equal to everyone else.
You are what brings us down again.
Hearing the yells of one black man to another in conversation “can a ***** get…”
(insert a stereotypical ending here)
No a ***** can’t get nothin’. That is what has been repeatedly told to the race as a whole.
Burned into our minds like the branding of a cow.
Each time the “N” word is uttered out of another’s mouth its like a gravitational pull that scientist have yet to discover.
More powerful than any black hole.
Like ***** in a barrel. We strive to keep the others at our level.
Ask Fredrick Douglas, it’s his expertise…
As he was one of the original ****** Breakers; we have multiplied the frequency and have unknowingly become professionals at something we never strived to be.
The “N” word flows out of our mouths and through the air like the historical dance it took to get us here.
The dance we have long forgotten but our bodies seem to react the same way whenever an Anglo-Saxon uses our coveted word.
Like it wasn’t the word they yelled as they made permanent welts on our backs that would last generations
Like it wasn’t what they yelled at us to strip away every individualistic quality
They referred to us as if we were herds
Like it wasn’t their term to begin with. We should let them have it.
We are like the modern generations of our ancestral princes and princesses of Africa.
As powerful as they once were, we have mastered fields that others wish they had a chance to accomplish in.
We were built to overcome any obstacle.Other than the obstacle of getting out of our own way.
It is no longer like the underground railroad.
There are no hounds chasing us through the waters.
****** should no longer be the tether that holds us down
We have the ability to soar like a majestic bird that shall always remain unnamed.
As “*****’s” we are nothing. As African American’s we are an impenetrable strength.
Maggie Emmett Mar 2016
The air is slow and still
faint puttering of the last barge
shunting coal downstream

city on the edge of sleep, settles
city on the edge of night, darkens

stretched steel and stone relax
cooling to a grey relief

reeds and sedges ripple
under bridges
and on the edges of the river

city in the gaze of moonlight, sighs
city in the haze of moonlight, slips

in the steady wash of tidal waters
and the brackish water of the estuary
come the bodies from the shore.


© M.L. Emmett
I was born in Reading, a town straddling the river Thames. It is an ancient river...
thatdreadedpoet Jul 2013
on july 13th, 2013: George Zimmerman
a florida native with a history of violence
was found not guilty for the ****** of unarmed 17 year old African American boy Trayvon Martin claiming self defense

on may 8th, 2012 African American, Marissa Alexander:
a florida native with no history of violence
was sentenced to 20 years in prison for discharging a warning shot out of self defense from the wrath of her abusive ex- husband

marissa,
i often wonder how you felt on july 13th when you heard the Trayvon Martin verdict
did you feel the heaviness of invisible shackles weighing your hands and feet down like you had stepped into the 1600s?
did you feel a surge of anger burn through your throat like i did for you?

did you ask yourself if you should’ve continued letting your husband play picasso on you?
Letting your body be his work of art as he splattered blotches of black and blue making a tie-dyed canvas out of you?
because the jury treated the bruises you wore as if they were the plague
saying beware of a black woman who protects herself
it takes 20 years of solitary confinement to cure her of this disease

marissa,
are you afraid of the skin of bullseyes your two children were born into
knowing that society will use them for target practice every day like they did for you?

can you not sleep at night out of fear anytime your child pulls a hood over his head
that he is marking himself as sacrifical lambs to our legal system?

did you tell your mother the next day to burn your babies black hoodies
because on July 13th it was made known
being black and wearing a hood means danger
that being black and wearing a hood means you have a hunger for ******
that being black and wearing a hood means you have cosigned to a persecution?
and yet…we all seem to forget the ones in white that fit the same description

marissa,
i hope you’re starting to see America has OCD
wanting to color within the same lines, with the same two colors
segregating black and white
neglecting to realize that blood and blood shed never bleed out in the same two colors
just look at the crime scenes of Trayvon Martin and your ex-husband

marissa,
from now on when you bite your tongue while eating
don’t spit the blood out
leave it, let it settle, then swallow
and let it be a reminder of all the trayvon martins, all the emmett tills, all the james birds, and all the little black boys who died for standing their ground like you tried to

marissa,
i know you feel like god abadoned you
as if he stabbed you into the back and sent you on a suicide mission
but please
know you are my symbol of hope
you are my hero
the woman i wish to emulate and be
you are the one i pray for at sunday night dinners while holding the one hand of my black mother and the other hand of my white father
hoping one day america can sing free at last and actually mean that
hoping one day america can be blended and still be considered alright
hoping america will stop painting pictures in only black and white
I am a guy.
Just a guy.
Not an "ummm...technically."
or "biologically female."
Not: "used to be a girl",
"Thinks she's a guy",
"Doesn't dress like a boy",
"What she got between her legs?",
"Wears makeup",
"Doesn't pass"-

Gender norms literally **** people.

Every "I'm sorry" is just a peeling paint job
over an intercity wall,
no one really wants to look at,
or fix,
or admit to.

This is not a problem I brought on myself.
My gender is not a problem,
You are the problem.

I'm not running from what's inside me anymore,
I know what's inside me,
I've made peace with what's inside me
It's the same old, same old,
with a new set of words
you ******* can't wrap your tongues around.

I don't care if you slipped up,
Fix it.
I don't care if you didn't know I was a boy,
Fix it.
I don't care about your cis guilt, cis excuses, or cis ignorance
Fix it.

Because you don't know the age limit
not to be Emily anymore.
The hundreds of dollars it costs.
Every: "Hello Ladies",
every "Sorry Miss",
every "What can I do for you Ma'm",
every "You'll always be my niece-"
"My daughter",
"My girlfriend".

The cis questions,
cis answers,
cis stares,
cis disinterest in my ******* feelings.

I am not going to hold your hand
and politely explain to you that
I
AM
NOT
MY
GENITALS.
That's your job cis people.
Fix it.

Every misgendering is peeking through the veil
of how people really perceive you.
It's all just a game they play along
with in your presence.
Going along with a trance they think
you've put yourself in.

They don't really see you,
When all it takes is
changing a single word
in one ******* sentence.
That would be no inconvenience to them,
But makes or breaks the world to you.
Covering it up with a strained smile,
Lying that it's fine.

Is it even a question that over 70%
of trans people **** themselves,
as opposed to 1% of the general population.
It makes so much ******* sense to me.

Because trans means knowing
I will never be properly gendered by a stranger,
Unless I get a **** I don't ******* want.
Being trans is waking up everyday
with the guarantee you can not
use the bathrooms in public.

Can't be called a guy
Hearing: "Emmett? That's a weird girl's name."
Having people ignore you
When you're on the verge of tears
begging them not to see
your soft curves and small chest and skirt
as one big sign that says 'SHE'.

Then being told:
"It's not their fault,
people just don't know."
"You have to be more understanding,
more patient -
be nicer about it."

How 'bout applying that to yourself?
Don't tell me I have to be kinder
about being denied my identity everyday.
Don't tell me to shut up about a system
so ingrained in my brain
I still misgender myself.

It's gaslighting,
A society denying reality
And telling us we are the confused ones.
The crazy ones.
For veering outside these neat little boxes
ahem, cages
of made up rules
they've tried to lock us into.

The consequences are absolutely deadly.
Is it any question
That people bleed themselves dry
Get drunk, get high
just to escape it all?

Then get thrown into a 'health care system'
for attempted suicide,
get misgendered by the nurses and doctors
who ignore why they're there in the first place.
Then denied hormones for their
'mental instability'.

We are thrown into a world of glass ceilings
and imaginary borders
with all too real consequences.

Make no mistake,
We are not dangers to ourselves.
You absolutely put us here.

Blame it on whatever generation or
individual you want,
but we are all participating in cisnormativity
if you are not constantly unlearning.

If you equate genitals with gender,
Ask what the baby's going to be -
As if it ******* matters -
Don't think to ask pronouns and get it wrong,
See every character, every face on TV
that doesn't look like ours,
have everything catered
to the way you turned out to be,

That's privilege is our danger.
The gaps in judgement
and consideration for our situations
is where we live
and our destined to fall.

Because when someone hits you with a car
It doesn't matter of they didn't see  you,
didn't mean to,
have never done it before,
are the nicest person in the world -
They ****** up.
And it still hurts.

Sure, if they meant to
it would be worse,
But I'm through with this rhetoric
about intent.

Don't think this is too drastic a comparison,
Gender norms literally kills people.
Every mark of 'self-harm' on our arms
Is a scar society put there.
Every trans suicide is a ******.

The question isn't why
we are killing ourselves.
It's how the ****
are we still alive.
Riley Whelan May 2014
Someone once told me
That there was a body found in that river.
The river down the hill
from my home.
They told me it belonged to
a black boy
and was put there by
White men.
They told me that they
Beat him
and
Ripped him
and
Shot him
and
Choked him
and
Drowned him
and
Murdered him
before they were finished.

And as he told me this,
I felt a lump in my throat
and I realized how dizzy I was.
The lump got larger
until it turned into
Searing pain,
And I got dizzier until
My vision went blurry.
My entire body ached. . . .
Before my vision went completely and I'd fall,
I looked down
and saw my blood
And realized the boy
Was me.
Written for history class.  The idea is that Emmett Till is in heaven and he doesn't know yet that he's died or how, until this other man explains what happened.
Judypatooote May 2014
A CLOWN IS...

A ~ one of a kind

C ~ CRAZY Clown
L ~ LAZY Clown
O ~ ORNERY or FUNNY Clown
W ~ WHITEFACED Clown
N ~ NONSENSICAL Clown

A Clown can make one happy
A Clown can look very sad
A Clown can be called Apple Annie
And wear an Apple on her head.

A Clown comes with many names
It depends on who they are.
There was a Hobo Clown named Emmett Kelly, Jr.
Who always made me sad,
for he wore old rags, and walked real slow,
But he wasn't very scary, for that I was real glad.

And then there was BOZO the clown
Whose horn he beeped, and beeped and beeped
At least he was a funny Clown,
He never wore a frown.

The scary one was Penneywise the dancing Clown
From the movie IT...
He was the scariest Clown I ever saw
Fingers real long, and he lived in a sewer.
Now since I love dancing, one would
think he was my favorite...for he was
called the dancing Clown.
But when he climbed out of the sewer,
and hid behind the doors,
Let me tell you folks,
I wasn't watching any more...

But let me add my favorite Clown
Her name is Polka Dot...
She's been my friend for 60 years
She keeps me laughing, even when
she's not in costume...
Polka Dot's real name is Ginney Jean
She IS A CLOWN my favorite kind of friend.

by ~ judy
Iraira Cedillo Mar 2014
161 to 180 of 3251 Poets
«78910»Viewsshow detailshide detailsSort by  
Margaret Kaufman

Photo, Brownie Troop, St. Louis, 1949
Deborah Warren

Marginalia
Regan Huff

Occurrence on Washburn Avenue
Anne Marie Macari

From the Plane
Gerald Fleming

There are no poems by this poet on our website.
Sebastian Matthews

Barbershop Quartet, East Village Grille
Charles Harper Webb

The Animals are Leaving
Zozan Hawez

Self-Portrait
Jose Angel Araguz

Gloves
Russell Libby (1956–2012)

Applied Geometry
Robert Haight

How Is It That the Snow
Early October Snow
Dan Lechay

Ghost Villanelle
James P. Lenfestey

Daughter
Robert Hedin (b. 1949)

The Old Liberators
My Mother's Hats
John Maloney

After Work
Kaelum Poulson

The Crow
Stuart Kestenbaum

Prayer for the Dead
Emmett Tenorio Melendez

My name came from . . .
Gary Dop

Father, Child, Water
On Swearing
Berwyn Moore

Driving to Camp Lend-A-Hand
«78910»
Solfadri Dec 2014
One day
The man hanging from the tree,
The man murdered, lying in the street,
will have just the right shade of cocoa skin,
and just the right reputation.
He would have no trace of criminal record,
No stain on his character.
He would have worshiped just the right God.
He would have befriended
just the right people,
and dawned just the right smile,
He would have stood the perfect height,
had the perfect family,
the perfect teeth, face, everything.
He would be just right enough
for them to care.
He would be so perfect,
the thought of justifying
his ****** ?
Slander. Scandal.
He would be just right
Just good enough.
But then again,
They murdered MLK
Emmett T
Roman D
Addie C
Denise M
Carole R
Cynthia W.
Wharlest J.
They murdered Jesus Christ,
and went about their day.
Black Lives Matter.
Soul of black folk Trevon Martin and Emmett till..
A image of the worlds ills
There's a different between mans n Gods will..
The physician has  stethoscope now breathe Yes the worlds ill
A deviant of society words that the deaf can feel..
The difference in a person defines whats real..
My ancestry.
Oh yeah cotton fields
In a dressing room being asked how my jeans of cotton feel..
I don't know cause my genes are imprinted
Reaction to fashion..
How corrupt are these thoughts of blackness that have us branded..
Called to be continents of Christ but island mindsets have us stranded..
Like how u white and you talk black..or how you black and you talk white..
There's no discrimination to ignorance Just like Gods sight..
Yet a clear division he judges the heart its darks and its lights.
He sprinkled his people the salt on earth.
Eat dirt the earth lacks flavor
Transformed to salt 
We should not conform to dirt..
Express food I wonder if God taste buds hurt..
Chefs cooking lukewarm dishes..
Serving Jesus as he spits the food out.
Now he raging through the kitchen....
Looking for the ingredients like this is not the recipe..
Where is the complex simplicity ..
No surprise that there's sickness due to obesity...
A melting *** stirred my God  blends together...
He makes us all the same feather..
Once realized we can fly together..
Wings strong enough to fly through any weather..
Fly higher than Satan's paws that filthy jungle cat...
Yet some still want to perch on his back..
A bird singing but can't see the bars on the Cage..
Try to escape and hit the bars  which causes flight to disengage..
Racism damages the wings..
Hate damages the wings..
Why does a cage bird sing....
Well I don't think Its a song its a scream..
Because if you pay attention the pitch changes once freed..
That same sound harmonizes with the breeze..
A wonderful song heard through the trees
As trees we should be deeply rooted in Christ..
In Faith not flesh that's why the forest is a mess..
Like a tree planted next to a oil spill or nuclear reactor..
And some radiation has disturbed the soil..
Fruit spring up already spoiled..
And I think of the seedlings..
Without proper cultivation grow up to be weaklings..
Jesus is the gardener prepared to work a miraculous healing..
But he only heals if your willing
Church never stops whether in or outside of the building..
Maggie Emmett Sep 2014
I want to sleep and take my evening slow
Each night is full of thoughts I need to fear
I learn to let the shadows slowly go

I feel by thinking all we need to know
I listen to the blood pulse in our ear
I want to sleep and take my evening slow

There’s steady breath and warmth in touching you
Curled round your curves I nestle softly there
I learn to let the shadows slowly go

Awake in moonlit silence tell me how
I walk the landing climb the winding stair
I want to sleep and take my evening slow

My head is filled with things I have to do
Let’s go and breathe the jasmine scented air
I’m learning how to make the shadows go

I’m uncertain I can ever hope to know
A way for sleep to rest with death so near
I want to sleep and take my evening slow
I learned to let the shadows slip and go


© M.L. Emmett
A effort at my version of a Pantoun
Ivana Feb 2014
One.
We passed a notable check mark.
The swirly twirly pieces of manipulated metal would put a smile on Buddy the Elf's face.
Their fabrication mirrored ours.
We swirly and twirly.

Two.
We thought smoking green at the **** recreation would be the least originated pun to occur. Notable check mark unflagged.

Three.
This temporary home has me craving for permanence.
I desire for your voluptuous voice to kiss my ears for a sense of familiarity.
Your printed face will be engulfed in flames.
I am a lady and we behave best under cliches.

Four.
It's the first night we won't video chat here.
The first day I will introduce myself as single to strangers and old acquaintances.
Your voice box will not be directed towards me tonight.
The first night I will not have to leave the room in order to be enchanted by your melody.
The air is stale with living mates and stories of home.
My story of home was our ending.
The room drew to a pinhead silence.
The voice of light cracking came from everyone's chests.

Five.
Socrates is impossible to pay attention to when the argument being presented is the dispute you and I. Who in the end is more wise?
Who has won this butterfly bullet shoot me in the face one more time so I remember what sensation against one's heart is like.

Six.
I saw two of them struggling, holding onto dear life.
She ran to him and gave him a passionate kiss.
They mirrored us, trying to sew up the stitching while it was being unraveled at the other end.
They needed to keep the needle and thread poking up and over up and over.
It was love's final desperation.
Final desperation of holding on.

Seven.
Mother was right, at my age my hormones just race just like my emotions.
It's been over a month since we've heard each other's voices.
The word "poljubac" came in as he went in for a kiss along with that your voice.
You loved kissing me.
At the end, they stopped meaning anything.
Your kisses, their electricity was diminished.

Eight.
I ran into Brian.
His sunglasses gave the same luminescence they did on nightly drives getting high and high and higher and higher until we were floating above Lake Shore Drive.
The green line brim on his hat matched the color.of the lights that showed during Christmas time.
It was a time for cheer. Oh ** ** ** the cheer.

Nine.
Looking through these pictures makes me sick.
I miss you.
Can we fall in love for one more night?
Have you call me duso and lay on the lawn chairs and only speak with our eyes?
Can you show me the hidden parts of the city one last time?
One last time.
Your fingertips need to be removed from my body although their prints have already formed scars.
I cut my hip because that was your favorite part of my body to touch.
I sliced it.

Ten.
I suggested that we get matching tattoos, so when you did leave that there would be a physical print of my being.
My physical touch of an idea to stay together forever would be inked in your skin.

Ten.
I'm about to embark on a spiritual journey.
My first lecture will consist on preaching of the Christian god.
Today is day one of this spiritual journey.

Nine.
I'm lying ****.
I lay on the floor and I'm **** as I sit on the floor and lie.
It was the first consistent kiss without you.
I'm lying ****.
I have time to find myself and instead I am shaking hands with my deviling unconscious greeting it with open arms.

Eight.
I have paved a path in the snow.
The bus ran over and rerouted my path.
I'm still lying.
I'm still ****.
I have lost the art of loving thyself and discovering my fullest potential.
I am a hypocrite.
I preach about the belief of discovering thyself as I bury myself in the snow and underneath these lies. The snow angels I made had horns on them.

Seven.
I lost sense of my personality when my phone was not glued to my hands and when I boy was not hanging from my lips, I lost sense of myself.

Six.
They called me into the room.
I was hoping you would be in the doorway as I strutted down the hall way.
Oh please, your grace to surprise me would fill every gaping hole in this heart of mine.
The ones that you left behind, learn to clean up after yourself.
Learn to clean up your ******* mess.

Five.
I cleaned up my ******* mess.

Four.
I'm learning day by day by day.
Today is our first month without the other.
It takes 21 days to break a habit.
I'm starting to stop thinking about you every day.

Three.
This heart of mine is torched, the pieces have melted together.
For once, I feel whole.
I asked of you last night, as bruises were forming from tackle football.
Our mutual friend said you've been better, and I asked him to make that happen.
He promised he would do his best.
The bruises were forming, they felt wonderful as the blood rushed to my skin, the blood rushed to my brain and heart it felt good to be alive.
It felt good to feel the flow of the blood against my skin as I gracefully stroke my hands across.
I discovered why you loved being in my arms because I fell in love with the feeling of being in my own ******* arms.

Two.
I fell in love, Emmett.
I fell in love with my skin the way it chaps when harsh winds beat it.
I'm in love with the way my nose wrinkles when unpleasant stories are told.
I'm in love with my spontaneity, for once I see it as a blessing.
I'm in love with my tongue rolling verbatim every time I have an opinion that needs to be preached.
I am finally my own preacher.

One.
The swirly twirly pieces of divergent thoughts in my head would put a smile on Buddy the Elf's face.
The notable check marks have been unflagged.
The pieces of shattered heart have melted together.
My skin is now my permanent home.
The tears that are now shed are for reasons I consider joyful.
You are no longer on my mind.
You are a check mark.
One that I shall pass when nostalgic.
You are the one that I wish best upon. I am the one that is best left,
now untouched.
Ken Pepiton May 2019
Samesame, ripple, ripple, splash

against
the wall.
Still,

some way of thinking, some
idea
still doesn't like a wall, a

boundary, a barrier, a pallisade of
implausibility
beyond which

we are.
For a while,
what can we do? Live, right?
Live. Live right.
Right.
That idea, samesame, yours or your's
right's right, like

equal's equal

or,
better may be...
beauty is beauty, right, in the eye

of the be
holder, the holding being

holding steady, nuetrial calm

equatorial doldrums

art is bound to save the world,
it is something to do when there is nothing to do.

Angels embodied by men as men might imagine
a message bearer or
a christopher

jar of an ointment. Dr. Ruth's **** for Rubes.

Doktor doktor tell me tales, riddles only magi know

emmett fox--- chong says the audience will luv,
joel s. goldsmith--- the Bible is the truth, en code.
Okeh.

Ever learning
Coming never to the fullness of the godhead ******,

y'know? No lie is any part of truth, but parts of many lies are true.

You see that right, common sensed by the we we agree to be
ad hoc 'n'all.

Vectoring from our being modeled on Vetruvius's
form for man in harmony with

ever lasting things, measurable means transmute  metaphoric gold.
Bestness.
Per fectual in effect, per se, y'know, y'know, magic,

and not knowing any ever things is not samesame as
not knowing now things that are ever things.

Pay attention.
Mean is never meant to be mean like "worthless" or "hateful"
"naughty" is "as nothing", literally, virtually, actually, really.

naughty children made mean, on the bell,

C students can elect a presider over a we, the people, without me in it.
I float in the shallow calculus edge area of a plain
surficial bubble, after the wave
flushes the sand casting

a grain of meaning in a nue light...

Quant, quant, quant
and half a quant

convert that to horsepower or
candle power or

BTUs British Thermal Units.
The empire is not weaker now, the ice is melting,
the crushed polar surface is feeling free
flowing current,
a sixth gyre, as seen from a far.

------- Go, set a watchman-----

Find the old sergeants, where have they all gone?
Gone to seed,
rotted under clods.

Old broken guardians, unwilling to live under the lie of the law.
Opposistion to tyranny is obediance to

the highest reason you answer to.
By any other name, samesame, good has al
ways won. Ought causes naught to flee.
---
Me, flee? NO. I'm the great, great grandson of the
white trash, overseer seen empiratical,
Tonton boyz drum drum drum

Old rastifarianish lookin's guy, old
man, wombless hermit holy
man, set aside for
later

by faith.
Made set aside,
Pre-served in right use of spice and salt and fire and greasy savory
meat smoke,

mouth waterin', finger lickin' good
greasy green goblin guts.

Dandelion soup. The diary entry was,
"We had wild greens for supper." That being,

apparently all a tired, hungry fifteen year old girl considered
recording for the family chronicle of the journey,
Texas to Arizona, 1917,

while staring at more stars than any naked human eye
can see in twenty nineteen,

light is thicker now, around the inner edges of life's bubble
we abide in.

---- what if learning is the work?
Then, now we learn

ever, then we learn yon
yonder we find

godliness as defined by men who found no better word.

are there words better able to
hold being
really?
Acting asif whats were ours

chaching I ching's a thing
AI see
co rect me, in a lefthand way.
Make me right, in an underhanded way.

Listening prayer,
cast all your care, upon...

what if, per se, there
we planned to keep a secret sacred,
set a part,
a
rite a role. play an otherwise magician's apprentice enspeliered

up against the wall.
No light, no flight, no fight.

Birds eat my fruit and s
hit my seeds,

I am the vine growing up the wall
intentionally espelliered, planted to scale the wall
bhering fruit
full time

Kali fornia ifity

de-if now. Give it y'best ef
fect com
fort ify the lie "why is an unreasonable quest."

Try,

effectual, fervent prayer of a right using man, eh?

Pascal, m'man, layomoneydown!
While watching Tommy Chong on Rogan
jeffrey conyers Jul 2014
What did he do?
That would cause two fools to act out this crime.
Over something he did or didn't do.

Where was the justice?
What was the honor is his death?
For two to admit they killed him over an alleged whistling.
And faced no punishment.

Money, Mississippi, your legacy is sealed.
Concerning the death of Emmett Till.

Cowards, always act brave in hurting a child.

His death still is a reminder of unwarranted injustice.
When you leave the power to see those in charge make the right decision.

Then they wonder.
Like many supporters do.
When years later the law comes after you.
arizona Jun 2018
If you listen, closely
above the current
there is a whistling tune
on the banks of
the Tallahatchie.
It bends and flows up
past the Mason-Dixon
and into streets of
Chicago, where
it transforms
and becomes an angry plea.
Water tainted with
innocent blood enmeshed
with these false cries;
fingers pointed,
then guns.
ill-fated from birth,
predetermined notions
handed out by those
who want to act as
the hand of God.
Has everyone completely forgot about Emmett Till? Do they even learn his name in schools?

Do they not know there are thousands of Tills still in our streets and even more in our cemeteries, if they're lucky...as if any of this has to do with luck.

same ****, different year
i remember last winter.
i flew to where the sun brushes the ocean.
in the dusty sugar haze of a
peurto rican
dirt road
fruit cowered in ***** icy coolers.
chicken dripped on thin wooden sticks
and sizzled in the unnecessary blaze.
the heat bored holes in my skin
& the sun forced my eyelids down.
through spiky black lashes
blinded by the waves of heat,
i didn't notice the subtle, ignorant anticipation stretching in the sand
it's funny how you never notice the moments leading up to an eruption of impact.
my cousin, in all his two year old innocence let out a shriek of delight
as he discovered that ice was cold.
the heat was heavy, and i let out a sigh like smile.
i turned my head just in time to see a scratched black van
roaring through the dust.
there was a single scream and someone slapped a hand over innocent eyes.
but i couldn't look away, when the van
rolled over the charcoal black dog.
his body twisted in the most unnatural of ways.
ribs smashed against every grain of sand.
the van didn't stop and i couldn't move.
emmett giggled and we all stood shocked as
the dog twitched and dragged it's self under the nearest booth.
low sad voices drifted from the group of sunburned men.
words like 'muerto' crawled into my ears and sat to stay.
i looked away, i looked back
the dog heaved up it's intestines onto the sizzling sand.
a woman was crying.
the dog was silent, his side quivering as he ****** his last breath into imaginary lungs.
and then he was still.
stolen by the heat
the word '*******', growled in a spanish accent,
the only justification.
Don Brenner Oct 2010
In 55 Bukowski wrote of severed *****
while Rosa Parks decided not
to sit in the back.
Not a hacksaw but a rusty tin can.
Can you imagine?

Here's a true story, mind you
I was negative thirty three years young
then when Emmett Till was killed.
"In God We Trust"

Fifty four years later
Iranian protesters shot,
the King of Pop drops dead.
If they knew it then,
Elvis would have had to do more
than just shake his hips

While Eisenhower played pocket pool
in line at McDonald's,
true stories fluttered from feather pens
turning page into prose page.
2009
The Widow Dec 2016
Emmett looked at me like that
the first to do so in the year + 2 months
since I debuted the scar
Our paths literally crossed -
I drew them later on a street map
with a big X where they eventually converged

- on the turn of the stairs
between floors 3 - 4 at the mall
, the way he ran from those cops
lithe economy of gesture
so balletic in flight
that I thought about how
his hips might interfere with me
before I bothered to look at his face.
I just wish Emmett didn't have
swastikas in his eyes.
Mom, I met someone.
kayy katrice Aug 2015
Emmett Till
Trayvon Martin
Michael Brown
Who's next?
Please tell me!!
Who's next?!
Who's gonna get added to the list of young black men that became early angels
Who's gonna get added to the history books for the next generation???
It could be you
It could be me
It could be genocide
So it could be we
Slavery you ask
I swear it's still here
Racism that's been embedded into souls just now seeping out of there
It happens everyday
But just swept under the rug
This so called justice they speak about
That's just the mother's receiving a few hugs
No sympathy from the offender because he knows he'll get off
Really there's no need for a trial because WE know he'll get off
I'm tired of wearing certain colors for the "in memory of's"
I'm tired of hearing "justice for" and "R.I.P"
I'm tired of it because all of my people are slowly dying
Well I mean being killed
Lives being taken
So have you figured out who's next???
Maybe my name will be on those posters.Maybe people will be marching for me
Has that ever crossed your mind
That at anytime your life can be taken because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time
Because someone of a different race has too much power
Because his people will stick by his side down to the last hour
That hour he gets off for killing that "hoodlum" or "****"
That boy that was going to school and had never done drugs
"I pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all"???!!!
Is that true to you?!
"I pledge allegiance to MY PEOPLE of the AFRICAN AMERICAN DESCENT and to the PEOPLE for which I stand ONE ARMY under God with LIBERTY, JUSTICE, RESPECT, AND PEACE for ALL"!!!
So is it you?
Is it me?
Could it be genocide?
So is it we?
WHO'S NEXT?!
PLEASE TELL ME!!!
WHO'S NEXT?!
There is a great party on Neptune and
Brian Allan brought two mates who were
Ken Kingsley and bob broadsmith and
They started off drinking heaps of methane and dAnced to Judas Priest
And yeah it was fun as ken took his clothes off for cilla black and said do you want to go on a blind date and cilla said ok why not and then Sam kinison came in and sAng wild thing you make my heart sing and it matesmy heart come out of your body it will make you wanna scream and then Sam sang take your clothes off to belinda emmett and
Belinda was left mesmerised and then they sang along to nothin but a good time
Not a dime I cannot pay my rent
It
I can barely make it through the night
It's Saturday night and It!'s party night
So we have to figure out how to make my ends meet and baz boy chucked a methane smoothie all over us and said yeah I will show you cool because I did
That a All for mummy to make her feel better and now I will
methane all over you Brian right now and Marilyn Monroe sang a look in your eyes can be quite continental but diamonds are a girls best friend
You heavy metal music is taking over and I an Emily Symons and Brian dressed up as Santa and said August fool it's not Christmas it's just a regular party
And slim fudty sang I would love to have a beer with Patrick I would love to have a beer with pat we drink in moderation and I am calling him up here in 5 seconds flat we drink in the town and country where the atmosphere is great we love to have a beer with Patrick cause he is our mate and I would love to have a beer with pauly I would love to have a beer with Paul
We would sit in our plsvet and listen to kiss to our ears bleed we drink in the tosh and country
Where the atmosphere is great
I would love onto have a beer with pauly cause he is our mate you see now we have Robert palmer with all his dancing girls the lights Re pk but your not home you see the afterlife is so much fun
Everyone is really having fun even conservos Luke Margaret thatcher and robald reageb as I stic my finger am up saying stic it where it fits and you might as well face it your addicted to money
And everyone was tipping met gab on each other and Brian said I have to leave, U.S. Know things to do
But this is where you dead people can be so uplifting
There is a great party on Neptune and
Brian Allan brought two mates who were
Ken Kingsley and bob broadsmith and
They started off drinking heaps of methane and dAnced to Judas Priest
And yeah it was fun as ken took his clothes off for cilla black and said do you want to go on a blind date and cilla said ok why not and then Sam kinison came in and sAng wild thing you make my heart sing and it matesmy heart come out of your body it will make you wanna scream and then Sam sang take your clothes off to belinda emmett and
Belinda was left mesmerised and then they sang along to nothin but a good time
Not a dime I cannot pay my rent
It
I can barely make it through the night
It's Saturday night and It!'s party night
So we have to figure out how to make my ends meet and baz boy chucked a methane smoothie all over us and said yeah I will show you cool because I did
That a All for mummy to make her feel better and now I will
methane all over you Brian right now and Marilyn Monroe sang a look in your eyes can be quite continental but diamonds are a girls best friend
You heavy metal music is taking over and I an Emily Symons and Brian dressed up as Santa and said August fool it's not Christmas it's just a regular party
And slim fudty sang I would love to have a beer with Patrick I would love to have a beer with pat we drink in moderation and I am calling him up here in 5 seconds flat we drink in the town and country where the atmosphere is great we love to have a beer with Patrick cause he is our mate and I would love to have a beer with pauly I would love to have a beer with Paul
We would sit in our plsvet and listen to kiss to our ears bleed we drink in the tosh and country
Where the atmosphere is great
I would love onto have a beer with pauly cause he is our mate you see now we have Robert palmer with all his dancing girls the lights Re pk but your not home you see the afterlife is so much fun
Everyone is really having fun even conservos Luke Margaret thatcher and robald reageb as I stic my finger am up saying stic it where it fits and you might as well face it your addicted to money
And everyone was tipping met gab on each other and Brian said I have to leave, U.S. Know things to do
But this is where you dead people can be so uplifting
Akira Chinen Jun 2019
how many shots does it take
how many bullets fired
until you feel safe
beneath your kevlar vest
gun in hand
barrel smoking

was it fear in your eyes
or was it hate in your heart
a willing force of ignorance
that fueled such brutality

how dead does a man have to be
before you loosen
your finger from the trigger
how many holes
do you have to put into his body
before he is no longer a threat
how long does his heart
have to be still
before you feel
like you’ve done your job well

protector of the peace
upholder of the law
murderer of the innocence
yet innocent of ******

how do you escape the feeling of guilt
the taste of sin on your lips
how do you pray
with blood soaked hands

and the news is nothing new
the story stays the same
other than a new name
behind the hashtag
and the list grows
as does the number of grieving

Emmett Till is still dead
and the hate that killed him

so long ago

so long ago

is still alive
protected by kevlar vests
and loaded guns
that are emptied by fingers
choking triggers
with a noose tight grip

protector of the peace
upholder of the law
keeper of hate
how many more shots
how many more bullets
until you feel safe
murderer of the innocent
yet innocent of ******
Maggie Emmett Jul 2014
(For Martin Emmett)

I write your name
on window panes

I clap out its five syllables
for the five fingers of my hand

and the five senses
lost and abandoned

I see deep white snow
and signposts buried in the drifts

I hear the jet black engine
running under my sternum

I touch the mirrored stillness
You still, me still here

I smell the red raw emptiness
bloodied, ***** and free

I taste the green of bitterness
acid etching ulcers in a stomach wall

I trace the ink of your signature
follow each loop and dot of the ‘i’

that ‘i’ Martin
that has been erased forever.
One of a series on my brother's death and my grieving process
Emmett Apr 2020
With you
I knew
All the lights and darks of tears

With you
I knew
The highest highs and lowest lows

With you
I knew
How another persons silence could be the greatest of comforts

Now your gone
No longer can I take comfort in your silence only Emmett’s silence

I’m my old self
Stagnant
Gray

Stuck on level ground
No longer able to sing melodies from the tops of mountains
No longer am I crushed beneath the weight of drowning tears

Is this good? Or did I lose myself in you?
Anthony Smith Jun 2017
The smile that haunts me deeply
and follows me everywhere I go
The faded memory that is with me
and remains unforgiven.
This gentle touch that transcends the years
and keeps m always on my toes
This warming scent of cologne that sends a chill
and brings forth the image.
They say time has passed us by
and that I need to catch up with it all
They don’t see what it has done
and wonder who is has built me up to be.
Tonight I’ll stay home with the door ajar
and try to cope with this pain of mine
Tonight I’ll go out to grab a pint
and bury it deep inside.
There will not be a way to go back
and prevent it from ever having happened
There is nothing to be done
and this is how the world goes on.
Then I will live this numbing life
and walk with him always at my side
Then I shall stride with purpose
and overthrow the difficulties.
The smile that haunts me deeply shall
hold me true as it learns to let me go
The faded memory that is with me shall
keep me pure as it begins to be forgiven.

Emmett Smith (1921-2012)
Maggie Emmett Sep 2020
The space between the Mallee roots
is where the fire breathes in the grate
it slowly stirs and shifts
and shows it is alive
and full of nothing more
than its smoky-scented heat
and blood-red glowing coals.

© M.L. Emmett
Fire watching on a cold afternoon
It wasn't only that Emmett Till
Made the kiss face to the
White girl
It was that he was
So **** fine
She liked it
ian Aug 2018
His name was Emmett,
there’s not much more I remember than that.
Taking turns wearing his mom’s old wristwatch,
watching veggietales on his tv,
the ferociously curly hair that I loved to stick my hands in,
I taught him numbers
and he taught me letters.
We were too young,
to know that not everything stays.
We thought
we would be friends forever.

2. We got chick-fil-a together,
a weekly ritual.
Played fairies on the playground,
princesses in her bedroom.
She was everything I wasn’t but
she made me happy.

My first real friend,
a relationship born from our mutual liking of one another
instead of parental guidance.
But those last couple years were stiff,
awkward,
and when her birthday rolled around
and no invitation arrived at my doorstep,
It was a relief.
The friendship I’d clung so close to
had already ended.

3. We pretended we were equals.
When we introduced ourselves they named me last,
and that became a fitting pattern.
Three’s a crowd,
and they didn’t need my extra wheel.
For my first lasting friendship,
the first that really changed me,
it sure gave me a warped idea of what friendship was.
When you’re seven years old,
never met a person who doesn’t like you in your life,
with no one around to warn you,
you tend to stick close to people you shouldn’t.

4. It wasn’t like it was ever gonna last.
We cycled through friends every year,
groups shifting,
it was only a matter of time until we drifted apart too.
The end was expected,
but still bittersweet.
Cheering them on from afar,
paper plates taped to backs,
messages from near strangers.

Four years pass and you realize,
they’re the kind of friends you used to hide behind.
I still love them but
I think I love the memories they gave me
more than the girls I no longer know.

5. She stuck around
for longer than she should have.
Longer than I needed her, really.
My second kiss,
my first girlfriend,
hands intertwined under the art table.
We didn’t love each other,
but it sure was nice to have her company.
The ending of our relationship was a relief.
Leaving an arm’s length of room
in between red riding hood and the wolf,
I’m still not sure which one of us was which.

6. I’m still not sure what happened to us.
Maybe he got sick of my lies, maybe he didn’t want to be friends with a kid.
Maybe it’s just hard
keeping up a relationship with someone you can’t see.
But he taught me how to be brave.
I was myself with him
before anyone else.
It was so much easier when I didn’t have to see his face.

I guess we fell apart,
after I learned that having a computer between us
didn’t make anyone less human,
that neither of us were without flaws,
just because I couldn’t hold his hand.
Now, we act like strangers.
Like he didn’t teach me how to be myself,
like that summer meant nothing to either of us.
Of all of them,
he’s the only one I want to run back to.
;) i'm lonely lol

— The End —