Genocide On Bleecker Street

They call me “trash.”
They call me “wetback.”
They call me “nigger.”
They call me “beggar.”
It’s the language of liquor bottles,
the howling of hunger
from the Bronx to Brooklyn.

This ain’t democracy.
This is genocide on Bleeker Street.

I have dragged these legs
these Harlem eyes
just to be despised
and then gentrified.
Bloomberg don’t hear my cries,
he just buys
and lies
and buys some more.

Will ya hear my story?
Will ya help a brotha out?
Por favor?
I’m poor.
Anything you can spare.
Then I’ll be outta your hair.
Then you can eat your sushi,
study your Kabbalah.
But I gotta holla
“I’m hungry! ”
I got kids,
three
a whole family
of empty bellies.
I’ll lift up my shirt
so you can see.
This ain’t the land of the free.
This is genocide on Bleeker Street.

And New York ain’t alone.
No.
From Peru to Pakistan
the World Bank builds Warsaw.
Neo-liberal.
Neo-Nazi.
What’s the difference?
No food for me.

I sleep with concrete.
I piss in bottles
while you dress like models.
I live in Auschwitz
while you live in luxury.
Yes.
I would call this slavery.

George Bush givin business blow jobs
to every billionaire who don’t care.
Prisons fulla people who look like me
and can’t even vote when they get free.
Schools telling kids they ain't worth shit,
may as well let teachers hit
with this Khmer Rouge pedagogy
that turns classrooms into killing fields.
This ain’t equality.
This is genocide on Bleeker Street.

Or is it Shanghai?
or Cairo?
or Rio?
or Cape Town?
or Bhopal?
or Jakarta?
or Jerusalem?
or Hanoi?
or Lagos?
or L.A?
I pray:

Our Father Who art in heaven
Thy kingdom Come!
Thy will be Done!
On Earth as it is in heaven.
Remove these words
from our tongues,
hearts,
and dictionaries:
Trash, hungry,
broke,
destitute, thug,
unemployed,
malnourished,
slum.
Time for a Rebirth in vocabulary.

We need words like ashe.
We need words like namaste.
In t’ung ren and zakat,
Let poverty be passé!
This I pray
for all who live today
because there is a Way
that ain’t about McDonald’s in Montevideo,
gobbling rainforests like gumbo,
making all the animals go,
who would pay to see that show?

A way that ain’t about blood in Baghdad,
children looking so sad,
looking for mom and dad,
lost everything they ever had.

A way without digging diamonds in Sierra Leone,
a million families without a home,
over something as common as Styrofoam,
how long will we leave this alone?

Oh God.
Deliver us from evil.
Maybe we don’t deserve our oil.
But Liberate us
from our self-made turmoil.
Give us the air.
Give us the sea.
The animals.
The Earth.
Our sanity
and oh yeah
our Equality.
Forgive us for fucking up.
We know not what we do.
But we need You.
Don’t forsake us.
We can redeem.
Just end it now:
the genocide on Bleeker Street.

by paz paulsensacks

Other poems of PAULSENSACKS (6)

Comments (1)

This is a good rant piece that reminds me of David Bowie's opening on the LP 'Diamond Dogs'. Rant is difficult to do well because it requires a great deal of discipline to be undisciplined. The inteligence in this piece is undermined, somewhat, by you putting references at the end. Don't patronise the reader. If they want to know let them find out for themselves.