- for jim who pulls my lapel and calls me bro, and: 51 Fletcher and Them
for jim who pulls my lapel and calls me bro
just because i don’t roll up blunts doesn’t mean i won’t ll cool j you upside your head/ go popyour pills. get drunk. listen to 50 cent, swallow the n-word like xanax, and hurl it up when yourgut is overloaded with laughter and rap lyrics, like a good old boy/
i bet you voted for you know who, and got caught up in the fanfare, so much so that you try totaunt me in my suit/ i guess elections get the best of us all. no excuse though because in my headi’m jamming nwa. in my heart i’m ali on the ropes. my knuckles at my side are public enemy, i’mready to slap and stand my ground/
i bet you moonwalk to drake/ pretend to ghost ride whips on the dance floor to impress college-age black girls/ i know you keep your instagram fingers ready to post/ see a black woman begher to fall in love while taking side bets with your boys/ old jim how you have changed: from ahood over your face to dabbing at the bar when jokes are safe enough to be labeled under the i’mnot a racist column/
too bad no one taught you about putting your hands where they don’t belong/ i know by now youhave changed forms, your original husk has forgotten me, but nigger still accumulates in yoursaliva. no matter the form you adopt. . . [End Page 238]
51 Fletcher and Them
Where i’m from we use the oven to heat water and the house.the neighborhood is broken down and shared in plots,and when it floods, we pray for the bridge to hold.
Where i’m from black skin boys sell drugs in middle schooland get high on their own supply by high school.white skin boys get drunk and hunt and sing dixiein their morning coffee.black skin girls get lost and by high schoolend up pregnant by the same black skinboys that dropped out in 2003.
Where i’m from granny and themwatch wheel of Fortune 6pm andthe local news at 10.they will repeat this process untilsomeone dies or Pat Sajakand Vanna White turn into cyborgs.
Where i’m from we had to use the oven toheat the house and the stove to heatthe water. Xmas gift came with duality: my giftsnormally covered Xmas & birthdays.
Where i’m from being aBlood or Crip or Drug Dealermeant that you were too bored toget a normal job and crime ofsome sort was quicker and cooler.
Where i’m from when youcome back from college people tellyou that you sound white.like they forgot that you arefrom around the way like therest of them. [End Page 239]
Durell Thompson is a student, teacher, father, husband, and son. Through his poetry, he looks to explore the multifaceted connections that define the African American experience in the United States. Moreover, he uses his poetry as a way to embrace his roles as an educator, writer, and father, and to prepare his son to live and thrive as a black man. Thompson’s works have appeared in Bayou Magazine and Beacon: The Sam Houston State Review.