Monday, June 25, 2007

Poem #176 of 365

Roky Erikson cries out
"Don’t Slander Me, nah nah nah nah",
"Don’t Slander Me, nah nah nah nah",
and i want to scream out a new headline:
a new fuck-you song:
Don’t brand me, nah, nah, nah, nah
Don’t BRAND ME new,
with iron on my cheeks,
don't fire up my face with

You have etched your hate
with iron heat, and i now
live with your anger upon my meat,
my woman flesh is now cast red,
fingered for talking,
singed for snitching.

My skin shall sing pumped with rage,
etched as it is with a word
not of my mouth,
all because my voice
dared to be the island of truth
in the waters of dark violence
in this city,
and for that i should pay?

What did you want me to say?

Now every glance at my face echoes this
warning, like a scarlet letter in the village,

that to break the silence,
to show compassion,
to report abuse
to help another,
is now out of fashion,
is now taboo and
unneighborly passion?

When you stare at my face--
as i know you itch for
my photo to hit
the national press,
just remember the
way i earned this:
under duress.

i got the brand
trying to do right by
others even as they
spit onto that other cheek
i turn, not the one
that got burned with iron,
but the one that now burns
with anger at your betrayal.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

(And don't be surprised to hear about more stories like the one in Mesa, Arizona where 4 people -- James Strandbridge, Jackie Getz, Preston Valdez, and Kibbol Avila -- are accused of kidnapping, aggravated assaulted and unlawful imprisonment after allegedly luring a 'snitch' into their apartment, shaving off a portion of her hair, using a branding iron to burn the word "snitch" on her face, assaulting her, and holding her against her will.)

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