Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Angel's Feather...

Yesterday, I introduced you to Shane L. Koyczan (born 22 May 1976). He is a Canadian slam poet who was part of the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

In 2000, he became the first Canadian to win the Individual Championship title at the National Poetry Slam.

I though I'd link one more of poems here... just in case you think Slam Poets don't speak our language.

Shane Koyczan, "The Crickets Have Arthritis," Words Aloud 2007, Canada

Sir Bowie "not a poet -- especially a slam poet, and know it" of Greenbriar


Anonymous said...

yeah Slams can be incredible.. One of the last times i was over, we visted friends in Princeton, and there was a slam poetry night going on in a bar we visited.

A guy called Tim Gellar got up and pounded out an astonishing Slam...and whatever your views on America...I was still struck by its potency. Afterwards i said to him how amazing it was, and would he email a copy so I could show people in the slam community at home, which he did. So hold onto your hats...I give you.... in the next comment box below:

Why I want to fly the American Flag But can't.

( Sir d to be contd )

Anonymous said...

Why I Want To Fly The U.S. Flag, But Can't

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't

Because it stands for a place that enslaved my African-American brothers and sisters

and has left them with a legacy of institutionalized racism thicker than jet fuel

(which I feed every single day).

Because it represents the cultural genocide and unwritten history of African-

Americans longer than the missing blackbox tape of every plane that has ever crashed.

Because it stands for a country whose African-American prison population is nearly the population of Kuwait and who has given them more protection than Rodney King.

A government whose criminal "justice" system is responsible for more
African-Americans having lost their right to vote than civilians who lost their lives at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined
times three.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it stands for states that try kids as adults
But deny them adult rights.

Nonetheless, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it stands for a place that is responsible for the deaths
Of more of my Native American brothers and sisters than the
Holocaust and the Genocide combined
times six.

Because it symbolizes a country that broke more treaties with them than
Floors that fell in both World Trade Centers.

A government that forced them off their lands
Including the one upon which the Pentagon is built
Into mobile concentrations camps called reservations.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents a country of institutionalized sexism
That denies equal opportunity and power to the sex that gave life
To every person who died on September 11 and their loved ones
Including me and you.

And not even the women under the Taliban can make me forget that
U.S. women have less power than U.S. men.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because of all my homosexual and bisexual brothers and sisters
Who face institutionalized homophobia and
Who probably never would have been allowed aboard the F-15 fighter planes
Patrolling D.C. skies or onto the ships now in the Persian Gulf.

Yet I still want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents religious acceptance in a country that
Officially celebrates only one religion.

A land that needs a first lady, a shooting, or an election to put
Education on the national agenda.

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because of all of my non-white, non-male, non-Christian, and non-heterosexual
Brothers and sisters who are excluded from the "liberty and justice for all" part of the flag as the U.S. continues to celebrate a day each year in Columbus' honor.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because of the institutionalized xenophobia and
My Mexican brothers and sisters who have died since
Clinton's Operation Gatekeeper Program
Numbering more than double those who died on Flights 11, 77, 93, and 175.

Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents a country that walked out of a
World Conference on racism-

A government that invests more in its financial stock
Than in the human stock of my disenfranchised Palestinian
Brothers and sisters.

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents a government that
Kills the same number of my
Civilian Iraqi brothers and sisters
Each month through sanctions as those who
Died in New York on September 11,
Starving its children for oil over a blood-stained tablecloth of

Karma? Had it comin.'
Self-damned by a dam of ignorance
So thick it took
3,000 + lives to dent it
and maybe World War III to defend it-
so now then,
what do you call it when an assassin accuses an assassin?


Anonymous said...

And such shock streaks the state when
Bedouin blazes set in Kuwait
Spread to NYC to DC to every town and city
Climbing flagpoles faster than firemen-

Good Morning, America!
And you wake up
And you realize
And you realize
And you realize
That a Saudi person is no less than a
U.S. person than an
Iraqi person than an
Afghani person than a
Rwandan person than a
Serbian person than
Any person anywhere -
That the human swallows the national cuz
Distance is no longer
Miles and borders but
That now
the political is personal.

ask not what your country has
but what you can do to
Others . . .

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because it represents a government that will send its children over 3,000 miles away
Only a week after over 3,000 of them have died.


Anonymous said...

And though my sorrow could fuel a missile from here to Afghanistan
I cannot fly the U.S. flag because it represents a
Cowboy president who threatens to leave innocent, impoverished brothers and sisters
"dead or alive" to get one man.

But still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because of my Arab-American, Muslim-American, and Sikh-American
brothers and sisters who are getting shot at, killed, and terrorized by U.S. patriots
just like my Japanese-American and German-American brothers and sisters before them-

Odd, no ever assaulted me for sharing the same religion and ethnicity as
Timothy McVeigh. Funny how I wouldn't have felt safer then donning a turban and growing a beard so no one suspected me of blowing up another federal building like all White Trash do. Or maybe you'd feel safer putting me in an internment camp, or porting me back to Francoscottydeutschland or wherever the hell I came from-

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
When it's called the "American" flag
Out of respect for my brothers and sisters in Canada, Mexico, and all over South America

I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
Because I won't wave a backstage pass when
Half the world is on the streets.
Because it's the U S flag
And I hurt for those who died and their loved ones not because they're
U.S. citizens, but because they're my
HUMAN brothers and sisters.

I want to fly my flag-
I want to fly my flag dammit
But I can't- I can't look into the stars, the eyes
of screaming Vietnamese mothers and children
fooor the laaaand oof the-
screaming eyes of a Sikh-American shot dead in Arizona
aaaand the hoooome ooof thhe-
wide eyes of Arab-American Berkeley High students
staying home from school for three days because of phone threats
the eyes of Japanese-American elders seeing it all happen

( contd )

Anonymous said...

I want to fly my flag
But I can no longer pretend I've been dreaming with my eyes open-
I want to fly my-
But it doesn't represent the love and support I have for
All beings
And reminds me of how much I feed what I despise-
Because it could stand for a place that is so much more than what it
Is -
Because it has the power to live up to what it
Claims to represent,
Not because it has to, but because it

God bless America?
God bless himself can no one else be blessed.

I want to fly something-
I want you to know how I feel just by looking at me
But there is no flag for this
I cannot raise it when it stands for a
lady who has lowered her torch and
Spread her legs for

Yes, America is OPEN FOR BUSINESS -
I cannot wave with pride a flag that represents a country where
widespread compassion hits only when another
earthquake does.

I cannot fly it
Because of the things this country has
and is
to its own people
and other peoples
Under this flag.
Because it doesn't represent what it stands for,
What I stand for
And even when we, and I mean "we the world," most need to stand together
I cannot fly it because I will never forget all that has been done in the name of
This flag
And I will
perpetuate violence by
playing the victim
And re-dividing the w/ o/ r/ l/ d,
because I can,
And forgetting my part-
Because it reminds me of everything I do to you everyday
To separate us. and to dominate you.
because I can.

I want to fly my flag
but can't
cuz sometimes the mirror stares deeper than the t.v. glare
without hearing that I'm either FOR the enemee or should
salute the bloody reflection of my face wherever I go-
cuz a well divided against itself cannot pump-
cuz all flags lead to me- E Plunocal

I want to fly it but I
And though oil may drown these words today
I will not let what the flag should stand for
Ripple away unspoken on a half mast ~

least we all own our hearts ~

Sir D