NaPoWriMo 10/30 Martha



From 5 billion down to only you
Martha, passenger
from wild to white.

My grandfather said your flocks
took days to fly over dark
the sky with the thick of you
murdered by tall poles thrust into
flight path, momentum of your mass
sliding death by the thousands
down to the waiting
white men. How fun
to count to compete to complete
destruction and head home
for supper.

Of all the animals I
will never know you
stick in my gut, you
and the crows I did
not grow up with, extinct
from my thousand acres
youth, murdered by another white
male trick. When I was a child, my father said,
they had me climb a tree and steal a baby crow
put it in a cage and make it scream and when
the adult crows flocked in hundreds
to help a dozen men or maybe more
would blast into the black of them
the burn and pop of shotgun shells

To every crow I see I call
Cousin, cousin, greetings to you.
Are you cawing murder still? Have you yet
found descendants of survivors
of the Morgan County Massacre?
Reparations, Cousins, take my corn,
my silver, the shiny bright blue
of my father’s young wide eyes.

Martha was the last known Passenger Pigeon. She died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. At her death she was frozen in ice, shipped by train to the Smithsonian, skinned, dissected, and her skin stretched over a mold and mounted for display. Estimates place the Passenger Pigeon population at 3-5 billion before Whites arrived in North America, and the pigeons were slaughtered, in part, as cheap food for people held in slavery.


NaPoWriMo 2/30 Measuring White

Measuring White

White opinions always matter
women’s rarely do.
So she dons a suit of I Am Serious
to discover how white she’s willing to lie

White lives define the Civilized
Black, the dark and wild
White hangs Black art to the sound of Black music
oh Black is still something White loves to buy

White speaks White English grammatically
an accent a sign of the barbarous
White is proud to only know White to choke
on the tongues grandparents forced parents to swallow

White families, the realm of the norm, of bliss
the choice to live queer, abomination
Now measure the cost of the fight to be civil
Gasp at the price of domestication

the measure of White the measure of right the measure of kith
and kin                the measure of White the measure of light to see
who is out and who in               the measure of White the measure of
might the measure of power that does us all in


2 reasons I am, today, once again, furious about White:
The Apartheid of Children’s Literature

Last year, only 93 of the 3,200 children’s books published were about Black people. That works out to less than three-percent

NaPoWriMo 2014! 1/30

Waaayy too long away from my own blog doing other business. Now its April and BACK TO WRITING I MUST GO.  One never knows where poem-a-day will take one, but this one has been thinking constantly about white privilege, whiteliness, and the sixth extinction, so one suspects a lot of poems exploring whiteliness will be coming out.

First up

Destruction Lies in White DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid
Deoxyribonucleic acid
Deoxyribonucleic acid
we whites refuse to assess disaster

Deoxyribonucleic acid
Deoxyribonucleic acid
Deoxyribonucleic acid
acquired slaves so the world we’d master

Deoxyribonucleic acid
Deoxyribonucleic acid
‘til cost was then reappraised—oil
less coins than breeding black flesh, and faster.

Deoxyribonucleic acid
the ways that we disconnect from actions,
industrial revolution hiding
the dead and dying. Oh we profit masters!

Deoxyribonucleic acid
the ways that we disengage from actions
that we take every day. The world knows,
though—that we are their disengaged assassins

December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012
Elliott batTzedek

How hard is it not to shoot a child?
How hard to raise up children who will not shoot
children? How hard not to sell exploding bullets and
assault rifles and video-game infomercials? How hard
not to pay for care for the lost and the broken and the crazy before
the SWAT teams and the counselors are called?

Easy, easy, so much easier
than blood that can never be cleared from a classroom, than
knowing “point-blank range” means children saw
his face and knew the hard stone bullets were coming.

A senior in high school when Lennon’s glasses were shattered,
my life since has seen murder after mass murder,
most with masculinity in common,
most with the un-mentionable race,
most with mental illness, too.

But all with guns and guns and guns and guns
and guns and guns and guns.