thirteen ways of looking at the arrest of henry louis gates, jr.

(1 comment)
July 25, 2009
Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
I.
From half a mile away
In Central Square
Where police still hang
After headquarters moved
Because they are called here eventually
And they like that Italian place I go to.

II.
The unused tricycle.
And the occupied holding cell.

III.
If he really said
"I'll speak to you your momma outside,"
That would be the best part.

IV.
On top of a hill called "Class"
Looking at another hill called "Race."
Or the other way around.
It is hard to tell which hill is higher.

V.
Chapter 272, Section 53
Once applied
To "rogues and vagabonds."
It now merely threatens
"Common railers and brawlers."

VI.
Everyone should be afraid of the police.
Even though no one should have to be.

VII.
Amy lived on Ware St.
She sat in my living room
Describing how well Skip dresses
How he smiles at strangers.
That southern thing.

VIII.
Andy had never heard of Gates.
But knows one of the cops
Who showed up in a news photo.

IX.
A Cambridge cop once yelled
Because I came too close
To an exploded manhole.
Then, deferentially,
"I'm sorry. I don't want you to get hurt."

X.
Melissa Harris Lacewell
thought you should know
#SkipGates...likes white folks.

XI.
If you yell at a cop in my part of Cambridge
It is usually okay.
As long as you are homeless
And intoxicated.
Or crazy.

XII.
Malcolm X. asked
What do you call a black man with a Ph.D.?
In Cambridge, you call him a rock star.
Some people do, anyway.

XIII.
I too have had
Just-got-back-from-Asia jet lag.
It makes you crazy.

With all due apologies.

--from Ayun's LiveJournal. So brilliant! And so right about the "yo mama" line!


"The Butterfly Effect" was a pretty good flick! Kind of like an extended Twilight Zone episode.
"First there is a time when we believe everything, then for a little while we believe with discrimination, then we believe nothing whatever, and then we believe everything again - and, moreover, give reasons why we believe."
--Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
The IKEA catalog, strangely soothing and hypnotic- all those idyllic scenes painted in words. Are those real apartments done up, or sets?