December Surprise

(Class struggle trumps Trail of Tricks)

I. Historically High on the Hog

An occasional ALEC bill—
Cashin’ in on Capitalist Hill
Comfortable with wild charades
Playin’ 3 monkeys, 4 decades
Seein’ evil, zero jobs, AIDS…
Big galas, par-tays and parades
Keepin’ their eyes on the prize—
Board seat, sub-contract, franchise!
Coming off the plantation porch
Gud lawd movin’ ‘em to march?

II. Prelude to failed Trail of Tricks

K: “People didn’t see what they saw…”
S: “Don’t understand complex law?”
K: “So, ‘Sharlatanize’ their demands!”
S: “Keepin’ things in the state’s hands?”
K: “Like more funding of D-O-J…”
S: “Drivin’ young activists away?”
K: “More laws, special prosecutors…”
S: “Cameras, trainin’ for shooters?”
S: “Boss, I’m barely part of it…”
K: “Front it, cut the heart of it!”
S: “Tellin’ ‘em what time to hit town?”
K: “Yes, and which streets to march down”
S: “What gestures and speeches to make?”
K: “Videos and ‘selfys’ to take…”
S: “What hoodies and T-shirts to wear?”
K: “Who to put on and keep off air…”
S: “Signs to carry, slogans to shout?”
K: “Then to get their black asses out!”

III. Change Gonna Come…

At last, Reckoning Day arrived
For those who’ve shucked and jived—
Erupting below, wildcat strike
Seizing the time, their place and mic
With young, Black America’s sound
New meaning to ‘boots on the ground!’
Like a ‘surge,’ chum-rushing the stage
Declaring: The Ferguson Age!

In resistance, the new arose
Firing ‘niggas’, ‘bitches’, ‘hoes!’
Beautiful, young, gifted and Black
Boldly unafraid to attack
Media-police state violence…
Breaking old sinister silence—
Motion, growth, protracted ferment
Our young people growing insurgent—
Struggles rise, fall, shift, come and go
Motions lift, stirrings ebb and flow
Revolutionary trend latent
Seeds of socialism…nascent…

Former forklift driver/warehouse worker/janitor, Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet; BAR's Poet-in-Residence; and founder/co-leader of the jazz-poetry ensemble UpSurge!NYC. Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.