The Morning My Blackness-Brownness-Indigenous Rubbed Off

calling all fools
jiving with the media hook
one day brown, Latino
the next day NAACP presizent
selling a lie over candid camera
evening rushes like a big
D.W. Griffith stars and bars

I want to be Barack
Michelle, Oprah
friends with Al Sharpton
some Maya Hurston Angela Davis
thing, Eartha Kit eyes
the Holiday in Billie

something calling white girl
to defame us all, calling her
to pretend, lie like a politician
Repo Woman, calling all exploitative
scammers, something to sell
outta my trunk
sold with strings attached

they all lie, Marcos and his fake WW II medals
Reagan and his flying ace celluloid
Vice Presidents plagiarize
the entire mess of them racist-Zionist-Money Makers
liars, every moment on TV with Charlie Rose
they do the Pinocchio stutter step
wooden people making it up as they go

you gotta get a book of the month
deal, half a million advance
co-opting that Afro thing
Zionist Press and Jewish Academics
telling us race and identity shift
something of the transracial thing
sociodynamics of “the other”
wanting to be more than me …
nothing ’bout living the life black,
brown, Native, exiled in your own
land, nothing ’bout growing up
a target, gentile or white Jew
playing possum or victim

unforgivable blackness
Jack Johnson better than any
PT Barnum, the real thing
suckers and debutantes
smile and a whistle, Emmett Till
no white person strange fruit
even that WWII general Eisenhower
turned pasty face away from mother Mamie
Emmett soaked through with Delta mud
bullet holes to the brain

white girl-white boy want a struggle
New York Times composite heroin addict
some grapes of wrath Cesar Chavez
Summer of Love, anything oh anything
other than mother’s so sweet bigotry
anything other than father’s military
industrial complex, white daddy
lording over the Lazy-Boy
papa calling us all niggers
communist sympathizers
anything but the hard work
of revolution
overthrowing the Shekel loving
Freudian beast, anything but
implosions on White Wall Street
anything but hammering Hollywood
until it is a flat tin can

we want that easy race thing
some way to call that Peace Corps
gig a test of White Boy’s DNA
two years in Kenya, now, that’s African
tribal tattoos, the talismans around
pierced neck, anything but the hard work
of throwing out the bums, all of them
Molotov mornings and mortar lobbing
lazy afternoons
anything but the hard work of exile
finding meaning in disenfranchisement
vows of intellectual celibacy

anything to get TV interview
15 minutes of fame infinitesimal
forever young on You Tube
the Facebook up and running
Kickstarter for a new age
anything to be nothing but
smoke and mirrors, Svengali
make sure to sizzle on camera
under the bright lights of Zionist
TV, anything but the hard work
of unemployment, powdery nights
sickle cell hangovers

we want to be something unrecognizable
so denuded of shit and sweat, so far from
the sag of gravity, anything to make a run for
Little Miss Sunshine prostrate
into the wet cement of Grauman’s
Chinese Theater, it’s what we want
hitchhiking onto blackness, unforgivable Latina-ness
the scourge of being at the bottom of the caste
just do it, flavor it, plan it, get those
words down on digital paper
sell another sad story of another sad white

rotten thing that is for sure a virus of nightmares
more attention-seeking, where it can’t belong
the rest of us suffering under the weight of real
race and racism, classicism, the lie that is freedom
and free markets
we become our own Web Page and PayPal account
just with a fib here and a big lie there
growing up white and freckled
now black and beautiful
or at least that’s what the lie keeps
telling you, whispering daily
why can’t I be Black-Mexican-Hispanic-Asian-Eskimo-Apache-Maori too?

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.