Statues of Limitation

A German comrade
quipped, “When you
Come to Frankfurt
You’ll find bronze celebrating
Poets, painters, philosophers—
But you won’t find the
Führer’s face any place—
Bratwurst, beer and Jazz
in Berlin; but you’ll find
lime green leprechauns
before patinas of Goebbels,
and Goering glaring from
park and plaza pedestals…”

Italian bandmates chimed in,
“Come with us when we go home—
you won’t find Mussolini’s
mug in Milan, or Rome…”
And the Butoh dancer blurted,
“And no Tojo in Tokyo!”

Why’d I softly reply,
“Dixie—south of the
Canadian Border—sits
pock marked with 1,000
syphilitic statues of
Slavers, traitors, terrorists—“
Instead of screaming,
“Would you name your child
Jezebel Jackson,
Judas Jones,
Satan Smith, or
Sheriff Joe—
Would you call yourself
a nigger, bitch, or hoe?
Would you celebrate
Stonewall Jackson, or
Robert E. Lee—
Would you tell your Mother
You’re an SOB?”

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.