Salute To Shift Holders!

(Down With Boss Tweet!)

He’s, obviously, not a New Yorker,
riding trains 4 and 5 in the morning.
Trains packed with hoodie-crowned;
shuttered chocolate, mocha, peanut
butter, caramel, coffee-colored faces—
Lunch bucket UN—palpable power,
Grabbing their last Zs, before Shifts
Holding levers, running the city.

He, obviously, gets no coffee,
street snacks, scarves, gloves,
posters, CDs, DVDs, caps, T-shirts
from carts and stands tourists treasure;
Carts and stands powered by African, Asian,
Latin American, Caribbean, Middle Eastern labor…

Lord knows he’s never been
to bodegas named Ameer’s,
or Branson’s juice bar,
or the Texas Star,
Tarboosh, Nanoosh,
Cafe One, Clove, Dig Inn,
or Peace Food—where
Workers from plundered countries
Toil—countries Boss Tweet dissed!
Eateries where workers break bread,
rub shoulders, swap stories: U.S. bases,
Blood-soaked “boots on the ground,” Coups,
Death squads, decomposing bodies, bullets,
Bombs, missiles chasing families from
smoldering homelands…“in harm’s way”

Tweet’s just a paper towel-tossing,
beetle-brained, feces-faced
Clown, giving cover to 1%
Pickpockets working the crowd—
Look for him in the sewer…
Days when all trains empty at
City Hall and Wall Street…

Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet privileged to have read at the Harriet Tubman Centennial Symposium. He is Artistic Director of the stalwart JazzPoetry Ensemble UpSurge and has appeared at numerous festivals and venues including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Panafest in Ghana West Africa. He currently is Poet-in-Residence at Black Agenda Report. Turner has opened for such people as James Baldwin, People’s Advocate Cynthia McKinney, radical sportswriter Dave Zirin and CA Congresswoman Barbara Lee following her lone vote against attacking Afghanistan. He is Co-Chair of the NY Chapter National Writers Union (NWU). Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.