Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gator the Poetman

He walks the steps, he talks a poem with
youthful ease and vitality that sits on the edge
of a sword like the poet of many words

Gil Scott Hero who told the world

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

Gator the Poetman
squeezes concrete poems up from his toes
to his heart to his mouth
defining himself
noveling his cryptic life
as he spin, spin, spin on
a one wheel bike
held up by the earth he inherited

From sea to shining sea
Oh say can you see me now?

he said I can't jump off the wheel
I was born to take this ride
I was born to write like a relevant poet
Chris "Gator" Ockletree
using urgency as the ink in my pen

somebody said he couldn't untwist  
his legs and mind
long enough to walk the

Straight and Narrow
road of prosperity and productiveness

somebody said he could do no good
not this bushy-headed
afro-wearing doomed kid

a mixed up African American
boy who slipped out of his
mother's wayward womb
with defensive words on his lips
he cried in verse not baby tears

no rehearsal was necessary

his mama knew he came into
a promised land that she didn't
know how to take advantage of

American the beautiful
Oh say can you see

the poet's promised land was
a personalized pen name
and listed number
hand delivered seconds
after he saw life's light

Oh beautiful
the spacious sky is cloudy
the novice poet is
name branded forever

Oh beautiful

America didn't celebrate his
birth or encourage the future of his words
proned and propped  to sting their flesh
like busy ants in a promised land

Oh say can you see that society
made no bets that he
would find his way out of
nine months of wondering in
a fogged forest
barren of trees
and sprouting limbs

the poet-in-residence took control
untwisting his legs
walking the straight and narrow
untwisted his mind to think long and wide
denying destiny its victory over him

society didn't bet  his only weapon
would be the written word
granting him freedom
to walk in high steps
tagged by rebel rousing poems
that defy single minded definitions

copyrighted by dorothy charles banks

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