Monday, August 21, 2006

More Suheir Hammad

More from the beautiful poet Suheir Hammad. This is an excerpt from

the poem "letter to anthony (critical resistance) "

i have always loved criminals
i tell people who try to shame
me into silence

with words like television conjugal
college libraries they say
can you imagine a library in a nigerian chinese a
columbian prison do you know what happens
in the world americans are so spoiled no idea
how lucky we are here

even you often write how
your time has offered reflection
meditation deepened your faith
but you 27 and have 10
years to go nowhere how much deeper
you going to get until a system based
on money deems you rehabilitated

i have always loved criminals
and the way you bomb my tag
butterphoenix all across your letters
reminds me our affirmation is considered vandalism

i have always loved
criminals and not only the thugged
out bravado of rap videos and champagne
popping hustlers but my father
born an arab baby boy
on the forced way out
of his homeland his mother exiled
and pregnant gave birth in a camp

the world pointed and said
palestinians do not exist palestinians
are roaches palestinians are two legged dogs
and israel built jails and weapons and
a history based on the absence of a people
israel made itself holy and chosen
and my existence a crime

so i have always loved criminals
it is a love of self
and i will not cut off any part of
me and place it behind fences and bars
and the fake ass belief
that there is a difference between
the inside and the outside

there is no outside anywhere
anymore just where we are and
what we do while we are here

and there
are people anthony who make a connection
between you puerto rican ryme slayer beautiful man and
young girls twisted into sex work and these
people nazim they are working to stop prisons
from being economically beneficial to depressed
communities and these people
bronx bomber they imagine a world
where money can't be made off the hurt
of the young the poor the colored the
sexualized the different and these people
nymflow they never heard you
spit lyrics and they won't
see the cut of your brilliance
from these mere words
but these people
42851-054 5812
they beleive human
beings can never be reduced
to numbers not in concentration
camps or reservations not in
refugee camps not in schools
and not in jails

these people
brother they resist

i will share these words
with them and i will
in your name and in the names
of all who imagine

stay well
and safe
and love


Christopher said...

wow. it's amazing how poetry can help one see through another's eyes. although i'll never be able to trully know abother's true plot. but i can strive to sympathize and see as best as i'm able; the world is not my small world.

voixdange said...

Whenever I hear or read her poetry, I just can't tear myself away. She is really incredible.