Michael Warr

APPALLING BEARERS

Torching churches
burning crosses
shitting swastikas
when white skin is
no longer enough
in the color spectrum
believing blatant lies
irresistibly
denying America’s
aftermath of slavery
and daily sins
shaping scripture
to bless monstrosity
obeying an openly
criminal mind
consciously
condoning caging
killing of children
not your own
hoping that Black
pain will never reach you
praying white terror
will save you
systematically
mistaking hatred
for greatness
relying on injustice
favoring yours
perpetually
masquerading poison
as freedom.

Is this
deployable
yet?

 

TO YOUR ASSAILANT
—Who Attacks Us All 

Do you call yourself God-fearing?
Devoted to “do on to others”?
Does your God condone your violence?
Your ignorance?
Your corruption?
Does your God hate your neighbor?
Like you do?
Does your God share your love
For Prophets bearing “false witness”
Fueling your grievance fever?
Do you swallow the lies they regurgitate?
Do you really need a reason?
Are you truly a True Believer
of both God and Golden Calf?
Does the All-Knowing know you?
Do They love you as you are?
Does it matter that They are watching
Your naked depravity?
Do you pray before you prey
On innocents in this guilty world?
Do you have your God’s blessing?
Or are you as Godless as you seem?
Did your father teach you
to beat, demean, and maim?
Is he proud of your cowardice?
Does your mother say “well-done son”?
Did they train you in backwardness?
Do you feel bigger in your smallness?
Content with acts of uselessness?
Is your inner bully seething still
beneath your concealed surface?
Are you comforted in your criminality?
Stupefied by “superiority”?
Simply insane? Or lost?
Who are you?

(“To Your Assailant…Who Attacks Us All” appears in video format in “Two Languages / One Community,” and in Poetry Planetariat Number 5, Summer 2020 based in Istanbul.)

 

致攻擊你們的人
— 他們也在攻擊我們所有人

translated by Chun Yu 俞淳

你自稱敬畏上帝嗎?
你致力于“己所不欲,勿施于人”嗎?
你的“上帝”寬恕了你的暴力?
你的無知?
你的腐敗嗎?
你的上帝像你這樣仇恨你的鄰居嗎?
你的上帝會認同你的
帶著“假見證”
讓你的憤怒不平不斷發燒的
所謂的“先知”的愛嗎?
你吞下他們反複口吐的謊言嗎?
你真的需要理由嗎?
你是你的神和金牛犢真正的信徒嗎?
你那全知的神認識你嗎?
他們會愛這樣的你嗎?
你在乎他們看著你赤裸的墮落嗎?
在襲獵這個有罪的世界上的無辜者時你祈禱嗎?
你有上帝的祝福嗎?
還是像你看起來那樣沒有上帝?
你的父親教你去攻擊,貶低,和殘害他人嗎?
他會爲你的怯懦感到驕傲嗎?
你的母親會說“幹得好兒子”嗎?
他們訓練你倒退落後了嗎?
你卑鄙渺小時感到更強大嗎?
你滿足于自己無益的行爲嗎?
隱藏在你的表面下的惡霸還在沸騰嗎?
你在被“優越性”麻木了的犯罪中受到了安慰嗎?
是瘋了?還是迷路了?
你是誰?


0-16MICHAEL WARR‘s books include Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmet Till to Trayvon Martin (W.W. Norton), and from Tia Chucha Press, The Armageddon of Funk, and We Are All The Black Boy. He is the recipient of the 2020 Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award and is a San Francisco Public Library Laureate. Other honors include a Creative Work Fund Award, PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, Black Caucus of the American Library Association Award, Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His poems are translated into Chinese by poet Chun Yu in their “Two Languages / One Community” project. Michael is the former Deputy Director of the Museum of the African Diaspora and is a board member of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. 

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