An Ode to Toya Graham


It’s 2015 at the end of April.
The city of Baltimore is burning.
No, Omar is not fighting Marlo Stanfield.
This scene is all too real and it is wild.
Some cops did something awful to a black man.
They beat him down and broke his neck or something.
Well duh. Like we’ve never heard that one before.
Just one difference, though … these people right now?
They’re mad as hell and not gon’ take anymore.
Hey, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself,
but … some people, to express their discontent
must believe it’s a good idea to destroy
the city they live in. Their home. Baltimore.

It’s tragic to see folks act like animals.
They don’t understand they’re part of the problem
and they refuse to listen to anyone.
It’s like those idiots up in Ohio
who found it funny to tear through Columbus
when their football team won the championship.
Flipping cars … setting fires … I mean, really?
Did Muhammad Ali flip a single car
after winning the Thrilla In Manila?
No. He acted like god damned champion.

Question: What the hell is wrong with you people?
and by “You People,” I mean all you people
who have to act like animals and assholes
any time the opportunity rises.
When I say you people I mean many things.
I mean all you people who like to destroy.
I mean all you people who think rape is fun.
I mean all you people who like to kill folks.
I mean all you people who hate all others.
I mean all you people who can’t see the light.

When I say “You people” I mean “You assholes.”
It’s not a race thing. It’s not a gender thing.
It’s a simple question: Are you an asshole?
Can you protest/celebrate in peace, or not?
Because if not … just set yourself on fire
like the monk of the cover of Rage Against
the Machine’s eponymous first album. We
would all be better off if you would do that.
So what’s it going to be, eh? Fire or Ice?
Because quite frankly, son, I don’t give a shit.


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