Monday, January 9, 2012


It's not offensive, it's funny!!!!
like nooses hanging embarrassment in the closets of my ancestors
as long as we build those nooses out of ignorance
and claimed innocence we can be the jesters
of a history that has always been a joke
so lets laugh it up in black face wearing yarmulkes and big noses
eating watermelon in striped pajamas
with numbers replacing our names and stars on our clothing
chuckle as we play cowboys and Indians
and paint our clubhouses concentration camp red
call ourselves immigrants
wetbacks, niggas, problems
because we are a country built on humor
did you see that strange fruit hanging from that tree
wasn't it funny to watch a man die at our own hands?
didn't you laugh when Tyler Clementi's sex tape debuted across your computer screen
and even harder when his obituary appeared in your newspaper?
Yes! we are the laughter that gets stuck in lungs causing them to collapse
we are the gaps of breath that sneak into veins and stop hearts
funny how laughter tastes like overdoses on pain pills
how it smells like pools of emptied veins
how it sounds like guns cocking in mouths
how it looks like dead bodies stacked up not worthy of graves
how it feels like WANTING TO DIE!!!!!
its what makes us different
our laughter
the way we can use it to strip souls of their worth
the way it sneaks into our egos & silently birth desires to fade into it's echoes
to be forgotten when it ends
laughter has always been hatred's best friend
as they skip to the lou
hand in hand whistling tunes
that sound like the melody of crackling wood crosses
so forgive me if your caricatures of black people as monkeys don't tickle my funny bone
if i don;t chuckle at your stories of conquering lesbians with your penis
or your planking on balconies doesn't double me over in laughter
my sense humor has always been a bit dry
my smile a bit strained
my laughter laced with paranoia
wonder how many ha's it takes to get to center of pain
how do we build our laugh tolerance to learn to take things at face value
how do you convince a poet that words just are?
how do you convince a people that actions are meaningless
how we rip apart things that should be seamless
like emotion and laughter so that we can get the joke
learn to separate the fire from the smoke so that we can understand the fuel
never mind the blackened lungs and blistered hands
caused by pulling apart ourselves in order to understand
or maybe we should pull out our nooses and untwine the rope
stare in a mirror until we find ourselves in the joke
then we should be able to play our laughter in reverse
and recognize the muffled cries in out varying pitch
taste the death on our tongue before it rolls off our lips
feel the pain in our hands before we unclench our fists
or we can keep laughing through gnashed teeth and dead eyes
hiding beneath our bandwagons and lies
because as long as somebody can laugh
its not offensive!
it's funny!

©, 2012, Tiffany "Spokenheart" Shack

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