05.03.2019
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

DANIEL DELEON

On To The Next Poem, When My Favorite White Guy Tells Me To Take My Writing Seriously 

He tells me it’s time to publish my work
Make it known to the masses
Project my life story and fervor onto the backdrop we call society. 
He tells me my voice is a hurricane
That uproots and restores 
All in one

But he doesn’t know that THEY don’t hear me
That I’ve spent over half of my life scribbling words 
Onto paper napkins in run-down diners
Onto project housing hallway walls 
Onto Boston city skyscraper sidewalks 

I’ve written with the same pen
Until all I had left was this blood and these hands
So I started to plaster my fingerprints onto broken bodies and souls 
Clawing at the chaos and discomfort we call exclusion 

This journey has become a fire fight
I am the firefighter 
But my cup doesn’t overflow as abundantly as it used to 
It’s cracked 
And chipped
Dysfunctional 
Like the very system
That’s toppling 
Over with 
Hate

Funny how our identity is simply a mirror image of our mother country. 

I see THEM clearly
I see it all

Sometimes THEY see me
And silence me with a half baked smile
Because I see the judgement seeping through their teeth,
And spilling onto their lips,
Until they trip over their fear and single stories,
And fall onto an automated message 
Riddled with white guilt:

“I don’t see color. I see humans.
We are equal. All lives matter.”

And I think to myself how lovely it must be to 
Opt-out and in to my universe at their own leisure

How lovely it must be to 
Speak about
But not live RACE. 

How lovely it must be to
SPEAK about
But not LIVE race. 

How lovely it must be to think that equity
Should not be at the cost of privilege
Because equalizing the playing field feels like marginalization

THEY might never truly see US
And our worth

But for what it is worth

I will grind my notebooks, teeth, and bones
Until I decorate your city blocks and suburban boroughs 
With dust 

An ever-present reminder that you cannot destroy what was always meant to prosper.

—The whispers of an exhausted brown writer.

—-

The son of Guatemalan Immigrants, DeLeon was born and raised in the city of Boston. DeLeon studied at Boston College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, and he co-founded Boston College’s first and only performance poetry organization known as Soul, Love, and Meaning (SLAM!). Many of his poems detail his experiences as a Latino male growing up in the city of Boston and how these factors have influenced and shaped his sense of self. He has performed and competed at the Cantab Lounge, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bus Boys and Poets in DC, and several Colleges in the Boston Area including Mass Art, Wheelock, BU, and Suffolk Law. DeLeon has also performed at the renowned Old South Meeting house where he introduced the work he did around Poetry and civic engagement (Slam and the Citizen Orator: Teaching Civic Oration and Engagement through Spoken Word).