Authenticity

Marilyn Buck

[This poem is read on the CD by Chrystos. MP3 of this poem]

On Brooklyn streets
young Black man in baggy pants
          hanging off his ass
               you can’t see ‘cause
the shirt comes to his knees
baseball cap sidewise
          Nike Air walk distinctive
                    to himself

in Ft. Lee, Jersey suburbteen
     wears phat looks too
          baggy pants by Hilfiger
Air Jordans, Yankee cap
knows all the rapper’s raps
feels ghetto cool
though never been to New York Avenue
     but knows he’s authenticated
he gangsta raps and slaps high fives
                         dunks, his walk broke down
                                        straight off TV
nobody can tell him he’s not real

he’s not around
when Black brothers bleed,
beaten to the ground
          for their authenticity

September 2002


poems © the authors
compilation © The Freedom Archives