Rhyme and Reason

It’s National Poetry Month, so to celebrate I plan on posting some dusty verses I had forgotten about to remind everyone that I am a rather shitty poet. I wrote this a few years ago, about the first hip-hop CD I ever bought.

 

2pac-strictly-4-my-niggaz-cover.jpg

 

“Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.” – Samuel Adams

 

I remember the CD’s cellophane, feeling like a total goner
if mom found out I was a convert to this hopeless dogma
but street knowledge gave me more than a diploma offered
Track 1: Holla If Ya Hear Me…
I looked around, made sure I was alone, then hollered

a 12 year old impostor, somewhat indentured
to these caucasian confinements, numb to its censures
it was fake. Pac was real. the rush of adventure;
thuggish acceptance, feeling like I was Strictly 1 of His…N words

Death Row Records was my posse, a known accomplice
I was Never Ignorant, Getting Goals Accomplished
so dishonest, boss of all bosses, don’t step to the throne
told parents my homework’s at school, told teachers I left it at home

LET IT BE KNOWN! I would no longer listen to Dude Ranch
rocking middle class income like I depended on food stamps
a new man, running shit from the curb to the burbs
evidenced by how “yes please” suddenly turned into “word”

mental versions perverse, my reality was invented
lost in my headphones, rap granted me independence
and somehow these glorified hardships left me feeling connected
like I was gangsta cuz my private school wasn’t even selective

my speech was suggestive that every minute grew more poor
spearfishing for sport, Illmatic in slippers and board shorts
by day I lived on the shore, nighttime imagining thug endeavors
pulling a skeg out the dresser, north swells got me under pressure

from dreams of lettin off the 4 pound hammer in different directions
to waking up with my ukulele hammering 4 string picking progressions
mimicked impressions convinced me of who I could actually hang with –
bustin my bus pass from the side to try and practice my gang grip
the same shit that was meant for city folk – impoverished, hungry
somehow spoke to a random white kid in the tropical country

I balanced octopus hunting with rhyme-writers’ sickest delivery
it wasn’t a double-life so much as a hidden epiphany
a lesson in empathy. so embarrassing, the weakest theory
but maybe turning a blind eye can help you see shit clearly
it was real, so much realer than I could ever define
to feel the strength of overcoming what would never be mine
I shouldn’t love rap, but somehow it gets me to react
it just makes me feel
…and really, who needs a reason for that

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