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Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Angel's Feather...

Yesterday, I introduced you to Shane L. Koyczan (born 22 May 1976). He is a Canadian slam poet who was part of the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

In 2000, he became the first Canadian to win the Individual Championship title at the National Poetry Slam.

I though I'd link one more of poems here... just in case you think Slam Poets don't speak our language.

Shane Koyczan, "The Crickets Have Arthritis," Words Aloud 2007, Canada

Sir Bowie "not a poet -- especially a slam poet, and know it" of Greenbriar


  1. yeah Slams can be incredible.. One of the last times i was over, we visted friends in Princeton, and there was a slam poetry night going on in a bar we visited.

    A guy called Tim Gellar got up and pounded out an astonishing Slam...and whatever your views on America...I was still struck by its potency. Afterwards i said to him how amazing it was, and would he email a copy so I could show people in the slam community at home, which he did. So hold onto your hats...I give you.... in the next comment box below:

    Why I want to fly the American Flag But can't.

    ( Sir d to be contd )

  2. Why I Want To Fly The U.S. Flag, But Can't

    I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't

    Because it stands for a place that enslaved my African-American brothers and sisters

    and has left them with a legacy of institutionalized racism thicker than jet fuel

    (which I feed every single day).

    Because it represents the cultural genocide and unwritten history of African-

    Americans longer than the missing blackbox tape of every plane that has ever crashed.

    Because it stands for a country whose African-American prison population is nearly the population of Kuwait and who has given them more protection than Rodney King.

    A government whose criminal "justice" system is responsible for more
    African-Americans having lost their right to vote than civilians who lost their lives at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined
    times three.

    Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because it stands for states that try kids as adults
    But deny them adult rights.

    Nonetheless, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because it stands for a place that is responsible for the deaths
    Of more of my Native American brothers and sisters than the
    Holocaust and the Genocide combined
    times six.

    Because it symbolizes a country that broke more treaties with them than
    Floors that fell in both World Trade Centers.

    A government that forced them off their lands
    Including the one upon which the Pentagon is built
    Into mobile concentrations camps called reservations.

    Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because it represents a country of institutionalized sexism
    That denies equal opportunity and power to the sex that gave life
    To every person who died on September 11 and their loved ones
    Including me and you.

    And not even the women under the Taliban can make me forget that
    U.S. women have less power than U.S. men.

    Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because of all my homosexual and bisexual brothers and sisters
    Who face institutionalized homophobia and
    Who probably never would have been allowed aboard the F-15 fighter planes
    Patrolling D.C. skies or onto the ships now in the Persian Gulf.

    Yet I still want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because it represents religious acceptance in a country that
    Officially celebrates only one religion.

    A land that needs a first lady, a shooting, or an election to put
    Education on the national agenda.

    I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because of all of my non-white, non-male, non-Christian, and non-heterosexual
    Brothers and sisters who are excluded from the "liberty and justice for all" part of the flag as the U.S. continues to celebrate a day each year in Columbus' honor.

    Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because of the institutionalized xenophobia and
    My Mexican brothers and sisters who have died since
    Clinton's Operation Gatekeeper Program
    Numbering more than double those who died on Flights 11, 77, 93, and 175.

    Still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because it represents a country that walked out of a
    World Conference on racism-

    A government that invests more in its financial stock
    Than in the human stock of my disenfranchised Palestinian
    Brothers and sisters.

    I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because it represents a government that
    Kills the same number of my
    Civilian Iraqi brothers and sisters
    Each month through sanctions as those who
    Died in New York on September 11,
    Starving its children for oil over a blood-stained tablecloth of

    Karma? Had it comin.'
    Self-damned by a dam of ignorance
    So thick it took
    3,000 + lives to dent it
    and maybe World War III to defend it-
    so now then,
    what do you call it when an assassin accuses an assassin?


  3. And such shock streaks the state when
    Bedouin blazes set in Kuwait
    Spread to NYC to DC to every town and city
    Climbing flagpoles faster than firemen-

    Good Morning, America!
    And you wake up
    And you realize
    And you realize
    And you realize
    That a Saudi person is no less than a
    U.S. person than an
    Iraqi person than an
    Afghani person than a
    Rwandan person than a
    Serbian person than
    Any person anywhere -
    That the human swallows the national cuz
    Distance is no longer
    Miles and borders but
    That now
    the political is personal.

    ask not what your country has
    but what you can do to
    Others . . .

    I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because it represents a government that will send its children over 3,000 miles away
    Only a week after over 3,000 of them have died.


  4. And though my sorrow could fuel a missile from here to Afghanistan
    I cannot fly the U.S. flag because it represents a
    Cowboy president who threatens to leave innocent, impoverished brothers and sisters
    "dead or alive" to get one man.

    But still, I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because of my Arab-American, Muslim-American, and Sikh-American
    brothers and sisters who are getting shot at, killed, and terrorized by U.S. patriots
    just like my Japanese-American and German-American brothers and sisters before them-

    Odd, no ever assaulted me for sharing the same religion and ethnicity as
    Timothy McVeigh. Funny how I wouldn't have felt safer then donning a turban and growing a beard so no one suspected me of blowing up another federal building like all White Trash do. Or maybe you'd feel safer putting me in an internment camp, or porting me back to Francoscottydeutschland or wherever the hell I came from-

    I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    When it's called the "American" flag
    Out of respect for my brothers and sisters in Canada, Mexico, and all over South America

    I want to fly the U.S. flag, but can't
    Because I won't wave a backstage pass when
    Half the world is on the streets.
    Because it's the U S flag
    And I hurt for those who died and their loved ones not because they're
    U.S. citizens, but because they're my
    HUMAN brothers and sisters.

    I want to fly my flag-
    I want to fly my flag dammit
    But I can't- I can't look into the stars, the eyes
    of screaming Vietnamese mothers and children
    fooor the laaaand oof the-
    screaming eyes of a Sikh-American shot dead in Arizona
    aaaand the hoooome ooof thhe-
    wide eyes of Arab-American Berkeley High students
    staying home from school for three days because of phone threats
    the eyes of Japanese-American elders seeing it all happen
    A GAIN-

    ( contd )

  5. I want to fly my flag
    But I can no longer pretend I've been dreaming with my eyes open-
    I want to fly my-
    But it doesn't represent the love and support I have for
    All beings
    And reminds me of how much I feed what I despise-
    Because it could stand for a place that is so much more than what it
    Is -
    Because it has the power to live up to what it
    Claims to represent,
    Not because it has to, but because it

    God bless America?
    God bless himself can no one else be blessed.

    I want to fly something-
    I want you to know how I feel just by looking at me
    But there is no flag for this
    I cannot raise it when it stands for a
    lady who has lowered her torch and
    Spread her legs for

    Yes, America is OPEN FOR BUSINESS -
    I cannot wave with pride a flag that represents a country where
    widespread compassion hits only when another
    earthquake does.

    I cannot fly it
    Because of the things this country has
    and is
    to its own people
    and other peoples
    Under this flag.
    Because it doesn't represent what it stands for,
    What I stand for
    And even when we, and I mean "we the world," most need to stand together
    I cannot fly it because I will never forget all that has been done in the name of
    This flag
    And I will
    perpetuate violence by
    playing the victim
    And re-dividing the w/ o/ r/ l/ d,
    because I can,
    And forgetting my part-
    Because it reminds me of everything I do to you everyday
    To separate us. and to dominate you.
    because I can.

    I want to fly my flag
    but can't
    cuz sometimes the mirror stares deeper than the t.v. glare
    without hearing that I'm either FOR the enemee or should
    salute the bloody reflection of my face wherever I go-
    cuz a well divided against itself cannot pump-
    cuz all flags lead to me- E Plunocal

    I want to fly it but I
    And though oil may drown these words today
    I will not let what the flag should stand for
    Ripple away unspoken on a half mast ~

    least we all own our hearts ~

    Sir D