In light of Martin Luther King Day, the Spy offers “King Day 24”, a poem by award winning poet, author, and teacher Robert Earl Price. He asks, “100 years after Langston’s (Hughes) poem was published and I ask what has changed? After 37 holidays what has changed?”
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?”
—“Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes
Is this what Martin saw from the mountain top?
Is this the land promised?
What do you think MLK would say today
And what was up with James Earl Ray
Why did we let his birthday be
Repackaged as a deep fake dream?
On this nth reenactment of American Reconstruction 2.0
We know from his example
That we could do more to end this garish nightmare
Of bougie sleepwalkers smuggling forty million betrayals
under a papered over dream
decades of faux holidays
Each a collaboration of deceit
But no civil rights or jobs yet
Only newly legislated apartheid
While the Black Caucus standing on the sideline
Playing gatekeeper odds,
Cause all the serious troublemakers are dead
And nobody is elected without a nod from Oprah
All the rugged individuals slaughtered by the roadside
We are the children of an intra stellar microburst
Dimensional illusions dripping syrupy blues bars
Moaning at midnight fingering the artificial shaman
Practicing the cruelty of power
At the petty pace of privilege
The drones will not smell the empty mattresses
Or feel the floods of tears
Or see babies clogging swollen gutters
Or hear anguish splashing headstones of rumble
Covering collateral damage with amended trade agreements
Rebranded slavery disguised as prison industry
Delay justice until rain
Scrubs the chalk outlines away
Legal profit printed with bloody ink
Justifying Leonard Peltier and Guantanamo
Provide absolution for misguided intelligence
Contracts and plaques for drone makers
And medals for their armchair pilots
Demonize the fact checkers
roast them over burning dictionaries
Terrorize the protesters
Weaponize any noun until bullshit matters
Marginalize the work of journalists
Jamal Khashoggi was no mistake
He was free press dismemberment
To market a lie, create an alias
To create an alias market a lie
50 men wearing red clown noses
Bow to the pussy grabbers
And the wavers of false flags
Let AI sort it out