I Use To Fall Down: 50 + 25 + 25 Selected Poems: 50 + 25 + 25 Selected Poems
This edition of I Use to Fall Down: 50 + 25 + 25 Selected Poems contains all of the fifty (50) original poems that first appeared in the original chap book of the same name plus twenty-five (25) pieces that first appeared in Letters to Osama: Old and New Musings on Foreign and Domestic Terrorism...And Other Matters with an additional twenty-five new poems. The original chap book was a labor of love, having comprised many of the pieces which appeared in the book during the Amadou Diallo trial of four New York City police officers charged with this young unarmed African male’s murder. The murder was senseless, but the trial was a travesty of justice, a mockery of both the justice system in America (and specifically how it relates to people of color) and Black people in general (and very specifically to black men in particular). The trial was to put Amadou (ergo black people/black men) on trial and to make whites see that black people are just guilty, guilty of being the wrong color. So, I had written one, and sometimes more than one, poem per day during the duration of the trial, which began at the end of January and primarily took place during February. What is sort of ironic, and lends credence to my position about racism in this country, is that Amadou was shot and killed in the month of February, which is Black History Month, and his trial was conducted and ended in the month of February, again, Black History Month. Amadou was found guilty and his murderers went free, innocent of all charges. Tragic, but this oftentimes is justice for blacks in America. In addition to writing all those poems during Black History Month, about the trial (and I had been working nearly two doors down from the very courthouse at the time), I hit on the idea of putting a few of the trial poems and others that I had written into a chap book that I would sell locally, but the chap book would primarily be for me, something to have in my personal library, a monument to Amadou (and others), a testament for Black America. I worked on a computer at the local public library, drafting each page and getting my printouts from the reference desk librarians. After doing all that work, the manuscript was ready to be printed into book format by a local Kinkos. Amazingly, once I actually had a few books in my hand, one of the very librarians who had been working at the times I was in and had helped with getting my printed pages for me, offered to buy a few copies of this very chapbook, putting one in the local archives and about three in general circulation. The library even hosted a reading for me. I am very proud of the chap book (and I had done about three others prior to this one), which has gone through several versions of both the cover and the very style of the book, and this is why I’m making it available again for readers. A few of the poems would later in appear in Letters to Osama..., my first major publication of my work, which I am also very proud of. This new version of I Use to Fall Down now has a new and exciting cover design, twenty-five poems from Letters to Osama..., and some new poems about everything from deaths of celebrities to politics and wars. There is humor, sadness, “revenge-writing,” and plain anger at people, places, and things. Being misanthropic is just not easy. I hope that readers will both come away from my work having learned something and enjoyed the way I attempted to present the message.
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abused ain’t Alexander Foster poem Amadou Amadou Diallo Arab Black History Month blah bombs Bryant Gumbel can’t child clown Colin Powell colored Cuba Cuban damn dead death destroy destruction Elian evil eyes face father Fidel Castro fight dem fighting flesh foster homes four black women girl gonna Grady run hands hate high yellow How’s your invasion hurt invasion going Iraq Jamie Foxx Jesse Jackson Jesus jews jury kill knew laugh listen lives look lousy supervisor Lynne Mabel Malice Green mama mother mourning song name his name nation never nuclear Papa Fidel peaceful police President racism rastafarians remember Rodney rooms say’s screaming Shirley Chisholm shit shooting sing sitting skin someone strangers talk tell there’s things told took trial violence voodoo dance vote walk weapons woman writing wrong Yassar Arafat yeah you’re