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The Big House Revisited

by Tony Medina

14 E. 116th Street Apt. 2B
New York, N.Y. 10029
(212) 289-1863

bigger thomas
wasn't suppose
to make it
to the big house
sippin tea
with Miss Anne
& Sydney Poitier
& Botswana
but he did
& became
a modern day
Mandingo
w/ 3 legs
& small change
& big chains
clamped around
his neck
presupposing the noose
wrapped tight
around his nuts
w/ a media blitz
& crew cut fits
& tears imprisoned
in the slits
of his eyes
& funeral procession
rides with a barrel
to his head
going far
going far
in a car with no wheels
in a plane with no wings
towards a sky with no stars
but one big ass sun
melting his dreams away
on the front page
of a back alley rag
in stereo
with a light
in his face
and a mic
to record
the pace
of his heart
stuck high
in his throat
bigger thomas
wasn't suppose
to make it
to the big house
Not the bigger
from the hood
who was taught
in school
that he would
amount to nothing good
that black was bad
& white was good
the bigger paralyzed
by white supremacy
who smothered Mary Dalton
out of fear
demonized bigger
who was looked at
as ape as rapist
the bigger who bashed
black bessie's face in
with a brick
the bigger that was
trained to be sick
but the bigger
who was smaller
the bigger who was
a belly crawler
a coke bottled pubic haired shit grinnin shit talkin scab
leaving his sister in a welfare hotel
while he sits twiddling his thumbs
on supreme court benches
with the rest of the out house wenches & henches
& stenches reeking of hypocrisy & injustice
Nor the bigger
who once wrote of ambulances
not comin for niggers tonight
who couldn't play jazz
& became a critic
but was so short
he ended up being
a backward backbiting tic
in the flea collar
of right-wing neo-con twits
always bitter & always wrong
but still
writing notes
for votes
from the white litter rotty
volunteering to be a hanging judge
he hate black so much
he turnin white now
aint karma a bitch!
or the bigger who write for the Daily News
the one who stole Earl Caldwell's job
the one Baraka called a safe knee grow
the one that look & talk like Foghorn Leghorn,
          I SAY!     I SAY!
Not bigger twirling in the air
now swatting Haitian slave labor made balls
with bats after the media assassinated
him after the mob assassinated
him father framing a poor white boy
& bigger
or the bigger twirling on stage
marrying Elvis' daughter
after the press pressed him
into press conferences
to pay for pedophile
dis charges
but the bigger
in bars
where bookstores
& libraries should be
the bigger
behind bars
w/ James Brown
& Mike Tyson
or those babies
we read for in the Bronx
at Spofford
the over 60%
of biggers
who leave their mother's womb
& no sooner pass the corner curb
before getting carted away to jail
on the front page
of the six o'clock news
like yesterday's deposit bottles
cashed in for privatized prisons
& construction contracts
& a reserve army of slave labor
baited by imported crack
& junk & lifestyles
on the silver screen
on the boob tube
& the streets
they call their school
creating jobs
where they don't exist
selling for the man
executing his plan
to execute the poor
who want to obliterate
the memory of their poverty
& bleed workers of their hard work
and illusory sense of stability
to have them feel helpless & unsafe
in their neighborhoods or their homes
blaming youth bitterly criticizing youth
the working class
whose taxes pay
the salaries
of the police
who sweep
our broken youth
off the curb
from selling poor
people herb
where they'll have
a new job
w/ no pay & no benefits
to benefit
the State & capital
psyching out
our youth
to have them
think that
this is what
it takes
to be a man
Nah, bigger thomas
wasn't suppose
to make it
to the big house
w/ Rochester
& Man Tan
w/ Cleotis
& Sir Han Sir Han
workin for the man
to keep the hand
rockin the cradle,
Not bigger
runnin w/ a ball
through airports
or leaving his wife
to snort up white whores
at cocktail parties
w/ Richard Pryor & Jim Brown
back slappin barbies
givin other men head
in their wedding gowns
The bigger they want
gots to put his soul on ice
gots to crave lice
over wife
over life
a shrimp to eat
small fish to fry
that stinks on ice
whose life's a lie
the bigger they want
wants nothin to do
with the hood
the bigger they want
believes black is bad
& white is good
the bigger they want
act silly
& gives big neon plastic smiles
in the movies
on the TV
or at the M.L.A. conference
the bigger they want
gots to be a good
lay
on command
to be able to allow
for the man
to take his hands
off the strings
enough to dip
into his stash
bigger can't have chump change
bigger is chump change
bigger is chump
bigger don't want change
in Capitalist America
the bigger they want
be on Time magazine
with a penciled in
five day growth
straddled atop the Empire State Building
swatting helicopters like flies
never letting go
he white woman
bigger thomas
wasn't suppose
to make it
to the big house
sippin tea
with Miss Anne
& Sydney Poitier
& Botswana
Nah, bigger thomas
wasn't suppose
to make it
to the big house
bigger thomas
was born
there
& he will
die there
if he don't really mature
and change into the man
he's suppose to be
without strings
attached
bein everybody's
big tom

Oct. 10, 1994
Harlem, N.Y.

Copyright © 1994 Tony Medina

Reprinted in Freedom Rag


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