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A poem by Merwin Brown

If I were a woman, we wouldn’t be where we are now.
I wouldn’t be standing before you barely keeping my footing.
The foundation underneath me trembling at the admission that

clawed it’s way out of my throat.
If I were a woman this wouldn’t matter.
It would just be matter of fact

Because if I were a woman, my love wouldn’t have a label.
It would be as interchangeable as a pair of socks.
But, because I am a man, my sexuality is branded onto my persona.

My own personal scarlet letter of shame.

The point of no return.

If I were a woman, this would be your dream come true.
The thought of two women embracing sensually for whatever reason
is enough to cause the course of conversation

to flow to a different ocean.

If I said I wanted you, as I just painstakingly did,
you would want to join in right?

It’s every man’s fantasy to see a woman’s sexuality open

and close like a venus fly trap.

Men are willing victims to a woman’s path to sexual identity.

Yet, here I am.

A man in love who’s declaration had it’s wings clipped by denial,

misunderstanding, and double standards.

If I were a phoenix, this fire of unrequited love would only serve to

consume me and foster my beautiful rebirth

But I am not

And, for this reason alone, closets become coffins for black gay men.

Merwin Brown

This piece can be found in the Genre: Urban Arts Second Edition

If you would like to read this publication in print, you can purchase it along with other GUA publications, or subscription in the GUA shop

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Willie Lynch

A poem by Jon Richards

Living in this big old house larger than ever.
Bought some slaves at the auction. Work hard? They better.

Cuz I got this lever: Willie’s bull whip.
I’ll tie him to the tree. I’ll beat that nigga.
Best call me Masa. Best call me sir.
I shipped y’all from Africa.
Use the Bible as part of my plan
and teach them that they’re the Son of Ham.
Ham had a son who was forced to be a slave.
and work for his brothers for the rest of his days.
You my slave you don’t like it?
A white man’s heaven is a black man’s Hell.
I’ll brainwash them well
by changing the scripture.

Send them to church and have them praise my picture.
Cuz I’m a put up a picture of myself as the savior.
So looking up to me is just a part of the nature.

take away their history.
take away their past.
take away their culture.
read a book in class made so much sense
called “Making of a slave” by Willie Lynch.
But will I lynch? You damn right, sonny.
I’ll even kill children in front of their mommy.
Cuz I’ll make the mother want her to protect her seed.
Remind her strange fruit don’t fall far from the tree.
In that fear will live future generations.

Slave mentality will soon become a part of their personality.
so they’ll keep suppressing each other till I’m gone.
and I’ll carry on till the end of days

so I can sit back and watch slaves make slaves, make slaves,

Jon Richards

Published in Genre: Urban Arts Second Edition

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For Colored Men Only, Maybe


You forced your roots into holy land
Previously named, now stolen land
Watered by the blood of flogged backs
Of royalty now clothed in potato sacks
Blood sticky in rebellion wanted to rebuff
The pull from the deprived soil sho’nuff
The exchange of wet to dry, impossible to resist
So the stolen land gave the stolen blood a kiss

Continue reading For Colored Men Only, Maybe

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My Body, A Perfect Testimony

Sagging thighs, vein filled calves and wilted tattoos, that’s what I see.  And yet, I’m still captivated by you.

Scars of life, stare back at me, and in hindsight, speaks to the pain and pleasure we’ve shared.   And now, as breath is far and few in between, I close my eyes and reflect on the memories, we’ve shared.

THE MEMORIES… Continue reading My Body, A Perfect Testimony

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I Tried to Write it Away: A Review of Solange Knowles’ A Seat at the Table

By Nakeysha Roberts Washington                        

Editors: Jerod Duris & Shondee Haralson

New music that is as classic and as uplifting as Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is hard to come by. Note that I am not making the comparison between styles of Solange and Ms. Hill, but I am standing ten toes down that I will play A Seat at the Table in constant rotation evermore as I do Tupac, the Fugees and everything Lauryn Hill ever touched. Thanks to Twitter, I have more of an understanding to the woke force Solange actually is, but never did I ever believe I would be making such statements as the aforementioned.

Continue reading I Tried to Write it Away: A Review of Solange Knowles’ A Seat at the Table