Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam

Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam


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Bum Rush the Page is a groundbreaking collection, capturing the best new work from the poets who have brought fresh energy, life, and relevance to American poetry.

“Here is a democratic orchestration of voices and visions, poets of all ages, ethnicities, and geographic locations coming together to create a dialogue and to jam–not slam. This is our mouth on paper, our hearts on our sleeves, our refusal to shut up and swallow our silence. These poems are tough, honest, astute, perceptive, lyrical, blunt, sad, funny, heartbreaking, and true. They shout, they curse, they whisper, and sing. But most of all, they tell it like it is.”
–Tony Medina, from the Introduction

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780609808405
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/23/2001
Series: Wheeler Large Print Book Ser.
Edition description: 1ST
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,201,099
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Tony Medina is a poet, professor, activist, and author of ten books, including DeShawn Days, Love to Langston, and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature & Art.

Louis Reyes Rivera is a professor of Pan African, Caribbean, Puerto Rican, and African American history and literature. A noted poet and essayist, he is the recipient of more than twenty citations, including a Special Congressional Recognition Award for his work as an activist poet. Def Poetry Jam is a multimedia poetry project featuring live showcases and jams across the country, a website, and other projects aimed at bringing poetry to new audiences.

Read an Excerpt

The Way We Move
the way we move, funk groove beat the rhythm out some pavement,
our elegant violent attitude, quick slow motion movement in quicksand in somebody else's shit house shanty town shingly jingly chains clamped on our neck,
hang to the floor scrape spark and clink and we make music out of this cool behind dark shades, taught to fear the sun, hiding in beauty parlors and bars draggy face with hatred and ugliness,
and it only comes when you don't accept the natural gifts, the fingerprints of a higher order of peace and simple logic, what makes us phenomenal is that we can sleep walk in harmony, never breaking a sweat 'cept in factories or bars, prisons we even build systems for, our own street logic and survival, but this is not where we're meant to be, not on the operating table of extinction or at the broken doorstep of finality stumbling drunk confused scagged out on whiteness and greed and stupidity into the bleeding face of our dead father, and we are not supposed to move this way, slow mumbling suicide in quicksand and defeat we must refocus, we must see again

Tony Medina (New York)

. . . And the Saga Continues
for Gary Graham

From Guinea to Haiti to Brooklyn
And back
From Guinea to Haiti to the Bronx
And back
From Brooklyn to the Bronx to LA
And back
From Philly to Haiti to the New Jersey Turnpike
And back
From village to hamlet to Borough
And back
From LA to Orange to Newark to Guinea
And back
From PR to the Bronx Brooklyn Queens Guinea
And back
From Soundview to no view of the anguish of . . .
Mother Mother why have you forsaken me

Bless me father for they are winning
And my mutter is crying
Bless me father for my mutter is crying
At the sight of my dying
Save me Lord from being vanquished
Save my mutter from this anguish

From Harlem to the Bronx to Brooklyn Queens Newark San Juan and the nation's highways I languish
In my blood and tears of my mother's anguish
And back

Call the name . . . Call the names I say you know them better than I

Shaka Sankofa Malcolm Ferguson Patrick Doresmond
Abner Louima Amadou Diallo Kevin Cedeno James Byrd
Matthew Sheppard Anthony Baez Michael Stewart
Earl Faison . . . etc. etc. etc.

And the list gets longer week by week
An African got lynched today
Juneteenth 2000

From Texas to Chicago to Watts to Newark
And back
From PR to Cuba to the Dominican Republic
And back

Africa calls from the bottom of the Atlantic
And back
From Ghanaian fields smooth black skin
Turns purplish under lash under water
And back

Can you hear them gurgle . . . Abnerrrrr
Can you hear them scream . . . Amadouuuuuuuu
Can you hear the windpipe snap . . . Antonyyyyyyyyap

Blessed be Blessed be Blessed be
Dear Lord have mercy Lord have mercy
Have mercy on me bless me father for I
have sinned . . .
with my mind I daily will demise of the western ways and all of its compatriots

Bless me father with a bottle of scupernog or
Wild Irish Rose to soften the blow of this monster's breath upon my neck
And back

in harlem in havana in charleston in Porto Prince the saga continues . . .
blood blood I say blood in the rectum bullets in the gut in the head the chest neck
And back

A rope a nightstick pepper spray
Or a lethal illegal injection from the State the state of tex ass where seldom is heard an encouraging word and the sky is cloudy all year how 'bout florida or new jersey or new york the city so nice they kill you twice

Next stop Ghana to the Congo to Zimbabwe
And back

Ted Wilson (Orange, NJ)

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