poetry critical

online poetry workshop

mourning michael jackson

two city mowers
dark as wet tar
sat idle on their machines
smoking and drinking pop
as i rode by
on my bicycle.
the older one
with a white goatee
motioned me over.
they wanted
the caucasian perspective:
who broke down
more racial barriers,
michael jackson
or michael jordan?
told him
far as i was concerned
they were both
diversionary tactics.
how i'd trade them
and three-fourths of the population at large
to bring back
malcom x.
malcom who?
i heard the younger one ask
as i pedaled away.

2 Jul 09

Rated 8.3 (7.9) by 3 users.
Active (3): 5, 10
Inactive (16): 1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)

(1 user considers this poem a favorite)

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Sad that they don't even know who Malcolm X was.  Very good poem surrounding "culture" as it is and how sometimes "forgotten" its important societal figures still are.  Martin Luther WHO?  LOL!
 — starr

This is so good I'm lost for words! I need t5o gather myself and come back to this. Man! you hit the nail on the head!  i wish I could give this an 11.
 — PaulS

 — unknown

writeous writing
 — AlchemiA

Unknown: this is an excelent poem--an idictment on the frivolous mindset of society.  thank you for this , poet.
 — PaulS


of course

 — unknown

i dont buy it, but have a 10 anyway
 — syrossoul

 — unknown

Malcolm was divisive.  Martin Luther was into solidarity. why malcolm?  It's MalcoLm btw.  typo.  If you like malcolm, look into Farrakhan.  He's pretty similar.

 — unknown

yeh i dont buy this either
 — unknown

I'm not a fan of this. Aside from the fact that I doubt the writer was quick enough to say this, if it actually happened.

But a poem about breaking racial barriers....and you make the white speaker come across as more intellegent and aware of the black race then the two blacks he talks to?
 — unknown

I think that was the idea.
 — unknown

The idea was to break racial barriers by making other races seem stupid?  Hmmm... Fascinating
 — unknown

icho tha pbipdinpt?




 — unknown

^ Astute... pfft.
 — unknown

I find the ending interesting especially as you are a white person wishing for Malcolm X to come back.  If you've ever seen a video of his life, he didn't want help or sympathy from whites at all, he felt that whites trying to join the black groups were still trying to put the black man into the subordinate position.

This is a good write that seems to show, intentional or not, that the violent black power movement of the 60's is not a force today, as shown by the young man who has never heard of MX.  It's a very forthright poem, ever word accounted for, which is what I wish for when I come to PC.  Good job.
 — Isabelle5

Brill social commentary with a much necessary sardonic tone
 — unknown

What a sound piece of writing. A poem that will stay in my mind.
 — opal

Racial Barriers are imaginary like santa claus and the easter bunny. So the act of breaking them down is in of itself a lie.

But if your dumb enough to see anything other than a human maybe an imaginary wall is what you need.

As for the poem the content is just kind of odd. Who thinks Michael Jordan had anything to do with racisim or the decline there of? He played basketball. Sure he does otherstuff but most people just know the basketball portion. That makes no sense.

And if the 10 days of news coverage has taught us nothing it's that the color of someone elses skin never crossed Mr. Jackson 's mind.

To me this sounds like your white and you think black people will like you if you know who Malcom X was. But if we take an educated look at his life you would see that while he had an outstanding message and mobilized many people, his militant ways scared white racist's and made them feel like they had been attacked thus meaning they should do something about it, thus taking as many steps backward as he did forward.

Try writing about something real, and you get real poetry.
 — frogilicus

@frogilius - you don't anything at all about malcolm x - so pretend to.
 — unknown

Still lovin' this.  My answer to the question in strophe #4 would be Michael Jackson hands down.  Do u re-mem-BAH...???  Love datt song!  Peaceout.  :-)
 — starr

Hah, good one.
 — ghost

I think mine is better about Michael Jackson than yours, sorry to say, Hulda
 — Hulda

N is too condescending to answer a simple question. Two men, having a well-intentioned conversation on what they maybe think is an important topic, unwittingly invite a smart-ass white boy to tell them how ignorant they are. Nice. I can’t get past how self-aggrandizing this seems to enjoy the writing.

But if the author’s intent was to use ironic parody--like Randy Newman lyrics--mission accomplished.

I will remember this--the mark of an effective poem.
 — A

I know my English is terrible and i do a lot of spelling mistakes but your poem is boring, boring,What i wrote about Michael Jackson is far more interesting than this, hulda
 — Hulda

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