Aug 24, 2014

Ferguson, From Berlin

It is not enough

To unfollow these sorry fools on Facebook.

When my time line

Devolves into bullshit and victim blaming,

A wasteful circle of whose grammar

Is incorrect

As if knowing the difference

Between their and there

Will bring somebody

No one in this thread knows personally

Back from the grave.

As if changing the point from

Someone’s murder

To your personal feelings

A whole coastline away

Is going to save anyone this time.


I am sitting in a room in Berlin,

Scrolling through facebook.

Outside the streets are busy,

The market smelling of Turkish delight

And curry wurst.

Not so long ago

These streets looked like Ferguson.

looked like Gaza.

looked like something someone shared

On my facebook wall this morning.


And we have started to block,

To unfollow

To click “hide”

To hide from the fact that just because

It isn’t happening here,

Doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.


It is easy to look around this

Gentrified neighborhood

At its graffiti art and high rise apartments

And forget that it was almost

Wiped clean from the face of the Earth.


My facebook wall

And the Berlin one

Are covered in chicken scratch,

In ugly and insulting,

But also in art-

In color and expression.

I just want the paint on these walls

To be loud enough.

Because I keep hearing the shit

And the trash and the ugly people

Who keep talking

Because they like to read their words splashed

Across walls

That ought to be torn down.

Walls that tell us that people

On the other side are different.

That struggling is controllable,

That silence is effective

That it’s all in our heads.


I am writing in Berlin

Where Hitler tried to murder

Every single unarmed Jew.

And history is shouting at me from every

Street corner and parking lot

While BBC news shows footage

From Ferguson.

Of another unarmed black boy

Being shot on his way home.


And I wake up thinking about it

Scrolling through pictures of dogs

And engagement rings

On my iphone

Until jarring images of tear gas

And rubber bullets

Come Technicolor through my screen.


I am hurt

And I am angry

And I am tired of people being told

Not to be hurt and angry

Because there are still thousands of humans

That no one got to say goodbye to.

The difference is that our gas chambers

Are livestreamed on youtube.