Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day 27 - Crown Prince of the Stoop

Crown Prince of the Stoop

I am from concrete and asphalt
Twisted metal vines and closed doors with keyholes
A brownstone with address etched in memory
Of cookouts and clarity of purpose lost to history

I am from wood-paneling and artistry
The Zen of autumn leaves and spring breeze
I am from structure and superstructure
I am the discipline in its absence

I am from invisible blood-soaked tenements
Where we feared both the criminal and the lawman
Where my little bro learned to draw homes
With iron bars over the windows

I am from a sociology experiment gone awry
Stacked atop one another like animals
Sprinkle a few magic rocks through the hood
And laugh as it burns itself to the ground

I'm from a woman who was raised in the slums
Who raised me and my little bro in the slums
But she was not of the slums
Her heart was molded from foreign rare gems
Forged in the heart of stars billions of years ago
She carried herself with a galactic grace
And demanded the same from her princely sons
She is from where potential becomes kinetic
She is from where daydreams dare to scream
"Why not me? Why the fuck not, us?"                       

I'm from a man forged in iron-rich Mississippi mud
A man who I ain't never seen lose a fight
A man who endured painful burdens with a smirk
With a backbone fortified with calcified pride
Never bent, always elongated, stretching to the heavens
Filling my head with starships, multiple realities
Alternate possibilities of existence, taking the lead
Defending myself, little brother, family, and country
With a quiet swagger and my own smirk, slurring
“Why not me? Why the fuck not, us?”

I am from a place of problematic punchlines
Where opportunity is denied, violence decried
Knowing we can never commit to peace eternal
Where working men are gunned-down
And vilified for living

But I am from a place of princes and kings
Scowling unapologetically at social constructs
Dancing to the beat of our own choosing, because
Why the fuck not us?


Written for dVerse poetsPoetics – Where are You From? prompt. Yes, I know I missed a day. Yesterday was quite challenging and emotional, and I just didn't have it in me. I'll try to make it up in the next few days.


  1. This is, hands down, my favorite thus far. Well done my prince.

  2. Truly i think.. regardless of the sociology
    experiments in life that do come..
    that strong father and
    loving mother
    who do
    is alive.. still
    in the dreams of the child..:)

  3. The Prince of Princes was homeless,born in a freezing cold stable shed and had brown skin...so you have the right credentials for being a true Prince.
    Interior wealth rather than materialism is the crown.The inherited strength
    from your parents is your Excalibur. Courage mon ami !

  4. Wonderful Barry.. to fight against all those odds.. what a wonderful tribute to your parents forming you like this.. and yes "why the fuck not us?" really a poem touching my heart..

  5. Barry, I would say this is one of the most hard-hitting poems I have read for this Poetics prompt. Bravo. Just bravo! For your raw honesty and heart-felt writing. To speak about individual lines would not do your poem justice. Really, my hat is off to you for writing this poem! And....I am handing YOU the crown!

  6. Great poem, Barry. I love the honesty, vividness and dignity of your words. I particularly like the lines about your mother. I agree with Mary that yours is probably the best and most striking among the very good poems this prompt inspired.

  7. Oh my. I don't have the words for how perfect this is.