Poetry Freestyle to a Presidential Speech, Platonic Theory and Voices Screaming: No More Youth Jails by Malikah J. Kelly

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Malikah Kelly, Youth Organizer with the Juvenile Justice Project and student at Washington Irving High School, performs her poetry at a youth cultural event organized by the Justice 4 Youth Coalition.


Steel made urban battlefields
part trees that call the prisoners name
this new culture is the new genocide
when asked why I cannot find my people
without finding them being led by such demons as
Fear and Oppression
I say it is that too many
metaphors have become reality
and the loss of these illusions only drives us
like exiles
into steel made urban battlefields
surrounded by trees that call
the silence of liberation voices
make the jagged edges of untold stories
the jagged edges of conditioned lies
to pierce conditioned minds
make the shadows of allegory evolve
into forms of beauty
when asked why I am a poet
I say it is that too many
metaphors have become reality
too many of us are seeking solace in sparkling powders and
burning liquids
and concrete anterooms to prison
which only become these steel made urban battlefields
I long for freedom in
the sense that it is not just philosophy but religion
while I long for religion that does not kill
in god’s name
while I long for a god who will
strike fire to those that would have us forget
and by my soul I will always remember
and by my blood I will always be
like those who fight such demons as Fear and Oppression
even in their deaths cutting the throats of conditioners with the jagged edges of their own lies
would that my words pierce conditioned minds
stop this new genocide
and bring down these steel made urban fields
so that one day
my people will find our people