Why is it
that a white middle class kid
with loving family and friends
public funded education and medication
living in Canada, with no reason to complain
will try to kill himself?
Why do I write poetry?
See there was a time in my life
I felt no one would listen to me
and what I had to say begged the question
why should I live anyway?
What is the value of a living wage
when my T.V. tells me that statistically
children starve to death
every five seconds of every day
because we would rather drink coffee
than feed them
I eat foreign fruit flown across the ocean
and flush my toilet with filtered water
While a boy
who is just like me
on the same planet somewhere I can’t see
of hunger and dehydration
so what is my life worth?
Is it worth more than that starving child’s?
I’ve never known poverty
I might have all the answers
but I’m no Gandhi, I’m no master
I’m just a kid
but I can see!
I live a very privileged middle class life
that I don’t deserve
when minimum hourly wage is eight
and a starving child’s life is two a day
I would rather be a starving artist
than a fat hypocrite
I would rather die
than live a lie
My privilege was built on the backs of slaves
My comfortable middle class life is the product of genocide so
WHY should I LIVE?
My death would speak volumes
My bloodied limp body hanging from a sewer pipe
would have deserved front page headlines:
WHITE MIDDLE CLASS MALE
NO REASON TO COMPLAIN
And the whole world would echo my voice:
we can do better!
But that is not
how my voice will be remembered
For I have seen my mothers face as she held my bloodied wrists
and my father’s as I confessed I no longer wanted to live
I’ve looked death in the eye, smiling
but chose not to give in
because I still have breath
and as long as I’m alive I have the power of inspiration
united a nation
JFK took a bullet to the head
because he said to his whole country:
“We are opposed around the world
by a ruthless conspiracy
that relies on intimidation
instead of free choice.
Its mistakes are buried, not headlined.
Its dissenters are silenced, not praised.”
but even death couldn’t silence JFK!
The words of Christ, Malcolm X, John Lennon
and Dr. King resonate to this day
So I keep breathing
reaching towards freedom
the way a flower unfolds and reaches towards the sun
You could kill me
but the sun will keep shining
freedom keeps inspiring rhyme in revolutionaries
you couldn’t silence me with an assassination
without immortalizing a life
LIVED LOUDER THAN SUICIDE!
because like John Kennedy I believe
humanity was born to be independent and free
and my eulogy will be heard
anytime anybody recites revolution poetry
So my friends, keep breathing
live life louder than suicide
louder than all the dying screams
of the starving children
whose lives are worth our daily coffee
louder than the deafening silence
of a revolutionary gunned to death in the street
and don’t be afraid of your final exhalation
because there is dignity in death
when your final breath
is an inspiration