Friday, February 24, 2012

Othello Jones

He's all mouth and all braggart, but there's an interesting twist at the end.



“Othello Jones! Othello Jones, is that you?”
“It’s me and my twin brother.”
“Your twin brother?”
“Must be. You called my name twice.”
“You don’t have to be so rude. Especially the kid I taught eleventh grade English, and the kid I took to the clinic to clear up a bad case of clap.”
“I don’t hug men. It ain’t been no hundred years since I seen you last. And besides, I wuz born rude. My Mama said I gave my middle finger to the Doctor who slapped my ass to life.”
“You sure are full of yourself.”
“If I ain’t full of me, who’s goin’ to be?”
“But don’t you think humility has its place?”
“Yeah, under the bottom of my two hundred dollar alligator blue-skinned patent leather shoes!”
“Is you humble?”
“Well yes. I’m not boastful at all.”
“You just told a contradiction.”
“Life is full of . . .”
“If a bastard is humble on the outside of hisself, he raging with hatred on the inside of hisself.”
“Well, I don’t know.”
“Don’t you want to dig my grave and fill it full of me?”
“Wouldn’t you like to kill me, man?”
“Liar! You’re itching to end my existence on the planet.
“No. You’re my ex-pupil. Why would I want to kill you?”
“Yeah you would. I see it in your sideways glance at me. You don’t like my shoes, my gold watch, my four hundred dollar Brooks Brothers European cut blue silk suit that shimmers like the blue sea in front of your pale gray eyes, my white John Henry shirt with real pearl buttons, my Oscar de la Renta tie. And to top it all off you would severely despise my red Calvin Klein silk lowrise drawers if you could see them! And I know you hate this clean cut Mister Joe masterfully put on my head. It makes your own stuff look like a wet mop. You white, but you not nearly as pretty as I am.”

Othello Jones

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February is Black History Month...But all our history didn't happen in February

                                                A majority of Emmett Till's family members said Thursday that they object to plans by the Justice Department to exhume his body in order to find clues to solve his brutal murder 50 years ago. . . . Till was 14-years-old when he left his home on Chicago's South Side to visit relatives in Mississippi on Aug. 21, 1955. His mother advised him about how to behave when interacting with white people because race relations there were a lot different than in Chicago. On August 24, Till and his cousin, Curtis Jones, went into the small town of Money, and stopped at Bryant's Grocery store to buy some candy. Some local boys dared Till to speak to Carolyn Bryant, the white store clerk. He allegedly whistled at the woman when he left the store. Four days later, Till's body was discovered in the Tallahatchie River, weighted down by a cotton gin fan tied around Till's neck with barbed wire. Two men, storeowner Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J. W. Milam, were charged and acquitted of the murder. They bragged about the crime three months later in a Look magazine article.
-- Karen E. Pride, Chicago Defender May 6, 2005

 The Fan

What y’all aim to find by
digging up his old bones?
Old old bones, old and innocent bones
Why y’all want to disturb him?
He ain’t with his bones.
He down here in the muck with me
and ain’t nobody trying to dig my rusty ass up.
His Mama, bless her heart, she got the bones
and that head that looked like a bad cabbage.
Thousands seen it in Chicago. Millions through Jet.
Where was my picture? I suffered.
I used to gleam prissy and howl
now mud bugs nest in my teeth.

I kept the good stuff off that boy—his spirit, his soul, his spleen
caressed it out of his naked body
The real Emmett sometimes he runs up the road to Money
gooses that white gal between her legs—boy still gots
that spunk in him.
Then he runs back to me for shelter.
Carolyn wakes up, rubs her thigh
goes back to sleep.  1955 was a long time ago
She wants to rest. I want to rest, and even Emmett.
You got the pictures.  You won’t forget
Every now and agin some black boy still gets
drugged behind a car, still gets strung up in a tree
or the roof rafters of a county jail
They still make fans like me
heavy enough to drown boyish devilment.