Poems by Reuben Jackson

Photo by PoPville Flickr user Crosb

I’ve been thinking a lot about these poems. If Reuben does decide to move from this city it is going to be a huge loss for us. We need more thoughtful poets in this town.

Reuben explains his writing:

“I am not sure I would call these “haiku”. In fact, I would not. They are 17 syllable “poems” looking at a side of this city (Washington, DC) which increasingly nags at me (to say the least). I am trying to do something with the very “Southern” aspects of life here-aspects which so-called home rule (etc.) has not changed. Finally, they are the -ahem-ahem- “musings” of a middle aged black man trying to come to grips with the tension, changes, what have you in what my Mom accurately dubbed a “big-small Southern town”.


Spanish music plays
in buildings where James Brown ruled
Throbbing stereos.


Followed in bookstores
Mocked by gangsta wannabees
Where do I fit in?


Why would you leave here?
A childhood friend inquired
Through a toothless smile.


Men I’ve known since birth
Baby sit ragged corners
Under served by life.


Girl with Whole Foods bag
Receives suspicious glances
“She must think she white.!”


Disdainful glances
Hurled at a new white neighbor.
Soon there will be more.


Parents left me here.
Is it too late to get out?
Dream on the down-low.


Politicians flock
Like self important peacocks.
Shopping mall- at last!


Take a crosstown bus
If you dream of salad bars
And sit-down cafes.

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