Dee Allen: Poetry to be Read and Heard

 

Dee Allen is a California performance poet who speaks out on a variety of social issues, from war and race relations to security and state control over citizens. He explores the role of individual and collective fear in separating people from one another and enabling the continuation of injustices and group prejudice. In Dee’s work, the mass media, intentionally or not, can help create a climate for violence against and negative treatment of certain minorities by presenting material in a context which is likely to leave people feeling powerless, afraid, and defined by limiting stereotypes. In contrast, his work explores how fear and isolation as social constructs can be seen as the true enemies, rather than members of any particular race, ethnicity, or minority or majority social group.

Dee may be reached at Pathogen@sanfranmail.com and lives in San Francisco. He enjoys speaking live and has performed at a variety of charity events, including a Food not Bombs benefit last March in the Mission District.

NON-ENEMY

___________

The man who prays to the East

Is not my enemy.

Neither is the person

Who wears a cloth upon

Their head or face out of tradition.

Neither are those who arrive here

From arid desert lands.

The family that attends

Mosques and worship Muhammhad & Allah are

No more a threat to me than

The middle-aged shopkeeper whose

First language is Farsi.

The Palestinians & Afghans do not terrorise

My neighbourhood and the

Lebanese do not make the streets on my block

Unsafe to walk through at night.

The Egyptians do not occupy my home or any

Amerikkkan’s homes with their

Presence, uniforms, weapons & neo-colonialist law.

Critical thinking is under attack at

Higher learning institutions besides mine and

It’s not the Syrians who are kicking out

Instructors one by one.

The Iraqi people

Aren’t deserving of my detestation & rage.

One Fallujah*

Is not enough.

All of the Middle East’s progeny did not

Make war with me or grab the land beneath my feet

Or called the petrol within it theirs.

The Middle Easterners & Muslims did not

Stage outright bombings, shootings and jailhouse

Torture on me in my town.

But that’s what

The United $tates have done to them.

Again & again.

The real Fascism is homegrown.

__________________________

W: 10.25.07

[In response to “Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week”.]

*A city in the Al-Anbar province of Iraq, where an anti-colonial rebellion took place against the U.$. military’s curfew over the area. On April 31, 2004, after U.$. troops opened fire on Iraqis at a closed-down school 3 days earlier[resulting in 17 dead and 70 wounded], Iraqi rebels fought back by attacking a convoy and dragging & burning 4 Amerikkkan military contractors from Blackwater.

2.

REDLINE

[ SONG-LYRICS ]

_______________

Red line

Separates you

Where you stand

From another race of man

Red line

Separates you

From what is vital

To your own survival

High-risk

Environment

Scorned by the rest of the world

Abandonment

Separation

From one another

No line should hold you back [ from what’s needed ]

Just step over

____________

W: 8.31.08

[Inspired by the music of Godflesh.]

 

 

 

AFTERTHOUGHTS

________________

1. Born: “in sin”

Bred: a Christian

1st time: was a child, had no choice

2nd time: forced into it

For dating a white grrrl

Behind the family’s backs

3rd time: forced into it

Find a church or else

Slavery—-Escape

Capture—Escape

Capture—Escape

Then discovered the damage

Too much blind faith caused for

Centuries—Knowledge broke the chains

Today, I am a free man

Religion & family pressure

Always work in such patterns

2. Generation X:

The Media created it

Therefore,

IT DOESN’T EXIST—–

____________________

W: 11.4.94

DOCTRINE

__________

From the oldest living generation

To the youngest

It is taught.

Passed down.

Like a hereditary disease.

Mind-killing

Heart-infecting pathogen

Which in turn

Infects sentences, whole conversations

So much it dominates voice & emotion.

If you’re not Christian,

You are the enemy.

If you’re not Black,

You are the enemy.

The door stays closed

If you have the wrong colour.

Anyone who doesn’t

Look like you shouldn’t be trusted.

Especially if they

Have blue eyes & fair skin.

The other name for “opponent”

Is White in most of my family.

Yesterday’s victims

Are today’s carriers

Of race hate.

Their doctrine, ethnic self-defence.

Like a hereditary disease

Passed down

It is taught

To the youngest

From the oldest living generation.

____________________________

W: 6.30.08

 

 

OUTLANDER

____________

A stranger in their own land.

Outlander in every town.

A prisoner in their own land.

This is their original home, throughout known history

But they’ve inherited dispossession, a present in misery—-

A stranger in their own land.

Lost all to a million thieving hands, as sure as strong wind wails

Outlanders often take up room—-inside settler’s jails—-

A prisoner in their own land.

False depictions bury true selves, no matter how massive

Forced to play the beaten role—-victimised & hapless—-

A stranger in their own land.

Left in squalour, isolated country hell

Is it any wonder why some would rise & rebel?—-

A prisoner in their own land.

Perennial struggle to maintain

In the face of a heartless colonial domain.

A stranger in their own land.

A prisoner in their own land.

_______________________

W: 8.17.08

[For Klee, Clay & Janeda Benally.]

[Inspired by the song “NDN Alien” by Blackfire.]

 

 

 

UNDER SUSPICION

_________________

Protectors of these fascist streets

Chose me as their scapegoat

Callous judgement out of panic

Three squadcars

circled around me

predators closing in on prey

Frisking down my trench

Frisking down my person

Prying into my totebag

& found

No weapons, no drugs,

No crowbar, no club

&

gave me an unwanted I.D. check,

a consciousness shakedown &

no apologies

whatsoever

Faith in the law obliterated

instantly, at least

since they arrived

Standing at the frontgates

of Sorry Sara’s

past 10am,

I may have been guilty alright.

Guilty of being an

innocent piece of darkmeat

looking forward to an

honest day’s toil.

_______________

W: 3.20.94

 

 

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