This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"For My Melanin...And Michael Jackson's Too" by Jessica Guadarrama

Jessica Guadarrama performed this last night at the Sedona Poetry Slam at Studio Live.

Jessica Guadarrama is a bilingual Mexican American. She started writing in eighth grade but it wasn't until ninth grade that she discovered slam poetry when NORAZ Poets did a slam in the Sedona Red Rock High School's auditorium.
Her soul has been captured since then and she asks anyone that knows of its whereabouts to please come and let her know.

For My Melanin ... And Michael Jackson's, Too
By Jessica Guadarrama

They assumed you were ashamed of your dark skin,
enough to want to become a white man
But I’ve known better, Michael
I know the true story behind your white glove,
although America still hasn’t figured it out
Every Halloween, people continue to retrieve their own white gloves
from the depths of their drawers for one night
to mimic what they still think
was just another one of your successful fashion statements
Kind of ironic that they mimic what they criticized you for
They don’t realize that glove was a sanctuary for your skin,
a five fingered temple where you could refuge the choices
made by your own genetic makeup,
choices completely out of your control
But I’ve known better, Michael
there was a time in high school when I tried the same thing
For a few weeks during my sophomore year I wore black gloves
but that brought more attention to my hands than anticipated
and one teacher even asked me once
“What are you, Michael Jackson?”
I wanted to say “No I’m not
but I feel how he must’ve felt
when people like you asked him stupid questions”
I didn’t feel beautiful that day, Michael
and I still don’t
It doesn’t help when people bring it to my attention
that I have what they think is chocolate around my mouth,
or mud smeared on my face,
or red dirt smeared on my face,
or when they think I was in some kind of tragic accident
that involved acid burning my face
These are all true statements
Michael, I wonder how many corporate fucks
were behind your ultimate decision to opt for de-pigmentation
because it would be better for your career,
even if what they really meant was
it would be better for their careers
When you became completely white
and looked back at little kid pictures of yourself,
did you feel like you lost a child more so than having lost your childhood?
I understand that feeling Michael
I have all these pictures of a brown little girl
that I don’t recognize as myself
But I’m trying to stay positive, Michael
Just like your music broke racial barriers,
sometimes I like to think my skin breaks racial barriers too
I am both Mexican and American
You were both Black and White
Our skin colors combined are the epitome of racial unity
You used to say “It don’t matter if you’re black or white”
Now I’m saying “It don’t matter if you’re black or white
or a multiple of colors at one time”
They say your music broke racial barriers
but some of the people that said that
can’t seem to get over how you were naturally born a black baby
and decided to die a white man
But I’ve known better, Michael
I have felt your pain and you were beautiful to me
I’ve known better
Just look at my face
The brown parts make me look
like a Rorschach inkblot test
and I’m no psychologist
but please tell me,
what do you see when you look at me?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for you. But the poem is a little obsene and kind of lame.