Thursday, September 10, 2009

homer plessy: man/event (5)

homer plessy: man/

homer plessy:
man/event, centercore & connection;
throughput for more legal white racism &
retrograde justice.

homer plessy:
a lens through which an entire
american past focused in an experience
of intense & frightening awareness;

june 7, 1892:
an expectant afternoon bore witness to
a creolization of consciousness;
a syncretism of subjugate fear &
bleak despair with defiance & rebellious resolve!

june 7, 1892:
a creole man & member of comité des citoyens,
stepped into the white only car of the covington-
bound east louisiana railroad train &
took his seat.

how like spirit is freedom:

for the slave...

whose freedom lies in the latent content of
dreams; whose reality is mind conditioned to
reject the personal/universal innerspeak of

for the freedman...

whose freedom is like the scent of flowers;
the substance of the wind eluding his propitia-
tory grasp & the poignant verisimilitude of
certain death.

for the oppressor...

whose freedom lies in interfering without inter-
ference; in controlling without being controlled;
in thinking, judging, believing, acting & sexing
while legally suppressing the same.

how long did homer relish his freedom?
before reaping the whirlwind? before the conductor
tried to banish him to the colored car? before taken
into vertiginous custody & held in an existential cell
in a station on boulevarde elysian fields.

how long? not long!
about as long as a flame survives the gale; about as
long as a drunk honors his pledge & abstains from
demon rum; about as fast as racist justice could
railroad his case to the supreme court.

how long? not long?
about as long as it took the court’s 8-1 majority to
decide; about as long as it took to hamstring amend-
ments 13 & 14; about as fast as iron-footed morning
stomps on a black man’s freedom dreams.

homer plessy:
man/event, centercore & connection;
throughput for present-centered black
awareness; seed of civil disobedience!

©Joseph McNair;2009

1 comment:

  1. This man's grandfather was a frenchman who had to flee Haiti during Toussant's revolution