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Amílcar Cabral

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”

—P. J. O’Rourke

“Councilmember XYZ, you said
you’d support my measure…”

I lied.
I keep my eyes on the prize—
and during this most trying time
I can’t be seen as soft on crime…

I’m throwing my hat in the ring
for a run for the mayor—Because
really, it’s from there… I can have a
Bully pulpit—A really good fit—
And get out from under the gun—And
really get some things done—Making
meaningful, impactful policy that will
Help our people—All People!

And I’ll be in a position to help
even more of our people—All People—
as governor… Ain’t gon’ be no more
Gerrymandering with me in the
statehouse! And when I run for the
Senate I’ll be in a position to help
still more of our people—All People!
Filibuster’s days are numbered with
me—One of 100!
But, I’ll tell you right now that I can’t
be seen as soft on sanctions; weak with
support for our fighting men and women
Around the world…

Whoa, now, what’s with that sigh?
Where’s the nuance? Your silly lil
communist sigh tells me that you
don’t understand politics as the art of
Compromise—“tell no lies—claim no easy victories…”
I’m about change you can believe in—not some damn
sweet potato pie up in the sky…

Raymond Nat Turner is Black Agenda Report’s poet in residence and a performing artist.
2022, Volume 73, Issue 10 (March 2022)
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