Ism Schism Game

With acknowledgments and respect to Bob Marley, whose words inspired this piece…

Dictionaries
tell you what authority demands
of words

defined
to do work
on behalf of Authority

Never do they mention 
when primary meaning is 
in dispute

or when primary meaning
is a cornerstone
of prison or when

that cornerstone
rests firmly on negated
backs and necks

If they do tell you a meaning
came from a definition
written repeatedly in blood

with pens
made from bones
plucked from slain infants

they wink it off with
a bandage label such as
“colloquial” or “obsolete” —

trying to chase
unquiet ghosts of struggle into 
forgotten fields of rubble

left over from 
construction of
their order

While they own these dictionaries right now
their dictionaries have no words
to sing of those 
who

having come up from under boulders
having come up free of rejections and crush
having come up from understanding

to overstanding
this ism schism game
sing new words 

of how stones refused
by builders become soon enough
cornerstones and

keystones of
aqueducts to carry fresh water
to those who still thirst

and of how they do so
by any definition
necessary

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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