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atomic lemon drops #7: a confusing two minutes and four seconds

02/24/13 , , , , , ,

i performed this latest atomic lemon drop today at a local black history month event.  read the poem a few times & check out the supplemental info that follows.  if you have any questions/comments/criticisms about the piece, share in the comment section & i’ll respond:

Joe Louis in the Ring

A Confusing Two Minutes and Four Seconds
(Dedicated to Joe Louis, 1938)

This time,
it’s more than
the colored boys
who wanna be me,
or the colorful girls
who wanna be with me.
It’s sixty thousand in
the house that Ruth built,
with millions more in
the house that God built,
all focused on the son
of a cotton picker.
Cause this time,
I fight for your democracy.
I fight for your rights.
I fight for your America.
So I take in your
hollow hugs,
Go get ‘em, Joes,
and just go to war.
When the bell sounds,
bombs start flying,
but they’re only my fists,
exploding with such fury
that a woman screams,
but it’s only a man,
a perfect man,
whose imperfections
are exposed by
right hooks and left jabs
in only two minutes and four seconds.
For some,
those two minutes
were only fifteen,
forgetting time as
they hopped back
over the colored fence.
For others,
those two minutes
were a lifetime,
forgetting race as
they hopped over
to common sense.

click here for video of me performing the poem.

bonus: below, you can watch the fight that inspired this poem, louis v. schmeling II.  also, make sure you check out wiki and npr for more background on this important moment in history:

“There are some events and some broadcasts, some sporting activities, that reach out to millions of people and touch them in a very deep way and express a lot of their deepest cultural, racial, political hopes and aspirations,” historian Lewis Erenberg says. “And this is one of those events.”

previously in atomic lemon drops: barbershop | grim reaper | dear leader | weekend in jamaica | rehearsal for “when doors slam shut” | a poem called lauryn

related: jackie robinson, in his own words | muhammad ali goes to mars: the lost interview

© Carlton Williams Jr. and atolemdro, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this poem without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carlton Williams Jr. and atolemdro with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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3 notes

  1. atomic lemon drops #8: package for my teacher | atolemdro reblogged this and added:

    […] in atomic lemon drops: a confusing two minutes and four seconds | barbershop | grim reaper | dear leader | weekend in jamaica | rehearsal for “when doors slam […]

  2. atomic lemon drops #9: blue roses pt. II | atolemdro reblogged this and added:

    […] in atomic lemon drops: package for my teacher | a confusing two minutes and four seconds | barbershop | grim reaper | dear leader | weekend in jamaica | rehearsal for “when […]

  3. the never-ending story | atolemdro reblogged this and added:

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