"What Pace" and "Why Bald Eagles Won't Recross the Road"

What Pace

What pace should Black Men
Walk to appear non threatening 
Should we dawdle
Should we amble about casually Prancing around 
The Promenades 
Of the prejudice pretending
We aren't perceived 
As prey ready
To be picked off
By Police
Or People of a 
Perverse Nature?
Given the present
Position of Florida Court's
Precedents have been made
For Peckerwoods
To shoot Niggas in the hood
Without facing prosecution
The perception that we are
Permitted to enter into
The populous is paradoxical 
That is to say only possible
So as long as our persons
Don't come too close
In their proximity 
Parameters set by pale faces
Allow proxy use of pistols
Against pronounced pigment
Pigs lament and hide evidence
In pigpens, I mean precincts   
One would think
Black Men needing to parade
Is paranormal, 
But it's prescient 
The idea that our poise
would propel Pilgrims
To Prey on the innocent is
Part of their missionary duty
I Guess some false gods
Still require their parishioners 
To practice the sacrificial offerings 
Of young black boys, 
their Propensity
To Praise their Lord  
Is pernicious!
Should we move expeditiously  
Could we stroll,
Or strut suited up
Awaiting to be stopped & frisked


Should we walk on 
Wandering aimlessly
Wondering if white folks
Is aiming at me
Maybe we should move
As if on thin ice
Treading on that
Slippery Slope
Making sure we don't 
Break Stride
Should we order our steps
As if in ballet 
Barely walking at all
Tip-toeing through
American Streets
Hoping not to stumble
Upon the Creep 
On the sneak
Trying to seek
To fulfill some 
Redneck Rites
Of Passage
Some burning desire
To grab ya Gun
Find Any Nigger 
And Open Fire!
What pace should black men walk
At a snail's pace,
On all fours,
Dragging our person
Capitulating to a foreign
​Spirit as if possessed 
By James Bird
Should we canter to
Crackers step off 
The sidewalk in
Oncoming traffic
When they passing
For fear that they packing
Emasculation Proclamation
Juror Deliberation 
Acquittal of Black Annihilation
The verdict at best
Is that Black Men can only
Walk in the Valley
Of the shadow of death



Why Bald Eagles Won't Recross the Road

You’re Bald Eagles
Need toupees 
We see gall 
Land ashore miles away
Its white right wing 
Is broken
It does not conceal
Its talons
As intended 
Its constitution in 
Need of amendment
Attention All 
Unclean and hateful birds
Every foul spirit 
You will no longer prey
On the defenseless


Your nest eggs have been
Scrambled, Benedict 
And Poached
Ya progeny will no longer
Propagate its predatorial
Perch atop Purple Mountains
Majesty, pupils piercing  
Through The Clouds 
Plotting Planning Positioning
Their persons for the plunge
Swooping in for the kill
Pretending to be Doves


Hovering Over our children  
Our children
Are not bird feed
They will not be
Consumed as sesame
Scattered along streets
To be Victims of fowl play


It is true black children
Eat chicken
Have come to like pigeon 
And anything else with feathers
Is fair game!


Yea do they walk 
Down South,
Skittles in pockets
Arizona Ice tea to quench
Parched mouth
They will fear no devil 


These young rebels
Got Causes
And cases 
Facing unjust charges
Just in case you didn't know
They trained the fuck to go off
Just be Cuz, Blood, GD, Vice Lord
9th ward, Ma'fucker wassup 


Zimmerman, Dunn,
Johannes Mehserle
We see you...
Flying in formation 
Infiltrating our air space
Trying deny us breathing room
We see you...


In Fruitville Station
Ready to pick us off
Like Ripen fruit as
Buzzards of Prey often do
Trying to Establish a Pecking Order
Too see whose Beck is Bigger
Kill a nigger, you figure 
You can strut like a Peacock 
Kill a Nigga again 
And we'll pluck your ass to death
And make pillow tops
Sleep well...
See who's chicken now


We informing the 
Department of Transportation Now
That Niggas will be crossing 
The roads, like 
Edmund Pettus Bridge,
For Sunday Dinner out for blood!


To face chickens who are 
Too afraid to revisit the same roads 
They've crossed that have 
Lead them to Hell's Kitchen
Scared of the Hot Grease 
In the Fryer, 
Black folks sho nuff 
Know how to fry some chicken
The finger lickings
Associated with throwing bones
Black folks sho nuff 
Know how to eat some chicken


The image of you spread eagle 
Outlined in White, Chalk-Asian 
And we training the youth
To leave packets of ketchup   
Next to the bodies, so to let
You know, not only do you
Have our Contempt but we've 
Left you these condiments 
To go along w/ the body bag
Just to spice shit up! 


Love dat chicken
Catch dat chicken
Kill dat chicken
Fry dat chicken 
Smother dat chicken 
Eat dat chicken
Shoot that chicken


And Bald Eagles
Will Be No Less Different!




Knowledge! hails from Lafayette, Louisiana. He is a spoken word/slam artist who's been writing poetry for over 20 years; 16 of those years writing and performing on stage. He discovered he could write poetry at the age of 14; it was his 9th Grade English teacher Mrs. Martin who encouraged him to write. While attending college, Knowledge! was a member of the writing collective "The Baton Rouge Poetry Alliance." He was host of the hottest poetry reading on Southern University A & M College from 1998-2002, opened for talented R & B artist Goapele, and coached the first Lafayette, Lousiana Slam Team in 2008.  He currently performs at various readings down south.


Edited for Unlikely by Rosalyn Spencer, #BlackArtMatters Guest Editor
Last revised on Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 17:36