Po' Poets Project/Poetas POBRES Proyecto
Jovenes, Adultos, Ancianos, luchando para sobrevivir y prosperar apesar de la opression racista y economica, usando nuestras voces, nuestra poesia, nuestros cuentos, nuestra arte para crear cambio localmente y atravez del mundo.
Youth, Adults, Elders struggling to stay alive and thrive through race and class oppression using our voices, our poetry, our stories, our art, to create change for poor folks locally and globally.
Mr. Charles Chatman is a Plantation Prison Correspondent for POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE.
Editor's Note: As currently and formerly incarcerated poor and indigenous peoples in struggle and resistance with all plantation systems in Amerikkka, POOR Magazine stands in solidarity with all folks on the other side of the razor wire plantation. For more information about Mr. Chatman’s organizations, please write to him at
P.O. Box 4490
Lancaster, CA 93539
wrinkles and cellulite
rats and roaches
a boring Saturday night
I was walking home from a
Rehearsal with Vukani, at First Congo—
Or was it Capt. Crossman’s for John Brown’s Truth
being in the mission is becoming
like a benetton ad or like living
in disneyland—no longer a place
of everyday people knowing the
the hardness of daily life and yet
creating joy and beauty
out of a myriad of struggles
instead of theater, poetry, dance, music and art
expressing the aliveness of many cultures
indoor miniature golf and outdoor bowling
are the new cultural wave and bars with
twelve dollar cocktails are ongoing frat parties
“I’m gonna loot ‘til the midnight hour
That’s when the gates come tumblin’ down
I’m gonna loot ‘til the midnight hour
When there’s no guardsmen around…”
I kicked off that martial law, off-the-dome
version of ‘Wicked’ Pickett’s dance floor-
filler and Son-Hawk, Ches-Schu, Ron Shaw,
‘Pookie,’ Jimmy and Jerome came in, Right
On Time, as though we’d rehearsed it, all of
Our greeting to hoarse engines, huge tires,
of giant army green trucks bristling with
rifles, loaded with blue eyes and itchy trigger
fingers. Rumbling east, it headed down79th Street,
walking down valencia, i see
a woman in a wheelchair
we share hellos and i give
her a buck as i wonder
what her story is—she was
just evicted from her home
or maybe her lover beats her
imagining her hunger and
pain i feel compassion for her
and know i’m the lucky one
because i have a dollar to spare
as i leave to walk on, two young
women well dressed and coifed
pass by—and they too must have
a story—maybe one of them has
April 28, 2015
WHAT DID YOU PUT IN YOUR POCKET?
It occurs everyday in this natural food holler:
Something looks suspicious, somewhat askew.
Doesn't look like a Yuppie, probably don't have a dollar.
Any Black man, any poor brother will do.
Like a solid shadow, the watchdog follows his steps
Through neat, crowded aisles of health:
Past free-range chicken, organic kale, turn left
Tailing a brother, walking by himself.
ARE YOU SHOPPING AT OUR STORE? OR STEALING?
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