Benjamin as mirror


I went to the mirror and saw with contempt
at my brother and sister - I must regret,
who in this public news-paper shrine
tar and feather the Nazi swine.
Emotionally decapitated in the thick of the fight
I stand aloof from both black and white.
Is there any real difference between their hate and mine?
Is it a matter of circumstance or only of time?

You went to the mirror and saw a saint,
lit a candle and bought a can of paint,
and then painted our heroe on the wall -
blacker than real life but then that says it all.
The picture betrays nationalism misplaced
for kids without a culture, a nigger without a face.
Makes me wonder from what abyss forlorn
that wish-child sprang all cold and still-born.
Lord save us from the enemy we cannot see -
both the nigger and the Nazi - set my people free!

We went to the mirror and saw a victim.
(Boy don't we really know how to pick 'em?)
A nation is woken from its slumber serene
so we take to the streets... or our TV screens.
In a bizarre rite of forgetfulness
we pay our prayers and we say our debts.
A social problem which we're immune to?
...but forget about me.  Let's talk about you.
VG, Dagbladet ... Oh for God sakes!
Information gives but it also takes.

We went to the mirror and as expected
saw our scapegoats killed but then resurrected.
A society divided and yet strangely consistent...
Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde's assistant-
What you see is what you get.
Monkey see and then forget.
Now you see me now you don't.  
First we will and then we won't.
Well it's hocus pocus and filiocus...
we've seen the beast and it is us.

You went to the mirror and saw Nazis behind each tree,
and though I may appreciate the poetry...
they won't be the ones who'll get you in the end;
You kiss your enemies and you wound your friends,
turn 'em around and do it again.
Once it starts it never ends.
In an urban jungle, the horror, the horror!
Get your knife get your gun, it's holy war...
but what rough (unnameable) beast
slouches toward the altar for the feast?

I went to the mirror shattered and broken.
Of old it is heard but seldom spoken-
for expecting I came and was not disappointed-
a child is born another lamb is annointed;
for amoungst us a place is now vacant,
From one amoungst us a son is taken.
For the one who has eyes to see
that is his lonely victory.
That is his priceless sacrifice -
nothing more, nothing less will suffice.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Benjamin was a 15 year old african/norwegian killed by Neo Nazis in Oslo Norway in february 2001.  These are my reflections on the events surrounding his death.

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