stereotypes

When You Can Read At Night

The other day I scared a white woman and im sorry.....

it was not my intentions to harm her in anyway

and as I think upon that fateful day

I can only say that im sorry

 

im sorry for the way in which I portrayed my people

im sorry for this evil

inside and out

and im sorry for the way your eyes ,

a beautiful shade of blue,

screamed “ I dont want to look at you”

 

“I dont understand why you're here.

This man is not my peer.

He instills me with so much fear

and it is only with pure despair

that we breathe the same air”

 

Im sorry

I have no soul

and my only goal

is to make sure every breath

turns cold, as the hue of my dark abyss

envelopes your soul

but miss....

 

do you understand?

That in the midst of darkness

I could be the light that guides your hand

 

that the color I wear does not make this man

and youre judging a cover you cant quite comprehend

 

but im here for you....

any day you want to open me

any day you want to read my pages

from front to back

and analyze all the facts

which lead you to the statement

that make you look back on that day when

you had the look of pure terror in your eyes

when you crossed my path....

and youll laugh

 

and say...wow..... I was ignorant

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Coffee Stained Phone Bill

I'm pining in Limbo. 

Becoming derecpit and swollen in the damning Vestibule. 

Scintillating, squirmy memories of goey boredom that laminated me with a spackle brush; and happiness that came and went so quickly,

it should have been sold to me in a bottle. 

Cigarettes and college jerseys cleave to my naps like a fitted sheet.

Sleep, big woman,

sleep away your worries for your tinkling, cocaine babies.

Sleep little man.

Rub your nose on your corduroy pants.

Do your duty, child.

Lock and load.

Do not tear your tongue away from the window of the bus. 

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What type of person are you?

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The Rest

I can’t do girls. Or rather, men are so much easier. With men, what you see is mainly and mostly what you get. They don’t put on a face for every occasion and even when they do, that face is mostly transparent. That’s why women jump on inscrutable men. They make the mistake of thinking they must be hugely deep or wonderfully complex, but usually it's a practiced, but not desperately durable act. Those with a complex outside and an equally fascinating inside are truly few and far between.

 

Now women are just harder work. Most of us put on some kind of social facade.  My emotional antenna is far from perfect, but it bugs me how often the words coming out of peoples' mouths and the emotions they broadcast don't match.  Probably why I didn't have many female friends growing up and don't like meeting groups of strangers for the first time.  Too much to process!  People, especially women seem to fall into 3 main types.

 

1. Those who can put on an act, but it's not convincing enough to fool someone for long.

2. Those who put on a damn good act, impress quite a few folk, but still get caught out by astute observers. The more attractive someone is, the more likely they are to succeed in pulling the wool over your eyes.  Relying on willing suspension of disbelief.

3. Those who are incredibly good at being exactly who everyone else wants them to be - so good, you can't spot that it's an act, OR those who can't help being, or decide it's best to be, exactly who they are.  

 

Let me explain more.

 

Type 1. Amateur facade. You know you've found a type 1 if you've had a conversation that never got past the wafer thin superficial.  They will work through “How to greet and interact with other humanoids” 101. Usually expecting their counterpart to follow the same script. From the very start it's pretty obvious if you're "their kind of person”.  You can see various emotions passing behind their eyes like genuine interest, indifference or discomfort.  If you, like me, have an in-bred sense of the socially appropriate, you are likely to play the game.  Keep on trying to react to what their face is saying while you can see their brain doing the “do they belong in my pigeon hole” equation. Not pleasant.  You first grow out of worrying about the lack of a connection with type 1s, then eventually learn to stop wasting your breath having these conversations.  Blame my "nice" upbringing, but I'm not yet able to just cut my losses and walk away from these conversations.  I can often politely sidestep them, but when I can't I end up feeling like I’ve had a bad Chinese e.g. unsatisfied and regretting that’s £10, or in this case 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

 

Type 2. Superstar facade. Can be quite awe inspiring the effort that goes in to pulling off fabulous.  Sometimes I can respect that, but other times it leaves me feeling amused, confused, pissed off or downright icky cos I can spot the trickles of what they're really thinking which seep out round the edges. It takes a true multiple personality or a Negative type 3 (see below) to have no discernable seepage. This type of person will seek out others like them, who reinforce the value of the persona they've created.   Usually gathering type 1s to fawn over them or other type 2s as validating partners in crime. They will suck up to negative type 3s, but run scared from or be disturbed by positive type 3s because they won't indulge any bullshit to protect their visciously enforced social rules.

 

Type 2s are usually high functioning, superficially successful types who will either blossom later into positive type 3s (if we’re lucky) or spend their middle age bemoaning their lost looks, lost potency, invisibility to the opposite sex or inability to hold down a relationship with powerful, interesting partners. The rub for type 2 ladies is that intelligent men, with a smattering of substance and integrity, will almost always take an attractive positive type 3 over a drop dead gorgeous type 2 in the long term. Men, as I’ve already said, are far more straightforward souls. They may like your act, but their bullshit detector will kick in and they may not know why, but they will eventually find themselves eschewing your beautifully maintained body for the slightly droopy woman from next door who sometimes forgets to brush her hair, but has a genuinely comfortable confidence and a devilish, unselfconscious belly laugh.

 

Type 3. So fake they look real or so real they can't fake.  Type 3 comes in 2 flavours. Negative and Positive. For me the labels work as described below, but if you asked a type 2 they would almost certainly swap those positive and negative labels around, because, bless their misguided hearts, they would love to have the kind of unbreakable desirable social facade a negative type 3 can put together.

 

Negative Type 3. Your negative type 3 is actually a very rare beast. So invisibly fake, but fabulous that besotted type 2s can sometimes get a very nasty shock. Behind the shiny but impenetrable negative type 3 mask can lurk some extremely disturbed people. They will never need a type 2 or type 1. They will be amused by them, amuse them and find them of use, but socially able negative type 3s only really love one person...themself.

 

Negative’s are just not who they appear to be, with almost everyone, almost all the time. They usually have one or more personae which are so well developed, polished, complex and layered that no-one except their parents (some of the time) or another type 3 (occasionally) knows what lies beneath. Mental illnesses like paranoid schitzophrenia would be at the dark end of this type 3 continuum, but the nastiest permutation is your full blown sociopath. That’s when negative spills over into dangerous.

 

Regardless of a woman’s place on the Negative type 3 continuum I can’t be around her. I can't stand it. My spidey senses are permanently tingling without any discernable reason why. Enough to send me into committal and lithium land. Having said this, some relatively benign type 3s can end up as lonely souls able to provoke my sympathy. Sometimes having a face for every occasion, being the ultimate social butterfly and being accepted into any group, can mean they lose all sense of their true self.  Eventually overwhelmed by others' expectations.

 

I once knew a male Negative. He was a very close friend and his ability to be all things to all people drove me mad.  It also nearly drove him mad, but not before it helped him become incredibly socially and professionally successful. Eventually, much to my relief, he worked out who he wanted to be, reigned in his high powered life and climbed to the positive side of the type 3 fence.

 

Positive Type 3s.  So now to the finale of this flagrant bit of stereotyping. Positive type 3s. If it never occured to you to be anything but yourself, or you've tried being someone else and can't do it, you're probably one of these.  To expedite a smooth path through life most can do a reliable type 1 act to keep type 1s happy and ensure that type 2s don’t treat them as a threat. They can also do a good enough type 2 to get what they want for short periods of time, but they're never going to keep it up long enough to really settle down in a type 2 or type 1 dominated world. However, unless born, conditioned or traumatised into it they won't be able to pull off Negative type 3 behaviour.

 

I call this type Positive because of the tendency to face life with a huge dose of openness and honesty.  That, by my yardstick is always preferable to the approaches of the other types. That doesn’t mean that all positive type 3s are good. Truely nasty or disturbed people can have an inability to be any other way, but at least it's easy to spot (unlike an invisbly disturbed Negative).  There are also a subset of Type 3s who are just thick. Too stupid or beligerant to behave appropriately for a given audience or situation (think of the kind of people who say "I just speak my mind!" after spouting something incredibly offensive).

 

Beyond that there are the more common subsets of this type.  Confident Positives and Work in Progress Positives, depending on how life treats them growing up.  Confident positives seem to know from an early age that it's ok to be yourself.  That might be down to having at least one Positive type 3 parent, but some kids just seem to pop out that way.  Understanding inately that any social clics with tortuous membership rules are generally not worth joining. Often the pain of social exclusion bites hardest during adolensence, so even if your type 3 takes a while to find their niche, if they find it before they hit teenagerdom, I'd class them as a Confident Positive.  Beginning that tough phase with friends who value  individuality makes a huge difference to the kind of adult that emerges at the other end.  Often they will be folk happy to be alone, but confident in company.  This isn't about looks or intelligence, far from it, these are just people who've found a place in the word that fits them, rather than changing themselves to fit the world.  That predisposes people to being confident and content, which in turn tends to attact other confident happy people.  The phrase "it's what's on the inside that counts" was coined for these folk.  Your nearest Positive might be your check out lady, bin man or that guy in the wheelchair, but what they have in common is an absolute comfort in their own skin and an ability to make you feel totally comfortable in their company.

 

If you fell into the other Positive 3 subset growing up, you probably had a pretty rough time.  Working your ass off to gain entry to the in crowds.  Constantly getting left on the sidelines because you did't look right, dress right or behave in a way that met their acceptance criteria. Often reading between the lines of what everyone else was saying and doubting your sanity because the words and the intentions didn’t seem to match. Realising that popularity is often not worth the price can take a long time.  A hell of a long time if you manage to graft your way to some kind of half assed admission to one of those groups.  You might have spent years telling yourself it was worth it, before recognising how much effort you put in vs the return you got.  It's a real case of "what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger". 

 

The good news is that positive type 3s, both confident ones and ones still working on that, tend to form friendships characterised by honesty, empathy, longevity, lack of judgement and an ability to be apart for good lengths of time, before returning to the same place they left off.  They also tend to gather more friends as they get older, because 1s and 2s often work out pretending is too much like hard work and come over to the less judgemental Positive side of the fence.  You can even get the odd Negative type 3 convert.  Perhaps trauma, love or age reminds them who they really are and what's important.  If that happens, they can often be deeply inspiring and powerful people because they bring the charisma they built to wow folk in their old life and apply it to their true personality.  It's a hell of a battle to embrace averageness, insecurity and human frailty after forging a path through life by being perfect.  But the knocks from that battle can serve to cement an awesome and attractive depth of confidence.

 

So there's my take on the world.  What type of person are you?

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Flagrant, coherentish stereotyping. 

Ain't I Black by Elliott J. Curry

“Ain’t I Black”

by

Elliott Justin Curry

Today, I want to challenge the questioning of a fact
My character and ethnic orientation is often under attack
They question the way I carry myself, in particular the way I act
To clarify, folks say the way I act is white…not black.
But when I look in the mirror, my complexion still in tact
I ask the question….”Aint I black”

Blame me because my verbs agree with my nouns
Criticize me because of the education that I have found
Get jealous cause I am destined, and bound
While you are busy hating, you never get off the ground
Yes, I am proud of me and I love the way my voice sounds
Challenge what you want, and make a mountain out of a mound
You can even dance around the fact but….”Aint I Black”

Okay speaking hypothetically
If I look at my brothers pathetically
If I think we need attention medically
I don’t think we get it right educationally
Should I handle that lackadaisically,
If you missed it that means lazily
Some folks are content and say just let it be
But because I demand change, drastically
I can because its my own, and I refuse to go passively
Not lacking melanin, but I still think tactically
Let me phrase it brashly
“Aint I black”

My people need something like a cultural injection
A reminder of what our forefathers endured for our generation’s protection
Because I feel this way, some say I lack affection
Sometimes I’ll chooses a classical selection
Does that mandate my racial direction?
I am not an agent and this requires no detection
Ain’t I black

Both black and white agree that I act like the latter
This used to bother me and it used to matter
Now I just laugh at the foolish chatter
Keep on talking, while my pockets get fatter
Instead of congratulate, my brothers would rather
Question who I am, make assumptions that make me madder
Than a squirrel without nuts to gather
With all of this being stated, nothing else to be debated
Its been mandated….
Aint I black

No I don’t need your affirmative action
I won’t give you a reason to say I got it because of this reaction
No, I worked hard to reach this level of satisfaction
I wont allow you to use simple arithmetic like subtraction
To take away what I have created, me, the main attraction
I create my own, and I am not alone I have a faction
Don’t be surprised because I say this loud with passion
But…”Aint I black”

I have learned that the point of my existence
Is to challenge stereotypical views with persistence
While my own and whites alike may meet me with resistance
I keep one thing in tact
Ain’t I Black

When its all said and done,
When that fat bitch has sung her last song,
It’s just me....
Me
It’s Just me gazing in a pond to see my reflection
I scratch my flaring nostrils to get some satisfaction
I rub my wool like hair, just to check, and I like the reaction
I am never surprised of my glowing chocolate complexion
This alone reiterates the fact
“Aint I Black”

Author's Notes/Comments: 

In today's society, everyone is too quick to judge. However, judging is not the problem, its the products of that judgement that inspired this poem. All too often, I was told "You are the whitest black guy I have ever met", "You act white", "You talk white", "You date white women don't you?", and so on. These statements are the products of a shallow brain. By growing up in North Florida, I was often critisized and stereotyped because of my attitude, grammar, and ambition. In most circles, these attributes would result in positive constructive critisism. However, they were used to make me question my own identity. Because of the stereotypes portrayed of black men, a black man conducting himself in a positive and productive manner is often critisized to be acting white! That enraged me for many reasons. But mainly, these types of statements show disrespect to my mother. You see, when you say that "I act white", you are saying all of the values and morals my mother instilled in me are not of my own. You are saying that I am acting out of my character. Which this is very much so not the case! I can go on and on, but I think the poem states it best. You can also check me out performing it on youtube.. http://youtu.be/MR7X8ACDTZQ

Battle of the Blonde

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The Early Works

Why do the famous brunettes go blonde?
To be famous you gotta be dull so you go buy a bottle of fun
I thought fun was a glass of rum with a dash of coke
But I guess you gotta be a pop star to be blonde and broke
You could always pose for the blokes if you think that your it
Blondes have so much fun even Beyonce wanted part of it
She’s the urban labelling for maybelline
It maybe make believe
That destiny’s child were set up to fulfil her own needs
How many times did Kelly ever sing the lead or is it just me
Because I believe I should be with one of the 3.
And if you’re pretty you’re a commodified blonde
If you get implants you’re a modified blonde
If you’re an insecure brunette then your rationale is wrong
You’d get more popularity from a tongue transplant with a lizard.
Maybe not…
Blonde has a cancerous astigmatism even if you mislaid my opinion
like a high phone bill
If blonde carried more fun then I want some lets just imagine that
Young man blonde and black what would be the stereotype
Eminem wannabees would think its open mic night in broad daylight
Or if they don’t believe the hype…
It would be young black and dumb but that supposed to be natural right?
Do you know many fights there would be from being labelled a dumb bumble bee.
Its worse for the gay types just add the word queen
Its not what the lay man sees or perceives to be as shaped by the Hollywood version of society
or maybe I should bring out my dictionary to eradicate the blonde from my poetry
But hey I’m having fun
It’s all honey from this bumble bee
So maybe I’m really blonde
But not legally

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Love in white and black

Folder: 
The Early Works

White girls…
Black haired, red head, brunette and blonde

White girls…
When black men want one – to black women its wrong

White girls…
Will change you and take away your blackness

Instead of rice and peas your food will be the blandest

White girls…
Will be second best and can never match up

Hold up a second I know plenty of black women that don’t know how to cook

White girls…
Pale skin, fair skin, tan or fake tanned

Will get pregnant and divorce you they’re just a trophy stand

White girls…
Are just wannabees who play our manz

I’ve had enough of you black women, lets see the flipside of your hand

A black man…
With any sense gets educated

A black man…
With good up bringing knows how to treat a lady

A black man…
Can make out the bad from good

More importantly if could choose who he fell for he would

It gets personal when they say you can’t handle a black woman so you go for mixed-race
What happens if the one I want aint to your taste
I will graduate from your school of insecurity
Many times you rejected me
Now you’re trying to secure me?

Anything mixed with black as long as you think she’s pretty
If chose I Mediterranean that’s the exception you’ll give me?

I’ll go for what I know if she’s the beat to my flow
Even if her tempers active like a volcano
True love with anyone is rocky and rough
But when its true love
Enough…is never enough

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This isn't meant to be a racist poem but it opens with common sentiments amongst many black females regarding inter racial relationships.

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