Best of the Net 2013  


1. Escaped into the Swamp Then Made His Way Back to His Plantation

500 men in uniforms in army

uniforms 500 slaves       / 500

niggers we happy we nigger

soldiers marched on New Orleans      / And I was there I saw

after we niggers heads on sticks

500 men in stolen uniforms or only

some of us but everything

Even ourselves we touched our touch

made stolen even

our own bodies

In rags of uniforms from living even just      a minute in them

The white folks in the city must have thought

It was something about our skin itself

Made clothes fall off

something about a nigger's skin

puts holes in everything he wears / 500

men in blood the blood

inside our bodies and the blood the dried

Spray of the blood of the white men we

killed in the night       / And the black skin between

Like almost the

blood of the white men wearing from

the outside the

skin of us niggers

Against the blood inside us

And joy and something less than joy

kept us from washing our skin clean

We niggers we      wanted to be exactly

what the white men thought we were

Kill them with that

and not with who we really were       / And now

I see it now and now I didn't see it then

Killing them we

made ourselves more

nigger their niggers and they

Killing us after

They made themselves       more innocent

More as

if they were gods I know about their gods

born from our heads on sticks

2. Captured and Returned to His Master

Some niggers isn't and they is

Never gonna be and them I known

And I remember best

is niggers I seen dead      / Remember even

the breaths they was

always breathing breathing like how when

The master come      into the fields      the fields is changed

Their breathing come

Into the wind      as we was marching

and the wind was changed

And it become like fruit we marching could

pluck from the air

The wind was fruit the air was trees

We marching could      eat and be satisfied

Them niggers isn't and they never was as we was

marching full of how we was

Each of us gonna kill a hundred white men each

a hundred and we knew it was

More niggers anyway than whites

on the German Coast

The death in us was bigger than the life in us

except for some of us      it seems like now

And them the niggers got their heads cut off

mounted on poles

on the roads      into the city New Orleans

The white men recognized them mounted them

to make the air

Rotten and come from them / Rotten

the meat in their necks hanging down

Like ivy on the gates of heaven

- Shane McCrae (from Petri Press)