A Man Like Me
by Chris Ware
What kind of life is there for a man like me
A man written down in history as the issue
The problem with this godless nation
Considered “godless” because they set me free
Will I ever be freed from the bondage of the stereotype?
Hyped up to be thug, thief, miscreant
Ignorant, vile, fiendish garden tool
That no longer serves the purpose of production
The stable, sturdy oxen
Doesn’t look quite right without the weight of the plow
Bending it’s back and bowing its legs
So odd is the Negro
Lacking calloused cotton picking fingers
But bearing soft hands, cradling bundles of books
“beast boy who taught you how to read?”
Nigga please, don’t deviate
From the old-school American standards
that have been laid out for you
What kind of life is there for me
Dangling from the bottom rung of second class citizenship
My wings clipped in adolescence
Ever present was the knowledge
That somebody, somewhere
Wants me dead
For I pose threat
to the fallacy of the master race
White master’s family values sewn like seeds
They grow like weeds,
Continuing to pollute American soil
What kind of life for me is here?
To live sub-par and live in fear?
To know much hate and little love
To have much hurt with no because
What life is there for a man like me?
American born, Black as can be?
Chris “The Enigmatic” Ware is a poet, a vocalist, actor and musician, born and raised in St. Louis, MO. Joining the Marine Corps in 2006, his new mission is to empower those in his community to see the brighter side in life. Chris Ware has traveled the country delivering his gifts to any and all that would hear him. He is the 2013 Moorish Festival Poetry Slam Champion (St. Louis), the 2014 Urb Poetry Slam Champion (St. Louis), the 2014 Winter Soul-Spit Grandslam Champion (Louisville, KY) and the 2014 Write or Die Slam Champion (Lexington, KY). In 2014, as a member of the Urb Poetry Slam Team, he contributed to his team receiving a top 6 ranking at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, CA. Recently, he’s appeared in Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ production of A World Begun, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and The St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre’s presentation of The Colored Museum.