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.

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