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  • Writer's pictureJamar Ramos

Lullaby Of The Hang(d)man

I seek to sing of neck slings

strung around


holding court among peers with

jeering faces pasted in anger,

anguished at the hanging


swaying between

heaven and hell.

A song of cliffs

crumbling beneath bruised black feet

that marched to the mountaintop

and found

a dead end.

I seek to sing

of barges bulging with bodies,

the bottom of the sea half-buried as well.

The cries of small lives

ripped from the bosom of broken mothers

milk dripping from lips,


an indifferent ground.

I seek to sing

but nothing comes,

nothing but a jazz scat,

the blues bottoming out,

haunting the greyest matter,

infecting with gangrenous gratitude

a culture counter to counting.

They created modes, music, and miracles,

wonders that awe wanderers of the World.

But no song will come.

Countries and continents rose, monuments were erected

by the mobilized manpower of a melancholy mass.

But no song will come.

So it begins with a simple hum,

a hum

of 3/5th's of a dream

1/3rd of a life lived free

100% of a victory

turned into a defeat.

A hum

of fallen men

and boys alike,

of hoodies and ‘hoods,

of gangs and guns and

palms that palm rocks

that slip from hand to hand

with a steady soul shake.

And the hum rises,

rises like the Nile

in cycles, overflowing

and floating the fortunate.

It rises

like a fire climbing, burning away

the useless and paving the way

for new buds, new growth.

Oh sing, they say

sing the sorrow of the sorry Negro

bent in servitude,

a humble beast striding among


Oh sing they say,

sing the song we need to hear,

the song so long unlooked for.

Oh sing, sing with the waters

washing away the worry,

the wary,

the waste.

But a noose tickles the throat like a turtleneck,

hairs taut as the tension tightens thoroughly,

a thirst so thick it will not slacken.

Oh sing, they say,

but no song

will come.

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