Black History Month: "This Thing Needs a Title"
The following poem was written by Kim Whiteside. With a strong background in adult learning and instructional design, Kim has facilitated 100’s of learning sessions on topics such as the levels of evaluation, gamification, blended learning, digital pedagogy, and adult learning. Currently, Kim is an instructional designer at Metropolitan Community College, as well as a published author and poet.
Those are not the rules
The truth these days
Comes in tramping
Wearing steel-plated boots with daggers
Poking full from the toes
The truth is every man for himself
And shows up at your door
Bearing robotic gifts
Of eye patches, ear plugs, duct-tape-lip-balm, Vicks under your nose
Programmed to automatically affix themselves like custom appendages
So we can’t see, hear, smell, taste or scream from the death
Growing out of our skin like cilia
Those are not the rules. They are mis-rules.
But we believe
Making sense of things that make war
Fashioning a life out of
List-less-ness and blaring
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
What happened to our collective gag reflex?
What response to 400 years of mental, physical, spiritual, financial, and societal brutality makes the most psychological sense?
Gimme my drugs.
Unbreak my crack pipe
And watch yourself. After 400 years of fighting back
I’ve got a great right hook.
Them ain’t the rules
Calling all mountains
Hear the rules:
Everybody stomps—at the same time
Nothing in your arm
Never believe a string
Color-coding is a myth
Keep some money on ya
Keep your purse high
Listen to jazz
If it gives you pause, keep it movin’
When you bake bread, share it
Walk in divinity
Get good at improv
Don’t pick your nose unless you’re going to eat what you find
Leave deep footprints that the rain can fill
Jump over the monkey wire
You know what I think, I think there’s really only one rule: