14:21 PM

Black History Month: "This Thing Needs a Title"

Kim Whiteside

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: 
Don’t shrug 
Everybody stomps—at the same time 
Nothing in your arm 
Never believe a string 
Color-coding is a myth 
Stay funky 
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: 
Stay Funky!

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