Black Friday | Arts & Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
illustration Stephen Gillis

Stack the stores from the fronts to the backs of stores

Packed on racks, wrapped, tacked up, and stacked on floors

Open glass doors, attract the masses, jack the middle class n poor

It’s Black Friday

Eyes are fried ’til they black, burn cash like crack n glow

Getting high off desire, n injecting flow

Lack the finance to back what you cop n blow

Black dust, ash, back up before it explodes

They hijacked Black Power, mixed it with greedy economics

Sprinkled some crack, crap rap, then threw some Ds on it

And produced black powder, which is volatile

Once lit the trail follows us n all the while

We running from debt before it runs into us

It follows close the whole time until it combusts

Burns everything, fries it ’til it’s black

It’s Black Friday

Etymologically I’m told it’s unrelated to race

Ontologically I know that it relies on our place

In society. Our balance, and how high it be

Whether falling off would cause us to die, but see

Hitting rock bottom hurts less with your feet planted firmly on dirt

The earth is our strength, the soil embodies our worth

Beauty and value, in all shades of brown

That’s why money comes from trees that grow from the ground

Why brown people’s land is mined and abandoned

Why brown people’s minds are mined and abandoned

In mines where peoples of earth are murdered for rocks

That’s why brown minds and gold are locked up confined and boxed

To keep us all safe, and our minds dug out, ideas extracted

Credit cards declined, so bug out, and end transaction

The earth is our strength, the soil embodies our worth

Buy more land, and less ice, for peoples of the earth

See, that’s why we need to take the streets back

Plant seeds in the street’s cracks

Dig pot holes, cuz people’s black

And blue beaten down ’til we believe we cheap

Chopped up and flattened

Arranged into patterns

Bought and sold

On Black Fridays

So weep water ’til our seeds hatch

Green leaves will grow from our seas, so reach back

And each one teach one

Imbue our seeds with warmth and heat

From hugs, and not guns

Roll deeper than the ocean

Like the soil at the bottom of the sea

Be the change, shift minds and bodies tectonically

Blast sonic waves through the pavement

Tsunamis of the mind when the waves hit, mnemonically

Aid our collective memory

Lest we forget our beauty

Let us never forget our beauty

On Black Fridays

Prepare to bust through concrete into combat

From dirt and earth through black holes that

Absorb the lightness of dreams

Unify the masses with beams

Connecting us like eighth notes in musical notation

Resonate with the frequency of our collective voice and foundation

Which is equal to the rhythm of our hearts’ beats

So walk with it, it is the expression of our divinity

The number eight rotated, beyond time, to wealth and infinity

Outnumber haters with one love, immerse yourself in it, be

One body, in unity, and remember to watch our feet and our purpose

Cuz if we rush to compete then our feats will be worthless

We should never resemble the stampedes, allow ourselves to be herded

Into walmarts and malls where people are trampled and murdered

On Black Fridays

Which follow a time to give thanks

Lose change stagnate sell our lives to banks

Say thank you very much, I really do appreciate

The way they raped n beat the native people even stole the way

That they commemorate the harvest and give thanks n celebrate

All the wealth of the soil and people of the earth, so we give thanks

By harvesting the shelves of malls for christmases

Starving our selves selling souls to big businesses

Quenching our thirst on fried days that’s black as guinness is

Getting drunk off burnt cash ashed out in lattes, so finish it

As buzzes burn off n our high diminishes

With a bad taste in our mouths, we still avow that we fine, we innocent

But sometimes it’s hard to consume, and that’s why I spit

Fuck feeble gunman power in laws an politics, this is the earth and ocean largely writ

This is oral sedition

It honours our unified song

In the choral tradition

Epitomizing harmony and soul

Legitimizing our wisdom and all that we know

Proclaiming the fact we are beautiful and whole

We cannot reclaim what nobody ever stole

Bind my feet, my hands. Bind my mouth, my eyes, and I will still sing

Sing freedom of heart. Sing freedom of mind

Sing freedom of freedom from where freedom begins

We are of the soil, from which beauty is birthed

The earth is our strength, the soil embodies our worth

So spend a little bit less, and give a little bit more

And will that we do it for the people of the earth

And look, I don’t hate on anybody

I too will do what I want with my own damn money

I cop christmas presents n shop at walmart

Rock mall clothes n drop cheesy poems in cards from hallmark

And truth is that I don’t really know shit about the economy

Except that ours can’t exist without oppression and dishonesty

So I promise to watch my feet and my purpose

Cuz if I rush to compete then my feats will be worthless

I should never proceed to stampede, allow myself to be herded

Into masses with careless footsteps that trample and murder

On Black Fridays

And black Mondays

And black Tuesdays to Thursdays

And even on the weeks’ ends

Because we can kill commit crimes of the heart

Stand trial and walk, anywhere our feet can

Watch that both our feet and purpose remain on the ground

Surround ourselves with freedom songs, our voices profound

Walk with each other, plant our feet firmly, drop seeds

Stop running, move calm, strong, learn, cry, walk, and bleed

Soak the soil, saturate it slowly, do not flood

Settle on and for fertile soil, settle not for rocks, marsh and mud

Remember that the earth is our strength, the soil embodies our worth

We are all that is valuable, all that is beautiful combined

So when we buy in, please keep in both intention and in mind

That we have been, that we are and will be, the people of the earth

Andrew Abraham is not a poet, but he obviously is. He has been writing poetry since grade three in which he wrote his first limerick about a particularly violent toad who loathed salami. He continues to write because it's fun. Andrew works with a local youth organization called Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE) and was a member of the 2007 and 2008 Halifax Slam Teams, winners of back-to-back National Slam titles. He also reads The Coast.

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