‘Land. Lords.’ by Hakim Bellamy

Think Local curated by Lauren Henriksen
July 6th, 2018


Inspired by the ‘Housing the Future Disruptive Futures Dialogue’ (Santa Fe, NM).


“The first tool of colonialism is to set fire to your farms and displace you from your home(land). -Beata Tsosie-Pena


When you live off the land,

displacement

feels like an asthma attack.

New air feels foreign

as fingers

wrapped ’round our lungs,

our land.

Our history

keeps forclosing on us,

keeps re-evicting itself.

Keeps out housing those

who live like us.

Keeps slave quartering folk

who look like us.

Keeps Indian Schooling our children.

Keeps forcibly removing us

from our homelands,

only to turn around and have the nerve to say

“home ownership is the path to wealth…

and equity

is the American Dream.”

Like…

Mama ain’t the original mobile home,

9 months of temporary housing

a room in every womb.

Like…

that ain’t growth too.

Like development

is new.

Like…

there ain’t a full on fireplace

in every single one of our hearts

insufficient to weather winter

this many feet above minimum wage.

Like…

it’s mad cool to live in a neighborhood with street art

as long as the hood ain’t home

to street artists.

Like…

Surplus inventory isn’t an insult.

And market “share”

isn’t a bold faced lie.

Like…

property values

are the same thing as having values.

Like…

a second home

is more American

than a second chance.

Like…

we haven’t closed the door

on our humanity.

Like…

those same four walls

that shelter your body

are enough to protect your soul.

Like housing “security”

means the same thing to everyone.

Because one man’s piece of mind

is another man’s big ass fence,

while one man’s piece of property

is another man’s rent.

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“If we tell incomplete stories about what’s at stake and what the problem is, we will have incomplete solutions.”

-Charlene Carruthers


Learn more about Hakim Bellamy here: http://www.beyondpoetryink.com/