Open Email to the Future for #NCMR13

Listen here

do you remember us?

before I wrote you letters like this
in cursive
and you told me
I was not your type

before b4
when your word
had vowels
and we
had promise
and should've kept both

when we were still stories

like the one Reverend Vivian still tells
about the preachers and their protest
the time we turned that jail cell
into a lowpower fm
turned us into a one hit wonder
and those ministers sang us over and over again
even after they were told to shut up

otra vez

even after they were told they'd lose their mattresses

otra vez

even after they were mattress-less

they sang us again
do you remember when
we spelled "I love you"
with ten songs, a cassette, a piece of tape
and a sharpie

wrote "possible wedding songs" on it
scratched that
and wrote "I like you a lot vol. 1"

and he gave it to her
and she gave one to her
and he gave one to him
and they all had the same ten songs on it

back when we thought
the digital revolution meant 5 finger
instead of fist

back when music "gigs"
meant something different
back when we couldn't fit a library of songs in our pocket
but we could in our heart

back when we
actually had to remember phone numbers
and stop and ask for directions

instead of bitching at google maps
and still having to stop and ask for directions

back when we had to admit
that we were lost
that we didn't know it all

you remember

when it was
the satanic static
in the wax
that charmed daddy into drunk dancing
instead of damage

when we used to cozy up
to the snap, crackle,  pop
of the radio just to keep warm

when the walls between family members
started wearing moving pictures
to give the illusion of spending time together

remember when knowing what buttons
NOT to push prevented distance and silence
and now it just prevents silence

when weak night meant
gather round the table for
tv dinner with tv parents
and grace went like this
"at least we're not hungry & orphaned"
thank God for the Huxtables
and both mom's jobs

when Neil Armstrong landed on the boob

when the Challenger moonwalked and moonwalked and moonwalked

on Instant Replay


when space stations started beaming

stardust to our rooftops

to remind us that WE

are radiant

when gamma rays only meant one thing
and it was not catching cancer from your cellphone
just like Lou Ferrigno
forever worried about how big
when we should've been worried about how green

remember when super bowl commercials didn't suck

when one bully was enough
but her smartphone is more socially awkward than her
so she keeps a gang in her pocket
that pummels her where it won't leave bruises
until it mega hurts

this e-mail will self-destruct
if the colonizers keep trying to plantation the Internet

the airwaves are no place for a slaveship
the people think they are free
when they are the cash crop

remember when we said we would
railroad this superhighway under the ground
before we let them take us
Pandora an old negro spiritual station
to pirate information
with Dr. King broomsticking morse code
underneath the beat when it's his turn to speak


remember that we

are the 1st amendment

the only industry protected by law

the lifeblood of the republic

protecting democracy

since long before Ben Franklin went postmaster general

how could you forget
our endangered languages?
native tongue severed
newspaper noosed…
since the telephone is extinct
I wrote you this by hand
worth more to you now as a collectors item
quaint as a stamp
before postage cost an arm
and a laptop

you can't forget.

the names of dead homies
haunt the address book on your phone
their Facebook page a shrine

re-live Newtown in pictures on a screen
and call it therapy
so you don't have to re-live flashes in your mind
and call it PTSD

I wish I was still a piece of paper
not this immortal
this god

corporations are trying to bottle and make a wish

than at least I could be burned
and people would tether together around me again
hands held

the light I'd produce
would be warm, not blue
but temporary

and they'd read each others' face
for real
for once
for ever

and then

they'd sing.

Hakim Bellamy

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good