POOR’s poetry battle

Some of the champions: CC, third place; Ben, first place; and Queennandi aka Superbabymama, last year’s first place winnerThe 2009 Poetry Luchador/Wrestling Battle of ALL of the Sexes on Valentines Day was a multi-generational, multi-lingual, multi-cultural mash-up of art, gender, poetry, wrestling, language and theatre brought to you by your favorite revolutionary poets, media-makers, poverty scholars and cultural workers at POOR Magazine. Introducing … The Winners:

The Livin on Concrete

by V.L. Hain aka Supertenant and welfareQUEEN #1 in a battle against The SlumLord

When you walkin thru the downtown, and lookin in around, you see the
down of humanity, who was once somebody’s baby, layin down on the
concrete, street, on the ground

And do ya dare to care, and say what you want to say, step on and stare –

Double standard mind warped thinkin, not my problem, this is where –

Ya got it wrong, think you are strong, move along, but it’s your
conscience layin there –

Cuz it is what it is – what it is – what it is

Livin on concrete –

What it is – what it is – what it is

Livin on concrete

So, call it whatever you wanna call it – at a distance

But in reality, it’s a casualty of a capitalist existence

Thru the food chain of command, it’s the plan of the man

So step off – shut the fuck up, walk on by, why take a stand?

And be grateful for what you got, even if ya been just tossed a bread crumb

Cuz the hypocrisy of democracy’s leavin nothing for that street bum –

What it is – what it is – what it is

Livin on concrete-

What it is – what it is – what it is

Livin on concrete

NIMBYism ideology, no apology, psychology

Haven’t ya realized, ya been hypnotized, homogenized, desensitized?

To a typical, statistical, egotistical psychology

To accept the neglect and disrespect your own humanity

What it is – what it is – what it is

Livin on concrete –

What it is – what it is – what it is

Livin on the street.

So call it whatever ya wanna call it!

The Poverty Pimp’s Lament

by Tony Robles aka The Poverty P-I-M-P, who battled The welfareQUEEN

POOR Poetry Battle 2009 championship beltPimpin’ all I see,
Pimpin’ you, she
He and sometimes
Even me

I robbed the poor
Box at St. Boniface
And nailed Jesus
To a cross with nails
Marked half off

When you turn on the
Lights you see the
Whites of my lies

The furnace of my flesh
Stench and filth fills
Walls plugged up with the
Rotten teeth of PO-LICE

My poem is the whisper
Of a corpse, the dust
Of tainted symphonies made
Of sound proof bricks

Falling one by one
Like the rusty blood
Of a dead faucet

I am the poverty pimp
Secluded in poverty pimpdom
Wearing a poverty pimp smoking
Jacket and poverty pimp
Jockey shorts

Signed sealed
Delivered the money
Ain’t yours

I am the poverty pimp
Wearing a poverty pimp
Stocking mask with the
Eyes torn out

One eye to rob you
Blind, the other
To roll like a marble

I am the poverty pimp
At the top of the poverty
Pimp food chain

Love me feed me
Love me feed me
Love me feed me
I say

I ain’t such a bad

I’ll pimp you
Out, 80-20
In my favor

I am the poverty
Pimp, standin’ walkin’
Stalkin’ with a poverty
Pimp limp

Standing on
Your backs

Creeping down
Your spine

Your poverty
Is mine

You poverty

I am the poverty
Pimp spelled

SYSTEMBITCH: Old school rap

by Laure McElroy aka The System Bitch, who battled The Social Worker

My job dropped a dime to my worker
so my foodstamps got cut
we ate that month
didn’t pay no rent
now we’re kicked out on our butts
Now this joint’s gone global
but only if you’re rich
I’m caught on a catch
and scrilla’s the scratch
this broke-ass birth can’t itch

I got no money!
What am I gonna do??!

Moved into my sister’s
thought we’d save a dollar
her crackhead man went golden gloves
he beat her and she hollered

CPS said “bitch – the home you in ain’t safe …
Move out or we’ll jack those brats
They’ll be wards of the state.”

I’m on the street again
They took my babies

Sinkin’ fast, subprime disaster
the state is broke
our republican masters
tax the poor
to feed the rich
y’all think it’s a joke
til you’re the next

Read more about issues of poverty and race written by the people who face them daily at www.poormagazine.org.