POET: Black Ice
PIECE: The Ugly Show
TOPICS DISCUSSED:
Population, Urbanization, and Environment
SUMMARY:
Black Ice reflects on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Key Lines/Phrases

Key Line/Phrase
Discussion

“The 9th ward been the tissue

That the city’s wipes his ass with”

Black Ice reflects on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His critique of government response at the national and local level, reflects the structural inequality and ideological racism existing in a New Orleans’ 9th Ward.

Full Transcript of Poem

It’s a hard pill to swallow
When the laws you follow
Are enforced on laying your ancestors are wrongfully mounted on
And the very principles this country’s founded on
Can’t be counted on
In times of crisis and confusion
What an illusion they’ve pulled off on us
Misused and lost our trust
Too many times but
Ain’t too many rhymes been written about this
So I’m pissed
‘Cuz for some odd reason
We think it’s best that less is said
But for God’s sake niggas they left us for dead
Dying
And there is no denying
Those fathers crying
With their family’s sidewalk written
What was so cleverly hidden
Is now in plain vision
For all to see
We want ya’ll to see how this country does it’s poor and down trotted
This is an instance that must not be forgotten
It’s for keeps
Long after the media sleeps
Political name calling and lyin’
Send ‘em photography to synthesize
The eyes so we won’t cry
No more when we see people dying
In despair
We don’t care
We just change the station
We live in a nation
Where the poor have nothing but time to spend
So we left waiting
Tailgating
Flood waters outside the superdome
Home no more
Show no more love
Than them 3rd world countries we take over
This is the real rape over
And this ain’t young boy frustrated emotion
This is grown man rationale
Hard to admit my national
Don’t give a fuck about its own
But the evidence is clear we can stack it up
Kanye made a statement
Ice here to back it up
It’s true
We live in a beautiful world where
Ugly souls push the buttons
The gluttons of society
Top priority
Make sure the rich folk stay rich folk
Pitch folk type thinking
New Orleans been sinking
This ain’t a new issue
The 9th ward been the tissue
That the city’s wipes his ass with
Like in the past with the first flood
Way before Bush contracted Halliburton to restore back the order
They used dead black bodies to hold back the water
Such disorder in the country that burns so much money
I’m telling you learn so much money
When you just open up a book and look inside
That’s where they hide the evidence
These fucked up presidents
And their constituents
Pitch you against your own mind here
Fuck up your mind here yeah
They got opportunities for the poor
It’s called ‘prison life’ and ‘warfare’
Nigga that’s yo share of the American pie
But you gotta lie, steal and cheat to get it
Step on somebody’s feet to get it
Knock toes that been swollen for so long
They do us so wrong
But we just stand there and take it
Nature rips the mask off so they can’t take it
We stand here butt naked nigga
This is your nation’s poor
But you still stand here and ask us for our kids for war
And the battalions from Bayou
That don’t know what they over there fighting for
What the fuck can you possibly say to them
When they learn that their parents died
Casualties of the war in poverty
Waiting for help outside a fucking stadium

Follow-up Resources/Discussions

Resources
Discussion/Follow-up Questions

Artist Comments

This space is reserved for any comments the author of the piece may have about the points they were trying to get across and the background of why they wrote the poem.