NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 56

detroit the war years 1701 to present
“ Detroit , Where the Weak are Killed and Eaten ” souvenir T-shirt
we invented the car and the rocket ship the factory and the telescope words and music not the objects themselves but what they came to mean over time
we made the sound of young america to help replace the great american songbook which held sway in the tribulation of ossian sweet that yet survives stamped on these foolish things
we rolled democratic arsenals until the wheels refused their abuse
the city was never founded about 300 years before this was written french imperialists looked at indians sideways and lied to them but left the genocide part to the fathers of america
on a distant blood related planet henry ford founded vapid visionary assholes perpetrating in detroit shaved off workers ’ faces removed them along with their hearts to glass containers filled with river water hung those rented body parts from the ceiling to glow like captive stars illuminate the work of the factory and fire furnaces that turned iron to gold
but the workers missed being their old human selves gathered agitated organized for the return of organs and identity some were beaten and shot by police whose brains ford bought and ate as he watched the carnage from on high the more east west north south the encounter the more exotic and unlikely the metamorphosis the black diamond nexus of african descendants was rare indeed but as hard as it might have been to mix molotov cocktails in the basement of a church inspiration could be found
shift change tilted earth on its axis and brought the seasons you could rent the river and part it to let you and your friends cross over to canada closer to freedom
currently belle isle the exile capitol turns golden black in the summer the bass from car speakers drives fish onto the beach and deer sing in the island ’ s rapidly defoliating woods to lure dogs and small children
falling mainland population is harder darker to count house to house searches relieve low income families of water service and reveal a rise in prison population arrest records crowd the suspects ’ resumes
it used to take millions to feed the machines back then they ran out of white people so let black brown beige into the various bellies of the various beasts now they only eat hundreds all of this for five dollars a day which used to be a lot of money except for those agitated still missing their old human selves depending on the distance between machines and the rooms where you ate and slept you could leave for work a british royalist and return home a bolshevik you could set out for work a german proto-fascist and return an italian anarchist there were even rumors of southern united states racists showing up at home after a day ’ s work transformed into mexican revolutionaries or lebanese intellectuals