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Thwaites Glacier - West Antarctica - NASAThwaites Glacier – West Antarctica
Photo Credit: Climate Progress (NASA)

 

My Poetry Corner June 2014 features the poem “Iceberg Baby” from Sai Murray’s poetry collection Ad-Liberation. The Bajan/Afrikan/English poet, a former disillusioned writer in the advertising industry, defines ad-liberation as “the act or process of gaining freedom from the malignant influence of corporate advertising/marketing; any attempt to counter the madness of consumer society.”

Murray begins his collection with “Genesis” (Chapter 1, Verse 1):

In the beginning was the word.
The word sold flesh.
Good-looking, sweet-smelling,
smooth-sounding, fantastic feeling,
fresh, new, tasty-fresh flesh.

In the end there is only the word:
A. Alpha. Aaaah.     Advertising.

His cutting humor of the advertising world brought a smile to my lips. So true. So fresh. In “AA,” he declares that he’s an adman and brain damaged addict who has been clean for over thirteen years.

Sai Murray transforms his revulsion at his profit-making ad-words into poetry that calls attention to the diverse and interconnected issues that govern our daily lives. His biting wit never wavers.

Composed with a hip-hop beat, “Iceberg Baby” prods us to tackle climate change before it’s too late:

Turn it off, leave it off, better not wait
Better cut the bull, teach the kids to play
Yes, there’s a problem, yo we gotta solve it
Repair our planet before Big Oil destroys it

Iceberg melting melting
Iceberg melting

“@Modem_Lvng_” is a witty exposé of our emotional, rollercoaster lives on the Internet:

@ModernLiving is       1,423 new friends, 562 followers,
                               56 notifications, 49 comments, 16 requests,
                               12 pokes, 2,765 unanswered emails, 28 texts,
                               2 missed calls

In “A Bad Grain of Rice,” Murray admits his own racism as a schoolboy in a predominantly white school. Before connecting with his father’s roots in the Caribbean Island of Barbados, [he] hated [his] Dad because he was Black.

Standing out amongst all the other normal faces.
A bad grain of rice in the dish.
Spoiling everything.

Murray’s poem “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhhh!” – see link to his performance on my Poetry Corner June 2014 – decries the abomination of corporation/ruling over di nation. Corporate power is pervasive: consumerism, incarceration, Big Brother, media monopoly, drone wars, and more.

Aaaaaaaaaaaa-bolish
digital control
over mind, body, soul,
empty email
turn Facebook face to a book,
reclaim time and space
that MySpace took,
look up from the gutter,
dim stars of celebrity,
di owner of di plantation
media monopoly…

Ending his collection with “Revelations,” Murray concludes that the word that will triumph will be the word of the inner God beyond flesh.

Shared power, all glory.
Forever and ever,
Amen-ra.

Read “Iceberg Baby,” learn more about Sai Murray, and listen to him perform at my Poetry Corner June 2014.

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