What Land I Gotta Be Runnin’ Between My Hope ‘n Dream?

Harassment Now







“I will not allow you to reinvent me in your anger”
be the line I be rocking on this mornin’.
It be the hot-spot poker, hec it be the red-dot banger
I been huntin’ through decades of duck ‘n tuck warnin’s
even before I ever saw Anita Hill ‘n her little green
suit sitting in front o’ Biden ‘n those white men who seen
themselves purveyin’ some brand o’ truth all scary
on that big tv show put on by the senate Jude-is-she-airy
god-please-commit-me cause we got no idea what scream-
in’ fiasco happen back there in 1991. Lordy Lordy tell me
What kinda’ land I gotta be runnin’ between my hope ‘n dream?

What hook me then, still be whilin’ me softly in another
twenty years if’n I don’t take a break from my public missionary-in’
bout how if we women be 50% of the people on this here
planet we need t’ be 50% of who be decidin’ what be happenin’
next. I’s sittin’ here trying to sep-a-rate what be a fact clean
and what be my thought jus’ make me curse like a fiend
cause my heat gotten all up ‘n makin’ my blood boil crazy
and behave to men ‘n women all hostile ‘n nasty
if theys imply I ain’t got what it takes to’ play on, forget lead their team
cause I be too emotional, all talking ’bout how our dreams disagree.
What kinda’ land I gotta be runnin’ between my hope ‘n dream?

See, I be all seethin’ at that row ‘o white men AND the darker
skinned Tom-Tom n’ how they be pretendin’ they all fellers findin’
the facts and trying the truth, when what theys really there fer
is a campaign t’ make ‘Nita seem nutty, so’s they can put their shadow’s puppet in
my supreme suite spot. Nevermin’ they men on BOTH sides of the aisle been wean
on the same damn mentality our ol’ Uncle Tom Cat been perpetratin’ an’ preen-
in’ with them pretty women who all givin’ their time for a dime every
damn day ’cause they has to work for him t’ even get a quick look-see
at what be on the table where them there men-lords be gleam-
in’ they white teeth while decidin’ what my nation’s damn future done gonna be.
What kinda’ land I gotta be runnin’ between my hope ‘n dream?

Now, inside me, I be Anita, the row o’ white men, and Clarence. That be the kicker
I gotta get clear on, n’ do MY work with, ‘fore I can go out there ‘n be doin’ anythin’
that gonna stick about what kinda leadship be the changer
I want. So I’s stand in front o’ the mirror n’ say, ‘I be the row o’ white powerful men’.
Then I’s just act – all patriarch-ish n’ dictator-y, n’ lookin’ at my paper reams
while I be askin’ ‘Nita ’bout some guy I don’t even like and his talkin’ pubic hair cuisine.
Descript words come quick ‘n I say, “I wanna be seen all large ‘n in charge. I be unhappily
cornered ‘n on display to produce somethin’ I’m not sure ’bout. I feel embarrass-y
to be defendering how one of my own leads. Then I stop n’ ask myself what I glean
in that there descript that be in MY life. An let me tell you, it weren’t pretty,
what kinda’ land I gotta be runnin’ between my hope ‘n dream.

Here’s the them in me: I wanna be in charge, but I don’t wanna be their kinda leader
an’ I see women go lead like the mens and it be embarrassin. So I be defenderin’
how my gender need t’ be leadin’ – but I don’t know how true it be that I’d do better
so I’s put myself in a corner to display somethin’ I not sure about, n’ it be embarrassin’
cause I NOT sure I’s the leader we need. But I’s SURE wanna be value-seen.
That be the gold in me I gotta mine afore I gonna really change anythin’.
So I git to turnaroundin’ by asking myself which o’ those thoughts I fully
just threw down there have the most heat. Lickety-split I know what make me all react-y.
It be the thought ‘I not be a proven awesome leader’. That be the limiting theme
I gotta to work my way through. Now, I’ll tell you how I do that in the next word spree.
What kinda’ land I gotta be runnin’ between my hope ‘n dream.

Now it be Ms. Anita who say to Clarence all public she weren’t going to be
lettin’ his anger reinvent who she be. She in charge of inventin’ how she see
herself AND how the world see her. Then I gets it! I gotta evolve my anger meme
n’ stitch my own seam, n’ sew me a trust that I be who I wanna be. That there be
what kinda’ land I gotta be runnin’ between my hope ‘n dream.

© Lori Fleming, 2014



12 thoughts on “What Land I Gotta Be Runnin’ Between My Hope ‘n Dream?

  1. brian miller

    dang. that was awesome….love the rhythm and obviously a great spoken word piece…the repetition works wonderfully…and who else will take responsibility for us in being who we are meant to be…only us.

    1. bridge2vision Post author

      Appreciate hearing your positive vibe and takeaway Brian. It is a welcomed comment, and you are quite celebrated as this blog’s FIRST commentator!

    1. bridge2vision Post author

      Thanks for the read and feedback Claudia, you’d laugh if you could hear how hoarse I am from readin’ these aloud as I write ’em. The word-play gets soundin’ a little raspy after awhile…

    1. bridge2vision Post author

      Thank you Shanyns, this is my first time out on the poetry front with a group like dverse. I’m eager to get over your blog (and others) and learn about what you and others at dverse are writing about!

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Oh this was cool.. and a great reminder of this.. Of course I barely remember this (it was not the top news in Sweden.. ) and the gender and race angle… and to be a pawn in such a game… Yes a good remember.

    1. bridge2vision Post author

      Bjorn, it sure was a cosmic bang-up of planets ‘n cultures ‘n color ‘n strategy, ‘n men’s ‘n women all trying protect and reflect at the same time. It’s no wonder we be more than 20 years later and we still wonderin’ what happen.


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