“Politics at God’s Funeral” | Slam Poetry

“Politics at God’s Funeral” by Loyce Gayo.

I recently came across this poem, it was written by Gayo in memory of David Joseph, who was shot and killed by police while he was naked and unarmed. But this is not a poem for only the few that have to endure this sort of marginalization every day, but for all those that don’t, so as we might understand. This is a poem for the masses, and it is wonderfully beautiful and heart-wrenching. 

This is my interpretation of the poem, due to my experiences, my ethnic origin and religion, sexuality and all the many things that make me who I am. This creates the beauty of poetry, it is all due to interpretation, maybe you get something different from it.

“These are the parables, taught at the tables of self professed prophets and messiahs

These are the stories of the survivors and the aware. Of those that understand the place others have given them in the world, and try to change it, and fight it. The stories of those that speak truths and get ignored or forgotten, of the social rights activists, of the martyrs, and the peaceful protesters that aspire for a better future for everyone. 

1- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the american dream.

The american dream is dead, but we choose to ignore it, we want to believe there is a chance the system will one day work for the poor and marginalized as much as it does for the white, and the wealthy, and the male, and the heterosexual, and the born again Christian, and the cis-gendered.These dream that has been ingrained in us for generations that one day we will be able to afford that house, and be able to drive a car, and send our kids to school, and put food on the table every day, and be able to treat ourselves at least once a month, and live our lives without having to worry if someone we love will die because of who they are, or simply going out into the street without being constantly afraid and looking over our shoulder. For the day we are represented as we should, and people stop trying to oppress us.  That day will come, but at what cost? And how soon? And why do we keep believing it still exists instead of fighting to gain it back? 

2- Blessed are those who mourn, for their children will inherit the same cry.

Blessed are those that have survived mass shootings, or shootings because of their race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation. And those that have died of hunger and thirst. Those that are dead because of honor killings, and rape, and political ideals. Blessed are the children of these, for they will encounter the same pain, and the consequence, and the burden. Blessed be them who will take on the cry so others don’t have to.  

3-Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit nothing,

and nothing is so big they will pray to it.

The gentle will demand nothing and get nothing, and they have no desire for other things, for they might find better ones in another life. The submissive will also get nothing, and nothing will become all they desire, nothing will ensure that things stay how they are, until they stand for something other than nothing. 

4-Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will feast on others’ souls.

There are those that claim to be righteous, and who seek righteousness by denying others of their rights. For they kill in the name of righteousness, and demean and oppress others, claiming it is in the name of God.

5-Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown judgement by a group of their peers.

The victims of those that thirst and hunger for righteousness, those that are merciful. For their kind and good hearts will tell them to ignore the hatred, and the pain, and follow a path of love and grace. 

6-Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will never see our evils.

Blessed are those that are so pure that they see no evil and hear no evil.  If they are lucky. 

 7- Blessed are the peace makers, for they will kill in the name of God.

The good of the many oftentimes outweighs the good of the few. There are those that in order to keep peace in their nation, kill innocents or the marginalized or anyone. Sometimes they believe it is God’s plan, but most often, they use God as an excuse, and feast on the calm that only lasts so little.  

8- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of  righteousness,  for their blood will stain pretty, but will eventually dry up and begin to smell forgotten. “

Blessed are the black, and the Muslim, and the Latino, and the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew, the activist, the trans-gendered, the homosexual, the women, and the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Native American, the Indian, the Irish, the Orthodox, the homeless, the poor, the Yoruba, the Christian, the disabled, the sexually assaulted, the non-graduates,  the scientist, and the preacher, the fat, and the skinny, the mother, and the father, the brother, the sister, the political opposition, the bullied, the autistic, the sex worker, for the elderly that can’t afford to retire, and those that work three jobs, the bilingual, and the broken-English talker and …….

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