Sunday, January 10, 2010

Get That Chicken the F*ck Outta My Face

contrary to recent television commercials
or maybe even popular belief / we
are not pacified by a white man
with a large bucket of kfc
do not spend every evening
calypso-ing round the coconut tree
& you know what else
(shock horror) might not
even give a fuck about the cricket

contrary to popular (which really
means anglo let’s face it) belief
no / i am not nursing a garage full / of
montego bay hydroponic weed
for christ’s sake / wd you all cease
accostin me in the street / the best i cn
get you on a good day
is a double shot of caffeine

contrary to popular belief / some of us
were watchin hey hey
three living rooms down from
you / & are not so
small-island good-time rum-belly layabout
tht we are unable to feel
(it wz marley after all / the one
person you conjure
to sum the millions-strong
of us / who said get the fuck
people / stand the fuck up
set my people free)

& perhaps most pertinently:
contrary to popular knowledge
it was / in fact / a jamaican man
who detonated at piccadilly

ever think maybe germaine lindsay
wz tired of seeing you blacked up on stage
oh yeah / just maybe germaine wz screaming
get that chicken the fuck outta my face
the only way popular belief
taught him how / to say it

Maxine Beneba Clarke's new poetry collection Gil Scott Heron is on Parole will be launched at Readings, Carlton on February 18.


  1. Love it, love it, love it. Love the power, the attitude, the poetic muscles flexing, the truth. I respectfully request a video of you performing this piece at some point in the future.

  2. The BOX- yeah being put in one of any shape drives me INSANE too.

    Nice work. You certainly cut to the chase and I love it.

  3. Hello Maxine,

    It's always nice to have friends that you can respectly disagree with.

    **Utt OH, what is CareyCarey about to say**

    Relax, I'm not taliking about this post :-). I am referring to your last stop at my spot *smile*

    But today, I am riding with you, yet, from a different perspective. See, I am a black man in America. However I live in a place in which we are about 1% of the population. In such, I've taken on a few characteristics of the majority race/culture. Consequently, on several occasions, I've been told that I sound like a white boy. Now, those words didn't come from "popular (which really
    means anglo let’s face it) belief", it was from my fellow black Americans.

    So, the BOX - yeah, being put in one shape, doesn't drive me crazy, I understand the confusion.

    I love chicken -- KFC's -- and sweet n spicy from Big Daddy's rib crib.

  4. Yeah, you're right Lauri: it is the boxing. This is one of those pieces where I think "mmmm...should I post it. This might well come back to bite me..." So thanks for your encouragement.

    Poetic Grin...that's gotta be a huge resolution for this site I think - for this year. Audio and/or video. Hold me to it.

  5. Carey - your comment crossed with mine. I love it when we come to (soft) blows about sh*t....I mean, topics of global interest. I know what you say about the 'acting white' comment. People of African descent make up a minute percentage of the population in Australia (though there are, of course, original australians, but even then, a small percent). It's pretty much inevitable that we end up being accused of this, isn't it? I like chicken too. Mostly jerk chicken. Mmmmmm

  6. I love it Maxine!
    We all seem to rely very heavily on labels we place on groups of people looking at them as "herds" rather than "individuals".

    And the Indigenous population of Australia (I presume that's what you mean by original Australians) make up about 2% of our population. We tried to wipe them out, we dumbed them down (we still think they had an oral culture. If they had an oral culture, what the hell is a message stick?), but that's all okay because we gave them 2% of the vote so we made up for it all.
    All they need to do to make sure they are given the rights they have been entitled to (and have been forced away from since we first colonised this country and still try to force them away from it by conveniently forgetting our own damn laws) is increase their vote by at least another 49% so they can get the basic civil rights they have been denied for so long.

    Sorry, a bit of topic. I geuss my point is this: "we're not a racist country *cough* *cough* Bullshit!"

  7. Never go to can't even puke that stuff up!!!

  8. You're spot on, Eurochild, as usual.

    Timoteo...Nah, I don't actually like KFC, carnivorous and chick-loving though I may be, and wouldn't buy it even if I did (no offence to you Carey, you know that). Have you heard that rumour about someone biting into a KFC burger with a tumour in it?. Squirm-worthy.

  9. I want to know more about this hard road. How come you've stopped writing about your gigs and submitting poems etc?

  10. January is a dead time for gigs, pretty much. And I'm pretty exhausted/busy in the lead-up to my book launch. But you're right, there have been less musings here lately, haven't there? I'll have to get back onto it.

  11. Derrrr. Of course. Sorry for hassling. Hope the gigs heat up again soon.

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