The New Neighbor

The New Neighbor by Too Tall Joanz©

Gentrification
has become a major situation
in my neighborhood
Some folks think it’s all good
with the new bistros
and other commercial
businesses popping up
like weeds
’cause see
they look like flowers
but their function is
to drain all the power
from the beauty of the real ones
sucking the life from us
until there’s none
Now the Lenox Lounge is done
If it were downtown
they would’ve never torn it down
another jewel plucked
from Harlem’s crown
As I look around
nowadays
seeing all the changes
around the way
my heart is filled with dismay
because the taste
of chocolate
on Harlem’s streets
is beginning to get weak
now the feet
that beat
these streets
are the police
trying to catch you slipping
new neighbors flipping
’cause your bbq
doesn’t respect their curfew
in addition to
turning your music down
yet they forget
this ain’t downtown
and though there’s snow
in Chocolate Town
Black culture still abounds
and I pray when summertime
comes around
We turn it up
all the way to the max
being Black
being Black
being Black
being Black
so much so that
the ignorance
is line-stepping niggerish
til the police
dismiss
their complaints
like it’s giberrish
because this here shit
is ridiculous
coming from downtown
to come here with
their own set of rules
disturbing the peace
of the last piece
of chocolate cake
Manhattan’s only soul-food
spot
and you will not
tell us how to rock
on our block
I hope our music pops
your eardrum
that’s in conjunction
to the beat of the African ones on
two-fifth
I hope you choke on the
smell of spliffs
rising
in the night wind
as cannabinoids
walk by
I hope pitbulls
swallow your carry-on dogs
I hope you get lost
in the fog
of smoke
from bbq grills
I hope you know
how it feels
to be denied
when habibi lies
saying he don’t sell no loosies
I hope all you see
is a mistake
when you look at your home address
and the only way to fix that mess
is to move the hell out and
say goodbye to your stress
’cause our Blackness
in our Black nest
ain’t gon’ side-step
’cause you the new neighbor, honey

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