Today, Culture Box returns to highlighting some of Guyana’s poems. This one was performed at Upscale’s Poetry Night this month. It pretty much sums up everything. Apart from being beautifully written, it is the most hilarious poem I have ever heard. Here it is:
An Angry Man by Randolph Critchlow
After much introspection, conscious reflection, and deep meditation,
I thought that I found myself an angry man,
And I was unwilling to accept this negative reality
But the deeper I dug the more I saw, I was not becoming an angry man but damn I was an angry man,
You see I had to be because we live in this cruel, uneven, lopsided thing of a society.
Yes I had to be angry.
Because I live in a country where showing up at 5 for a 4 o’clock event has become customary
And our mindless acceptance of this crap is bewildering. We act like its just fine
“You know it’s 4 o’clock Guyanese time.” Foolishness!
I gat to be angry
Because I live in a country where I pay taxes for everything
They tax you for earning, tax you when buying, tax you for selling, tax you for consuming.
I pay tax on my electricity, tax on my gas, tax on the tissue to wipe my arse, tax on the butter for bread
I even pay tax on the weave for my girlfriend’s head
And when I turn my pipe on the damn water red?
That’s why I must be angry.
I live in a country where it is cheaper to visit another country than many places in my own
Where people ask you for a call because there is no credit in their $40,000 phones, really?
Where there is a dance for everything and a show for everyone
There is no lack of investment, for entertainment,
I wonder when we start investing in our children’s level of attainment.
See that why I am angry
I supposed to be angry
Because I live in a country, where our leaders argue daily about how much pension the ex-president should get
And between themselves they can’t figure out how to properly educate you youths as yet
I live in a country where politicians are rich and the masses poor
And they tell our students to go buy textbook in the store,
Because, they not allowed to pirate it anymore.
Where when you talk you are a racist
When you act, you are a terrorist, well I will accept that label, because damn we living in a crisis,
A crisis created by all of you, by our willingness to accept the status quo,
By us sticking our heads in the sand, and pretending like we don’t know.
Yes I am angry, but I am angry at me and you at all of us for allowing it to get to this point
I guess I am angry because it seems as if nobody else is.