A Solidarity Poem for Mumia

A Poem, By Steve Bloom

January 19, 2010

[on this date the US Supreme Court, by a vote of 9-0, overturns a lower court ruling that set aside the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal]

Truth is stood upon its head—once more today. Fitting, I would say, that we receive your latest declaration of imposing death just hours after pausing to remember Martin. For on his holiday each year we hear consistent drumbeats of a lesson learned so well: Never fail an opportunity to justify this nation’s lies by draping them in someone else’s truth.

And yet here is one truth that haunts you still:

A lie has been proclaimed each time nine final names are draped with the title “Justice,” then again when it is said you reign supreme.

For I can hear the voices of a higher court chanting in the street not far away. “Brick by brick” and “wall by wall, we’re going to free . . .” they rule, certain that a time arrives when these— like Martin’s honest words—become transformed into a power even you must flail at helplessly, in your supremacy of lies. And then, when truth be all, nine black-robed heads of densest brick will find themselves among the first to fall.

January 2010