“Oh Media … Catch our good side…Our Eastside…Our Westside…Good Side”
Sharing a stage with Michigan’s governor, Detroit’s mayor, the city’s bankruptcy judge and journalists, six teen poets from Cody-Detroit Institute of Technology College Prep High School performed an original poem about bankruptcy at Wayne State University tonight.
The students represented the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, a nonprofit that works with teen writers throughout the city and in the suburbs.The students learned about the city’s bankruptcy case at workshops presented by WDET as part of the station’s work with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.
Click here to see a video about their project.
The result? A poem about Detroit performed at the “Detroit Bankruptcy: One Year Later” event by the poets: Asia Harris, Alisha Reeves, Justin Keller Rhodes, Jemilla Siggers, DaVaughn Smith and Savannah Zellous. They worked with InsideOut Writer In Residence Mahogany Jones.
Here is their poem, with links to Detroit Journalism Cooperative work illustrating their verse:
Listen to the poem
When you call the police or ambulance in Detroit it takes an average of 58 minutes to respond.
A lot can happen in an hour
A violent crime occurs every 25.3 seconds
Somewhere in America a woman is getting raped every 2 minutes
Little Caesar’s can have a “Hot and Ready” delivered to my doorstep in less than 30 minutes
JUST 30 MINUTES?
Maybe we should train Little Caesar’s to be emergency responders.
Scared of haunted houses?What about haunted blocks?
You gotta watch your surroundings
Because you could get snatched up
IN THE DARK…
I hear things are getting dark
Even the street lights have started to go out
That just means it’s our time to bring out
Our inner light
“B” IS FOR “BANKRUPTCY”
What about cities?
The state of being completely lacking in a particular quality or value.
“C” IS FOR “COMPLICATED”
well it’s complicated
Like a divorce
With a crappy settlement
Like “it’s not you… It’s me”
Like how no matter how hard they try they always lose
Like think about it like this
At least now we’re not 20 billion in debt now it’s only 11 billion
Like I’ll trade you my peanut butter and jelly and pudding for your celery sticks
Losing our landmarks doesn’t feel like absolving debt but death.
Dropping down anchors in a bottomless ocean saving already sinking ships?
Every war worth winning has a fallen solider on the front line.
We were made to prepare for the unexpected
In 1960 we had the highest income per capita of the entire nation
But this was unexpected
But we are
Though the world thinks
“WE’VE FALLEN AND WE CAN’T GET UP”
Catch our good side
Our Good Side
Our renovated schools
Our declining drop out rates
Our inclining graduation rates
Our occupied homes
Our city full of occupied hopes
The revitalization of our parks and neighborhoods
Our innovative entrepreneurs
Our brilliant artists
Our brilliant poets
Our vibrant urban farms
Our hustling and bustling downtown
Our Detroit Spirit
Our Iron Fist fight back
Don’t call it a comeback cause we never left
To the other side
From what I know we are rich.
Listen to the conclusion A comeback?