Acid Sugar Cane is a collection of poems exploring a young woman’s journey through life. The subject matter ranges from relationships, art, culture, escaping societal norms, painful memories, self love, hate and healing. It will captivate, bring laughter, and possibly move you to tears but ultimately provide a better understanding of the messenger and the world as she knows it. Be prepared for an unadulterated story of liberation never before heard until now.
Human Nature: My Letter To Michael
I assume you are sleeping now. I don’t blame you.
You deserve it.
Over the years you endured the ridicule of 10 men.
Your backbone had to be made of heaven’s titanium.
It’s hard to believe you’re gone…
But I suppose it is for the best.
We never gave you a fighting chance, let alone a break.
Since about 1964 you have been our puppet.
Shucking and jiving to the beat of a weightless devoid drum.
As if you owed us anything.
I think we may just owe you.
An angelic force given to us for a short time.
Like sand grains in an hourglass, we took you for granted.
I guess we never appreciate something while we have it.
Always so sure that it will be there forever.
It’s not in us to actually care when true love stares us right in our faces.
Love beyond recognition.
You loved this art called music so much that you allowed your childhood to commit suicide.
Trading in your board games, basketball, puppy loves, tree climbing limbs and innocent banter for worldly things.
Rehearsals, contests, interviews, and costumes that created transparent yet gaping nooses around your fragile neck.
Let’s not forget that switch…
You know the one Joseph would hit you with if one step was missed or one note off key.
I’m a bit envious of your strength.
4 decades in the game not sure if the reward was greater than the risk.
I apologize for asking but how did it really feel to know that you were never truly appreciated or understood?
But I suppose that’s the way it is.
People fear what they don’t understand & try to destroy what they can’t control.
I mean, who actually has the time to truly care about why you sat in corners in darkness after shows or why you didn’t want your brothers to get married for fear of disappointing your fans?
We didn’t realize it was all you had.
Your childhood was dead and for years you tried to resurrect it.
Your house was an amusement park for CRYING out LOUD!
You owned animals most of us could only see on TV.
How cool is that?
Or leave it to us to say how weird is that?
And why the fuck did you keep changing your face and skin tone?
You didn’t really expect us to believe that Vitiligo bullshit did you?
Come on Michael we don’t read!
And we don’t care enough about your other family members to know LaToya has it too.
Instead of asking or at least showing compassion we’ll just murder you this time.
So you won’t have to give up any more of yourself for the slaughter.
Could it be that we never took the time?
Time to understand or at least TRY?
Maybe your metamorphosis came because of the heartless taunting of your brothers.
Knocking you for having a wide nose or a few pimples…
But lest we forget they followed behind you when you went under the knife a few times too.
I’m convinced they wanted to be you but since they couldn’t they decided to play on your insecurities and lack of confidence and esteem.
And WE being the gullible fools we are, joined in.
You were cool to listen to but scary to look at.
But EYE see you Michael…
As clear as the stars in God’s indigo night sky.
You were my Hero.
So giving of yourself maybe even to a fault.
You showed me how to walk on the moon.
With your loafers adorned with copper coins.
I suppose a penny saved is a penny earned.
You earned it all from praise to condemnation.
One moment we love you then we hate you.
I can imagine in 1983 before I was even a possibility in my parents’ minds EVERYONE was sporting a glittery glove.
But were quick to throw it in the trash or hide it when they thought it was tainted with the stolen chasteness of young boys.
The audacity of you!
To attempt to help those in need and become a kid again in the process…
Easier to believe you were a pedophile instead of a child aching to be brought back to life.
EYE see you Michael…
With more clarity than ever…
They say hindsight is 20/20 and it all makes sense in the end
So I pose these questions:
How do your wings feel?
Do they soothe the broken heart you’ve carried in a delicate chest coupled with a Paper Mache smile.
How is your back?
Is it still titanium and vertically aligned to match the stature some see you in now?
How is your face?
Have you finally reached the perfected image God made you in, in the first place?
How is your mind?
It is at peace now?
Filled with songs sweeter than the ones you wrote us when you were here?
How are your feet?
I bet it feels better to glide on streets made of Gold instead of the moon we now disrespect by blowing holes in it.
It’s just as well, you NEVER belonged to us.
You were not of this world.
Which is why when you left, it was a shock to our system.
You were the prototype of what equality should be like.
On June 25, 2009 you bridged the gap that separated us once again by your music, legacy and memory.
I guess I won’t keep you any longer…
I just have ONE more question:
Why are you worth more to us now that you’re gone?
Why do we play your music now like your albums dropped last Tuesday and why do we wear your face on T-Shirts like never before?
Wait, don’t answer.
You posed this question and explanation 27 years ago.
So prophetic and profound…
Why, why, tell them that’s it’s Human Nature.
Why, why, did WE do you that way?
Why, why, tell them that it’s Human Nature…
That’s all I have to say.
I’ll miss you.
Copyright© Tisean M. Bell. All rights reserved.