Evolution of My Block

By Jacob Saenz Jacob Saenz
As a boy I bicycled the block
w/a brown mop top falling
into a tail bleached blond,

gold-like under golden light,
like colors of Noble Knights
’banging on corners, unconcerned

w/the colors I bore—a shorty
too small to war with, too brown
to be down for the block.

White Knights became brown
Kings still showing black & gold
on corners now crowned,

the block a branch branded
w/la corona graffitied on
garage doors by the pawns.

As a teen, I could’ve beamed
the crown, walked in w/out
the beat down custom,

warred w/my cousin
who claimed Two-Six,
the set on the next block

decked in black & beige.
But I preferred games to gangs,
books to crooks wearing hats

crooked to the left or right
fighting for a plot, a block
to spot & mark w/blood

of boys who knew no better
way to grow up than throw up
the crown & be down for whatever.

Source: Poetry (September 2010).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2010
 Jacob  Saenz

Biography

Poet and editor Jacob Saenz was born in Chicago and raised in Cicero, Illinois. He earned a BA in creative writing from Columbia College in Chicago. Saenz has been an editor at Columbia Poetry Review and an associate editor at RHINO. He works as an acquisitions assistant at the Columbia College library and has read his poetry at a number of Chicago venues. A CantoMundo fellow, he has also been the recipient of a Letras Latinas . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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