Ty Chapman is a Black, Twin Cities based poet, and puppeteer. He has been creating
art with social justice themes for many years, and is passionate about creating art that
speaks to the Black experience in America. His recent works include writing a children's
book through the Loft's "Mirrors and Windows" program, and creating a one-man
shadow puppet and marionette show for "Puppet Lab".


We took the freeway–
Figured it led to sanctuary.

At 6 years old
Me and mine moved cross country
Had no intention of being the next
Mess to litter country roads
No desire to be bound and battered
In small town South

But the North is no stranger
To country roads or making messes
Just attentive to cleaning up


Here we
Adept at hiding
Motives, emotions
& messes

Quick to kick corpses
& cover
We shelter the smell
In snow
Meat sweet stinks
Better frozen
No matter how potent
The decomposing

Practice passed from
Blue hands always
Gripping a something
To silence whoever
Catches the scent
Come spring


Here our messes reside
In grey areas
Buried beneath
Sheets of white
Chunks of black
That dribble crimson
We too lust
For the hunt
Quick to cover footprints
No stranger to country roads
Or making messes
Blue hands hide
The decomposing


I don't fear the end of days
Swift as it comes

Truth be told
I'm glad our time is finite
I find pleasure
In knowing our sand
Is nearly spent
The hourglass poised
To drop from end table
Our memories to adorn
Metaphysical floors

Truth be told I'm tired
Of bombings
& lynchings
& prisons
Of the bounties on Black bodies
Doubling daily
Of watching the world
Over heavy shoulders
& putting knives under my pillow

Ever the sentinel
Awaiting assassins
Even in sleep
I'm tired
Of fighting for survival
While others do so by default
They do so
And ask why I'm always so angry


Barking from afar
Fills me with the dread of my ancestors
Sends me to gnashing teeth
Heat seeking jaws
Leading the charge
With whips and rope to follow
I guess that's why my neck snaps
(Near whiplash) generations removed
Bloodhounds turnt K9s
Whips to batons
The mobs resigned
To spectation

I'm still wide eyed
Looking for lynch mobs
& the dogs
That lead the charge

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