Step Back

by Vanessa Raney


Do you know
the word discrimination?
Means to take away
Means to be a stereo—
type of meaning
to confuse
to alienate
to identify
in a discriminating context
that if you are not white
you are discriminated
against if not white
seen as less than white
if white and non-white
to be white or non-white
but if white
the discriminator
the power
the problem
excuses excuses
I see division
anger building in—
action to discriminate
because if black brown
any color but white
you have the right
called discrimination
but if you are white
take account
it doesn't matter
if you didn't do it
doesn't matter
if you see people for people
you're white
and that's all that counts.
But I say step
back hi,
I'm Vanessa.
And you are?

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Poetry on Swans


Vanessa Raney will be a graduate student in History at Claremont Graduate University this fall. Her poetry has recently appeared in American Western Magazine (online), Quirk, Asphyxia Digest, WireTap Magazine (online), The Bayou Review, and The Thing Itself. This is her second contribution to Swans. "Step Back" (and "To Stay Myself Blind") was inspired by the poems of June Jordan.

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This Week's Internal Links

The American Caliphate: US Establishment Bipartisan Strategy - by Gilles d'Aymery

Broken Promises Of World War II - by Philip Greenspan

The Tweedle Brothers - by Richard Macintosh

What Will You Do? - by Michael Stowell

Blitzkrieg Of Bullshit: A Fable - by Phil Rockstroh

Perspectives - A Poem by Scott Orlovsky

Letters to a Young Poet (Letter Six) - by Rainer Maria Rilke

Generosity And Regulations - by Gilles d'Aymery (Oct. 96)

The Rhetoric Of Values - by Jan Baughman (Oct. 96)


Published August 18, 2003
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