Poem: Alternative Music

Thumping through my earbuds

Are the musical notes that paraphrase

My state of mind.

They clutch to my eardrums

To hang and play upon,

Hoping to reach low enough

To play my heartstrings…

And they do.

Awakening me in awkward, nerdy, slightly emo

Middle school,

I learned all of the lyrics to a new Paramore song

Each day.

While questioning the concept of prayer,

Their Hallelujah was my meditation.

When questioning afterlives,

Coldplay was my Paradise.

They got me.

So why did friends and family say they weren’t

For me?

Was it because bands were bringing me out of

Certain depths

And not the people in front of me?

No.

The fall was deeper when someone explained how

Strange it was,

Me liking white music.

For music that was a mosaic

Of my emotions,

They did have a point.

Those musicians weren’t exactly the

Same shade as me.

But when I attempt to defend my tastes

Through history of blacks giving birth to

Rock & Roll,

No one wants to hear it.

It’s still seen as white.

Hozier couldn’t Take Me to Church

But he could take everyone else

In this particular context.

I don’t appreciate the oreo complex

In explaining why I should like more

Hip hop or

R&B ,

And I do like a few of those genres

In my playlist,

But it did make me ask:

Where were the sisters?

Where were my mocha to chocolate covered Muses

To soothe me

Through my adolescent sorrows?

If rap could welcome Eminem

And Macklemore,

Why couldn’t alternative

Invite anyone to the brand?

Where was the proof of people of color

Being able to sing about

Depression and exclusivity?

Because it does exist for us.

A lot more than people

Make it out to be.

Where was my proof that not every

Black singer sounded like

Jennifer Hudson?

To my white people, I’m sorry,

I’m not very skilled in gospel singing.

Lyrical storytelling and strong production

Still gets me weak in the knees,

And I still have yet to purchase

A Paramore t-shirt,

But I would love to see more of

My face somewhere.

It shouldn’t be too much to ask.

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