Can I Get A Dollar?

Source Image
Dollar backed free speech for sale.  “Can I get a dollar?”
Because more free speech is a good thing.  Free speech at a price?  Let me holler…

…At you for a minute.  
I remember when free speech used to flow freely,
from thinking and ignorant people’s throats alike see…,
Not bundled and grouped by label. “Hurry, hurry…”

“Step right up!  
Get your bottle of free speech, before it’s gone.  
Place your money on the barrel.”
Snake oil salesmen, bottling up so called free speech.  
A dumb idea?  It’s radical…

…An element that exists in the universe, freely,
unless it’s taken or given away,
by those who’ve lost the ability,
to quantify and value it properly.
Wisdom and intellect,
True jewels of prosperity.

“Step right up to the free speech machine!  
Drop your dollar and speak freely.”

$1.99 for bottled water.
$1.68 for clean air.
$1.00 for free speech.

“It’s the first of the month. So keep it tight.  Hey, don’t forget. I need your payment on your voting rights.”

Don’t worry though.  If someone was smart of enough to put a price on it and you bought it, well, then it simply validates the belief that free markets are run objectively, by the unbiased gods and we should all genuflect accordingly.

Black thought, the OG, the homie who taught me the deal,
Said in prayer,
That’s the only time you ever should kneel.  
And that’s real(1).

Every now and then, drop your pencil,
look up and see who or what,
your prayers are being floated up to.
Frantic scribbles on an over-sized kite.
Praying for cake, ass, and ice… fall from the clouds onto the desert floor.
Singing the same tune for the Summer, rich and poor.

We sleep on cardboard boxes
Evicted from our homes and land.  
Huddled on street corners
Begging for dollars to buy back,
The freedoms we once had.

Sensorial amnesiacs.
The smell used to be familiar,
The taste once known,  
Never manufactured,
Organically grown.

Stripped of your citizenship,
While you lie wide awake,
Hearing the creaks,
fast asleep,
…In front of the spectacle of entertainment.
One, then two they creep,
On it.
Be on it.
Let it wash over you,
The opiate for the masses,
Reds, blues, and yellows
Irrespective of shades and classes.

When the morning comes,
Yawn into the early morning sky,
Pull the cardboard up around your ears. 
Restless from the nightmares,
Watching shadows with the nighttime fears.

But your house, bed, and rights,
Were taken from underneath you,
During the daylight hours.
While you hugged closley your money and guns,
Wonder twin powers.

They came for them
Your freedoms,
During the day,
Neatly laid out on tables,
In the driveway,
While the “precious,”
Was safely inside locked away.
(2) Satan serenaded ever since I was a toddler.  
Told him talk is cheap, we all living for the dollar.  
So in God we trust,

Breaking wafers under white collars. 
Cemented in place by wealth, religion, and power.
Now tell me, stud, “Can I get a dollar?”

by malakhai jones
(c) Copyright 2016

Lyric credits

(1) Black Thought from the The Roots

(2)- “The Kingdom” Vince Staples / Common


  1. This is a good piece! I thought it would be different based on the title, but you made it so much more intricate. I like your commentary about capitalism here – as I can, unfortunately, see a day where we have to pay for free speech (corporations basically buy their votes). Keep writing bro!

    1. Thanks Darryl! We already somewhat buy free speech thanks to the citizens united ruling several years ago. That’s the start. Thanks for the feedback. I agree with your sentiments on liking feedback over the likes. I’d rather have the commentary as well.

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