c o n v e r g e n c e:
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EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's

Lawrence Dinkins, Jr.

Drawing by Lawrence Dinkins Jr

Drawing by Lawrence Dinkins, Jr.


By Lawrence Dinkins, Jr.

There is a wall between
You and us
A wall of money
Stretching high and far
Beyond the human eye
Overcastting vivid memories
Going back decades; wait, no—
Built on a foundation
Of bone, blood and greed

Like a conjure
This wall appeared out of vapor
On paper and in our minds
It cannot be touched
But it is everywhere
Every time you look at us
There it is
Blocking your view of us
Like a two way mirror
We see you
But the only thing you can see is that
We are not you

This wall separates, divides and strangles

Your side—
Plush and flowing with milk and honey
Our side—
Sparse and stagnant with rot and crumbling neglect
Yet undeniably
We are one

Like two halves of a dysfunctional Siamese twin
One ripping away from the other
While the other begs to be loved
One despising the other
While the other begs for approval

You were always troubled
Ambition your curse
Accumulation your disease
Blessed with much but never enough
You can't resist gluttony
Would you crush a baby's head under your heel
If the body was worth more than
Its cries?

We always believed you would find your way
That you would see
People are more important than profit
That your
King of the hill mentality
Dog eat dog philosophy and
Trickle-not-so-down economics
Are counter-productive

But your heart was stunted by profit-motive
Your eyes blinded by spreadsheets
Your need for this damn wall
Only grew stronger as it grew larger

We gather here—now
Along your wall
On the street
To remind you
We are not blips on a computer screen
We are real, tangible,
With lives and
Families, donít you see
Despite the wall
We are one

We beat against this wall—now
With cardboard signs
We march around your wall—now
Like Joshua
Around the walls of Jericho
And we will yell, scream, beat drums, chant, gather, sing, debate
Until this wall come tumbling down
Until you see
Until you see

Drawing by Lawrence Dinkins Jr

Drawing by Lawrence Dinkins, Jr.


By Lawrence Dinkins, Jr.

Trapped in our box
in our world
on our block
we feel so safe in our little box

With walls of brown
all we do is stand around
we have discussions
on how we can make our box
more brown

Our clothes are brown
our local mime
acts like he's trapped in a box;
what a clown!
How does he fold himself up like that,
on the ground?

We talk about the news of the little girl
that drowned in Brown Lake downtown

One time we had someone paint a mural
but we all frowned
we stoned him to death
because the paint was off brown

We sing songs of Saint Augustine Brown
for it was he who found
and named our safe little town
"Box Of Brown"


By Lawrence Dinkins, Jr.

I lay the day to rest
I lay it down
Like an elderly man on his deathbed
coming to unexpected end
I lay the day to rest

I lay it down
Cradled in my arms, slowly, gingerly
Crouching over the bed of day's end
I lay it painfully down

Thoughts of to-do's, undone
Wishes, ungranted
Needs, unmet
And wants, unfulfilled

I lay it down

Lawrence Dinkins Jr NSAA

Lawrence Dinkins, Jr. —penname NSAA [pronounced en-sah-ah]— is a fire and brimstone urban poet seasoned with sex, reflection, tongue-in-cheek wit, and a cautious hope in the human race. This self-described pessimistic-optimist believes poetry has purpose— beyond beautifying bookshelves. He experiments with combining poetry with music, recordings, video, and visual art. He has several chapbooks and CDS, and his collection of art, photography, and poetry Open Mic Sketchbook, is availalbe from little m press. Lawrence frequently attends, performs at, and hosts poetry and new music events in Sacramento and elsewhere in northern California.

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