Newark in Verse: Corner Store Classic by Myk Dyaleks

Corner Store Classic

by Myk Dyaleks

Hey Papi!
Let me get a corner store classic
Hot pastrami & cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, no mayo mustard please!
Hey where's Tony?
Where's the rows of low priced foods and products
Twenty-five cent chips chocked full of preservatives,
Fifty cent sodas, which are as advertised
"Cheap & Cold"
The sugar count is seven grams higher than it's name brand counterpart.
But it's still good with a corner store classic!
Hot pastrami & cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, no mayo, mustard please!
See Shop Rite doesn't have seventy-five cent flavor-aid.
Now & Laters, Frunas, Mike & Ikes, or Rap Snacks.
They won't take five now and the rest later.
They don't know my middle name is Pablo at Pathmark.
I didn't have my first job there after being caught stealing quarter cakes,
The Walmart woulda called the police,
He called my mother!
I knew better,
Though I acted like we were not acquainted.
Tony taught me how to make
Corner Store Classic,
Hot pastrami & cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, no mayo mustard please!
Why do I keep repeating the ingredients?
I want you to think about how simple happiness is.
How quickly a child's hard day can disappear into Big Business.
Listen gents, before you try to facilitate your fiction,
Placate me with your diction,
Understand that I am very aware of your plans,
Regardless of your change of it's moniker
Gentrification is the name we know it as.
I believe you call it "Progress".
I believe it's the perspective driven by the viewer,
Like 50 shots center mass to an unarmed man is reasonable fire.
Or the acquittal of barbarianism by a jury of one is due process.
No! Please don't disregard my lack of discipline towards the correct diet to mean I'm blind to the Cellophane mask you disguise your "enterprise" in.
I'm fully aware of the fact you want to change the face of my city from mulatto to pure blood caucazoid!
Trust me, I've studied your movements since Prince Street collapsed.
Black owned is becoming black foreclosed
Doors closed never to re-open
Cornerstones of our structure destroyed,
And you…you wait to clear the debris and turn our memories into franchise.
Disregarding our loyalty to our people and knowing we'd sell our brother's back into slavery for the right monetary standard.
Damn Devils!
Pirates, ravaging our fractured eco-structure,
To socially make a clean break between us and our zip code.
I see your ploys, I don't believe in action without motivation.
No, I will not trade my 108 for Foot Locker,
I will not trade my neighborhood library
For Barnes & Noble,
Your Borders do not contain the works of contemporary artists who are not on Amazon.
I will not trade my corner store classic
For Quiznos,
Not when the answers are yes.
Yes, we need to save our community
Yes, we need travel in packs like hungry wolves till these pigs take the beam off our backs.
Yes, send our children to public schools and demand they be taught to excel as opposed to survive.
So you go ahead chief…you and your brief case.
Three piece suit, wingtips, and slacked jaw at the fact that all of us are not asleep or mentally stripped raw like an open wound.
I'll still come through those doors screaming,
"Hey Papi,
Let me get a corner store classic,
Hot pastrami & cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, no mayo mustard please!
And give them the finger when they ask me,
"Would you like a scone with that latte?"

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