The end was in the beginning

  • This is a poem I wrote that is inspired by the masterpiece novel that I finished reading this past week titled Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. This is not an in dept recap of the events in detail, so there are no spoilers or anything given away explicitly. You would have to read the book to completion to fully comprehend what I’ve written. However all in all, I will say that it feels like the story’s narrator possess the reader in a journey that takes you on a wild, sometimes funny, sad, and reflected journey on self discovery through adverse times that are abundant with every chapter. Since the narrator is unnamed you can feel that you are him in a sense, experiencing the pain he goes through which is very visceral. This book was written in the early 1950’s a few years prior to the civil rights movement, but it still remains relevant today, and will be until the end of time. I’m thinking of maybe doing this for other novels I read in the future. Leave a comment if you feel the need too. PEACE


Verse 1:

The end was in the beginning,

Simultaneously gaining and losing at every juncture I took a step towards,

The price of winning is nothing but misery or death,

Or quite possibly finding refuge underground in a manhole wondering if I’ll ever be able

to step outside in the light of a golden day,

I cannot escape invisibility for it’s been embedded in me for as long I could remember

From day one, I tried to understand

where I fit within the insolent and destructive behavior,

I’ve witnessed the streets of Harlem flamed into riots,

Leaving me skeptical if a divine intervention would have the patience to stop this chaotic mess

I said it once and I’ll keep saying it,

Until the world is vaporized into oblivion,

The end was in the beginning, different fights with different faces,

But I feel the same exhaustion,

The only victor in a battle royal,

My ambition to be seen has been afflicted by the daily deception,

But as the saying goes, two can play at that game,

Dismissed from the vicinity, a new curriculum is what I’ll save up for

So I’ll make sure my return will be remembered,

Realizing soon enough that I’m no longer welcomed,

This became my genesis to understanding that

The end was in the beginning


Verse 2:

Over indulging on optimism,

Reaching my limit feeling

Constipated by the light, as I find myself trapped in the belly of darkness with every new face I encounter,

Becoming accustomed to the void of direction as I remember the days my grandad would tell me to laugh from crying

Because the pain will always have a lesson planned for you

If that’s true how can I be embraced by a brotherhood who find my methods to be misunderstood,

No way to alleviate the betrayal as I continue to embark

On my journey for progression on a land where I lack visibility,

I’m constantly being held back,

My good intentions find no appreciation from leaving the south to live up north,

Carrying a briefcase that has the weight of anvil,

Weighed down by naive innocence turned to blind ignorance,

Unlocked to bring possibilities to search for a change

Haunted by the hunger of a slaves ghost who yearned for an liberating dream

On a land that never acknowledged his existence,

My conflicted aspirations have difficulties coming into fruition because they are constantly being shot down,

In actuality my invisibility has been immortalize even when my physical body perishes,

It’s witnessed the boys in blue take brothers lives like they did with one of mine,

All they see is dancing Sambo dolls prancing and shaking

Until they’re in a state of shock and their bodies are 6 feet under in dirt and rocks,

Confined between barriers dreaming of a riveting clean slate,

Clean and absorbed as a black chemical that’s mixed into white paint,

Unsatisfied when the end result is still pure whiteness

Eliminating the common denominator so it’s no longer a factor,

Frustrated and irate

My invisibility can’t catch a break,

Entering a new chapter, encountering a new white broad,

Thwarted agendas to manipulate her for my brotherhoods uncovered information

But all she wanted was a black man to help her birth a new nation

Angered by the request to bring life

To a byproduct of infinite racism,

Nothing has changed on my voyage, only a realization that my invisibility has been sacrificed countless times,

Verse 3

Finding no return to every place I left my presence at,

Whoever recounts my story will become possessed to take this walk with me

Throughout my plight and all the fights I’ve been in,

Taking a brief hibernation to recollect my thoughts and be candid,

Explaining to myself that even though

I’m an Invisible man, I still have a social responsibility to tell my story,

Even on low frequencies you can still hear me

because the pain that resides in my heart can’t stop shouting to find a definitive identity,

Since I began my journey until now,

The end was in the beginning,

I’m not only here in seclusion to tell my story and vent,

it’s because I might be able to speak for you


Elizabeth-Catlett - Invisible Man photo


Photo Credit – Google, Elizabeth Catlett

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