Yeah, yeah…I know. European colonialism resulted in the exploitation of virtually every indigenous population on the planet. Rape, pillage, appropriation of resources, elimination of local culture, customs and religions…yadda yadda yadda. And saying Christopher Columbus discovered America is like saying I broke into your apartment at three in the morning and “discovered” your hi-def television.
But I think it’s high time we people of color got over it and moved on. Columbus and his posse won fair and square. Game over.
On the other hand, turnabout is fair play. Which is why I got some like- minded red, yellow, black, and brown folks together to organize a little territorial expansion of our own. Over the Colonial Conquest Day weekend we bought three decommissioned Greyhound buses, dubbed them The Ella Fitzgerald, The Buffy St. Marie and The Aretha Franklin, and hit the road to reclaim the so-called “United States of America” for The People.
But rather than motoring straight to Washington, we thought it best to start small and work our way up. So our first conquest was a country club outside Cleveland. We drove our buses onto the golf course and one of our members hopped out with a megaphone to make the following announcement:
“We hereby claim dominion over this country club, including the golf course, swimming pool and cabanas and the parking lot in the name of ‘The Republic of Indigenous Peoples’. You are hereby ordered to surrender your car keys and sign over deeds to your houses and the contents of 401-Ks and savings and checking accounts, etc. etc. We also assume full control of your sons and daughters”
Next we’re going to torch their churches; our new subjects will all be taught to worship The Flying Spaghetti Monster, the deity in whose name we have undertaken our sacred quest to establish dominion over these territories. The children will study Pastafarian theology every morning. Then we'll march them into the woods to play in drum circles and study Hip Hop.
And there are always unexpected benefits when you conquer and subjugate another culture. I've heard the country club dining room throws down a serious Sunday brunch buffet. And I just got a great recipe for potato chip-crusted tuna noodle surprise from the little old blue-eyed slave lady who cleans our buses…
Charles Coe is author of two books of poetry: “All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents” and “Picnic on the Moon,” both published by Leapfrog Press. His poetry has appeared in a number of literary reviews and anthologies, including Poesis, The Mom Egg, Solstice Literary Review, and Urban Nature. He is the winner of a fellowship in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Charles’s poems have been set by a number of composers, including Beth Denisch, Julia Carey and Robert Moran. A short film based on his poem “Fortress” is currently in production by filmmaker Roberto Mighty. Charles is co-chair of the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union, a labor union for freelance writers. He was selected by the Associates of the Boston Public Library as a “Boston Literary Light for 2014.” His novella, "Spin Cycles," was published in November, 2014 by Gemma Media.