A Poem a Week

Defacimento - A poetry review of Basquiat’s “Defacement”: The Untold Story

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It’s like a jungle out there, sometimes I wonder how I keep from going under’



I enter the City that houses the story of this show.

Each block a plot of busy history.

The Avenues- a melting pot for the brave.

Back then tags and mindless doodles covered the faces of this gentrified paste

shielded the dull smiles of the poor.

Let’s take the start,

Gilded in gold frame

Two men with batons raised.

Ripped through his heart.


scratched out from the sidewalk

this young man,

bruised and confused by the bare faced brutality of a death unexplained,

An alleged tagging, the simple action of bragging paint onto wall.

Is that really all?

This is the way it was told.

Must one die for this now?

The walls have been defaced.

That space, narrowing the freedom we all felt before,

Has been ripped out,

Held up

And sold.

The uptown pockets spray millions for acrylic like that.

Let’s talk about social justice, let’s slam the word right out there on your tongue

Look how it’s done.

A response in this space,

To the torn down brutality of the place.

where an incident

drew close the corners of a community.

And pushed further a division slightly visible.

We are talking about a time, where things didn’t feel right

Where an Artist chose to fight.

Bow down to the Gods, dear Basquiat.

Canonize your heroes of the dark.

Lead all your friends into Artistic response

and mourn for the loss of a beat up, punked up kid.


© 2019 Alan Moon