Incarceration Nation

12th Man

By Raymond Nat Turner

From “Yes, we can” to The 12th Man

The one percent’s calling all the power plays—

Bootlegging, blitzing, sacking our dazeā€¦

Sunday we sat slurping beer,

Gobbling pizza and buckets

Of chicken like madmen, ‘til

Heartburn and boredom set

In, ‘til The Questions came

Whizzing past like pockets full

Of cherry red challenge flags:


Where was The 12th Man

Shrieking, screaming, loud

As an Aircraft carrier’s flight

Deck for Marilyn Buck?


Where was The 12th Man

Shouting full-throated,

Loud as Apache and

Blackhawk Helicopters

For Herman Wallace?


Where’s The 12th Man—

All 137.6 decibels—

For Mumia and Maroon?


Where’s The 12th Man—

Bursting eardrums for

Whistleblowers Manning,

Snowden and Assange?


Where’s the quarterback,

The field general, that

Comes up to the line

Barking: ANGOLA

ATTICA #77A4283



Where’s the coach that

Will argue over calls like

Leonard Peltier? Or Hugo

Pinell and Albert Woodfox—

Four decades in bathroom-

Sized, windowless, torture

Chambers, cut off from fresh

Air, sunlight, Vitamin D

22-24 hours a day? Cruel,

Slow deaths, strip sacking

Spirits, bodies and minds of

Political prisoners & prisoners

Of war who, game faces on

Against water hoses, cattle

prods, German shepherds,

  Bullets and buckshot,

Took the field for us all

 Quadruple, triple, double

Overtime, or sudden death,

This game’s been going

On too long—

Where’s the Terrible

Towels, the Lambeau Leap

Where’s the raucous carrying

On in the Dog Pound, boisterous

Behavior in the Black Hole, where’s

The Wall of Fame, Ring of Honor

Where’s The 12th Man for our

Political prisoners & prisoners of war?

Raymond Nat Turner © 2014 All Rights Reserved