(One recent summer, severed human body parts belonging to one black man began appearing around New Haven, CT. No suspect has been accused of the murder.)
How come white newsfolk call me homeless?

New Haven is my home. Born in Elm Haven,

the Projects, yeah, I’m a bricksbaby, Dixwell,

raised well, grazed on the grass between the bricks,

played football on broken glass,

shit, yeah, tackle. We ain’t no pussies.

And hoops, who give a damn if they ain’t got nets?

All we needed was the hole,

and each other,

naw, that weren’t always true.

Sometimes all I needed was me

and a ball, any ball, air ball the best

‘cause you can dream it up the better…

Sure did a lot of dreamin’… Life goes by,

‘tween paintin’ job and paintin’ job, sleepin’

on my bench at the peaceful end

of the Green, seein’ them textin’ Yalies

crisscrossin’. They be seein’ the likes of me like


Anyway, New Haven gotta claim me.

My legs found near State Street Station,

my arms found under Chapel Street Bridge,

my heart and guts right next to

the abandoned Salvation Army squat

where my last dreams still be chasin’

the rats off my buddies… Though.

Found out the hard way

one buddy was a rat. He think he so smart

to throw my hands and head in the harbor

so nobody know me—he think he so bad—

no fingerprints, no dental records, none

of my dreads identifyin’ me. He got away

with murder is what he think.

Well, listen good!

My voice still speakin’—I don’t need

no head to do my testifyin’, shit,

don’t even need my hands. My voice

tellin’ all New Haven—all Connecticut—

all the U. S. of A.: I am Ray Roberson.

My friends call me Bobo,

and I’m tellin’ you I ain’t homeless, I am