Arbor for Butch

Topics: Abandonment, Sibling, Malcolm X Pages: 5 (1625 words) Published: February 22, 2015
The History in Things
Terrance Hayes’s pecha kucha, “For Brothers of the Dragon,” and Jason McCall’s series of tercets, “roll call for michael brown,” merges speculative historical events with narration to convey abandonment in many different appearances. Each poem empowers the audience to think in two different dynamics, through an extended metaphor and hypothetical narrations. In "For Brothers of the Dragon," the speaker is telling a story of what took place after a tragic event. The poem contrasts the relationships between Malcolm X’s and his brothers as well as the relationship between the speaker and his brother. In “roll call for michael brown,” it rationalizes what might take place in a classroom due to Michael Brown’s death and how self-absorbed people may respond. Death and abandonment can have positive outcomes although it they are two very negative characteristics. OR These poems not only empower the readers to think, but they also empower the speakers in each poem to come to a realization about how others may think in specific situations. In “For Brothers of the Dragon," Terrance Hayes allows the speaker to relate to historical encounters by the speaker imagining what his brother’s tragic experience was like in correlation to Malcolm X's brothers' reaction to their brother's death. "If I were in their story, / I would have run down the assassins and remove their eyes," (9-10). The speaker is pointing out how Malcolm X's brothers abandoned Malcolm X instead of going to his funeral to show love and support as he wanted to do for his own brother. The speaker’s relationship with his brother seems to be abandoned as well. “One brother will want, at first, redemption; one brother will want, / at first revenge,” (30-31). This implicates the separation between the two. One brother strives to be rescued, while the other brother focuses on payback. They have abandoned each other through being single-mindedness and not taking time to understand one another. In addition, in “For Brothers of The Dragon,” there is a switch from speculative history to the speaker’s narrative of personal history, therefore; the assumption of the way Malcolm X’s brother’s handled Malcolm X’s funeral is being compared to the way that the speaker handled his brother’s situation. Roll call for michael brown,” relays the message through other people’s experiences to show how another person’s personal history can effect others, such as “a Roman priest... praying all the violence of the world will stop,” (McCall 23-24). This shows that even priest or religious figures sometimes do not do anything besides pray in a general manner. The priest is not specifically praying for Michael Brown he is praying for there to be no more violence. This demonstrates that history can be used to interject how someone feels or how people react to specific situations. Jason McCall decided to use a historical event like Terrance Hayes, but he uses it with a different approach. He uses the death of Michael Brown to show how people may respond to his death in a classroom setting, the same college classroom he would have been in if he was not killed. “Or someone / will be too busy with their head down,” (McCall 7-8). Michael Brown, who may be seen as a representation for all un-armed minorities, has essentially been abandoned by self-absorbed people who chose to go on with their everyday lives instead of standing up for the rights of black males. McCall uses history to predict people's reactions, whereas Hayes uses history to compare relationships. Despite the fact that both poems use a similar technique with history, they incorporate masterful diverse ways of interrupting their messages. “For Brothers of The Dragon” communicates its’ message in twenty different parts. This can demonstrate how difficult it is for the speaker to rationalize what actually happened to his brother and his emotional abandonment from his brother. It can also demonstrate the number of...
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