g.s. liberalis

“Black Guy Gets Tased and Takes It Like a Boss” by g.s. liberalis


it’s after lunch and my white

coworkers are laughing at a video

of a black guy getting tased


he takes it like a champ

modifying the video title

making it more offensive, funnier


you seen the one where the guy gets tased

like fifteen times and doesn’t go down?

a few clicks later, laugh city


then a sense of quiet and shame

as the bosses come in, the bosses

don’t mind a little racism, little sexism


one time the big boss told the one woman in the office

you be the secretary when the client comes in

just pretend, needs to look professional


the subject changes by necessity, back to work

work fills the air and clears the mind

makes the body stiff and identical. i can’t help



but watch again and feel not just indulgence

of shame nor power that can oppress so easily

it must be something else.


people watch as if separated from everything

but a distant unaffected version of themselves

even as their humanity is spat on


with humor, even as they shoot a man in fear

they still place a gun in his hand like a paintbrush.



g.s. liberalis is from a book about Latin. When he’s not between pages he’s open on a desk.