Besides Bieber This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 28, 2014
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Early this year
that teenage renegade boy wonder turned boy blunder
Justin Bieber
was arrested for resisting arrest and drag racing drunk with an expired license.
They caught him with booze on his breath,
Miami night wrapped around him like a star sign or, worse, a confirmation.
The night of his arrest, his fans held vigils across America.
They dragged blankets and candlelight and bodies to police stations across the nation.
They prayed to the gold-toothed god of stardom for their incarcerated idol's chains to be broken.
Never mind that if you shredded his fortune
and darkened his face he'd be head on the hood, face pressed into an impending three years of jail
$2,500 in bail –
Caught on a “routine” stop and frisk
On his trial date, the judge would ­uncrinkle the paper and pick pork from between his yellowing teeth and announce the long list of international offenses
Smashing the gavel on the futures of ­thousands of black men and boys
Sacrificed to the prison complex for ­loitering outside their apartment ­complex.
Since when did we give the police such a God complex?
But never mind that.

Next to the report gleamed
Justin Bieber's mug shot
He smiled knowingly
Basking in his safety net
of notoriety.
Surely he grinned as his
vigils played on the six
o'clock news
and the magazine covers cried liberation
Their voices combined drown out a yearly average: 7,300
mangled, twisted, expired bodies
their absence reflected in their own glass shard eyes
their silence thick, like brandy

But Justin was smiling. That means “I'm sorry” in celebrity.
A thick-lipped apology to 7,300
reconstructed faces
slouching beneath coffin lids,
where the only part of a camera that fits
is the lens.
But never mind that.

On Twitter, there's a war of heightening ferocity
America and Canada flinging backhanded compliments
America crying “#Take HimBack!”
And Canada crying “#YouCanKeepHim!”
Their battles dominate the headlines, shot in a catapult five-hundred miles above
Israel's war on Palestine where
Palestinian time
is the only commodity left to pray for
The War on Drugs
has claimed 100,000-plus lives in the name of crack cocaine
International heads turn away in shame
at warning bodies strung up in the Guatemalan rain
But never mind that.

#FreeBieber is still growing but
#DeportBieber has grown too big for its relevance.
Who fights for the thousands of ­immigrants whose steel bravery
whose raised fists push to deny nearly inevitable poverty
whose desperation and resilience and determination
has been punished with callous
Where are the blankets for the world's poor, our hungry, our needy?
Where are the candles to guide
corporations to kindness?
When will the cameras follow the faces of the battered youth, the unnecessary, the innocent now-six-feet-under bystanders, and the profound suffering across the street and across the sea?
When will Twitter fight wars for those who deserve them?
Perhaps if we plastered
a gold star on their tombstones
or a medal
on their silence
They'd draw the cameras
Like flies

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

Mackenzierogers said...
Mar. 3, 2016 at 10:15 am
I like how this article was written. You added many good points about Bieber that not many people realize.
Steve Holt! said...
Oct. 15, 2014 at 12:47 pm
GIRL! I love this. You are such a talented writer. It took me forever to get around to reading this (really sorry about that) but you know I DID it!! And it's amazing! Justin Bieber is a twat. Keep writing you snazzy princess. 
JRaye This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm
Just awesome. :)
writer8594 said...
Mar. 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm
AMAZING poem. I so agree with you. There are people going thru wars and living in poverty and starvation, people who are facing huge hardships but no one cares because JB is sooooo much more important than all of those people so why bother caring about solving the world's problems?!?!?! I hate how much publicity the media gives people for doing bad things, not doing good things.
HannaHarris This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm
YAAAASSS! I seriously love this. The 'complex' section is phenomenal! Please keep writing.
Shadowlight said...
Mar. 4, 2014 at 9:12 pm
If only more people were as intelligent as you are.
bigA32 said...
Mar. 4, 2014 at 10:01 am
Great work!  I feel that Justin needs to be sent back to Canada.  Not that I don’t like listening to some of his songs but because I think he was a little irresponsible.  If it was any other person from another country and they did that I am pretty sure that they would have been deported.  There isn’t any more second chances when somebody does something like that because if they get off the first time there probably going to do it again.  Even if he says he&r... (more »)
_Zavery_ said...
Mar. 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm
Woah. This poem left me speechless, and thank goodness someone shares the same opinion as me. You put my thoughts into words. Brilliant job!
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