Tuesday, April 26, 2011

18/30 Fire and Brimstone #1

~in 1979 a fire burned everything we owned. we saved my mom's poetry, my sister saved the Jello and my brother and I were run out by firemen because we kept entering the burning apartment trying to save shyt.~

I’ve never been afraid of fire.

I've never gazed into its flames mesmerized

by it’s movement. I have a respect for it

a loving respect. I understand its purpose

be it to purify or destroy. The way it breathes

and grows consuming everything

within it’s path it reminds me of some people.

I have only met one fire I didn’t appreciate.

Not because you weren’t beautiful,

you were.

But what you were consuming

was the empire I built.

In 1979 you had no idea

the challenge I posed to my parents,

me this obstinate child

so intelligent I used it against them.

Later they will appreciate my ingenuity,

back then

not so much.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

17/30 Sweet Nothings

17/30 Sweet Nothings

Eyes clouded smoke
Roaming over dampened skin
Sweat soaked and pure
Seeping in and out of pores
Breathing hard and in unison
Shocks to our system
Rearranging the norms
Sharp, jagged ready to open
Our reflection a moving photograph
Hearts spun like sugar
Sticky sweet
Our fingers slick with it

16/30 that brazen hussy

16/30 that brazen hussy

I waited for you
lately it seems that’s all I do
my job
these days
is waiting
for you

you make me crazy
fits of frenzied pissed off energy
and I am beginning to think
you like that about me
you like that you can make me this way
all stung out and needy
edge of my seat anticipation
as I wait
for your arrival

you’ve got some sadist in you, baby
some torture
some pure fucked up notion
of how important
you have become to me
you think I won’t leave
won’t make you wait
won’t sit in silence
I don’t see your fine ass

you think you’ve got me
wrapped around your
metaphorical finger

I think you’re right

the way I leave the light on
leave my door ajar
pretending to sleep
when you slip between thoughts
my body wide open for your entry

you think you can come
and go
when you want to
make my emotions your revolving door

you think I can’t live without you
that I can’t formulate
a single thought
around my pens and pencils
if you’re not right there with me

I waited for you
for days and counting
I’m still waiting
and just when I give up
figure you’d call or text to let me know
when you might think
you might
think to stop by
you just show up?

How the fuck you gonna just show up?
after you ignored me for so long
not only do you
show up
you try to have
your way with me
in front of people?

no foreplay
no sweet nothings
you just ambush me
from behind
make me the pillow princess
in full view of company
take my hand
wrap it around the shaft of you
and scribble away your purpose

brazenly finding my clean sheets
caressing me with gentle moans
cloying words

my eyes searching
to see who sees you
forcing me
to be rude
when others are speaking
clutching at you
like I can keep you here
knowing I can’t ignore you
the way you ignore me
wanting to read what you’re saying
even though
I’m sitting
and that poet
on the mic
has noticed your hands all over me

quickly I scribe the bones
of what you whisper
take your hand from my heart
stop us in our tracks

how you just gon show up at the open mic?
and start dictating your intentions
I consider
excusing myself to the bathroom
so we can finish
but you’ve lost your taste
for the subtle unassuming quickie
and I’ll look crazy
with pen and notebook tucked under arm
to go pee

so I ignore you
knowing full well
you may not come back for days

I have to give it to you
I do hate the way you make me wait
but I do love it when you come

you fucking tease

15/30 showers and nonsense

15/30 showers and nonsense


He screams so loud from the shower I fear he’s fallen and can’t get up. I damn near break a hip trying to clear the couch and the doorframe to aid him. I throw the bathroom door open breathlessly and shout, “Are you ok?” He peeks around the shower curtain. Asks why I’m breathing so hard and I glare at him. “What is it Zion?” He has heard the tale of the boy who cried wolf so many times I don’t care to repeat it again. Besides, he knows if he calls me, I will come because it’s my job. Damn he knows me well.

“Can I talk to you as a teacher?”

“Sure” I catch my breath hips resting on the sink breathing in the steam of his shower.

“Is the skin on my head the same as the skin on my body?”


“Hey Mom!”

“Yes Zion.”

“Are you mom or teacher?”

“Dude I am here, what is it now?”

“Mom, why do we have eight bottles of shampoo?”

“Hair has to be washed. I have a lot of hair. I need a lot of shampoo.”

“Yeah, but here’s the thing. With so much shampoo why do you have the soap? Shampoo is soap? And we have a lot of it. So I am going to shampoo my body with the soap that is shampoo.”


“Are you going to say that soap is different? This shampoo says that it leaves your hair silky, shiny and smooth. I am a mammal. I am covered with hair. I would like it to be silky, shiny and smooth. You got a problem with that?”

“Uh, no. will you make sure that you are squeaky clean?”

“How you do that?”

“Well, I guess you would run your hand over your skin until it kinda.. well skips.”

“Like jumps up a little?”


“Oh Yeah!!! I’m clean!! Says here I have to lather, rinse, repeat.”

“Yeah, you should do that.”

“Oh, yeah!! Thanks MOM!! I’m repeating!!”

“Glad to be of service.”

I notice when I leave there is no towel. I smile, knowing in about five minutes he will be yelling my name like his head is on fire. I won’t run this time. I’ll make him wait. It’s not true cleanliness unless your skin is pruned.;)

14/30 on politics

14/30 on politics

Back room
Frying the fat
King maker
Lame duck
New broom
Old guard
Party boss
Party chairman
Party hack
Party line
Pork barrel
Smoke-filled room
Smoking gun
Special interest group
Yellow journalism

Sunday, April 17, 2011

13/ 30 all are welcome, well that is if you’re from here, but you’re not

13/ 30 all are welcome, well that is if you’re from here, but you’re not

when was there ever a time
when melanin skinned folks
were afraid to walk the land
afraid to show their skin
blood pumping through veins
loaded into boats
walked off of cliffs
living large
in the land of opportunity
interment camps
Ellis island
a gift from France
holding lamp light
with the threat of freedom
stars and bars
stripes of red hash marks lips
whip sting
boarder patrol
dead hands around necks
avoid eye contact
yes sir
no sir
the side of your mouth hungry
skin kissed from sun
everybody here
is from some place else
the minority
has become the majority
so cut out the fat
show me your papers
show me your bootstraps
show me your England
your Irish
your Sony
“Welcome to Moe’s”
the way to a country
is through it’s stomach
unless you can find
the soft spot
tortilla flesh
show me your papers
so I can borrow your charm
adopt your mannerisms
your diet
your style
point me to the nearest tanning bed
the nearest landscaped property
so authentic
so quaint
“Well that’s Un-American,” he says
and I want to ask him
if he’s ever seen a map
ever noticed how America
has a north
and south
how we all Americans here
that what he really wants to say
is United States-ian
but the united in that sentiment
sounds like a punch line
sung from sea to shining sea
and that the animal
who would call himself such a thing
as United States-ian
doesn’t exist
never would exist
I mean hasn’t he noticed
that everyone here
is from some place else
show me your papers

12/30 one lump or two

Those people in glass houses. They drink their tea from short mugs. Earl Grey with strings attached. They have forgotten the gravity of rocks. Prefer their tea like their views watered down devoid of flavor. Stale biscuits old mentality proving you can’t take the slave owner out of master. Can’t make you bigger than the bigger that is they. Spin lies like webs of interests they are not interested in. Your truths have no place in their house of glass so thick they can only be seen through if you don’t squint. Pinky finger arched good manners crooked ties. Words disguised as fact, not meant to be taken as factual, meant to be taken with cream white washed by the new would be minority. Fear runs ramped in the house of glass the house of mixed messages. They cup their short mugs with two hands careful not to spill a drop.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

11/30 Going on a Bender

11/30 Going on a Bender

I consider the boots. The way they mold to calf and step. The way they add a little extra to my stride. When I don the hat, I am careful to tilt it so it nearly covers my right eye. The glue applied carefully to my upper lip will hold the hair cut from my own head. Maybe I’ll wear a goatee today and sideburns. The corset will confuse some, but I don’t bend for them, so I don’t give a shit. I'll ignore the murmurs or maybe I won’t. The way I figure if they are talking about me, judging me their would be bully voices aren’t turning someone else’s questioning skin black and blue. There are those who care so much what others think of them they contort their spirits into people they hate. I never understood that. I have grown into my defiance. Long gone are the days when my response to people who said “You don’t look like a girl” was to pull down my pants make sure my pieces were still there. If you are going to tell me what I look like don’t be a pussy coward and stomp off when I report my vagina is still in tack. What I look like is only relevant to me. I am not your Barbie doll. I am my Barbie Doll. I own dresses, jeans, men’s suits and camisoles. I have been known wear lace, vinyl, mesh, strap ons and chaps, sometimes all at the same time. All it means is that I am different on different days. I am I the way I want to be in the moment. I am minding my business not tending to others. I do understand those who haven’t found that freedom, it makes me sad but, I understand. So, today I’ll wear the boots, the goatee and corset. I will tilt my hat, make sure my sideburns are sort of the same size and line up the pin-stripes in my men’s suit. Today I will change the gender in all of my poems. I will bend my poem, because they belong to me like my wardrobe, my opinions, and my insane sense of style. Thanking my lucky stars that my parents knew the world would try to box me up and lock me down. So they made my skin, my mind a key.

Monday, April 11, 2011

10/30 Pickles and Peppermints

10/30 Pickles and Peppermints
*for Dennis who understood the subtle beauty of a pickle stuffed with peppermints! the 70's in the hood, what else need be said;-)

The first boy who kissed me
Received a punch in the chest
But I let him sit next to me in the lunchroom
Let him share my Oreo
Didn’t let him have the cream
I wasn’t that easy then

The first boy who kissed me
Received a punch in the chest
And soon learned to move quickly
In and out of coat rooms
He left notes in my pockets daily reassurances
I always checked yes

The first boy who kissed me
Received a punch in the chest
Complained that I never let him catch me when we played tag
Suggested I run slower act like a girl
I whirled on him
He spit dirt for ten minutes

The first boy who kissed me
Received a punch in the chest
Became jealous when I got picked before him at dodge ball
Told the other boys to stay away from me
Told them I belonged to him
I showed him my fist, asserted my freedom
Then helped him wash the blood off his shirt

The first boy who kissed me
Received a punch in the chest
Left a Valentine on my desk one February
Right next to a bagged pickle and peppermints
The other girls only got chocolate
It felt like love

The first boy who kissed me
Received a punch in the chest
Then one weekend went fishing with his father
There was a problem with the boat
Bodies fell into the water
And the first boy who kissed me

He forgot to float

Saturday, April 09, 2011

9/10 chosen (delirium)

9/10 chosen

pale sheets
twisted wet
heartbroken snow
heart on the back of my tongue
face to screen
shaking voice
sliding sideways
feeling skin
waiting for dark
smooth and rough
forward fingers
backwards glances
more than what you know
what do you know
you know
folding in on yourself
there is no clean air
leave out the bad parts
you broken record
look away
old worn out
voice streaked in pain
it hurts to move
move on
stepping on shadows
in and out of nothing
you are bruised fruit
greenish yellow
sallow sickly
no one notices
sallow sickly
greenish yellow
you are bruised fruit
in and out of nothing
stepping on shadows
move on
it hurts to move
voice streaked in pain
old worn out
look away
you broken record
leave out the bad parts
there is no clean air
folding in on yourself
you know
what do you know
more than what you know
backwards glances
forward fingers
smooth and rough
waiting for dark
feeling skin
sliding sideways
shaking voice
face to screen
heart on the back of my tongue
heartbroken snow
twisted wet
pale sheets

8/30 Waxing and Waning

8/30 Waxing and Waning

jogger dude
your girl
she’s cute
her virtue is not
at risk
I just drive in my car
the world blurs around me
the light turns red
I stop
sometimes I look
through the window
see the world on the other side
of the glass
I wasn’t looking
your girl
she was just there
wearing shorts
from the eighties
mooning me
and the world around her
I like the moon
I gazed
it wasn’t a full moon
so my eyes didn’t linger
you checked out the view
much as I did
saw it as something to covet
not share
whispered in her ear
made her blush
and turn away
when she turned back
her eyes met mine
she blushed some more
I smiled
waved my appreciation
you glared
I guess you thought it was scary
you sure showed me
the light turned green
I go
notice my eyes
weren’t the only ones
the others
they seemed disappointed

7/30 Because patriarchal anything is BAD! (Rant)

It is bad enough
that our bodies have been stripped down
to fit some status quo
our bodies rape-able
our cervixes scrapped and probed
sold to the highest bidder
shut down the government
while we wear paper gowns
so you can further undermine
our rightful place on this planet
holding our bodies hostage
trussed up in bills
and law
and vice
the red thick and clotted
over flow cotton padding
covers the floor
slip and fall

the elephant in the room
has never been invisible
has never not been
she has always been there
will always have to be there
in order for you to be here
how appropriate
we give birth
and you take away our fucking options
what if you were optional
left to your own devices
can you figure out a way to exist
without once inhabiting a womb
tell me to be seen not heard
hold my tongue
take the back seat
walk three steps behind
do more work
make less money
gentrify my sex
legislate my form
then refuse to listen to my utterances
tell me by your actions
that my voice has no worth
that your diction is more valid

well, fuck that

and fuck you

the question was asked
does this society driven by men malign women???
You tell me.

Where my brothers at?
Where my brothers at?

Brothers tell us how you felt
When your rapist left you
with a child clawing at your insides out
tell us how you had to convince a doctor
that you weren’t willing
how do you feel now that a legislative body
wants to decide if your truth is your own
do you think you should be imprison
because of the decisions you made for your body
shed some light brothers
share your thought
share your words loud clear
on this stage where our thoughts
our voices are equal
cause it’s poetry
and we all poets,

don’t think that just because
you don’t have a vagina
I won’t listen to you

because you
would do the same for me
listen that is

Thursday, April 07, 2011

6/30 unadmitted

6/30 unadmitted

i drop my hands
face full of tears
kicking all the time
cascading loose

what I knew last night
doesn’t matter anymore

tell me
what you don’t want to know
what’s the big secret

please don’t tell Theresa

sympathy evaporates
barely hesitating
hands clinching
I built this place
with walls
that aren’t really there
waiting for tomorrow
brave and determined

what’s left if you’ve done everything

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


* because there are some idiots in the world who think that calling dread heads Marley is funny or cool. it isn't it makes you look like the fucktard you are so stop..for real*

5/30 The House of Bob

there seems to be

no limit to the stupidity

in the actions of those

around me

like tonight

for instance

while it’s true

my sweet tooth

got the best of me

a kind of guilty pleasure

I was not looking to buy anything

other than


“Yo, Marley”

Can I just say

that I have heard

this simple minded phrase

hurled at my person

more than I care to share

enough to know

that this phrase

falling from any lips

wagging in my direction

have to be perched on the face

of an asshole

and because I

had an assholepindectomy

years ago


don’t have to listen

“Yo, Marley”

am I supposed to be impressed

that you believe that every dread head on the planet

is somehow linked irrevocably

to the lineage of “Marley”

like it’s a race or something

“Yo, Marley”

“Yo, Marley”

“Yo Marley”

“Yo Dick-Head”

when I walk into any establishment

I look at my surroundings

we Marly-ites

we call this being



and aware

though it may have nothing to do

with the lineage of Marley

could be my Black Panther childhood

my I’m a girl in a world

that forces me to guard my woman

never a back to a door

never not knowing where the exits are

“Yo Dick-head”

was it you pompousness or your ignorance

that made you think

you a stranger could approach me

with over-tones of illegal activity

and did you think I would actually answer

and did you think shouting your intentions

and your pissy-ness at my ignoring you

would escape the presence of the police

cause I didn’t

so if they arrest you

just know

they didn’t do it

because of Marley

they did it




a dumb ass


4/30 On Last Nights Storm

once upon a time

not too long ago

a storm like this one

would have caused

our skin to ache

an ache only comforted

by the removal of clothes

and the press

I am reminded of one of our storms

we made love outside

neighbors be dammed

patio furniture

becoming accustomed

with new ways to be useful

bare asses to the world

we’d outgrown our closets

long ago

the misting of skin

the rains attempt

to keep our own flames

under control

waking spent

in your arms


turning me



there will be

an argument

one I won’t

participate in cause

I don’t fight


we will part

with hurt feelings



we will regret

but this storm


doesn’t make me

focus on the fight

just the wind,

the lightning

the thunder

whispered I love you’s

pushed from arched backs

hands on flesh

how the feel of this storm

and the thought of you

still turns me


I wonder if you are watching

am I on your mind


3/30 Play Date

*disclaimer ~ I don't give hickies anymore unless you ask for them~

you speak in code

tied tongue

dressed in ridiculous

the hoops you’ve designed

for me to jump through don’t exist


maybe they do

you just move them to fast

for me and my colorful Chucks

to leap over or around

could be

you don’t want to be caught

just caught up

in a chase

where you roadrunner me into insanity

and if I wasn’t crazy already

it could work

your fake manhole covers

bombs made by ACME

could knock me off some

unforeseen trajectory

could train wreck partner me

back to my sensibilities

maybe I’d finally fall for you

but we seem to love this game

of duck -duck goosed

and sometime I let you catch me

sometime I almost catch you

unless I’m distracted

by the other pretty faces in the room

but even when that happens I come back

and so do you

all that to say

that the hickie

on the side of my face?

was Bad form!

I had to insinuate a lie

now I fear my friends think I have a tumor

at least I had the decency

to put the smiley face hickie

where it could be cover in jeans

so no one would think you

were making out with WAL-MART



we should consider some rules

for this game of




this catch and release



we were never really good at rules

with our tendency to seek them out

and break them proper

we should adopt ,however,

the tropics rule

so, imagine your belly button is the Equator

the curve of your shoulder The Tropic of Cancer

the dimple behind your left knee The Tropic of Capricorn

fair game between the tropics (wink, wink)

and I know sometimes

we are all quickie rushed

and may not know which way were going

and this is why

I’ve taken to wearing

a compass around my neck

of course the directions change

depending on the path we chose to follow


for now

stop playing

and tell me where you hid my keys and my bra

and tell me in the language I understand


2/30 Incendiary

they don’t understand

how much their words scorch

don’t believe in back flash

think they resistant to the flames

they fan at each other

their harsh words

once real turn



unruly poltergeists

they trips on excuses

their apologies turn twist of knife

the once bullied

turned bully

not wielding fists or feet

but shrapnel tongues

that seek to destroy


your words have power

I shout

I lecture

they pretend not to hear

I mantra the phrases so much

they may as well be tattooed on my skin


bruised by their

hair trigger syllables


they have their own agenda

this rite of passage

they created

just for them

the only indication

that they feel the power of words

is when I watch them

slap at the flames

threatening their own soft skin

their milk teeth

they only know the moment

not the consequence

those will come later



Open letter to the folks who seem to know my financial situation better than me

I wanna start by saying thank you

I know to show appreciation

for those who do so much for me

in the ways of marginalizing

and compartmentalizing

my issues

so much better than I do my own

if not for you

I might be confused about my station

now mind you

those who believe me to have excess

and those who see me lacking

ou are both right to some degree

you are also both speaking at the same time

and I realize

that while I may not know my finances

you have faith in my ability to multi-task


it’s nice

isn’t it

to the first

I am so glad you keep up with the news

take stock in cash prizes

and have figured out where mine should go

fuck a bill I

should do what you want me too

cause well you know the true lay of my land

know my topography far better than me

and know that if we excavate



my son won’t need new shoes

and the bills will pay themselves

cause that first syllable “PO” in poetry

can’t sound like paycheck to paycheck poverty

since it sounds so pretty

and the shine is blinding

and to the second

I know you saw the haggard in my steps


it must of looked like I worked all day

looked like I’m in need of helping hands

not my own

looked like I don’t know hustle and pull

like I can’t stretch my dollars

into healthy meals for hungry mouths

my story plastered on my

no name brand wardrobe


my nails ain’t even did

I can see the way you see it,

saw it,

knew it,

and placed your ignorance on my time

I mean I know your heart is in the right place


bit on my tongue

while it was stuck in my cheek

you think you know me

you don’t

you should know me

you weren’t paying attention

so, pay attention

I could Hallmark my way into mediocrity

form my tongue to fit your narrow-minded views

but my body rejects your intentions

your Lilliputian views don’t fit my own

and the fatuous delivery of your inclinations

make me wonder who’s doing who a favor

and should I laugh?

just so you know

I am fully aware of my capabilities

what monies I have or not

so kindly kiss my ass

and back the fuck off

and if you need a translation

understand I don’t take EBT or gossip

just the cash please

just the fucking cash!