Sunday, November 20, 2011

11/30 Speak No Evil Especially If Its The Truth

(this will be a recurring theme, like therapy, i need it out of me)

I’ve been holding my tongue
Deep in the recesses of my cheeks
The words they hold could rock a world
Remove a stain
And set my spirit free

But freedom isn’t mine right now
I am locked in the gravitational pull
Of the pupils in my students eyes
I want to walk the walk with them
Until we are forced to walk in different directions

Don’t want to be the lair that said they’d be there then they weren’t

Don’t want to be the false prophet that said I got your back before you felt the blade

If I be the last vestige of truth in our world for just a little while longer
I’ll take the just a little while longer

Lace my words with metaphor and white truths
So faint they’ll barely recognize themselves

Hold to the shadows
Only let you see me in daylight

I have killed nothing beautiful here
So they cannot call me ugly

I have said nothing that is not true
But still they call me liar

So I will hold my tongue

The one that bites and stings
The one that tears down what disappoints
The one they will dress in slanders old clothes

I will hold it because my children need me

The ones who once called my womb home
And the ones on loan to me

I have your back
Even if my hands cover my mouth

10/30 For Lorraine

For Lorraine
(On the tenth anniversary of your absence)

I'd like to tell you that your wishes were granted
That the foundation you set is stable
And the seeds you broadcasted took root
In rich soil and grew tall reaching towards the future
I'd like to tell you all these things
But, they would be lies,
And lying is an art I've never mastered

If I were a liar
I suppose I could say that the adventure playground
Still thrives that the swimming pool and parking lot are only
Figments of our wilting imagination
I could say that the peace garden
The perennials are bright and bold
And the tiles painted and fired still boast the names
Of those who've passed and still shout hopes
For the future
Set in mortar by tiny hands
And their proud work stands in tack
Not in pieces

The buildings are not falling a part
And wildlife has not become
More important than the human minds
Who occupy that building
Where there was once a waterfall
In the library, that flowed for three whole years
That empowerment is still the bread we feed ourselves
And the children daily
We eat heartily
Our bellies filled with insight and inspiration

I would tell you that integrity is still paramount here
That doing what's right is not considered insubordination
That undermining and too many cooks in the kitchen
Is not the reality
That what is needed is always granted
And your ten-year
Hiatus has not left dreams destitute and malnourished
Because the foundation was set
And the right thing is always the right thing
Even though the right thing has not shown its face

I'd tell you that those who remember
Still look for you
Those who remember
Still look out of their windows some days
And see you twirling in the light rain
Hands open and raised to the heavens
Willing it to wash away and renew
And those who remember
Held on to the memories
Until they were yanked out from under us
In the form of lies and letters
Written by those who never knew you
Those who come after this may never know you existed

I would tell you
There was an award once in your honor
I won't tell you that they spelled your name wrong
I won't speak of coroners vans and HAZMAT teams
I won't discuss the disconnect
Or the drunken strong holds unsteady on their feet

I will tell you instead
That those you brought into the fold
Will remain as long as they can
Deflected as much as they can
And hold on to your ideas and philosophies
Despite the abridged versions
You can get on line
But never in the palm of your hand

I will tell you
That though we were not agreed in all things
We disagreed more often than not
I understood when you remarked that some people
Should not work with small children
This is why you didn't work with small children
Why you chose those who could put them in place
The main part still rings true
Some people should not work with small children

I will tell you
That I know you had no idea you would leave so soon
But if you had put your wishes on paper
Willed them to those left behind
Maybe I wouldn't have to recount the last ten years
To you with lies and half-truths
That become whole in the retelling

They don't remember you here
There in no room for what worked
But when I leave
And I am being forced to leave
So I will go, but,
I will remember and take the parts worth preserving

See in order for this new way to work
The old ways have to be removed
Especially those who bark too loud
And bite too hard
I am loud, and my bite leaves marks

I believe you knew this day would come
I believe you tried to warn me
And the others

We are listening now

I'd like to tell you that
Things will be better when we, like you
Leave this place we tried to hold onto

I'd like to tell you all these things
But, they would be lies
And lying is an art I've never mastered

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It's amazing the things people focus on. How people and institutions can so easily blame others for the state of their own houses. If you business, is your business, then it seems to me that you would handle your business. So many people stirring the same pot somethings sure to go wrong. I only hope that before it all goes bad you refocus on the mission. Understand that if you continue in this way, you will bring your own house down.
Sad really.

Monday, November 14, 2011

9/30 Carnival

What it was like before this
was confusing
like running through sand
walking on water
you misrepresented your intentions
put me on the back burner
left me simmering until I burned for you
you never wanted this
what you wanted was supplicant
I never was good at that
but you pushed and pulled me off course
you are something like a enigma
a puzzle
and I am good at those
but I am not good at you
we both know it
but we insist on trying to tug of war ourselves
into the present
I presented myself as what I was
you liked it
until you didn't
but it's what we knew
We knew what would happen
right here right now
what are you doing right now?
Not me because I'd notice
I can't pretend we weren't pretending
we seem to do that well and we will probably do it again
and again
we are merry-go-round love
circling each other like so many vultures
we are thick like thieves
and our bones hold more meat than most could handle
we handled each other
let the scavengers feast

Thursday, November 10, 2011

8/30 We Sing Because They Make Us

I do some of my best work in my head.
When the ideas hit I move sometimes in the middle of the night.
My charges ages 5-10 tolerate my moods.
The ebb the flow at my discretion.
They complain and they share, especially the shit you don't want to know.
I would never suggest mixing kindergartners with third grades,
but it couldn't be help and I am good at what I do. I called it a challenge.

I would make the experience move through music.
I can't sing but my assistant could.
So they would too.
They would sing because I would make them.

It was rough, but as the year came to a close
I wanted to go out with a bang!
Do something never done before.
The ideas stalled and left me blank.

Then BAM!
I got it!
We would form a band, record the songs and do a concert for their parents!!
The project flowed and the Horizons Harmonics was born!

I got us an interview at the community radio station and for an hour they talked to the kids and played our tape. A tour! We would have a tour! We performed at Mars Music in front of a confused crowd. The kindergarten twins thought we should be paid.

The day before the concert. I was a wreck. Told them there would be a reception.
Every parent donated food and one bought us a case of non-alcoholic champagne.
I go to bed. I have an epiphany at 1 in the morning. To the store graham crackers, gold spray paint and a hot glue gun. The cashier didn't ask. I didn't tell.

I spray painted the graham crackers gold, and hot glued them on to black mat board and scripted each child's name in gold paint.

When I presented them, parents cried and I was pronounced as THE SHIT!!!
Then I sold the tape to parents for 5 bucks a pop and the proceeds financed the end of the year trip.

Epic ideas don't come everyday, but when they do, you might find yourself spray painting graham crackers in the driveway at 3 am! Just go with it.

7/30 Imani


Your birth was more than memorable.
My first child, you would be the pure, the best of me.
You were late.

It was like you said, “I’ll be born when I want to!
Who are you and what do you want?
The apartment is paid for.
Thirty-six weeks is a suggestion,
I can stay longer if I want and I want!”

I went into labor with you at a play.
The 14th Street playhouse, the play,
It was great; grandma was involved, so you know it was great.

When the first twinges grabbed me, my mother
Let me know that pregnancy and childbirth was not like in the movies.
“Yes, you are having contractions
but it could take hours and
I am on a panel with Ruby Dee
and Ossie Davis so, hold tight.”

I held tight.

Red beans and rice, midnight. I couldn’t help myself.
They laughed. All of them.
Me clutching my stomach, your home, hobbling through the house.
When I got there, to the hospital, your doctor no where in sight.
It was supposed to be all Zen and well, Zen.
The nurses were tripping.
The stand in doctor an Asian man with the last name of Gonzales.
I laughed, you laughed later when I told the story,
I mean it was funny, despite the pain.

My mistake was yelling at the nurses.
Telling them how I heard about switching babies.
Checking your birthmarks and other distinguishing marks.
This could be why they left me in a hallway after
birth, freezing and damn near feverish.
Meanwhile they dressed you in ribbons and bows
showing your beautiful self to the other patients.

When I saw you.
My heart doubled back on its self.
You were so beautiful that secretly,
I hoped you looked like me.

Twenty – three years later.
You are making your way.
You always accepted the me ,
who is me,
no matter how uncomfortable I made everyone around us.
I don’t hold my tongue;
you know this and love me anyway.

I wish you the world.
All shiny and sharp and confusing.

You are my child, you got this,
you will work it the way it suits you.
I know that you know that I love you.
You can do no wrong in my eye.

Do the damn thing!

Make your mark!
Make me proud, like you already have!

My baby is in the world now.
The possibilities are endless!

Give them hell, take names and call me
so we can talk about the fall out.

Rock the world baby.
Because that’s what your momma intends to do.
Later, we will compare notes.
I rock, because you rocked me first.

Your Momma!

6/30 Pop Tart Love an erotic tale of hot damn!!!

Pop Tart Love an erotic tale of hot damn!!!

I put you in my mouth
Savored and exalted your praise
The way you fit
The way you teased
I thought I knew your name
Remembered you from a fling in the past
You’d changed your packaging
And once released from your holdings you
Took hold of me had your way with my taste buds

These children
They have now idea
They tell me you are gross
I tell them watch their mouths
They snicker
They stare
They are jealous
And they should be

The toaster is close but I wanted you raw
Wanted you in the palm of my hand
You wanted it too
And if you had a mouth I am sure you’d say it
But talk is cheap
And this coffee cup won’t fill itself
Right next to the toaster
I pop in your twin

These children
They are so........ them
They insist I’m going to burn you
Just because I burned something the day before
They know nothing of our relationship
And I am sure that if you had ears
You’d ignore them as well

You are so hot!
I can barely hold you
Burning the tips of my finger
My tongue
You are the shit!!!
And if you were a person
Had a face and a pulse
Some lips I could nibble
A chin would be nice
If you had feet or legs
Or a torso
Or arms
I imagine you’d hold me like I am holding you now
And if you had a gender
You could be the woman of my dreams
But in reality
You are a tickle to m fancy
A memory remembered

You are some damn good taste bud loving
And the best thing
Is that there are seven other pairs of you
Waiting for me
At home
You might be jealous
If you had feelings and a heart
And fingers so you could point them at me
Or flip me the bird
I promise
I will love your sisters
No less than I loved you

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts
A love affair begins…
For a limited time
Or at least that’s what it said on the box!

Friday, November 04, 2011

4/30 Menopause, not the musical, but the rhyme-y rant

Menopause, not the musical, but the rhyme-y rant

This body is a temple
in the throws of global warming
the changes come without a warning
sweat on brows continuously forming
clothes are cloying insulation
they keep the heat hide the hearts loud palpitations
it is illegal to be naked in places open to the public
but there are times when I really contemplate wearing my birthday suit saying fuck it they tell me that it's early not full on pause
I say "What! It's gonna get worst?" then I calmly retract my claws
you're telling me we can put shit in space and gps my every move
but you can't come up with an internal ac unit that will cause my skin to cool
I swear to God every time I flash I lose memories and brain cell
but I am woman, I am stronger so I'll deal, what the hell
but I guarantee if this was a condition that was experienced by a man
they'd figure out a solution as fucking quick as they fucking can

I know I seem ill tempered and maybe a little hot
That's the point "I Am" I'm going through're not!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Hands 3/30


It starts with a touch. One that excites and aggravates.
Smooth like lines on parchment. Searching for secrets
tucked between folds. My name in your mouth a breath held
spoken into the locks that circle my head. A crown.

I am a queen here. Locked in your embrace. Hold me to the light,
watch me shine and sparkle. Diamonds. Moans like music
we dance.

Slow at first. The momentum increases your eyes are glass.
We slide and shimmer. My mouth turns dirty. The words all
guttural and stain. I don't believe my own ears.

You ask me what I want. Pandora's box opens. Just enough to
let simple sins flow out in tangles of sheets and palms. We become
elastic. Stretching more than intentions. We bend like willows,
roll like waves. Crash and break.

Holding like notes. We are an opera. We are a memory in the making.
Shaking leaves we fall forever.

It started with a touch.

2/30 Rant

Loyalty is a myth here
Like truth and honesty
The words instill a kind of fear
Like accountability and suicide
Sanctioned by those who are to busy
Paying attention to things unimportant
Like sealing envelopes and coffee
Lies flow like steady smiles and shaking hands
Like you need to start something to start something
There was a time when the bottom line was safety and
A sense of peace
Now it's a time of questions like
Is it safe for children to play in chicken shit?
And does anyone know what integrity means?
And how far do you follow someone on the wrong path?
And if this is for everyone why isn't yours here?
The questions that will never be answered
Because nobody care except the ones that do
But they be labeled villain
because they hold the truth too close
Don't put that in your mouth
you don't know where that lie has been
We never asked your opinion
I mean we did but we didn't like what you said
So we'll just pretend it never happened
You never asked for that this is the first I've hear
Four faces flush
They recognize this lie
Hopes no one notices
But they do..back pedal
Change the topic
Shift the blame
Have a cookie
Were you drunk on that field trip?
What did the judge say?
Is the carpet clean?
Does it still smell like death?
Are you sure about that time?
Are you sure about that time?

November 30/30 #1

  Saturday Night Live
We often squatted there.
The bed just a queen but we all fit so it feels king sized.
Family time in the room with the biggest television
happened nearly every Saturday night.
Tonight, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross will be singing to us.
A special night. We get to stay up late.
My sister worries a loose tooth.
It is so loose that it moves whenever she takes a breath.
In and out it wiggles there like a threat.
My brothers play checkers on one edge of the bed.
The younger brother lives for the triple jump.
"King me!" he yells wanting everyone to know of his victory.
They've been playing all day.
He hasn't won a single game.
He wears hope like a Boy Scout badge.
His eyes are glazed, he will fall asleep before the game is over.
The boyfriend soon to be father begs the younger daughter
with the loose tooth to let him pull it out.
She screams like she is on fire.
The older daughter reads Tiger Beat magazine
waiting for her future husband Michael
to smile at her from the glow of the television screen.
Soon she will be old enough to marry.
He will see her and fall in love.
He will, as long as Diana is not around.
The older brother leaves the room for a potty break.
When he returns the younger brother has fallen asleep fingers on his king.
The younger daughter with the loose tooth has also fallen asleep.
The boyfriend soon to be father taps the older sister on the shoulder.
Places a finger across his lips, points at the sleeping girl.
He pulls the tooth so easily the girl never moves.
The older daughter, older brother, mom and boyfriend soon to be father
giggle behind their palms.
Michael and Diana are singing now.
The older daughter has tears in her eyes.
She wishes Diana would stop touching her one day husband.
The younger daughter stirs. She wakes.
She staggers to the bathroom for a potty break.
The toilet flushes she turns on the faucet to wash her hands.
She screams like she is on fire.
Grabs at her throat.
Says she swallowed her tooth and now the tooth fairy won't come
and she thinks she's going to die.
The younger brother jerks awake.
Fingers still clutched around the checkers.
He takes a triple jump.
Declares himself the winner and falls back asleep.
The boyfriend soon to be father grabs up the younger sister.
Shows her her tooth.
She smiles a shaky smile. Thanks god she is not going to die.
Demands to be tucked in for bed.
She doesn't want to piss the tooth fairy off by making her wait.
The older boy puts the checkers in the box. He puts the game away.
He wakes the younger brother. He will deposit him on the lower bunk
Before he climbs to the top.
The older daughter kisses Michael goodnight.
There are six posters of him on the walls of her bedroom.
His face is kissing level on each.
She sleeps with Tiger Beat under her pillow.
Thoughts of MJ dancing in her head.
The mother and the boyfriend soon to be father
tidy up and ready themselves to do what grown folks do in the dark.
The house is quiet again.
Another Saturday night put to bed.