Monday, November 03, 2014

Don't forget to vote tomorrow!

Get out there and vote tomorrow good people.
If you choose not to vote I choose not to listen to you complain about the outcome.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

After Career Day

Odd Jobs

The absence of young men was palpable. 
I found myself torn between insult and interest
considered if I lived in a world where the arts was women's work.
Wondered if I'd slid off the world.
I learned later that eighth grade boys 
were guided into the careers they are already living
those missiles in a world that might ignite 
or disarm them.

As I move through to seventh grade the testosterone 
roamed the halls, rushed for seats to sit next to pretty girls.
Rambunctious bodies too fast for their feet.
Seems they have a year before they would be told 
about the job that picked them simply because they breathe.

I asked my eighth grader about the speakers chosen for him. 
The scientist, the psychologist, the police.
I wondered if they were asked the same questions.
I asked my son if they were asked the same questions.
The scientist was asked the same questions.
Not the psychologist. Not the police.

They instead gave advice on how not to look 
suspicious while being young, black and male.

When stopped by the police you don't ...
Never IF you are stopped.
Young black men have a tendency ...
Not SOME black men.
Avert your eyes when ...
Don't want to be seen as threatening.
Keep your hands visible...
Don't get hungry or thirsty or listen
to your favorite songs too loud.

He never got to ask the questions about the things he loves the most. 
Doesn't know more about the classes to take to be a programmer. 
How many different fields there are and the possibilities 
out there waiting for him so he can live his dream.

He believes it was helpful.
Believes if he is ever stopped by the police
(thank God he didn't say when)
he will not be shot.
Believes the tips from the psychologist 
will help him appear less threatening.

I believe that this world is afraid of his potential
wants him thinking how not to appear criminal
when statistics show pigment will do that for him.

My silence scares him.
Are you mad?
A question I can answer.
I am not mad, I am concerned.
Don't worry mom, he tells me through the phone.
I have an hour before bed he tells me
I'm going to do some more research on programmers 
and if I have time I'm going to write this new idea 
for my book. I think it's almost done.

I breathe a little easier. 
Make sure my feet are no longer floating.
My son is very aware that he is young, black and male.
He knows the world knows it too.
He also knows that living is a job but waiting to be profiled
is not his career.

He's got games to make 
and books to write.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

21/30 The Accident (part 5)

the birds keep on singing
the vacant smile I wear
to hide what is hidden falters
no one notices 
not even me
if I come back from where I’ve gone
will it be noticed
will I notice the return 
of my parts 
things never happen in a straight line
some happen dark as dried blood
you can never deny

what has never been said

20/30 The Accident (part 4)

after the talk
after the voices screaming in my head
reduce to whispers
I sip sweet tea soaked in whiskey
looking over my shoulder
in hopes to glimpse the others who left
I should be surprised
but nothing surprises

not any more

19/30 The Accident (part 3)

early in the morning
when it is still dark
sweat pools
could be tears
in the dark no one notices
not even me
when the sun greets
there is no evidence
what might have changed things
a stronger truth
a little more faith
when my train went off the tracks
the wreckage of me broadcast
on static channels

no reception between the scrawl 

18/30 The Accident (part 2)

spiked tongues talk
then vanish without a trace
I could use the company
can’t remember how to ask
could be the weak in me
without anchors insecurity rises

the taste of anxiety burns my throat

17/30 The Accident (part 1)

in the process I learned
a lot of things
some hard on the muscles
some camoflauged, remote
none the worse for it
sitting in the dark
wondering if this body could
carry me across the room

without my anchors 

I float away
no one notices

not even me

Saturday, April 19, 2014

16/30 In the Kitchen

it started as a giggle 
turned into gale force hilarity 
tears streaming from squinted eyes 
hands on hip and belly 
barely catching a breath 
which is only more funny 
the neighbors are offended 
how dare you be happy 
in this April snow storm 
this life of rug pulled from beneath feet 
arms pinwheeling themselves 
an effort to stay upright 
how dare you find joy 
when fucked up is happening all around you 
did you see the news 
don't you understand the seriousness 
don't you get how 
this is nothing to be laughed at 
who can fight back with weaken willow legs 
softened by frivolity 
if you are talking to the living
in real time face to face
how you gonna like there statuses
do you hear anyone else having fun

if I ever lost my ability to find joy 
in the mist of fuckery 
I'd be unhappy 
and the body count would be high so 
let me enjoy my laughter 
my habit of being in the company of pulses
you enjoy you complaints and pessimism 
I'd rather weep with joy in a room full of friends
than wallow in whatever you are wallowing in 
I'm ok not being welcomed to your pity party
but you are always welcomed to laugh with the living
find happy in the beat of hearts
and belly laughs so real
they sound like love

15/30 False Hoods

she never says what she means 
always eager to please 
even when she doesn't want to 
even though she knows
the person being pleased 
does not care 
and neither does she 

but she takes the rejection in
calls it something else 
calls it challenge
regrets the attempt 
even as she attempts again 
she sees the broken logic 
as a way to be engaged 
in any 
wants to be a treaty line 
wants everyone to pretend 
they want to be here 
like she is pretending 
she wants to be here 
fireworks of mad shoot off in her brain 
her heart has lost its keys 
no music lives in her body 
as she veneers herself stuck 
rooted to a spot 
she never wanted to be in 

she never means what she says 
knows that if she unleashes 
the flame of her tongue 
she may burn the bridges 
that lead her to what she believes 
could be home 

Friday, April 18, 2014

14 And the Cranberries Lead the Way

what you refuse to understand 
is my desires have nothing to do with you 
but I have entertained this train wreck interaction 
believing the conversation would be 
well, not this 

not this simple 

not this you trying to degrade me 
make me feel less than
but what you don't seem to get 
is that in order for your words to sting 
for your teeth to make purchase 
you have to bite harder and mean it  
plunging you blade of stupid in my back 
only works if you are sharp 
which you are not 
but you think you are 
which is sad 

but there you are standing there 
wrapped in cluelessness 
trying to school me on shit you don't know 
your thrift store psychology fails you 
and as you lose confidence in your own brand 
of bat shyt crazy 
you decide to go to the bottom of your dumb bucket 
attempt to crab barrel drag me to your level 

And your only come back is 
"only lazy women become lesbians 
it takes work to find a man"

my first thought was 
what the fuck is wrong with this person 
my next fuck this person 

when I stare this time I am imaging 
the exhausted hamster wheeling in your brain 
you know what you've said makes no sense
but you hold on to it like an ugly baby 
trying to protect it from those who might call it what it is
I tell you more than I should 
two marriages three kids a leap from the closet 
later and I am oddly pleased and not surprised 
to learn that I am no longer as lazy, 
like that, 
but the men I found were not good men 
grinning in the direction of the man who talks down to you, 
cheats on you and whose wardrobe is the definition of misogyny 
the same man who hit on me 
then showed his entire ass 
when I suggested he introduce me to his sister 
she'd have a better chance

When I grow bored of the no longer 
even slightly entertaining conversation about nothing 
I tell you I'm done going to take my lazy ass 
to the dyke bar 
a little karaoke and beer 
you gush tell me how you've always wanted 
to go to a gay bar grinning at me like I just issued an invitation

so you want to be lazy with me?

I lie 
tell her it's like a club  
there are secret handshakes and shit 
and I decide to not have conversations 
about sexuality with people who don't 
even know what that is 


a cold beer in my hand
I sing my favorite Cranberries song 
thinking how I spent most of my evening 
then it hits me
the zombie apocalypse isn't the eating of brains
it's the people who don't use theirs 
and the Cranberries had been saying this for years
it is in your head
in your head
zombie, zombie, zombie, ie, ie

well played Cranberries

well played

*insert guitar solo*


Saturday, April 12, 2014

13/30 Shit I Been Through, In No Particular Order #1

straight A truancy 
French honor
graduation early 
gives thanks for not having
to return after thanksgiving 
first job hunt
in mainstream America 
fills out application
naive newcomer changing the world
my observation skills  
always aware of surroundings
arc du triomphe, le tour Eiffel 
tri-color everywhere

honor student
conducts interview in French

new comer excited
cosmopolitan meets urban
newcomer unfamiliar with racism here


Neiman Marcus secret
underground plantation style
17 years old 14 dollars an hour
only black faces busing tables 
or slinging sweet tea cocktails

newcomer mistake
mistook the south for southern France
cosmopolitan forces urban
employs me 
black face hostess
southern bells offended
refuse menus 
just place them on the table
refuses pens to sign their checks
just place it on the table
refusing to place money in my hands
they just place it on the table

staff pissed and enjoying masters return
black bartender watching seeing my future
training two weeks 
halts two days in 
you closing tonight 
you never showed me closing


no instructions given 
no keys to lock doors
bartender steps in shows me how
locks cash in safe
locks doors checks twice
next morning unscheduled 
still there before the sun
waits for explanation
accused of theft
calls for supervisor
safe open cash in hand
hands over
fire at will
I will fire back

transferred new department

shipping and receiving 
refusing pay reduction
8 dollar difference
you looking at my paycheck?
causes a problem
calls supervisor

transferred again

tis the season wrapping gaudy
overpriced ugly
they commission
me refusing pay reduction
tips for ostentatious meets tacky
up to two hundred every shift
you looking at my paycheck?
causes a problem
calls supervisor

cosmopolitan stretched 
thinner than our first meeting

bank account healthy
refuses transfer
takes money and runs
first job
ready for more

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

12/30 Cleave

12/30 Cleave
Cleave means “to join” and “to separate or divide”

We began twins connected
Driveway saints and sinners
Waiting for fault lines

I long for the hold
The meeting of minds and hearts
Begin again, new

11/30 Crop

Crop means "to plant or grow" and "to cut or harvest"

11/30 Crop

She spoke of organs
Of separating him from his essence

I remember joy
Bountiful behind his eyes
Now covered with tape

10/30 Grave

I wrote a few of these when I was in the dark and lonely that was February and March. I am fascinated with words that mean their opposites and are synonyms of their meaning. That last kind I only think makes sense to me. They are a little morose, even for me, but I can't deny my darkness. It happens. Hell, it may happen again in an hour, day, week, or month from now and don't let me get started on the seconds.

10/ 30 Grave
Taking someone off 
life support prepares you well
For losing others

9/30 Strike 3,I'm Out

In the land of no expectation 
there are no surprises 
no wishful thinking 
no I should have, would have 
no love lost 
you can never lose what you never had 
and lies by omission have no weight 
or maybe the same weight as obligatory face time 
what was owed was never owed 
and what was believed was never true 

I am always weary of the word best 
three times it's been thrown in my direction 
three times it meant goodbye 
some goodbyes hurt worse than others 
thank the goddess this was only three years 
not two decades 
that one still fucks with me 
but less and less 
with each chance encounter 
she drifts a specter 
showing up when 
I'm second guessing myself 
out of the blue 
offering change for the meter 
the only other love of my progeny 
growing like weeds up up and away 
believed in and probably alway will

I was surprised by what wasn't felt 
maybe I knew this was some twisted duty thing 
it was difficult to hold your eyes 
because I once loved them so much 
know I can never love them again 
a disappointment of a different kind 
same kind 
I have learned so much 
about myself this last year of last chances 
and test of true 
not liking all the answers 
but trusting the results 
as you offered no better 
my appetite not accustomed to crumbs 
and I am far to polite to stay 
where I am not wanted  

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

8/30 Anti Social Media

I grew up in a time where there was no internet
where social interaction meant
you were socially active
speaking one unto another
knowing the shape of another’s face
their speech
when on-line was outside
mud cakes and kick the can
where neighborhood meant
you knew the people living near you
when block parties
were keystone
a place to foster community
when the village raised the child
called out bad behavior
and the neighborhood was family
when social meant interaction
and media was the news
these days the news is how you feel
and whether I like that
where is the dislike button?
it doesn't exist because
these days if you don’t like something
then you are shaming it
making it less than
the fact that we don’t know each other
in this new land where everybody knows
each other it’s an interesting thing
when the people you thought you knew
become veiled in a book of faces
chirp like birds
and no one knows even remembers
when they did
they knew one another
face to face
once upon a time

we have become our own fairy tales
stories read
some believed
others discarded
truncated text the way of life
we are laughing out loud
to everything and nothing
I do miss facing my true friends
knowing they knew me
only to find out that these days
they find comfort in

7/30 Mirror, Mirror

You look at me hoping to see more
than I can show you
we are not three dimensional
this is flat reflection
you face me
I face you forward
not back
can’t see the demons chasing you
can’t see the full scope of what you allowed
others to do to your self-esteem
can’t work out the incantations of magic
you refused to learn
believing what was said to you
forgetting truth doesn't live everywhere

I can only show you what you see
your vision no longer 20-20
you have decades under
your frayed belt but
but, you always lead with your heart
target practice
you hopeless romantic chasing crushes
not hearing the crushed in your future
this is not the worst I have seen


because of the collateral damage
you put in its path
but those are your soldiers
they live in your army


those days you stare at our reflection
whiskey soaked in sadness
smile and doubt

you shake your head
wonder how you got here
hangovers long gone
but the memories make so much noise

I can only show your surface
not the stumble in your pulse
or the panic attacks you hide from view
but when you talk to yourself
it all makes sense
and I mourn for what I have never seen
never want to
the last time you wiped condensation from my face
I noticed you had grown an inch or two
stopped folding in on yourself
no music
no beat

I love the way you reflect after purges
after the recognition of those empty calories
we look good standing face to face
I know the sad will come again
you will show it to me
when you are not looking

but I savory these times
when I can just make out your wings
looking over your shoulders
I want you to know they are there
but we are not three dimensional
but they are perfect
your wings even though
you've never
seen them

6/30 The Diet of Invisibility

a shaky jerk of eyes
taking in the whole picture of herself
this girl losing weight like patience
holding on to the hurt
even as it gnaws on extremities
and forgotten
her clothes no longer
hold the shape of her
she layers her logic
hopes no one notices
how much of her was lost
searching dirt roads
looking for the crumbs
longing to return

5/30 Mass Communication

You and your complicated mouth 
drinking whiskey and shooting up the room.

We've become something and nothing at the same time
absorbed in thought between moments of mutual distractions.

A reenactment 
a pause 
an accidental backtrack 
on the sidewalk concrete growing beneath our feet
a lie in the pulpit.

Your hug 
an uncomfortable chair seeking 
shapes me awkwardly 
I have drowned in your shallow.

A well timed spit 
after a blow-job gone 
premature ejaculation 
you want all the space in the room 
I comply 
show you my retreating back 
my slow migration to somewhere else 
but I think I love you with this ticker-tape heart 
all float and no real direction.

So many things fall from the sky
never to be found again: swallowed whole.
Tragedy never comes in the form we predict
sometimes they take the form of dropped calls 
falling from some other time
like nightmares wanting operator assistance 
for their return.

Monday, April 07, 2014

4/30 The Play

actors on a stage performing radical leftist ideology
experimental theater in the round
low comedy performed without words
a variety show full of tragedy and melodrama

experimental theater in the round
the reviews are terrible a comedy devoid of laughter
A variety show full of tragedy and melodrama
the audience remains unmoved

the reviews are terrible a comedy devoid of laughter
realistic dialogue full of suffering and human existence 
closet drama then black out; everybody breaks a leg
the audience remains unmoved

3/30 Wall Reflection

steam obscuring sight 
a smile perched beneath a nose 
running with regret 
faltering resolve 
eyes roaming 
looking for a future it can not see clearly 
hands move to wipe away condensation 
a wet that will not dry 
tears march down skin 
soggy sadness leaving salty streaks 
the flavor of hopeful 
body trembling as unsteady hands 
comb through anxious hair 
then rest on a belly 
rented out to butterflies 

she didn't know the need 
for acceptance 
compassionate smiles 
from friends turned strangers
had no idea it could make her heart so heavy
her pockets full of second chances 
breathing in the steam 
exhaling expectation 
adjusting her smile 
smoothing the wrinkles in her confidence 
releasing her reflection in the mirror 
to face her demons

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Navigation 2/30

getting arrested at fourteen 
was not my best look 

the girl with brass knuckles 
didn't have my best interest in heart 

she wanted me oblivion 
while I was determined 
not to be punched in the face 

our opinions differed 
but my motive was always clear 
defend yourself 

you are all you have 

and just for the record 

had I known at the time 
I was fighting about a boy 
things may have gone differently 

but in the bathroom 
handling the things 
you handle in a bathroom 

but when
some girl with anger 
a color never seen 
behind her eyes 
rushes you in a bathroom stall 
all sudden like 

you channel your inner ninja 

you balance beam toilet seats 
make your hands an anchor 
run aground in hair 
navigate the cannon blast away 
always away 

and when you find yourself moored 
upon the shoulders of a girl 

who wanted to sail her knuckles 
covered in shiny 
into your face 

you find comfort in the waves 
lashing your back 
be it ocean 
or commode 

and when the officer demands 
you let her up 
you launch yourself 
into his arms 

while the porcelain mermaid girl 
declares the scattered rings of brass are yours 
between sputters 

you might find yourself arrested 

mother worried 
Atlanta children missing 
your bed empty 
while feet pace floors 

you could find yourself 
in seventy two hours 
facing the only person 
you ever shared a body with 
holding a one way ticket in her hand 
a suitcase holding what's left of you 
stowed in a trunk 

you may find yourself riding a dog 
back to the one man 
you could never respect 

getting arrested 
at fourteen 

changes everything 


Tuesday, April 01, 2014


That year I forgot the sound of my name 
could barely make out the shape of it 
curves once smooth turned sharp 
found myself repeating old habits 
falling back into familiar like so many second thoughts 
holding myself to my ears 
hearing the ocean 
longing for home 
that name I forgot a siren song lulling me 
into crash and sink 
it began that name with tongue pressed to teeth. 

That same year I became somebody's wife, 
somebody else's mother
didn't recognize either of them 
strangers teeming beneath my skin 
impostors in the mirror wearing my eyes
complacent in my undertow 
shredding what was left of the remnants 
and still I answered ever time I heard that name. 
That thunder clap and banshee scream 
that who I used to be 
before I forgot her name.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Queer Lodgings (rough)

the initial cringe did not surprise 
elicited no response 
comfort turning uncomfortable 
stumbling tongue 
everywhere hands convey distress 
you cannot hold my eyes 

I do not move 
watch the miles race through you 
all over the room 
there in no air in your world 
no fear of danger not looking for you
it does not exist 
it never did 

ignorance was your bliss 
what you didn't know,      you really did
the struggle drapes your frame 
hand me down opinions 
in all the wrong colors 
I understand you are drowning 
I am not your undertow 
I did not throw your voice all over the room 
spouting homophobic like a geyser of disgust 
all stereotype and conjecture 

I know first hand what you think of my kind 
the empress is wearing no clothes 
I see all of you 

you showed me your skin 
I showed you mine 

there is a reason you didn't know 
you equated lifestyle with intelligence 
decided to delete what you knew to suit your needs 
perhaps you imagined me closeted 
as in hush 
and shame 

now the awkward has settled 
you look at me like I want from you 
I watch the the questions slot through 
then something slides behind your eyes 

you wonder if I find you attractive 

it's my turn to cringe 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Two Figures with Flowers

I am two states away staring 
at the same picture that hangs on a wall in your house 
it reminds me of the last time I saw you 
flames in the background. 

I am staring at this image 
remembering how tired I felt in that moment 
when you shifted into shallow 
all my limbs aching from confinement 
my heart on the floor 
torn between the relief 
the freedom of closeted love 
and the grief of losing you. 

Two states away my hands 
my hips 
remember the feel of lust in the dark 
away from prying eyes 
a secret I could not keep 
not for long 
your body's press on me 
the way I reveled and moaned. 

Tomorrow I will leave this state 
a steering wheel trapped between my fists 
headed back to my life 
the one you never inhabited fully. 

Is it coincidence that this painting 
exists in two different states 
or that you attempted to siren song me 
back into your bed of lies 
or that my hands crave the geography of you? 

I have been looking for home 
in all the wrong closets 
in all the wrong smiles 
welcomed more warmly by strangers 
than by you, who claimed to know me
or want to. 

This painting 
these two figures 
they peer out so full of sadness and regret 
I feel they may be warning me 
the smaller figures eyes 
seem to implore reminding me 

"remember what happened last time"

the flowers have nothing to report.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Recovering Some of the Muse

You ever have multiple disappointing relationships? Lots of great times but the not so great parts take you to places you never thought you'd go until you find yourself there, but you couldn't be there because you'd never go there. Remember? Residual angry all over the place. Rough, but when it's shiny it's going in the book.

hungry for full contact
but there is nothing
nothing here is normal
and tasteless tears fill our mouths

tambourines play the perfect soundtrack
all sorrow
and shrill
and going through the motions

ghost in the middle of a haunting we drift
the walls cover their ears
even they are tired of the lies

night slips into darkness
my hands part your thighs
feasting my selfish desire
your pleasure is only a side effect
my starvation has grown full blown
I will consume you until you pass out

the empty
that is this
emaciated existence only
seems to work only if you are unconscious
I put back on my clothes adjust my mask
leave the catacomb that is your bedroom

this new diet is not working for us
you gave up the few words and strung together half thoughts
wishing they could be conversation

if this is purely a physical thing
we can certainly keep up this routine
as long and not fool ourselves into believing
this is anything deeper

we don’t have to feign a relationship
we will we will both starve in
You and I
we can have sex with anyone we chose
but sex alone will not sustain a partnership

I mean,

I've been eating here for months
and I have never once been full