(draft from the other day)

I haven’t written poetry in a time period too long to be justified unless i dig way down backward in consciousness when everything was owed to me
And i was the victim of every person
And every affliction wearing
stigma like coke bottle classes
in a brand new city At a brand new school with no clue that my brand new British knights had been outta syle by south philly standards
And that was a whole nother risk factor to live up to
Because defense mechanisms
In place to provide cover for my shortcomings were government funded
Naval stations in various
Geographic locations made my smile the ghost in so many memories
Friendship a practice of practicality and emotional ties as strong as the
The thinly walled housing units that
Pitifully offered protection
When all the project kids had to do was jump the fucking fence
Maybe i cant write
Poems worth a shit as there have been so many stories
Laid on my heart
The art of making the poor life suffice
The arch of the fallen hero father figurine unable to fill the space between
Everyone loves me but the man whose love I needed most
consistent deaths

I don’t really know why and to stress about it
Makes the agony bulbous.
To die in silence
When there is a family waiting to be,
A child with enough love in her laugh
To fuel all future  love poems from now until the world burns out
Well, isn’t narcissism kind

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Falling in love with Walking the dog

The sidewalk ends here
And there among the flattened surfaces of this round world are olfactory places sniffed
And with spirited gait
with no
obvious reasoning
Chosen for exploration.

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10/30 – April 23, 2105 – The Quiet Mouse

So the prompt was to write a poem about yourself in which nothing is true. (I’m catching up y’all!)


I am the one who told your secrets

The one who will slice your back and dine on the gristle

I am the virgin the mother

The cloudy culture in the water

Responsible for the chemical slaughter of children

I am the sniper and the bullet of your character assassination

I am one of the 999,999 alike in the million

I am unseen crack in your cement foundation

I am the bomb in the basement

I am not truth or light or intuition breaking through

I am the dry white fish on the menu

I am back door entrance of the Whites only venue

My blackness is not appreciated in value or in mirrors

I am the lack of conviction in all of your vespers

Fervently fertilizing all of your fetters

The hesitation in your smile is all my doing

I am a winner at losing

one of mundane choosing

The nominal lover of others

The circumstantial adversary

Dainty in gesture

I am not the things I carry

But the things I waste

My make-up is perfect

Legs always shaved

I’ve picked my death plot

On the family enclave

I am the quiet mouse

The yes ma’am and thank you kindly

I am the pillar of salt for the things left behind me

I am the breakable doll

The blushing beauty the nice nasty

The undercover unduly

The Madame of mischief for lack of a life

The crystalized Christian

The virtuous wife

A traitor’s traitor

The liar in waiting

Always sharpening her teeth.

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9/30 – April 23, 2015 – borrowed words (the poem interrupted by Alora)

the words I borrow

have bent the bars of cages

they have snapped bone and

tunneled through flesh

to get their deserved attention

each one binds me to me

like mud to a stone

when I am struggling to recognize my truth in the crowd

i pick them from my teeth

and feed on them again

the cilia that allows me to perceive the above

and beneath

the innocence that my daughter speaks

to melt me into nothing

I am HeLa cells under her microscope

her sweat smell, her resting breath

snatch all the words way from me

her eyes, laughing with all of her might…

(Alora woke up in the middle of me writing this poem and said she wanted to write poems with me. I typed what she said below)

alora loves mommy daddy we are family

we love each other we are

in a house

from the whole family

(she yawns)

now, i wanna write another poem

(i ask her what comes next)

nuthin’. (I give her the look)

I said nuthin’.

I just wanna write a poem to myself

how do you spell “you”?

(I tell her and she types)

you (the she types)


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8/30 – April 23, 2015 – “Security Questions”

Security Questions

Where were you when you had your first

kiss? Somewhere between he loves me and he loves me not because rumor was goin round that he might love Mikesha Johnson who already had tities and I was rail road track limbs and washboard body but I was smart enough to know that if Perry Gardner made ole buck teef Nicole his girlfriend for kissing him then I could get curly head Mario to do the same thing.

What is your grandmother’s first name?

Well I got two.

Let’s start with Grandma June. If you know her from the back-bay or her New Orleans days then you might could call her June Rose.  Because you would also be callin out her life story. Verbatim.

Otherwise you call her Miss June, or if you none the wiser, Mrs. Straight. But it’s a lot of Mrs. Straights and she is the trunk of the tree.  We just the blossoms forever fallin at her feet. I suggest stickin’ with callin her Miss June. But don’t call her while the Saints is playin. Cause you will get cussed out.

Then there is Grandma Helen. Or Miss Helen, to you and everybody else. You know how black folks say I got indian in my family. Well she could say it for true. You could tell in them old pictures by the way her hair do. And the way her skin was as brown and beautiful as no magazine cover could imagine.

What was the last name of your favorite high school teacher?

Jansen. Gave me detention for chewing gum. Gave my friends A’s on papers that I wrote for them . Gave me C’s on the ones I wrote for myself. Gave me a to the side talk cause she knew what I was doing, and her expectations of me, a “brilliant writer” were on a higher shelf.

What is the country of your ultimate dream vacation?

Mississippi. Don’t get no countrier than that.

What was the name of your primary school?

Grandma June’s School of Flawless Manners and Advanced Four Letter Word Lyrical Gymnastics

What was your dream job as a child?

My dreams did not ever and do not now involve working. But I am steady working to manifest them in to the future where I safely belong.

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7/30 – April 12, 2015 – free write on my morning walk

In the morning when the rain fall wakes me
curtaining the Sun in
Libations from the arisen departed
I feel obliged to honor it
to  drench this desired body
this lustful mind in
God’s work
especially on Sundays when there are no tasks to be done at another mans whim when
The pity of responsibility can go unattended
When there is no obligation to dance while the tick of a time clock drives home the rhythm of routine
No race to greet faces that only use you for your time to save their own
for facials and lunches at the four seasons
to knead the dough
arriving hungry for the bread of my labor
When the coincidence of circumstance culminates in this precipitous way
I am called upon high
I am reminded of my worth
I am baptised in my skin
I am remade mother earth

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6/30-April 9, 2015-Adolescence IV (by me, after Rita Dove)

I’m catching up. So this is an imitation poem after Rita Dove’s Adolescence I, II and III. The original is posted below mine. Enjoy!
Adolescence IV
(after Rita Dove)
On the south sidewalk of Synder Ave.
we interlocked one set of fingers
passed a lucy between the other
idleness hung before us, as white as snow
and it grew legs as he said:
‘Let’s go to my house,
my momma still at work.’
The number 7 bus roared through my silence
the look in his eyes burned my ears, and in the distance
i could see the his rooftop glisten
into a fireball of secret
against a feathery sky.
Adolescence I by Rita Dove

In water-heavy nights behind grandmother’s porch
We knelt in the tickling grasses and whispered:
Linda’s face hung before us, pale as a pecan,
And it grew wise as she said:
‘A boy’s lips are soft,
As soft as baby’s skin.’
The air closed over her words.
A firefly whirred near my ear, and in the distance
I could hear streetlamps ping
Into miniature suns
Against a feathery sky.


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