Monday, October 31, 2011

six word story: backstage burlesque

*trying a new series out here, writing a story in six words. i'd
love your feedback!!!*

Cheryl cringed, wiping herself with singles.

quiet snowflake haiku

snowflakes become flames
licking my skin, walking in
a winter unsure

Sunday, October 30, 2011

the shine of your midnight eyes

i dream of the pieces of time
that shine like your eyes
my arms
remember your ample figure
that few pears can match
i often think
of the serenity of honey
and how it lives contentedly in your skin
and i did not forget
the smokiness of your voice
that could coat a room in jasmine and longing
to think that this all lies
in concert with the shine of your midnight eyes
it makes me feel
like diamonds may be overrated.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

posers of prose

i want to devote this post to one of my pet peeves
that's been gnawing at me as of late. and that peeve
is...*mighty drum roll*...POSERS.

one of the things as a an
should hold dear is the idea of being true to oneself.
no one should ever try to be what they're not anyway.
you'll get nothing but hurt, and a big old bowl of
emptiness in the end. but it seems that nowadays,
to be a poser of sorts is the 'in' thing. it's actually
celebrated. and someone you know, is either perpetrating
a fraud or helping someone do it. as it relates to
writing, i've always prided myself on who is true to
themselves and their craft and who is really just
selling a book of wolf tickets. because i've come
across a couple of people who will swear up and down,
'oh yeah, i'm a writer!' and then it turns out they
haven't done much with their craft.

now i'm not saying that i'm expecting everyone to have
a novel, been published heavily, or gotten huge write-ups
in periodicals of the day. but i'm tired of coming
across the posers. those who copy other people's work
and pretend it's theirs. those who want to write only
because their half-assed celebrity awards them a book
deal and a ghostwriter to make them appear more 'normal'.
the men and women who think that by sleeping with a
writer that they magically gain those skills by some
sort of transference through sex. enough with that

who am i to make such a statement? i'm someone who has
been writing since i was 8. i'm someone who has had the
power of the written word help me get to places some
would never had me see. i'm someone who had to use words
to fight, to love and to heal when i was too weak or too
weary to do those things on my own. i know what lies in
the power of my craft. and i would never belittle it by
such actions as i described above. if you're reading this,
i believe you know how i feel. and if you've been doing
what i described above, KNOCK THAT S$#@ OFF and stop
being a poser of prose. you're casting shadows on those
who shine brightly.

Friday, October 28, 2011

among the comets that sleep

i'm passionate
about your shoes
dangling like participles
and me being proper
i sneak only a few furtive glances
but they dance
around my ears in counterclockwise form
when you let me
enter a forest that's more warm
than the hands of deserts
the second skin of silk you wear
will be the softness that frames my face and speech
my desire dangles
like your shoes do
as we flirt
and set our minds
to love among the comets that sleep.

haiku 10.26.11

you know your words cut
when you feel your soul ache as
you read them aloud

Thursday, October 27, 2011

rita's haiku

she smoked butts freely
not knowing she was burning
her life to the end

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

brown eyes haiku

i took the sand from
her eyes and made an island
to be stranded on

Monday, October 24, 2011

haiku 10.24.11

*for brownin'*

caressing your chin
is akin to holding the
warmth of a full moon

Thursday, October 20, 2011

whisper of a september wind.

*for brownin*

i have discovered
a secret to your smile
that perhaps you do not want shared.
so i will only say
that the closest thing to its rise
is the whisper of a September wind
across the face
as i lie down in a field
of wheat and golden blades of grass
and cast my eyes to the stars
to remember the brilliance
when i saw it last.

shell-shocked in Sirte

the glades of Lockerbie
don't shine any brighter
Tripoli cheers
while we view a strongman
bloodied at the end of his years
dragged like spotted buck behind a pickup
media outlets that cried foul
at BlackHawks down
parade dead bodies around claiming patriotism
too many 'isms' makes me yearn to burn my own
yes Libya has their freedom
but you can't help but wonder
if their countr's soul is on regulated loan?

February 25,1964 8:23 PM

'rumble, young man, rumble'
words rest on the rhythm
his heart makes
to fill the silence in his ears
a surah fills his chest
as fear courses down biceps in crystal ships of sweat
soon he will shake up the world
and shake many out of their sleep
just when alarm clocks become bombs
stereotypes become Viet Cong wrecking empires
Black men become Panthers and Gods
peacemakers get murdered
and friends become betrayed
'rumble, young man, rumble'
a fitting postscript
for the history his fists
shall soon make.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

tanka 10.20.11

we don't need to drown
to see oceans live within
and depth beyond skin;
embrace the fact that you grow
like quiet rivers we flow

Music Break: Nujabes

here's another cut from the late great Nujabes of Japan,
'Counting Stars'...

haiku 10.12.11(2)

bruises are makeup
for beauty beaten in; she
is pain's Cover Girl.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

last call's captivity

begins with your legs and the night
bathed in burning orange
that makes the buckles on your heels twinkle
we wipe sweat from our brows
to make room for more later
you giggle with all the coyness
four cranberry and vodkas bring
you've got me trapped
with lust living in the netting your wear well enough
to have given Appolonia a few runs
your eyes flash hellion
and with a kiss on your neck
this captivity of the last call
has just begun.

Books available for sale!!!

folks, i'd like to pause for the cause and give you just
a friendly lil word or two about my two previous books up
for sale. 'lovestoned' and 'wife of the heart'. both can be
YOURS right now if you go to my online store:

'lovestoned' is in its second run!! and 'wife of the heart'
will see a limited release, so do yourself a favor and get
yourself a copy TODAY!!! *grins*

10 things i got from my birthday weekend

on the third day into another year on this planet, i can definitively
say these things after my birthday last Friday:

1)White Zinfandel wine and Red Velvet cake combined is a mighty
powerful sleep agent.

2)i was lucky to have a birthday where it wouldn't be too cold
with no snow on the ground.

3)i've gotten used to seeing the wildest things on my birthday; from
a drunk chick doing her best Elaine from 'Seinfeld' impression to the
point she broke wind at the bar to a blue butterfly going past my window
right after the rain stopped, amazement was constant.

4)i learned that forgiveness - of myself and others - can make life
grow in glorious ways.

5)there are some folks who will insist on infiltrating your space with
their bulls**t and when they shrink into the periphery, BE THANKFUL. it's
the best gift you'll ever get from them.

6)planting something really reminds you how connected to the Earth you
truly are.

7)the people who you've lost in the past come back to wish you well. kind
of like the blue ghosts from 'Star Wars'.

8)yes, you get older. but you do find more clarity.

9)be thankful, every SECOND.

10)laugh and the world does laugh with you...even louder.

Monday, October 17, 2011

haiku for her nylons #2

butterflies upon
your pantyhose found their flight
under my fingers

Sunday, October 16, 2011

haiku 10.16.11

the pork chops in blue
fight for their dollars; even
sow's ears need lining

to the beautiful masochist

unbind yourself
loosen those knots
that cripple those breaths of violet
you issue from your lungs
undo the bow on your tongue
that leaves you high-strung over bad decisions
lousy loves
and tears that rust the heart for awhile
there is no pleasure in torture
especially when self-inflicted
scars can be beauty marks only
when one knows they've always been lovely in spite of
take those ropes away
from your tender wrists
and don't let your words become whips
beautiful masochist
the blurred lines between pain and pleasure
only become bold by the strength of your soul.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

overcast wool on a Sunday(for Sagal)

i still remember
that cool grey Sunday and you
with your grey sweater
and that moment i
walked behind you and embraced
the waist that moved me
your neck, taupe velvet
my lips dared to converse with
it made you nervous
the question still holds
as you tuck yourself in folds
of nightshade and sleep
'what caused you to weep;
my desire's subtle speech
or silence after?'


Music Break: Madlib

this is another fave of mine, from the multi-talented Madlib
off of his album, 'Shades of Blue'. enjoy...especially when it
gets to the 1 minute mark.

'you don't need to be a child to have a happy childhood.'

yesterday i went to go pick up my mom from the
local senior center after running a couple of
errands. the day was overcast, almost London dreary
if you will. you could see it reflected on the
faces of some people waiting to catch a careening
dollar van. a couple of people got shocked as i
actually acknowledged them as they walked by. as
if they didn't expect me to be polite. the center
wasn't too far of a walk.

when i got there, the vitality hit me the moment
i walked through the doors. i held the door open
for two elders with canes. 'that's okay babe. i
got this!' one of them told me, jauntily stepping
through dressed up in a cashmere sweatsuit. i had
to chuckle. i talked to the front desk attendant
and went to the main hall and found myself face to
face with a full exercise class. and what exercise;
they were WORKING it out to some soul music!! i sat
down and waited. i got a great deal of quiet joy
out of watching them. even when it came to the 'cool
down' section towards the end.(which reminds me, i
need to dig for that jazz interpretation of Jefferson
Airplane's 'Go Ask Alice'...they had that as the
theme music.)

what had me inspired the most was the shining life in
everyone's faces. there's many of us who take it for
granted that the elderly among us still fit some cliches.
but i have to admit, there were a few there who could
give any of us a run for our money. one guy came up
and looked at me. 'they better than you, eh?' he said
with a laugh in the seasoned accent of someone from the
Caribbean that has always been part of my life. one of
the more active participants turned out to be 92. 92!
and some of us complain about minor aches.

i was touched by the happiness on these people's faces.
and in a way, i thought about how there's people in
this country's government who'd dare to steal it through
cutbacks and closures. there were people here from other
neighborhoods in South Queens because of closures in
their own neighborhood. thank God and the hard work of
others that a center like this one can accept them. this
senior center is a space that not only gives life back to
people who've given life to the community, but it adds to
it. they feed the hungry for as little as $1.25. and they
also had a list of green markets to get produce from.
you couldn't help but feel good being there. my mom
was energized being there. i know i was.

as we headed out, i noticed a sign on the wall that said,
'you don't need to be a child to have a happy childhood.'
and that really resonated with me because i saw that being
lived out in every one of these elders' beautiful Black
faces. the moment we stepped outside, the slight drizzle
of rain that was present stopped. and i could actually see
the clouds changing from gray to light blue in the distance.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

haiku 10.12.11

i felt like Kubrick
seeing your body of night
nude and full of stars

rock and roll betty haiku #5

ripped silk reveals your
cashmere flesh; i think Prince sings
what i am thinking

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

haiku for her nylons

midnight stockings show
the blush of your rose;and your
stems gleam with softness

Monday, October 10, 2011

rainbows of the dreamers

the dreamers
will find themselves beset by
beasts with no names of their own
they'll be battered and bloodied
left on their backs like grasshoppers after a breeze
these dreamers
will feel agony
cold and sober on their neck
but their eyes
still stare upwards
and heavens and earths and stars
trade spots but never lose purpose
and with the winds of hope in their ears
drowning out fears that come in low tones
these dreamers rise
to pluck the colors
from the rainbow of their soul
and paint futures brighter than those before them.

haiku 10.10.11

she casts a wide net
with her legs, back arched for her
catches of the day

silk and mocha jazz

something about the way
you make silk bend to your whim
makes desire
bubble over
like frigid champagne over the rim of a glass
your legs already
stole softness from the flesh of clouds
and now
they steal reason from me
in slow fingertips daubing the word 'want'
in every language the heart knows
and the hips speak
your legs
are smoky silk and mocha jazz
when you wear black stockings
music that sings along my skin
as the night drifts past.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

rock and roll betty haiku #5

be proud; you made the
song 'Cherry Bomb' real with your
sweet lips as we kissed.

haiku for a rock and roll betty #4

she plays me just like
chord progressions; my heart wails
under her fingers

Friday, October 7, 2011

lemon sugar

lemons become
the sweetest fruit one can taste
behind my eyes
you and i find uninhibited carnal knowledge
speaking a language
of raindrops and sugar
if i turn a certain way
the jasmine of your hair
coats my nose
and my lips
trace teasing trails
on hips that give birth again
to rivers that end in depth that begins
with that fifteenth letter
that makes ten toes stretch to meet the sky
i dream
of the orchard of your thighs
the sweetest lemons of all
i burn a hole
in the fabric of midnight
thinking of that precious prize.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

shoes above south road

each pair
hang like pendants of pain on a devil's neck
swaying in this rain
a couple did dope
one did two tours and died on a third
two were dinner for flames
and one flew off pavement like a bird
these wires carry everything
even their ghosts
that's why most folks
walk carefully down this street or not at all.

morning lament in a minute

i ask
in wisps of cold truth and early afternoon light
'why do we hold on
to those who run?'
and the sun said slowly
as shadows danced before the approach of night.
'because we know
that our love and our hope
is their only rest
after they run to devasatation.'

reclaiming what's lost on Hanover.

there was about 40 minutes before my bus to New York
city was set to shove off. i opted to make the walk
to the parking lot where the buses were. i kept my
music off. not out of fear mind you; i wanted to take
the time to fully ingest everything along the way. this
part of DC was what some would call 'reclaimed'. the
term always bring to mind old Westerns where the cowboys
killed off Natives replete with buttered popcorn. this
stretch of North Capitol Street that i walked down has
seen better days. it contains one of the more notorious
blocks in the city and possibly in all of the country's
failed 'war on drugs', Hanover Place. it was here that
Cornell Jones, aka 'The Ghost' was serving fiends and
serving notice, making the street a veritable open-air
drug market.

you wouldn't be able to tell on first glance today. the
rowhouses are all neat, with a couple bearing the tell-tale
signs of renovation; new windows with the stickers and of
course, fresh cement pointing. all around this section
you can see a good deal of construction. cranes dot the
distance like lighthouses on the shores of an uncertain
future. tucked away off on First Avenue, three new condo
developments have been built along with a Harris Teeter.
reclamation, 21st century style.

but it only goes but so far. i see that walking these
blocks. older brothers dot this section. they hug the
corners like children do to their parents' legs. a few
hang around by the liquor stores. liquor stores that seem
to be better fortresses of solitude than Schuster could
have given Superman, what with their rusted window bars
and fading fluorescent lights. Big Bear at the corner of
N Street seems to be an exception only because most float
between there and the tiny deli two doors down. i look at
the faces of these men and a few women from Florida Avenue
on down. the struggle has worn them like a pair of blue
denims far past holding itself together. their faces are
the tough rawhide one incurs on the streets. i don't know
their stories but i know how they got them. at one point,
10% of DC's population were former prison inmates. and
then they got released onto the street. these folks speak
in tones seasoned with doo-wop, soul one can only get with
a crushed heart and a few cartons of cigarettes. they may
move slow but they're still on the hustle. any hustle that
keeps them alive.

there's tears tugging at the corner of my eye. maybe they're
there in response to them, those who've given even that luxury
up. i wonder what they see in me as i walk past. i wonder how
they feel seeing new buildings that will fill with people who
won't have any idea about their part of the District. such
moments i don't take for granted. they stick with me for days.
their lives are what i've been warned against. but in these times,
one check or misstep can put me right there. so i know i am
no different. i walk on and tell myself again i need to be that
life that reclaims their lives.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

haiku 10.4.11

believe that justice
can die before you; will you
throw roses or fists?

sailors of sadness.

i've seen the cold, roiling seas of depression. more times than
i can count.

i used to think it wouldn't happen to me. couldn't happen to me.
i used to believe that i could get by it, get around it, get through
whatever it was bothering me in a heartbeat. me, depressed? that was
for Lifetime network movie marathons and for those who had the luxuries
of time and race. i, as a Black man in America, couldn't admit or allow
myself to acknowledge that depression would invite itself into my
space. it just doesn't happen to us. it can't happen. it's better to
fight it off, drink away the pain, smoke it out with Dutch Masters
and a carefree approach, or fuck aimlessly. anything outside of
being caught up in those cold seas.

i've seen what it can do. it shrinks your world. it makes you feel
as if you're worth absolutely nothing, that you're a speck of celestial
sand that won't mean much in the grand order of things. it shrinks
you in the eyes of others, or so you think. it makes you feel as if
you're a loser to some, a deadbeat to others. women place you in a
category sight unseen and unsaid. 'nice guy, but he can't give me
the tomorrows i want.' George Jackson was right on that one. worst
of all, you feel as if you're shaming your parents and all those who
walked before you with your name. you feel the cold seas overlap some
days so much that you can't believe the time that was lost. and yet,
you don't understand how your tears, when they do arrive, can be so
HOT. and filled with so much searing pain.

and then you break through the surface, and take in all of that fresh
air, you realize and reaffirm, again, that you ARE valuable. you are
precious. you are worth it. i've only now realized that i have had
these spells on and off since 2009. and i've only now been in a space
where i can freely admit the effects these spells have had. it isn't
anything to sneeze at. it isn't anything that can be immediately seen
as 'being overly sensitive'. nah man. depression is serious. and now
having experienced it, even in a tiny dosage, i can really see how
much it can alter lives.

so the question is, why am i talking about it?

i'm speaking on it only because i've had people close to me and others
share their experiences with depression openly. i want people to just
truly understand how it can leave you drowning. my will, my heart and
my dreams have helped me enough to make it a temporary thing. there's
millions who can't say the same. all i can ask you if you're reading
this is to understand. be aware. be honest, without being cutting. with
others and mainly yourself. learn to see the signs. understand the triggers.
i wish i did earlier, if only to save a couple of people back in the day.
if i did, one cat would be around to see his three kids on the verge of
college. depression is a cold, cold sea that can swallow you whole if
you're not careful. we're all each others ships. make sure the ones you
love can get to calmer waters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

seduction's isles

*for brownin'*

part of me
still slumbers
of those pieces of honey and nutmeg sands
that lie on the ochre seas
you call your cheeks
and i only look forward to the time
when the rest of me
can be stranded in such seduction.

hell of the upside-down sinners

i'm debating anarchy
with someone who will never
know hunger, past due bills or
how the hateful slap of a nightstick feels
quote me all the Marx and Nietzsche you want
that doesn't make the lead in tenement walls
turn into bouquets of bullets for the oppressors
until you have been on the front lines
until you've stared down wolves with whips
and serge blue uniforms
and let your voice be a dragon
you cannot speak
about fighting
in the hell of the upside down sinners
we call corporate society
and it would be best if you learned to fight
as if you didn't have a heaven to go back to.