Thursday, June 30, 2011

please destroy me this way

this piece was inspired by the painting you see
above done by Alfie Ebojo aka Alfienumeric...those
of you who visit this blog regularly know that i
recognize her as a dope artist out of the City of
Angels. check more of her work out here:


destroy me this way
let those dreams i left scattered to the winds
come back as two-toned sparrows
with voices like Spanish bells
let every fear i had
shrivel like the pits of peaches
half-eaten on the sides of roads

let me lose myself
in woven sunlight that promises
to knit futures before my eyes
and tell everyone that means something to me
thank you for your prayers
i am stitching them to my sides now

let me soar
into a horizon beyond fingertips and despair
where i used to be so long ago
and let these years in front of me
not listen to those
i've left behind.


haiku 6.30.11

trying to score points
for verbal jabs is on par
with stabbing for fun

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

waiting for the dusk

*for brownin'*

if nightfall
was composed only of
your tresses embracing the sides of my face
Thierry Mugler and the dew of bashful lips
alongside the hum of an electric guitar
and the magic
of minutes stretching like shadows
then the daytime
couldn't move fast enough
for me.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

the longest hour...

h'lo folks! i figured i'd depart from the regular flow
and share a story from my recent travel. i was on my
way to Charlotte, North Carolina for a family event and
some R&R. i had strapped myself in on the plane and was
about to tip my head back to catch a wink or two when i
heard someone say, 'Excuse me.' i looked up and saw a
woman grin at me, a bit on the shy side i thought. boy,
was i wrong.

i got up to let her sit in the window seat and this lady
(i didn't even catch her name, despite the fact she had
not stopped talking until 15 minutes into the flight)
began to tell me her story over the past 24 hours. she
had missed a flight the night before, missed another one
earlier and had to make her way to JFK from LaGuardia to
catch this flight. it was going to be her first time going
to South Carolina. 'so you're driving after you get to
Charlotte?' i asked. 'oh yes,' she said. she was a sister,
from the islands. i gathered as much from the accent and
the cherry kool-aid tint of her hair color. she lost me
when she took her shoes off however. i realize that we,
as human beings, tend to have our own odor under certain
circumstances. but when she took her shoes off, i swear
to you, i caught a whiff of cold cuts. salami. i grimaced
inwardly. mind you, she's still talking, but now to herself.

i turned to my sisters sitting across the aisle, settled
in. we take off smoothly, and i notice a little girl sitting
in front of them, playing. she seemed a little under the
weather. i wouldn't know how much until later. she gave me
a small grin and i returned the favor. meanwhile, my seat
mate had begun to wind down after getting a blanket. 'i'm
from the islands, and we don't do the cold. cold kills me!'
she said with a chuckle. 'oh, my family is as well,' i reply
but she pretty much ran roughshod over that and didn't hear.
works for me. i closed my eyes for a bit.

we wind up getting to Charlotte 20 minutes early. as we start
our descent, i pop a piece of gum in my mouth and begin to get
ready for landing. the little girl i saw earlier said something
in Spanish to her mother, who was sitting in front of me. her
face looked a bit pale. she looks off, past me to the back. and
then, it happens. as the plane begins to land, she vomits. all
of the orange juice and whatever else she has flows out. it was
like a cutscene from a Wes Craven film. it spills out onto her
clothes, hits the floor. after a minute of this, another little
girl sitting next to her, possibly her sister says, 'now I might
throw up. gross.' her mother? she was fumbling for tissue, and
looked a bit distracted even when others gave her tissue and
napkins. while this is going on, we're set to taxi into the gate.
but then the pilot gets on the speaker to tell us another plane
is there. and we have to wait a half hour. and then the AC gets
cut off.

the sister next to me starts getting agitated. 'c'mon man, we
gotta get off the plane. this is ridiculous.', she says in
between making phone calls to different people informing them
as to what's going on. the little girl goes to the bathroom
with her mother and comes back freshly scrubbed and changed
and happier it seems. the AC had been cut back on, and things
got more mellow. well, save for this older brother pulling his
Samsonite suitcase out from the overhead and tucking it between
his legs waiting to deplane. the flight attendant had to give
him a quick talking to for that one. she also had to buckle the
little girl in because her mother was too busy playing Bejeweled
on her BlackBerry. yeah, you read that right. as we get baggage
claim info, my seatmate goes, 'oh it's Carousel D as in David.
that's my boyfriend's name!' i nodded and said, 'okay, cool..'
as if that would stop the flow of speech(what was i thinking?)
but she then says, 'we met online. this is the first time i'm
meeting him.' cue the dramatic music. because once i heard that,
i thought, 'this is a 48 Hours episode possibly.' and she's going
to South Carolina to meet him. i was officially done at that
point. and the moment we were ready to deplane, i bolted. what
a crazy start to a good trip.

Friday, June 24, 2011

laughter and her sunrise

*for brownin'*

you may be at your best
when you are laughing
and joy paints a pinkish dance
across the porcelain of your cheeks
as if you held in
a summer sunrise
just for these moments
and each peal
becomes sweet dew
within my own ears

Friday, June 17, 2011

garlands of grace

*for brownin'*

for so many reasons
that your feet have become
garlands of grace
there have been reasons
where you've felt them gripped in pain
like thorns embedded just below the skin
i appreciate that much more
your footsteps
and hope that one day
my own hands
can rival water
and course around your toes enough
for your skin to flush with joy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

haiku 6.16.11

even below the
surface i now see what was
needed to be seen.

subway surfing.

we should've known the moment he stood up.

the J train had just pulled out of the 121st Street
station on its way towards Brooklyn and eventually,
Manhattan. i was on the train, headed to work the
evening shift on a temp gig with NYU. the train car
i was in had the usual mix of teens fresh out of
school, young mothers and their oversized strollers,
Chinese women hawking bootleg DVDs and an assorted
thug or two with a du-rag on. one guy stood out
though. he sat near the connecting door of the car
off to my left. he sipped from a can in a brown paper
bag that matched his complexion. he was clean, his
cut was a low 'Fro two days past freshness. all he
had on was a navy blue sweatsuit. i figured he was
out for a gym run. i figured wrong because he went
through the door. and had proceeded to climb ON TOP
of the car.

now, you hear about people train-surfing out in
places like Brazil, or India when there's literally
no real seating on their interior railways. but here,
in New York City? most think that went out with the
late 1980's and S-Curls. but this dude was literally
train-surfing!!! we could hear him as he held on,
the loud bumps making everyone pay attention. he had
onions, this guy. especially given the fact that the
boys in blue walk up and down subway lines. some of
the people were waiting to see if he'd slip and fall
off, a gruesome development since we were fast
approaching the Cypress Hills station on the border
between Queens and Brooklyn and nothing was gonna
save him from dropping almost three stories to the
pavement below. right across the street from a
cemetery at that.

all the excitement however came to an end when the
surfer hopped off onto the platofrm at Cypress Hills,
and bolted towards the stairs. the NYPD officers ran
after him in a mad dash. just another random piece
of subway madness in the Big Apple.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

hollow points

arguments don't seem to matter
once bone shatters
and flesh becomes
insignificant as pulp at the bottom
of juice cartons
whatever the point that was trying to be made
will it be remembered
once the blood dries?


a pond's surface

*for brownin'*

it would not be
out of the ordinary
to meditate on what your stare means
when you are pleased
past all troubles
that tower and tangle like so many trees
and to see your face
still as a back country pond
your eyes
bold maple leaves
drifting on the surface
the only ripples
being when you exhibit that beam of light
that makes silence sweeter.

musical interlude 6.15.11

i figured i'd switch it up a bit and bring you a
track that has made its way into my summer playlists,
Stalley's 'She Hates The Bass'...

haiku 6.14.11

when night falls over
me, the lasting sunlight is
nothing but your voice

Monday, June 13, 2011

200th post!!!

i can't believe it! but there won't be any major
celebration...i'll save that for a bigger number.
i appreciate every one of you who has checked this
blog out and told others to do the same!! and of
course you know there's more to come...

haiku 6.13.11

you should have heard the
word of Isis; a goddess
cant teach out of pride.

science fiction for the corners

i wanted to write of
worlds that defy logic
caused shock and awe
in a world that only sees fit
to drop its jaw at stupidity in loud print
and there are days
when some of these streets
are planets unbound
places where Ming the Merciless
might've owned carryouts
mining for minerals and
taking every Flash Gordon
who's bright enough for books
for their papers and powers

who needs rocketships to go to the moon
when space dust is sold by the baggie
and moon rocks come with color tops
to make alleys seas of tranquility
man oh man
i can be an astronaut for less
than a quarter pound in the hand
with motherships bearing golden rims
trim that wears prada and snakeskin
talking in groaning bass
like some hep cat put down in ink
before my first chance to blink,
'when have you found a brother
who had time to waste on the moon?'

and then it hit me
science fiction for the corners
would make millions
just imagine
a 'hood with no projects
bodegas better than organic farms
asthma a thing for the past
brothers would be building hovercars
instead of building on how to blast a fool
we'd use trash and broken glass
to power streetlights and guitar amps
then i stopped
because i didn't want
this dream of a better world
to only be fiction
and besides,
Hollywood would only cast
Keanu Reeves in the lead again.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

ripe peach haiku

some say a peach is
best to eat before it's ripe;
i will wait for yours.

three AM thunder

*for brownin'*

before i drifted off to sleep
the sugar your name carries
remained on my lips
after this recent explosion
sticky sweat
turning to dew
because thoughts of you
became thieves of lightning
and now the rain
as it falls past cracked windows
do you hear
the thunder roll
where you are?

haiku 6.11.11

fog rests upon these
roads like a tired runner; it
only breathes raindrops.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

tropic of cocoa

*for brownin'*

nights have passed
where i find my mind
swimming in the sweetness of your skin
and finding rest
on each of these cocoa inflected isles
that congregate at the rise
of your smile
they strengthen my eyes
for those moments when i look at you
to plot exactly where
dreams realized could take me.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

treading water furiously(from the archives)

the worst thing
about this
isn't clawing for air
struggling to breathe
its that those
grasping your legs with
concrete hands
never considered what that feels like
let alone doing it


Sunday, June 5, 2011

the poet's surgery to combat misery

tonight my words
need to sever flesh
break bonds and clear capillaries
i need
to excise this sorrowful mass
of molasses from inside of me
before it solidifies
like grease in a turkey pan
and it's all got to be done on the run
'cause tomorrow leaves me no time
to let anguish stand.

haiku 3.2.08(from the archives)

let me loosen your
doubts; easier doing that
than your own bra strap.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

crabs in a barrel observation #4

she'll use red number five
for hair dye
pay for painful inscriptions
of paw prints on her thigh
'cause she doesn't want a Tyrone
to forget where to walk
and in her talk
please note the consistency of chewing gum
rainbow colored contacts
that make Toni Morrison sigh
but what do the ghetto gorgeous do
when the soap operas
and their fleeting dreams

crystal smile

*for brownin'*

the wealth of your smile
is like
feeling the cool crystalline drops
of water within the throat
as the sun burns your scalp
forgive me my thirst
to see you smile so often
and to give them to me.

haiku 11.28.08 (from the archives)

hand spun ivory
that shines like midday sun; she
does her skin justice.

haiku 6.4.11

that lost in the sauce,
he found that car bombs are no
good when driving drunk.

Friday, June 3, 2011

st.marks place, 9:22 pm

i prefer this moment
right when the air hangs lower
with old tobacco and the growing night
it's here
that punks and b-boys
trade war stories, lighters and laughs
uptown girls
strut like giraffes
with downtown boys on their arms
cursing the bridge and tunnel crowd
being only one morning after away from that fate
step around the sashimi
that left someone's stomach
after too much Sapporo
the yellow cabs
don't make the night glow any different
and somewhere along here
voices used to wail
voices used to rock
and now it's all becoming
frozen yogurt, white noise and pop
but right now
i am here enjoying that moment
of way back when
before evening stops

haiku 7.5.11

i fall asleep lips
open because in dreams i
know she does the same

rest in power, solemn soldier.

Ji Jaga Geronimo Pratt has gone home.

i thank this brother not only for his struggle as a
Black Panther, but for one lesson he taught me one
crisp spring morning out on the White House lawn about
13 years ago. i was there as part of an activist rally
fighting for the rights of political prisoners. many
on the front lines of the struggle were there. i had
spotted Angela Davis hurrying to speak, a nightingale
in the midst of all the protesters from other colleges
and communities. i was walking around, caught up in the
spirit but feeling a bit disconnected. i had been in
this frame of mind for some time, seeing that for every
person who devoted their time to the struggle there were
three people willing to be poverty pimps in a sense. only
there to make their post-collegiate resume look good.

i happened to have stumbled upon a small gathering by a
tree. and there before me was Geronimo Pratt. in all of his
simple but strong glory. i had a journal open with an
interview he had given taped to the page. i shook his
hand, and noted the firm grip. i had the journal in hand
and asked if he could sign the article. naive as hell, i
know. he gave me a kind but firm look(more than i deserved
at that moment really) and said, 'only movie stars sign
autographs.' i bowed my head slightly and apologized.
after a moment or two, i moved away from the group.

i thank Geronimo because what that moment taught me was,
as much as we like to romanticize the struggle, dress it
up in fatigues and rhetoric from afar, there are people
whose lives have changed utterly in the name of the struggle.
from that day on, i told myself, i will never even THINK
of cheapening what this brother and countless others have
done and still do. even if it looks like i'm not in full
solidarity because i don't talk the talk..if my heart is
in full solidarity then my actions will speak for me. and
since that day down in DC, i've tried my best to do that.

Geronimo never looked back. and he stayed true to his people
and himself, in stoic, forthright fashion. he even joined
another Panther, Pete O'Neal in Tanzania for the last ten
years with his Panther initiative there, until his passing
yesterday at the age of 63.

rest in power soldier. i'll never forget your lesson.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

haiku 6.1.11

photo by Keith Weaver

*for brownin'*

this summer and all
that follow, i prefer your
touch over the sun's.

the dance of flower petals

each blossom
that sways below my knees
under strands of summer's light
teach me steps to a dance
i hope to recreate
with you in my arms
because their petals
resemble the luster within
each freckle upon your cheek
and so i walk that much slower
learning these steps
that go along with the music
of your soul.

haiku 1.4.08

i brave the cold for
the chance to kiss you; but will
your fire be there?