Friday, September 30, 2011

Music Break: Oddisee

okay good people, i'm on a quick little vacay out
of town...until then, enjoy this weekend and here's
a little something from DC's own Oddisee off of his
new album, Rock Creek Park. enjoy!

her pretty bows

pretty bows are not just decoration
that is left to the slice of sunrise
which is the smile on your face
my tongue has untied
many a knot
and it waits
for the ochre velvet
of the one that binds
both your raging heart
and your ample waist
i know the friction and the burn
such ribbons have
and the gift they bind
will not go to waste.

a pair of runway pins

these legs
made her sixty thousand this year.
these legs
covered trade publications
and forced young girls to learn the art
of ejecting shame from their throats
along with lunch.
these legs
have been rubbed by diplomats
and bankers with oily fingers and dry libidos.
these legs
will soon be filled
with the finest heroin of Laos
and topped off with coffee.
these legs
will soon be a whispered memory.

drowned beauty haiku

pity she had to drown
to learn water makes all things
lovely; even her.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

standing against the sea. (reflection)

if you'll allow me to ramble...

i had a chance to recently be a guest on a wonderful radio show
(as you already know if you keep up with this blog). and in the
time since then, i've been deep in thought about writing and its
hold on me. it's only now that i've been able to really let the
words dance on the page. it's only over these past two years that
i've been able to let the voices in my soul merge into one chorus
of truth. like i heard a hustler say out by Rockaway Boulevard
years ago, 'it takes time for you to wail my man. you never heard
a lion's voice crack.'

it hasn't been without hurt. either the sudden kind or the kind that
settles in slow like bacon grease on the walls. i know there's one
or two people that know me out there that probably view me as some
sort of loser because all i have at the moment is my writing. i'm
not a major best-seller, someone who they can brag about to friends
over brunch or gab about on Facebook. and i've learned to accept
that. and it makes it easier seeing them across the distance they've
created with that view of me. because my writing IS ME. it is part
and parcel of the journey i've had over these years. and i earned
every damned step of it. i've earned all the tears and thorns as well
as the laughs and roses. can't have one without the other. and i think
now i appreciate that balance even more. and i want to say to you, if
you're reading may have such people in your life. let those
mofo's scatter like roaches under a hot lamp!!!

i don't want to let this feeling i have now go. i've felt it before,
but in pieces here and there. now it's steady, driving. i've got a ton
of words in my bones looking to get out. and i'm doing that, one poem,
one essay, one article, one story at a time. and it feels damn good.

i'm standing against a sea before me, of doubters and obstacles. good
thing my heart is strong enough to stay afloat. and my pen will get me
back to shore.

Music Break: Theivery Corporation

a little bit of smoothness with a message, courtesy of
DC's own Thievery Corporation...enjoy it on this hump

cool water and giving earth

i want
to rise like steam upon your skin
course around the equator of pleasure
measured in inches you casually call your waist
i want you
to taste slow-simmered ambrosia and creme de menthe
on your lips whenever thoughts of me
make it hard to concentrate
i want us
to glisten like grass after sudden showers
and settle in each other's soul for hours
like cool water and giving earth.

haiku 9.26.11

my heart does not roam
it sits fixed inside of me
your kiss breaks it free

Sunday, September 25, 2011

haiku 2.24.09

man makes plans and so,
God laughs; but when man loves, God
does stop to listen.

insomnia's alias

insomnia now has a name
that makes me levitate
outside of my skin
and walk amongst others
in haunts that carry familiar scents
can be the footsteps
of those we've walked away from
the fact that her name lies on my lips
as the sun has gone to sleep is what that represents

thoughts of a falling star (for Sagal)

you shouldn't appear
like uneasiness in the stomach
too near the last drink
and too far from home
but here you are
tumbling back to the land
i once called paradise
because it as where love made its home for you
and like any falling star
you still burn bright before the eyes
have you tired of drifting in space
playing it safe
and as you trad loneliness' cold embrace
for those moments where i kissed your face
and the fire they contain
let the next time
you crash into me
be so powerful
we give it a name.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

azure rhapsody

*for brownin'*

there is no controlling you
you ride across the prairies in my mind
on stallions as wild as your curls
a bandit queen
who shoots sugar-tipped arrows from her lips
i can't stop you
from lassoing my thoughts
and branding them with your laughter
or your swimming gently
with my dreams under orange moons
and watchful eyes that burn in the fabric of night
there is no controlling you
and truth is
i'd be a fool to.

haiku 9.24.11

no one asks when the
water will run dry; think the
same of your own heart.

haiku for a rock and roll betty #3

can we tear apart
each other's clothes tonight like
the fishnets your wore?

Friday, September 23, 2011

haiku 9.23.11

love is suicide
one comes back from, though the heart
may think otherwise.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

blackberry jam haiku

let my desire
spread across your soul just like
blackberry jam does

island in the stream.

maybe there aren't
enough castles in the sky
suitable enough
to evaporate the seas that gather
at the corner of your eyes
in the worst of moments
it is safer to dance with the barbarians
at the gate
than let the right one in
and just maybe misery
is not the company you want
but the one a broken heart can afford
in spite of this
i ask that you give up doubting your dreams
because once you do
and open that window of your heart
long shut with anger and pain
look out
and you'll find me waiting
on that island in the stream.

Music Break: Mat Kearney

been digging his music since last summer...ladies and gents,
Mat Kearney.

Georgia justice haiku

the manure of law
blind and broken still makes for
strange fruit in Georgia.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

georgia cry(for Troy Davis)

washes its face once again
with innocent blood
mealy-mouthed Confederate nostalgia
tells justice
'stop squirming
we can make the laws that bind your wrists
tighter than the blindfold on your eyes'
i can't imagine
waiting for death
to step before you
and ask you to come quietly
the Good Book in one hand and a syringe in the other
and maybe death itself
might pause and ask 'what is wrong here?'

becomes less sweeter
no amount of Paula Deen pecan pies
will remove this taste
after the powers that be
remove him from this world
this lingering bitterness
modern day strange fruit brings by governor's writ
and racism's irrigation
let us not greet the morning after
with complaints about work commutes and
miscues on a baseball diamond
when this shows that they can take any Black mother's jewel
and deliver it to dust

and the world
weeps like those willow trees one might find
on Savannah lanes
but your blood, Troy
will remain the scarlet stain on prison board lapels
politician's records
and perhaps one day
we will replace these words
with choice bullets, war cries and fists
may our protests and our anger
be louder than their imperious glee
as they steal
the last breath from your lips.

Monday, September 19, 2011

subtle sleep

i cut through past minutes
like speedboats in calm seas
and wonder what dreams
could cause smiles such as these
does the cool cotton on your skin
remind you of surreptitious kisses
where the ridge of your collarbone
meets the gentle moon of your chin
are you
using the midnight of your hair
as a cape to fly
are you
sipping arabica
trapping hazy days in a cafe in your mind's eye
your face asleep
is desire's calligraphy unbound
that writes of happiness
on the soul with barely a sound

love quotes for a tired mother

right here
in the pale traces of morning's first steps
is where you have become the most beautiful
rubbing the last particles of dreams
from your eyes with one hand
as you carry two
your stomach's swollen with love again
and in this light
you glow brighter than the first summer's moon
Tang philosophy sits on hips
that gave me a heaven better than promises on Sunday
i see the riverbeds stretching on your skin
that i caress with cocoa butter and care
before we share the night
i wouldn't trade this feeling for anything
even in the midst of our worst fight
it is here
right here where the best of your beauty lies
tender arms
pregnant belly atop giving thighs
and eyes that see far better futures than i

Sunday, September 18, 2011

lamps within her soul

*for browinin'*

i write these words
hoping they make a way
within the forest of your essence
like lamps lit
with embers stolen from your smoldering eyes
darkness now becomes me
as they carry me deeper
into the glades of gladness
i get when you cross my mind's horizon
and when put together
they burn brighter than a peaking sun
letting you envelop me
and all you believe i can be
so that treetops envy
the height of our souls' flight.

cropped share of life

*set to the tune of 'My Old Kentucky Home'*

his hat rests on the plow
like the halo he must have now
after meeting the River Jordan
2 years ago

his old Kentucky home
a ramshackle cabin and land as far as the eye could roam
where tobacco was king now
and the good book the only tome

others would not see
that faithful 'ol' darky' in Luther Dupree
who did work the flesh of fingers off to the bone
to feed the real landowner and his family of three

the sun must've pitied him
but it kept on burning his skin
and this hat was his only friend out in the patches
that and the quiet anger burning within

Luther only lived half his life as a slave
and it was out in the fields he dropped when his heart caved
there will be no songs for sweet chariots again here
such is a poor sharecropper's grave.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

appearing LIVE on Poetically Spoken's Open Mic Night Radio Show TONIGHT!!

good morning folks!!! i'm happy to tell you that i'm going
to be interviewed TONIGHT on the Open Mic Night's 'Poet
Appreciation Series' hosted by Poetically Spoken!! it is a
treat and an honor to do the show. it runs from 11 PM to
3 AM EST, i'm slated to be on in the first hour. so listen
in, and you'll even get a chance to hear me perform live!!!
the link is directly below!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Music Break: Middlechild

this sister's a singer out of Columbus, Ohio...she's made a nice
little buzz for herself over the past couple of years. this is
one of her best tracks, with producer J.Rawls on the assist. have
a happy Friday folks!!!

when summer and fall part(for Sagal)

*wrote this a while ago...sifting through old books can
unearth some thoughts indeed. -cs*

don't simply cross the mind as
maple leaves do to quiet lawns
at the outset of fall

linger like the last touches of sun
trapped in a butterfly's wings
at the day's last call

and for all of that, you
despite scars earned and inflicted
still hold me with the care of a sculptor
wrapped in gauze within your heart

and i
do the same believe it or not
even with the chill and brightness that comes
when summer and fall part.

the silver key

you might just laugh at me
but i think back
to the necklace you wore
as we shared laughter and beer
while the Saturday sun slipped beneath the West Side slowly
i think about it now
that silver key
that pointed towards the idyllic temple of your heart
built with orchids cinnamon sunbeams and tears
for now
i'll sit outside these gates
and watch light dance upon your face
waiting for the day you present me with that key
and that day
will feel like the morning flights of birds within me.

scarlet routine

the first sign
that tells you that you are
no longer forever young
may not be hairs
becoming silver before your eyes
it may just be
the shock of crimson drops
sitting in your bathroom sink
after you casually spit
the moment you meet sunrise

Thursday, September 15, 2011

warmth and worry.

Agnes Bradenton sat and listened to the air around her
in the diner. it was the normal chatter for a normal Tuesday
afternoon, but it wasn't normal at all. Agnes felt the seething
warmth of the coffee through the eggshell white porcelain
mug. it helped to calm her nerves. but it didn't fully ease her
worry. the worry that tinged her four block walk to the diner.
the worry that began with a phone call and the phrase, "Agnes,
i'm sorry...but your late husband's pension company has gone
under. you won't be getting any more checks from them." that
check meant a great deal to her. it was helping with bills, bills
she was still paying off for Roland's last days in Beth Israel.
bills that kept her from being on the street. she focused on the
warmth of the coffee as she waited for her grilled bacon and
cheese sandwich. and a way out of gloom.

wailing for 16th Street

the love that forgives
would have a hard time that morning
it would find itself
clearing its hands
of smoldering rubble
splintered glass
and the broken bodies
of four little Black girls

Birmingham knows all too well
how bloody September can be
eating pain ripe and flush
that drops from hatred's own branches
we tend to forget today
that terrorism
often grows from familiar trees

four little girls
four Black babies torn from a world
that despised them from birth
four who'd never know sock hops
high school or their own babies
and Christ is trapped in stained glass
helpless at that point to lead

keep the wall in Jerusalem
we shall keep wailing here on 16th street
Meridian, Memphis, Selma, Greensboro
wherever hate and death meet on their dance card
because you see, somehow
we hope the tears and struggle
make some kind of sense
out of having a love that forgives
against a hate that never wishes to.

over coffee at South Station, 5:47 P.M.

do not
consider these words
only flattery with too much sugar
and no weight
like designer coffees sipped
by the gallons and the masses
i want you to see them
as scripture that will last
when lives become dust and magic
writing of your spirit
which will travel farther than light.

lipstick traces on a hotel window

she told me
about her heated lust
pressed against cold glass
and how she moaned sutras with each thrust
and yet
my arms scared her enough
to shatter the mirrors to her heart
my words crafted
was i really
that hard to trust?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

what one smile can do on a crowded train.

i was on the F train heading for Soho for business this
afternoon. my normal routine, much like most others when
they're on the subway is to plug into my iPod and tune
everything out to a degree. (i'm not a fan of being so
oblivious using mass transit.) the ride is smooth, the
car's not too crowded and the air conditioning is set on
'frosty'. we get to the Queensbridge station and this one
woman gets on the train and sits across from me. i think
nothing of it and get back into my book.

after a few minutes though, i look up from my book and
see her head down. her shoulders were shivering slightly.
her sunglasses were askew. she was crying. not loudly,
not fully. but she was weeping. just as quickly, she
shrugged it off. she wore a white t-shirt and glossy
black gym shorts. nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
she was a well-put together sister. i went back to my
book. after another minute, i looked up and saw her begin
to sob again. she had her iPod on. i looked at her. and
i smiled. and mouthed, 'you'll be okay.' i didn't get
up because i'm sure she chose that part of the train so
she wouldn't make a scene. she cleared up a bit, nodded.
and for the rest of the ride, she was calmer.

i don't know what she was upset about. maybe she had an
argument before she got on the subway. maybe she was
being harassed. maybe she had recently lost her job. a
loved one could have passed. i think the most important
thing here is, in some way, i let her know she wasn't
alone. it is so easy to be indifferent in this day and
age. especially in a large city like New York City. last
i checked, you're supposed to have compassion for your
neighbor. and it isn't based solely on convenience. it
made me feel a little bit better. and i hope it eased
her turmoil a bit too.

quiet lightning

*for brownin'*

even without makeup
you make copper cry that it is unfair
to compete against your shine
and your lips
make plums feel anorexic
ravens must have gotten together
and sewn a bank of feathers
sprinkled it with the blood of comets
and bequeathed it to you for
a crowning glory
and my story
has been the same
since i first got burned
by your smoldering eyes
and learned what your name was
no one tells you
that there's such a thing
as quiet lightning
i suspect
that all who meet you
feel like water meeting electricity does.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

haiku 11.18.07

i tried to forget
but your eyes won't let me go
joy and prison both.

slow burns and stockings

your legs in soft nylons
give me a slow burn
between my legs
and all i want to know is
are you wet enough
to quench the flame?

pick up a copy of my books today!!!!

(Toronto, October 2007.)

hey folks, if you've loved my work on here thus far, i
invite you to get a copy of one of my two books!! i've
been fortunate to have been able to self-publish two
collections of poetry, 'lovestoned' and 'wife of the heart.'
both are dedicated to women who have had a major impact
on me and the time we've shared. i've posted poems about
them both here on this blog. check out the link below!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

disoriented express

it wasn't the chill
from the patterned glass
her hand rested on
that made her uneasy
or the blanket of night
that slung itself around her shoulders
it wasn't even the fact that it had been
a good half-hour since the train had hollered
through the dusk
it was the hand
of the gentleman who stared at her
all through dinner with a cigarette in his lips
and the musk of lust on his brow
resting on the window of her compartment door
that made her heart beat that much faster now

autumn silk (for Sagal)

forgive me
if there were moments
where my hands kept caressing you
you see it is hard to tell where
the silk of your clothes ends
and the touch of your skin begins
so my fingers
become like the addicted
and act on their cravings
whenever my hands are blessed enough
to caress you.

when is a terrorist not a terrorist?

(in honor of Tyrone Johns, shot and killed by a White supremacist
June 10th, 2009)

when is a terrorist
not a terrorist?

when it's
on two o'clock news feeds
and twitters from bespectacled birds
in neiman marcus' finest
when it's
an old man filled with too much hate to die quiet
desecrating memories of long lost souls
when it's lost in bipartisan slapbox sessions
when it's all about the recession
who do you want your enemy to look like
when you realize that you've been your enemy all along?

when is a terrorist
not a terrorist?

when it won't sell newspapers
when it won't push lobbyists to push bills
when it won't make recruiting commercials
with kate smith altos and fighter jet fly bys
when it can be dismissed as 'just another crazy supremacist'
when news programs can do special interest pieces
that come in conflict with reality shows
that take away from the reality that
your bills grow
and your savings shrink
and you can't afford to be sick

when is a terrorist
not a terrorist?

ask tyrone johns to answer that for you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

haiku 9.12.11

you walk with a grove
of grapes instead of toes;a
fine wine in sandals.

for the brothers on the corner haiku #3

birds of a feather
usually share boyfriends
like cups of Remy.

Music Break: The Weeknd

this album by the T-Dot's own The Weeknd is
SERIOUSLY good. this is probably my favorite
track off of this mixtape. enjoy!

happy hour fantasy.

she saunters in with the afternoon light
purse and bookbag over shoulder
jeans tighter than a billionaire's wallet
they call her culona
but her name is Rosalie
born in Bani made her way here in 1973
they call her culona
because she can make earthquakes envious
with the sway of her hips
the first tequila of the day hits her lips
as she zips up a corset
rubs lotion onto her thighs
and straps on high heels
she hopes will elevate her above how she feels
Rosalie from Bani
mother of 2 on job number 3
here Tuesdays and Thursday through Saturday
starts work at 5
puts two bucks in the jukebox
and makes her hips come alive
this is the culona
Rosalie from Bani
and for a dollar at a time
a drink and high-school level feels
she will be your happy hour fantasy.

saigon heart

(Thich_Quang_Duc, Buddhist monk, Saigon 1963.)

could you imagine
having a heart
that could conquer governments
halt injustice
and make the bullets of enemies
into useless coins?

do you see yourself
holding enough love within you
that it outlasts
flames that strip you of your flesh
flames that strip you from yourself?

could you imagine
your heart
toppling evil
burning bright enough to honor Buddha's light
being a phoenix for truth?

let love be the match
that sets your spirit ablaze
the fire this time
will be the waters of truth
that will cleanse the world for better days.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

undeveloped past(FB photo prompt #4)

September 2nd, 1938
here it sits
intact with barely a scratch
bullets could not harm it
falling plaster could not bruise its hinges
bombs could not scar its leathery body
fascism could not destroy it
a suitcase
that holds a few shirts and papers
and a roll of film
from the last trip to Seville
before the war
before Franco's bloodlust

this suitcase sits
after it left the hand
of a man fleeing after his wife
as planes strafed the building's face
both felt like the last pats of black market butter
they dined on with brittle toast only hours before
as the gunfire sliced through their bodies
and their hours were no more
yet the suitcase remains
with film that trapped smiling faces in its folds
proof that an undeveloped past can live
beyond someone's future

nose ring haiku

her nose ring is more
than jewelry; it is an
anchor for beauty.

quotable: Toni Morrison

“Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.”

lyrics at the water's edge

let the sun go home
and leave us the night
to cuddle within and dream
i want the midnight hour
to be as soft as the palms of your hands
and the roar of the surf
to speak as loud as your shy laugh
let the sun find us
right where we need to be
smiling bright enough to block out all troubles
silent enough to speak with the breeze
and you, content to just be with me.

a fear by any other name(for 9-11)

for some of us
the flag isn't a suitable bandage
for some
its been ten years
in a wilderness of 'why?'
wondering where truth and lies
meet and exchange information
you can cover the scars
where towers once stood as twins
with polished marble and steel and glass
but no one
can create a mausoleum
for the walking wounded

for some of us
this isn't a day to hawk flag pins and ribbons
guzzle cheap chardonnay with cheaper sentiments attached
for us
you shouldn't prostitute this pain
but politicians get their foundation
while waiting for interviews and collect money
and vultures swoop in
to pick profits from the ashes
hoping your mind is still clouded
like the choking grey dust
and that it coats your lungs to dull your protests
when they send Crayola alerts
and send out the badges in trucks

for some of us
this day
doesn't need incessant reminders
the walking wounded remember their scars
named Ground Zero and Shanksville
and the spirits of those lost
make their homes in the rays of the sun
note how they've burned that much more since then
for all of us
it was no ordinary pain
but don't tell us to never forget
we won't
we just refuse to pander
to a fear by any other name.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Music Break: The Roots

i love The Roots. repeat, LOVE them. and when they put
out this album dedicated to the late J Dilla, i was of
course geeked. this is probably my favorite track off
of that album. and going into a tough weekend here in
NYC due to 9/11, a much needed song that evokes calm
and reflection.

new conservative haiku #8

hey Rudy, read this
sign: "no prostitution at
Ground Zero"; take heed.

new conservative haiku #7

if Borders never
paid for Palin's in-stores, would
they still be here? hm.

brown sugar sands

this is a time
i want broken down into granules of
brown sugar sand
and stored in country lemonade jars
where your hands
tend to be softer
than the flesh of clouds
don't ask me how i'm breathing
when my nose is filled with your perfume
and the sun dances upon your hair
i'm just happy to be here
souls open like windows
eyes intertwined like the tender vines
that grace the skin above your toes
nothing can be finer
than this late summer sunlight
and you
and the crisp air