Monday, December 31, 2012

waiting on the new year to rise.

no poems on this day, the last of 2012. figured i'd take this
time out to say a few things.

this past year has opened me up as if someone took a serrated
knife to my flesh. i've let go of so much, yet got back a lot
of blessings. i found myself not only fighting back fear but
going a few rounds with it bare-knuckle. winning bit by bit.
i learned a new level of being serious with my craft, and also
being light enough to forgive my missteps. got deeper into
family. survived a hurricane and a re-election. had some deep
interactions. got to trade words with some notable people.
break bread with good people. 2012 has allowed me to be better
than i was. and i resolve to only rise with 2013.

so, for all of you who read this blog, i want to say that i
sincerely thank you and i appreciate you taking time out of
your lives to read what i write here. part of why i share my
words here is because i have this funny little feeling that
it helps you. maybe it lightened your mood a bit. maybe
something i said made you think about your own situation, what
you were or weren't doing. maybe you came here as an afterthought
but stuck around and felt glad you did. for whatever reason,
you're here. and i appreciate every one of you. may you all
have a new year of renewed hope, strong will and stronger
purpose, and better blessings. be the good you want, for
yourself and others. don't deal with people who cant give you
what you need and especially those who cant give themselves
what they need. value reciprocity. cherish those who care.
grab sunshine wherever you find it. remember that if you act
hard to get, no one will get you and you'll get misery.

have a happy and safe new year!! don't get TOO crazy out there...
until the next time. walk good.

Friday, December 28, 2012

rustic ochre (for wati)

and when you cast off
that last old skin
that holds no more acidic water
that carried schoolgirl fears
from your stare conceived
from bodega flasks, bak kut teh
and whatever promise America makes
to colored girls laid bare in concrete cribs;

let that be the leaf that grows you
better from within.

approaching winter's arms (for sagal)

wounds i've walked with
that bear your name at the edges
greet the oncoming cold
like an old relative
eager to turn away from the impending dark.

as afternoon fades too quickly
you let my words hang in front of you
like quick bursts of warmth
as down payments to breathe in love.

maybe the coldness
you can sometimes wield
is to hide a heart that you told the world
was pristine steel
but was found to be sugared crystal that i tasted.

winter's arms
would never be the way i remember your embrace
nor the staccato of your own heart beneath cocoa silk
the chill upon these wound means healing
the imprint of your lips stitching forgiveness,

and perhaps, more.

haiku 12.27.12

for you, my hidden hope
is that missing me makes you,
like smoke, curl gently

Monday, December 24, 2012

contusions and choices

someone didn't tell you
revolutions begin
when excuses end

that ooh-long with your morning tea
made a smoothie of your self-respect
hope it goes down better than you did

there's no sacred text, conspiracy theory
that will decipher your bad decisions
or write over your shame held secret,
that will wipe the memories of mama being abused
from the eyes of a young lion whose teeth are forming
and speaks to an oppression we don't fight:
the fear of being alone with someone you don't love


Sunday, December 23, 2012

haiku 12.21.12

if the end times came
i'd hope they burn brightly like
old Times Square neon

Thursday, December 20, 2012

two moods on Newton, Connecticut

been a few days coming, the aftermath of the horrific
tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, what i feel and have borne
witness to can be summed up in 2 words:

selflessness & selfishness.

i'm going to go back to these two words throughout this piece,
and with good reason. because both veins of expression can be
seen in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy and in the days
after until now. let's be frank here; what Adam Lanza did in
killing his mother, and subsequently killing 26 after breaking
into the school, most of them children, was selfish. this dude
cut many lives short, ripped a chunk of heart out of the bodies
of their families and the town. did so wearing a bulletproof
vest. as if first graders have become Spetnaz shock troops all
of a sudden. killed them all while rocking 2 handguns, several
hundred rounds of ammunition and a Bushmaster AR-15 .223 assault
rifle. and he killed his own mother in her bed. Lanza, then hearing
the police make their way towards him, shot himself. Selfishness
bred from some cold bowl of apathy.

for the past seven days, i've tried to steer clear of the damn
near orgiastic coverage put forth by news media under the term
'breaking information'. only to find that the story changes almost
daily. we got the shooter's name wrong (myself included) when it
Was discovered that Adam used his brother's ID to throw people
off. we thought his mother worked at the school, and that was
proven false. the news outlets even interviewed CHILDREN AT THE
SCENE hours after the massacre. all in a selfish need to be the
first with exclusives rather than truth. as a result, the pubilc
is even more disdainful of them. and yet, it also denotes a true
fear, one of many to be exposed: we are becoming so reliant on
being first, getting any kind of word that we are more open to
misinformation and carry that along to others. that fear leaves
us cynical, because it is the bandage of feeling tricked.

i came across a lot of people offering opinions on social media.
funny how we're getting more anti-social as a result of not even
understanding how to debate, let alone have efficient discourse.
it all became just noise after a while. even from some of my friends,
who i'm sure felt they were just trying to affect dialogue but
ran past one rule. there's a time to firmly speak, a time to
speak kindly, and a time to kindly shut the hell up. the 'Net and
television became a morass of people trying to out-talk their
fears. one person on Twitter who follows me basically took people
to task for saying that they were sending prayers out to those
folks affected, saying they were selfish for it. and in that instant,
she became a boorish example of what the hell has gone wrong with
us here. there are those of us who are so jaded that we have lost
value for every damn thing in the book. we feed our ego even in
the midst of everything else we need going hungry.

maybe Adam Lanza was the newest incarnation of our own conjoined
selfishness. maybe, he raged at being different enough that he
felt so angry at his mother, the world. i mean, he was home-schooled
at a young age. his parents divorced. he hadn't seen his brother
in a couple of years. his mom may have been smothering in her
protection of him. he was painfully shy, so it may have been hard
for him to connect with people, especially girls his age. all this
at an age where you're supposed to be out and about enjoying your
vitality. Lanza may just have said, 'screw it. if i can't live how
i want, if there's no hope for me, i'll take hope away from others.'
mass shootings like this stem from the shooter wanting others to feel
their pain. maybe all Adam was doing was reflecting our dark side
back at us. because the questions we have ducked as a country came
back up. why do gun owners feel the need to have assault rifles in
their homes? why, when we speak of gun control, are we ignoring ALL
the ways these guns get to the public? why, when we discuss mental
health in these situations, do we not speak of the underlying tones
of sexual connotation, dysfunction and frustration? when people cite
the Second Amendment, why do they not cite it in its entirety?

perhaps our own selfishness post-9/11 lies at fault here. we can
totally put full body scanners in airports over a few fools with
bombs in shoes and underwear, but we ignore our own growing
terrorism. because that's what it is, or is it only when brown people
are involved? i forget. because the other side to Sandy Hook is, we
suddenly hear the voices of the dead on the streets of Chicago, which
has had a brutally hot summer full of shootings and deaths. we now
hear the cries of mourners in St.Louis, and many other cities. not
too far from me in Queens, near one of my sister's homes, a car got
lit up with an assault rifle. yet, it barely registers. maybe because
they feel that as long as it's urban, it's not a dilemma. anything
far enough from Main Street U.S.A. is not a concern. of course, that
would mean that we'd have to give a damn. and we just haven't been
good at giving a damn like that about people of color in this nation
on a whole, have we? there are those who'll say, 'the race issue
doesn't belong in the discussion about Sandy Hook.' i disagree only
for this reason. the fear that was stirred up by the NRA, stirred
up by ultra-conservatives and extreme right-wingers as well as those
extremists on the left and other misguided misanthropes led to all
of these guns being made and purchased. fear of a Black president
'who's gonna take your guns away!!' (although i always wondered,
doesn't a nuclear arsenal & drones one-up one gun enthusiast with
a basement of rifles?) this has been an issue, rampant gun crime
since the 1970's. blame the War on Drugs as well; police militarization
went hand in hand. blame commerce. you can walk into gun shops in
the South and get hand grenades. Kmart and Wal-Mart sell guns.
i'm in favor of sensible gun control, not gun abolition. so you
can miss me with quoting Hitler, referencing Mao or other ruses of
the curbside pedantic who's nothing more than a sheep in
fake shearling.

yes, a lot of selfishness led to those deaths in Sandy Hook. and
there is even selfishness in thinking that there is one factor that
led to all of it. selfishness in Mike Huckabee thinking prayer in
schools would lead to this not happening. selfishness in Charlotte
Allen of the National Review by suggesting feminism was the cause of
the tragedy. selfishness even in aggressively referring to those dead
by drone strikes and thus losing the effectiveness of equivalency for
the sake of moral posturing. selfishness in trying to pinpoint
Asperger's as a cause for Lanza's act and in turn criminalizing
mental health as a way of paying attention to an issue ignored too
long since the Reagan cuts. we have to look at all of this, and see
how wrong we are. i mean, if you don't see anything wrong with
Newton being home to the second biggest gun lobby in the country,
yet being listed as the 5th safest city in the country, if you don't
ask if something's wrong...

but there is that ringing tone of selflessness in all of this that
cuts the bitter taste of truth and asks us back to do what we need to
do. principal Dawn Hochsprung and psychologist Mary Sherlach
who rushed the shooter before being killed. Victoria Soto, who died
protecting her students. Kaitlin Roig and Abbey Clements who hid
their students and allayed their fears. the first responders. that
is the face of selflessness. and in the days and months ahead, we
need that to be the dominant mood. we have to think of this next
wave behind us, children who are already having to deal with so
much that we didn't. we need to be wise. we need to have honest,
open dialogue. we need effective legislation on gun control, mental
health, ideas of American masculinity tied to guns, rampant illegal
gun sales, why we're not addressing all gun crimes the same
with regards to race & environment. and many other issues in
between. but let us do it with selflessness and love.

until the next time, walk good...

Monday, December 17, 2012

bits of plum in mid-morning

a hint of red worn
was no flag against the bits of plum
i had to kiss

gingerbread with blonde frosting
her hair was beneath my fingers
that i borrowed from my five year old self,
that sensed she would play
but not too rough

and as a favor to me
she left enough caramel
at the intersection of these bits of plum;
it was better there
than within the pricey macchiato.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

music break: rad

this lil break is courtesy of rad, a talented (and severely slept
on) jazz artist out of the Bay - Oakland that is...enjoy!

Monday, December 10, 2012

iowa avenue, 8:42 a.m.

streets groan
as if waking from a hangover
repetitive, tubercular
slick with its own tears and remorse.
blind staggers come after
hours of dazed enchantment
as one arm bandits entice you
to play chicken with your scratch.
the church sign
tells you all 'christ died for your sins'
above an alley where they thank him
before that next blow.
and the fog finally lifts
like dead skin from the edges of a wound
iowa avenue begins another day
living while intoxicated by fantasy.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

the color of spring's return

penitence waited
at the corners of your lips
taking slow drags in
of my spirit like lit tea in a back room

i spent my time there
laboring like a sculptor on coral
at tide's end
waiting for the color of spring's return

this is how I measured the years between our kisses.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

sunrise as serum

the fangs
slide in just below the shoulder blades
their curvature more painful
that the devil's honey they gift to me

each cough
is a pane of glass i may have liked to keep
for a semblance of routine
but then, my eyes gave up on drapes long ago

means nothing as a weapon
to one who's had a diet daubed with torment
that is one reason why the rising sun and i laugh

and let it all bleed to pretty up the future skies.

beauty and bushmills

i rubbed your belly as you sat
amidst your blushing and bit lip of reluctance
that must have tasted like
black elderberries and sweet milk
thinking that each glide
would translate to the speech of stars
so that i can see
the full breadth of beauty
you've hidden
in the sharp odor of whisky and jasmine
the hint of which
hums along with your laugh

Saturday, December 1, 2012

dancing eyes at midnight

let me
frame your carefree countenance
with ribbons of violet and saffron
so that i walk with you
dancing in my eyes at midnight
pointing the words unsaid out
in the slickness along the streets
waiting for the next rains
to whisper loudly as you do
with whiskey and brown sugar
leaving the night air heavy

haiku for meredith hunter

at the last supper
of the free Sixties, your death
was that bitter cup

Thursday, November 29, 2012

songs made of hollow shells, or how one deals with sudden BS.

i've been better about triggers these days.

no, not triggers on guns. but there is another aspect to
guns that falls in with what i'm sharing here. and that is,
hollow shell casings. if you've ever seen one up close, you
may understand what i mean. they have that foreboding air to
them, and rightly so. there was one time that i was on my
travels somewhere uptown, not too far from Sugar Hill. i
happened to see something flash in front of me on the gritty
pavement, rolling slightly. i stopped short and picked it
up and discovered that it was a shell casing. more than
likely someone was letting off a shot or two from the roof
as a way of horsing around. as i picked it up, there was a
breeze that began to wind its way under my arm and it made
a breathy but crisp note that lasted a couple of seconds.
it had a melody all its own.

it struck me funny that i could hear something like that
from something that is an insignia of conflict. you see
hollow shells, something bad went down. someone got hurt
or lost their life. and one thing we say whenever a situation
like that happens? 'wish we could have seen it coming.' in
ancient days, the cultures relied on arrows to wage war
from a distance. the Japanese in particular used an arrow
called a kabura-ya. this arrow, made with perforated deer
horn or wood at the tip, was used to signal the enemy that
the battle would soon commence. they also were used to
chase away evil spirits and call divinities to aid them.
now, they're sold at Shinto shrines as relics of a bygone
era and as spiritual totems.

over the past couple of days, i've been fighting off the
adverse effect of moods brought on by different triggers.
there was a time that i had no idea what brought all of
it on. i'd feel down about one thing, and then other things
i hadn't even thought of swooped right in. it was like
getting jumped afterschool, that feeling. what i've now found
is that i can identify how and why i get into that tailspin.
for me, my trigger is all about internalization and how
i burst at the seams when i see i've let down one of my
family or one of the good folks i care about. and it's
been me jumping the gun, and that pulls the trigger over
and over to the point where i have occasionally gotten
headaches because me feeling like i let them down gets
joined by the feeling of helplessness on things ranging
from who i am to worldly issues. i realize that that is
how i'm built. i care deeply, and i am actively mindful.
after this recent episode (caught a cold and a bit of a
headache), i'm learning to listen for the warning song. to
me, it sounds much like what i heard that day holding that
shell casing in the breeze. if more people did that, i'd
wager we'd see real progress in how we deal with each
other on these streets and in our own homes. and we would
all know how to let our inner divinity grow as it's supposed
to and let that other mess fall by the wayside.

thanks for reading, until the next time...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

haiku 11.28.12

the silence between
where fucks are given and are
not, speaks loud today

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

haiku 1.25.12

her hair fell like waves
along my cheek when we kissed;
undertow in her eyes

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

shooting troubles and turkeys. (thanksgiving riffs)

'add your light to the sum of light.'

"The Year of Living Dangerously" (1982)

this time of year is when i find time to enter a third gear.
where days fit into one another as if they were cramming into
a pair of jeans they just can't seem to give up even though
the fit isn't the same. and Thanksgiving makes things muddled
but also more clear when you really take time to slow down and
think on it.

here in the leaf-strewn streets of New York City, some are
trying to get back to normal. and for some, normal is full of
the disdain, the need to separate themselves from the 'urban',
the 'ghetto'. that is, if they don't live there and/or are
trying to mold it in their own image. city living a la 'Seinfeld'
if you catch my drift. it's that same mood that adds tarnish
out here, even to the point of someone dying over cars in a
luxury condo's garage because they were just another working
immigrant stiff. the same mood that fuels rabid consumerism
that doesn't even wait for you to finish the last bites of
your Thanksgiving dinner. i never felt comfortable with that
mood, and i suppose i never will.

perhaps part of it is that i know how this day can be bittersweet.
my uncle Delroy made his transition around this time in 1996
in a sudden way. i like to think that he's that extra glint
around the halfway muted sun on Thanksgiving morning. and
then there are those who are still stuck without power after
Sandy. those who have no homes. the Wampanoag people view
this as a day of mourning, since the settlers waged war on
them and this country since their arrival. maybe nature has
seen fit to see that we all understand their pain, pain we
put off for various reasons. there's also a minor part that
irritates me, and that lies with the part-time cynics. those
that will throw quips on the social media outlet of their
choice about the true history of Thanksgiving to satisfy
themselves with another ego stroking session, but won't go
the extra mile above being Facebook/Twitter revolutionaries.

this is a time where i look out my window over 228th street,
and see how the light always illuminates the block so well.
sometimes more than anywhere else in the world. it makes me
think of everybody i came up with, and how they all moved on
but never left. they, just like me, add their own light to
the luminescence that makes this blue marble we call Earth
shine. i think of my family, that nurtures and sustains me
from ancestors to the little ones that are just starting out.
i think of all those who volunteer, not just for Hurricane
Sandy alone but every chance they get. i think of all those
who give without expectation, and help without condemnation.
those souls who we need to give thanks for every day. it may
be simplistic, but i look at tomorrow as a day not to be just
thankful. it's to be mindful for be mindful
of the light we can sometimes forget we and the world possess.
feed that light, feed your heart and soul, feed that of the
people you love. and remember, the leftovers are the best
part. enjoy your holiday, and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

music break: Karriem Riggins

i've been listening to this over the past couple
of days, a very mellow groove..indulge, and enjoy!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

whispered treasure

*for aviva*

you and late autumn afternoons
share treasures
whispered gifts that twirl
following the lead of leaves
ochre golden and spun
by the language of winds
that bring a chill
before they allow for comfort
with just a few specks of crimson
that announces itself
with the slash of that cutting feature of your grin
you have become
a whispered treasure
the road to you more clear
in the light from your lips

Saturday, November 17, 2012

hurricane sandy haiku #5

the red hook houses
without power;new horror
movie in writing

Thursday, November 15, 2012

stuck on Sackett

in the midst of it
he stands out like an empty wallet
in the middle of millionaires
his eyes mariners of misery
tinged with sea salt & glycerin
those Pall Malls only bought him
seconds of peace
stuck on Sackett
in a city where bread is scarce
if your past is long
and your pants aren't hip
this cat feels that the best way
to fight the gnaw of cold stares
is to keep moving
and let his cigarette light his way
into an unknown future

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

hurricane sandy haiku #4

the sea spits them up
along Rockaway; toy boats
beneath nature's play

that wound without you (for sagal)

part of you
hated me over dry months
and mornings where wet eyes
fed you like oats cut with steel
that you wish to portray
i have asked myself
if words i've woven for you
were burned on a pyre
made with those fingers
as delicate as a peacock's tail
would there be that part of you
that consigns me to a punishment
of partial neglect
for turning away
still do look upon that wound without you
healed but burning
like one's joints upon the fall of rain
or by a secret name
remembered only on mornings that burn
with wet eyes
as flags of your caring

Monday, November 12, 2012

what water brings when it's angry.

the sun is shining brilliantly. the sky is blue frost, clear
and crisp. and i've let go of the quilt of fatigue long enough
to finally get these words out about these past few days dealing
with Hurricane Sandy. granted, my experience was and is vastly
different from many others in this city. but i'm compelled to
write about it just the same.

looking back, i think the hurricane proved to illustrate some
things about people here, and the way some of us live - and
try to live. i remember those few hours on Monday before the
Storm hit were just preparation, and anticipation. both sides
of my family are from Jamaica, and they've been through many
a hurricane and tropical storm before. once the power went out,
it was just a waiting game.

having no power forces you to do either one of two things. get
frantic in the face of darkness or embrace it. i spent a lot
of the evening time listening to radio reports, sleeping and
writing. i won't soon forget the absolute calm i felt writing
under the light of a pregnant moon the day after the storm. it
was so full that it lit up my entire block. for that brief bit
of time, i felt like i lived inside a couplet by Pablo Neruda.
i found myself getting used to not being locked in with tech,
that need to be updated constantly via social media and email.
whether we believe it or not, today we are more digitally
dependent than ever. dealing without power also made me look
at the community i live in, and others outside of it.luckily,
i live in a part of Queens that is removed from the shore and
has a slightly higher elevation. (another benefit from the storm?
better knowledge of topography.) all we dealt with was scattered
power outages and fallen trees, which are dangerous in their
own right. a couple of people died due to downed power lines.
there's still one right up the road from me. and two of them
snapped from a main line and caused a parked van to catch on
fire right at a busy intersection. trees wrecked windshields,
fell into houses. but when you consider the devastation seen
in the Rockaways, the Jersey Shore, Long Island and Staten
Island, i think we got off lucky.

if seeing the subways filled with millions of gallons of water
doesn't make you pause, then something is wrong with you. Sandy
spared us. let's face it. Sandy was a Category 1 storm when it
struck Jamaica, a Category 2 when it slammed Cuba and poor
Haiti. we would like to think that we suffered the worst but
it could have been much worse. and with all that, more than
40 people died across the tri-state area. some of those stories
are heartbreaking. and a few were preventable. and there's still
so many without homes. Breezy Point is virtually ashes right
now. the boardwalk in Atlantic City is ripped apart. New Dorp
in Staten Island was wrecked. which leads me to this: there are
still some people in a bad way two weeks later. people in the
projects of Far Rockaway have NO power. imagine living about
8 stories up, no way to get down except the stairs, and when
you do you have to get relief supplies and hope the city gets
your power restored? and the shelters are filled to the brim
to the point where people are turned away. there's some in LI
who won't see power restored until AFTER Thanksgiving, no thanks
to LIPA. and then you have a state emergency official fired
because he diverted a crew to clean up his driveway, a crew
that could have helped others during that time. imbecilic
impulses seemed to rise up here and there, even with the now
canceled New York City marathon and how it was handled by
Mayor Bloomberg. sometimes you need to let people find their
own way to get back to normalcy.

another thing that got me was media reaction. one thing that
gets me is how prevalent Staten Island is whenever you hear of
relief efforts related to Sandy. i know they went through it
badly. i know the borough president was upset about the lack
of response, hence his badmouthing the Red Cross. but part of
me wonders why the media began to cover Staten Island so heavily
at the expense of talking about other areas? i know it troubled
me enough to dash off an email as soon as i was able to a couple
of media outlets and personalities. because while those people
needed help, you can't help but worry about who's NOT getting
those resources. and usually, we know who gets that short end
of the stick. thankfully though, there's some folks who are ON

finally, i think Sandy did two things. one, it reminded us that
we, as human beings, may work it out and run things here on this
blue marble we call Earth, but we don't RUN things. and second,
it allowed us to find our common humanity again, outside of the
PC's, the TV's, the tablets that dominate more of our routine
than we'd like. and it allowed others to give from the heart, no
matter where they were. sometimes i wonder, if there wasn't
sudden disaster and hardship, would some of us exercise the power
to give as often as we do? for as many people that gave and chose
to help, there were others who are clueless(i.e. those standing
on line for Apple's iPad Mini four days after the storm). like
i said on Facebook, 'times of crisis show who gets it done as
opposed to who flaps their gums.' when water arrives full of
anger, actions are a better wall than words.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

hurricane sandy haiku #3

like an elder's teeth,
these boardwalks have become;will
wisdom fix them straight?

Friday, November 9, 2012

faded dixie rags of oxford

tuesday night
saw the white sheets
wriggle loose from the ancient roots
of cypress trees that no longer weep
as racism begins to rise
students burn campaign posters
spit on presidential photos
and chant 'nigger'
as if it will whisk them back
to when Colonel Reb
ran rampant
his standard that 'ol Dixie flag
each of them
forever beggars
pockets filled with hatred
mouths full of bigotry's lustful seed
and Colonel Reb
dies again like those flames
in a shroud of faded Dixie rags
leaving those ghosts
settled in Oxford
feasting on that hate
with morsels of mint

music break: Fela Kuti

in light of all that's happened these past two weeks
(the hurricane, the Presidential election, ANOTHER
storm and my power going out) i felt that Fela would
be a pick-me-up going into the weekend. enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

impish moon

*for brownin*

this moon
on a night that sees light
absent under its outstretched hands
took pity on me
and took after your face
fully ripened
impish at the edges
wearing a glow that hums hymnal
a beauty that laughs at the world
laughs at far-flung gods & goddesses
laughs at itself
the moon
on a night that sees a city
wait for morning
finds me grateful
that it reminds me of you enough
that i keep my eyes upward

Monday, November 5, 2012

hurricane sandy haiku #2

every zombie show
doesn't beat the horror of
an empty Harlem

hurricane sandy haiku #1

looking at cracked earth
i know the sea just gave back
the hate we showed it

Sunday, November 4, 2012

blackout by the beach

weather-beaten bulbs
in the promised gardens
south of 14th street
crackle with restored light
prompting cheers at the sight

do forgive those poor folk
in the hulking monuments of Bob Moses
that lie in Coney Island and Far Rock
they save their cries of being forgotten
as a way to ward off the wolves
in another of Sandy's lost nights

Saturday, October 27, 2012

autumn cherrywine

maybe this hurricane
will bring forth enough rain
to stir bittersweet memories
churn them so they sit like sugar grain
upon a glass
perhaps there won't be enough rain
to wash that last bit of pulp away
apricot and lime
what time could have been
if you and i learned
exactly how we came to create
autumn cherrywine
and why you
still wear it upon your lips
in the pictures you have left me

Thursday, October 25, 2012

sentimental pausing

i entertain notions
ideas if you will
during these calls that find you
just before bed
and me looking at evening
dabbing itself with the makeup of streetlights
and lazy clouds
i wonder
if you're twirling an errant curl
as you listen to me ramble
lips that shyly toyed with mine
parted slightly
i imagine
you stretched out, rubbing soft soles together
with chamomile lotion
waiting for that moment
where you can bask in serendipity
and smile softly
while i entertain these notions
framed by the gentle jazz
of your conversation

haiku 10.24.12

some days i do think
Prometheus should have let
the fire burn out

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

haiku 10.23.12

what is a desert
without a real oasis?
babylon with sand.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

cape of sunset

when the day turns to violet and dust
there, decorated by street lamps
you rest regally
the wind plays a flute song
filling in the cavities
a man with desire has
with hand-wrought lead, brown sugar
and verses written by the waiting pucker
of your lips
let me hold you
as the cape of sunset
twirls behind your hair
and let us close our eyes
so that song begins
with verses written by the meeting of our lips
one that people will hear
only when we mention the other's name

Saturday, October 20, 2012

music break: William De Vaughn

this track...THIS SONG RIGHT an absolute classic.
if you didn't're welcome. enjoy, folks!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

haiku 10.18.12

to make you listen
he sets himself ablaze; will
your heart give water?

golden dewdrops

her voice
sounded much the same as i remembered
back in a month where quiet war
raged in our fingertips as we held each other last
three years ago
like hesitant, golden dew
it washed over me
remembering moments as bittersweet
but still grateful
to greet my own with promises
of more dawns to come

Saturday, October 13, 2012

as i add another year...

another year older, another year better.

this Sunday is my birthday. (insert cheers and noisemaker
sound effects here) for the past couple of years, it's taken
on more meaning. there's always an outstanding lesson i move
forward into the new year with. and this year, that lesson is
summed up in three words: 'triumph over transition'.

when you think about it, life is full of transition. you don't
realize it on your day to day movements, but it's there. time
moves on, with or without you. and it's about how you choose
to walk with it. i spent some time in the past couple of years
being down. i had my share of feeling abandoned, not feeling
worth anything. depression. i know that my circumstances were,
and are different. i began to really look at them. and i found
i had a lot more to be grateful for than to be sad about.
even in these past couple of years, i've done a lot. had a lot
of laughs, great experiences. i've allowed myself to ask myself
tough questions, and sit with the answers. i've let people go
'cause i needed to. i've gotten a gang of grey hairs. shed a
few necessary tears. gotten to know good people. reconnected
with old friends. went to war on fear. turned poetry into bread,
and sorrow into scotch and jazz. living. and for a brother in
these United States, that is hard to do and still flash a
smile and laugh in the face of all those who'd sweep you away
with the crumbs. in short, the triumph is that i've been broken
down but i haven't been truly broken. and it's thanks to the
insistent and consistent love of family and friends, my faith
and will that this is the truth i walk with.

triumph over transition. that's the wisdom for this time. and
i can only hope and work towards etching that truth into my
spirit, no matter what happens. i think i'm well on my way.
thank you for reading this, and i hope that you'll be able to
make that a reality for yourself too, if you haven't already.

until the next time...

Friday, October 12, 2012

haiku 10.11.12

like java at dawn
she asked me to sip slowly
with words full of perk

Thursday, October 11, 2012

autumn brown and bright

casual turns in the sun
recalls the way your hair
was autumn brown and bright
as it nestled into the inlet
my shoulder created to let you rest
caramel and strawberries
the garden of contentment
your lips created
with words only the burning of secret hearts
could command
leaves will fall soon enough
bearing those notes born of laughter
stares that coat walls with sugar
and promises that within each other
our spirits will meet
to take more turns in the sun
and be better for it

written 9.16.12

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

haiku 10.9.12

bat in her belfry
leaves her heart shut out; love is
not a screwball's pitch

Sunday, October 7, 2012

false shepherds and shellfish.

as time goes on, i've taken notice of two things that i find myself
increasingly allergic to. the first thing is something i've known
since i was eight years old, and that's an allergy to shellfish. no
shrimp, no lobster, no crabs, mussels or oysters. otherwise my throat
begins to swell up. luckily it's never been a serious enough issue
to where i needed to hit an emergency room, and my sensitivity is
at the point where if someone cooks it i don't seize up because of
the aroma. the other thing? people who perpetrate the fallacy of
believing themselves to be a supreme messenger. false shepherds in
search of a flock that will allow the wool to cover up their sight.

of course, this last bit has become more relevant to me. i was raised
in a Christian family, went to Catholic school from the 4th grade
until my junior year of high school. today, i consider myself very
spiritual, and i affirm my faith daily. i feel as if i've been blessed
to learn about and get to know the faith i was raised in, as well as
other faiths i've come in contact with. i'm at the point where it's
past religion for me, at least in the sense where one faith dominates
all. and i can see and value those people from different backgrounds
more clearly. and spot those charlatans who use faith and religion
for divisive and sinister purposes. you know the ones. pastors who
preach hate from the pulpit. the embezzlers. the deacons and those
reverends who abuse children. the imams who promote bloodshed.
clerics who feel it is right to make little girls into wives and
objects. the rabbis who denigrate women and cast stones at their
neighbors. and many more. one of the biggest hustles you can ever
pull is aided by the use of religion. and it all begins with the
person who realizes it and in turn, whittles their humanity away
like one does cheese on a grater. those people make believing a
hard thing to do. and of course, there are the atheists, who do
not believe in gods. i find some of them fall into this false
shepherd category too. mainly because to me, this group seems
more hellbent on flat-out derision to the point of spite. there
is no room for debate. in detailing what they feel is wrong with
religion, they come off sometimes as people who sound like they
were owed something and didn't get it. and in turn, sound exactly
like those religious zealots they hold up as bad examples. you
even have the doomsday prophets who come off like Biff in 'Back
To The Future' with the sports almanac.

i am writing in specifics here because i strive not to fall into
the trap of generalization. and the point is not to throw slop
on those who believe and those who don't. i'm talking about the
people who use either platform to make themselves bigger than
they are, to lead others around the nose not because they give
a shit about these people, but because it gives them a sense of
power. it strokes their ego like a client with an exotic dancer
in the champagne room. they can't see that they look stupid
because of their immediate return on their ego hustle. it draws
in the well meaning, the gullible and the indifferent. i see
strands of this on my daily jaunts through social media. funny
how technology brings certain things out of some people. there
have been more online altercations due to some perpetrating the
fraud that they know all. they're true messengers. look at
their posts and messages. note the air of supposed superiority.
all the while, they ignore the fact that it actually highlights
their weaknesses and doesn't help them get better in any way.
one of a hustler's best tools is confidence. confidence that
is designed to be so outstanding upfront. but in truth it's
like a store with a full window but no items on the shelf. i
have little tolerance for false shepherds. they take up time
and energy. which is why these days, i'm content to let them
stray out into the fields and deserts and suffer. no one needs
their wool to be taken from them in that way.

until the next time...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

haiku 10.4.12

false shepherds flock less
with no wool to covet; faith
or not, lies herd close

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

fat cap linguistics

i follow the script
made with young hands
that don't comprehend
their surgery to save a dying tongue
as their find their own
underneath fire escapes slick with rain
amidst brick faces pointed with indifference
that seem to to deem them far worse hooligans
than those splayed on tabloid covers
my eyes
connect the art of this language
interpreted in art markers
and the burning wish
to be immortal
their bombs
may never mean more harm
than those dropped in the name of ideals
traded like blankets and trinkets
but they linger better

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

alfajores in the afternoon

i hadn't intended
on my fingers
making a meal
of what lay between us
on an afternoon that swirled teal and lemon
like a brewed mug of tea
your hands begged me to partake
as you closed your eyes slightly
before opening them like the blinds
of a lover's room after their long night
watching me lick my fingers
enjoying the pungent sugar
in every taste

*Alfajores (Al-fa-ho-res) are a South American type
of shortbread sandwich cookie that are filled with
dulce de leche (caramel filling).

haiku 9.25.12

less shocked by third rails
than by a lack of honor
from would be artists

Sunday, September 23, 2012

snap, crackle, pop. (a few words on flakes)

if you're reading this right now, you might be having
some breakfast, which would then make the title of this
piece even more appropriate and catchy. but the subject
matter is in no way something nutritious. what am i talking
about? people with behavior so inconsistent and without
real reason that we can dub these people,'flakes'.

we all encounter these people in our lives. they may
be a friend or a casual acquaintance. even family. and
they all can drive you to utter frustration with this
behavior. you know how it goes...the unanswered text
messages. missed appointments without notice. wanting to
change plans at the last minute for no other reason
than their own selfishness. flakiness is no joke when

i'll give you a recent example or two of this. there's
someone i know who i'm cool with. she at times, has
been real gracious, effusive and bright with her persona
and it makes people gravitate to her. but there are those
moments when she has eaten from the bowl of flakiness.
there was the time she sent me a text asking me for my
number after missing a get-together. insert blank stare
here. another example is of one dude i used to work with
waaaay back, who was so flaky he actually changed the
date of his wedding at the last minute TWICE. this is
something we can all laugh at, but it belies a certain
embodied pattern that is a problem.

first, the flaky person does and says these things for
the main reason of selfishness and inconsideration. we
all have times where we've committed to going somewhere,
or volunteered to do something and we weren't able to.
what separates the flake from the regular person is
that a regular person would give consideration to the
occasion and what went into it and make apologies,
preferably beforehand. the flake will either just ignore
that or worse, compound that effect of selfishness by
claiming something so far-fetched that it immediately
gets a stink eye upon its utterance. another part of
flakiness is the fact that a flake will incorporate
this as part of their personality. unfortunately, there
are a lot of creative types who employ this and in turn,
enforce stereotypes. they think it's cute, whimsical.
or they think they're being 'fierce' or standing out
from the crowd. yeah, these people stand out from the
crowd because their persona and habits stink like the
insides of a tunnel rodent left out on the BQE in the
middle of July. there's nothing cute about that.

flakes are at heart, still grappling with issues at
heart. in a couple of cases, you find that it boils
down to issues of self-esteem. they want to have you
feel compelled to like them no matter what, to have
a magnetic appeal despite their actions. what they
are deathly afraid of, and what does happen is, their
flakiness shows through so much at times that it repels
instead of attracts. which is why some of the flakes
you may know do well, and then all of a sudden hit an
iceberg of drama so as to sink into trouble. another
aspect of that self-esteem issue lies in the fear of
rejection that is out of their control. they don't
want to be left behind. they are scared of not being
wanted. so they will take control by removing the
facet of accountability and in turn, exerting their
control by being non-committal.

flakiness is something we all encounter, and it can
piss you off besides make you laugh and wonder. the
best thing you can do? recognize it, assess it fully
and then deal with it and those folks accordingly. if
you can see the redeeming qualities stand out more than
their flakiness, keep 'em around. if not, brush 'em
off with directness and compassion. flakes belong in
a cereal bowl, not as part of your circle and daily

Saturday, September 22, 2012

another tender star

you have consented
to let ink and art
become star maps
upon a body full and bountiful
as the sun caught in a dove's eyes
a fair guide
if not one i can call my own
on rough waters that leave others
to turn their hearts to driftwood
you have long since become more
than another tender star
i follow the route upon your skin
to those galaxies
that i know can be home

Monday, September 17, 2012

somalian rose haiku

she's that tender rose
born of concrete and surf;don't
let her thorns fool you

lost among weeds

my shoulders heave
but no tears fall
i clutch memories past
around my abdomen
like one does a bathrobe
thinking it will protect my wounds
as i walk among the weeds
i'm looking for my joy
it seems to have dropped out here
in the looming shadow
of past troubles
sitting like an abandoned home
with the gaping maws of windows
covered with ivy and patches of paint
it is a wonder
how you can find your inner child
quickest through pangs of pain
and again
look for that solace and joy
shining, polished and familiar
lost among weeds
in the lawns of what others call, life