Monday, January 30, 2012

cutting shadows

remnants of old dreams
framed by locked fingers and stares
slip past in glass boats
that have left the seas of my mind
in these moments
i envy the blind slightly
because their world is better
than this one
where all i can see
is you cutting shadows and fog before me
walking away

Sunday, January 29, 2012

music break: Clear Soul Forces

this is a group out of Detroit, home of the Motown Sound,
Eminem and many other music greats. i've had this on repeat
the entire day...

haiku 1.25.12

if i only knew
a frost came with spring, i would
have kissed you longer

Saturday, January 21, 2012

lady at the pub

*for brownin'*

when night wears a chill
not unlike a silken scarf
it must be waiting for your warmth
to enter its midst
with words and quips
peppering the mood like
a plate of saltfish
your glow lingers
until the sunrise breaks up the scene
unable to contain its envy

haiku 1.21.12

into me, your soul
bleeds like old characters on
beds of yellow rice

Thursday, January 19, 2012

polished oak in winter

*for brownin*

looking upon your face
every so often
i see sunlight spin and waltz
like ballerinas ablaze
dancing to music denoted
in the glimmer of your eyes
and just like polished oak in winter
mature and magnificent
the shine upon your cheeks
gives competition
to the first summer sunrise

january glimmer

i imagine you
walking home in wonder
tasting surprise on your lips
and remembering fingertip brushes
in the wind wrapping around your neck
maybe the streetlights keep themselves a bit quiet
to let the glow of your cheeks
light up the night
that will see you inscribe
caramel smiles
on the riverbanks of your mind

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

honoring Dr. King at his memorial.

this past Monday was Martin Luther King's birthday, a national
holiday. and i was lucky enough to have been in Washington DC
for a good friend's birthday long enough to check out the new
MLK Menorial. i wrote a piece about the memorial a couple of
months back and hosted it here on this blog. i feel then as i
do now...but i'll get back to that in a bit. because being there
on that special day did affect me a great deal.

i have to hand it to the people who spent these past 20 years
working to get this finished. it's especially more significant
that it was completed under a Black president. Monday was a bit
cold...correction...BITING cold. i went with three friends and
we had to park all the way on the other side of the park near
the East Potomac River. let me tell you, it took me back to
being there for the Inauguration back in 2008. (that story is
for another time.) the path we took around the pond to the
memorial i would guess to be a mile and a half. we walked past
the Jefferson Memorial along the pond just as the sun was in
readiness to climb below the horizon. i can only imagine how
it's going to be when the cherry blossoms bloom.

walking up to the memorial itself, if you've got a soul, should
give you pause. it's a majestic sight, even though i could've
sworn it was bigger. Martin's gaze seems fixed right on the
Jefferson Memorial, as if issuing the declaration that a new
day and a new America was here. there was one shot i took (see
above) of a father and his young daughter. there were so many
children there. so many elders. i saw one older woman, who
looked as if it pained her to even stand up straight. but she
stood right in front of Martin's statue, and kept staring at
it with a wistful look in her eyes. the energy in the air was
part prideful, part reflective. and somewhat restless. key quotes
of Dr. King sat in polished marble along the back wall. the
sun made everything just..SHINE. it was as if he was looking
down with some appreciation.

of course, there were a few rare moments where people's words
and actions threw a dash of salt on the sweetness of the moment.
one young cat, part of a group, kept throwing himself on the
wall in front of a quotation clowning around. it took a look
of pure razors from an elder brother to get him to move. one
guy walked past me and said loudly, 'i did not know he went to
Norway!!' *insert blank stare here* overall though, it was a
great experience just being there.

i still stand by what i wrote in that poem. i think Dr. King
would've been honored by this memorial if he were alive but
i also truly feel he would experience a bit of emptiness with
it. we are still grappling with the deep-seated tentacles of
racism in this country. the economy is hurting, the numbers of
the poor are growing. i think Dr. King wouldn't have rested on
his laurels. and i hope i'm not the only one who sees it that
way. in any event, if you're in the nation's capital, please
check out the MLK Memorial. it will leave a mark on you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

haiku 1.17.12

your lips became cups
of peach tea sipped at slowly;
the burn still lingers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

haiku 1.12.12

we watch through lace sheets
the sun slips you love notes, but
but you prefer my pen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

emotional three-card monte.

ever get the feeling you're being set up?

as if to release their energies, someone or some others will
put you in places similar to where they were at that moment,
take you there against your will at times AND THEN look at you
crazy when you try to figure out what's going on and/or empathize.
we do that to each other more than we realize. sometimes we do it
to loved ones. it's an emotional habit i've noticed more and more
over the past few years around me. and it's proven to be a form of
combat almost to lessen its prevalence in my life.

it's like seeing those hustlers out on the streets with their
games of three card monte. there's three elements to that. the
dealer, who makes deft flips, twists and turns of the cards. there's
the shill, someone who's pretending to make money off the game and
will pretend the cops are coming when it's time to end the hustle.
and then there's the mark. three card monte is only a success when
all three elements are involved, playing their roles. only the mark is
expected to be a sucker.

being asked to stifle your emotions, being told 'you're getting too
excited' or 'you're being dramatic' in reaction to troubling news is
not only unrealistic but it's akin to being cruel depending on the
situation. we are human beings mainly because we feel, and we have
a right to those feelings and a right to express them. as a Black man,
i'm cognizant of such emotional trickery being put across to me both
consciously and sub-concsiously. sad but true. i've been through it in
the workplace, and in other venues where i'm in the minority. and i've
learned at a cost to me, how important it is to call it out, and check
the person or people who perpetrate it.

another example deals with loved ones. i've had to go through that
from time to time with those close to me. i've found that to
an extent, i get placed in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'
category. being a writer in these moments sometimes gets you that
'sensitive' tag. i admit i have a sensitive side. but that's not
license to use it as an excuse for casual emotional manipulation.
i don't stand for that. and neither should anyone else.

so if you find yourself dealing with that, don't even get hustled.
'cause i've NEVER seen anyone win at three card monte. and you don't
win in situations like that unless you and your spirit make it clear you
won't stand for it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

award news!!! woo-hoo!!

good people, i am honored and humbled to tell you that i have been
chosen to receive the Liebster Award from Coco Rivers!!!

her blog, Stream of Consciousness, is a veritable melting pot
of great writing from political musings to erotica. you are guaranteed
to not only learn something, but to FEEL something from her words.
check out exactly what I mean here:

now for the other four nominees i'd like to bestow this award upon:

1)Life As An Art Form

i've had the good fortune to connect with this sister like i have
done with Ms. Rivers via Twitter. her blog is a touchstone of joy,
speaking to the celebration of the simple and complex things within
ourselves. in her own words:

"I am a woman, wife, mother, writer, activist, educator, business woman, and part-time fitness instructor. I have many interests, few hobbies, and a passion for Life that is probably unparalleled. I believe that we are here to learn lessons in this thing called Life, and that if we are patient and humble enough, we might also learn some important lessons about ourselves in the process."

2)I Bleed Words Until I Am Read All Over

this is one sister who is FIERCE with her art, be it the canvas or
the pen. i've credited her artwork with being the inspiration behind
a couple of works i've posted here. they always say the wise souls are
both beautiful and modest..Alfie fills all three of those qualities.

3)Strictly Beats

i'm a lover of hip-hop, and over the years i've gotten more and more
enamored with the beats behind some of my favorite MC's to the point
where i've come to find out about great producers and beatmakers in
this field. and this site has been my go-to for such knowledge.

4)Black Snob

i've only started to read this blog since this past November but i
haven't regretted it for one minute!! sassy, pointed and informative,
Danielle Belton is one to know and IN the know.

Liebster is a German word that means beloved or favorite. This is an award from fellow bloggers given to blogs that have less than 200 followers.

These are requirements that you need to fulfill should you accept this award:

* Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
* Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
* Give your top 5 picks for the award
* Inform your top 5 by leaving a comment on their blog.
* Post the award on your blog.

beauty that feeds fire

(Makonde belly mask, Africa)

*for brownin'*

secrets to your soul
don't make their home only in your curves
they shine like sutras
carved from the face of diamonds
at the very apex of your nerves
my arms learn their language
embracing the flesh of butterscotch
drunk with what could be
and is righteously
no fear of the hangovers
denoting what your soul is not
smiles you flash
akin to sugar upon a glass of spiced rum
that suffices to soothe the burn
sparked by flames of laughter
you release from your tongue
and each night since meeting you
i've been happy
knowing exactly where beauty that feeds fire
finds its vessel for freedom

Sunday, January 8, 2012

haiku 1.8.12

right upon your heart
i wrote my name; may that ink
of love never dry.

salt spray

it was so long ago
when late summer brought us to the sea
and love that could have spoken its name
went mute amid the growing night
i saw beauty two fold
and i saw your face grow cold
even as the heat rose in the room
and if had known
that would be the last moment of time
shared between you and me
i would've wrapped you up
like those waves that danced on your skin
wiped the salt spray out of your eyes
and let you see
how you lived inside of me
and now
that first moment when i swim
and saltwater makes me blink
is always going to frame you
in blinding light and cool surf

Thursday, January 5, 2012

cool like menthol

*for brownin'*

in moments cool like menthol
waltzing down the back of the throat
i see you, shapely
full like the hearts of peaches
taking bitterness left in the soil of your soul
and letting it turn to sweetness
much like wine does
these bits of time
cool like that first meeting of fingers
that burn slow long after they part
unlike smoke
you've proven you are someone
who can never fade away

music break: Fertile Ground

for the first music break of the New Year, i thought i'd
get the spirit stirred up with this track from Fertile
Ground, a fantastic band out of Baltimore. there's no easy
way to define their sound, it's a melting pot of Soul, Afrobeat
and jazz. enjoy it!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

songs to frame the clouds. (rememberance for Anisa Fujah)

i awoke to hear the wind walk down the block and run its fingers
along the windows. it's somewhat fitting that the temperature is
15 degrees in New York City today. it seems that much colder after
hearing some terrible news last night.

a sister by the name of Anisa L. Fujah left this world for the next
world last night. i think it's safe to say a good deal of warmth and
light left with her. while i can't claim to have known her deeply, i
knew her well enough to be struck deeply by who she was. i met Anisa
way back, thanks to another talented and beautiful soul by the name
of D.Cross, around the time when i was ripping and running from poetic oasis
to poetic oasis. the one thing i remember without fail is THAT VOICE.
she had a voice that when she sang, it was like sunlight framing the
clouds with gold. just to hip you to that, check out the video below
of her at the BellyFeast Living Room series hosted by my dearest
sisterfriend Iowan Tribal:

Anisa was always someone ready with a smile. as i read all of the
posts on people's Facebook walls, it dawned on me just how many of
us near and far she touched. i still get wistful hearing her and
D.Cross do their own remix of Lupe Fiasco's 'Kick Push' back in Iowan's
brownstone apartment on Franklin Avenue. when someone loved leaves us
like this, you find yourself asking 'why?' a lot. it leaves you asking
questions of gods, friends and ultimately yourself. anguish and heartbreak
sit at your shoulders when this happens. but i know now, there is no
tragedy here. Anisa Fujah is still alive within every person who knew
her no matter how long or how little she knew them and that's nothing to be
sorrowful about. that, good people is a legacy.

so this morning, while the world seems colder, the clouds seem to shimmer
a bit brighter. and i think it's because Anisa's up there, letting her
voice scatter sweetly to make them that much more beautiful. and that
makes me feet a little more warm. but only a little.

Monday, January 2, 2012

mulled wine in the dark

before too long
our yearning will grow
too warm for candles
and stretch outside of the safety
of the shadows they provide
i want my fingertips to reside
in the gentle sweep of cleavage
that's akin to rolling waves
i suspect our first kiss
will have the taste
of mulled wine in the dark sipped slow
chocolate and toffee chips
and the passion below.