Monday, November 18, 2013

clutching at stardust roads

short words will suffice until
the moment we kiss and make
stars shed their loose dust
her hair like flames
licking at my face
and not wanting anything
but the winding cool 
of her cheeks 
in its place 

Monday, November 4, 2013

coriander finger cradle

*for tonalti*

there are women
who walk miles with grace
bearing water vessels
and history upon their heads.

you, dear soul
bear that vital weight
within the deft nurturing of your hands
and they too are vessels,

i pray that you give that water tinged with love
with light

Thursday, October 24, 2013

midnight throne seat

show me
the planetary shift
you command with the switch of your hips

i've called you a queen enough
that now is only right
for you to make my countenance your throne

i breathe you in
saffron, honeysuckle and a touch of sugar
drunk by the incense burning between soft thighs

there, as you let me
savor what heaven tastes like for believers,
is a galaxy for those with willing mouths
and silent desires

Saturday, September 21, 2013

hanging half moons of expectations.

this thought came to me a little while
ago while having a conversation about
expectations this week...

maybe to some level, placing over-sized
expectations on people is akin to trying
to hang an unfinished moon in the sky.
it looks lovely, but there is no love for
the origins of it, and there's a bit of
restlessness and impatience wanting it to
be better. we do that to each other all
the time in one form or another. and it
causes a lot of pain. more than we need
to add on in the first place.

think about it. how many times have you
wanted someone to be a storybook romance,
or to remain an easygoing, cool person?
how many times have you done or said
something to that person because they
weren't being who you wanted them to be?
and doing this in spite of the fact that
people are who they are and change how
their life needs them to, not because of
your narcissistic whims? yeah. we have
all been there. and that in essence lies
at the heart of a lot of the sickness in
society. we act and think a certain way,
and while we have come to the conclusion
that people know better, they don't act
or demonstrate that they do. and while we
should accept that, more often than not
we don't. and that non-acceptance causes
a lot of issues.

lately i have come to one or two people
in my life and atoned for placing heavy
expectations on them. i did that to them
because i let myself lose sight of the
balance needed to view the best of people
without having myself do things and interact
with the expectation of reciprocity to
match or exceed my own interaction. it
takes a good deal to remember that balance.
you can get thrown off by the demons of
ego, lust, greed and others. that balance
being thrown off isn't because your intent
is dishonest or evil all the time. it's
because intent gets tossed aside like a
bit of dirty tissues because the demons
i just mentioned make you get too caught
up in yourself and what you want, at the
expense of that other person or other people.
so when i made my apologies, it was me
being aware that my behavior had changed
towards them and could have made them feel
a way about me that wasn't my intention.
we can't forget that people respond to
whatever we give them. and these responses
may differ but the genuine ones always can
be discerned.

we have to let people be, and we have to
let ourselves be grown enough to accept that.
it's silly to want people to be your everything
all at once when YOU may not even be your
own everything or are moving towards it.
doing that puts them in a prison. a prison
of artificial love and understanding, just
like putting aspartarme in coffee and calling
it sugar. what you don't realize is, you're
in that prison too. a warder is as much a
captive as the prisoner is, sometimes more
so. you don't get to enjoy the greatness
of people that way. and those actions of
heavy expectations are nothing more than a
mirror to your own being. so, i'll ask you
this: don't you have an appreciation for the
moon in all of its phases? don't you have a
great love for who you are and what you've
gone through to be at this point in your
life? if the answer to both questions is
yes, then release yourself from the burden
of placing such heavy burdens on others.
life is much lighter that way.

as always, thanks for reading...and walk

Monday, September 16, 2013

words for women of fire

*inspired by a poem by Sylvia Plath, to all
the women with fire*

there are few poems
for the women who wield fire
as a weapon of crowning glory
over the ills set before them,
few words
left for the women with hair
of volcanic red,
to match hells with no water.

their hair,
bequeathed beacons burning away
everything imposed like a rocket piercing space,
removing all of those impurities
that cloak themselves in noble things
and like thieves before the crime
shed them briskly
to wage war upon bodies and spirits.

these women
rising to eat men and myths
like so much oxygen,
suffocating the insufferable
leaving dry bones in their wake
whetting their palates with song
and love that is as free as a baby's laugh
or when truth shows up for dinner

the women
who let fire flow as their crown
will live their own poetry
with unburdened hearts providing a sound.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

bite of bitter tongues

there are bits of time
where the bite of tongues
that speak little else
but bitter brimstone
and tart acidity
feast on you silently

seething, seemingly on display
in vintage prisons of blown glass
you mouth words onto plates
as offerings
that wouldn't exit theirs
until their bellies & souls distended

there is a limit
to keeping quiet
when the bites of insecurity
riddle your spirit
there is a waterline to honest tears
there is a limit to saying sorry

and when you reach that point
may your glass cage shatter
and each splinter be a word
that cuts deep and leaves no scar
save for words you once said
painting their faces

Friday, September 6, 2013

haiku 9.6.13

she may not sleep well
if i run throughout her dreams
so i walk instead

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

within the first sip of java

*for sagal*

i've wanted you
at the moment of overflow
filled past cool indifference
you thought would hold you back
resolve trembling slightly
like china cups and the breadth of
tender and sturdy shores
that are your hips.

wanted you coursing
past teeth that have gnawed
on shyness and fear
that chafes at your desire
like humidity does to an August night
and yes, i'd delight in that heat
you've been simmering with
since we last embraced

i've wanted you
to find your echoes in my blood
make them boudoir garments
as you made your way finally and fearlessly
to the bedchambers laid golden in me
i've wanted you
to declare your heart for me
boldly like fire within the first sip of java
but will you still feign sleep?

Monday, September 2, 2013

piecing letters, piercing resistance.

confession: i fight the timidity 
some situations nurture quite
often. even when i may be the 
cause. this is only one way i 

since last December, i've taken 
it upon myself to challenge and 
slay demons that would make me
timid in my relationships with others
in the past. i've realized that a life
well lived requires it, and demands
it from you. and so, i've made it a
point to chop the heads off demons
with resolve like a guillotine. the best
way i've found outside of having a 
face-to-face with some folk is by the
written word. letters.

i had heard about writing letters to
people as a way of therapeutic 
cleansing before, but it had never
occurred to me to utilize it until last
year. it had become apparent after
my birthday that i was still toting a
few heavy pieces of emotional baggage.
less than i had years prior, but still
there. and i realized that it was all
due to how some people valued their
connection with me. and how i felt
those connections lacking in one
thing or another. now, these were/are
people who occupied some real 
significant space in my cipher. and
my tendency to internalize was at 
play, to my detriment. it was hurting
me in silent ways. and in other cases,
it was a way for me to convey real
gratitude and love.

so i set out to write letters to these 
folks. some had long passed on, and
i felt these letters would be a fitting 
talking drum to their spirits in the 
universe. i also wrote letters to those
who i felt weren't forthright with 
reciprocity of their spirit for whatever
reason. the intent at first was never to
mail these out in any form. as i wrote,
i had a chance to revel in happy 
moments. there were one or two that
broke me down to the point where it
felt like it was raining indoors and i
could only see the screen by blinking.
it was a process both cathartic and
cauterizing. and i emerged from it 
both thankful and renewed. since
then, i've sent out a few letters and
cards to a couple of people. and i plan
to do more of it.

now, i chose letters because in a 
world where social media has greatly
improved our ways to communicate,
it has also downgraded the level of
communication. folks want to be all
about claiming 'first' to comment.
folks hiding behind 'tweets' and 
'status updates'. even to the point
where some will prefer having text
message conversations a mile long
than to actually call someone. it's 
as if life in all of its inflections is being
left to visual hieroglyphs, emoticons
and other things because some are
afraid of the emotions life brings in
dealing with each other. i can't say
i haven't been in this zone. but writing
and sending these notes is my way out
of it. because i love myself & have love,
if not only respect for those who i've
chosen to get close to. and this is a
step towards beheading the demons
of timidity and awkwardness, one
fell swoop of a sentence at a time. so
try a letter or a postcard sometimes.
you'll see how refreshing it is.

as always, thanks for reading. until
the next time, walk good.

Friday, August 30, 2013

one moment off west 139th

i sit waiting
with nothing
but the conversation of a ceiling fan
to keep me cool
as you shower nearby
a weaker man
would be jealous
of the steady jazz made
with warm water as knowing fingers
and your body a nubile saxophone

i sit waiting
hearing cast off cat-calls
from old heads at the corner store
eyes closed
waiting for the creak of the door
the wafting scent of shea and lilac
the whisper of your hips beneath the towel
as you walk to the bed
hum Nina as you pick silk to slip into
and Harlem for a minute falls silent

haiku 8.30.13

not every flight
is fancy;faith is the breeze
you don't see that guides

Saturday, August 24, 2013

tanka for dean 'dream' meminger

another Harlem son
who moved like a dream, found the
nightmare was stronger;
the time clock ran out
may the Dream rest well

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

breathless strawberries (for lolette)

your lips now
will always be
the impassioned birth
that lies at the end of this
pause i call
fresh strawberries
nude, inviting 
with the gleam of arousal
plump with desire
awaiting the bite 
only a lover's kiss promises.
your lips
do not promise a respite 
from that cauldron made
by bodies coursing against each other
in fact
your kisses may burn best
without any oxygen
or reason to fuel.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

midnight bourbon and cool silk

she walks with hair like
acrid smoke tousled with perfume
eyes daubed in azure at their edges
and flesh like condensed milk brought to a boil.

her touch must be like
the first feeling of cool silk
upon freshly showered skin
in a room that greets dusk openly.

curves beneath her blue shift
dress as waves that lap at costa rican beaches
and her words pour like midnight bourbon
leaving me a pleasurable burn as i take them in.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

corner boy haiku #9

hang ten and hold tight
on iron surfboards; losers
wipeout on third rails

Thursday, August 1, 2013

haiku 8.1.13

like Eve and apples
she felt that last pull of herb
bite and flip her mind

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

archer avenue sketch #1

a lonely flea market
framed in the bloodshot eyes
of a hustler who lost his gait
asking me for the time
leaning on a cane
listing like his ship sank
in a bottle of cognac
(i still checked my wallet after)

Monday, July 29, 2013

haiku 7.28.13

summer afternoon
subway platform heat mimics
the feel of your flesh

Friday, July 26, 2013

humming pain, evening rain

evening rain
that was hesitant once
coats the streets
like useless lottery scratch cards
at bodega thresholds

one doesn't feel so broken
at the edges 
you forget wounds that weep
and let the air give benediction
as your clothes get damp

your legs sing 
spirituals that stitch past pain
and present regret
weary blues wait their turn
as you can barely stand

when what you got
is soreness and a weary heart
and few give a damn past their umbrellas
reluctant rain just reminds you
to let your pain hum 

because who wants to remember 
those kinds of words?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

orange pekoe, summer steam

this steam
that makes the day swim under high sun,
could be nothing else
but the scent from your neck
rich with green grass vapors and orange pekoe
brought to boil with a stare.

as the afternoon sways
much like the latitude of your hips
full and fleshly like guanabana before first bite,
i picture your hands weaving with light
bringing out gentle words with sweat
that pales in sweetness next to a waiting smile.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

haiku 7.1.13

seething lust, soft sighs
bared skin under looking glass;
watching, she likes me

Thursday, June 20, 2013

tangerine sunrise

bird songs 
dot these skies teeming
with tangerine accented clouds
these few hours
become slices of peace
the night didn't give to me
you laid there
wrapped in dusk with that smile
and the slow sunrise
doesn't mean you've left

Monday, June 17, 2013

firefly summer tanka

like young fireflies
floating between evening
and summer's tall trees,
her eyes found my own, waiting
long-lost love's glow pausing time

Saturday, June 8, 2013

serving notice.

been a while since i composed my thoughts in this
manner, so here goes:

one thing that's weighed on my mind for a bit is,
the idea of serving notice. not exactly like the
Bone Thugs & Harmony track, but just about. when
i say 'serving notice', i'm talking about letting
people know that they won't have the same weight
in your world like they used to. cutting them off
before they drain you.

there's some people who you'll be cool with. and
for them, cool equals 'we're going to be in this
same head, no change, and you can't change.' and
that's a trap, because people grow. they grow out
of things as easily as they grow into them. yet
we can't comprehend that for some reason. that same
principle applies to people. there's one or two
people who you used to roll everywhere with. down
homies. but they may have been a bit TOO down.
they might have a need to get sloppy drunk at damn
near everything. they might get too wild to the
point of being potential 'Maury' candidates. and
you may find yourself wanting to do new things.
or you have different hours on your job and can't
rock like that anymore. the real down folks will
understand and let you cook. the ones who'll ask
you to burn the midnight oil and your kitchen in
the process. THOSE are the ones you gotta serve
notice to. this also applies to love interests and
crushes. you know the ones, those that like you
just to cover their self-esteem or make you a
placeholder until someone else comes along. and
this even goes for those casual acquaintances who
wanna claim a lifelong bond but don't pick up
their part of the check and see what happens or
some other trifling moment.

i say this because, you have to treat yourself
and your life the best way possible as we get on
in years. my past has had its share of these types,
as i'm sure yours has. and this is a lesson that
one has to learn and enact without any real ego.
that's the difference. one can be honest without
being a straight up dick. but there are those who
are just about avenging themselves to the point
that they will be that. and the message you're
trying to convey gets lost in that. when you're
ready to serve notice to someone, they should
have an idea why this is going down. they should
understand this isn't an easy decision. they also
should know that you're doing this for you, but
you hope they can learn and move forward. now,
there's those that just will cut someone off. i
say, do your thing. if that situation has become
drastic to the point where someone was looking at
silver cuffs, lost a bundle, or something worse?
then by all means, do that with deliberate speed.
anything else, use your judgment. because it's
not about being the bigger or better person, it's
because the elimination of stress will allow you
to have bigger and better situations. and isn't
that what we all strive for in life?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

discarded birds bearing love

i wish your hugs
were more like
fine threaded fisherman's nets
instead of broken bamboo cages
if only because
i'm fearful that every loving thought
that sings your name in the clear morning
will see fit to fly off
leaving me empty
at the mention of your name.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

hot hips, steady jazz

better than
soft core during
hard hours found past midnight
set within perriwinkle television lighting
she is,
when afternoon light catches her
moving like old flip comic books
i loved when i was small.
i swear her hips
were born to rival an upright bass
and lay me low
crossing the room,
and if i keep quiet
i can hear her breathing
move briskly
along my heartstrings.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

sickening sightseeing

one wonders
as tour buses roll through
the veins of the boogie-down
just how much
these people paid
to see bogeymen in hoodies and Timberlands?
would their snapshots
be on shared cloud services of disdain
would they clamor
for souvenirs in the form
of weather-beaten wooden rosaries,
EBT cards and Yankees fitted caps?
would they be scoping out
apartment buildings
for new adventures in what they'd call
one wonders
when we all got sick enough
to view the streets of the downtrodden
as a vacation;
it's bad enough
there's areas where folks make their homes
treated like lab experiments
called 'projects'

Monday, May 20, 2013

haiku 5.18.13

past fog and grey light
pink blossoms peek, greeting day
like toes under quilts

Friday, May 17, 2013

haiku 5.15.13

she pours out her soul
like wine, i imbibe and leave
her empty 'till dawn

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

ink and tension

i read the stories
spelled out across your shins

buttery skin cut by vivid paint
all the protect the wound inside

trysts by cyberspace a peace treaty
but our attraction demands a war fought by tongues

will you paint another tale
on yourself to carry?

and will this one, with me wrapped in ink and tension
be more vivid than others?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

haiku 5.8.13

like old drawbridges
she parted her lips;kisses
lapping like warm waves

nails the color of merlot

paint your fingernails
the color of merlot
so that when you slip your hands
between your thighs
you can get more drunk
after we kiss

leave that wine
at the corners of the apricot slices
you were gifted as lips
so i can savor them in kisses
as i grab you by your hips
so that dessert can begin

these stockings against your skin
grow damp with your honey
and your nails
painted the color of merlot
dig into my back
saying only one thing:

'tonight, we will be drunkards and tomorrow, lovers.'

Monday, May 6, 2013

haiku 5.4.13

framed by fading sun
love painted by our tongues;we
let it dry at night

Saturday, May 4, 2013

assata on her bounty

morning greets her
on a veranda in the hills
sitting lotus style
as she sips tea
laced with the nectar of agave
and freedom ripped from fascists.

see, mornings
that live after a state
condemns you to die
got their own power
that cuts clouds to bleed out sun.

Assata laughs seeing the news
hearing she shares space on a list
where Bin Laden used to be,
she sits with pieces of soul named George, Bobby & Huey
smiles and says, 'more proof freedom isn't free.'

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

boston marathon haiku #3 (18/30)

the pressure cookers
gone from shelves;'food not bombs' sounds
harsh at fear's table

Sunday, April 21, 2013

new gun god haiku (17/30)

tell Jesus to leave;
our love to kill, a new hymn
sung in mothers' wails

Saturday, April 20, 2013

kaleidoscope krylon voices (16/30)

there is the search
to love you past adjectives
at bent angles in pauses pregnant
that we fight
from coming to full term
with small talk and coffee.
a need that lives
to see the morning
you stop using social glyphs
to hide what you want to say to me
and the hurt
you still cradle
gifted by past lovers.
we get up
like tags on walls
kaleidoscope krylon voices
but never put our feelings
for one another on display
waiting for walls bigger
than unspoken fears.

Friday, April 19, 2013

boston marathon haiku #2 (15/30)

Hollywood execs
tune into shots of Cambridge;
no brown villains here

Thursday, April 18, 2013

boston marathon haiku #1 (14/30)

this city was birthed
by bombs and grit;heart wills flesh
to run past madness

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

music break: James Blake

it's been a while since we had a music break, so here's a new tune
by James Blake that i happen to dig a lot. enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

tangled iron garden (13/30)

arthritis forms
as shackles around ankles
spotted with years,
and her muslin coat
matches the arms of the Hudson
two blocks ahead.

her hair is now daylight's cotton
framing a face once besotted with smiles
this is how one walks
when goodbye is the final word,
but she still comes here
amidst car horns and traffic.

this place,
this tangled iron garden
that resembles what time has made
of her heart
is where she goes for peace
and a lunch with the sun.

she sits among gladiolas
lets gold seep into the lines her skin bears
stretches her arms, palms outward
and with a laugh
lets time she's lost come back to take rust
away from her in this tangled iron garden.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

before the illusion of drowning (12/30)

don't be amazed
if those who fear drowning
at the water's edge
before wading in
claw at your shoulders,

put their unfinished stone carvings
of golems and haunts
in your pockets
and try to trade eyes streaked with fear
like schoolyard marbles with you,

those moments
before the illusion of drowning
you find out that you can swim with weight
and that others
slip down bottom with no depth.

Monday, April 8, 2013

cold stones in passing. (11/30)

have left me cold stones
still laden
with two in the morning tears,
asking me to dine with you
without noting
my mind's teeth are still sore
from the kick unseen.

this silence
must be the last days
a pair of broken shears
meant to cut away your misery must feel,
the reluctant crackle
one finds in campfires
and corner store cigarettes
that sudden snap between us.

is the merlot of minutes
made of seedless grapes
and stolen kisses,
yet nothing else
will help me deliver these stones
i only hope old happiness renewed
becomes the aftertaste.

haiku 3.3.13 (10/30)

like a store ribbon
tied to flesh, her love always
meant carefree bondage

Sunday, April 7, 2013

crumbled conversation from off the Grand Concourse (9/30)

next time a poverty pimp says
'power to the people!',
ask them how much their light bill is.
inquire if
they've ever had to walk 2 miles
to a supermarket,
or play other hunger games like
'do i eat or do my children eat?'
when one of them says
'power to the people!'
ask them about computers
being sent overseas
but very few found in schools
once you get past Whitlock Avenue.
ask them why
they cut their check
on the broken bones
and broken bonds of your blocks,
covering your eyes with slogans
so you can't see those poor souls
who truly are there to help.
when a poverty pimp
who cares more about their tab
and how fly they look protesting
in designer jeans tells you,
'power to the people'...

ask them, 'what's your motivation for taking it?'

Friday, April 5, 2013

ruined palaces of the heart (8/30)

there are those
bearing within them
palaces of the mind
besotted with grit and disrepair
walls rubbed raw
shrinking back
because the afternoon sunlight of others
can be cruel
as it is kind

they run memories
on injured projection screens
but fear melts them
like flames and celluloid
so all that is left is a maddening whirr
that translates into ordinary pain
that makes everyone villains
who look to enter their spirit
and find a seat to stay

the price of admission
is knowing how to collect their broken windowpanes
and piece them together
it is letting your words and deeds
add lasting coats to cover the bruises
of their pageantry soiled by those who left
the price of admission
to these ruined palaces of the heart someone owns
is of course, love.

haiku 4.5.13 (7/30)

for safe happy hours
maybe Ray Kelly should just
stop and frisk his son

Thursday, April 4, 2013

dusk and cinnamon (6/30)

*for sagal*

i marvel
at how well midnight cirrus
serves to help me never to forget
how your curls greeted my face
when our hearts traded space,

your hands must still
be sweet gingersnaps that clutch
as a sparrow would lap at fresh water
shy but steady
their imprint still colors mine...

i'm certain that the corners
where your smile rises and sets
contain calls to prayer
alongside lilac scented melodies
your voice hides in those silken brown pockets,

dusk and cinnamon
is how nighttime and my mind paint you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

tanka 4.4.13 (5/30)

my father's own fears
nurse my hands with cold tumblers
and cognac's swift bite;

the pain in my jaw draws lights
to chase them down blank pages

haiku 4.3.13 (4/30)

i left sunset there
last time we kissed; we walk off
like hurt gunslingers

your Sunday love (3/30)

if you're lucky
your Sunday love
might float beside you

she might take her coffee
as they do in Barranquilla
or off Wyckoff

your Sunday love
may weep at celluloid tapestries
of struggles you both bear in your skin

or she may be inclined
to hear more about past years
you've kept in a shoebox with old rap tapes

see, your Sunday love
needs to cut a blazing arrow across the sky
so you can find fire in the color of blue

so that when you take her hand
of simmered nutmeg and agave syrup
you can show her with your eyes

how much she makes the other days not matter
once she smiles