Wednesday, January 30, 2013

cracked finger symphony

she found her fingers
fragile under water
salted with old pain
that made new aches
become choirs of the present.

fingers that lived
in the embrace of juniper winds
that cut past her as she ran in fields
of glassy onions chasing fox-tails
that flew faster than her heart.

her hands writhe
bone stores cold ashes of past flames
she smothered by awkwardness
covered in lemon silk
shrouds for the work in progress her soul is.

the symphony
her cracked fingers sing
does not haunt anyone but her
but if someone else learns the words through her touch
perhaps the tune can change.

music break: Washed Out

it's been a few days since i last checked in here...i hope all is well
with each and every one of you. being that it's a Wednesday, i hope
this track eases you onto a serene end to the week. it's the same
producer behind the title music to the popular IFC show 'Portlandia.'

Sunday, January 20, 2013

gristle and small grins on hoyt street.

yesterday was one of those shining Saturdays you don't
often get during the cold embrace of days known as winter
in New York City. the sun was high, and the chill was at
a minimum. i was out in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn waiting on
a friend for brunch at a popular spot, Mile End Deli.
French-Canadian/Jewish delicatessen menu. as i stand in
front, as is often the case at times, i become aware i
am the only Black person there. more of an afterthought
than anything else. but what was interesting was the
looks by 3 young women sitting in chairs at the exterior
of the bistro's entrance. it was the look of 'why are YOU
here?' that same look tossed off like shots of house
vodka which hold a different burn. that of the casual
indifference privilege causes. i took note of it, checked
my Twitter feed briefly and saw their looks again, which
i met with a blank face and a raised eyebrow. the silent
reproof mastered by many of color to say. 'oh haven't
you heard? i'm here to up your hipness quotient just by
standing here being fly. you were running low.' a look
like that usually gets people perplexed, nervous or flat
out embarrassed. i try to aim for a 2 out of 3 ratio.

it was a bit crazy to experience something like this on
a weekend celebrating the life of Martin Luther King AND
the inauguration of President Barack Obama to his second
term in office. but it all boils down to the same bit of
gristle no one wants to chew on. this country still can't
fully talk about how it is defined by, and often dominated
by, race. there are many willing to have the conversations,
but there are just as many only willing to have it on
their own antiseptic, almost neutral tones. like commenting
on televised billiards matches on Sundays without football
or basketball. being in some parts of Brooklyn sometimes,
those areas now teeming with new money and insular introverts
in places where cats used to nod off before the night fell,
it's become all too common. gentrification becoming the
new American expansion by way of the coffeehouse and the
organic market. and those who were there before getting a
poisoned blanket of skyrocketing bills and summonses the
color of Pepto Bismol talking about 'quality of life'
violations. but that sickness of not talking about it and
confronting it still lingers. so my recourse at this little
microcosm of the problem was chuckling to myself afterward,
and sharing the episode on Facebook. then something real
cool and revealing happened.

as i finish up, this couple and a friend walk up. their
two kids leading the way, a boy of 8 and a girl who was
about 3. this little girl looked at me and decided then
and there that i was going to be her friend. for the next
few minutes, she had a routine going. stare at me and
smile. run around a bit. come back to standing in front
of me and smile. she even gave me a bag of Sun Chips. her
parents laughed and grinned and more importantly, let her
interact. from what i gathered, they were Canadian, from
outside of Hamilton, Ontario. those few moments were real
heartwarming. and it tied everything together. sometimes,
only the children are the ones who are fearless. and they
are who we have to look to when we forget where to look
and how to be. so i hope she grows up with that same
curiosity, and joy and with little to no fear. it made
the rest of the afternoon that much brighter.

until the next time...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

gift of a premature winter

i realize now
her eyes are bigger than her stomach,
her belly aches with promise
holding crystalline ashes of past moments
she sips hibiscus tea to cover.

to this premature winter,
that one who lives in spring
has gifted me in lieu of her truth and libido
i drink toasts; this chill a better embrace now
than soft bones wrapped in lemon sky and fragility.

this frost
between and beneath us at once
may have been water held in her eyes;
crystalline dust cast off
looking for a warmth to call home.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

rock and roll betty haiku #8

her soft vertebrae
arches with my touch; i let
her lips issue chords

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

bread crumbs for men with no teeth

the brother did Bojangles
sparrow-tailed turns on a mangled corner
of blacktop and gentrification
clutching corner currency
asking everyone for light
and the skies above
wept like matrons in the choir
on sabbath days.

there's no present hope
in a life full of bread crumbs
sparse and yet desired
when you are left with no teeth
to snarl, much less bite
and so this man dances
looking for a spark
to watch a life once was dressed in nicotine.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

cab ride down Rhode Island Avenue

elder sister
drives consciousness
with me
down a fold in the lap of government
that snarls and sits askew
preaches jeremiads of the just
with habesha gold strong enough to
tint my windows so that the drizzle
casts down reaffirmed faith
cab rides to benevolent sides
we sometimes check like aged hats
and self-worth.

Friday, January 11, 2013

haiku 1.11.13

your hesitant heart
becomes crimson sunset for
the blind; rethink love

Thursday, January 10, 2013

two fingers of whiskey

*for brownin*

neon tends to
paints sweat and sugar
at the rise of your cheeks
your eyeshadow
an opaque sauce left
by the deft absence of light
and Memphis soul

but even over
the mass preached by barflies
who've seen mayors turn like leaves
and wear the graffiti of decades on their brow
your look towards me speaks easy
like whiskey after a deliberate pour
delight on the house with a steady burn

Monday, January 7, 2013

haiku 1.8.13

her lips, once strong locks
became broken; her desire bade
this thief her soft heart

haiku 1.7.13

you showed me how spring
bleeds abandon, yet you fear
me healing your wound

Sunday, January 6, 2013

a well never dry. (or, how not to let others add rust to your shine.)

'just 'cause you're afraid of letting yourself be happy,
doesn't mean that goes for me.'

i posted that yesterday on Facebook. i posted it out of the
fact that right now, in this space i built tooth and nail, it
needed to be a declaration. a loud one, serving notice that
i am no longer dealing extensively with some people's own
sewage of self-neglect and avoidance. that doesn't mean i'm
not down to share, comfort and build with those who are works
in progress and cop to it. but the other mofolokos? yeah, they
can get hat and coat.

people do a lot of dumb shit to avoid their own happiness. i
have been there. i made the effort, and i'm still doing it, to
not be that dude. even at the risk of seemingly pushing folks
away. because a bunch of people tell me, 'oh you're a nice guy',
'you're a good dude'. adjectives and no substance if you see
me in one dimension. and in doing so, don't honor who i am, or
my flaws and process. it also gives them wiggle room to not share
OR, share a lot and then shrink up quicker than skin after being
in the pool. and why?

impervious. but we all have a soft side, a vulnerable side.
that's nature. hell, i learned that from watching Pai Mei in
'Clan of The White Lotus' back in the day. letting someone see
your vulnerable side is part of true growth. it's liberating.
someone close to me once told me that she loves my honesty and
that i can be so open. i think a lot of it deals with the fact
that i had to break the chain of men in my family in that regard.
pops used to withdraw to the point where he could be distant.
and i know how it hurt my mother and others. and i didn't want
to be that person. even now, i fight against saying 'fuck it'
and just dropping out. because i know how easy it is to do, and
how hard it is to get back. so seeing others do it, and do that
to me, can irritate the hell out of me. so, rather than let that
irritation be a presence in my life, i've simply let them cut
themselves loose. sharks don't notice remoras nor need them to
live. and that's how i'm looking at it. my happiness is fed first
by me more than anybody else at this point in life, and i choose
not to diminish it because someone can't let their past fears
and hurt go and want me to pretend that i can be happy in that
state with them. hell no.

so, if you've spent enough time reading up to this point, please
understand that no one got yardage without giving an inch. find
those people who allow you to be open and raw with no conditions.
build with those who are undressing their wounds to heal and be
happy, not those who pontificate about being spiritual and positive
and drink, screw and lie without even acknowledging their breaking
point. and to the latter group: admit you're broken. to yourself.
then maybe your happiness can be that magnet for others who are
on their way to or have gotten happiness to be closer to you.

until the next time, thanks for reading...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

a minute during happy hour for the unhappy monologists

what does one do
when words become
condoms of convenient conscience
bought with intent
at the bottom of a tumbler filled with ego
and maybe merlot with a hint of peach?

tell me, what is the etiquette
that exists when the debate spills out
and gives birth to illegitimate tangents
that will ultimately not save the world or
even your block because 'people aren't awake enough?'

since not many notice
those condoms of convenient conscience
breaking in the midst of their next quip
i sip my drink and pity them
for they won't be as fruitful as their words promise.

Friday, January 4, 2013

music break: Common

title's self-explanatory for the new year...enjoy!!