Grief

 

it came in waves today

grief did

the sound of Yolanda Adams opening her heart

did it

I was wrong to listen

her voice was a gun

her lyrics, a trigger

me, the victim

she was thunder

my tears

rain

Yolanda knows I can’t listen to that song

it hoola hooped on the radio in ’99

the year we lived with him

and I combed my Barbie’s hair to her voice

as my Dad’s memory rode on the backs of those lyrics

a warrior

the knight and shining armor

of my adolescents

invisible crown on his head

he is bald now

cancer ate away his hair

and I rubbed Witch Hazel on his foot

I kissed his forehead

I am thirteen again and my heart is inexperienced

I am not ready for the lightening on its way to me

My hands are too small to hold the weight of what’s about to happen

“What if I choose the wrong thing to do?”

she sings

and in my warrior walks

the cab driver in nice suits

his words are “hip” like his style and his commandments

“don’t sleep ready rose,” meaning,

“don’t sleep in your outside clothes”

“I feel so lost, I don’t know what to do,”

in he walks

tight-roping Yolanda’s lyrics

In those sharp suits

riding on the back of my preteen memories

and I curl my small fingers into a fist

and fit them inside the center of my Dad’s palm

the way we used to do

the way his hand covered my entire fist

the way he’s tight-roping on my heart strings

the way memory crawled its way into my throat this morning

“I just need to hear one word from you,” 

Yolanda’s voice penetrates the clouds

the thunder growls

the lightning strikes

and I am thirteen again and the year is 2000

the final moan of a passing storm

and James walks out of the door

his name planting kisses on my forehead

and anointing my eyes

with grief

Advertisements

When the World Loves You

I hate to have to be the one to tell you this

after all, you woke up today optimistic

and here I am

feeding you words that I know you do not want to hear

but I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t tell you the truth

about how the world loves you.

The world will love you

only after the soil hugs your flesh

when the breath leaves your body for that place it will now call home

the world will bring you home

on the backs of T-Shirts

and tattoos that kiss cuzo’s flesh

in a frame on grandmother’s wall

and in museums

popularize your name in a post

speak to you in a language that you will never understand

and in a voice that you will never hear

the world will love you

later

after the fact

like they did messiah

on their living room walls

force a crown of thorns around your head

sacrifice your body to social media

hang you

on their Facebook walls

hashtag your legacy

in cyberspace

they will celebrate you

like they never even did at birth

I warn you

they will throw you parties

bigger than anything your eyes could behold

hold you

in their memories like a nightmare

from which they cannot awake

you will haunt them

and they will love it

the world will love you in caskets

and in prayers

tell you secrets in the grave

they will confide in you

like a man to a woman’s hips

when the world loves you back

it is in flowers

and candlelight vigils

it is in marches, street corners, and pictures

the world will love you in laughter

and in memorials

in memory and regret

and I apologize that I have to be the one to tell you this

after all, you woke up today optimistic

but I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t tell you the truth

about how the world loves you

only in death.


This poem is inspired by “When the Hood Loves You Back” by Steven Willis. You can watch the video to my poem below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for notifications of more poems.

Jezebel

She is manipulation like time told backwards

Even the strongest think they’ve escaped her

But she tap dances on their lips

And she impales their language

With their slave master’s mentality

She is Judas

Sticking her hands in the cup of your salvation

She’ll take you

From light

to darkness

From the daylight

to those days of Eve

Tear scriptures from your mouth

like ripped pages

take laws and commandments

and break valleys of dry bones

like abortions

She will tear apart

Decipher

and Willie Lynch your good news

Before you read it

She is death

like the sting of the grave

but silly women are captivated by her

Too desperate for her friendship

to see that she’ll change her name to Peter

before they deny her

And she invests millions in their pain

Create nests in her wounds

Like wasps in the crevices of houses

And her stinger is always ready

To throw lukewarm water on your faith

That Proverbs 31 woman she erases from her memory

Like cancer cells

Begging its maker for freedom

She is death

To their lungs like tonsils

Scratching at the captivity of their throats

And she gives poison to sell

So run along now

And give my warning to the silly women

Loaded down with various sins

Tell them

that she sets no bail

and for the record

her name

is Jezebel

 

Tragic, Senseless Losses…

The death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman, and the first Muslim, to serve on New York’s highest court and the shooting of Karen Smith, a teacher, in San Bernardino, shot and killed by her estranged husband.

Eyrie Of An Aries

I was planning to post my “Five for Friday” fun facts, but decided to put it off until next week. Two tragic, senseless events occurred this week, but there has been little reported about them. Most outlets, everywhere I look, are fawning over the Drumpf and how “presidential” he’s suddenly become because he knows how to launch missiles and drop bombs. That is supposed to be the last resort, when all other things have failed – but this jackass is determined to do anything to distract from the scandals and valid questions surrounding his administration, and it appears to be working.

The two events I’m referring to are, first, the shooting in San Bernardino. Karen Smith, a teacher, was shot and killed by her estranged husband on Monday, 10 April. One of her students, 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, also died after being caught in the crossfire; another student, aged nine, was…

View original post 1,618 more words

The Potent Word

 

Can I spit poison into your life just by speaking words into your skin? Or can I speak life into your life by cultivating peace into your heart? Words. So important and potent, life threatening and life creating. We must never forget the power of words, their motives and intentions, their power and potency. I marvel at how easily we curse one another. Every day there is someone trying to clean up the blood they spilled by gossiping behind someone’s back, or begging for wishful deaths to go back to its chamber of meaning. Never tell someone you wish they’d leave this earth, or that you hate their guts. You may indeed be charged with murder before the words escape your mouth. I often wonder why I have taken on the task of this kind of bravery, to become a professor of words. To become part of a community where the next murderer is just one page away from me. Perhaps I have a death wish, releasing words into the air with only the hope that they will bring back life. I publish each post with shaking hands, a trembling finger; a focused mind. Carefully crafting and considering the words I put into the air. Writers. The bravest people I know. Managers of the potent word.

If My Books Shall Die – Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge

woman-690216_960_720

Hello there love bugs. So, today’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writer’s Challenge as hosted by Colleen and Ronovan, is on the topic of OBSESSION (*imagines drum sound in head*). But, here’s the thing guys, I couldn’t really find, or think, of a quote on obsession I really liked. Soooo… instead I wrote a poem.

If My Books Shall Die

If my books shall die

I have labored in vain

I have swam through centuries

And ran years in someone else shoes

I have climbed mountains

And crawled under valley’s

only to bleed death

I have carved my obsession

Into paper using invisible ink

If my books shall die

 

I do not wish to live

on the tops of your shelves

Or faced down on kitchen counters

Or underneath your children’s beds

I do not wish to live

In the palms of your hands

Or standing next to Grandmother’s old picture

In the living room

Grandmother is dead

And I do not wish to die

I want my books to live

Not on top coffee tables

But inside of you

 

When I am dead

No longer among the living

Crack open a book written by me

And feel my breath on your skin

Hear my voice resurrect from inside an ancient pen

Watch my tongue dance

See my lips move

And witness passion soar from beyond the grave

 

I read James Baldwin today

And realized I was carrying his bones

In the crooks of my arms

 

If my books shall die

Then my words did not really contain life

But if my books shall live

What are you waiting for?

Go to your bookshelf

Resurrect me

And carry

My bones

 

******

030816_1826_writersquot1