Sunday, April 16, 2017

8/30 Space

the world is not a safe space
never has been
           never will be

ask Afghanistan
ask the homeless
ask the countless missing women
no one is looking for

in thought it makes sense
it has no place in reality
no one person has the answers
so we are stuck in those places
where stuck things live
were memory fails
and history pretends it never happened

i remember a dream that wasn't a dream
a brown body on a stage
a brown body in my arms
sobbing and confused
how their community
could turn it's back so loudly
shut their voice off
them shaking
my shirt soggy
nothing there was safe
not even the fabric

there was a time i made a statement
it was mine
i born it myself
believing because it was mine
it would hold me
then someone stuck their fingers into my story
made me all about them
said it was OK
said they were right
because even being my own bones
wasn't safe for me
or them
so they drag their neanderthal thoughts
blamed me for their privilege
they felt safe in their convictions until the next time
when they make some other vagina their own

i suppose you could wrap it
surround it with something impenetrable
bomb proof it
bullet proof it
take it away from those who harm
if we all decide who that is
but it has to be the same who
cover it in plastic
make it safe
no longer a problem for anyone
or anything
because everything is safe
when it is dead

7/30 Variations

in the first dream 
i wake naked           wonder the house 

i do not recognize 
i think i know what this means           but not yet 

in each room i find some forgotten thing 
or some lost item of clothing 
or some part of me I've neglected 

on the stairs there are a pair of shoes 
i have never been before 

they accuse me of running off at the mouth 
of counting things i do not own 
they sit there in their shiny blues 
                a sad song 
                i do not know the words to 

in the kitchen 
the ramshackle that is my heart 
leans a soggy mess on the counter 
every other beat it calls her name           in a whisper shout 

i can not hear 
because my ears 
are no longer connected to my head         
                         and i think i know what this means 
                                                                   not yet 

the last room i care to search 
is not a room at all 
it is the hollow of a throat i loved 
it is my right arm atrophied 
missing the form of her gone body 
                   it is the waist deep in memory 
                   and missing all the points 

i have never lived here 
like i thought 
this house has forgotten the shape of me 
if i ever find my eyes 
maybe they will tell me something different 
echo myself back 

                          i think i know what this means
                                                              not yet

Thursday, April 6, 2017

6/30 The Difference

The Difference

history is not always on your side
there are tools today not available
some long ago

the rules are no longer
the rules

back then
the peaceful opened arms wide
believing no harm would come
because they meant no harm

over and over again
at some point the peaceful
adapted their thinking
protection their mode of communication

modern day colonizers forget
the memories present in the colonized
because they have no recollection
they couldn’t
they have never been
on the receiving end
of loss of home
by force
being demonized for existing
in their own environments

so moving forward
the mentality of
things will be what I want them to be
is not based in real time thinking

these days the people
know they are being displaced
never trusted your tongue
presence in neighborhoods
they’ve inhabited
for decades
and you don’t understand
that you moved into their hoods
you want to claim neighbor
when you do not know them
or care

they who are reduced the to thug
because you never read hood life 101
left a laundry list of opportunities to take
the way you took from them
and this is not to condone
but explain
things don’t change because
you showed up

I know your privilege didn’t tell you this part
that yes the native folk will videotape
the crimes against you
the way the cops tape crimes
perpetrated on them
and nothing happens
and nothing will happen
as long as you believe yourself
to be above them
you continue to call them thugs
call the police when you
don’t like the loudness of their music
because it doesn’t have the same
rhythms of your leaf blower

if you want to live in the hood,
you better learn the language
understand that Leroy
been living on that corner
for a decade
and Miss Lillian knows everything
all the time

your presence
doesn’t change
their reality
it changes yours

and you better learn how to adapt
or just like you saw your opportunity and acted on it,
they will do the same

there are all kinds of takers
you no longer hold
the monopoly on that

and that is the difference

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

5/ 30 Logophobia


there have always been words
that say what need to be said
exposing to the light
that which loves the dark spaces
in our bodies
in our world
we collect these words
one behind the other
string them along
make them make sense
fill our mouths to the brim
with the texture of them
a collection of thought
figured out
and then
something changes
not the climate of course
we have been told this does not exist
along with all the other thing
we are told does not exist
by way of attaching prefixes
a way of resurrecting fears
that never died in the first place
always there lingering in plain sight
we become other words
combinations that did not exist before
a new list of collective nouns
new words to describe
the systematic grooming of a group
to be referred to as one entity
be us person,
state of mind of being
in this new collective
we become a litany of nothing scientific
though fully recognizable
I mean,
just the other day
in what I thought
was a civilized conversation
my unwillingness to agree with false facts
turned me in their eyes
into a battlefield of belligerence
a cacophony of chaos
such a criticism of compromise
a concern of community
the more I refused to bend my tongue
to their will
I watched them become
a clutch of pearls
a bullet of bullies
a boast of orange
shrouded in an agony of shortsightedness
they issued a warrant of warnings
wrapped in an abortion of anger
who would fear a murder of crows
when surrounded by
a disassembly of democracy
a hazard of humanity
a choke of holds

Monday, April 3, 2017

4/30 Beam


she smiled at me
and I thought
what a nice smile
disarming in it slow reveal
a slide across teeth
beaming crookedly adorable

hand slapped on thigh
actually slapping yourself
in public
could be seen
as what it is not
and is at the same time

just a stinging reminder
that’s all
that  is all you want
in that moment
a reminder of what sliding
into a smile like that could     bite
like how good it might feel    all over

you have fallen into too many
the saliva stinging memories
you wish you never had
some you wish you had again

but you have no desire to time travel
to be somewhere you have already been
so you feel the sting
the slap
the tread carefully
you have a habit of running
chambers first

maybe this time
this time maybe

you want to go slow
recognize your own navigation
lead with something other than
what’s been broken a time too many
to count

3/30 Pyre


the night came quick
the way I do sometimes when the new of your skin
sparks and flames
too intense
in that moment the flush flashes over my skin
a momentary instance of shy
washes over me
then away

I am ready to spark again
this time enduring the possible burn
of too excited
too soon
but I linger in all the right places
as darkness became darker
we blazed brilliant
friction and commotion
palms full of promises
and repeat performances
the shy spreads again

I cover my skin its youth
not as young as it used to be

the bold combustion of you
wipes away the blush
and the covers
to rekindle again
the way your eyes scorch my skin
so we do a slow burn that lasts
a searing sentiment

you on the tip of my tongue

Saturday, April 1, 2017

2/30 What the Sick Said

What the Sick

The sick said
you invited me here
lay out a red carpet
tempted me into the ring
beckoned me like a lover
the way you opened your immune system
showed me you chin
dared me to punch

didn’t see the combination of
just the right amount of work
but not enough sleep
just the right amount of love
forgetting the power of adolescent cooties
like all that hugging wasn’t transferring
more than memories

didn’t see that counterpunch
never thought you would be on the ropes
forgot I was contender
but you gon learn today
because I didn’t forget to weigh in
stayed in my neutral corner
shadow boxed with silence
chilled ringside
waiting for the moment
I would deliver the first blow
deciding whether this be bare knuckle or gloved up
knowing I could predict each blow I would deliver
you would receive
You fall into rhythms like lullabies
I was going to put you down
Standing eight  count
saw the precise moment
I could deliver my cross
you and your loyalty to friends
you can’t do everything but you do
until I get my window
then you won't

I was called for holding
so you hit a grand slam
knew you didn't have a chance
baseball games have nothing
on a  pugilist like me
we danced you from class to class
and a show and a whatever
me light on feet bobbing and weaving
bees in a hive
My right hook nearly took you down
but you parried won that round
but you forgot about the southpaw in me
the jabs and uppercuts made me famous
tried to throw a sucker punch
something about a meeting and echinacea

I didn’t want a unanimous decision
didn’t want a TKO
I wanted a knock out
then you tag teamed Mr. Boston
said he was old school
said he has been taking out the sick for decades
said he is  smooth and whiskey eyed special  
but this wasn’t wrestling
I know how to take a punch
wasn’t ready for the match to change
didn’t see that take-down coming
didn’t think I could be thrown like that
had no moves for the half nelson
He sleeper hold put me under

that’s fine
this match is yours Theresa,
but I’ll rest up
because I know you won’t
overextending your occupational hazard
now that I know with you the tactics of defense change
due to what you need to get done
I’ll be working on my footwork
kidney punches and take-downs
you don’t know how to stay out of schools
you don’t know how to disappoint you friends
you don’t pay enough attention to recognize
when you running on empty
and I am always down for a rematch