Friday, August 07, 2015

Go Fuck Yourself

Go Fuck Yourself

I would write in watercolors
redirecting raindrops with wetted strokes

I could learn the ukulele
strumming the sunshine with fingertips

I should fashion songs in summer
transmuting wind into weighted voice

But when you ask me how you should feel
when my potential seasons offend you
only one possible answer comes to mind.


***

***

Yes, there's a story behind this one, but I can't go into it right now. I just had to quickly spit out the poison before it consumed me. 

I'll try to be more upbeat next time!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Respite

Image source: google

Respite

Your blues ain’t like my blues;
cool, visual cobalt,
auditory melancholy,
salty still inlet cove, prone
to frostbite if left untreated.

Your blues might be a bit different,
but I see them,
and somehow, they manage
to make me even bluer.

But then you smile
and beckon to me, and
the rhythm of my ballad
is disrupted as a
single raindrop ripples the
stillest, bluest body into
countless reflected fireflies
that flirt with your eye-twinkles.

As the bluest sky is sketched upon
by threaded white wisps,
west to east,
so do you chase the bluest of me
into the Technicolor of us.

I know of no such existence that doesn’t
have me streaking across the
cloud-streaked
sapphire sky
to pursue whatever blue
that dims your joy.

Take my hand and walk with me
until the sun settles beyond view,
lengthening the shadows of what will be,
reaching up to the ripening-pink heavens
that reflect hints of gold
as the clouds ignite
the way my blues combust into new colors
whenever I’m in earshot of your laughter,

a precious respite from my
blues, indigos and violets.
***


Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Fate of That One Kid who Made My Lil Brother Late for ThunderCats

The Fate of That One Kid who Made My Lil Brother Late for ThunderCats

The fire is what I remember the most.
I never had to wonder what he was thinking.
Phil had the worst poker-face
in all the housing projects.

I could always sniff-out a lie,
but I turned a blind eye
if I knew he wasn’t hurting himself.

That day, I knew he wasn’t lying
when he shouted that he would fuck that kid up.

I was retrieving him from the playground
to watch afternoon cartoons.
ThunderCats were on the loose
and I didn’t want him to miss it.

That’s when I first saw the flames.

Phil was being picked on
for universal reasons that kids get picked on;
because sometimes kids are assholes,
and assholes leading groups are the worst assholes.

Phil is one of the sweetest kids I know;
slow to anger, easy in forgiveness.
But even he has a berserk button
and it is a catastrophically bad idea
for anyone to push it to see what happens.

That’s what I witnessed;
a bunch of tiny assholes pushing Phil’s buttons,
and with the leader physically menacing him
I knew that somehow, someway
I’d have to save that little dickhead from my brother.

Embedded in Phil’s eyes
were two four-alarm infernos.
If I didn’t somehow intervene…

I mean, it’s not like he would fight that kid
as much as he would happen to that kid
the way Kansas tornados happen to treehouses.

Don’t recall what the kid did
but he was a mouthy motherfucker
and his entourage fed his escalation like…

Ever see what happens to magnesium when ignited?
It creates its own oxygen, like most shit-talkers
showing-off to their instigating crew.

I knew I couldn’t save everyone
so I focused on my brother
who had tears streaming from his flames.

“You gonna let your big brother fight for you?”
the little shit sneered at Phil
through a shit-eating grin.
His crew erupted in laughter and high-fives

“I’m not fighting anyone,” I notified.
“But I’m not stopping anything either.
You sparked this shit with my lil bro,
and he’s gonna settle this.
I’m just here to keep things… fair.”

The laughing stopped as the implication hit home
as if all involved knew shit just got real.
Unable to save face, the little shit assumed a stance,
prancing about in front of Phil’s barely-corked wrath.
He’d clearly seen too many Sugar Ray Leonard fights.

“What chu gone do, Phil?” the hapless idiot slurred.
“You don’t want none of this!”
Misinformed, to the very end.

Phil glanced back at me once more,
wide-eyes asking final permission
to let the dogs off the porch.

I nodded grimly.

They were evenly matched in size,
but where Little Sugar Ray had built a rep
fighting guys who looked like Phil,
Phil spent his whole childhood
sparring with kids twice his size
kids like me, his older brother.

It’s not like I ever went easy on him.

The “fight” lasted five seconds,
enough time for Little Sugar Ray to flick a jab
and for Phil to easily slip that jab.

Enough time for Phil to truck that kid into the earth,
foolish pride pancaked into the dirt.
Enough time for Phil to extract respect
unfortunately-timed, along with his pound of flesh.

The entourage ooohed and ahhed at total domination.
Itching to jump Phil, they peeked at my glare,
and wisely remained rooted as spectators.

“That’s enough.” I said.
Phil released the poor kid with a resounding warning;
“That’s what you get! Now stop fucking with me!”

As we turned for home and our cartoons,
Little Not So Sugar Ray, in a face-saving measure
pushed Phil in the back.

Incredulous, Phil balled up his rage into tiny fists,
made a move towards the kid, hesitated,
and then looked again towards me for approval.

I shrugged, and Phil dropped him again.

We missed the beginning of ThunderCats,
but I don’t recall any of the neighborhood kids
pushing Phil’s buttons anymore after that.
***

Written for my little brother, oldest, bestest friend, and my most trusted male human on the whole muthaphuckin planet, Phillip T. Dawson. Phil turned 36 today. Happy Birthday, Old Man! Tip one back for me! Love you, man.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Day 30 - grasping autumn

grasping autumn

there are things we don’t discuss anymore
in the coffeehouse summer evenings after class
the blushes, unnecessary brushes with coveted contact
the chambered “yes” unreleased for unspoken invites
the eyes imploring, always the eyes imploring
the all-night exchange of ideas, broken up by birdsongs
the unnecessary phone calls and messages saying
“can’t wait to see you!” when
what we really mean is
“really can’t wait to see you!”
the hugs that reach around to grasp autumn
until every leaf has hopelessly fallen
the way I have tumbled, dragging you willingly
as you clutch me, regaining balance in a way
that claims our dignity, leaving only our thirst

which is something we don’t discuss anymore
***

That's all, folks! 30 poems in 31 days, while selling my house, moving my home residence while passionately watching the NBA playoffs, and all of this with a broken hand. My ex-wife said that I never finish what I start. Well take THAT, woman! 

Thanks for hanging in there with me, everyone! See you next year!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Day 29 - details within final moments

details within final moments

I have always strived to be better today
than I was yesterday, to varying degrees
of successes, failures, and pushes

like many humans, I have demonstrated
great kindness and inexplicable cruelty
never sleeping, never waking, a living dream

though nothing is promised, not even tomorrow

if I don’t get a chance to square the score
with those who never knew me,
but vociferously judged anyway
I have nothing more to say except
if spirits are real, I will be seeking vengeance

to those who knew my kind soul
and unspoken generosity of spirit
no further words need be shared between us
except, I need you to strong enough
to endure a parting request
as I transition to unknown states of existence

please delete my browser history

***

Written for imaginary garden with real toadsBang, whimper, hiss prompt. I still have one more poem to give, so come back tomorrow too.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day 28 - why I prefer snapdragons over tiger lilies

why I prefer snapdragons over tiger lilies

don’t listen to the tiger lily
he’s as beautiful as a summer day is long
but he don’t know what the fuck
he talkin bout, and won’t stop
with the unsolicited advice
he’s all like, “don’t do those bad things
because bad things will happen to your roots
you might get arrested, and
the whole garden will look bad
if you get plucked.”
shut the fuck up, tiger lily!
my nigga, you don’t even know me!

the snapdragon on the other hand
though every bit as stunning,
is a bit more introspective
his angle is more subtle, inside-out
telling a story that’s compelling me to feel
like, “this one time, I did some bad things
and a series of bad things happened to my roots
I don’t know how I didn’t get arrested
everyone in my crew except me lost their stems
fate spinning us like maple seeds on warm currents
never again, bruh. never again.”

always listen to the snapdragon
he is a fire-breathing prophet
pollinating the garden with the wisdom

of fertile calamitous tales

***
Written for imaginary garden with real toads' flowers named after animals prompt, but not shared there. I haven't had a chance to read other poet's poetry as often as I'd like to with all my multitasking this month. I don't want to take without giving back. 

Besides, brevity was requested, and my poem is too long!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day 27 - Crown Prince of the Stoop

Crown Prince of the Stoop

I am from concrete and asphalt
Twisted metal vines and closed doors with keyholes
A brownstone with address etched in memory
Of cookouts and clarity of purpose lost to history

I am from wood-paneling and artistry
The Zen of autumn leaves and spring breeze
I am from structure and superstructure
I am the discipline in its absence

I am from invisible blood-soaked tenements
Where we feared both the criminal and the lawman
Where my little bro learned to draw homes
With iron bars over the windows

I am from a sociology experiment gone awry
Stacked atop one another like animals
Sprinkle a few magic rocks through the hood
And laugh as it burns itself to the ground

I'm from a woman who was raised in the slums
Who raised me and my little bro in the slums
But she was not of the slums
Her heart was molded from foreign rare gems
Forged in the heart of stars billions of years ago
She carried herself with a galactic grace
And demanded the same from her princely sons
She is from where potential becomes kinetic
She is from where daydreams dare to scream
"Why not me? Why the fuck not, us?"                       

I'm from a man forged in iron-rich Mississippi mud
A man who I ain't never seen lose a fight
A man who endured painful burdens with a smirk
With a backbone fortified with calcified pride
Never bent, always elongated, stretching to the heavens
Filling my head with starships, multiple realities
Alternate possibilities of existence, taking the lead
Defending myself, little brother, family, and country
With a quiet swagger and my own smirk, slurring
“Why not me? Why the fuck not, us?”

I am from a place of problematic punchlines
Where opportunity is denied, violence decried
Knowing we can never commit to peace eternal
Where working men are gunned-down
And vilified for living

But I am from a place of princes and kings
Scowling unapologetically at social constructs
Dancing to the beat of our own choosing, because
Why the fuck not us?


 ***


Written for dVerse poetsPoetics – Where are You From? prompt. Yes, I know I missed a day. Yesterday was quite challenging and emotional, and I just didn't have it in me. I'll try to make it up in the next few days.