Conversations

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They’re easier in movies, when speaking from your heart doesn’t hurt

and complex characters are developed in moment of magic

but in real life, spitting real truths hurts deep like toothaches do

like the love is too much, too sudden, real and all too tragic

so we get playing games, laughing at character caricatures of ourselves

fake relationships with deep emotions that are dammed up

not let loose to flow and wreak havoc but contained and constrained

so that when the water breaks and the we give birth to words, they’re messed up

to its time to fess up and clear the air with the unspoken syllables

the withheld words that hit harder than emotional damage and hurt worse

than back stabbings cause sometimes the truth set you free but freedom hurts.

Like the lack of reparations of the self hate we carry around like a purse.

Let freedom ring and truth fall always from my lips, replacing lip service

with truth serving cause sometimes we get to bloated on fantasy

and the only cure is a dose of reality served by the people who care about us

so listen when I sit you down cause I’m not trying to hurt but to heal,

sometimes lancing the boils hurts more than leaving it alone

but the only way to heal is to stab it with love and hope that the negative

drains out yellow like fear and green like envy and black like hate.

Hope that the flaming needle of my words can hurt so much that you

remember to love your purpose.

Life Sucks Sometimes

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Life can sometimes feel like you are drowning,

you struggle and flail until finally you break through,

your mouth open and gasping for sweet air,

only to realize you have been drowning so long

you forgot how to breathe.

It sucks, sometimes a lighting strike sinkhole

and other times inexorable and deadly as time,

the constant barrage of events

sure as rain and as fun as a flood.

Maybe something happened that warranted it,

a bad decision or simply a series of unfortunate utterances,

or in some case nothing but the oppressive pressure

so overwhelming and aching that it leaves you

spent and unable to fin

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Sometimes I hate myself. 
Nothing drastic,
Or overpowering like a rushing river.
That would be a relief, if
My hate were some savage tsunami
I could accept the crashing
but my hate is the drip drip drip torture. 
If my hate were a volcanic explosion
Spewing hot lava and ash
upon the skies of my life
Then maybe I would understand
This darkness.
But my hate is a tepid teabag
from fate or just my failure. 

If my hate were a shattering spasm of
the earth shaking and quaking
I could cower in appropriate fear
My shaking shoulders and shaky heart
Merely symptoms of the hate

I hate myself sometimes
A weak shadow hate that hides
In the sun of her gaze or his words
But unlike a tsunami or volcano
Or even the quaking earth
Which are tragic, overwhelming events
That destroy foundations and lives
The shadow simply is. 
Sometimes weaker, sometimes strong
But always there. 

In the Silence, Our Souls Speak

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In my writing I have always been interested in silence,

the unspoken sounds and the pregnant pauses in conversation.

Sometimes healing, like the silent rise of a loved ones chest

as they sleep or the unspoken bond of fingers laced and swinging in

the breeze. The silent crease of the lips and twinkle in the eyes.

Often silence can be dangerous and deadly like the eye of the storm.

Perfect peace in one moment only to be riotously ripped asunder,

conversation mine traps that lie dormant before exploding with force.

Silent like the soundless sighs of desperation in surrender to suicidal ideations.

Deadly like the encroaching plague of boredom and mundanity killing

the foundations of a marriage and crumbling the bedrock of society.

Sometimes silence is sacred, like the hushed moment of wordless prayer

in the secret hours of the day where we lay our pride, lust and malice on the altar

and sacrifice ourselves for a moment of peace before the Almighty.

Sacred like the pause in a preachers sermon where you can almost hear a heavenly

Amen echo the words sinking like anchors unto the tables of your heart.

And sometimes silence just is, existing beyond the realm of human comprehension

saying the wordless things we cannot bear to speak out loud.

Sometimes in the silence, our souls speak.

 

Black Enough

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I was 20 years old when I had my first chicken box.

I was 22 before I could say the N word without fear of not belonging

To this day I still can not dance any of the popular dances

But by 22 I had mastered shucking and jivingĀ for massa

smiling real pretty with my big white teeth, teeth that on

a dark night on a bus ride home from a soccer game,

were the only thing that fit in with the all white team.

My bright eyes the only thing that belonged in the all white school

as long as they weren’t looking at any of the pretty little white girls.

Cause niggers used to be killed for even looking at white girls

and we done moved on but sometimes you wonder.

So I led with my white teeth forward as a shield and my white eyes down

never achieving too much to scare anybody but just enough

that for a second everybody could forget that I am one of them.

After all I didn’t talk like them, I was eloquent and proper.

Oh I’m not calling YOU a nigger, you’re an oreo, I am talking about those people.

Imagine growing up and being taught self hate.

Raised to detest people who looked like you and love people whose parents

cannot stand the sight of you.

Making sure you weren’t too black but never being white enough.

Then breaking free and realizing that wasn’t even the worst of it.

After all you have been “raised white”, how will you ever be black enough.

I mean, you can’t dance. You can’t play basketball. You can’t even rap.

You like watermelon but prefer honeydew melons.

You speak “proper” and win speech competitions.

I mean you’re an honor roll student. You can’t be black.

The worst part is realizing that the insidious nature of racism

has painted your people into a prison of stereotypes.

I refuse that.

Blackness is not determined by actions, attitudes or culture.

Blackness is acceptance.

Blackness is becoming who you truly are.

Black is a color that contains within it all other colors.

When you are black you are free to be you.

You can be a thug or you can be a scientist or you can be both.

That’s your choice. That is what it means to be black.

I am proud to be black.

Afraid of Myself

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The pen pauses on paper, the words choked back like a sun dried-

raisin, rising in my minds eye reminding me that’s the only “black” poem I know

because that’s the only one that’s taught to me, like how I was taught to apologize

taught to appreciate condescending comments about my “eloquence” as if we, black

brothers didn’t invent the word flow deeper than the Nile and as wide as denial,

cuz I denied my heritage, a casualty of white guilt even though I’m not white

but I guess when you are casually called white long enough by white and black friends

you must bear the double burden of being hated for your color

and the fact that you speak proper and say ask instead of axe.

When you are both Romeo and Juliet in this tragedy that is America,

your facebook wall the scene of countless small wars between between you call friends

you learn to be quiet. Which is ironic because you never shut up

except you learn not to say much. How to chameleon your way through every conversation

how to choke down the bitter reality that if you speak up you won’t fit.

Won’t be black enough because you can understand white people’s frustrations

because not all of them are bad. Actually most of them are pretty cool once you get

to know them and in a lot of cases they don’t even know they are being racist.

But you also will never be white enough to make palatable to bring home,

or to be able to speak up about yourself without seeming angry.

So you shut up. Chameleon yourself like you were taught because if you blend

you can’t be hurt. So you laugh. Or ignore. Or just say something like smh.

And with each missed opportunity the DREAM is dying, a slow relentless death.

I am the one killing the dream. Not the awful depraved comment sections

or the rampant political ignorance. Me. With my unique perspective and voice.

I need to speak and stop blending. I need to be brave and step on toes.

This was supposed to be a poem but it turned into a terrible ramble.

But it’s honest. And real. And true. It’s me. Finally ready to speak and be heard.

Your Love is My Drug

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Does your heartbeat ever stutter to a st…stop,

when confronted with beauty too transcendent to taste?

Girl you give me diabetus with your fine self, self so fine

like spun sugar, spinning ballerina dancing through the stars.

You are the sweet that makes my tooth ache, the bitter

that makes my coffee wake my sunny heart into a rainstorm.

You are a summer storm, all sunny and rumbling depth

and sudden deluges drain oceans and drown forests fires.

Chocolate is named after the taste your lips forming hello

and sadness in the name they gave to your goodbye.

Don’t let the emptiness fool you, you are much more than a black

hole though you suck me into your presence, you are a black, whole

as in you complete me, complement me and make me king.

We are not drawn to regret but painted to be free like a canvas

still dripping feathers swaying in the breeze of an open window.

Don’t forget the sound of tomorrow but sink in the luxury

of each breath broken only by the promise of the unspoken.

You are a siren singing lost songs that gave up your voice

to climb ashore and rise with me to the skies beyond the horizon.

Sea waves foaming green and gray sprays of distilled beauty

shatter like so much glass against the insurmountable depth

of your worth. Thou art worthy or was it worthy art thou?

Or was it art thou worthy? Or thou. Art. Worthy? Art?

As in you are art, the expression of imagination across the page

stretched languid like a french model across the space of my mind,

leaving me unsettled and thirsty, craving for more

a drug addicted artist craving for completion, come for me and take me

places that I never could begin to forget never having seen.

Explode me and expose to like a meteor shattering the night sky,

cause baby you’re a firework, come and let your colors burst.

But be careful because my heart beats arrhythmic when I am near you,

like a drunken tap dancer and I am liable to stutter, I mean trip,

I mean fall, thundering like Niagara, deeply in love with you.