looking down from this height,
quite frankly i see it all in black and white,
looking up from this height,
its all just so uncanny,
now that does not make me any frail,
so i will just hold on and sail.
i will make sure to leave no trail,
while i go sauntering to the horizon's end,
in search not for love,
for that is what makes this vast unfathomable scary ocean,
in search not for dreams,
for that is but this voyage of mine,
in search not for a meaning,
for there need be none,
if there is, be it synonymous to uncertainty,
if all goes wrong, i will sing a song,
if all falls apart, i will still play my part,
the venture is savage, there will be rampage,
intrepid need you be,
insipid the journey will be.
promise me that you ll be there from the start to end,
and i will hold onto you to the end from the start,
when i say this, know for sure,
my words are your hearts anchor.
the last time i was home
to see my mother we kissed
and unpleasantries pulled a warm
comforting silence around
us and read separate books
i remember the first time
i consciously saw her
we were living in a three room
apartment on burns avenue
mommy always sat in the dark
i don’t know how i knew that but she did
that night i stumbled into the kitchen
maybe because i’ve always been
a night person or perhaps because i had wet
she was sitting on a chair
the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through
those thousands of panes landlords who rented
to people with children were prone to put in windows
she may have been smoking but maybe not
her hair was three-quarters her height
which made me a strong believer in the samson myth
and very black
i’m sure i just hung there by the door
i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady
she was very deliberately waiting
perhaps for my father to come home
from his night job or maybe for a dream
that had promised to come by
“come here” she said “i’ll teach you
a poem: i see the moon
the moon sees me
god bless the moon
and god bless me”
i taught it to my son
who recited it for her
just to say we must learn
to bear the pleasures
as we have borne the pains
Nikki Giovanni, “Mothers” from My House. Copyright © 1972 by Nikki Giovanni.
Become what you see
Free your mind
And soar high
See the bird
Watch it fly
With your soul's eye
Feel the sky
Feel the height
See the beauty above
And below your flight
Spread your wings
And catch the wind
Fly below the stars
High above the land
Above the place
Where you stand
Than just a passenger
On this journey
Through the life
Be all and one with
And fill your soul
Love and be loved
Don't be alone
On this journey home
Don't waste your time
Fears and pain
In the end
What is in your soul
from Ida's height,
By the Fire-god sent, it came;
From watch to watch it leapt, that light,
As a rider rode the flame!
It shot through the startled sky,
And the torch of that blazing glory
Old Lemnos caught on high,
On its holy promontory,
And sent it on, the jocund sign,
To Athos, Mount of Jove divine.
Wildly the while, it rose from the isle,
So that the might of the journeying Light
Skimmed over the back of the gleaming brine!
Farther and faster speeds it on,
Till the watch that keeps Macistus steep
See it burst like a blazing Sun!
Doth Macistus sleep
On his tower-clad steep?
No! rapid and red doth the wild fire sweep;
It flashes afar on the wayward stream
Of the wild Euripus, the rushing beam!
It rouses the light on Messapion's height,
And they feed its breath with the withered heath.
But it may not stay!
And away -- away --
It bounds in its freshening might.
They cage the animals at night
And once again when sun is bright
In cages gray and bleak and tight
Until the strong have lost their might
Until the free have lost their fight
Until sharp eyes have gone to white
Oh to be free like soaring kite
To fly away to heavens height
But steel bars block futile flight
And nature weeps at such a sight
While man continues with his blight
Yet feigns blind eye to their sad plight
And will not dare to see the light
That a caged life is never right.
I see this boy every now and then.
Every sunset and sundown, he walks into my view.
And what I see is a boy lost in a sea of torn faces.
However, he tames himself and continues with his duties.
Readjusts his tight collar, tune his hat, and sags his jeans,
Because that’s what society clothes him in.
But I’ve seen days where this boy is barely lit.
Like a faded glass, there is little shine in his eyes.
The coal within his chest quietly dies out slowly through his lungs.
And after the smoke rises up, he cries like the heavens.
I endure the flood, but just as I swim forth to him
He takes in the smoke and readjusts his tight collar, tune his hat, and sag his jeans;
Because that’s what society clothes him in!
Locked behind the mirror, my fist bleeds against the glass
And my voice tramples against the edges!
Tearing every fiber just so can preach to his ear
The smiles of those he’s touched deep in their hearts!
I want to him to take in the air that mists around him of confidence!
For I have had enough of letting him each sunrise and sundown drowning under the sea of scars!
Am I tall enough? Am I manly enough? Am I a good person?
Yes, your height is fine, be proud, you’re taller than Tom Cruise!
Yes, you bare the strength of a thousand men in one beat of your heart!
And yes, yes even when you destroyed the girl of your dreams heart,
You fought like no other person to make her smile again!
Deep inside you, buried six feet under, is a man.
A man who you were parading this world as this entire time!
And I press my face against the edge of the glass,
And my voice stretches out to him,
And our eyes cross lights,
But then he readjusts his hat, smiles;
His lips move about with the slightest steps.
Another sunrise and another sunset, he’ll keep walking despite the rain.
He flicks the lights to fade black and gone again through the door.
with one strike, one stroke it begins
Let the flames dance around me
Creating a ring, surrounding me
And it flames upward
As all the colors in the world surround me
I'm not sure where to turn because I want to see them all
Strength. Power. Beauty.Grace.
Skilled control and wild abandon merge
into something striking
To understand art but to never create
I burn the notion
Watching the blackness spread
I open my arms. Welcome whatever comes
Maybe a scorch, maybe blissful warmth
Either way I am revived
Resolved to soar. Resolved to be awe-struck
Sometimes all it takes is a little heat
to rise to the fullest height
Above the debris
But with the sparks
What is it like having a daughter? 1. Its 24/7. I'm her only parent. 2. She's crazy extreme, she likes to climb furniture and runs and has no fear, so basically I could have a heart attack at any point in the near future. 3. She's like a mini me. And that's cool, and scary and amazing. Which sums up the last two years. And she's 2, so shes trying my nerves almost every point.
You're pretty adorable yourself, and I think its awesome that you do stand up, it shows you have lots of confidence which is attractive.
Tell me more about you.
Writing short stories makes me feel expressed. I've always wanted to have a family. Although I'm not sure if I'm mature enough to handle parenthood. I smoke cigarettes. I drink Coca-Cola.
For a few years I went to Virginia Commonwealth University. Last December I graduated
with a Bachelor's in English. Currently I'm performing standup at Uptown Lounge every
Tuesday 7 p.m. with a bunch of my friends. In a week or so I'll be doing shows at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. I've been living in Richmond for a while now. I love it here. Love my friends. Love the environment. Love being young. Having a daughter appears to be an
incredible opportunity as well as a responsibility. Sometimes I wonder what'd it be like
to have a kid. Then I look in the mirror after a shower and it doesn't seem that foggy anymore.
A tall height is one of the benefits of being me. I'm well read, but I still fumble on the keyboard.
My biggest fear is editing my creative work, for fear of not being able to fully develop
my characters without some artifice. I call myself a writer. I come off as a hack.
Self-deprecation is easy for me but I don't enjoy it, it's a skill that's innate. For fun I
talk to beautiful women such as you, looking for a hookup, while deep inside I know
that I'd rather have a long-lasting relationship. Words have a copious amount of power. I
think that I'm always going to be self-critical but I have no idea if that's going to
hurt me in the long run. I write a lot. I say a lot. I read a lot. I need to listen more.
Confidence is all a construct, though I appreciate your kind words. You have my gratitude.
Loneliness is a parasite that I deal with on the daily, day by day, night by night,
I yearn for companionship. But I try to think about the things that I'm thankful for. Books,
Writing, Family, Drinks, my friends. Conversations are so short-lived these days,
and I guess that's me being presumptuous or it can be attributed as to why I'm being esoteric,
instead of terse with my words. Guess I have a lot on my mind. Um, five things that I have
on my nightstand include: Tender is The Night By F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Mad Men Season 3 DVD,
an empty pack of Marlboro 27s, a cup of water, and a Playstation 3 controller. If you don't
have any plans today we should grab a mug of coffee. By the way, would it be forward of me
to ask for your number?
Standing, waiting, my face blank, uncaring and staring
at the garish colors of their cheap and ill-fitting clothes.
Cramming in, fingers all greasy, raucously laughing,
jabbering bullshit, braying useless information, loudly.
Swarming, idly in hot little dark holes of rooms, making
a suffocating stench from ragged mouth-breathing.
Fucking disgusting, everyone.
Don't fucking touch me.
This is overwhelming.
"There's too many people in here."
You sidle up to me, saying what we're both thinking, and then we leave.
Both of us glaring at the shitheads shuffling slowly, in the way,
unable to meet our height or eyes, they remain glued
to the tiny screens in their sweaty and hot little hands,
as their annoying children are screaming and running.
You, with your shit-brown eyes.
Silent and stoic, with a hard-edged jaw. Are you shitting me?
Like not making eye contact with me is going to shame me,
stripping me of something that you never even bestowed?
You think I'm obscene?
Mister, look at you.
I am tired, but, I am okay. I am fine.
I don't care what you otherwise say.
Alive and sober, awake and dying.
I am improving, actively evolving.
I am not devalued or retrograding.
Don't not look at me, as though I were a freak.
Don't sneer and scoff, and judge me, as meat.
You think you know me better than me?
You think you could even convince me differently?
am I right, or am I right?
Go ahead, lock your jaw, frown and furrow your brow, you magnanimous hypocrite.
We're both autonomous, and rich, in Ameri-fucking-ca, with freedom out the asshole.
You're free to judge me.
I'm free to say fuck you.
We both bleed red blood.
We both will do as we will,
loving, shitting, fighting,
drinking, fucking, coping,
hiding, hurting, smelling,
crying, begging, hating,
breathing, needing, eating,
sleeping, living, and dying
under the great majesty of
where we both need to
stop thinking differently.
Monsters in the darkness,
Howling to the moon,
Tearing their prey apart,
Tearing my heart to shreds.
The moon is full, the sky is sparkling,
Littered with specs of dazzling light,
Littered with moments of courage,
Covered with bits of hope.
The bed is cold and lonely,
The space next to me is empty,
The arms that kept me warm are gone,
The love I needed most has vanished.
The time is coming now,
The height of the night is here again,
And we will be back to the way we were,
Far from the chilling silences and the broken dreams. Please.
All we ever needed was each other,
And a bit of hope and daring.
I was the hope, you were the daring.
Apart we are nothing, together we were love.
We made one single promise,
One promise to last a lifetime,
One bond never meant to be broken,
A place for us to rest our heads:
We promised we would stay
And never stray to what we wanted,
And always be with each other,
Never give in to westward wind.
Now the howling of the wolves,
And the rustling of the screams that fill the spaces between the trees
And the ghost of a broken promise
Tear into my heart, my soul, my mind.
I don't want to be alone.