Alice Coltrane, your music brings something out of me,
something I keep buried.
As I lay on this bare mattress, humming along to “Turiya And Ramakrishna”
I ponder if you knew your legacy.
If during those last days in 2007, you ever thought your work could inspire poets of the next generation
or was that even a question lingering between your tempels?
Well as this pen dances to the melodies you wrote,
I think, and think
I wonder if my last hours will happen a year from now or a decade
or a month
or a week
And what will remain of my creations
Have I touched enough lives
Have I loved enough souls
Have I danced enough
I envy the sand devoured by oceans
because it’s simply moving on to its next life
I envy photographs because their moments last forever
I envy the tortoise’s shell
I envy the hourglass because its fate is no mystery
I envy those who do not envy
I envy the days before sundials
when days simply couldn’t fit onto paper squares
I...don’t want you to worry.
I am a spark
Finite but furious
bright, unstable, contagious
and capable of lighting your way before I fade
At least I hope.
I soar with the zephyrs on a daily basis
Will I ever reach the stars?
At the very least I can spend a day with the clouds I envy so much
and be thankful to see my kin rising to the ozone
We are a generation of generating art rather than splitting the world apart
We can find a plant called hope in a desert with no seeds
We need to add ourselves to one another and witness what higher numbers can achieve.
I mean this world isn’t just in our hands.
Its secrets are deeper, written in our palms
So I pray that when you hold one another
the truths of this world speak
whispering "Us, not I"
among other things
that make you welcome love as if it were a long, lost friend.
In that moment I was in my chair yet out of my body
somewhere in the sky’s gentle hair
in strands thick and stretching out past Neptune
I was gone
I was made of flesh yet not at all
my pores had pride pouring out
I sneezed out envy, coughed up anxiety
sadness left with a tear
anger was brushed off my beard
happiness followed the next breath away
and I was left with a soul in the shape of a poem
so it looked like…?
Nothing I could explain but I remained in a place of spiritual terrain
had telescopes where eyes should have been
I made my heart rise and the sun beat
I took a step into a step-less reason
stayed afloat for the next eight seasons
and came back slowly
descending into a cadaver that took its veins for granted
and resurrected a black body that was made as a result of gods needing a hobby
I was meditating.
And the world above awaits you too
if you seek it.
One day while on my front steps
under a Mars red sky
a child’s ball rolled into my foot
he retrieved it
and scurried back to his family in the distance
all in one swift breath
In that moment I said “no worries.”
But when I reminisce
about the times when I was in your Velcro kicks
what I really wanted to say
is that I hope they raise you to become a Phoenix.
I hope they teach you to rise from any ash beneath you
I hope they teach you to respect and feel blessed,
to never be the prey of jackals in men’s clothing
to know when life is the boxer or the ring
to know when life is the boat or the typhoon tide you must find a way to swim through
I hope they teach you never to treat a woman like something can be bought
I hope they teach you what LGBT means
I hope they teach you what BLM means
I hope they teach you what USA means and is
because at times those clash
I hope you never let the words of another mouth
enter your psyche and leave with your pride
I hope you never become a fan of mumble rap
I hope you appreciate real rap
I hope you never get dumped on your birthday
I hope you never learn what desperation feels like
and I sincerely hope that they teach you to care about what others face
and that growing older is the farthest thing from a race.
I find myself in your arms again and even though it’s silent, all I hear are rhapsodies
Beautiful compositions as you take my gentle disposition and wave it away with your finger
That touch is lethal
It turns the hardships into memory foam
caresses my spine like the kiss of anesthesia
So I beg for you to stay a while
Trying to connect our gaze, to remove your eyes from the door hinges
I can’t resist feeling that we belong
Just like guitar strums and callouses
Like injustice and protests
Like rose pedals and fantasies
I fantasize about a time where humans synthesize
Happiness into pills
So that pharmaceutical bills
Are the only thing between me and endless thrill
Yes, I know it’s late
Your heart can’t fit on your sleeve
So you wear it on those lips
With a shape that quickly deceives
You bring me to my knees
No word in the English language carried more weight than this request,
Whether it’s the Hulk lifting continents
Or Sisyphus fighting his consequence
Keep me warm in the bliss of your flame
The icicles dance in my glass
the sun’s as low as the eyelash in your gaze
- almost set -
and I feel that stare in my bones
from my temple to my tibia
You’d like to take a peak behind this aura
and see if the body it houses is one you’d hold dear
Open these walls,
Because I’m hoping you find a kindred spirit
I’m hoping you see I'm down to earth,
reach beneath my surface,
pick up a lodestone and find yourself magnetized
pick up a grin, borrow it on days that you need one.
But most of all I’m hoping you pick me up like a habit
And I promise I can take you places envied by your dreams.
Am I in the right headspace?
Do I travel the galaxies conjured by my thoughts just to end up in black holes?
I’m seeking epiphanies
You know, those elusive supernovas that defy even the eyes of gods
I claim to be rich in spirit, yes
Trying to measure my wealth with the hours I spend in the stratosphere
above every worry that injects my bones with the weight of 2 Earths-
the weight of a place that doesn’t want to ever wait
Yet it must
You can’t break a chrysalis and expect patterns on the wings
You’ll get misshapen kaleidoscopes
and fragmented isotopes
beings who’ve never climbed but will die trying to ascend ropes
Am I in the right headspace?
Is my consciousness a constellation waiting to take form?
What will be the shape?
I’ll never be strong enough to resemble the buckle on Orion’s belt
I’ll never be the mouth at the big dipper,
drunk on the secrets of the cosmos
I’d want to be the hands gripping Polaris
sharing light for the planets who only see a moon rise
Am I in the right headspace?
Because I’ve fallen into nebulas,
realms where humans stand on the heads of giants yet look no higher
I’ve seen flawed ideologies that challenge monuments with their size
I wonder what it’d take for us to realize that we could be immortals
free from the finite mentalities that stunt our growth from the very roots.
I’m here to taste your essence
let’s exchange souls for a while
it’s a fair trade
I can give you all or anything you need
I’m for sale, you get a discount
and if you aren’t satisfied
return me to my vessel within 30 days
because any longer will tether me to your tendons
and I don't want to feel your grins or your hurt
unless you intend to keep me,
broken pieces and all.
Smoke roars out of your mouth
but you’re no mythological creature
You’re muscle fibers and pure rage
as simple as the digits our leaders made you,
but only sometimes.
Other times your callous sigh calls to the poet in me
asking to decorate your voice with more ornaments than the first weddings
to celebrate your existence the way countries celebrate war victories
screams and pride, drinks and cries, stories beneath lies,
Because ***** needing a reason.
Because the moment is justification enough.
Inside a forest of my own making
where the vines are merciless and though dreams may die the evergreen awakens
I must be patient,
and follow the voice at my core
through these arches, roots, through the self-made distrust
that manifests as branches sharp enough to divide me
so I’m on guard like a sentinel
You think you’ve been starved of serenity
well I have a Chimera’s hunger and a sage’s mind
a lethal combination
and I'm killing more than time
I’m after my former self
since I need a rebirth and some revenge
because that man wasted centuries caught in vicious cycles
when the key to escape was right there between two temples.
You are my ginseng
another ingredient in my antidote:
this conjuring of awakenings and borrowed wisdom that I brew at night
In the cauldron I keep under the bed
next to the mug with your name
No one knows about it
except for you, me and whatever spirits may inhabit the room,
over me when … naught but a shadow befriends me
You see these sorrows of mine have me speaking in past tongues
back to times so historic, I need to be at the present with you at a time so euphoric
If only you could feel in a moment
what you make me feel daily
could your body even contain the glee?
You’d need 2 or 3 clones
AS I’ve said, you are my ginseng
a treatment prescribed to me by Karma herself
because the beatings and betrayals I’ve endured
ensured that my reward would be a love that made every nanosecond worth it
And I will make sure to take a dose
Dedicated to my love.
He sits on the roof
The sun drops and rises within the time it takes for a single smile to bend his adolescent cheekbones
The wind comes and goes, as affectionate as the lover he once had
in a dream.
Planets rotate and so do perspectives
His misery is truly ephemeral
Even though he may not know it yet.
— The End —