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Anjana Rao May 2020
Baltimore
this is a love poem.

Baltimore
this is a break up poem.

Baltimore,
I remember
when I first
fell in love with you.

It was 2012
I wandered around the city
taking ****** pictures of street art.
Took free public transit.
Spent the afternoon
at the old, old red Emma's
back when it wasn't bougie.

Baltimore
I knew what you were
but I couldn't help it,
I fell in love.

Baltimore
I remember courting you,
thinking maybe I could call you
Home.

You
Greatest City in America
you
both
gentrified
and
run down
all at once.

In 2014
you held me
through my numbed out days,
through my drunken nights.

You
with your ****** transportation
that might or might not arrive.

You
with your gentrified Hampden
where I once heard a white man say he felt
"So safe."

You
with your burnt out building I climbed
with a girl
who'd one day leave me behind.

You
with your street cats,
street rats.

You
with the Royal Farms
that sold cheap Mikes Hards.

I could barely love myself,
but
I still loved you.

Baltimore,
I need you to know
that I will always care for you,
but somewhere along the way
something broke in me.

Baltimore,
you held me then,
still hold me even now,
but it's getting time
for me to move on.

It's not you,
it's me.

My restlessness,
my ungratefulness,
of what you've done for me.
My inability to value
potential stability,
potential community.

It's not me,
it's you.

It's all the same with you,
same scene,
same bars,
same parties.

Baltimore,
I love you,
I really do.

Baltimore,
I'm sorry,
but we need to take a break

long-term.

Need to start seeing
other people.

Don't cry,
it's better this way.

And besides,
you're not,
could never truly be
home.

Baltimore
this is a love poem.

Baltimore
this is a break up poem.

Baltimore,
maybe one day
when the dust settles
we can be friends.

But for now,
I need to leave.

I love you.

Good bye.
Written February 4, 2020
as rinku hf Jan 2015
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Girard Tournesol Mar 2019
I'd heard about problems with police
hard to hear harder to believe
personally I never had a problem
oh a few well deserved speeding tickets
probably cut a break no definitely
I drove very fast especially in the turns
roll-the-tires fast in the turns
that was me

and the more I heard the faster I turned

as a young kid I applied and was accepted
to six colleges six for six piece of cake
why the stress my SAT score equated
to an I.Q. of 1 above plant life
accepted open arms those WASPs loved me
graduate school one for one
      best in the country
bar none MBA with honors that was easy
they called it the golden passport yes

passports are even faster

I never had problems
   with band-aids
       the bank
the insurance company
      the healthcare system
never turned down
      for a credit card car loan
life insurance policy
      or request for a specialist
experience is the best teacher
      and the more I learned
the less I wanted to know
      and the faster I turned

then I learned
   about certain specifics
      certain policies

with regard to traffic stops
bank loans rental property
heath care voting rights marriage
read the color purple
and then that invaluable government  
       syphilis experiment
that would have been inconceivable
       even to doctor mengele
that the star spangled banner
       has more than one stanza?  
really there were four stanzas?

MY country ‘tis of ME
      and it was making me feel *****

learned that no one
      voluntarily held that flag up
that hellish night
      o’er the ramparts WE watched
as slave and freedmen
              were ordered
      to their near certain death
with the threat of absolute
      certain death

then I watched a cop
       shoot a kid in the back
              in cold blood
near a merry-go-round
on a playground
in baltimore maryland
I liked baltimore
fast very fast he emptied the 10 round clip
of a semi-automatic 9mm Glock 27
into THAT kid's back no hesitation ******

baltimore baltimore baltimore baltimore

I hit the brakes hard
      on those fast decades and decades
generations generations generations
      of turning
I slowed down way way way down
      stopped
took a deep deep deeper breath
then did what I always did and do best
I turned turned turned I turned around
and as I turned I woke
to kneel
be more than words

> As published in North/South Literary Canon
preservationman May 2014
Come with me for a ride
Don’t even try to hide
It’s going to be a weekend getaway
Destination being Baltimore all the way
It will be the highway and us
Seeing Baltimore is a must
I am staying at my Uncle’s house
I am not married and have no spouse
My cousin drove his motorcycle
He wanted to take me for a ride
So I actually rode with my Cousin on his motorcycle
We rode through Downtown Baltimore and back
I was capturing a breeze through the helmet
Observing the crazy drivers attempting to drive
Then there was some with their mind in there own strive
I arrived back at my Uncle’s house in tack
Baltimore was fund and the weekend was young.
Priya Devi May 2015
While they sit and watch comfortably,
Baltimore burns.

They use dollars as tinder and the starving and hysterical ancient scream of: 'help us', is nothing but black noise to them,

They sit and watch you like ally rats running riot bruising your own city.

Baltimore.

Hear me when I say
You have every right to be angry.

You have the right to want better for yourself
To not be pulled over for the crime of having a nice car and skin that matches the leather
To have a 'black sounding name' and still have a chance in getting a white collar job
To be represented as humans and not savages.  
To be emancipated from the steel eagle claws of the media.
To not be abducted, beaten, publicly shamed or killed by the police.

Baltimore I hear your crying
I feel your pain like 6 'warning' shots to the back.

One day it's MLK.
One day it's Trayvon.
One day it's Freddie.
Executed by the state without a word of repent,
without a snippet of change.
It's been this way for as long as we can remember
and they can't seem to forget that they were never better than you.

There are only men with anger
and then men with authority.

While the rich live in their charm and picket fences, they let the poor decay
in dens and gangs with **** poor education and no chance at all.

I can't offer you arms, but I can offer you heart.

Baltimore;

I feel your pain
But don't be their slaves.

Don't let them turn you into monsters on the streets

Don't let them say: this is what they're like.

Don't let them play chess with your city.

Because this is no more than a game to them.

Don't back down,
Play them back.

Win the freedom and equality you should have been granted in 1863, in 1954, 1960.

Scrap that.

The day you were born.
Renata Jackson Jul 2011
Back in Baltimore
That was the real days
Every week, all the heat went by in a haze
When the bell rings, we’re hoppin' on the train
Lookin’ at all the feins and that's a **** shame
But they’re not on the brain

Back in B-more.

Cuz back in Baltimore, that **** was *******,
Even through all the gore, we still cherish it...
We want some more. We want some more.

Now, I'm sittin’ on my stoop,
Waitin' on some dude,
To come buy me a ring
Or pass me some of that tree.
And the humidity, nah it doesn’t bother me,
Me and the girls, we’re still hittin' up the Gallery

Inner harbor, Lexington Market, and all the jocks
They just want the junk, they’re all clowns, they’re all punks
But we got just what they want.

Now it's calm, we're on our way home
This day was the bomb, we're dialin' all our phones
Let's gossip 'bout our day
And hope these days don’t ever fade away.

Cuz, back in Baltimore, that **** was *******,
Even thru all the gore, we still cherish it...
We want some more.  We want some more.
Anjana Rao May 2020
I tell myself,
no more.
I will not see you again,
I am done, done, done.

Yet,
I find myself driving to you
that same night
with the flimsiest excuse.

Baltimore
you are an ex
I can't quite get over.

I keep remembering
the good times,
and I can't let you go.

We say,
let's be friends,

but
when we see each other
we never say anything
important.

Baltimore
I say
no more,
but I keep coming back to you,
and you,

these days,
you're indifferent.

We have one night stands
where no one comes
and I slink away early in the morning.

There is no coffee,
no breakfast,
no romance,
no anything at all.

Baltimore,
we're a habit
I don't know how to break.

Baltimore
I don't know
what I want from you,
what I need from you,
I just know
I won't get it.

Still,
I keep coming back,
keep hoping
one day you'll feel like home.

But Baltimore,
I know better,
and anyway,
don't you know?

Exes
can't be friends.
Written March 4, 2020
michelle reicks May 2015
when will these cops learn
that their hard work means nothing
when the curtain falls upon Baltimore
and the frightening dark sky washes upon us

when will these people learn that they are powerless
that the system isn't broke,
that we're the ones that are broke.
and that means the system is working

when will these people learn
that black means criminal
and white means

God
When will these people learn that

wait, they can't learn
because the schools have been shut down
but that's okay
'cause the new light rail train was built and
it runs from north minneapolis to the prison

when will they learn that
Freddie Gray is Ferguson
and Mike Brown is Baltimore
and our sons are alive, but they're not living

when will we learn that diversity means nothing
if there is not first liberation
when voices are silenced,
they lose more than their right to speak

when will they realize that
riots
are
justified
Tuana Feb 2016
A single day contained so many Journeys and the Stories
as if they were meant to meet.

And Baltimore,
you were the humble host
of all the Reunions.

Belgium,
Filling our stomachs and the time apart
Memories came to life and we smiled — Together

Sydney,
Talking to random seagulls between our conversations
I found a feather given by a fearsome friend

Geneva,
Learning how to pronounce a foreign word— Affogato
I imagined this is how life should taste

Yokohama,
Making fun of the sushi places hidden in the brick walls
My heart secretly traveled back home

Istanbul,
Discovering the colorful lamps
I thanked for kindnesses sent from different directions

Unexpectedly,
All the journeys took us back to the 5th grade,
picking up our favorites at a candy shop
— and I promised never to follow any strangers!

Baltimore,
You’ve taught me how it feels to grow up.
not being somebody else,
but sowing seeds in our moments,
good days and bad days,
— just like we gave a name and fell in Love
with every single corner of the Town.

Baltimore,
Let’s do it again.
(c)Tuana
Allen Ginsberg  Jun 2009
Howl
For
              Carl Solomon

                   I

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
      madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the ***** streets at dawn
      looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
      connection to the starry dynamo in the machin-
      ery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat
      up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
      cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
      contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and
      saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene-
      ment roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
      hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
      among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy &
      publishing obscene odes on the windows of the
      skull,
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burn-
      ing their money in wastebaskets and listening
      to the Terror through the wall,
who got busted in their ***** beards returning through
      Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in
      Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their
      torsos night after night
with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, al-
      cohol and **** and endless *****,
incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and
      lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of
      Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the mo-
      tionless world of Time between,
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery
      dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops,
      storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon
      blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree
      vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brook-
      lyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
who chained themselves to subways for the endless
      ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine
      until the noise of wheels and children brought
      them down shuddering mouth-wracked and
      battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance
      in the drear light of Zoo,
who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's
      floated out and sat through the stale beer after
      noon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack
      of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,
who talked continuously seventy hours from park to
      pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brook-
      lyn Bridge,
lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping
      down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills
      off Empire State out of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts
      and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks
      and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days
      and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the
      Synagogue cast on the pavement,
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a
      trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic
      City Hall,
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind-
      ings and migraines of China under junk-with-
      drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,
who wandered around and around at midnight in the
      railroad yard wondering where to go, and went,
      leaving no broken hearts,
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing
      through snow toward lonesome farms in grand-
      father night,
who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telep-
      athy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos in-
      stinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,
who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking vis-
      ionary indian angels who were visionary indian
      angels,
who thought they were only mad when Baltimore
      gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Okla-
      homa on the impulse of winter midnight street
      light smalltown rain,
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston
      seeking jazz or *** or soup, and followed the
      brilliant Spaniard to converse about America
      and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship
      to Africa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving
      behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees
      and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fire
      place Chicago,
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the
      F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist
      eyes **** in their dark skin passing out incom-
      prehensible leaflets,
who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting
      the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union
      Square weeping and ******* while the sirens
      of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed
      down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also
      wailed,
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked
      and trembling before the machinery of other
      skeletons,
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight
      in policecars for committing no crime but their
      own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who howled on their knees in the subway and were
      dragged off the roof waving genitals and manu-
      scripts,
who let themselves be ****** in the *** by saintly
      motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim,
      the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean
      love,
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose
      gardens and the grass of public parks and
      cemeteries scattering their ***** freely to
      whomever come who may,
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up
      with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath
      when the blond & naked angel came to pierce
      them with a sword,
who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate
      the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar
      the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb
      and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but
      sit on her *** and snip the intellectual golden
      threads of the craftsman's loom,
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of
      beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a can-
      dle and fell off the bed, and continued along
      the floor and down the hall and ended fainting
      on the wall with a vision of ultimate **** and
      come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling
      in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning
      but prepared to sweeten the ****** of the sun
      rise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked
      in the lake,
who went out ******* through Colorado in myriad
      stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these
      poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver--joy
      to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls
      in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses'
      rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with
      gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely pet-
      ticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station
      solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in
      dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and
      picked themselves up out of basements hung
      over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third
      Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemploy-
      ment offices,
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on
      the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the
      East River to open to a room full of steamheat
      and *****,
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment
      cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime
      blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall
      be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested
      the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of
      Bowery,
who wept at the romance of the streets with their
      pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the
      bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in
      their lofts,
who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned
      with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded
      by orange crates of theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty
      incantations which in the yellow morning were
      stanzas of gibberish,
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht
      & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable
      kingdom,
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for
      an egg,
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot
      for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks
      fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccess-
      fully, gave up and were forced to open antique
      stores where they thought they were growing
      old and cried,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits
      on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse
      & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments
      of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the
      fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinis-
      ter intelligent editors, or were run down by the
      drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,
who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually hap-
      pened and walked away unknown and forgotten
      into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley
      ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of
      the subway window, jumped in the filthy Pas-
      saic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street,
      danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed
      phonograph records of nostalgic European
      1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and
      threw up groaning into the ****** toilet, moans
      in their ears and the blast of colossal steam
      whistles,
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying
      to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude
      watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out
      if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had
      a vision to find out Eternity,
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who
      came back to Denver & waited in vain, who
      watched over Denver & brooded & loned in
      Denver and finally went away to find out the
      Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying
      for each other's salvation and light and *******,
      until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for
      impossible criminals with golden heads and the
      charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet
      blues to Alcatraz,
who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky
   &nb

— The End —