Down by the river I sat in silence to pray.
I asked it to carry me away
Curious where it would end
Over and over
I begged it to flood
too scared to willingly get in.
Questions I ask myself at 2 in the morning.
Memphis got real high in the 50's.
Those honeycomb bathroom floors decided to become streets
them city kids got the buy bug knocking at their knees.
Problem is: They never dream.
Teachers just learning to write
using pens filled with interrupting ink
telephone poles gossiping about the trees,
they hated their branches—always loosing their leaves
office administrators on Section 8 Housing
while the vacant houses are out on the streets.
People swarming the sewers
forgetting: a bomb shelter is no home
while drainage floods the alleys.
If you could see this place with your own eyes
and not the ones you bought at the drug store
you would wish you were blind.
The word 'loosing' is intentional.
So I sat here writing a letter,
trying to recall events like the weather,
why red and blue have been fighting forever,
the kid in the newspaper with some new fever,
or that house that set itself on fire.
I wrote off the lines and on the back of the page
about a mother and father who abandoned their children,
a street that went up in a riot,
the telephone poles and the trees,
pipelines and the sewers, and their eventual decay.
I wrote, “Will you marry me,” one thousand times
Then I wrote, “I don't love you anymore,” one thousand and one.
I sat here
and I wrote a book that wasn't long enough
it couldn't explain the things I wanted to say.
An AK-47 sent through the mail.
The tower that fell with no plane.
Flower sales and drive-by’s,
what really happened to JFK?
Why wasn't it **** Cheney?
But I barely wrote half of what I could think.
A declaration of war, like it's a game.
I sat here, alone with my 90 degree angles
every night is a race to the bottom of the glass.
A prisoner to my own mind
which I cannot escape.
I come with an empty bottle guarantee
Take all of me.
If you're not happy with what you received
send me back empty
no questions asked.
And I'll return all our memories.
Eating hot dogs in D.C.
Late night breaks at truck stops
during our 28 hour round trip to see what made me.
You can play me like a violin
or use me to wipe your tears away.
If I am out of tune
or if I'm not absorbent enough
send me back used.
Treat me like a balloon
I'll be there when your kidneys fail
with a message of hope just for you.
But if that is not enough
send me back deflated.
I'll pay the postage.
Unfortunately, if you order now
I come with nothing else.
Just me, and what you see.
If I don't fill you up
send me back empty
and I'll return all our memories.
It's all about
like that elementary school kid
“I will not do drugs, I will not do drugs, I will not do drugs”
you see him
strung out on the corner of 28th and Franklin.
preaching his anguish
on a cardboard sign
that he wrote
all by himself.
I hate meeting new people.
I hate meeting new people and wondering if the last thing I said to them was the last thing I will ever say to them.
Here it goes again.
Another poem to describe how useless I am.
How tattered my soul is.
How my brain resembles my hands,
callused, numb, and broken dry skin.
I'm a terrible person.
Self indulgent and full of sin.
And here it goes again.
In the mirror I see nothing.
A big steaming pile of nothing.
Full of wasted dreams, 'what ifs' and 'one days.'
The **** that I write never comes out right.
The **** that I dream is just that:
a big steaming pile of nothing.
Here it goes again.
As if I am something.
But I can't get past how useless I am.
A speck in this cosmic dust cloud.
And here I go again, thinking I am a tornado.
How I will crush your dream home
and leave behind a big steaming pile of debris.
Here I go again,
thinking I am nothing.
When really, I am something.
I am a speck in this cosmic cloud,
without me that tornado wouldn't be.