You'll love her with all your skin, tongue and lungs.
The way that the air is just so much more crisp whenever she's in proximity to your hands.
It turns the scattered dust in the atmosphere into magnifying glasses
Aimed directly at her
Spotlighting everything you wish you could put into words but can't
Because she's just too fucking unbelievable
That even if you tried, you would offend yourself and the gods with how little it compares to
The love she makes you feel in reality.
You would do everything for her.
Hold her until your bones start to crack
So that she'll understand just what you mean
When you tell her that you'll never let her go.
But she still doesn't get it.
She'll never understand that when you tell her that you want nothing more
Than to let your dust be her dust, her words to be in your cheeks
Her nose to be your daughters nose
You mean that you want nothing more than to keep her forever.
But you never will.
Because you never stood a chance.
You thought that by giving your whole self over to her she would offer you the same respect.
That's not how this world works.
It never was.
These valiant efforts of yours are now dubbed selfish and inconsiderate by others
For not taking her feelings into account.
Because she doesn't know what true love is.
She never felt the need to have you near.
For her daughters smile to be your smile.
For your hands to cradle her head when she's sad.
To let you talk for hours without listening to a single goddamn word you're saying,
Because she's lost in the sound of your voice.
Because she doesn't know how to accept anything she isn't willing to give.
A piece of you
The bitter words in your mouth
Too raw to speak
A poet is
Someone in pain
And someone in love
Someone who looks at the world
Through a kaleidoscope
Who takes a magnifying glass to each
Word you say
And lets them imprint on their heart
A poet is
A star gazer
A chaser of
But hopes anyway
A poet is
Tissue paper skin
A heart of glass
And a soul of titanium
A poet is
A sharp tongue
And a gentle kiss
She is a sob
He is a sigh
A poet is
The sun at midnight
But cloaked in a darkness
They cannot shake
The brightest day
And the darkest night
A poet is
The human experience
A poet is
To stop wearing their heart on their sleeve
No matter how much it bleeds
But rolls them up
So you can’t see
The blood stains
All of you were my whole existence
My life line – my sanity
You didn't know my inner world
I may have spoken of dancing
Wanting to stand on mountain tops
You put me high on a golden pedestal
“You can do anything!” you said with admiration
I wasn't the one you believed me to be
I wasn't your savior or your superhero
Inside my fears were magnifying
Like a bubble that would burst
A ticking time bomb
Nothing to hold on to
Rolling down hill
Faster and faster
Scratches, cuts and bruises
Black and blue
Inside and out
I was never coming back
but I am still here
...terrified you won’t like me anymore...
The heart flutters,
It's pulses intensifying,
the state of frenzy it's in.
The mind whirs,
It's cogs turning in abandon,
and yet delicately
Searching for an essence of normalcy
and all the while;
I've uttered no two words
For I am lost in the
of the mind,
my fragmented self.
Tiger, Tiger they all called him.
Faces marked with smiles grim.
Office buzzed with word tiger, tiger.
He was one but many they were.
Full day continued insincere flattery.
End of month 'twas, day for salary.
Then story took melodramatic turn.
Like tiger he moved, demeanor stern.
Outright he announced party that night.
Everyone attended in clothes bright.
They gossiped, danced and dined.
Happily they all boozed and wined.
He sat like a tiger circled by coterie;
And the total bill was half the salary.
I looked through magnifying glass;
And saw pack of wolves and an ass.
I wear the letters NYU sprawled across my chest as my individuality is asphyxiated.
Lungs choke under the weight of the added pressure.
The thought of college plus my complexion,
Equals complexed looks that ponder my intellectually-heightened direction.
Will you think a little bit more of me, with my conformity?
Attempts to better myself meet enough ignorance to even cloud the vision of God.
Segregation and alienation cause mental spasms the strength of lightening rods.
I guess you're just a product of the environment to which you were exposed.
But I'm always trying to fight the stereotype that black people are ultimately foes.
I am the ant and the kids of rich parents are magnifying glasses.
Cremating me with the solar power of son's who were taught that their existence was worth more than mine.
I lay motionless, in bottomless quick sand pits, itching to alleviate my stomach stitch, engulfed by set standards that could not be met.
I am tired of trying to be what you'd like to see.
Astute, respectable, young black man-just so you can approve of me and hopefully think that we are not all "up to no good."
Say it loud, I'm black
Not going to lie,
The proud part is kinda hard to say.
Because I walk down the street and see my face in the homeless everyday.
I fill the prisons and I'm famous when the news reports crime.
And when I show up early to interviews,
they look confused to see that I,
Don’t run on Colored People's Time.
I don't hate black but I hate the fact that black means that sometimes I have to find alternate routes to success.
While other people's roads are already paved, I suffer from all the stress.
I try my best but I'm always categorized as less, then a man.
And I'm trying to change perceptions but I still feel like a visitor on American land
And the poor are physically trapped so I relate mentally.
We both suffer from the oppression and accept the hatred like it was meant to be.
Society has led you to believe that blacks are not worthy of equality
But take a long, hard look into my eyes and tell me that you don’t see my humanity.
there are so many places to hide,
in my home at 17th and South screaming death threats at my roommates laughing diabolically playing videogames and Jeopardy cooking quinoa stretching canvas the dog going mad frothing lunging spastic to get the monkeys or the wookies or whatever random commandments we issue forth drunken while Schlock rampages the backdrop,
at my uncle's row house on 22nd and Wallace with my shoes off freezing skipping class to watch March Madness unwrapping waxpaper hoagies grimacing with each sip of Cherrywine or creamsicle soda reading chapters at my leisure,
in the stacks among fiberglass and eternal florescent lima-tiled and echo-prone red-eyed and white-faced caked with asbestos and headphones exhuming ossified pages from layers of cosmic dust presiding benevolent,
in University City disguised in nothing but a name infiltrating Penn club soccer getting caught after scoring yet still invited to the pure vomit joy of hell and heaven house parties of ice luge jungle juice kegstand coke politic networking,
at Drexel's nightlit astroturf with the Jamaicans rolling blunts on the sidelines playing soccer floating in slo-mo through billows of purple till the early morning or basketball at Penn against goggle- eyed professors in kneepads and copious sweat,
in the shadow tunnels behind Franklin Field always late night loner overlooking rust belt rails abandoned to an absent tempo till tomorrow never looking behind me in the fear that someone is there,
at Phillies Stadium on glorious summer Tuesdays for dollar dog night laden with algebra geometry and physics purposely forgetting to apply ballistics to the majestic arc of a home run or in the frozen subway steam selling F.U. T.O. t-shirts to Eagles fans gnashing when the Cowboys come to town,
at 17th and Sansom in the morning bounding from Little Pete's scrambled eggs toast and black coffee studying in the Spring thinking All is Full of Love in my ears leaving fog pollen footprints on the smoking cement blooming,
at the Shambhala Center with dharma lotus dripping from heels soaking rosewater insides thrumming to the groan of meditation,
at the Art Museum Greco-fleshed and ponderous counting tourists running the Rocky steps staring into shoji screen tatame teahouses,
at the Lebanese place plunked boldly in Reading Terminal Market buying hummus bumping past the Polish and Irish on my way to the Amish with their wheelwagons packed with pretzels and honey and chocolate and tea,
at the motheaten thrift store on North Broad buried under sad accumulations of ramshackle clothing clowning ridiculous in the dim squinting at coathangers through magnifying glasses and mudflat leather hoping to salvage something insane,
in the brown catacombed warrens of gutted Subterranea trying unsuccessfully to ignore bearded medicine
men adorned with shaman shell necklaces hawking incense bootlegs and broken Zippos halting conversation to listen pensive to the displacement of air after each train hurtles by,
at 30th Street Station cathedral sitting dwarfed by columns Herculean in their ascent and golden light thunderclap whirligig wings on high circling the luminous waiting sprawled nascent on stringwood pews,
at the Masonic Temple next to City Hall, pretending to be a tourist all the while hoping scouring for clues in the cryptic grand architect apocrypha to expose global conspiracies,
at the Trocadero Electric Factory TLA Khyber Unitarian Church dungeon breaking my neck to basso perfecto glitch kick drums with a giant's foot stampeding breakbeat holographic mind-boggled hole-in-the-skull intonations,
at the Medusa Lounge Tritone Bob and Barbara's Silk City et cetera with a pitcher a pounder of Pabst and a shot of Jim Beam glowing in the dark at the foosball table disco ball bopstepping to hip hop and jazz and accordions and piano and vinyl,
in gray Fishtown at Gino's recording rap holding pizza debates on the ethics of sampling anything by David Axelrod rattling tambourines and smiles at the Russian shopgirl downstairs still chained to soul record crackles of antiquity spiraling from windows above,
at Sam Doom's on 12th and Spring Garden crafting friendship in greenhouse egg crate foam closets breaking to scrutinize cinema and celebrate Thanksgiving blessed by holy chef Kronick,
in the company of Emily all over or in Kohn's Antiques salvaging for consanguinity and quirky heirlooms discussing mortality and cancer and celestial funk chord blues as a cosmological constant and communism and Cuba over mango brown rice plantains baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies,
in a Coca Cola truck riding shotgun hot as hell hungover below the raging Kensington El at 6 AM nodding soft to the teamsters' curses the snagglesouled destitute crawling forth poisoned from sheet-metal shanty cardboard box projects this is not desolate,
at the impound lot yet again accusing tow trucks of false pretext paying up sheepish swearing I'll have my revenge,
in the afterhour streets practicing trashcan kung fu and cinder block shotput shouting sauvage operatic at tattooed bike messenger tribesmen pitstopped at the food trucks,
in the embrace of those I don't love the names sometimes rush at me drowned and I pray to myself for asylum,
in the ciphers I host always at least 8 emcee lyric clerics summoning elemental until every pore ruptures and their eyes erupt furious forever the profound voice of dreadlocked Will still haunting stray bullet shuffles six years later,
in the caldera of Center City with everyone craning our skulls skyward past the stepped skyscrapers beaming ear-to-ear welcoming acid sun rain melting maddeningly to reconstitute as concrete rubber steel glass glowing nymphs,
in Philadelphia where every angle is accounted for and every megawatt careers into every throbbing wall where Art is a mirror universe for every event ever volleyed through the neurons of History,
in Philadelphia of so many places to hide I am altogether as a funnel cloud frenetic roiling imbuing every corner sanctum sanctorum with jackhammer electromagnetism quivering current realizing stupefied I have failed so utterly wonderful human for in seeking to hide I have found
A TERM OF ENDEARMENT.....
As a little girl my girl friends dad
Called me BIRDBRAIN....
And that never bothered me.
I knew it was a term of endearment.
Of course back then I didn't know
What endearment meant.
But I knew he was kidding...
His house was the fun house
Of the neighborhood.
His wife was an angel.
We had taffy pulls,
Mrs G made popcorn balls,
And lined up chairs
In front of the television
So we kids could watch
with a big bubble magnifying glass
And she served us bowls of popcorn.
Always something to do....
I went to the quarry one time with them
Looking for fancy rocks....
Mr. G, Mr. G is this a good one?
No Birdbrain, it's just sandstone...
He was a fancy rock collector...
The name Birdbrain was so special to me...
A name which was spoken with
I'm sure of that.....
Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
I'm no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind's hand.
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.
Sweetheart silent killer manifests all inside my mind,
The moon’s a magnifying glass as it rises in the sky.
At 2 a.m. it giggles, a thick knife in its teeth,
And drops it down into my head as I lie underneath.
The glass I keep so carefully to remain erect in the day,
Shatters and releases a burning, breathing self-assay.
A kaleidoscope catoptric, all frets out in the free,
A band of thought-filled thieves invade to steal my sleep from me.
Tossing and turning beneath the stars, I’ll wait til I burn out,
At night my brain is flooding and in daylight there’s a drought.
Lullaby myself with tears, wake up way too late,
Stuck as an insomniac, suicide’s sweet bait.
I wish I was an autumn leaf, I’d float into the sky,
And every fall I’d have the opportunity to die.
I don’t want to die, I just want to dream,
Instead of replaying my sick realities that make me want to scream.
But this will still all stay the same as my brain and blood run white,
I’ll feed myself with Satan’s sugar, the depressed primrose of the night.