For a Partner in Crime

homework2.jpg

Don’t bother learning their interests,
don’t bother finding poetry in their eyes
or the boy in their laugh, for they will fade
like the rest and become another memory
you want to forget.

Not because they are objects, but for the
simple reason that you only braille, or
frail ink they wash off and the goodbye
towel to wipe away anything that was
ever confessed.

They are not your priest, they are not
a Holy box with butterfly walls, they are
merely a reflection of what you desire
and love, whatever it is, will be extinguished
after the heat cools.

Don’t be a fool, know he is a Jack to
jump over and never become the candle
stick; you are the flame and always
remember that, because to not have
confidence is to be snuffed.

Out of mind, out of sight, out of touch
with their five fingers is how you should
leave them, like a closed book without
a mark so they will be forced to find
the place where they left off.

Somewhere between the conversation
and the sheets, and if they don’t care
to find the hidden meaning in the pages
then they were never important; just an
asterisk to white out.

Some will pretend to be your biography,
the scandalous tell-all, a cup of tea and
the feathers on Hedda Hopper’s hat; they
were, after all, only a mouth to begin with
and an ear to bite.

But nobody knows the hidden bullet,
or why you even crawled into their
chamber in the first place, except for
you, of course, and your heavy gun you
aimed that blew them away.

That blast which swept them off their
feet and caused their toes to curl like
angel hair, and an empty hole like the
“O” in moan, where a heart was never
a heart but just a club.

An ace of spades that tell it like it is,
a message clearer than glacier water
or the sweat on their forehead, it lets them
know you can read their hand and
every card in the deck.

The king, the queen, the joker, they all
shuffle around and mix things up,
always showing up in all the places
you least expect to find them, such as
the diner, the party or in the pool.

And as a wise woman once told me,
one cannot un-pluck, just like it’s impossible
to un-die or un-smoke or un-speak, and
that once it has been done it is done;
however, you can understnand.

But there is one who sees what the blind cannot,
they leave fingerprints and see
beyond the motive and down to the core
where the diamond sparkles; this is
evidence you shouldn’t destroy.

Because they will defend you and turn
tables to find the answer, they will testify
in silence to the death while listening
to every reason and to them you are only
guilty until proven innocent.

The American Dream

I am a communist warlock in their eyes;
I ride my broom down highways and see
the warning signs stuck in the ground.

One will notice them on green lawns,
fertilized by dreams of a straight nation
and apple pies untouched by an immigrant.

This is the American dream, where those
who want to be heard are placed in boxes
and looked upon like screws and marbles.

On the floor beneath their big feet, they
are the tolerated: the ebony skinned,
the beautiful faces wrapped in a hijab.

The boys who love boys, the ghosts of
unborn babies which haunt them, the girls
on testosterone and proper commodes.

I am one of them, boiling in the American
dream; a fried egg on their big, black
pavement that lie before China and Russia.

Under the tar is a Native American burial
ground stretching from California to Florida;
perhaps that explains the curses.

The hombres burn their soles and swim
through rip currents just to see the headstones
and leave sugar skulls on top of where they rest.

Meanwhile, the children in the American
dream go door to door and collect candy
in smiling, plastic pumpkins.

Orange as a dictator, orange as the sun
burning eyes to blind crisps and black
as the lives of spirits that matter.

It is dead, my favorite holiday, drowned by
torrential rainfall and red, white and blue
fury in the palm of his hand.

A wicked X, star-branded, the evidence
when heritage was hate and the delusion that
Confederate soldiers will rise from the Earth.

To reverse time and put on a ghostly outfit
and burn the crucifixes; the narrow gap is
tighter than a noose hanging from the pine.

Every day in October shouldn’t feel like
July 4th, but only in such a patriotic realm
of poisoned sugarplums does it exist.

It’s dulled down my craft like a lead
pencil bubbling in a ballot and their fat,
sausage fingers have smudged it.

This is their American dream, where they
put words in Christ’s mouth and grab
black cats and skin them alive.

Where the good ol’ boy can be butter
thick and hard headed and drink from
the bigger cup while I get the smaller.

Filled with approval, filled with blessing,
petted like a dumb rabbit stuttering over
his nonsense for a bigger bigot.

A bigger gun, a bigger bullet, a bigger
truck, no Mexican and a wall for the
brain to close itself inside.

Religious freedom, discriminatory cakes,
tar heel stuck, a circus campaign on crack
and cocaine and absent seats at Thanksgiving.

Burned bridges to nowhere, fueled by
arrogance without gas, for they have drained
the tanks to fill their never-quenched engines.

Object to their ways and you are a terrorist, you
are painted dark and a walking perversion that
infects all morals like bacteria in a wound.

Garment for an African-American Girl

She works the midnight shift in a fog
thick as waffle batter and dark as
black coffee, only to wake up at six
to clean the schools
This girl sits outside on her smoke
breaks, takes a deep drag from a
menthol and exhales the anxieties
which kill us all.
Lives matter, mewling mouths which
beg to be fed, two children and two
jobs, it’s the struggle curled up inside
and slowly uncoils.
Her skin is polished with cocoa seeds,
her face untouched by centuries is
living proof immortality blesses those
crushed by a boot.
It was less than a hundred years ago
that her grandmother sipped water
from a fountain on the left, while ivory
was kept to the right.
The same goes for buses, restrooms,
diners, anything which had to be shared
was divided down the middle and
siphoned by the greater.
Believe it or not, when this girl is
naked and closes her eyes, she feels
the same way as if you were nude;
both freedom and shame.
And no matter where she goes
there is always someone who wants
to touch her hair and overstep
a common boundary.
It makes her feel like a walking
petting zoo, black sheep, a sideshow
attraction to be felt by ignorance
mistaken for admiration.
For beneath the wool is a
panther who wouldn’t hesitate
to claw out their leering eyes
and cut their tongues.
The Confederate flag, a waving
symbol. a wicked X, branded by stars
objects her heritage and she would
burn it given a chance.
Much like how the Ku Klux Klan
burns crucifixes on front lawns or
how the sun burns cotton fields
stretched for miles.
But just like her grandmother,
endurance is a strong trait she
inherited and it takes more than
privilege to do her in.
Nevertheless, this girl has felt
the same heartbreak promised by
a man, lived in love’s ruins and cried
for him in night.
A card dealer, whose deep voice
moved her soul, this girl has
melted at his feet and carried
this man’s ego.
Delicate as a press-on nail, easily
broken by counteractions, stripped
of armor and down on his knees
like a worshiper.
She has bared his children,
raised the flowers tall by watering
them with wisdom passed down
through gardening pails.
The matriarch’s sweat, tears,
and rain drops accumulated from all
the storms passed; tremendous,
clouds open for her.
Clarity, a gift rarely obtained,
it covers her like garments stitched
for Ala, the mother goddess of
the Ibo pantheon.
For she is strength, she is the
backbone, the rose petals fallen
and picked up by the wind and
carried through the seasons.

Hey God

I’ve come around again with this boulder
in my stomach, my bones rattling like an
earthquake and mind full of doom. You know,
the what ifs and maybes; they love to weigh
in on every second and minute.

The roads divided, lighting veins and split
hallways, it’s a merry-go-round of uncertainty
slowly prancing into a stampede. Full of
doubt, full of fear, a razor blade scratching
against a blackboard.

It’s in times such as these that I find myself
conversing with you, invisible monument,
big unknown, the candy clouds in stretched
baby blue. I’ve come to you as a child and
still echo to this very day.

Despite what the atheists say, that you’re flat,
lifeless, the contents of an alcoholic’s bottle,
I have never been able to bring myself to agree.
For I have chased it all down and been to Hell
black as near death.

I have brought myself up from the floor,
held the globe, tasted the acid in my mouth
and dragged myself like a cat struck by a car.
One time accidental, the other intentional;
however, without medication.

For I contemplated it, felt the coldness of a
belt buckle and romanticized greatly; only you
know that it wasn’t really serious. I did, however,
lock myself away to escape the world and died
inside a million times.

Sometimes I still die, just not as hard, when
I see those who worship you hold signs to keep
the dying dead, or when my mother questions if
I will be with her when it’s all said done and the
nerves become dry roots.

I wish you could tell her without being mute that
those who claim to have found the truth are
smoldering in their own hate. They rewrote your
book and painted your tongue red to have a reason
to speak.

And I will admit I am sometimes cross with you,
for it is inevitable for the scarred flesh to question
which cannot be seen. For instance, why did you
make my eyes and heart desire the torso of a man?

His appendages, his strong jaw and strong legs
supported by his feet; why must I gravitate around
him as a full moon bare? Pale, glowing, turning over
and moving tides gently with my deep, loving glare
sharper than an arrow.

Is it blasphemy to say I find sanctuary beneath
sheets and think about you after such a touch
has brought Heaven to Earth? Would it be wrong
to pretend you’re blind and non-existent when
I’ve unrolled myself?

Where is the line from always having you in
my heart and do you crumble along with it?
When his lips have connected with another and
my hands cover my face, are you still in my chest
or in my palms?

These are questions which have an answer but
can’t be heard, and the mere silence drives me off
a cliff where jagged stones come to meet. Again,
it kills me and I still walk and talk and carry my many
lives in a bag.

For it is something which must be done and no
church or pastor or deacon can ease the anvil
on my shoulders. Only you, my prized nickle,
my shiny drop of hope, the parts of me that
are still a blonde child.

Allow me to live, breathe happily, to flourish like
a hydrangea and move as the wind through
golden wheat fields. See me for my shutter of
mortality, keep me in your arms and as always,
amen, amen, amen.

Want

I want to meet a person who is identical, but physically different in all ways possible. But if opposites attract, will the one meant for me be the person in the mirror?
I want them to be a mail order edition, perfect, and clean; however, I also want to love everything that isn’t ideal. Down to their past horrors and fears I want to fall.
In the warm spot of a bed, I want to heal them like they would want to heal me, align the cracks and put the pieces back together. An open book for a body.
Mr. Who, Mr. What, and Mr. When will they accidentally come into my life, break the dawn and love the night. And will it be a loving mistake or will it go according to plan?
Will they reflect my flaws, or will I be a god in their eyes? Is it possible to be both at once? Can the do for me what I could never do for them?
Such as carry the child within, that big, blubbering baby and water the lilies who have clipped. Could he be the gardener or will he teach me to grow?
Will they see that I am not selfish and that I have an entire planet to give? I want to know if they want to know what I would do for them, And would it be worth the effort?
I want press our bodies together, conjoin separate realities, and meet them on the other side of the fence. Sometimes I wonder if the grass will be dried up, dead.
Or will it emerald beneath a blanket of snow? When melts away, can my apple endure a monsoon and see there is an eye to let in light? Or will there blind to darker days?

November, 26, 2015

The Poet’s Curse (timed writing / ten minutes)

Madness spun like a string on a thumb growing tighter and cutting off circulation, or a spider web crafted, sometimes it’s torn and sometimes it’s the perfect snare.

Frustration, constantly critiquing their every move and sentence and word. There is even a struggle between what is too arrogant and what is too humble.

They often times stumble down, mumble in the morning and grow weary of every question. A true poet hates the title, for it makes them feel superior inside a shell.

Hell, it’s a place where typos haunt them, full of English teachers and multiple fun house mirrors. If only there were a way to erase the pretentious eighteen.

The angst, the edge, the eye roll; it’s a reminder that growing pains can drive one insane, and without evolution there would always be Billy Blue or Suzie Q.

Nevertheless, a former student’s naivety always comes back like a boomerang or a rumor passed along over bummed cigarettes and the hardest question one can ask:

“Will you read this? Can you tell me what you think?” Because even the most precious words come with a cringe, a finger on the self-destruct button and an apology.

There’s always a bullet traveling in the dark, it can either miss or go straight to the heart; even when the bull’s eye plucked, there is the shadow of soot on the wall.

And poets even hate other poets, because they know it will either be worse or better. The latter comes from admiration, for people tend to destroy what they love.

It’s a dragging duty, really, to sacrifice sand without the ability to flip the hourglass, and their turmoil can be truly felt until they can no longer write.

Perfection

I believe if I ever found it, they would try and destroy it, because even the smallest dream held like a pebble in my hand isn’t safe from the cruelest of erosion.

I also think if I discovered the seven seas in his eyes and deep currents under the gaze, a person dressed as Moses would divide it down the middle.

The lessons I’ve learned is that for every butterfly is a ginormous child with a jar who is ready to close the lid and prevent precious moments from fluttering my way.

But, of course, the container is transparent and I can see it scatter around and try to escape, only it’s me who suffocates from such tireless efforts.

For I am too aware to give them the benefit, but not strong enough to deal with every break and bust of waves that say goodbye, and letting go seems impossible.

And my endless search for perfection leaves me flawed and cracked beneath their boot, like frigid ice or eggshells thrown about the linoleum floor.

Sometimes the things I desire end up broken, or is it the wretched who are drawn to me? As moths to a dull flame or ghosts to a medium guiding misdirection.

With screws screwed over and instability mistaken for flamboyance, they, too, crave that life can fall into place and not pour off the sides of bar top plateaus flat as beer.

It never fails, heads or tails, two sides of a coin dropped down a well and all surprises become bleak in the horizon where the sun sets and rises again and again.

Even in the mirror I see a conquest which always seems out of reach, because no matter how much one changes gravity is evident and goals become more difficult.

Sometimes I wonder if really there is anything to destroy, because what if perfection doesn’t exist? Of course we’re fat and pale and wired by tablets prescribed.

But there has to be a place where folded arms open and vulnerability unravels like scrolls with written hearts on the soul traveling through the universe.

There has to be a destination in which somebody tells you that you’re perfect, regardless of imperfections taking up every single doomed threshold.

Perhaps I can acquire this fantasy in a purple desert lying horizontal below tiger-orange skies inside my own solitude and silent sounds.

And the realization hits all at once, for it was already in me and every animal on the Earth’s blemished face, a little bird trapped in my rib cage.

So I’ve stopped looking for perfection and now pray someone will notice it flying around within my nestled, wandering spirit.