2020 #22

Dark cloud

Coming up

Thunder rattles

These

Dead bones

But the flesh,just won’t grow ….

——

Hear the voice of god

He’s smoking a cigarette.

Says there’s not much time left

My guardian angel

She says

Some things are too hot to touch

——

These days are numbered

I used to care

But

Feelings change

——

You can win

You can lose

But you can’t can’t change

What won’t bend and what won’t grow

I used to —-

Well ,

You know.

2020 #21

James Baldwin

I keep having dreams that James Baldwin is here. In my kitchen, writing. And smoking. We talk all night. They are very linear. Picking up where the other leaves off. As if he is aware.

Maybe it is…because I will be 31 and I still haven’t found how to deal with 30…

He says it’s because I see him.

I think it is this unsettling feeling I get when I see social media jump. Businesses jump. It’s as if everyone is patting black Americans on the back. Saying “there there.” But still, not seeing them or acknowledging that they exist.

I’ve been reading James Baldwin for years. I couldn’t find his books at my local library so I had to buy them.

I see everyone sharing quotes from him and others…but I doubt they’ve ever read. Really, read their bodies of work.

In my dream. He smiles and asks me how I felt during the early days of the pandemic. When everyone was praising frontline workers.

It didn’t feel authentic. It felt like a mob mentality…

He shrugs. Very well. There you have it.

I think, and I might be wrong.

We are here…dealing with something different.

But, when I step back. And I look at the whole experience of 2020

We have something else here

Racism, yes. Conspiracy theories? No. That’s a very privileged point of view…

As if to say “darling, you’re not having this experience, someone must be trying to destroy America.”

We have no sense of self. We have no boundaries. We are entitled. Selfish. Yes, but we have no real understanding of ourselves.

We’ve been spoon fed this ideal about reality. Profit. But no real understanding.

Yes, you can live a life unlike no other.

But we are still not happy.

We have no sense of self. No boundaries.

when our neighbors house catches on fire we set ours on fire. We don’t understand where we begin and end. Boundaries. Every single week there is something else we are running towards.

Where is the real goal? What will you do if you get what you want?

What do you want?

Black Americans

LGBTQ

The women’s movement

These things are real American lives

They exist

Their experiences are real

Daily

They are more than political movements

They are more than flags

They are not profit agendas

They are humans

American men and women

With families and dreams

The system might be broken

But until we face ourselves

And look in the mirror

And figure out how we got here

And what we are going to do with it

And a real sense of direction

It can’t be fixed.

We are removing the humanity from these movements so we can label them and better handle them.

That is what I fear.

——

I’m tired

I feel like I’ve been gutted

I don’t feel like we are really seeing

I feel like we are just doing just enough

To get by

——

But our actions say something else

——

I’m tired

I’ll be 31 this year

I may be quiet

But I’m not blind

I feel myself retreating into literature

We are better

We can do better

Be better.

I’m going to be 31

And I’m tired.

I feel myself running out of time.

I get up in the middle of the night

And James Baldwin is at my table.

2020 #16

Wasteland

This land

Walk into the light

Every new day

They jerk you around

——

You move through me

eyes on fire

Like the 4th of July

Bourbon skin

Cherry lips

Remind me what

We came here to forget

It’s getting late

We can escape

Into each other’s skin

This land

Your land

Your body

Your breath

The driving bass

It’s just a heartbeat

2020 #15

I know it’s been one of those days

One of those years

You’re so far from yourself

You’re so far from where you thought you’d be

I’m going to take too too long to say good bye

But that’s something wrapped up in me

When you’ve lost

You know ….

These things

They may never change

——

Drink the wine that you’re allowed

we are here

Right now

——-

Taste your lips

I wish you could see you

Ask yourself

Where you’ve been all your life

———

I will love you

Like I’m leaving

Like this is all we have

Like we’ve never met

Like I’ll never taste your lips again

Remove the year

Layer by layer

It’s just me and you here

Everything else

Leave it where it lays

Let yourself be you

——-

What do you crave

What do you want

I don’t want to be forgot

I crave you

Right here

Right now

Desire

Here

Be here now

What day is it?

What frustration

What time

——

All of my life

All of my time

I hear the words you are saying

But I’m outside of time

——-

Her eyes are electric

Her skin taste like flowers

Like ginger

Burn me down

I want to be desired

I want to be here

Here

With you

These are the days

That are happening to –

Moving through –

us

Remove the complexities

Like our clothes

Remind me

Of our humanity

Your lips

This passion

Our breath

Here

In time

2020 #12

I dreamed I was smoking with James Baldwin and Barack Obama…

I was reading the presidents summer reading list…

I was talking about how this year had been

I grew up, I came home to myself during those years…I changed my mind on things.

I understand, that empathy is important. Peoples stories are important…

Listen

Really listen

And know

That no amount of passion and empathy will replace their experience…

Just listen.

Check in on your friends who are POC. We just read the headlines but they are living them…

And then something else happened…

James lit a cigarette

Cocked his head back

And said

“You have to find the tools within yourself, to live these times. To manage these times. No one else is going to do it for you. Your mental health. Your duty as a writer as a man. Forget color, position, politics and religion. Your duty as a man. As a human. Is to find the tools inside yourself, to manage whatever you’re living through.

2020?

What about the peace it took?

What about the self respect

The sleep

The identity

The hope

The ambition?

Take it back.

It’s just 12 months on a calendar.

Don’t let it define your life.”

Bleeding ink #1,448

Talk about

Your doomesday state of mind

All the colour from the sunrise

Fades…

Worn through

Bleached out

I’m cut open

Like the emptiness inside of this room

——-

She says

Tell me again

How I’m too much

And never enough

And

The way we landed

From sky high

To these trenches

——-

They said we would always have ….

And they said

Even gods and angels

——

The hurricane is coming

How hungry will you be

Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew

Jacob wrestled God until morning

——-

It feels like a 100 lb anvil in the center of my chest

I keep looking for truth

Keep looking for you

But all I see

Is these rains

These days

This hurricane

Ragged and Broken

Ragged

Used and broken

We are what we hate

It’s just words

But once they’ve been spoken

I’d never seen anyone quite like that

She had the attitude

But she lacked the gratitude

Now she’s somewhere between Greece

Sometimes I think of her and I wonder…

——

Raggedy Anne lights her cigarette

And the shoe shine boy

Drinks his last drink

She’s getting on the first bus out of here

But the tire’s ragged and busted

Now she’s at the diner

Between 9-5

——

What good am I

Am I ragged and broken

Or am I just broken down

Too many drinks

Too many fist fights in my sleep

——

Do you keep the receipts

For all the things they’ve sold you

If we don’t find the changes that heal

We will just be

Ragged used and broken

We are what we hate

E.B.

Hard Times

Time is running away from reach

Your hands are shaking in your sleep

Your heart’s cold stone sober

Your eyes are barely open

———

Ring the bells

Let them know

——

I turned to the radio

For some relief

But all it did was yell at me

——-

Is everything broken

Hard times

In this time

Will we make it day by day

——

Do you see me

——

Do you hear me

——

There’s an unspoken understanding

You work until you die

——

There’s a whole lot of pain

There’s a whole lot of lonely

Am I empty

Or am I just sad

Did I misplace my soul

Instead of my keys ….

——

Let us sleep

——

Let us sleep

——

Is it too dark to die

Is it too hard to cry

Will we be buried

Will we see ?

I’ll be at my funeral

I’ve seen it in my dreams

I’m running out

Time out of mind

——-

Most of the time

I’m doing fine

But It feels like hard times

It feels like

This pain

But I don’t know what I would change it to, if I could,

it’s a fire tonight

It’s us

Right here

Right now

We will handle the rest

Little by little