Category: poems

“Black Face”
-(for Paige Shoemaker)

Don’t apologize to me for your mockery of God
Your Lord and savior Jesus Christ already knows your heart
Despite your blatant ignorance,
He in turn awarded you forgiveness for your repentance
And then….
… called him nigga

Don’t be taken aback

You have always prayed to the nigga
When the cotton needed to flourish
When your offspring required nourishment
Whenever you seeked entertainment or a fresh body to torment
Nigga was always there to answer your prayers

Yet you have the audacity speak a nigga’s name in vain
Blasphemy, to believe you could hide your face from God
By painting it the same color as your soul
That your jokes aren’t the headliners for Satan’s sideshow
And your false sense of security on social media deserves our pity

Its easy to say”It feels good to finally be a nigga,” until they get a nigga good
Whisper that into the ear of fallen king and wait for a smile
Witness John’s vision of the Book of Revelation in
Michael Brown’s blood, shimmering under the seven stars and street lamps
Like the Son of God himself, prosecuted before the masses only to
Rise again in a flash of hashtags and post mortem glory

Don’t apologize to me for your mockery of God
For He, like every nigga that I know….
….knows a bigoted heart

I don’t even know where to begin…that’s how dope SHE is
Not to get into some deep sh*t or to be facetious but to describe SHE would take more than a thesis
See it’s the way SHE sees sh*t…not your typical lady
SHE told me SHE’s a unicorn and I believe it…it’s crazy
When SHE does what SHE does I stare in amazement
At the mystery of this amazing sensational lady
It makes me want to show her off to the universe
Yet conceal her and make any intrigued groups disperse
For what it’s worth I know SHE would be good for me
For we’d mesh like the tongue on my new sneaks
We’d both keep it 1K like 2 G’s. One day. You. Me.
SHE makes me melt when SHE grins at me
The thoughts I get when SHE speaks to me have got to be a sin at least
I feel like I’m rambling see….That’s what SHE does to me
Like the words I speak aren’t enough for SHE
But I’m dope with words so I’m sure this will cheer her up at least
I can see myself falling in love with SHE
Because I know she’s more than enough for Me…


The ocean
Offered its customary tranquility,
Jangled nerves quietly sighed
As calm was restored
To inner circuits
And tension
(The unwelcome intruder)
Fled before the advancing waves.

The movie theatre
Offered a new setting
For ever-increasing awareness.
Holding hands
In silent communication, we forged a link
Like co-conspirators
Against reality.

The park bench
Offered a welcome retreat
As conversation became more intense,
And we began the requisite ritual
Of subtle explorations
And the very gradual
Lowering of masks.

The waves rolling in
One after the other
The same, yet ever-changing.
The continuity lulls my mind;
The magnitude reminds me of my own insignificance.

As the daylight fades,
First the moon appears, a shining half orb surrounded by a hazy glow,
Next the first star twinkles brightly,
As we each make a private wish
I wonder if we ever outgrow all our childhood beliefs.
The magic is not as strong as it once was,
But I am reluctant to disavow it completely
(Just in case).

Soon the water is only a silver-gray form in the darkening evening
And it becomes impossible to distinguish one wave from another.

But the sounds remain.
Soothing, peaceful.
I reach out;
Our hands touch.

It was half a lifetime ago we held each other. Between then and now there have been so many others.

You should be inconsequential it would seem, but you still haunt me in my dreams.

Did I mark you like you marked me?
Is this affliction of mine a singular fantasy?

Also what sort of mark did I leave? Last heard the rumor you hated me.
Yet I remember you so well, your face hair smell.

Our end was messy and I a mess, it being short was probably best.
If it had been allowed to last I wouldn’t be able to delude my past.

If marked you are, it could have been worse: restlessness is my curse.

But now I’m haunted in my dreams, blurry face through windows beam.
Now in the day walking the street in every window I peak.

A chance meeting? No. Too many miles separate. But ah me of so little faith in fate.

No. It can’t. Beds have been made. Maybe in another life but not some far off day.

From mocks corner
To French quarter
Steeples so tall
80 degrees weather in the fall

Post and courier deliver
Looking over the cooper river
Nature trails
Walking along the battery rails.
Proud patriot
First time Stay at the Marriott
White sand
Blue grass band

Low country
7 beaches aboard
A bridge so long
Beautiful sunsets
Citadel cadets

Rainbow row
Mt Pleasant a stones throw
Walking the town afoot
Food so good

Sweet grass baskets
City’s market
South of broad
Summerville not to far

Goose creek
Shem creek
Sweet tea
Low country

a man is a man is a man.

There is a man
And he is standing in all the wrong places
Mumbling the wrong words, contorting his face into all the wrong forms
filling his mind with thoughts impure and unsound
and he stands there all alone
in the wrong places
sleeping inside of himself because it’s the only place he can call home these days
and you haven’t seen him in 3 years or so
seen who? Not really too sure
as he stands there all alone
in the wrong places

there is a man
and he moves so freely
finding himself just where he wants to be
he breathes deeply, thinks openly, lives fearlessly
but he drowns in a sea of blank faces
moving freely and ending up right where he means to but it all feels so hollow
and he’ll see us all again on the other side
as he wanders all alone
to feel solid and whole

farewell to the masterpiece.

take me before you lose me
before I lose myself in the wrong place at the right time
flame comes to common ground with earth and I melt away just in case I say something out of line
I told you to take me before you lost me
And now I’m lost again in myself, trembling like a young one far too innocent to know when to close the door
Shriek you masterpiece, scream and writhe and twist all about with peeling eyes while I stay here
Hidden in the back of the drawer next to Kodak moments and the lingering musk of dignity lost
Racing home in an eclectic Silverado under the great and chivalrous flying giant
Lights in but tuned out
We talk the same but don’t say the same words, feel the same but I can see a face changing when words are spoken
And the seasons roll on towards an end with no end
What were once vices are now habits
Pump the poison, apologies scribbled from head to toe when I found myself at the dark end of the street
Take me as you left me
Reach out with your quivering hand and hang on with irresolution
We were never ready, our money no good
No clout, no scrote
And without doubt I hang on to the hope
That you’ll take me as you left me,
As the seasons roll on towards an end with no end

Gray matter tackle box.
How could I forget
Where the rats with their keen moustaches used to hang out by that old elementary school everyone thought was so spectacular
A big green swing set giving wings to the young ones with the big ideas and too much to say
Worries were a thing of days past because those days past were so few
But here we are sitting
Washing the dirt off from behind our ears and laying our heads down for one more good night’s sleep
And here we are
And isn’t it beautiful how we all just fit here
Smaller pieces to a grander scheme
Inspecting those big ideas of the good-for-nothings
Tip-toeing over the finer details
And I am the prince of this palace the sun
And I am the narcissistic king of the earth
And I am the perceiver of infinity
Impossibility and inconsistency
And I am the prince of this palace the sun
And I am the narcissistic king of the earth
And I am the nervous son of this place
And I am the fine knower of the finite problems that we do stumble over
But mightily we do so triumphant and
Here we are
And there you are
How could I forget

I’ve had some greetings and some farewells but nothing like this.

Hello you
Standing softly waiting for the crash of earth and wind
Hello you
Walls built and windows snap thrash crash and slam against your psyche with the force of the days you had to walk away
Hello you
And there I’ll be on the peak of the rolling hills with a joint rolled and 1,001 stories untold of better days
To see you smile and to hear you laugh and to see your nose wrinkle in ecstasy
Hello you
I haven’t seen your face around these parts for a while
Hello stranger
Who I used to sing songs with and talk about the creaky floorboards in our old place that we tried to call home
Hello stranger
Goodbye you

the other side.

Take a walk on the wild side
Garnish it with a sprinkle of experience
Only to fuck in dreams and float through days one by one by one and so it goes
Live to score, sly handshakes and heads spin
Kicked back floating through days one by one by one
Living smoke to smoke, laugh to laugh
“no Bueno” says the mirror walker, and over there I hear her whispering “mas drogas” with blonde tension and sunken moan
Never mind that, let the road take a beating for a few hours while I screw my head on straight
I seek solitude from craving but find habit more inviting than change
And in a circle it goes again, oh yes
Hear, it goes again for this night and the one before and the next one and so on and so on
so it goes until something grand throws itself into being and with it brings purpose
oh boy, how things have changed
better or worse, just the same because here we still rest and here we lay our heads to try to find a kinder vision to calm us in the vicious eventide
Good night,
And good luck

(FREE VERSE, written in 2007, but never published)

‘Aegri Somnia’ (in Latin this translates to ‘A sick an dreams’)

This sanctuary I have chosen, once so inspiring and profound, has become my prison to that I am bound.

Forever allowing me to gain entrance into the night, like the prey of the waiting spider, she knows I must turn to her in my plight. Walk her grounds and see the names of those she has taken within her arms, those that hear my footsteps can hear my thoughts, for my tears awaken them to both, and they awaken to pose the question silently…”Is he lost?”

Perhaps they too once walked with me. I cannot avoid them. They are curious of me and always wishing to converse with me. Some are more coarse than they are pleasant. Perhaps this prison we inhabit has become a haven of discontentment. Perhaps some think my presence is cause for them to lament. There are many voices in such a place of those who have no choice but to be silent.

Some are curious of life, and others lament the lack of it. Some are mournful, others are forewarning, and some wish me to be their friend. Some plead for me not to repeat their misfortunes, and others beg the question “Why?” Those I can converse with all share one crisis in common: they physically are unlike me. They are not flesh like I. I share not their home, and those who lament my presence take satisfaction knowing that I too shall be shackled to the very womb within our earth where their home will also one day be my own.

And then as I walk, I sense something I have sensed each time I travel this quiet town of mine. I sense torture and decay. The kind of stench that can only come from the conversations of black eyes and even blacker hearts. Their sinister whispers can be heard from a distance, but faintly enough I somehow sense their meanings…They are truly the demons I have been breeding.

They beg me to entertain them, implore me to engage them and invite me to become them. Offering me all the wishes the flesh adore. To hear the voices I long to hear, to take away all of my childish fears, to make those familiar faces reappear. They offer me these beautiful familiarities and so much more. They offer me to be judged, and found guilty never more…to see all I have longed to see and more…

Their gentle whispers find a home within my lonely soul. They reach a point of no return and ask me pay their woeful toll, uttering the words that they require to be upon my stone. So I can then fulfill my dreams and thus call this place home. Never to leave and in a world of unknowns I’m assured, I’ll be home, and for this gift I may no longer search or drift.

As I dream of their lies, I remember these words that come true to those only who died. Yet I hear in my heart just a whispering voice of someone no longer alive…he is begging of me to never give up, but is pleading instead to “Please try”. This voice I hear seems known to me…perhaps this voice is kin to me. I cannot make out the words, for these violent foes harken their sins to me…but this voice calls out to something within…I must find the origin of this voice of reason. Who does this voice belong to? Why do these black hearts speak of this voice and mention treason?

I search all over trying to silence these vicious hounds of hell. I try to hear in place of them the voice in my heart I know well. The voice to whom their shouts will say, “Silence! He is ours! His direction is the curiosity of our dissension! Do not attempt to gain his attention! Lead him not, for his soul is ours, and soon here he will rot!” I make my mind blank and focus instead upon the voice with the loving words…I try to follow the voice in question by asking, “Are you of honorable mention? Do you have reason to speak to me to discuss prevention? If so dear voice, may I give you a name? Can I venture to say that we share the same? If not dear sir, have I wronged you? Is your distance the torture of this life’s part two? Do you speak to me in worry and need with the wisdom to impart to?”

“I must again ask you, why hide your voice? Is it forced or is it by your choice? May I beg to question this and more? Have we shaken hands before? Why do you wish to keep so obscured? Is your voice the voice that once assured? Why must we play this silly game? Just tell me sir, what is your name? Please speak louder so I can know. Do they hide you because I love you so?” Angels above me please remove these distortions…allow me please to hear but a portion….I wish for my mind to have full absorption.

As my footsteps fall to a calmer gait, my heart begins to slow its rate, as now I’ve discovered our signature trend. To speak at night and at mornings end; and now as always I will survive the day to be there in the evenings so that our minds may play. I continue my quest for our words unsuppressed, in search of my most sought after friend. Every night is the same. We leave clues in this game, but if you bear a familiar name…I can only hope I share the same.

I am incomplete
Many things
I do not have
One by one
Each thing will come
And I will be complete

A queen in my eyes
Is clean within inside
Conscious of her life
Her strength moves mountains
A tornado within her storm
Climbs to the horizons
And moves the clouds
Her pain strikes lightning
To move the ground
Her heart is courageous
In silence she’s sound
Of art innovating
Kneels to the ground


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