Mommie Dearest

My baby cries but I don’t answer when she calls.

Too lost in my thoughts to adhere to her wails, her needs. Her hunger feeds my sorrow as I contemplate every new day. I am not enough. These arms weren’t meant to cradle, to hold, they’ve barely molded the life I’ve wanted to live. How did I end up here? She continues to cry, pleading for me. Her hollering like knives as they dig into the skin on my back, reminding me of every night I spent on my back. I swim through those memories trying to pinpoint what I would’ve done differently.

My baby cries, but I don’t answer when she calls.

Darkness falls in between the spaces of her pudgy fingers as she flails. Wildly, she hurtles her wails for mommy into the air. I want to tend to those screams, but sit seems my thoughts consume most of my time. I cry to the night as if it might know that I don’t have the slightest idea of how to are for my child. Mother moon maybe you could take her because my arms aren’t strong enough to cradle, breasts aren’t experienced enough to nurse. My voice doesn’t know lullabys, or how to laugh with children. I feel a tinge of impatience, wearing thin. The hollering, so sharp in pitch, that its like a dagger dragged across my skin. This invisible umbilical thrown around the neck, so close, I feel I may choke. Is no one else listening? Too busy shouting that if I didn’t want a kid I shouldn’t have gotten pregnant then. Too busy with their slicing judgments, cutting into my womb. This baby deserves more than the broken spirit and resentment. The guilt and torment. The melancholy. What if she ends up just like her mother? Hunger feeds the need for urgency as I am stuck contemplating tomorrow. Her future, for which I am responsible.

Would she grow up happy? The worries, the apologies, the missed time, the ‘daddy’s not here because’s. I confide all these thoughts to you when my baby cries–
I thought I told you to stop crying–
is all I can manage to answer.


Every Monday
my life falls into disarray
screaming depression binds me to the bed
Every Tuesday hurts a little less
I pick up the pieces and mull over the rest
Every Wednesday I fall back down
Every Thursday I pick myself up
On Fridays I am born again
On Saturdays I am happy
so happy that I am scared it won’t last
And then on Sundays
the fear manifests
I am alone and shaken by my own happiness
distressed I count the hours
attempt to clean this place
call a friend and when he doesn’t answer
desperately call again
I talk to God for direction
and forget to eat
Lie awake in the cold because I can’t afford the heat
I’m stuck in a stalemate with the wall
wondering how I could want so much
and not enough
Of all the things I thought I’d be
I never knew this could happen to me…

Thank God for the music and the mission for keeping me going

The Ghetto Is A Silly Thing To Fear

The ghetto is a silly thing to fear

people scabbed into corners of buildings

trying to go on living


you turn to run

suffocating on the scent of trash and weed

Loud music

we use it &

niggardly we

dance to the beat in the streets

shots ring hourly

like the clang of the Bell Of Liberty

ugly mugs hide

scarred childhoods

liberate yourself, leave if that’s all

you need to feel security

but believe you me

don’t think niggers

only reside

on the south side

of some city.


Brick Wall


Brick Wall, tell me something

say something about you

anything to make the time


a moment last

turn into years

turn this conversation on its ear, with

a funny joke

tell me what birds smoke

or how it feels when a knuckle is broke

Brick Wall, I think I’m all alone

down here

I was just wondering if you cared

to keep me company

to acknowledge my presence

when my friends didn’t

Brick Wall, you’re tall

really tall and far from where I stand

your tall and long and deep colored stone

won’t speak back at all

I’m almost out of tears to cry

of reasons to fight

to yell and shout

Hey, is something going on up there

is there a party or some secret stair

vagrant vigilantes spray painting graffiti

you got an undercover admirer that only visits

in the night

Wall, you’re cold to the touch

I’m just trying to figure out why you never say much

I love you

and I don’t know why

say something please

it feels like you’re ignoring me


I guess I’ll just leave.

Philly Story #5: Falling

it’s cold out here

i lost my token

forgot my change as i stepped in

missed the bar as the bus jolted forward

and was heading to the floor with my face

when an older man

concern in his ebony eyes, and

gripping his cane, gripped my arm just as hard

i didn’t fall that day


Philly Story #6: People

People don’t always avoid eye contact

They look out

for old neighbors friends

a public reunion on transportation

when a fights breaks out

we all acknowledge each other

stuck in the thick

of the city


The Story of Us

The story of us started when a sand dune,

whipped into a feminine shape dreamt of life.

whispered her wish to the wind,

then jumped into the moon spirit.

In 1551, she crept down the mountain into a wolf’s den

and stole the life of a cub.

A boy of small stature

slaughtered the she wolf and ate her spirit.

With it, she and he taught his tribe to walk as animals,

 to protect the land from invading devils

Heartbroken, in 1919 when the race riots murdered her sons

she once again shed her skin.

And as a soldier,

she had cried oceans into existence.

The story of us started when a panther,

licking his wounds in the dead of night,

 hunting the light,

leapt into the spirit of the sun.

The sun swept across the savannah filling the lifeless limbs of a Baobab tree

363 years he baked in its bark,

before latching on to a passing slave catcher.

 In 1879, he was the son of a king who walked like a God,

teaching his warriors to be strong as trees and quick as cats

 He was an empress,

 and at one time, even balled himself up into sounds and became music.

There we spun

watching the world unfurl through motion and dance

The story of us

 our story

has lifetimes.

Philly Story #63

Herbert Holmes is


he heaves heavy bags of trash for food everyday

hunger scrambling across his tongue

less homes than people

houses hollow of happiness he hollers

he mumbles then

humbled and homely

his Heavenly father is the only one to visit him on the streets

huddled against high-rises,

underneath society’s hazy gaze

Maybe he hates or waits for

a harbinger of humanity

Herbert Holmes is hopeless

but no less than a man

so why do I hesitate,

feeling helpless

Philly Story #1

Why would he do that to me

knowing I’m out on parole

Yeah the white boy

Stealing ice cream that I offered to buy


I’m going to have to kill him in group tomorrow.