The larger picture is this: Brooklyn is a bitch built on turmoil
blood, black and white, has steeped into its foundation
that’s the legacy we fight over
and churn the butter to claim
when you from here
I will always do better
but I giggle through your attempt at trying to tell me my history
my grandfather was a blockbuster
he stood on our porch with a shotgun in hand
as they scribbled nigger across his domain
it was as real as the bricks and mortar I reside in my mixed neighborhood
seeing as how that wasn’t the point though. let me stay on message
thanks for reading, for being a critic
for caring enough about the consequences of your words and mine to blot out your name so I can impartially give you these facts
shoutout to the first of firsts and to dissenters in the ranks
His spirit is smoke ascended to high heaven.
His father, by the cruelest way of pain,
Had bidden him to his bosom once again;
The awful sin remained still unforgiven.
All night a bright and solitary star
(Perchance the one that ever guided him,
Yet gave him up at last to Fate’s wild whim)
Hung pitifully o’er the swinging char.
Day dawned, and soon the mixed crowds came to view
The ghastly body swaying in the sun:
The women thronged to look, but never a one
Showed sorrow in her eyes of steely blue;
And little lads, lynchers that were to be,
Danced round the dreadful thing in fiendish glee.
somewhere in me beneath the mists
is a city on fire
burning like napalm bombs
and somewhere, even deeper
is also a calm feeding the flames
Hail the press, sword-arm of justice
once chosen for its resistance but the existence of fake news is a mass misconception because there has always been the fake and the real
The black journalist, duplicitous in nature, was shut out of newsrooms
strung up by their necks
literature spread that let the long-arm of the law snatch boys from their cribs
who fit the profile
The panther party persisted
the so called Freedom Messengers
inciting revolutions with pens and passion
What did the press and the president say of them then
the fake, the real. The red or the blue pill
my daddy’s name was john henry
my moms name was polly ann
he never sold crack
but was a hard workin man who laid track in the subways
bent back like his people
and when he died from all that
he gave ma his legendary hammer
she had a slammer that was mean
and took no shit from men, white brown or black
me and your daddy built this city
so you wouldn’t have to
now take this hammer
and show’ em what you can do
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.
–By Sylvia Plath
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.
Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.
The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.
O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.
Here is the shadow of its joy
i wrote a lil diddy
dedicated to daddy’s nickname
that i got tattooed
when i was 22
it went like this: i am to soar, evermore, like the eagle above the clouds do
then i wrapped my skin in wings so i’d always feel free, got a job and two degrees to support a writing habit, see
nana died. sometimes daddy isnt here. sometimes i sit so still that i kind of want to be invisible. except Mommy always sees me. so i smile.
im pretty sure no one person should watch this much Buffy in one sitting when my Mom comes in. she peers at my sunken form on the couch. been in relatively the same spot since graduation. i cant afford college though i got in places. i cant hop off to see the world, but i can turn on the tv. im not good enough. i cant leave and move forward. i cant go back to high school. i cant-
enough, she says. she picks up my blanket, muttering in Spanish that you are who you are and you are where you are. then she unceremoniously dumps me on the floor of my future. so i get a job.
we fight about me cutting my hair. we fight about schools. we fight about the dishes and cleaning the bathroom. so i go away.
Ma calls. she’s hurting. she’s busy with the little ones. she’s angry. she needs help. she misses me. so i go home.
my Mother pushes me to write. to create. to paint. to be better. so i get a masters.
sometimes when life’s too stressful and there’s deadlines and i cant finish anything and i shouldnt be a writer and i suck compared to everyone else and im tired–
she hugs me and smiles. so i smile.