The Secret Explanation Of Where Poems Come From

If ever you are in the room with those

Lost in the reverie of poetry

And struggling to guide their thoughts, they close

Their seeking eyes to help them better see;

If ever you have watched a poet’s face

Composing line within a world inside

No other soul can witness nor divide;

Then you are not alone in wond’ring, “Where,

While all their flesh and blood on Earth remains,

Do poets take their thoughts before they bare

Them back transformed? Where is a poem’s domain?”

This verse will not reveal from whence it came,

And poets–they write poems to explain.

–Allan Wolf

The Hughes

Do men dream in the same way that women do?

Do they cradle a dream to their chest, minding its head as if it’s fragile neck would snap?

Do black men dream big?

Do brown?

Men hold fast to so many things,

But dreams?

Or at least I can’t imagine many of them knowing what it feels like to have a dream

Hold you back

To say,

I will never leave you

No matter how hard the future gets

That we will make it through and survive this thing called life,

Together.

So, deferred, what is it that becomes of them? They build or preach or teach. Men may accept a lesser reality, a shallow dream that isn’t sweet enough to satisfy anyone. A sliver at a time they accept the life they have come to live, and, every once in awhile, learn to silence the hope that builds up in their chest

-excerpt poem from my book in progress called  ‘A Man Deferred’. Let us know what you think!

Stand Off

Behind these great walls

we tumble

painted ladies frame the fences

watch them crumble

their faces

cracked open by time

the wind, breathing in and out

bright bricks fall

they hit us hard

we don’t dodge the drops

we stand steady

yelling each other’s names

numb

loving all the way down

beneath the wreckage

and bone

-A. Long

Manifest Destiny

The headphones drown out the cries of the hungry as the train rages on like a metallic dragon. She is pretty. The homeless chick. Her voice booms even with the music turned up in my ears, leading me to believe she is well practiced in this art.

Come, Time

Come,

time to put away childish things

emotions strewn about the floor

pick em up

shove em into your toy chest

let them rest away

where those who won’t break them

will scoop them up to play

by A. Long

–from “Medusa”

Dammit, Athena, take away my father’s gold. Send me away

to live with lepers. Give me a pimple or two.

But my face. To have men never again be able to gaze

at my face, growing stupid in anticipation

of that first touch, how can any woman live like that?

How will I be able to watch their warm bodies

turn to rock when their only sin was desiring me?

All they want is to see me sweat. They just want

to touch my face and run their fingers through my…

my hair

is it moving?

By Patricia Smith

Going Back

I am going back to her

to compare battle scars and sip

double dipped hot chocolate

To rekindle her light

I’m going back to her

yellow princess dresses

black boots, made for stomping

when she was all kinky tresses

To her questions, wonder, and guesses

To when she loved without  prejudice

before any man had come between us

Wanting

wanting to mend

that’s all I have at the end of the day

digging a dent

into my side of the bed

wanting to want to

but never leaving