Black Boy Sings The Blues

in the piazza square

among the bustling streets

where industry and avenues meet

where the homely or happy greet

anxious merchants

hangs a sound above the noise

wailing in the top ground

like a rhythm blues booze hound

calling for the freedom he’s never known

He sings of love lost

and a few dollars are pried from strangers passing by

alerted by his cries

He sings

of oceans swelling and dreams so loudly

it carries over the now whispering crowds

until it resonates through his sneakers and into the concrete

a conduit for his melodic screams

He continues to sing as if music were the only thing

keeping his heart from bursting

or the Earth rotating

What kind of fool do you take me for he says

and I need you he says

until his street chalice runneth over with imparted gold nuggets

and then black boy packed up his carryings

abandoning us in his blues

while we bid him sing

 

Alarm Clock Blues

I opened my eyes and not to my surprise

My alarm clock didn’t ring

Stapled to the bed my body slept

When thoughts into my head crept

I just wanted to crawl back into the

Somberness of sleep

Feel my fantasies come alive

Without the actuality of living them

 

10 minutes too early I hear imaginary ticks

 

1 minute in the questions roll in

Thick as the goose down blanket

I used to block it out but the

Feather thin questions keep slippin in

What are you doing?

You are half awake in a world that is comatose

Why do you insist on an overdose of their sedatives?

Why don’t you live and take your dreams with you?

 

Minute 2

I survive the first attack and make a quick move

But my whole body is a 10 bowling ball sack

Forcing me to list to more what if’s and maybe’s

What if that little girl running down the road

Understood that when she woke up her life was to erode

Into the military violence forced on her by the Sudanese government?

Maybe in her sleep she’d a heard her mother’s muffled screams?

Heard the Janjaweed Janjaweed shout?

Saw another way out before the devil horse ran her down?

 

Its about 3 minutes now

How could he sitting on his pillow soft cotton bed

Wake with the singular thought to put a gun to his head

Call his girl on the phone                    tell her he missed her

Then pull the trigger?

Did the red bandana dye seep into his mind?

Tell him bloodshed is the only way to serve his country

 

Minute 4

What are we fighting for?

Will a black president

Set the precedent for success

Or will the excess lies

That were ostracized

During Bush’s reign

Rain on his parade?

 

Minute 5 arrives

Why did God wake me before the alarm clock that lies by my side?

Does the Lord know that I tried to hide during the night?

Will I always feel as warm as these orange stripped covers?

What if my best is not the best?

What if I rise so fast that I fall like bricks?

 

Minute 6 only minute 6

Why are these ticks not clicking quick enough?

Why don’t you just stand up? Or should I kneel & pray?

Should I live for Him? Or should I live for those who won’t live for Him?

 

7 minutes pass in this hellish heaven

Someone had to have woken up in love this morning

Right?

 

Minute 8

Can’t the suffering wait?

 

Minute 9

It’s a clean slate

No thoughts

Just wavering sleep

Feeling the density of the room’s hands

Pressing on my back

Moving up the sheets

to where the intrusive

alarm clock rings