The Fanboy

breathe easy youngling. we know you bury yourself in characters, trying to recreate your own story

a hero noir as dark as you

they don’t know the night you’ve faced at such an age.

the lil and lonely homey

hiding behind his mask while the city he loves screams and shoots and beats him down

the quiet one with crossed wires and bloody sneaks

nose deep in a book

when we all know dark side boys don’t read

they’re too black

of heart

to fantasize about anything other than their own dry ass reality

we see you future.

you are valid

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To Fathers With Daughters

every time you

tell your daughter

you yell at her

out of love

you teach her to confuse

anger with kindness

which seems like a good idea

till she grows up to

trust men who hurt her

cause they look so much

like you

–Excerpt of Milk and Honey– Rupi Kaur

Minister Mama

no stabbing demons

or slaying dragons for me

I didn’t save your legs from breaking

or solve the world’s aching

heroics aren’t really my thing

no mountain of lies did I chip away at

or speak great truths to be had

I lack luster and deservedness

less than special

but I did get through this day

Doggedly rode out the pain

in between bad caffeine shots

and propped eyelids and bandaged hearts

because the mission mandates 

that I just

I just 

make it to tomorrow 

They End

Bolted upright I ask aloud to a sleeping room

“Is this a dream”

The timbre of my voice weighs down my ears, letting

me know that it’s not

Instinctively I feel for the dip.

Cool. Empty

Tiredness shoves me back into the pillow as if to say,

“Yes it always was but you knew that already”

I pray for answers that won’t come from simply having been asked

I used to pray loudly

out in a pasture where no one but ghosts could witness

now everything’s silent mutterings as I lull myself back

to restlessness

“It’s okay. It was a good dream.

Good dreams get to end.”

 

No Dash Needed

I am not   African-American

there’s no dash needed

if anything

I am

a native spook who sat by the door

listening for opportunity,

devout in my non

ever

shifting

identity

making lemonade.

from “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

You’ll get mixed up, of course,

as you already know.

You’ll get mixed up

with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life’s

a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.

By Dr. Seuss

Self Evident

It’s not so much the truth that bothers

Truths like lies

can sometimes shift

so whether they’re spat or whispered

they’ll always unfold

It’s the lying that kicks up the brick dust

The you can lie to them, we all do it

We’re all a them to someone

Where honesty hung off the tongue ready to dive

there’s only omission

a clean unwillingness

to break down and be an outright liar

Cowardly, feverish, but ready

my truth will lay in wait in trenches of jowls

Let the world have it

when necessary

when commanded

until then

Fuck’em my shit is self evident

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