Slip into the river (Poem)

 

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Slip into the river
let it take you down, down
slip into the river
where no air can be found
Float, face up, and look at the sky
float, face up, watch the clouds pass on by
block out the sound, your ears submerged
slip into the river
and let it take you down, down

Slip into the river
let it take you down, down
forget the worries of the world
and all your worldly cares
Float, face up, and let the water caress your weary mind
Float, face up, what a way to pass the time
slip into the river
and let it take you down, down

Don’t you know the world is ending
Can’t you feel in tremble under your feet
All the progress man has made is now burning down
there is screaming in the night
and fear stalks the day
but slip into the river, child
and let it take you down, down

For safety’s sake, so you’re body isn’t torn
come down to the waters edge and ease yourself
into eternity
London Bridge, Ring around the Rosie
pockets filled with stone
slip into the river, child
and let it take you down, down

Slip into the river
let it take you down, down
slip into the river
where no air can be found
Float, face down, and look at the silty floor
float, face down, and know you’ll breathe no more
slip into the river
and let it take you down, down

Educated Lamentations

 

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It’s weird these thoughts in my head
words spoken to me in the midst
of stacks of books, reams of paper,
and a student load debt I cannot afford

It’s strange this sacrament placed on my tongue
though bitter to the taste and damaging to the bliss
of ignorance and a sheltered life
where I was shrouded in a perpetual state
of nebulous Christo-centric fundibabble

I was liberated into something hard and bright
naked and irreverent to the soft cushion of church pews
no, this place was hard and harsh and loud
for I was delivered out of my ignorance and handed
into the hands of my own responsibility

It is a place of jagged and haggard edges
and where truthes – while constant and vigilant –
were few and further between than the innumerable angels
supposedly adorning the crown of my head
as I lay myself down to sleep

Liberated but not liberalized
the truth doesn’t care what you believe
nor does it care about the slope of your spine
and the drawing down of your smile and the shadows
etched thick and black around your eyes
as the weight of truth rests upon mortal shoulders

While there are pleasures here in abundance
if you’re lucky enough to find a hand to hold
the process isolates men into their own thoughts
the likes of which not even the warmest hand
can pluck us out of when we wander in too far

Who am I to know the thoughts of a King
Sword drawn in utter defiance of the uncertain future?
Why should I know the memory of the slave trod
underneath by the boots of men of my own race
Where do I stand as I visit the Boot Hill
filled with Christians and Jews and Muslims who died
for a God that never spoke aloud to either?

How did we manage to keep from wiping each other out
when the falcon could no longer hear the falconer?
When does the human race break through the surface and come up for air after it’s self inflicted baptism of fire?

To none of these questions do i hold an answer save for the last one.
What happened to me that put lines on my face and gray hair in my beard?
It’s simple a thing, really, no mystery at all I suppose
I partook of the fruit of the tree of good and evil
or as lay people put it – received an education.

He was a Middle Eastern Jew (poem)

 

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Murderous, venomous
Thomas Hobbes is now a prophet
where refugees are cast aside
and black men die for the color of their skin
and thugs wearing badges prowl the streets
yes, your abundance of a pigment is STILL a reason you must bleed.

Broke down, low down
dirty rotten shame we’re sitting in
It’s like the 1930’s, 1960’s, and 1984
all rolled into one stinking pile of a lack of acumen

White is right, White is right
white is wrong here, brother man
we’re bleeding this age of reason creation
in favor of jingoistic, fundamentalist, belief in a lack of pigment

a belief in a LACK of something
that makes you superior? please vote, people
or you’ll be governed by your inferiors
cardboard cut outs posing as human beings
who’s lacking is not in color but the beating
heart that occupies a real person’s interior

Its like the tale of the body snatchers
as we’ve become soulless, demonic,
forget Agape, we can’t even grasp the platonic
love necessarily to keep from killing our fellow countrymen
someone born under the protection of and rights GOD has given them.

But you want to sit up in here and lecture on sin
are you for real? Baptist man? Pentecostal?
Since when did King George III tyranny become so lawful
it’s awful, sit down, shut up, read that damn book you carry
because what you’re lacking, really, quite clearly
is the Son of the Virgin Mary

Who, by the way, I know I shouldn’t have to say this
although it’s avoided yet it’s really hard to miss
the fact that he was a refugee, and brown skin to boot
the last thing may surprise you, He was a Middle Eastern Jew.

I don’t like myself (poem)

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I don’t like myself
I feel the weight of those words in my mouth
slanderous, murderous, suicidal words
but true words none the less

When someone says they love me
i wonder – god, what’s wrong with them?
something must be, for someone to like me
they can’t possibly be operating with a full deck

I’ve never liked my body, my voice –
well, that’s okay I guess
it’s deep enough to pass for straight
if it weren’t for the hard S on the end hissing
my truth clipped in northern exposure

My mind is as a shattered glass door
painstakingly super-glued back in place
the wind whistles through the cracks and missing pieces
and everything beyond is distorted, surreal, and as
jagged as my tongue

My emotions, God, where do I even start?
If I said, “Is like herding cats.’ would you understand?
Its like many people in a room all talking at once
overwhelmingly present, often unpleasant
and hushes only when someone gets behind the mic to speak

I drink down everything everyone says to me
i roll it over my tongue to try and understand
if they’re right – for I am not sure
and it takes me awhile to run it through the library
of insults and things said about me
with each new one, the methodical search begins anew

Its so bad – I’ll tell you – my image of self
and tho I’ve been married almost four years now
sometimes I wonder if my husband really loves me
or if he stays because people who don’t like themselves
are often amazing in bed.

Yin and Yang of us (Poem)

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I am not me, alone
Not anymore
There is no self identifier
I, has become we
me has become thee
It’s all combined, now

You are not you, alone
When you walk through that door
the other half of you greets the other half of me
Us, transformed
morphed, molded,
immersed into another being, now

When your gone away
to wherever your labor takes you
I count the minutes and seconds
till the rest of me walks through the door

When I’m here alone
You labor along side of me
your thoughts become my words
I ponder what you’ve taught me
and give it away to the world

Not codependent, symbiotic
my breath, my body,
your heartbeat, your laughter
Yin and Yang
we are – individually- part of the whole, now

Scott Lively, Jerry Falwell Jr, and the Theocrats among us.

 

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Once upon a time, in a land apparently not so different than the one we live in today, African American’s achieved (as did the rest of the country) their God given right to snub Jim Crow law and attend any school they chose.  Racial integration had been achieved, and all was well in the land.

Or so we thought.

A little lesser known case than it’s predecessor Brown V Board of Education made it’s way up to the United States Supreme Court called Bob Jones Sr. vs The United States. A preacher (or a group of them, rather) angry that they couldn’t use their tax exempt status to open white only schools sued the government.

They lost in an 8-1 decision handed down by the court.

Everything still seemed right in the land. The last vestiges of the wicked minded had finally been eradicated, nothing to see here. African Americans were brought inside the castle for years of bountiful and joyous celebrations, everyone started getting along, and the Prince married the Princess.

Except that never happened. Not even close and that is more apparent today, than in any other time in my life.

Why?

Well, it’s a simple yet sad thing we as a nation did to our Black brothers and sisters.

The lone dissenter in Bob Jones Sr. vs The United States – William H. Rehnquist was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States where he served as Chief Justice until his death in 2005.

Essentially, We opened the draw bridge to the castle, yes. They were enticed to come in, yes. Yet, without them knowing everyone bailed out, locked the doors and shuttered the windows of the castle…..and then set it on fire.

You can read about the account here in Politico’s article, The Real Origins of the Religious Right. 

TL;DR = Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, and Bob Jones Sr. were really really mad their little Bobby’s and Little Susie’s would have to go to school with little Tyrone. Lied to people about their stance on abortion, convinced Catholics that they didn’t think the Pope was the Anti-Christ, and their church was the Great Whore of Babylon, defeated their own Christian brother Jimmy Carter for a B Hollywood Movie Actor (and former Union Boss) Ronald Reagan.  Ta-Da – Civil Rights curtailed.

Donald Trump pandered to the religious right, supporters of Mike Pence who nauseatingly prayed over the Presidential Candidate who, despite holding up a rainbow flag and was quoted as saying, ” I love the gays,” believed him to be what it took to Make America Great again.

Nothing to see here.

Except for The White House just announcing that Jerry Falwell will be heading up the ‘Education Reform’ task force to not only address public schools but higher levels of learning.  Jerry Falwell Jr, the son of the late, great (although greatness doesn’t denote goodness) Jerry Falwell Sr. is the Chancellor of Liberty University.

“So what,” you say. We knew Public Education was about to get blown out of the water with Betsy Devos.  “After how many years of Every Child Left Behind? The average tenure of a school teacher in America is roughly two years. Their salaries are meager, the work load is enormous, I mean – come on the Tea Party has been putting nutjobs on school boards since Obama got elected. Of course we know what’s going on. They’re trying to eradicate public education or at least make it so public school kids leave those schools sounding like the idiots that graduate from non accredited private Christian schools. Why campaign and convince a generation of people to vote for you when you can grow your own?”

Hold on grasshopper, this story gets better.

A couple of years ago, Scott Lively, a radical Christian fundamentalist went to Uganda and not only spread his gospel, he decided to spread his murderous hatred for gay people. Convincing the Ugandan government that enacting anti-gay laws that killed gay people or worse, threw them into 3rd world prisons for the crime of BEING gay, was God’s Will – he was brought up on charges of Crimes Against Humanity by a Ugandan who wanted his pasty white and cowardly ass sent to the Hague to stand trial.

Seems pretty logical, right?

Try and incite a genocide – have to go stand before a court that sort of frowns on these things.

Except, Mr. Lively won his case. Yet he didn’t walk away from it unscathed. The Judge basically called him shit underneath his shoe, called him a bigot, Judge Pryor had this to say about Mr. Lively:

 “Discovery confirmed the nature of Defendant’s, on the one hand, vicious and, on the other hand, ludicrously extreme animus against LGBTI people and his determination to assist in persecuting them wherever they are, including Uganda.

 

“The evidence of record demonstrates that Defendant aided and abetted efforts (1) to restrict freedom of expression by members of the LBGTI community in Uganda, (2) to suppress their civil rights, and (3) to make the very existence of LGBTI people in Uganda a crime.

“The record also confirms that these efforts to intimidate and injure the LGBTI community in Uganda were, unfortunately, to some extent successful.

“This crackpot bigotry could be brushed aside as pathetic, except for the terrible harm it can cause. The record in this case demonstrates that Defendant has worked with elements in Uganda who share some of his views to try to repress freedom of expression by LGBTI people in Uganda, deprive them of the protection of the law, and render their very existence illegal.

“He has, for example, proposed twenty-year prison sentences for gay couples in Uganda who simply lead open, law-abiding lives.”

Scott Lively, unhappy with the Judge for calling him names is appealing the case. You can read about it, here. 

Now what, do you ask, has this to do with Mr. Jerry Falwell Jr?  I am so glad you asked.

The Liberty Counsel is the Law firm that represents Liberty University and their very own King James – Mr. Jerry Falwell Jr. They were the same legal counsel for Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis who infamously refused to give a gay couple a marriage license.

Now, what does this have to do with everyone else? Especially gay people?

One of the last things Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said to his followers before he was assassinated was, “You know, we’ve struggled long and hard for the victories we have attained. Yet there is something that troubles me deeply. For all the Civil Rights and all the things we’ve done….I have come to believe that we are integrating into a burning house…we have no choice but to become firemen.”

Just like our African American brothers and sisters, we’re facing a real and motivated threat. There are those who are angry at us just for simply having the right to live as human beings live. They’re angry that we have the same rights they have. Yet among those who are angry, there are some who have allowed their anger to fester into cancerous hate. We’ve called them Republican, We’ve called them Tea Partiers, but the truth of the matter is we had better call them what they are. Fascists. And not just any kind of fascists, Theocrats.

These people aren’t interested in a democracy, or a democratic republic – they’re interested in created The Kingdom of God on Earth. Taliban who? Isis wha..?

Liberty as a word written down, or something vocalized, is not Liberty actualized. He can call his university Liberty University, they can call their law firm Liberty Counsel. Yet Freedom and liberty are as far from their minds as their belief in Global Climate Change, Civil Rights for minorities, Gay marriage, and believing Muslims should be allowed into the country. As a matter of fact they are, as are people like Franklin Graham, extremely vocal in demonizing the latter. Just remember those that push this nonsense don’t want to relieve the world of religious oppression; they want to oppress you with theirs.

Liberty, real liberty, is being threatened.  As Sinclair Lewis famously put it, “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”  We, like our African American brothers and sisters, may have been run into our own burning building with the SCOTUS decision. Watch this space, this story could have a very sad ending for us all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believed you the first time (Poem)

 

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There is an anger inside of me
an anger cultivated from seeing the world through your eyes
the seeds of this understanding in fields once plowed
by the merciless and unyielding force of religion’s myopic blade
having once been allowed to fallow
as the fruit had grown bitter on the vine
this ground is now once again turned over and replanted
in this season of humanity’s discontent

I know you by the fruits of your labor
having once bore the weight of your harvests’ yield
I know the saccharine words you speak are laudanum laced
which heals as a whip renders flesh across the back heals
and comforts as salt comforts though generously applied

Evil is the man who says bad is good
and bad is made all the worse when done in the name of God
and that God’s hand is turned to a cloven hoof that tramples
lives and destroys families and ignores the pain of others
whistling while you work, while you plow your fields,
hymns and psalms with anger in your eyes

Yet I am the rock in the way of your blade
that kicks up and smacks against your mouth
I’ll be the clod that dulls the steel, the hole in the ground that lames your beast
for as inevitable as you might be, though you have names that cause men to tremble in marketplaces where you trade
I am the fruit that you created – and the irony of in the demise of your efforts

For I have been poisoned and carry that weight with me
in the truth of who you are that rests between my ears
I know that one with God still constitutes a majority
and though you can’t even begin to articulate my little finger. nor do you have the power to cause one hair to grow on my head
I know everything and everyone and exactly what you are
over and over you showed me and in your haughtiness you told me
and I – biding my time – waiting for my moment –
believed every word and deed – believed it all
the first time.

 

Industry panic (Poem)

 

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Since when did it become fashionable to impede on someone’s hustle?
What’s up with this?
Can’t you do do that thing on your own?
Can’t you go out and make that green on your own?
You’re like amber bottles lined up with skulls and crossbones

you look good but that shit is superficial – you know what they say…
you’re poison, ally my ass – Et tu Brute?
Ya’ll gotta stop this, it’s toxic
it’s narrow minded, quixotic,
if someone’s got their game on deck
why come along and knock it?
If someone’s got something to say
let them do that thing, why stop it? Myopic

you scared?
You worried someone might tell you
you don’t belong here?
That your words may be gay but ain’t none of it’s queer
And are you worried someone wants to know how you got here?
And are you worried that someone’s gonna wanna know
how y’all managed to get this industry on lock?
so now you gotta knock down someone you’re stressin’ some new cock on the block
worried that someone might come teach you a lesson
on talent -so frantic, you’re actions got you confessin’
who you been all along?
can’t take no heat when someone up and tells you that you might be wrong?

is your goals so lofty, so costly, the money you make – did you come by fraudulently – are you concerned you’re a fake?
Panicked new names are creepin’ in too fast
so now you make a mistake by kissing some ass
Didn’t you get the memo
celebrity is obscurity just waiting to happen
you could be great, you should be great, but you forgot your passion
Did you lose your ability because you were too concerned with fashion?
or is the pool too shallow, here- popularity’s gotta be rationed?

the hustle should be about getting your words out there
the standard used to be publishing, now y’all running scared
with so much static running in through the door
between the critics, the cynics, and the Z list attention whores
who found their fame shit talkin’ those who do
But your losing popularity So now you do, too?

Man, what a cliché this whole thing has turned out to be
Got voodoo queens hexing the whole famn damily
it’s a tragedy, of no less than Shakespearian proportions
you’re standing at the top of the well – tellin’ us what to do with the lotion
you say, it puts it in the basket lest it get the hose again,
How are you pointing out people’s flaws when you ain’t right within?
Come again?

 

The Devil among us (Poem)

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The devil walks among the pious

among the rich and lofty few

toward the halls of justice and of government

into the heart of the holiest place

sunlight streaming on-top of his head

from the stain-glass windows

 

The devil stands behind pulpits

and carries the Bible in his hand

with a white smile he beguiles the many

and throws out those who hear something off

about his words, his gaze, his temperament

this wolf in sheeps clothing says

Love the sinner, hate the sin

 

The devil is in the ear of the parent

spare the rod spoil the child, says the deceiver

children need a firm and powerful hand

he encourages the shattering of a child’s safety

for there is nothing sadder in the world

nothing more pleasing to him, than the hopelessness

of a cynical child

 

The devil walks among us, not quite the roaring lion

we all have come to expect stalking his prey

from high grasses, nay

he’s less a powerful feline and more like a rodent

chewing through the ropes that bind us all together

creating chaos wherever he goes

 

So if the devil can be in these places

then his evil can disguise itself as well

not the rumble of thunder, nor the rolling of drums

but in the form of whispers as gentle as a feathers touch

that fall upon a willing ear of a person

ready to set the world on fire

confirming to him the prejudices of his heart

and convincing him that he alone can make the world right, again.

 

For He is the Opposite of Grace

Self love (poem)

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Men,

Turn your eyes inward
And see the glory of what you are
See the rise and fall of your breath
The pulse in your neck
Perhaps linger at the swell of your chest

feel the roundness of your belly and know that you are fed
Place your palm over your left Peck
And know that you aren’t dead

Admire the peculiarity of your swollen sex, the curve of your right hip
See the toes poking out from under your duvet
Now trace your gaze upon the blue veins in your wrist

Feel the thunder when you speak
And taste the words as they spill from your lips
Smell the perfumes of the morning
When the sun crests the trees cedar tips

Living your life through the eyes of others
Will never slake your thirst
Know that you are living, breathing, thriving!
And have been since your birth

Shake your mane of hair, lion
Stretch your fingers towards the sky
Taste the bread, the grapes, and sweet things
Drink the water, the wine, and the rye

Live strong,  even when in peril, live even when in doubt
Don’t waste another day
Own your own glory, beauty, and passion
Love yourself with clarity
And you’ll live another day!