Love me loving myself (Poem)

 

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(Photo Yoanne Boyer)

Of course I want you to love me
For who i am! Not for what you think I should be
This isn’t Ralph Lauren you don’t get to choose
I’d rather sing rock and roll, than sing the blues
I want you to love me because quite frankly
I’m just like you

I’m as needy as you are needy
I’m as boring and frightfully dull
I can laugh till my side aches
And cry when my heart breaks
And I love moments when I’m the king of it all.

I’m as delightful as you are delightful
And I grow sad and so morose about the passing of time
I count gray hairs and crows feet lines
I groan when I see that’s a quarter til five
And I haven’t been to sleep, not a wink, not at all

But of course, I want you to love me
For who I am, I’ll let you know who that is when I know
Cause right now I’m as lost as you are lost
Stumbling forward, crashing, smashing onward ever forward
As Queen once sang, ‘…on with the show.’

I’m as wretched as you are wretched
And I grow more discontent by the day
As i grow older my patience grows thinner
My eyes grow dimmer, Everything grows slimmer
Yet someone forgot to tell my waist

I’m as sweet as you are precious
But my sweetness is reserved for those who deserve it
Not for those who I simply pass by
Nor for those who’ve made a habit of making me cry
I’m getting too old for other people’s bullshit

So, yes, Yes! Please, by all means love me!
But understand if I won’t wear a mask for you
I won’t trade myself, place who I am on a shelf
If that means you have to leave
Well, you have to do what’s best for you

For I am as worthy as you are worthy
And there is history behind my voice
But my voice is my own, my opinions full grown
Loving one’s self is a toast to your health
And loving myself is my choice

Deadly, the clock on the nail on the wall (Poem)

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(Photo: Eder Pozo Perez)

 

Deadly, the clock on the nail on the wall
a constant reminder of the seconds spent and going fast
the world is trembling underneath the weight
of dissolution antipathy for itself

Murder, is a broken tail light
in the name of Justice men are thrown from rooftops
say her name, say her name, say her name is chanted
However, Destiny is no longer a child – but a wilted bitter old woman
angry that bitch down the street with the four kids
is getting WIC when she can’t get a raise in her stipend
as if it’s the mother’s fault and not the ak47 that took her husband away in some desert far from home

Fear, is the preacher rising like a star
who’s teacher was geography that informed his philosophy
and now power is the lust between his legs
with a wolfish grin and a blade in his eye he ushers the flock of poorer than he
who foolishly pay him to beat them in the face with their own humanity
before he drives away in his Mercedes Benz.

Hate, is the word passing the lips of those
who empower long dead cowards who’d set their grandparents’ world on fire
when people stand up, the exorcists, trying to banish the demons
that try and cast them back to the void, the pits of hell, from whence they came
become the aggressors in the twisted tales told on conservative news.

Armageddon – is the revelation
of self interest, Ayn Randian theology
of me, and mine, and thee, and thine
no money? Well die.
Your problem, not mine

Deadly, the clock on the nail on the wall
a constant reminder of the seconds spent now pounding like a hammers’ blow
suddenly, deftly, drawn out
where anxiety is riddled not in the knowledge of the passing of time
but for when it all comes screaming to an end.

I’ve yet to see a hearse with a hitch (poem)

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(Photo Sylvain Reygaerts)

I learned a while ago
that know matter what I say
no matter where I go
I am both servant and master
inclined to help people do better
but should also feel comfortable enough to lean
on those who are around me

Because the truth is
despite people talking about the
importance of individuality, and self,
at the end of the day we exist in a community
where I belong to you and you to me
and those that often jive talk about Personal responsibility
thinks everyone else should have it
but their issues, their reason for unemployment, WIC, or food stamps- well, that’s a specialty

An outlier, something so exceptional
which allows them to hoard grace and then rob it
from others.
whether it be a homeless vet or a single mother
it’s that exceptional lie of ‘someone else can worry’
that makes it impossible for our culture to hurry
into its natural next phase of evolution

It’s that lie that makes ‘other’ , hatred of another
so’s they can be denied things given to their brother
on the basis of his faith, class, or skin color
things they want denied to someone else because of whom
they take as their lover
in the meantime justifying their hate by saying, ‘Well, they’re queer.”

No, see, not really
what’s queer is to run counter to your own humanity
things that man Jesus, remember him, talked about
before they nailed him to a tree
things repeated my Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King
that said “Yo, treat others like you want to be treated’
this isn’t rocket science
but something that rests solidly in your own conscience
that you have to daily be willing to murder
so you can say, “That man, that man right there with the funny accent. He’s an intruder. ”

Kick him out

Who’s really queer here?
Cause I can guarantee you, it isn’t the Hispanic woman
the African son, the white snowflake you intimidate with your guns
it isn’t the lesbian politician nor the Muslim man who was beaten in his store in New York
No, see queer means something entirely different it means something more
Queer means odd
and denying people their fundamental rights before you dispatch them to their respective God
says more about you than anything said about them

“Behold, this was this sin of your sister Sodom”
She was fat, she was lazy, and she didn’t give a damn
She could have, she should have, but she didn’t understand her own situation nor it’s gravity
of what happens when you willfully destroy your own humanity
and embrace chance, embrace apathy,
that the stone cold nature of mankind’s cruelty becomes ten fold
when the bell you rang or allowed to be rung for someone else
finally tolls for thee.

And it does -without a doubt – toll for thee.
As it tolls for your neighbor, as it tolls for me
see no matter our lot in life, or wealth, or station
our burial plots are all the same size
death is mankind’s equalizer, the greatest of it’s kind
so whether you were born in palatial splendor or ended up dead in a ditch
I promise you in thirty six years of life – I’ve yet to see a hearse with a hitch.

I was healthy, the world was not (Poem) Possibly a rap song.

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(Photo by Jeremy Bishop)

 

I always thought I was crazy
that there was something wrong with me
when people threw words in my direction
I ingested them like poisonous candy
With no walls put down around me
I was a house without a family
the bones were good but the content inside
was excrament from transients
who did nothing but critisize.

I believed I was A.D.H.D
that everything wrong – had to be because of me
and if you factored in my sexuality – for those who heard it
made me feel that when bad things happened
I was everything that made me deserve it

For a second, I was scared it was bi-polar
up and down and up and up again
but when I realized I was strapped to a rollercoaster
things began to make sense.
This feeling inside – this anxious mind
was re-acting to the world outside

Gas-lit like a motherfucker
90 to nothin’ like a run away trucker
clinging to the hope that in the next town things
would be better
feeling responsible for everything wrong in the world
including the weather
I was a hurricane raging up the interstate
wanting nothing more than abiding faith, to escape,
the shape and size of my heart – trying to outrun death
trying to outrun fate

I realized I was being chased, raced, and outpaced
by demons set loose upon the world by lips
that curled up in smiles, from those who paid their debt
to society’s desire for Dunbar’s guile
with eyes as cold as tombstones – I realized the only way off was to stop
drop, throw out the window other people’s luggage that I carried with me
and turn around right where I stood
and stare them down

and suddenly….

like smoke they were gone
like the remnants of a song that echoes in your ears
after the tune’s discharged and the last note played
like that lonely stretch of highway that remembers how in the day traffic roared over its pavement, not knowing where the cars went
similarly I not knowing which way my personal ghosts went
stood under the moon emptied out
for the first time in my life

It was then i realized I was healthy and that it was the world that was not.

 

(Watch out Eminem. Ol Freddie’s comin’ up. Imma call myself, “HimandHim”, ahhahahahahha)

Shame no shame (poem)

 

 

(Photo: Tim Marshall)

I’m not sorry
for the way my body reacts to his touch
the way the fire ignites in my groin
and licks its way up to my smile

Wicked boy, nasty boy, reveling in man flesh.
Can’t help myself it feels so good
as my eyes roll back and I shake swearing allegiance to all that is needy and lovely.
Things that should be left unspoken if only I could stop calling out his name.

I’m not sorry to the ladies
for taking this one off the market
throwing a wrench in the Adam and Eve argument
For being woman enough to take him on and man enough to hold him here.
I throw deuces to what should be and embrace the yin and yang

I am, I really am not sorry
but I ashamed for a split second that I couldn’t last longer.
That when I can’t be stronger.
To tame that hunger
when he gives me that come get me smile

I am not sorry
even if there is to be hell to pay
one sad day when this is over
when the man in the red car
takes me away
I’ll always imagine my lover’s
twelve gauge shotgun
powerful enough to blow away my fear
my loathing, my …..mind

The truth is…(Poem)

 

 

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(Photo: Matthew Henry )

We try to divine what we know
or what we think we know
in terms of people and places
and things
We tell ourselves these narratives
that only reinforce our prejudice
against others as well as ourselves

But the mile less trodden on
uncut in fields rarely visited
when the sun’s direct light
bakes they clay hard and fills
the surrounding sky with scent of sweet grass
and pungent dried earth
truth awaits us

In this field
where the blue dragonfly alights the Black Eyed Susan
it’s gossamer wings only a moment’s hesitation
before its dash back into the summer air
and in this field where the grasses make warm beds
for nursing deer
Truth awaits us

In this field
where the only sound breaking through the whisper
of wind running it’s fingers through the grasses
or the buzz of a worker bee diligent about
his duties
is the truth ready to be spoken to an ear willing to hear it

And that truth is sometimes the healing hurts as bad as the hurting did when the hurting first happened to us
So we fill our heads with static
whispers about neighbors, about ourselves
never thinking that pain doesn’t have to be
the destination
it can just be the journey

Ode to a Black Woman

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(Photo by William Stitt)

When you speak

it can be light and playful and full of

“Guuuurl.”

and with a flip of your hair, and the narrowing of your eyes

you can turn lighthearted banter into a sermon and summon the wisdom of all the ages.

The spirits – they flock to you when you walk.

The eyes – they turn to you when you talk.

And when you dance – Lord, when you dance. Thunder knows no better competitor.

And for this white boy, you were a safe haven

granting me mercy and grace – when you yourself had little to spare sometimes from white people sometimes from your men in your own race.

You showed me how to cook – Ms. Brenda, I see you there.

And when you called me ‘baby’ -“Whew, lord…” why, I melted into the floor.

Straight through – all the way to China.

Seriously, “Where’s the body ma’am. No one will ever ever know. “

I’ll set my watch and salvation and my money in the bank on it.

You come in all shapes and sizes and tones

sometimes you come with an accent like Creole, or African,

or trailing the speech of whatever time zone you happen to occupy.

Sometime it’s Spanish and sometimes it’s French

and sometimes it’s ‘hood’ when your angry, something you can turn off and on like a light switch.

But where ever you are or where ever you’ve been.

On the stage, on the floor of government,

or in the grocery store or at church

people watch you

sometimes those eyes aint no good

sometimes those eyes are just wide with awe

if you want to know for whatever reason gazes are cast upon you

its because you are something to behold

whether you’re young or whether you’re old

people know when a black woman is in the room

So in this world, with it’s dizzy distractions and dissatisfactions

of lazy minds and backwood ignorant interactions

where white means right and everyone else is left

feeling tired and worn and see through

there’s a black woman, arms folded under her bosom

rollin’ her eyes the way we all wished we could

So whether you’re a Whitney, a Maya, an Oprah, or just you

Just you is enough – overwhelmingly enough

to find, and be, and speak the truth

and the truth is this, it’s always been this

And I know it hasn’t been said enough

and I know saying so will make some sorry ass throw a fit

but our world has been made better simply because you’re in it.

Yes, our world, my world, this world has been made better

simply because you are in it.

Gay For You (GFY) Revisited

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(Photo by Jorge Gonzalez)

A gay friend of mine earlier posted a semi-rant over GFY and the main point he was trying to make was that sexuality – for a lot of people isn’t fluid.
The science is clear that homosexuality is built into the genes and epigenetics of human beings.
GFY does a disservice to people – not because of the trope but because of the easy explanation of so-called sexual fluidity.
Those who’ve taken umbrage to this subset of a subset of a subset of this genre do so because they’re so used to the world outside telling them that they can change or that who they are isn’t natural – that when they see this, this reinforces that mindset.

If sexuality is in fact FLUID – you can CHOOSE to be straight.  Or at the very least be in a straight relationship.
But there is a two-pronged problem here.
The first is the aforementioned.
The second, however, is telling people what they can write and telling readers what they can read.
We run into a constant problem here.
GFY – is high fantasy.
It isn’t real and anecdotal evidence to the contrary is just that. Anecdotal.
And then people – writers- get defensive over their work, readers get mad because they’re being ignored and the entire thing descends into a flame war.
It is irrefutable that a writer can write what he or she wants. That is crystal clear.
But there is often a distance between what one CAN do and what one OUGHT to do.
GFY – as a subset – isn’t going anywhere.

The market eats those books up like cookie monster eats cookies. And to be honest, it’s a cash cow that authors have found and it would be dumb to give it up.
Screaming about that does zilch – other than causing a bunch of stupid drama and then, unintentionally sells a bunch of books people were angry over.
But instead of slapping sexual fluidity in place of actual research and understanding of human sexuality may assuage some people’s feelings about the subset and make them less angry about feeling like not only do they have to watch out for the crazy preacher down the road who thinks they can change and the ignorant author who happens to agree with them in their work.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write about gay people – it simply means that you should fear your subject. And with that trepidation approach it with respect and the dignity they deserve like you would someone of a different race.

Sexuality is as ingrain as skin color, eye color, blood type….
I can guarantee you some straight person doesn’t wake up one day, no matter how much they may like another person of the same gender and think, “I want to have sex with him/her.” Or – if a gay man and a straight man have a very close emotional relationship – doesn’t mean that they’re going to have a sexual one.
Are there sexual fluid people? Yes.

But they are not gay. They have their own special set of circumstances that should be highly respected. As do bisexual people who’ve really been done a disservice by this subset.
None of these things should be flippantly brushed aside to get two hot guys into bed.
GFY – will remain a high fantasy, especially for gay men who fall in love with their best friend. But it’s a fantasy that should be broken. Because there is nothing but heartache and disappointment down that road – unless the gay guy can come to understand that his buddy’s heterosexualness is just as ingrained in him as gayness is ingrained in the gay guy.
After all – he was born that way.
Unconditional Postive Regard dictates that we love people for who they are no matter what. Gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual etc. etc. instead of fighting over the labels and over the words – maybe we should start listening to those who say, “This is my truth,” and accepting that and being compassionate about that when we reflect it in our work.

We can evolve this into something better than it is. 

Hey artists! Shut up and ….

Dance, sing, act, paint, craft, write!

We’ve been hearing that a lot lately – especially coming from people who take umbrage to artist’s expressing a certain political view.

“We don’t pay you to hear about your politics,” they say.

But you do, Blanche, you do.

Nina Simone

From the paintings on the Sistine Chapel to the man who picks a banjo and writes simple lyrics – art is created. And artists have had a job which goes far beyond aesthetics or entertainment. The late great Nina Simone nailed it when she said, “An artist’s duty as far as I’m concerned is to reflect the times.”

Because artists have been doing just that for centuries.

Think of Francis Scott Key’s Lyrics in the American National Anthem.

According to History.com “…. in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812.

“….rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there.”

Key was able to write those lyrics because KEY was there. He saw it. He was there when the British attacked Fort McHenry and so he wrote it down in a poem.

Art is often referred to as part of the humanities – or the study of human culture. Like Key’s poem, it’s one thing to learn about the war of 1812 in history but it’s another totally to read something from someone who lived through it.

Think about your favorite song. Why is it your favorite? Is it the lyrics? Is there something in that song that you relate to? Think about your favorite actor? Your favorite painting? What draws you to them?

For me, it’s the ‘I get that’ moment. And that is the point a connection is made between the artists and the observer THROUGH their chose medium.

Telling an artist to shut up and _______ (fill in the blank) is an oxymoron. They can’t. That’s like telling the sun not to shine.

When we ask an artist to shut up – we’re telling ourselves to shut up. Which, in the end, just doesn’t make sense.

Furthermore, the compulsion to create art is not dependent upon economic demands. Nor is the worth of the art or artist tied up in monetary gain. Should a person not find the art (or artist ) appealing, they have the right not to buy it.

However, the Customer is always right – doesn’t work here.

Because an artist’s true nature will always be focused on one thing.

And that is being the one who holds a mirror up to society and letting it get a good long hard look at itself.