Tag Archives: artistry

Glass Cases

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We are the children of glass blowers.
Hands clasped together.
Knees touching the earth
That taught them how
To birth things that grow,
beat fruit, and give to others,
until they die.
Glass blowers whose wishes
to the Carpenter
that sits on high
become part and parcel promises,
pieces to glass cases
covering us in grace.

We pieces of wonder,
memories of times past
longing for tomorrow to come.
We be knick knack,
trophy,
admirable qualities draped
on mannequins.
We be fine china,
snapshots of happy and unsure,
things none has had
or that others have had but
no longer want.

We sit on thrones,
in tombs,
on cross wood,
in prisons.
The plate at the bottom
holds the names we are given
bur may or may not have earned.
It sits there until replaced
by numbers, a dash, and
remembrances rewritten
by guilt and could have beens.

When you see me
those are not bruises.
They are smudges
I pray the next caretaker
will Windex clean.
What’s here is priceless
but closed off.
They key is in my eyes.
Too many have fiddled
with my lock of a tongue
to never get close enough
to know the inner me.
Some have tried the smash
and grab,
but my mother has
unwavering faith.
She has prayed and cried
until the vision of me is
shatterproof,
bulletproof,
but doesn’t protect
from the trauma of seeing
the attempts come and go.

When your purpose and destiny,
worth and wisdom,
aptitude and ability,
Is on display.
You learn what gaze
Feels like.
You learn that gawkin
is a seductive
dance.
That sometimes presence
isn’t possibility,
it’s momentary possession.
Without the key
it’s just an exhibition.

You and me,
we know these glass cases.
These cursed gifts
of safe distance and deniability.
We know too many living rooms
we never considered home,
too many bedrooms
we never felt completely comfortable in.
We have felt trapped in hallways
where people seem to eager
to pass our pain by.
Know too well that shrines
can be adored or despised
but still left to dust or decay.

We be held on to
for others to enjoy.
We be window shopping fantasy.
We be one day I’ll be able
to get that.
We be look what I captured.
We be look.
Look at that.
Come here look at this.
Look now.
Look later.
Walk past and never look at all.

We be here.
Help up by divinity,
shielded by hope
for all the world
to see

Speaking for a Cure

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A dawn without the sun
A night without the moon
Is a day without the light
A life gone too soon
So I’m gone speak about it
So I’m gone spit about it
With hope in the wind
Tomorrow in the skies
Til the cure is in our grasp
we keep our eyes on the prize
So I’m gone speak about it
So I’m gone spit about it

Leaves turn and fall in autumn
We rake the ground clear
and wait for Mother Nature
to begin the process again
To restore the forest in what was there
But what happens when the trees stay bare
When a winter’s cold
Springs into a summer’s heat
When deficiency in your immune system
keeps the cycle from being complete
Each infection or complication
Takes it’s toll
T cell count lowered
until trees weaken
Decaying at the root
When they touch ground
With no one but their loved ones around
How does the pain sound
Is it jarring enough to face the truth
We need a cure
Support for those dedicated to an answer
Awareness raised
Initiatives backed
Stories heard
Until lives can be saved

A dawn without the sun
A night without the moon
Is a day without the light
A life gone too soon
So I’m gone speak about it
So I’m gone spit about it
With hope in the wind
Tomorrow in the skies
Til the cure is in our grasp
we keep our eyes on the prize
So I’m gone speak about it
So I’m gone spit about it

More than 1 million in the US affected
So many more around the world
Developing nations struggling
for necessary medications
Minority communities here juggling
the rise of new cases
I just see the faces
Heaven made amazing
that will be lost too soon
They are the reason we seek
Optimism held
Berlin, France, Mississipi
It’s the reason to be in these streets
Passion ignited
Courage to persevere and endure
Inspires our search for a cure
Antiretrovirals maintain
Vaccines and topical treatments
being sought to prevent
But those faces
They shed tears for a cure
So we push
we learn
we test
we examine
until we win
restoring the fading light
that make the smiles
on those faces shine bright

A dawn without the sun
A night without the moon
Is a day without the light
A life gone too soon
So I’m gone speak about it
So I’m gone spit about it
With hope in the wind
Tomorrow in the skies
Til the cure is in our grasp
we keep our eyes on the prize
So I’m gone speak about it
So I’m gone spit about it

Piece submitted for the 2BeatHIV’s Innovation Challenge http://www.2beathiv.org

Video submission

Thinking of the Cultural Arts and Entertainment Scene…

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Ok. Look. Every city should have a cultural arts and entertainment planner serving a position commissioned like a laureate and supported through allocated funds to consistently help curators, promoters, artists, and culturalists move in a way that fosters an ever blossoming scene. 
 
Warning…Warning…Warning…What’s next is a mini rant….
I was thinking about things and trying to figure out how to convey it. Then I started digging. Finally I figured out what it was I was trying to articulate. I immediately thought of my friend, poet/artist/organizer Shelly Bell, who says I have a knack for these things. LOL. I hope this makes sense.
 
Let’s take a moment and look at this information from the Harvard Business School. It’s only a coincidence that I am at Harvard for a fellowship and pulled this quote. It just happened to be the one that had what I was looking for the way I was looking for. 
 
“Total quality management. Benchmarking. Time-based competition. Reengineering. Change management. The quest for productivity, quality, and speed has spawned a remarkable number of management tools and techniques….
 
Simply improving operational effectiveness does not provide a robust competitive advantage because rarely are “best practice” advantages sustainable. Once a company establishes a new best practice, its rivals tend to copy it quickly.
 
Strategy is about doing things differently, not simply doing them better than everyone else. And it’s the key to competitive advantage.”
 
What’s that mean to the arts? It means that having the best event ever is great and having a seamless process for how you run that event is even better, but what you do with the event is even more key.
 
The “differently” is the part that I want to focus on. It’s the part that often gets overlooked. Mainly because too many facilitators confuse “better” and “different” and the venues rarely think about it or care. They have their own competitive interests in mind. It’s not their responsibility unless they are an arts organization. It’s the producers and presenters who have to think strategically about how they are programming. They need to remember that expanding the marketplace is always better for the scene than competing for market share.
 
“There is a fundamental distinction between strategy and operational effectiveness.” – economist, researcher, author, advisor, speaker and teacher, Michael Porter.
Yes, also from Harvard’s Business School. I promise it’s a coinci…never mind. Let’s continue.
 
The broader and more active and robust the market seems the more leverage the producers have. What will also happen is the pool of consumers continues to grow as new people experience what’s being offered across the marketplace. People are engaging with the market more often and having great experiences (because your still focusing on and maintaining operational effectiveness). Word of mouth travels fast. Buzz is built and anticipation for the next offering bubbles. A rising consumer base is hungry for more!
 
As this happens, the best run and operated offerings will solidify themselves as mainstays. The producers and presenters put themselves in position to drive the market moving forward. You win and have helped built a foundation to keep winning. 
 
Somebody ask Cicely Mitchell, who runs The Art of Cool Project (www.theartofcoolproject.com) in Durham, NC about this.
 
So think…how do I expand the marketplace rather than be pushed to fight for market share? What do I really lose by doing so? What are the factors in “different” (time, location, date, space, look, etc.).
 
Habit is what we are trying to break not conform to. If we don’t want our consumer base to be static then why would we be in how we offer our art to them?
Until that position is created and these conversations are being facilitated, we have to think strategically.
 
I’m done.

Superheroes

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“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve

My mother always told me I’d be a teacher

I ignored her as many young people do their parents

Set my sights on grander and more lucrative endeavors

So I proceeded to chase an illusion

Someone told me I should have

Spent time lending my talents

To a Tin Man of a system

Only to find myself the victim of heartless disloyalty

But along the way

Me and my pen

Came to terms with the marriage of purpose and blessing

Took a title, then accepted responsibility

And found ourselves in front of a classroom

 

When I called her and told her

I was promoted from artist-in-residence to a professor

My expectation

Was that I’d receive an “I told you so”

She didn’t let me down

Then lifted me up

In prayer

To the God that kept her son from harm’s way

Helped him find his way

Gave him gifts

Taught him how to use them

Then allowed him to teach others

 

I remember the smile I heard through the phone

I carry it with me to campus

Show it off to the students who enter my class

I am shepherd to the extraordinary

Who haven’t been helped to understand

The power they possess

My job is to teach them how to use their talents

Harness their uncanny abilities

And oh my do they have superpowers

 

A young man from southern California

Who had his heart ripped out by betrayal

So he replaced it with burning desire to succeed

Covered in resentment like a suit of armor

And I have to show him that what’s possible

Is in stark contrast to what he’s been told

 

A beautiful young woman in tight ripped jeans

Who only sees the world in shades of grey

Telekenetic, willing objectivity into well crafted essays

With elder siblings who try to murder her self esteem

I tell her that like a phoenix

She will be reborn even stronger

 

I have learned that invisibility

Is the ability to be in a room and be ignored

There is a girl in the back of my classroom

Not unseen

I know that she is there

I let her know

The force field of apathy she puts up

Will not keep me from showing her

That she is fantastic

 

I teach composition and rhetoric

Creative writing

Alchemy

If you believe that learning to work the elements of craft

Can alter what matters

Think and you can write

Listen and you can learn

Read and you can react

Aptitude is a desire

Let me show you how to harness hard work

 

Javonte was trying to claw his way out of the streets

Adamantium mentality said don’t ever be broke

So he stuck to his ways instead of the books

Until he was struck

I keep expecting him to wake up

Because I believe in quick healing factors

 

The freshman cheerleader

Whose desire to fit in

Has her adopting the bad habits

Of the people she comes in contact with

Keeps going rogue from my class

I want to convince her it is her potential

That is untouchable

 

The kid they all call strange that wants to be a doctor

I help hone his eloquence so he can cast spells

On those who might doubt his promise

The football player ashamed of his brilliant analytical mind

Because he is more celebrated for his hulking presence on the field

The NY native who is so absent he’s a ghost

Who randomly straddles desk chair like a motorcycle

Trying to navigate the parallel dimensions

Of the hell at home and the responsibility of school

 

I know people with superpowers

I marvel at the possibilities

Some change into costume before leaving their room

Some can’t mask who they were born to be

Mutants don’t get to have an alter ego

The nerds, cool kids, and jocks

They come to me for answers

I try to help them uncover the secrets

To finding them on their own

I never expected to be here

But I couldn’t imagine not being here

Using my ability to read and influence minds

To school these gifted youngsters

 

I called my mother to tell her I was a professor

My expectation

Was that she would give me an “I Told you so”

She didn’t let me down

Then lifted up my purpose
When she asked “Do you enjoy what you do?”

I replied

Mom, I get to train superheroes

 

The Art of Mis-Interaction

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“Rhythm is the basis of life, not steady forward progress. The forces of creation, destruction, and preservation have a whirling, dynamic interaction.” – Kabbalah

I don’t interact the easiest. Whew! There, I said it. Ahhhhh. That really is a weight off my shoulders. Not like Atlas weight, but still larger than a whiffle ball.

Look, I really don’t. I do help, support, foster, nurture, mentor, teach, listen to, pep up, stand behind, but I don’t interact the easiest (now this is the point where I have repeated myself, realized it is a refrain and that there will be a poem from this also). It’s like my heart, mind, and spirit are mob bosses arguing over turf as they rally their “families.” I will save you from the extended metaphor of detailing the families based on the boss and the various things associated. Just know I could do it if I wanna. I don’t. Point is that they tend to not make things smooth. I don’t do things smooth. Except how I pulled you in with that cool quote. That was smooth. Admit it. The picture was just icing on the cake. No there is not cake.

I hate making mistakes. My greatest fear is coming up short (anybody even thinking of tall person jokes I will telepathically kick you in the shins. Felt it twinge? That was a warning). I’ve always despised that feeling. Fail has a way of making you ok with trying again. Screwing up makes you want to run arms flailing into the shadows, go home and pack your underwear, then try jump through your moms full length mirror hoping to get to Narnia. It never works by the way. It takes a lot of regrouping to recover from mistakes. But nobody is perfect right? And avoiding mistakes is more tiring than recovering from making one.

See, the thing is, I believe in people. I just don’t always trust everyone. Yes, that means I am watching many of you very very closely. It also means that a conversation with me is like a tennis match. You keep volleying hopping to gain an advantage but that return is mean. So is the serve.

Another important aspect is that if you give me an impression, I operate off that impression. You might not recognize it because I still operate with respect, compassion and appreciation. I just don’t see you the same. There are stringent limitations that come with that. The energy I expend changes dramatically. Doesn’t matter if you don’t see what you did. Your the one blind to the fact, not me. Your vision is blurry not Flava’s. If you don’t understand the significance of the last two sentences, then I might need to rethink our relationship anyway.

I don’t buy wolf tickets. Talk all you want. I’ve been the “good listener” since 6th grade. Doesn’t mean I’m convinced. Probe all you want. It’s G14 classified over here. You aint got clearance then there is a nice brochure we have prepared that will give you all the pertinent information. Throw out a hook and a line…*I’m laughing* (nice fisherman hat and vest). Unless you lowering yourself in these waters in a cage like them hunting for the biggest shark people, then I ain’t got much for you. Take a risk babee!

If you have G14 classification and If I trust you, then I believe it’s ok to make mistakes around you. Because I trust you’ll talk to me about (or slap me in the back of the head, cuss me out, slap my hand). I hold you close enough to be off, to do too much, to say too much, to be way off, to be dumb. Only thing is…it also hurts way way more when you walk away, back away, don’t respond, won’t communicate, attack, or dismiss. It all looks like falling short to me.

I am a hapless romantic southern gentleman. Maaaan, I aint got time to unpack all the things that brings me. But the book is coming. I promise! No, seriously…I PROMISE!

I’m also very flirtatious. Probably way too flirtatious to not follow up on the flirtation or recognize when the interaction has shifted. Ha! But I’m good at it tho. At least I think so. I did have someone who kept going, “That was what you were doing?” That was traumatizing. I had to spend weeks at flirt camp regaining my mojo. Thank goodness for smores.

I don’t have time to entertain foolishness (I got it from my momma).

I retreat. Sometimes I disappear. It goes with the very private nature. If you don’t have security clearance, then I probably won’t be able to break down why I feel the need to retreat or disappear. So I apologize for not warning you or explaining it. It’s a sucky quandary. I’m complicated.

This post is long as hell. You’ve been subjected to my need to get this out of my head. The poem will be better I promise.

I don’t interact the easiest. For lots of reasons. But I love the interactions I have had. I try to learn from my mistakes. I’m grateful for the people who put up with me. I am sorry for the ones I have shut out. I will change and trust more. Then I won’t. Then I will again. Then I will write more posts and blogs. At least until I become ridiculously stupendously happy. Then I’ll draw daffodils and sing folks songs.

One other thing…

To those that don’t know if they have abused their privileges. I bet I got you thinking now don’t I? Is it me? He did sorta look at me funny 3 weeks ago. His last text message was missing a comma, was it a sign. Hmmm, I wonder. Well, here is some advice. Don’t inbox me, email me or text me. Cuz, you know…limited clearance. I’ll cleverly distract you. Look a new reality show staring Monique and Boris Kudjo. See?

Orangoutang. Cool word… Orangoutang.

Ok, I think that is all. I have made a new post for my blog. Next I’ll publish it. It will go out to my social media pages. Most of friends won’t read it. They all kick babies and pluck the wings off of butterflies in their spare time.

Orangoutang

Say it with me…

Orangoutang

Signs – A new poem

WarningSigns

Signs

She said she enjoyed suspense
Looked me in my eye
Smiled
It took every thing in me not to run
Because hesitation
Is often a respectful and compassionate billboard
Letting you know that what you need
Might be waiting at the next exit
But I don’t heed warnings well
I’m not too good with signs

Like the one
Neon lit between her lips
Juke joint juxtaposed
With the temptation on the tip of his tongue
He made her want to discover the poet inside her
But the time between inspiration and insatiable
Can come and go so quick

That by the time she realized
The truth of the poet inside her
They’d both lied
Her still laying
With tears in her eyes
Him with new conquests in his eyes
I wished I had known before I booked him
For the show

I understand though
Optimism can become desert deceit
When you’ve become parched
Since the last wet taste
Dehydrated
Facing decisions like segregated designations
Marriage like bright light over horizon
Indulgence like dark degradation
Seems like white only and colored only
Water fountains

Hallucinations can happen
When Road Closed
Look like Rest Stop Ahead
Have you crash test dummy desperately
Diving into accidental embraces

I’m no better
Show me a danger zone

And I see an area under construction
An optimistic land developer
Who’s been an indecisive bulldozer for too long
Never knowing whether to dig or bury
I’ve got a hard hat and a lunch box
Because it’s a long days work being this beautifully broken
Fenced into construction sites
With lovers wearing orange vests and steel toe boots
Then wondering why all I have are stories
of things falling apart

Ask me if I can memory a blueprint of love working
I’ll answer
What examples do I have of building to completion,
Joyous occupancy, effective and efficient maintenance
Death and divorce has robbed me of a semblance
Of certainty that it’s possible
So I’m making it up as I go along
Plans are just pages of passionate principles
But no context
It’s all imagination
Ingenuity
Dammit I’m drawing this shit in crayon

Life is just a School Zone
Full of lessons
A roadway full of decisions
and speed limits
A lot with instructions
to Park in Designated Spaces Only
I’ve paid a lot of fines
Learned a lot from my experiences

But I’m gone be ok
God granted the peace
that likes to dress up as patience
and play trick or treat with elitists and enigmas
It’s just a matter of reading the signs
Closed
Out for lunch
Private
They’re just all defense mechanisms
Just steps along the path to being comfortable
Open 24hrs A Day

That’s why I’m good at doing this work
Service entrance above my apartment door
Where the exit sign should be
Means I signed up when I step out
To face the day
Even though my choice got me asking questions
Like why me
When them others got diamond encrusted
Out of Order pieces
Wood carved Out for Repairs medallions
We Reserve the Right to Refuse tshirts
And Try Back Later four finger rings

But I tried to turn my back on my calling
God taped a kick me sense of responsibility
to my back
Now I bear the weight of the world
Between my shoulder blades
And spend my days
With life’s foot in my ass
Trust me, I got the message

See there’s no turning back
Once the door has closed behind you
Your vision, beliefs, and sense of purpose
Waiting on the other side
Every day in the world is a meeting
With the primary stockholders of all that you are
They knew the best course of action was going public
Too late to say you aint ready
When it plainly said
Authorized personnel only

I just answer the call
I’ve tried to manipulate my destiny
Ignorant
That a gated community
Can quickly become a prison yard
That when the hands of the clock
Begin to believe they dictate the time
It will be too late
When they realize they are outnumbered

She said she enjoyed suspense
I’m looking for what’s suspended in her eyes
Then let the moment pass by
With no reply
Because hesitation
Is often a respectful and compassionate billboard
Letting you know that what you need
Might be waiting at the next exit
But I don’t heed warnings well
And I’m not too good with signs

New book excerpt…

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So I am working on my next book of poetry. It is a book about dating and relationships. It follows my experiences starting in late 2007 when I had to face the end of a long term relationship and the horrors of returning to the dating world. I did what I often do when I am trying to make sense of emotions or thoughts, I wrote. So this is a collection of the poems I wrote along the way, edited of course (You don’t need to see the original versions of some of these). I decided to also include retellings of various experience in my own words and from my own perspective. Hey, it’s my book. So it will include tongue in cheek recollections and introspective reflections on my experiences. It will also include my hope to one day write a happy ending to this whole thing. But that will be another book.

This excerpt is what started it all. I posted an anectdote with one of the poems a long time ago. The response was good. One of my friends, a poet and writer named Mike Simms, told me he wanted to see more of that. The lightbulb went off then. Since then I have been planning this next project. This year I am determined to finish the manuscript.

I am not ready to announce the title of the book yet.

Here you go…

Book Excerpt (draft)

Love is a funny thing. We all know that, we’ve experienced it, and some of us have had the shit smacked outta us by it. The emotion is eternal and universal, but also subjective. It comes to us in various forms based on where we are in our lives. It is a chameleon, a shape shifter, Mystique from Xmen. Anybody notice that she’s called mystique, able to become anything, and she’s blue? Talk about subtle irony. Any one guy who has gotten the blues from a woman who appeared to be everything you imagined knows what I mean, but I digress. See, I was smacked by love in sunny Los Angeles, CA.

Poets…poets…poets. What more do I need to say? I became head over heels over one. Had seen her in New Mexico and 2 years later there she was in Texas. I, for the first time, put myself out there at one of these festival thingies I attend every year. Now I hadn’t done this before and probably won’t do it ever again (it’s like Hedonism at some of these thingies), but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. There was intrigue, watching eyes, secret rendezvouses (I don’t know the plural of this word), and suspense (wasn’t she dating him, are they chilling, what’s going on, I wanted some of that, etc.). We walked, talked, drank frappuccinos, and made plans for our future (actually just later that night…this isn’t a Hugh Grant movie). She confessed her quirks, insecurities, and hangups (to see if I’d run). I said no problem (cuz I’m crazy and L.A. issues aint got nuttin on NC issues) and fell even more into whatever that was I was inflicted with at the time (gas). It was like Romeo & Juliet, West Coast vs East Coast, a train vs Hancock…see a theme forming here? When I got back to NC after the festival thingie I was on cloud 9. We talked on the phone, emailed, and sent each other poems. I asked what she needed from me and the answer was a little challenging. She said, “bring your behind to L.A. so we can see if this thing is real.” Yeah, see the way my bank account work…Ugh, I guess I better start counting pennies and calling favors.

MESSAGE! Don’t fly across the country to see if something is real. Don’t relocate, sell organs, cause yourself physical harm, or harm puppies or small children to see if something is real. Somebody needs to confirm the realness before reservations are made. I should have asked for fax verification.

Instead I said ok. I booked a flight, packed my bags, and flew off for a semi secret week in L.A. (of course no poets were informed of this whole thing…EGADS that would be a catastrophe). I arrived at the airport and was welcomed by the cutest face, the most engaging eyes, and the charmingnest smile ever (no, I am not done making up words). The devil is the Tom Vila of temptation. I was the happiest most oblivious guy in the world.

vrvrhvyrwyrrrvyhrrwyrrrr (fast forward) to 2 days later and I was miserable. After having the fabric of my humanity tested and the whole of my being questioned, I was told I was too nice, too romantic, too understanding, and too damn good (mind you I flew across the country to find this out. Coulda brotha have gotten a Hallmark card instead?). I’ve never been tested like that ever (other than the GRE. That’s it! She was like the GRE. Breakthrough!). So I go from being attacked to being treated to a sightseeing adventure of L.A. (every place there were no poets). It was like a schizophrenic National Lampoon vacation. It was like MMA in the octagon…FIGHT, break for an excursion, FIGHT, break for an excursion. Ugh, but at least the excursions were fun.

I ate at a Vegan restaurant for the first time. I got to check out some community stuff. I was even taken to my first bonfire. I was scared at first I would burned at the stake, but that would have only compassionately ended my misery.

So there I am on the beach trying to find serenity and promising myself to never fall for this one again. We should be snuggled up on this beach. Nah, that would just be choke holds and arm bars. Alas, what is a man to do when the woman he is head over heels for is treating him like an exchange student she is hosting? I decided to try and make something good come out of it. I tuned out the chitchat behind me (what was she talking aboot?), pulled out pen and pad, and composed this poem.

Dear Sunset

Don’t close your eyes yet baby
I still believe in miracles
I find one each morning you wake
I aint ready to let this one go yet

Don’t take your last breath
Because the beauty of your horizon
Is why I still have faith
Why I still think I can escape
Find freedom as far away
As the hope I had
When you smiled

Don’t say goodbye
Leaving me standing alone
As in the dark as when you told me
I didn’t know you
Just familiar with
Like easy Saturday mornings
Lazy afternoons

Tears well like waves behind my eyes
The shores of my cheeks
Is where pride sits
Denial sits
Shallow confidence sits
I’m fighting the pain waiting
To tidal these sand bags
I stacked by not sleeping well without you

I call you at dawn
Find you now at dusk
As fed up with today as ever
But don’t make me say
Goodnight baby

I’m sorry
Beached here
With a whale of an attitude
Chest full of heartache
Wading through the tears
My vision of us surfs on
I’m trying to find the right thing to say to you
Set fire to my insecurities
Let love bonfire dance drunkenly
Around the blaze

Don’t leave me baby
You’re the reason I believe in possibly
Like it’s possible you get more amazing
Each time I see you

Take me with you
Let’s say good riddance
To everything that keeps us apart
Set our doubts sail
Christen it God’s work
Wave goodbye to hesitation
Let the sinking feeling we won’t work
Become a titanic thing of the past

I want to sky dive
Jump off the highest
Mountain of a molehill
To see if I fall to my demise
Of fall into the warmth of your embrace
But instead I’m on this shoreline
Trying to reach you

Whisper your wishes to me
I don’t want God to hear
I’ll fill him in
With my nighttime prayers
So he’ll know why I need you back again
Baby I’m listening even if I look far away
That’s because I know you’ll be there soon
I want to know where to find you

Be us baby
Because I can’t be us without u
Otherwise there’d be this consonant loneliness
I really couldn’t deal with

Dear sunset
I want to see your smile rise again
When I arrive
Let me bask in doing what makes you happy
Because it makes me feel alive

I don’t want you to go
Because all I’ll be left with
Is what I don’t know
Every truth I didn’t let go
Every emotion I didn’t let show

See without you
It’s face my fears of darkness
Or indulge in artificial light
Trying to convince me
That the shadows they cast
Is them helping me put the dark past
Behind me

I can’t do it
When I know you’re still there
You just found the other side of me
I fail to acknowledge
So I howl at the moon
Ravenous but resistant
To every temptation it tries to feed me
I want breakfast
In you eyes

I dream that you are waiting
For me to find my new day
Wishing for my willingness to fight for my morning
Ignore predictions of storm clouds
Or overcast baggage
I want to make your dreams come true
All I ask is that you
Be there baby
I’ll meet you in the morning

This…(breathe)…person told me if nothing else I would get some great poetry out of our experience (people who say that have 8 toes and eat lightning bugs, don’t trust them). Unfortunately she was right. I changed my flight to leave earlier, packed my bags, and embarked on one of the most embarrassing plane rides back to North Carolina. The flight attendant keep checking on me like she was tending to a wounded puppy. Did I look that pitiful? As I languished in my pain I wrote this poem.

Lost in L.A.

I can’t stand to love you
As fear and loathing rises like hair on skin
It scares and disgusts me to care for you
I’m horrified to fall and it sickens me to lose
So I hold and push you at the same time
This is a narcissistic nihilism
Where I don’t want to believe in anything but us
But I don’t believe we will exist
It’s tearing me apart and it’s holding me together
And I don’t know if I know what I don’t know anymore
Am I crazy?

I paint self-portraits on your eyelids
So I can see my reflection when your eyes are closed
So I stare at you when you sleep
And I imagine that your vision of me is why you’re so peaceful
I try to caress you till our hearts beat in syncopation
So it feels like we are one
Because each pace fits in each pause, a long steady rhythm
That I accent with kisses like high hats
As you snore Billie Holliday

Dammit I can’t stand to love you this much
To feel tame under your touch
To run wild from your influence
I say bestiality becomes you
Late at night trying to hold me under the full moons glow
When you realize I’ve spent many moons
Tearing apart the hearts of angels
A ravenous wolf happy to kiss a woman
With her tongue dipped in silver
I want you to slay me

Give me life
So that at midnight we can entomb ourselves between the sheets
And rise again in the morning
Let our nights be our Passover
Are you my Judas or my Peter?
Will you betray me or denounce me
I say you’re my John the Baptist
With me through and through
Your happiness scriptures my significance
And my commitment worships you faithfully
But my insecurities hide from your judgment
I don’t know why you’re here

I often joke that I am your two-way mirror
I see you and you see you
So of course I seem as wonderful as you actually are
My glorious rebel
I could die with you on the battlefield
But if I couldn’t have you in the meantime
I wouldn’t have the manifesto
That fuels my will to fight on the frontlines

They tell us to lay our burdens down
See graves are the only things
That never get tired of holding you
So I dig through the dirt I’ve done
And in my heart I want to bury you there
But it’s hard to hold this in
So as this rose grows through the concrete
I let my tears nurture your impact
I can’t take feeling this way
But I can’t help caring this much

So often relationships are similes
Ours is a metaphor
I find refuge here
But a sanctuary is a home for the heart hell has its sights on
So I pole dance for the devil
Trying to grapple a pillar of strength
I can’t live this way
But I can’t die not loving you

This is my dialectical diatribe
My ballad of balance
Where I blindly weight why I can’t wait to hold you
Against why I can’t hold the weight of having you
Why I can’t remember before you and I can’t picture after you
I can’t stand to love you this much
But I couldn’t stand to not love you at all

I have been kissing the nape of your neck
For a week now
Your touch hasn’t become softer
Your words haven’t become more understanding
I’m waiting to be committed
Proving my insanity with my dedication
Repeating the same affectionate ignorance
Expecting the result to change
Only it’s become monotonous
Instead of monogamous

I just want to hate you
Love the idea of forgetting you
Only I forget to hate you
Love the idea of holding you
This air guitar romance
Where I pretend
That we make beautiful music together
You are an apparition
Imagined when the devil slipped
A hallucinogen into my loneliness
I just want to come down off this high
Want this plane to touch down on NC ground
Want your voice to become an unfamiliar sound
How could I have fallen so deeply
For someone willing to watch me drown
Yet I hold you in my heart
Drip you from this pen
Writing memos to my heart
To never be this foolish again

L.A. sucks. Not really, but I held on to that belief until I was able to return to LA and regain my dignity. Now me and LA cool.

I knew going into this that she had just left a relationship that formed when I first met her in New Mexico and lasted until I saw her again in Texas. It was intense, encompassing, and challenging. She was in one of those places we find ourselves in where your mind is telling you that maybe you should try something different (Sound familiar?). I was the different, someone she would have never otherwise been involved with. I was someone she admittedly said she would eat alive. I was someone she hoped would be the balance of peace and turmoil.

I was struggling through a relationship that had been going on for years. We had moved into the break up and get back together later because it’s too comfortable, safe, easy, etc. phase (we did that twice) only to eventually give up. I was looking for that grand romance to whisk me away to happiness (I was tricked into believing dysfunction leads to happiness. You know, the plot of every romantic movie).

We artists, especially poets, seek to see so we can write. Often we see what we seek where it’s not. Hey, shit happens. It’s the lesson that moves us forward. So now I tip my glass of punch, take it to the head, and rejoice in the wisdom of my experiences.

I was taught that you will find what you’re looking for unless you change what you are looking for. Those looking for change will find the same (only in a different shell). Those who change the way they look will find out even more about themselves.

Yep, I’m that deep. That was bottom of the ocean right dere!

One piece of advice,  be careful of those festival thingies. They can get you in trouble!

But wait, there is more!

So a few years later I’m sitting at my computer on a Sunday afternoon perusing facebook…