Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Major Arcana: The Illustrator

When the Illustrator enters
It signals the need to observe one's own will
As their pen strokes paper
So does intention stroke reality

When the Illustrator enters
Thought is given outline
And outline is given shape
And shape is given substance
And substance is given form

When the Illustrator enters
Light bends about us all
The vibrant colors of our empathy
Wraps prismatic around those we hold dear

When the Illustrator enters
They grasp imagination in their hands
Dream is a medium they've mastered
Hope sits on the tip of their tongue
Intention becomes a gentle stroke upon our history


Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Litany of Transcripted Voicemails Demonstrating Need

Hello.
Maybe I'm just green.
Ain't you this? Can you call me?
Maybe try him again later.

Hi, my name is [redacted]. Can I get appointment by tomorrow Friday like around 2?
My phone number is [redacted]. Thank you.
Hello. Hello you babe. This is [redacted]. He needs
you need the paper for me to prove that he is he does have
Medicaid. Because you want to go to his appointment.
Thank you.

Good morning a message.
Hey jumbled, but Joseph when you meet me by window.
Poo poo poo poo. Poo poo Jessica, Cecila, Daddy.
Okay. He's about to Jessica call. You got to do call
me back right away or Dana South with the deletion
of Emma I sent.

Hello, this is a spot. So I wanted to talk to you
if I bring his wife tomorrow morning with more than 1
in with him to the agency on Roku called her wife has walk.
Just please answer him or leave a message for him.
Thank you.

I am accept last addition. LOL mo at Dr. Raja.
My other question is on the faucet the tuna noodle
on Stan Bennet. I'm leaving the kids a bath, but I know
he is mentally and Penta. Restylane Ella there is room.
Yeah after work. The homemowner.

Hi, please. Call me back. I have been submitted my friend
talk to that. Please call me back.

Good morning, son. I can come by the agency please
call me back. I need to review record. I was hope.
My doctor yesterday you say he won't lose a result.
To the hospital no cost he wants right now. You want to do
because he want to do. Some more 444 this on a result Okay.
He need is a my son to my son did to my my blood oh
my God.

Okay. Joseph Hey Lee. Matoaca break for your
name in the Bible she doing a pack of simonini mom
as promised. I did lose. I'm unable to be found.
This is a concern. I know the calendar this way.
This made me happy mark. I know you're going to send
over the next year settlement message is equal glenda
more definition of your dependent will be interested
lifetime the commandment you mad at me. I say Shanna
green card sash on for the barbed energy you massage
may notify the agency, but you might obama tee-hee
open position as a green card one of the duck. I'm in the
material on Shadow reaction social security disability and
mom would check up to the minute. I'm about to go shopping.
I love you. Do you never give up?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Black Boy Converts Himself to Nitrogen to Survive

Upon when eyes enter and penetrate
My body -- yield myself to gaseous form
Set and release the bones unto electronic fields
And hereupon now find myself rotating in valent orbitals

The laws of nature transcend the laws of man
If only because they are unspoken
Or unobserved
Or unobservable as they shift as soon as they are seen

I render myself to a new and gaseous form
I consider the shift of my atomic weight
Nitrogenous in my prestige
And just like nitrogen I am cold and absent of life

I mean to say that if I am not alive then you cannot hurt me
Can I say it again?

If I am not alive then you cannot hurt me.

Inorganic and alien.
Can you see the room filling with me as I expand?
Look how I feel every space.
Transformation is one way to exercise agency.
What I mean to say is that I am not a victim.

If I am not alive then you cannot hurt me.

Can you see the room filling with me as a I expand?
Look how I fill every space.
I displace all the oxygen in the room.
And now anyone who dares to gaze at me asphyxiates under my atomic weight.

I am not a noble gas (and I would never pretend to be).
What I mean to say is that I am not a victim.

I am gaseous as mist evaporating in the new day.
Gaseous as the moon pulling itself out of the water during sunrise.
Unspoken and unobservable
I shift as soon as I am seen.
Look I am governed by the laws of nature
Invulnerable to the gaze
I shift as soon as I am seen.


A Litany of Years and Moments When Each Felt Like a Lifetime

1994

The year I was (         )
2 months premature
Very much ahead of my time
Thrown into a box labeled with the words
Intense | Care \ Unity
My mother and (        )  fearful of my swelling (     )
My mother chained to the (       )  by the phantom of her (        ) cord
My (       )  spiriting away into the dusty mouth of the narcotic's night
Would not be the first time he chose (        )  over his son's labored breath

2003

Two boys and a (       ) dark with premonition
He pulls back a comforter with no regard for Care
And we are then embraced in forced Unity
A (       )  blast of Intense pain rips through my (        )
Were you (         ) my adolescence or turning over a black stone?

2007
Three black bodies languid in the ghetto (    )
Two in one bedroom
One in another
One man, one woman, one child
But no triangle of love
No (       ) to give rise to Unity
Rather an Intense anger of (       ) infidelity
A rigorous rupture in the Contract of Care 
That drives two bodies into the living room
One man + one woman
The math of their insurgent emotion (         ) a hole in the wall
One child forced to become a (        ) in the gaping wound of the night


2012 - 2014

(        )

2015 - 2016

If I am to heal
Let it be in the molten heat
Of my own mouth
Let me kiss my own bruises
To cauterize my (      )
To suffer (       )
Is to render all Contracts of Care
Null and Void
Unity then being an Intense (        )
To incorporate
Blades of grass bend around my (       ) to brace me for the path forward
Look! See how I limp with the injury of memory?
Southern winds fill my lungs
So that every breath from my mouth might whisper (       )
Enter! That all your healing be a (     ) on a summer's day
Laughter fills my diaphragm
I lift into the air
Black boy, become kite
Drifting towards The Gate of (     )




Saturday, June 23, 2018

Damage the Temple

The body is a temple

When you damage the body
You damage the temple

When you damage the temple
You incur the Lord's wrath

When you incur the Lord's wrath
He leaves voicemails on my phone

He leaves voicemails on my phone
And they all say the same thing:

"You should call sometime. I haven't heard from you in a while."

The body is a temple
The body is estranged from the idols of worship

The temple estranged
The body an exhalation from the Lord

When breath leaves the Lord's body
A mountain is moved and a sea is turned

None of this is miraculous
It is just the way the world works

Damage the body
Damage the temple
Wrath is a mountain moved into the mouth of the sea

The mouth of the sea is the tears of the God is the belly of your mother

When the Lord's wrath is incurred
The belly of your mother exhales

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Lo-Fi Labor

Find me in my real life
Hardworking and laborious
With a loosening knee
And a tightening mind

If I told you I"d been working since I was 12
Would you believe me?
If I worked myself to death
Would you call it noble?
Stick a Benjamin in my mouth and call it a flower.
Hope it pays for my Uber across the river Styx?

Thought if I did my life right it would all make sense
But now im slugging through 60 hour work weeks for dollars and cents
My mind is unraveling
My loose knee is throbbing and im swirling and recessed
The void in me twirling and depressed

Words can't be flowers when you're working past the 9-5
And the 9-5 becomes the 6-3
But I know you'll stick a dollar bill in my mouth when you bury me

Haunted by the ghosts of all the time I've killed
Trying to stuff the hungry maw of a bank account
Listening to lo-fi hip hop in my down time
Hoping I can unwind in time
Before I clock back in for my next shift

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Neckbones

I

My grandmother washes neckbones
Under warm, running water
She handles them gently
As if she understands
The trauma of slaughter
How it pulls you out of your bed
And into someone else's kitchen
Onto someone else's cutting board

She handles them gently
As if to apologize for their first life
And prepare them for their second


I'm feeling bored and helpful
I hover about the kitchen
Ready to be commanded
But she waves me off

"This is women's work"

I watch her fingers
As she pulls apart blood, cartilage, and fat
To prepare the meat for the final rinse before the salt
The blood runs down her hands
A bright red, on tender brown

II

Where did our blood and our skin come from?
From which canal of history did our family flow?
How many of us passed through the Atlantic?
What bridges did we cross?
Who did we leave behind and who did we take in?

I don't know where our black skin began
But I do know that everyone I see wearing it
Feels like a magnet trying to pull a compass towards true north
Our fields are disrupted and we're all going haywire
Culture is diaspora
Our history is dislocated
Whose job is it to pull us all back together again?

III

My grandmother finishes salting the meat
She tosses it in a large pot with onions and garlic
She sets the stove to medium-high
The water begins to writhe with heat
She sets the stove to medium-low
The water simmers, denied its struggle

"Grandma, where did we come from?"

She writhes and simmers
Tells me not to worry about it

"We're black. Black is all we ever were and it's all we'll ever be. We're just like
any other nigger family in Athens, Georgia.

Her field exudes
My compass spins

Who taught us how to do this to each other?

In the pot, on the stove
The neckbones soften
In anticipation
Of their second life