Friday, September 22, 2017

How to be small

When I was growing up
I received a BIG education
that began when I was very little
on how to be small
Its an education  
that I am grateful for
about morals and ethics and war
I saw conferedate flag bandanas wrapped around heads
not knowing that they were helmets
I heard kkk propaganda before I even knew 
what those words meant
I learned who we called faggots and who we called niggers
"because that’s who they are", they said
with angry, outstretched, index fingers
No wonder I didn’t tell them
that is who I am
No need to GIVE someone an excuse
to beat the gay away
especially when
some people arent even afforded that LUXURY
I saw the big picture of bigotry
The complex quilting of blame
through piece after piece of incidents and accidents
I watched the spreading of blankets of hate and shame
over patriarchal beds full of self righteousness
and indignation
and incest
Beds slept in safely, snuggly, smugly, every night
Shotguns loaded under the frame
Just in case
and out of sight
It is true what they say
those crazy phychologists
those brainwashing scientists
Prejudice is not innate
It is learned
For I learned at that early age
that I was disgusted
and irate
which amazingly I maintained
I listened year after year
to joke after joke
watched time after time
as the masoginistic poked
and the generations of rage 
prodded and choked
the love
right OUT the room
So I followed those instructions
and I left
I pay my own bills
Rent my own room
So no I DON'T have to tolerate this anymore
You cant make me go to Christmas
Even Jesus wouldn’t put up with this SHIT

As I watched my grandparents die
I hoped that this ideology
This pathology
This heart dis-ease
This live-or can't-sir
This brain tomb-er
would go with them
but I am getting an education yet again
that I am not happy about
but privileged to receive
and still grateful for
When my girlfriend stood at the door
asked me to show her a neighborhood
that was safe to walk her dogs in
She smiled at my uneducated answer and said
Sweetheart, I don’t think you understand
I stand OUT on an affluent street
My skin is too brown
The cops will follow me around
I will feel safer in a different part of town
She loses sleep at night
when her sons are out
Reciting instructions given from day one
about how to survive being pulled over by the cops
knowing not IF it will happen, but WHEN
One week she sends her boy
off to college to become a man
and the next watches hatred fill a campus
not surprised to watch history repeat itself yet AGAIN

I see these supremacy demonstrations
that are filled with men
who all but look like my next of kin
Brandishing sticks and stones
and they think they know me
with their accusations of sin
and I smile a little
because maybe they do
but the joke isn’t over
because I also know them
I know their shouting and gun loading
comes from fear and self loathing
I know that their atrocious, unforgiveable abuse of power
cums from the fact that they have not yet found their own
Using a FIST to make ones way in the world
is just evidence that one is still trapped underneath
someone elses THUMB
and nurturing the family tree of passed down oppression
will only make someone feel
old
tired
and KNUMB
I know their heads full of secrets and games
I know their pants full of inadequacies and shame
I know their hearts full of excuses and bruises
I know their histories full of sin
Just like mine
And I know that
that is not really
who they are
but it is still who they are CHOOSING to be
I hope that someday
very, very, very soon
they will choose to see
that it is MERELY
an education
that they received when they were very little
on how to be small

Monday, September 11, 2017

Let it.

Let love swallow you

Let it imagine you
Let it dream about you 
Let it look at you
Let it study you 
Let it admire you 
and want you 
Let it reach for you 
Let it touch you 
and feel for you 
let it smell you 
and let it inhale you
let its mouth water for you 
let it lick you 
let it take you between its teeth 
let it taste you 
let it saver you 
You damn well better savor it 
for you cannot predict 
when you might feast again
let it bite you 
sink it's teeth in
let it gnaw 
and scrape 
and tear your flesh a part 
Let it chew and gulp 
and gasp in between 
and grind you into a pulp 
that can be digested 
and then 
let it swallow you 

Let it take away your appetite 
or move your food through you 
whatever the case may be
the way that only love can do 
Let it make your head light
and your mind dizzy 
and your nights sweaty
allow it to engulf you in flames 
Walk the streets with your hair on fire
Don't hold anything back
for abandon is the fuel for desire 
Let it take you over completely 
let it wash away all of your sins 
Can I get an amen
let it rinse out all of your sorrows
in the moments that it can
and then let it drown you 
deep In its ocean
like buried treasure
because 
you 
are
Let it bury you 
deep in the ground 
so deep 
That the old you will stay there
and only the roots 
of the tallest trees 
can find you and pull you up
like new-trients 
until you are as high as the tips of the leaves again
Let it carry you to the moon and back again
let it take you over 
and pull you under
with the forces of tides 
that run like currents through your veins

Let it revere you 
and become dear to you 
Let it take your breath away 
fill your heart with play
Let it empty the sky of clouds 
and calm the water to its depths 
Let it make the world become clear to you 
even if for just a moment 
Let it fill the night with storms and wind
let it cut you to the core
Let it turn you into the most shameless whore
and liar 
and beggar 
and cheat
and thief 
Let it hurt you 
and desert you 
Let it crush you 
and flush you
with rage  
and jealousy 
and greed
and grief
Let it bring out the worst in you 
It's ok
because it will most definitely 
bring out the best in you 
and we can endure the worst 
if the best is yet to come
and it is
It always is
Let it float to the surface 
in the wake of the aftermath 
Let love rebuild your belief
that the best is yet to come 
It came to you 
It came from you 
Let it make you a prisoner of hope
let it grow you
and show you 
the next step 
when one foot in front of the other 
is all you can take

Let it make you 
by breaking you 
into teeny tiny little puzzle pieces 
that you have to put back together again 
let it find you 
let it lose you 
let it yearn for you 
Let it miss you 
and choose you 
let it thrill you 
and kill you 
let it skin you alive 
and eat you 
let it feed you 
plant seeds in you 
create needs in you 
let it see through you 
and free you 
let it fill you 
like the sound of a choir
and distill you 
like moonshine in a mason jar
let it walk with you 
and talk with you 
let it laugh at you 
and die with you 
let it live in you 
and cry with you
let it listen to you 
and 
you 
should 
listen 
to it

Let it find you 
in your hiding places 
and unwind you 
from your twisted spaces 
Let it pull you apart
leaving you broken and open
time after time after time
and If it leaves
let it
Let it mourn you 
and you it 
Let it transform you 
and know that you have transformed it
and If it stays 
let it
Let it adorn you 
and you it 
Let it transform you 
and know that you have transformed it 
It comes and goes 
ebbs and flows
hides and seeks 
It sings and speaks
It's all we have 
and all that we are
When you find it
it can enfold you 
with gentle ecstasy 
lift you with electricity 
it holds the power 
to cocoon you 
and it holds the power 
to butterfly you 
But 
you 
have 
to 
let it.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Seeds of Optimism

If we dig up the ground we stand on
aren’t we supposed to plant new things?
Even if it takes a few seasons to bear fruit
Whether it is an intentional bulb
that comes back year after year
full of blooming potential 
or a wild seed in the wind
that sprouts from the accidental act
of exposing fertile soul
it plants something every time anyway
My grandparents planted seeds of optimism
within me throughout my life
and they always seem to sprout
just when I need them to
We aren’t supposed to continue
to watch the weeds gather
We aren’t supposed to mow the grass down
only to watch it grow back again
We aren’t supposed to cut the dandelions
if we really love honey
And I really love honey
and dandelions
and fruit
and sowing seeds
Where did I put my shovel?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Beckoning Royal Majestic


Since I left you

I ate a donut
the size of my head
Washed it down with
3 shots of espresso
Veered off the highway
to an unknown strip mall
Bought a new pair of shoes
I didn't need
Missed my next three exits
Almost drove off the road
trying to remove my jacket
like a fervent twister
Twitched incessantly in my seat
as sweat dripped
down my sides
until

surrender … finally … came

deep breathing
long audible sighs
tears spilling
from the outside corners of my eyes
rolling down the sides of my cheeks
as I passed the gas station in Decatur
where I once gave a lovely old woman
the flowers I had bought you


Let go
and find peace
you said
What the fuck does that mean
Telling me to let go
is like super gluing my hand
to a grand piano
while you proceed to sit down
and play
endless
meandering … dissonant ... jazz chords

I have found 
fleeting moments of peace
in my life
but they are located in the past
and there is no map
that I know of
that can help me find them
in the future
and you certainly arent going to
The problem is
when I am flying solo
I tend to get lost easily
but maybe that isn't really a problem
since knowing where I am going
has never brought me to any place
I have wanted to stay anyway

Sometimes
I worry
that I don't know the difference
Between calm and numb
because the one thing
they have in common
is the stillness
the quiet
its maddening
chaos has always been the heroin of my existence
and I am good at standing in the eye of the storm

However, my comfort with fear 
makes me no smarter than a monkey
If I would just let go of the goddamn banana
maybe I could pull my hand out of the bottle
Most days I feel like
a wild coyote
stuck in a trap
and it is all I can do
not to chew off my own foot
Because I have been taught
that being a cautious three legged dog
is better than being a car chasing
dead one
no matter how much freedom 
the death of this identity may bring

I have lost all my sense of direction
from insistently following
these thoughts clouded with fear
Instead of fearlessly diving into 
the beckoning, royal, majestic
called the unknown

Thunderheads billow on my left
Deep violet violence
with asymmetrical fractals of lightening

Sunset burning on my right
Florescence orange
beams through a foggy maze

Driving straight through
the flat plains of windmills
Headed toward an indigo sky

Random electric flashes
bring me back to the present
illuminate my way
revealing midnight cumulus tendril fingers
that stretch over head
Reaching for me
Wrapping around me
This front has no clear end
and I have forgotten where it began
all I know is that I don’t want to front anymore

In my altered state of mind
my fight or flight purple haze
I have completely lost track of time
But maybe that's ok
because I know that
At the end of every drug trip
is the dry up
At the end of every road trip
is the quiet
and maybe I will find peace
in the stillness
if I just keep driving
and allow this storm
to swallow me up