Saturday, April 30, 2011

Johnny had green eyes (from journal entry 3-22-94)

jane and johnny was the cutest couple on the westside
that's where i lived
janes brother worked at the corner store an' he usta give us free stuff
sometimes like noworlaters and sunflower seeds and pickels

jane and johnny always was holdin'hands an when everybody
was around he would kiss her on the lips and hit her on the butt an' laugh
i know she was mad but she aint never said nothin'
all us knew johnny had his faults but all us knew that
beyond all them was the johnny loved jane

what none of us includin' jane aint never been really able to sit right with was that
johnny had green eyes

he was the coolest boy in school the baaadest dresser
he could play basketball an' he had a little smarts too
but johnny had them damn green eyes
that nobody could stand

johnny didn't hang around with none of the other boys our age
'cause they still played tetherball an' blocked off the streets
on summer saturdays to have relay races
an' the girls was cheerleadin' on granddaddy's grass
johnny hung around with his brothers n nim
but jane knew all the cheers and she could shake it to the east
and shake it to the west
better n any us cold
but johnny had green eyes

then one saturday mornin' after angelas slumber party
we all was eatin' grits and eggs and angela's mama an' auntie
was in the room whisperin'
then her mama came out fake smilin' with tears in her eyes
she said she read some sorrowful news in the paper this morning
she said whycome all these kids gots ta carry these guns
an' where they gitten 'em from anyway
an' she tole us if she every caught us wit' one she would
beat our tales with it

the she tole us they found johnny and janes body in the park
and johnny was holdin' a pistol
all us was sad but aint none of us cried
seem like we knew somethin' the grown folk aint know

paper said that johnny shot jane and then pulled the trigger on himself
but all us knew whatnt no gun what killed jane
it was johnny's green eyes

(4-30-11 Glad I found this poem because it was a real experience and I would like to edit it -greatly- and use it again)

Virgo horoscope today

Discussions with friends or colleagues about possible future business enterprises could find you taking notes, Virgo. Your natural meticulousness should serve you well. It will be important to have accurate records to discuss later. Any new project begun now is likely to succeed, especially if writing, speaking, or another form of entertainment is involved. Don't worry about possible failure.

Red Stories day!

Good morning everyone! I am up, happy and excited. Some reasons that I will not name here and also because today is Red Stories day! Yaaaay! I love show day. I have a lot of work to do but it's work I enjoy. Gotta get to it and I hope to see you tonight.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My products for sale now

1. cd - Simple Like a Daisy - $10

2. manuscript - My Bus Stories - $10
(journals of my bus adventures)

3. manuscript - Women in the Village go 'round and 'round - $10
(short stories)

4. manuscript - Dear Uraeus - $10
(letters to my son)

5. manuscript - Letters to my people - $ 7
(notes to folks I come across)

6. manuscript - Playground Politics by Robin R. Reed - $10
by Jaha Zainabu
(stories from my inner child)

7. manuscript - Red Poetry Gumbo - $10

8. novella - The Nikel - $10

You may order all products at and send to Please send me a message with your mailing address and the name of the product you are ordering.

Thank you,
Jaha Zainabu

Don't you die a slave (from journal entry 2-19-94)

when youve been freed from you flesh and bones
adn your spirit moves faster
keep on fightin
cause your brothas and sistas need you here
but dont dare die a slave
dont let them TAKE your life
theres not a new afrikan king or queen
who knows what amerikkkan freedom means
dont die givin and givin
and not gitten in return
get what you can git
and then pass it to your brothas
know what you can know
and then eduate your sistas
fight with all your might
your struggle will help you grow
but dont let them TAKE your life
keep growin and spreadin and livin and floatin in the waves
but dont you die a slave

Take this poem (from journal entry 1-26-94)

take this poem and tell me what you think
tell me how it reads
tell me how it makes you feel
take this poem adn read between its lines
tell me if you hurt
take this poem adn feel its beat
tell me about its thump
could you move to tis groove
take this poem and take my heart
and feel my life and make me come alive

Ourstory 101 (from journal entry 1-26-94)

long before we played pimps and
bitches and
bloods and
slaves and
muthafuckas and
damned fools

we were kings and queens
we were scholars mathematicians writers doctors
all others have learned from us
we were the great thinkers of the earth
we were and we are
mamas and babas imbed this truth into your children at home
in skool the will never know

Life is blue sky (from journal entry 12-27-93)

only in secret fasinations do i now stop to sigh
or even wonder why
my life tody is balck and gloomy or happy and cheery
or just there and unplanned like
californias famous blue sky
no matter the season or month or day or week
my sky just rest above and hides adn provides the pleasures and treasures
that i seek
each days forcast is usually blue
but each days blue
could well be gray or bright yellow to you
life is peace and trumoil
love and hate
heaven and hell
wet and dry

life is all of this yet at the same time
life is still blue sky
in my younger daze sometimes still i pray in silent secret
hidden other tongues
that tomorrows day be not blue sky
rather a disney cartoon
but tomorrow would come adn would bring my way
yea another
blue sky day

(4-28-11, What! Do not tell me I wasn't "deep"!)

Go 'head little sista - for my sister Roshann (from journal entry 2-19-94)

go 'head little sista with yo big ole heart
with your expensive smile
and your priceless humor
your afrikan beauty
and you style of glory

go 'head little sista
with you immovable faith
and you evident purpose

go 'head little sista
and fight for your fredom

Nitetime (from journal entry 8-2-93)

why is it nitetime that everybodys afraid
hell, its daylite we should fear
at nite teh big cheesey moon sends her soft blue lite
while the corner lite sets stage for the knowledge midnite musician
there is something intriguing about the cadence of the nite
something in its lyrics
its its effervescent gleam
its midnite shine
it is aesthetic at its best
its peace
its blackness
its sex appeal adn its appeal to sex
or maybe just my apprehension to its antithesis
you see, in the daylite there is nothing we can hide
the thieves walking by can see your expensive jewels
the ghetto timberland prints are easily spotted at the crime
in the daytime there is nothing we can hide

una pregunta por favor
why is it nitetime that everybody afraid
hell, its daylite we should fear

That black stuff (from journal entry 1994)

some girl came up to me
said she was from some sorority
alpha kappa something or another
and cant i write about how blacks and whites could live better together
bout how it would be better to unite and not fight
and date and mate and race relate
i jus told her that that wasnt my style
that was left to someone else

then she asked why i couldnt write about the flowers and how pretty they are
or the sky and its clouds or the moon or the stars
i told her that was cool
that i might do that someday
but today my brothers are dying in the streets
my sisters are being raped
my children are hanging from trees

today we are at war

(today, April 29, 2011, What's interesting about this is I remember that conversation with the young lady who saw so much anger in my writing. I remember dismissing her like she was lost. She just didn't understand. I was conscious not her. Today, what I write about mostly is nature, love, getting along, everything she said. I'm so glad I found this journal in my my mom's garage. I've come so far. I've let so much go.)

In retrospect from a black chile born in the sexual position (from journal entry 1994)

say it loud
im black an im proud
cood daddy
gimmie some skin
bell bottoms
leather jackets
cleopatra jones
afros and afro picks that made a power fist
leroi jones / amiri baraka
angela afro davis
aretha franklin

das when da vibe was like

Oh my goodness!

Reading through my old poems is such a trip! I was so angry! It's true, the energy you put out comes back to you. I look around and I get angry about how judgemental people are and wonder why they don't just allow others to live their lives freely and I see myself, my yesterday self and I was the same way. Angry, judgemental, self righteous.

It's also true, when we know better we do better. We think better. We pull better to ourselves.

When they speak (from journal entry 8-19-94)

i dont trust what theyre saying about me
they sing my songs and step to my beat
but behind my back what theyre saying about me i dont know
to my face they praise my name and bend to my wyze feet
but behind my back thats just no so
when the moon shines her glory and the nidnight mass are praying
and the honest adn true are sound asleep
i hear whispers
all heads are bowed and eyes are closed but the whispers call my name

Scoietal suicide (from journal entry 1994)

due to the lack of love i unshackle myself
from this slavish chain
i - finally being of conscious mind - now free my mind
free my spirit
from all outsides disdain

one more revolutionary sista

Funni (from journal entry 1994)

this worlds a funni place and racisms a funni gayme
why is it that a black man who steals bread
so that his family can be fed will end up dead
but up on the hills dey rakin in the money
but they usin ten dollar words we cant spell out
for million dollar crimes
and aint doin no time

Nautual causes (from journal entry 2-13-94)

last nite a little boy who looked like me was shot in the back
cause he was black
white cop drove him into an alley and told him to run
and he ran
a craka pigs badge was not enough for his ego last nite
a little boy who looked like me
about five feet three
last nite a little boy died
cause of teh melanin in his skin
littl black boy died of a whit mans
natural causes

Pink triangles (from journal entry 1-26-94)

i don't understand what she feels
when she gives another woman thrills
what she could possibly see
stands the damnedest mystery
what does she hold to
what does her soft wet palm swing from
what does she love

Revolution (from journal entry 1-26-94)

when i was a girl i danced around with blonde barbie dolls
and had gigley bubble gum dreams of appearing on my mamas tv screen
but today as a woman i wander through this city's libraries
and alley ways and dark daze and euro centered holidays
all in search of my place - my part in the solution


When Lucipher dies (from journal entry 12-20-93)

they wonder why we sit in wicked machinations
to overthrow this government
to build a new america
but what we devise is not evil at all

in our eyes when luciper dies
it's wise

for far too long have we felt the heel of his shoe
felt it press hard on our necks
the smell of the ground and the stink of this lands dirt is too familiar
the ants crawl by
look us in the eye
and they say "hi"
and the robins in the sky
we can't see
because they fly too high

but today we decided to stand as we were created
as women and natural man

now, by any means will we achieve what we set out to be
upright thinkers tell and creativity
oh yee of little belief
who mock and spit and laugh at us
let not your minds become pregnant with the thought of holding us back
for years adn years now we've turned cheek after cheek
but you've outlawed our rage adn have raped our meek
see, that new day has come
the sun doesn't shine that same stupid orange it did yesterday
rather today he is a firery red
today if you sick that dog on us we will kill the dog
and the pig who sent the dog
today we will attack

Those days

I am at my mother's house today and found an old journal in the garage. Wow! I will post some of the entries and they are interesting. If they were photos they would show my fresh bald cut, yes even back then, dashaiki and jeans (almost always), black power fists, yeah, all that.

The entries are from late 1993 to 1994.

For revolutionary eyes only (from journal entry 11-17-93)

them santa ana winds are coming again
i can feel it in the air
i can see it in the sky
them santa ana winds are coming again
and i know where and why

once again nature will destroy the unnatural
then they will crawl out on all fours from the burning forest of their lives

the savage will not repent
and so the savage will be sent
them santa ana winds

Some that morning (journal entry 9-6-93)

some that morning cried at your grave and wept at merely the mention of your name
some that morning said they'd miss you 'cause they'd lost you
said you passed away

but while those same some that morning ached and pained
i rejoiced in your freedom

we life on this earth as slaves to evil landlords
and everyday we gotta fight

but now you fight with us
you move faster than before
not burdened down by flesh and bones
now you fight with us

some that morning cried at your grave
but those that morning
don't know what i know

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My products for sale now

1. cd - Simple Like a Daisy - $10

2. manuscript - My Bus Stories - $ 7
(journals of my bus adventures)

3. manuscript - Women in the Village go 'round and 'round - $ 7
(short stories)

4. manuscript - Dear Uraeus - $ 7
(letters to my son)

5. manuscript - Letters to my people - $ 7
(notes to folks I come across)

6. manuscript - Playground Politics by Robin R. Reed - $ 7
by Jaha Zainabu
(stories from my inner child)

7. manuscript - Red Poetry Gumbo - $ 7

8. novella - The Nikel - $ 7

You may order all products at and send to Please send me a message with your mailing address and the name of the product you are ordering.

Thank you,
Jaha Zainabu

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's almost time for Red Stories 4

Today I did what? What? More promotions for Red Stories. I should write a reality show called Jaha's World where I have a camera with me all on the bus and whatchin' me slang cds on paypal via Facebook. If I really had a hidden camera on the bus it would be uber funny, but I wouldn't want to do that to my bus peoples.

It's almost time for Red Stories 4 and I've been promoting a lot. I'm getting confirmations and I really hope the show and turnout is great. Each month I learn more and more to make the next one easier. I'm paying attention to the lessons and the shows are getting easier. I just have to stay on top of the promotions. Every single day. Seriously every hour.

Today I had a photoshoot with Alice The Poet. I just love her so much! Talk about a peaceful, beautiful spirit! I had one idea about the shoot and she had another. She's the customer so she one, but she did agree to my idea for some other time. I'm hopeful. She wanted outdoorsy, jungle, natrue feel. That's usually what I like too but with Alice I wanted to do some black and white shots of her in her home. Plants, those long beautiful locks, her watering her plants, cooking, being the nature lady she is. But the shoot was easy. That was my main goal. When she told me that she wasn't used to taking pictures I knew that's what I wanted for her. Easy.

I had the perfect spot in mind. I called Tatiana and asked her if I could shoot in her backyard and Sam called me back and said "I heard you wanna kill somebody in my yard?" Love it!

The yard was perfect. I don't know names of flowers and plants and trees but they were all there. Pink, purple, green, blue. Lovely. It was my honor to do the shoot with her today. If you're reading this, Thank you Alice, I love you!

Now the fun part, editing.

A lot going on this week. Rent. Red Stories. Other stuff.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Street stories

Two black men in line in Chase Bank on Manchester and Vermont talking.

Man 1: Aww, come on man! You don't 'member Lil Don useta stay over in the 20's an' was real skinny an' couldn't kick nobody ass an' usta go wit' Carol who was real real fine then she quit him to go with that dark skin dude?

Man 2: Ummm, naw.

Ordering Red Stories tickets and cd on paypal today? Here's how!

Hello friends and family! Thank you for ordering Red Stories tickets and the cd! For those of you who have not purchased yours you may go to Please click the tab marked "personal." I look forward to seeing you at Red Stories on Saturday and I hope you enjoy the cd!

In case you didn't see my ad on Facebook today, if you order a cd TODAY, then you get FREE admission to Red Stories on Saturday!

Dear God

Thank You God for this day. This perfect, unique, blessed day. Thank You for waking me up this morning. Waking me up in time to see the moon still out. Thank You for all of the stories in my head. For my friends, family. Thank You for Uraeus. Bless him today and everyone in his life. Bless him with laughter and love. With peace and understanding.

Thank You for Red Stories. For poetry, art, stories. Thank You for the artists I know. Thank You for our paths. Thank You for blessing us to use our talents as voice. Red Stories is dedicated to You. For Your guidance. For Your love.

Thank You for my health. For the ability to walk, run, swim, breathe, move and keep moving. Thank You for safety. Thank You for my legs, arms, lungs, feet, mouth, voice, fingers, eyes, nose, face, thank You for all of my body. For my feet and for my hair.

Thank You God for loving me in ways I forget to love myself. Thank You for seeing me as me. For seeing me as You. Thank You for not comparing me to anyone else. Please forgive me for comparing myself and my gifts, my blessings to other's and finding myself short. You never see me like that. Thank You. Thank You for everything You protect me from that I will never know about. Thank You for being the best friend I could ever have. Thank You for listening to all of my concerns. Thank You for loving me through everything. Thank You for saying no to what I thought I wanted but was no good for me according to the plan You have for me. Thank You for using me. Thank You for blessing others through me. Thank You because You are.

Thank You, thank You, because You are.

Virgo horoscope today

Reconnect with your self-worth today, Virgo, and say out loud, "I am awesome!" You're good at extending your heart to others and helping them with their issues. Now take some of that love and caring and focus it on you. Issues having to do with love and romance are of primary concern. You should take time to evaluate where you are at this stage and nourish this part of your being.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

On the blue line yesterday

On the blue line platform yesterday at the Slauson station
Man 1, black, mid 50's, wearing an LAPD t shirt
Talking to man 2
Mexican, mid 50's, carrying a paper sack that probably held his lunch

Man 1: I aint givin' him none of my money.

Man 2: It's not for him, it's the church.

Man 1: But it's to him. I saw him on TV. You know he used to be living in his car and now he got that big ole church. Talkin' 'bout can yall pay $5.00 for the offering. That man don't need yo money. You see that big ole church?

Man 2: Yeah, but it's for tithe.

Man 1: I tell you like I tell my wife. You can give him yo money but he can't get my money. Think about it. Why you gon pay somebody to give you the word when you can just read the Bible at home for free?


On the blue line two black women in their early 40's who seem to have just met are talking.

Woman 1: Here he come gittin' on the train again. I aint got no money to give to him. Everybody got a hustle. I wonder if he really blind. He always be on the train. Naw, I aint got it to give. I got kids I got to feed. I'm tryina git home now to git some food to cook for them.

Woman 2: Yeah he always be on here. I need my money. I'm finna go cook too.

Woman 1: That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. I don't even do nona that microwave shit.

Woman 2: That shit aint good for nobody. Really not for no kids. Plus it's too expensive.

Woman 1: Shol is. I buy some real food and cook it. Plus that last longer.

(they briefly ride in silence)

Woman 1: (pulls a shirt from a black plastic bag) Imma git me some pants to go with this.

Woman 2: That is a cute shirt. That's a real cute color.

Woman 1: Thank you. Yeah I like it. I needed to go 'head and git something for me for a change. You know?

Woman 2: Girl yeah. Where you git that?

Woman 1: From the Rainbow offa Rodeo. They got a lotta stuff on sale. Some stuff like fifty percent, forty percent. A lotta stuff.

Woman 2: Yeah I like them but I don't never go to that one. I used to go to the one offa Vernon but I don't go there no more.

Woman 1: Why?

Woman 2: Girl, one day I was up in there and three Mexicans came in there to rob the place. I was like, dang!

Woman 1: That happen to me one time at Ross. Me and my friend was up in there and two dudes came up in there. It was all daylight and shit like 3:00 or some shit and they was at the register. One lady at the register was too nervous to open the drawer and the other guy he was like, "Here, my life is worth more than this money." Shoot, I don't blame em.

How are you using your words?

So yesterday I was visiting my family in Long Beach. I was walking out to my sister's car when I heard my mother's neighbor and a long long time family friend call to me. "Robin!"

"Hi there!" I answered.

"You gittin big." She replied. Now, she is my grandmother's age so I didn't say anything to her except smile. Then she kept looking at me. So I looked back at her. With the same smile, like, "What?" but I didn't say anything. Then when I noticed she didn't say anyting I said, politely, "Umm, should I say thank you?"

"No. I'm just sayin'. No harm meant."

"Oh, ok." And I went back into the house.

My sister gave me a ride home to Los Angeles last night and I told her about that incident while we were riding. I told her that it was interesting that I never, and if there has ever been a time then I don't remember it, say things like that to people. Yet, folks are very comfortable saying whatever to me. My clothes, art, weight at whatever stage. Growing up until my very late twenties I was very thin and folks had stuff to say about that. At this stage in my life I am curvy and LOVING it and folks have their comments about that. Oddly, the people who judge what I wear, look like, sound like, are never the people I want to look like, sound like, get down like.

My point here is this, use your words to uplift. Think about what you say to people before you say it. I don't let people leave my day without complimenting them. Maybe it's weird, maybe it comes from feeling judged most of my life. But...I want people to know, that if no one said to them today, "you look beautiful" I want them to know that they do.

Back to my mother's neighbor, I honestly don't think that she meant any harm. We very very rarely see each other and she only remembers me as being very thin and out struts these thighs and this butt...Hey. I acknowldege myself though. The old me, a me few years ago and Robin for sure would have made some joke about myself, we would have laughed and I would have gone back in the house. And I would have been angry at myself for making me small. I will not apologize for being any of who I am. I am a beautiful, awesome reflection of God's love and am a blessing to this planet. I will honor myself as such and I honor you as such.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

To the BOOM Girls

I don't know the fullness to which you have defined "Boom." I check out your Facebook pages. I see you around town. I know you all personally. So I gather it's the exclamation at the end of a chosen statement (spoken or not), coupled with glossy snapped lips and a raised eyebrow.

But I know it's more than that. More than high heels and lip gloss. B girl sneaks and French tips. More than "stunting on bitches...daily." Oh, I know that's part of it. But not the best part of Boom. There is a part the world can't see. The guiness of your creativity. The stories. The lines, each thought out, worked over, crossed out and inserted line that makes the final draft.

Now lemme just say, individually yall are each too much to handle. You each hold your own super human strength. You're all beautiful. All wordsmiths. I was so honored to work with you all last Monday as the host of the first anniversary of Brass Knuckles where the Boom Girls featured as a collective. The west coast Booms anyway. Nikki Blak, Tamara Blue, Judy Holiday, Jimetta Rose and Simply Kat. Missing form the list are Ebony Janice, April Jones and Sonya Renee. Thank you, thank you for the opportunity to witness your collective greatness.

The house was packed. The eyes and ears were open. The hearts were ready. Yall took me on a ride last night. As each of you stepped to the mic my jaw dropped lower and lower. I loved that you didn't so much perform for us. No, not a performance, you shared with us. Shared your stories, tears. Shared your wit. Read from your pages. Blessed us with song. Words. Wisdom. Thank you and thank you again for "stunting" on us. BOOM!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good morning freestyle

Good morning all. Heading out. Early day. Mind right. Thinking positively. Thoughts are things remember. All of them. Not judging myself or others is the plan. I'll let you know how that works out. Especially me judging myself. Loving myself. Loving myself really. Completely. These are words. Good words flowing through my head. Morning words like coffee, like hot shower.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good morning freestyle

i woke up feeling very very good this morning. i listened to louise hay on youtube all night until i fell asleep then listened again this morning. i so needed the affirmations. they created so much space in my head. i am taking on not critizing anything or anyone this morning. did i spell that right? criticizing? i always have trouble with that word. this is a freestyle writing to get more of my juices flowing. i just keep flowing and going and give all of the many words in my head some place to go. i am thankful for so much today. i am changing my world by changing my thinking. i am loving me today and hope that you are loving you too.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I was angry and wasn't
grown woman enough
to articulate my feelings

I punished him with my silence
He wasn't punished
He was grateful for the quiet

Peppermint tea was his favorite
I held the handle
as I handed him the cup

You are a coward
I told myself
A scardicat
Afraid to use your words
What good is all your poetry
if you can't even say

I do not like you anymore

So what
I told myself

I was glad to hear him wince
as he burned his fingers
on the glass

I'm sorry
I said

Knowing all along

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Amil about Shaka

Naw, it got all messed up. You didn't hear? No, he aint there no more, he locked up. Yep. You know he was homeless for like six months or some shit like that right? Yep. No, he wan't stayin' with her. She just let him take a shower sometime. He was sleepin' downtown somewhere. I dropped him off down there three fo times maself.

He started messin' 'round with Olivia and then she let him move in with her. She shoulda known that was gon go bad. Everybody else could see it I don't know why she caint. Some women so desperate to have a man they don't be thinkin' straight.

You know Melvin was trippin'. His mama messin' 'round with a man he know aint no good for her. But he know she grown an' aint nothin' he can really do about it. You caint tell her nothin'. You know how yall women is.

Melvin come by one night and they was arguin' and Melvin say it look like Shaka was gon hit Olivia. Even Olivia say he wasn't finna hit her but Melvin see what he see you know. Ax me, Shaka whatn't gon hit her. Melvin just want a reason to start somethin' with em.

But he say to this day he saw him step up on her and was gon hit her.Iss kinda a coincidence though, don't you thank? The minute Melvin come in that's when Shaka was gon hit her? I don't know. Don't nobody know but them three.

Anyway, then Shak and Melvin git into it and Melvin git all pissed off at Olivia 'cause she yellin' at him and tellin' him to git out they house and mind his own business. Course that don't do nothin' but make Melvin act even crazier 'cause his mama choose this dude over him.

Shak say Melvin was the one that was finna hit Olivia so he went and got his gun out the garage. He say he tole Melvin to juss leave so it won't be no more mess. Melivin slammin' shit on the floor an' pullin' pictures down off the wall. Shak and Olivia screamin' at him to leave, then he threw a vase that almost hit Liv in the head. Then Shaka shot him. Course the police come out and Shak had warrants and shit.

Melvin better be glad it was Shak, 'cause I wouldna juss hurt em. Iss all messed up. Shak still in jail and Melvin layin' up in the hospital eatin' jello or some shit and Olivia by herself again.

Writing tip

I was reading my blog the other day and I noticed that I say blessing a lot. Blessing in some form. I was blessed by this or that. This, she, he, they or it was/were a blessing. It's lazy writing though. Because the word itself doesn't provide anything for the reader. Blessed how? The writing would be more descriptive to say what opened up for me through what/whomever I am describing as a blessing. What is there for me that wasn't there before? What new insight? What old insight reminded? What feeling? What smells, tastes, sounds? Blessing how?

I acknowledge that this is a blog and not a manuscript to be submitted, it is still a way, my way of communicating with the world. One of the ways I communicate with the world. So in effort to have my communication be as clear as possible, and to grow more as a writer, I will try to replace blessing with more descriptive sentence. Sometimes. And other times I will just be lazy and get through the post as quickly as I can.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sleepytime freestyle

so glad that i am finally sleepy. my back has been hurting me all week. longer than that really. im sleepy now. thank God. gonna rest and rest and read until my eyes close because thats when the good good sleep comes. after a good story. thank You God for the check. thank You for being who You are. not gonna worry about nobody and what they think of me and if they speak or not and if they call or not and if they smile or not. i am sleepy right now and sleepy is a blessing. this post is a mess and i will reread it tomorrow and want to delete it and maybe i will but for now. good night.

Dear Promoter who shall remain nameless unless he doesn't have my money TODAY,

This is how we do our artists. This is how we value them. This is how we honor them. You want us to be on time for sound check, for show. You want a good show. Then it's a freaking hassle to get paid. Seriously, you have no more days to remain nameless. I want my money today. I don't care whose ATM you have to pull it from but I want it today. I will not take a check after the banks close today. I am trying not to deal with you the same way I deal with promoters who jerk me around but that is how you are acting.

Crawl out the hole you came in or go to sleep!

there is a rabbit or raccoon or ghost or vampire in the attic just above me and it didn't sleep all night long.

ask me how i know

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How I unwind

This is the time I want my brain to slow down but it won't and so I freewrite to go to sleep. I have so many stories in my head and they all come rushing to the front trying to be the first out the box. But I don't want to write a story right now. I want to read one but I just finished a novel. Paint it black by Janet Fitch. And what do you care? And this post isn't even about you. Can't you tell? It's all about me and how I unwind for the night. Me with all of my ideas and thoughts and songs and poems and things to do tomorrow and what didn't get done today on my head. Me with my dreams and fantasies and there are many. Believe me. Me with my word games and what I did wrong and what went right. This is me remembering Alice at the taping of the documentary looking into the camera and saying that Jaha will be one of those women people write about and wondering what they will say. This is me in one long paragraph waiting until after the 23rd when the Mercury retrograde will end to reach out and respond to some emails with some folks with whom communication is sketchy at best. This is me close to the middle of the night just getting in and ignoring his calls and please stop calling me I don't want to talk to you you know who you are. This is me about to say my prayers and not start another story tonight because I will want to finish it or at least get far and deep and wide into the telling of it that I wont want to stop. This is me loving myself enough to pray and open a book and read until my eyes have had enough.


I had a dream last night that I was at a party at a house next door to where I grew up. In the dream that house was my house and there were people next door (my house, the house I grew up in) who we kept arguing with. At one point I went outside with a guy I was dating (a guy I actually dated, a real hot head, contstantly trying to get a fight started). The guy from next door (who looked a lot like the rapper Eminem). My guy and the other guy maddogged each other for a moment then both were going back into the seperate houses until my guy said something. Just haaaaad to say something. I don't even remember what, but something to which the other guy responded, "Ok, I got a coupla guns inside now." After that everyone at the party where I was was instructed to get down, hide, stay low. We all stayed in our positions, waiting. I was so angry at my guy for saying what he said when he could have just let it go.

Now, maybe the guy would have come out with the guns and shot us all whether someone said something to him or not. Maybe my guy saying something to him was the best thing because it allowed us to see what was in the other guy's mind and we could prepare and brace ourselves for his rage. I don't know. I only remember us all there hiding behind tables and each other. Waiting.

That's what life feels like sometime. Everyone waiting for something bad to happen. Waiting.

Dear God

Thank You so much for waking me up this morning. Thank You for my health. Thank You for love, for peace, for forgiveness. Thank You for protecting me, guiding me, instructing me at every step.

Awesome Mother/Father, be a fence around my son today. Letting in the goodness, the joy and laughter. Please easily bless him with ears to hear Your voice and guidance.

Please guide my tongue, thoughts and fingers today. Please bless me to leave people feeling respected and valued. Bless me with the time to say whatever there is to say.

Thank You for breathing through me.

Me with me part 6

* Another Wednesday.

J* Yep.

* You ok?

J* Yeah, I love Wednesdays.

* Because...

J* Still seeing the therapist on Wednesdays. Sorting out stuff. Looking at my patterns. Laughing at myself. After that I go to the Stage for poetry. I'm open on Wednesdays.

* Open?

J* Feeling everything. One minute I'm laughing the very next I'm crying.

* Crying about what?

J* Pshssshh, who knows? Tonight Michael was reading a poem about the Palestinians and I wanted to just cry and not stop. I didn't, but inside, I did.

* Why? I mean I know things are bad over there but what exactly triggered the (inside) crying?

J* Ummm, I was feeling a little upset because I was supposed to be picking up a check tonight that I found out wasn't ready and I had to wait and when he was reading his piece I thought about how silly I was being. Well, maybe not silly because I do want my money, but I thought about how...light my having to wait another day for a check was compared to being afraid for your life every minute.

* Make sense but you can't compare everything to that because somebody somewhere is afraid for their life and whatever issue you have is still an important issue. You know? Just because it doesn't weigh much to life and death...You understand what I'm trying to say?

J* I do. Just, in the moment I took myself out of myself and got into someone else's world.

* Got it. So, what new opened up in therapy?

J* A breakthrough today.

* Really?

J* Yeah, I won't share everything on this page but I traced back to when I became such a caregiver. You know, everybody's feelings over mine. Me being a sucker for everybody's tears. Everybody's wounds. And not taking care of myself. Not taking care of myself to the point of feeling guilty the few moments I did take care of myself. I'm seeing myself transitioning though. Loving me more. It's one thing to say you love yourself and it's something else to act like it. I can tell I'm loving me now.

* How?

J* Valuing my space. Acknowledging the energy I can and cannot hold. I was always so afraid of being the bad guy. I was a good girl growing up. But I was only good because I was afraid of taking risks and expressing myself. Good girls did what they were told. And so I did. And that cost me.

*Cost what?

J* Cost me my self expression. Cost me my voice. Cost me intimacy in some cases.

* Say more about that. The intimacy.

J* I am such a creative spirit and always have been. I see things differently from a lot of folks. I know that. When I was with people I didn't feel comfortable expressing myself with I pulled back. Silently, but surely. I would listen and smile and be good girl, but I knew that there was only so much I was going to give.

* And now?

J* Still now in some ways. I'm much more vocal now and can express myself much better and am a little less concerned about being the bad guy as much as I'm concerned about happiness, safety, love, peace.

* You feel at peace?

J* For the most part. I get anxious about things I can't control but I keep reminding myself that God sees, knows and can handle everything.

* Does that help? Knowing that?

J* Ummm, it does. Staying connected to Source takes focus. Constant focus. Sometimes I lose it.

* And then?

J* And then I have to remember to remember.

* Get some rest.

J* Love you.

* Big hugs.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I was having trouble logging in just now and started tripping then realized just how much I love connecting with the world on my blog. Yay! We are back in business.

Poetry tonight

I went to the World Stage tonight in Leimert Park. "The Stage" is the place I call my poetry home. I enjoyed each segment of the evening starting with the workshop where we present new or unpolished pieces and get feedback. After that there is usually a featured poet. Tonight the feature was Romus Simpson! I haven't seen him in so long. He moved up to the Bay but I'm glad he's back now. His poetry was just amazing. I am often moved at the awesome talent of folks I know. Thank You God for Romus Simpson. After the feature is the open mic. I enjoyed each person who blessed the open mic tonight! Thank You God for poetry houses in Los Angeles to sell cds. Every night. Really God, thank You.

Red Stories 4

It's almost that time again! Red Stories 4 is coming up on Saturday, April 30. The guests this month are Lynette White (singer) and Reverdia (poet, storyteller). I am so looking forward to sharing the stage with these beautiful and talented artists. The show will be at Vibrations 2435 Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA at 7pm. $20 at the door and $10 advance tickets (paypal to I look forward to seeing you!

Poetry Lounge last night

I went to the Poetry Lounge and had a good time. I performed and watched others perform. I saw a lot of folks I've never seen before. I had a great time catching up and laughing with some other old schoolers. I'm always laughing with Shihan (at very inappropriate times), chatted with In-Q (who has a one man show coming out next month, yaaay!), Damon, Ty Scott was the feature (been way too long since I've seen her), Javon, Cayenne was there selling her fabulous earrings. The list goes on. All in a days work.

Then I got on the bus and went home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Still bus stories

#16 west on 3rd Street
Two Mexican women in their early twenties talking in the back of the bus
The one with the long ponytail asks the other what celebrities
She thinks are cute
Johnny Depp?
Justin Bieber?
Yeah, but he's like a kid
Brad Pitt?
He's way too old!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Thank you, Hannibal

If you haven't read the post from Hannibal Tabu, then please do. I was/am so honored and blessed that Hannibal took the time to write that wonderful piece for me. I have known Hannibal for many years and have been blessed by his rich words throughout that time.

Thank you thank you thank you, Hannibal! It means a lot to be appreciated for the work that we do. Sometimes it seems to go unnoticed or unvalued (unvalued, devalued I don't know the correct word here but...) when someone takes the time to acknowledge me I don't take it lightly. Again, thank you, Hannibal.

Post from Hannibal Tabu

I’ve had some interesting chances to consider appreciating people. The legendary Dwayne McDuffie, best known for his work on animated shows like Ben 10 or Justice League passed away, and I realized I never let him know how much I appreciated him while he was here. A young woman I know, someone I worked with and who dated an associate of mine, a bubbly and indefatigable spirit, took her life at age 25, shocking literally everyone who knew her.

Marvel editor Tom Brevoort has been spearheading a hashtag called #whiletheylive on his Twitter feed, to not wait so long and let people know how much they matter pre-humously. It all reminded me how I started writing pieces to honor poets around me who really mattered, who really deserved to be celebrated and never forgotten. I’ve had this first line for maybe nine years, but now I finally have made it into a tribute that I hope is worthy of her (before, of course, I get a chance to workshop it, as we believe in the importance of qualified peer review).

Without further ado …

She is leading edge to thunder.

Blunt impact of sky rolling across foundations,
her voice heralding revelations.

Headwrapped or fresh shaven,
decked in fatigues or immaculate in white,
she’s elected representative
of hoodrats who know they can do better,
brush stroking kaleidoscopic intimacy on to canvas,
capturing vibrancy on SD cards
writing her way into forever.
Gestures fill sky with rumbling as she goes.

One sleepy-eyed neck roll
turns down home grandmomma sayings into sanctity.
Can’t call her that
high school yearbook name,
woman she is don’t fit into
that child’s painted on, switchin’ ass jeans.
She heralds Wiz musical brand new day,
and everything.

When clouds roll and thunder approaches,
I ain’t scared.
Storms signal tomorrow,
getting ready to grow,
Jaha is their poster girl.
Sure as throwin’ chicken bones on a hundred bucks,
Sistergirl struts ahead of cumulonimbus
in all of the goodness of being all good.

“While They Live: Jaha Zainabu”
By Hannibal Tabu

The weekend

So, Friday it was very hard for me to move. Emotionally it was a challenging day. I get that way sometimes. I don't stay there though. I will allow myself a day, maybe two, but then it has to stop. I got up Saturday morning and went to my niece's soccer game. Well, games really because she actually had three games in one day. What's that about? But I went to all three and had a ball. I cheered, yelled at the kids on the other team (that was fun), was cold, had a ball and spent some good time with my sister and niece. AND got my butt up out of the bed!

Saturday night was Grooveology, the party I shoot (photography) for the second Saturday of every month. I had a great time there too. There were so many people from Long Beach I reconnected with. A classmate of my sisters was having her birthday party there. Also, we shared the night with Chuckie Miller, another promoter who is from Long Beach and General Lee was the other dj for the night. Where Chuckie Miller and General Lee are, there are usually a lot of folks from Long Beach. We had a ball! Which reminds me that my work for the party is not over. Now I need go through and edit all the photos. That's fun too though.

Yesterday (Sunday) was my first day as a member of The Bomb Squad! Sooooo much fun! The Bomb Squad is a radio cast of six funny, intelligent, crazy folks who talk about a wide range of topics on the air for thirty minutes. We taped two shows yesterday. Michelle, the creator of the show, labeled me the mind sex therapist, which is what she calls my poetry, "mind sex" haaaaaaa! So in addition to being crazy with the cast I had my own segment of the show called of course, mind sex.

After I left the station I went, flew as fast as I could really, to Bryant Temple where I performed for their Second Sunday Jazz Vespers. I don't know what a vesper is right now but I like that title. The show was so awesome. God is sure listening to my prayers because I prayed to be a part of shows that I want to see. I would have paid money to see the show last night (if I wasn't in it).

The show started with the minister introducing the evening then talking about The World Stage. I forgot to say that. The World Stage partners with Bryant Temple for this monthly event. Anyway, Michael Datcher was the mc for the night. Jolandra was the first performer. She came from the back doing a beautiful, exciting dance then ended her performance leaving the church. And I think she really did leave because I didn't see her after that. She was great though. After that Jwanzaa and Sheri Randolf performed poetry with the band. Oh, the band was perfect. Trever Ware and company. Jwanzaa and Sheri's performances were so moving. The crowd was up on their feet as they left the stage. Then Michael brought up Hilliard Street to do a solo with his guitar. Hilliard's voice is so clear. It's like water. While he was playing I kept thinking of him singing and playing at some famous art gallery or something. I don't know why, but I did. After Hilliard Michael introduced Conney Williams and me. Conney went first then me, then Conney again then me. The crowd loved it. I did too! Then all of us did one last piece each. Jwanzaa started the round robin and I closed. The crowd had a great time and so did all of the performers. What a blessing! What a weekend.

Interesting horoscope for Virgo today

Think of yourself as a great pioneer crossing the frontier for the first time, Virgo. Acknowledge yourself as the important person that you are. Believe in yourself and your rights and opinions. Indecision could hinder your actions. Don't let it. Take an active stance at all times. Be brave in the face of hardships that you might confront today. You will be greatly rewarded when you do.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Not today

I couldn't do it today
Answer the phone
Talk to anyone
Didn't take a shower until 8pm

I read
Slept more than is healthy for me

Maybe tomorrow
Not today though

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In answer to why I'm not answering your calls

We met
We talked
You called me Sunday morning at 8:30
We had a cool conversation
You said you wanted to take me to breakfast lunch whatever
I told you I was only available until 5 'cause I had plans after that
At 9:30 you said you were getting in the shower and getting dressed
You said you had an errand to run and then we would go

(Where it goes south)

At 11:30 when I didn't hear from you I made other plans
At 4:00 when you called you didn't leave a voice message
You left me a text that said
Hey babe, what's up?

Bus stories from yesterday

It's not always drama
206 bus north on Normandie and Manchester
Real folks
Not TV drama folks
Man holding his baby girl on his lap
Feeding her a bottle

Bus driver says hello and smiles
Old black woman in white
Gets off the bus and says
Good day everybody
We answer
Good day
Sometimes the ride is easy


Normandie and King
40 bus west on King
Black man with his two young beautiful sons
The youngest is asleep at their stop on King and Western
As the father wakes up the child
He instructs the older one
To hold onto the pole
Hold on hard
He says
What an appropriate message to a young black man
Hold on hard


Sitting on the bus stop on King and Leimert
Thankfully this stop has a bench I can sit on
Many of them don't
Too many
Why not a place to sit

A black older man wearing denim overalls with no shirt
Shoes too big and matted afro
Asked me for a quarter
I gave him two
And wondered what both of those quarters will do


On the 40 west on King
Easy bus day


Business done at the post office on Crenshaw and 39th
Jumped on the 210 north on Crenshaw
To the red line at Hollywood and Vine
Two brothas in the back philosophizing
Cool conversation at first
Then I realized I didn't feel like hearing
Any of it
Wondered why I was at all

Dudes, keep your voices down and talk amongst yourselves
"See, that's why brothas need to stick togetha"
"But brothas aint gon stick togetha 'cause
Everybody just tryina come up"
And on and on


I'm on my way to pick up a
New batch of my cds 'cause I sold the last of what I had
Last night at the Poetry Lounge
I'm heading to Burbank and Sepulveda
Got on the 154 going the wrong way
So now I'm at the layover stop at the Burbank station
Waiting for the driver to finish his break

Where's the guy selling tacos when
You're looking for him?

Breaks over


Overall it's been a pretty polite day on the bus(es)

Wow, the bus driver just stopped at a stop
Where an old lady is standing
He opened the door and said
"I'm just stopping to say hi"

"Oh hey there, did you get my email?
I see you all are losing some of your drivers"

It was a short chat, but still
Let's move it

What a difference of food options
On the bus line in Burbank
As opposed to South Central
In L.A. there is a McDonalds,
Taco Bell, Burger King and or KFC
On most every corner
I haven't seen any of those yet out here

Here there are more restaruants
Better food on the busy streets
Hooters, Corner Bakery, IHop

There are TV monitors on the
Metro buses and usually they show
Weather reports, local news, trivia
Right now there is a black woman on talking about
How to prepare collard greens

The high schoolers are getting on now
Quiet time gone

There's the McDonalds
I knew they couldn't stay hidden for long

I am so sleepy

The white looking Mexican dude
Walking with the black and white dudes
Has on a black hat that says



I was sitting on the 210 bus stop
On Sunset and Vine and saw an Iranian guy with a t shirt that said
I love eating pussy


Tonight I performed out in Pamona. I performed during the open mic and had an amazing time. The room was hosted by Judah 1 and the feature tonight was Janet Gonzalez. She was so so so so great. I invited her to be a guest on Red Stories 5 in May! She accepted and I am so looking forward to it.

I'm back on the move selling cds again. I love it. I really love this cd. It made me feel good last night when Gimel played my cd at the Lounge between the poets.

I have a lot of work to do this week with Red Stories and other things. I know I need to start getting to bed earlier. I haven't been. Gotta do better.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The night

Just getting in. Went to the Poetry Lounge tonight and was soo blessed by the poets. The whole evening was a blessing. The open mic, the features. Oh my goodness the features! Ainsley was there and so was M Reld Green. It was my first time seeing and hearing M Reld Green. She was so powerful!

After the poetry I went with Spencer to The Comedy Store. It was a great night there too. I laughed like I haven't laughed in a long time. Poetry and laughter were truly the doctors for the soul tonight.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Remembering D

D was killed in Texas after we broke up. Don't nobody know who did it. Aint that somethin' 'cause they know everything D ever did but don't nobody know who did him.

We was broke up but I still loved him. I was the woman who loved him first. He didn't have no mama that he ever knew or that ever knew him. I picked him when I was only fourteen years old and he was two years older than me.

That didn't make no nevermind to me 'caue I just knew Mama nim didn't understand and kept tellin' me I don't know nothin' 'bout no love and I tell her I did too know somethin' 'bout some love. Grandmama say I wasn't nothin' but hot in the pants and I needed my little butt whipped good but she the one didn't know nothin' 'bout no love. She the one had a husband and they didn't even sleep in the same bed or room together. I might notta known a whole lotta stuff about love, but I knew even way back then that a man and woman that called theyself married was supposed to sleep together in the same bed in the same room.

Maybe me and D didn't make it to forever but we shol did have a forever kinda love. Shoot, I would cut a muthafucka over D and he could count on that till the day he died. D just needed the streets and that whole life and no family could fit into that life with him, that's all. I didn't like it, but I understood. And we have a baby girl too! The streets couldn't fit into our family and D just wasn't the man he could look in the mirror and be proud of without 'em. So that was that and I packed up the house in Charlotte and came to Los Angeles.


He said he wanted to take me shopping
I jumped in the car
'Cause I do want a few things
I told him

Where ever you wanna go
He said

Thank you
Go straight and turn left at the light

Right here?

Yeah, right here

Ohhhhh, yeaaaa baby!

I know, right!
Where you going?
No, the art supply store
NEXT to Victoria's Secrets

Write now

Stories stories everywhere
Nothing more to say

Stories outside

I sleep with my window open
Even when it's cold
I like to hear the sounds
The noise outside
Stories beneath me

When I saw the place the first time
The landlord said
It's usually real quiet
Just like this

That's ok
I told him
I'll take it anyway

In my room

There is a queen sized bed
Gray carpet with white paint
The repairman spilled in the corner
The landlord may or may not replace it

A red and beige cover
I pretend is a rug
Wood chest of drawers
Holding my clothes
On top of it sits my makeup and jewelry

There is a dark wook bookcase
Holding my books
Pictures of my son
Nephew and niece
My mother
My father's obituary

My journals of dreams and
Everyone I need to forgive

There is no door on my closet
I like it that way

My shoes are lined up perfectly
Coats and sweaters hanginig
Art supplies on the top shelf
Laundry basket on the floor

There is a dresser
With more clothes and winter scarves
On top of it
A mirror
A rock I found somewhere years ago
It follows me everywhere now
A painting of a beautiful woman
With a yellow flower in her hair
And words on her chest that read
Pray until something happens

Notes on Mr. Past (from journal 04-01-11)

I am happy and thankful to see another day. I was reading my friend, Kim's book last night and this morning. ME INSIDE OUT. It's about how we let the past stay in and dictate our present. We let the past tell us how life is going to go and how we are going to feel each day.

For me, Mr. Past (a character in her book and in many of our lives) starts early with his conversations. Mr. Past reminds me early in the morning about something someone said or did to me that made me feel really bad. Then it takes me a minute to get over that. But today I recognize the tricks of Mr. Past and I'm not gonna fall for them. I see the pattern. He tells me or reminds me of something negative so that I will get stuck in that thought or memory all the while I'm not moving forward in my day doing what God has given me to do now. Not today.

I forgive the folks connected to the memories that pop up. I forgive myself for being connected to them as well.

Just thinking

I went to the dollar store and there was this young woman there. She was about in her mid to late 20’s and was talking loudly and cursing a lot. “Where’s the muthafuckin’ this and the muthafuckin’ that?!” The man who worked there seemed to be attracted to her and she seemed to be flirting with him in a way. I thought about how quickly we judge each other without knowing why others do what they do.

I would have been one to quickly judge that woman. Sometimes, often really, we have certain behaviors to protect ourselves. The store is in a neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles. In that area, that sista may feel like she needs to portray a rough exterior so that others wont try to take advantage of her. It’s possible that she is rarely outside of that area.


I walked to the store again today. As I walked in there was a young lady who walked in right behind me. There was an Asian woman at the counter. The young (20 something) black woman (who walked in behind me) said in a very fast and mumbled voice, “Ey, yall got any receipt books.” I didn’t even understand what she said. The woman at the register continued helping her customer. Yes, she was busy with a customer.

There was also a black man (40 something) who was working there. The black woman immediately began speaking to him. “Do yall got receipt books? That bitch over there act like she caint hear. I know she heard me ask her.”

I was watching an interview with Erykah Badu once where she was saying something like what artists need to bring now to the world are solutions and not just talk about the problems. I do understand that feeling but I don’t know that I have solutions. But I do see the problems. I see and feel the anger and experience the frustration in breakdown of communication. So, should I not write about our problems because I can’t solve them? That wasn’t an attack on Erykah’s statement, it was a genuine question. Where is the line between reporting experiences, specifically the negative ones, and ranting about situations we can’t or won’t change?’

Regarding the situation in the store, I feel the young lady and the store clerk too. I’ve been the black customer in the Korean shop who gets rude service because, in my opinion, of my skin color. I’ve also been on the receiving end of some young black woman who was rude and demanding my attention regardless of what I was occupied with.

So this is me, just observing the situation, no solutions, just observations and questions. The city, Los Angeles, this area, South Central, is hot with folks carrying anger they don’t know what to do with. The wrong word, the wrong day, people explode. I wish I had the solution. But I don’t. Do you?

Train / bus letters and thoughts and other stuff (from journal 03/30/11)

Dear lady on the train with your music blasting,

It's not just that I don't wanna hear it, I mean that's part of it, (mostly really) but I don't think your baby in her stroller wants to either. Plus, it's not even a really good song or anything like that. Good, you're getting off now. Bye. Go bother someone else.


Dear black dude with the shaved head covered in tattoos,

I think your look is really beautiful. But then I am a photographer and I only want to take pictures of you. I would never hire you for anything. But then never is a short long word and you didn't ask me for a job.


Dear guy on the train talking to me,

I know that you are just looking to connect and bond with some other black folks because you haven't really found your community of "like minded folks in L.A." (you are from San Diego and apparantly they are all over the place out there) but I don't really feel like talking right now. I did think it was cool when you found out that I was a writer you said "wow, so you're not schitzo, you're just creative" and I said, "no, I'm schitzo too" you didn't even flinch. You said, "that's cool, so now you have a place to let it all out."

I gave you props for that. Anyway, I'm getting off now.


Dear young black guy getting arrested right now for not showing your train pass to the sheriff waiting,

I feel sad for you because I don't like it when we get caught up with the law behind simple stuff like that. I did maddog the sheriff the whole time he handcuffed you, put you in the car and went through your things.

Take care.


Dear lady on the bus going to school or something,

Your titties are too big to be wearing that shirt. I know it's hot now but still you gotta watch things like that when you ride the 210 Crenshaw.


Dear lady on the bus behind me talking to your friend,

When you said "I was just callin' because I was just thinkin' 'bout you," I know he didn't believe you because I didn't. Then when you asked him to pick you up at the Louisiana Fried Chicken place on King and Crenshaw we both knew the truth.


Bus driver,

It's hot thanna mug. For real, are you ever gonna turn the air on?


I wonder how big the shrimp tacos are at Taco Bell.


Dear lady on the bus complaining about your knees,

I think you should just lose some weight. Seriously 'cause sometimes I have "trouble" with my knees too.


If you ride the bus then I don't think you should have long fake eyelashes. But that's just me.


Lady behind me,

Stop talking to yourself. If you wear a lot of makeup on the bus and you are wearing purple and pink AND talking to yourself, then people will think you are crazy. And your red wig is not that cute. I'm not talking about you. I'm just saying.


My stop now. Crenshaw and King.


Seriously, what's up with all the motorized petal bicycles? And why do I only see them in the hood?



I was sitting on the bus stop on King and Crenshaw and a brotha came up to be with his hairy chest hairs showin' through his unbuttoned jumpsuit. His black curly hair almost hanging in his face. He was wearing blue coveralls that were slightly too small for his chubby frame. He walked close to me as if he was about to tell me some deep secret. Lookin'all around.

He: It aint a lotta good lookin' women 'round here so gon gimme ya numba.

I: (laughing) No, I'm not givin' you my number, but that was a good one.

He: You don't wanna come ova my house an' cook fa me?

I: (still laughing) No sir. I don't.

He: (putting one of his boots on the bench next to me so his crotch is tight against his clothes and close to me) Gal, you don't wanna touch all this?

I: Now that's funny. No thank you. I don't want it!

He: Humph. (and walked away)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Another poem on and just off the blue line (from journal 03-20-11)

It's bad when the blue line breaks down between
The Firestone and 108th Street stations
because I cannot walk to the Del Amo station from there

I can, but I won't

So I sit here
I am a poet
So the remembering is always itchy
Depending on the day
I can go either way

I started reinacting fights between him and me
But the thoughts only left me angry
And I am still stuck on the train after that

So now I make up stories
About the other passengers
What their lives are about
Like I should have a clue

It's bad to be stuck on the train
With nothing to do
But wonder if
The black guy standing with all the tattoos
Will leave his backpack behind
And kill us all
And his own fool self

Now that the train is running
We are almost at the Compton station
I can't turn my head off
'Cause once you trigger a poets creativity on the train
She won't stop until the Mexican girl
Comes into her car selling M&M's peanut

But there is no Mexican girl
With her backpack too full of
M&M's and other chocolate I don't need

I keep writing and can't figure out
Why the black girl across from me is trying to impress the white guy
With her perfect grammar
Her Louie bag, her sagging titties

We are all on the train trying to get home
Or where everrrr
He doesn't care
I want to scream
But I don't

Everyone but you can see he doesn't care
He asks if she has children and how many

She says
"I have three girls"
Brief pause
"But only one baby daddy just in case you were wondering"

So what lady
So what

And I get to the Del Amo station
Only to find I just missed the 192 bus to South Street
So I go across the street to the swap meet
To get a notebook
Because every bus riding poets angst
Is cured with a brand new notebook

I walk past the spray painted shoes that say
Big Pimpin
Past the Laker jersyes

Purchase a pair of gray tights
Because I cannot resist a pair of tights
Even though I started to walk away
But then the Korean booth owner yells
"Excuse me! We have a large!"
Like I need him to yell that I am a large

I buy the tights anyway
Then my new notebook
And gum
And chocolate
And pads 'cause you know who is coming soon
Hence all my jittery in the first place

It's all ok because I'm back on the bus
The black high school girls with weaves too long
Talking too loud
Are perfect fodder
For my next poem