Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back to me part 2

Yes. I'm feeling much better now but the lows are happening more often than is manageable for me. I'm scared each time. I'm seeing my therapist in the morning. I don't feel like I need to go back in the hospital but I do believe I need some kind of group therapy. I need to look into faces of people who know what this is. My plan is to group therapy in addition to my therapist. Praying for some free/afforadable local group.

Back to me

9:55. Home. About to watch Scandal. Yep.

Am I down sometimes? I am. Do I stay there? I do not. This time I let myself go more than three days being down. I try really hard never to do that. AND I won't beat myself up because of it. After work I went to the bookstore, bought a book, bought a journal, went home, read and made soup. I turned on music and cleaned the bathroom. If the fog comes over you like it does me I ask that you not beat up on yourself. That you rest under your covers when you need to. And that you get up after a few days. Get up or get help. Call a friend, therapist, doctor, center...I beg you not to stay there. No, I'm no expert. I've just been there and I know what it's like. I do.

Love to you.

Quote of the day

"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within." Maya Angelou

A poem a day for 2013 - day 31 - No woman. No cry. All woman. One I.

I am here
Standing sitting lying
Curled in a ball at the foot of my bed
Tall with arms spread
Bent low with chin between knees
Does it really matter to you how I am here
Or why
Is it enough that I woke up this morning
And stayed 'wake all day
I am here out of a need to fill a void in my life
And yours
I am here for healing and inspiration
For life lessons and energy
I am here willingly and by pull
I am here because you believed in me
Because I believed you
I am every woman on her journey to healing
I am here to let you know that you are not alone
I have given you what I have held close to me
Here are the stories behind all of my scars
Here are my boots
Filled with my sweet blood
For you to pour over your gardens
And remember me in the springtime 
Here, take all of my dreams
Wrap them 'round your tongues
Sing to the trees 
Let the birds and wind carry my desires into heaven
I am all of your mothers your sisters
Look at me, pat my head, rub my cheek
Don't I smell like your daughters
Love me like you love your own selves
Talk to me like that
All of me
All of me is every woman you ever loved
So what my religion
My love
My hair my skin
See me 
All of me 
As every shiny star
You have ever lifted above your head 
And held to God to give thanks

Getting back to blogging

I've been working on my project A poem a day for 2013 and have been posting the poems here on this blog and sharing the links also on my Facebook page. I've had some hits and some misses but I have been writing and posting every day. For many of them I'll go back and work more drafts and then some I may use as ideas to do something else with.

The thing about posting a poem a day though is that that's pretty much all I've been posting on this blog. I miss doodling here. Free writing. Letting thoughts and words out just because. As of this post I'm getting back to it. It's been a pretty trying week for me emotionally. Menopause is kicking my ass, my hormones are a joke and it seems like I'm experiencing ups and downs at the same time with this bipolar thing. Yeah thing. Like object. Like something not bigger than me. Although sometimes it feels like it is much bigger. Like it will swallow me in one easy gulp when it wants too.

Yes, the last few days have been rough but this is me, getting back in the game. Emotionally that is. Physically I never left. Because I didn't have the luxury of checking out physically. I went to work every day, went to my niece's basketball game, had conversations with my loved ones, shopped for food. You know, life stuff. All the while though, carrying around the fog. The scary cloud. I pray, exercise, believe. All the stuff. Still, this was a rough week. It just was.

I am looking forward to some good rest tonight. Some good food, writing, peace. I'm feeling much better today and I hope you are having a cool day also. If not, please breathe. I wish you peace this evening. Peace and busy fingers doing what you love.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 30 - Untitled. On purpose.

You ever have a headache
A migraine
Maybe it lasts two days
Maybe three
What if it would never go away
If it got worse or better
But it was always there
A heavy that was just a part of you
What if no thermometer could measure the ache
What if there were no words in answer to
What's wrong
No why you could articulate
But you still have to show up in the world you know
Like you have bills to pay and people to feed and love
And who has time for your tired you can't explain
What if you were not sad
Just ill 
And so what 
What if nothing existed without an explanation
And so like you didn't exist
What if every picture you took
Poem you wrote
Was the end to a chapter 
And that was ok
And what you had to be thankful for was that 
Everyone you love
Already knows
And that was ok
What if you needed something to 
Take away the heavy
Or not carry it all
Like that

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 29 - My wrapped arms 'round me

I will laugh today
As much as I can
I will find clown faces and swinging children in the clouds
Create dialogue between the ducks and butterflies
My lungs will fill with all this good today air
With voices that mean me love
Faces I call friend
I will release easy and slow
Because yesterday did not swallow me whole
It did not rip its teeth into my neck 
And tear through my guts
As it tried
I am here
Touching my own live flesh 
With these ashy hands
Dry from rubbing salt from my blood
Today I will sop up all that good sun good moon
Lick fingers 
Smack lips
Yesterday does not have me
None of the yesterdays have me
This moment does not have me
Today does not have me
I have me
I have me

Monday, January 28, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 28 - Self talk

I will not crawl into hell
On pinky toes and fingernails
I will breathe
Remind myself that moments pass
Even this one
I squeeze eyes shut
Try to see tomorrow's sun
Shining so clean on my face
I call a friend and let the words fall
Out of order
Under breath
Repeating/leaving out words
Friends understand already anyway
Get me
Just get me
Don't fix this 
Breathe with/for me
Take this headache away
Pee for me
Believe with me
Help me sit/stand/understand/care/live/see
Friends are friends because
They try the impossible
Again and again
I hang up 
Resist the urge to shout 
From the street light
We are all one 
You hateful motherfuckers!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 27 - Red Stories

Our stories
About now
About yesterday
Paths to tomorrow
Missing pieces
Painted pictures
One chair
One mic

Our words
About blood
About spilled milk
Los Angeles

Our pictures
Of babies
Of bridges
Of fingers aching for right words
Of throats vomiting whole truths
Rumors rested

Our nights
About love
About art

Our time
To breathe
To seek


Red Stories day!

It's the first Red Stories of the year! Come on out if you can. It's at Vibrations at 2435 Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305. The features tonight are Damnyo and Gimel! Hosted by me. 7:30 / $7.00. I look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 26 - This just in

Today I don't know what happened in the world
On purpose
Today I am spending moments with my son
Buying food
School supplies

Today I did not read a newspaper
Or turn on the television
We are enjoying the ride together 
In conversation
For now

I will plug back in 
But for now
My whole world is
Whatever he has to say
Whatever joke he has to tell
School story he wants to unload
Quiet he wants to be

This is what I need

I will read an article
A missing child
Molested mother
Out of work father
My head will cry
I will write a poem
I have become the bad news poet

I am sorry

My son says I apologize too much


I dreamt of being a better witch than this

Where is my wand
My long black skirt
Where is the smoke from my fingers
The fire from my lungs
Where are my magic words that change the world

I am a poet, dammit

Not now though
Now I am a mom
Who escaped to the quiet of the car
To write these words
While my son is busying himself in the fiction isle

This is what I need

This parking lot
This quiet car
This note pad
This no news

Friday, January 25, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 25 - Bullies. Babies. Us.

What happened to us
That a fourteen year old girl
Is beaten 
Cries for help
Onlookers video 
For Facebook for YouTube
And now she is missing
Away from her family 
Reading posts with laughs
Pokes and jokes 
About her
About her begging for help
Have you ever begged for help
Did someone laugh in your face
While you were being kicked in the head
Who are we that this is funny
That a missing girl 
Beaten and shamed
San Diego
Carlsbad High School
I am sorry Baileigh
But what good is my sorry
My poem
My tear 
I am sorry that you screamed for help
And was videotaped instead
To be shown and spread online
For us to comment and

Hello poetry lovers

BUDDY WAKEFIELD will be performing at BEYOND BAROQUE tonight, January 25. Doors open at 7:30 show will begin at 8:00. Tickets are $20 at the door.

Beyond Baroque is located at
681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA
(310) 822-3006

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 24 - Bliss

I am thankful for water
For the rain that fell all night last night
For Project Runway and the rug on my floor
The fruit bowl on the table
The pillows on my couches
I am thankful for nights like this
When I am home and loved by the one I love
For Charisse and Valerie
Leslie and Wil
For these brilliant women
Who magic words and scripture
Compassion and laughter
And I know the world is better because
They are in it
My mother
I am thankful for my mother
My sister
I am thankful for love
For family
For funny
For quiet moments to pray
For poetry
I am thankful for everything awkward about me
For dreams
My sweaters boots and long skirts
For everything in my bag
For my socks 
And for people who make me laugh
For art
For the sound of laughter from my son
I am thankful right now 
For knowing that this list will forever
I am thankful 
For the feeling

Quote of the day

"There's nothing like helping the little guy kick some bully's ass." Michael Westen - Burn Notice

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


A poem a day for 2013 - day 23 - Read

Sometimes it just rains
Without any other why
The water just falls
Sometimes we just lose keys
Forget password
Wake up late
Sometimes we just fall
We are busy being
We read everything into the now
And miss the isness of what just is
Not always
But sometimes
The sky just opens 
To give water
What if the chair is sitting there
Because it has not been put away
And it is not calling you to rest
What if
The bowl of fruit
Cup of tea
Glass of wine
Are not begging you partake
The dress on sale
Car within your range
Shoes just your size
Are just there for you to view
Sometimes we take the just is for a sign
So we miss the tree
Just being a tree
We miss the detail on the bee
The flower
What if God just wanted you
To see
What if your journey was to walk
To think
And you missed the is in the lesson
And heard a call to preach

This is living

I have good days. I have bad days. Every day I do what I love, I write. So even on my bad days I have really wonderful moments. Even if just the moments.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 22 - Dear Jaha

Loving yourself is showing up in the world as your word
As your commitment to family art justice
It is knowing that love matters
Your love matters
Your words
Your hugs and hellos

It is not being swallowed by the headlines of the day
Even today when
White Mississippi teen runs over black man for fun, police say it's not a hate crime
Even on days when the thing of the day seems bigger than you
When you cannot manage the lows or come down from the highs
Loving yourself is forcing your feet to stop moving
Your knees to bend
Your body to still
Allowing yourself to be 
As the ugliest of moments wash over your head

I do not know that the waters will not drown you
Every episode will not end well
I promise

Only this is true
A lifetime of last times until the next time
And deciding in every right now
To choose love

Loving yourself is knowing that
Your love is powerful enough to hold itself up

Loving yourself is using your hands to serve someone else
What did you do today
How did you show up in the world so that someone else is better
A better that matters and makes a difference
In the world
On your block
In the car at the stop light next to you

Did you hold a hand
Did you give a heart
Love yourself enough to reach down past your words
And give your whole heart beating
To at least one someone
Did you listen to a story or blow a nose
Did you let a stranger share her god with you
O Jaha that is the best
Watch her face rainbow after the telling of each blessing
Did you unbusy your moment long enough 
To hear him say I love you
Did you see his shoulders fall
Be brave enough to wait for shoulders to fall before you turn away

Loving yourself is being committed to someone else's win
It is knowing when enough is enough and when time to rest
To let love fill itself up again in you

Loving yourself is giving it away
It is knowing that your whole life
Everything you know
And everything you don't
All that you have forgiven
And everything you hold
Is now
And now again

To love yourself is to know 
That life is only right now
And everything you carry into the next right now
Is everything you carry
Into the next right now

Monday, January 21, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 21 - How we home

We home like trees
Like fish and rocks 
We will be here
We home like church and grandmamas
Aunts and uncles 
We cousins
We soccer and grits
We are tough love

We are the wrong things to say
We hold things in 
We let things out
We home like tears
We are fire
We are journey

We home like drum
We are all necessary

We are cheer
We people
Laundry mats and sun dried sheets
We are long arms and reaching out
We scoot over and make room

We talk about each other 
And hug each others necks
We domino
We compete
We read
We news

We are loud
We are angry
We blue 
We yellow
We red

We are conversation
Social justice
We get the point across!

We are poets
We are entrepreneurs
We are unemployed
We all eat

Every day

We math we English 
We bake and sew we clean we build
We pray
We mess up
A lot
We learn
We love 
We rest
We wake up
We do it all again


Sunday, January 20, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 20 - Transfer

Story happens after shot
After camera has clicked 
Black and white of little girl with locks
Has been matted and framed
Then the story

Where was she going
Who was she with 
Why was she sitting alone 

What camera did he use
Did she know her photo was being taken from behind
Did she smile inside

Of all his work
She is my favorite
I am that girl
Riding the bus 
Going to school
To mall 

She stares out the window
At pigeons
At Taco Bell
At man selling living room rugs draped over a fence

Maybe she was on the 210 south on Crenshaw
Or 43 east to downtown
710 north to Wilshire

She is going away
She is setting herself free
With bus pass 
Thirteen dollars
With peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Sprite soda
Her Arizona tea and yellow spiral notebook
Two pens and library book she will never return 
Because she is leaving here

I wish I could tell her
The bus will not go far enough
The route will end 
She will still be here
Not far enough gone

If she is lucky
She will find a quarter
Then a dollar
A pair of jeans
And maybe a job

O Cynthia 
Protect yourself from monsters
Especially the ones who look like models, doctors and teachers
Find a school a church a friend

She will change her name
And learn to dance
She will sing and make her mama proud
One day


Saturday, January 19, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 19 - Making home

There is therapy in separating laundry
A vibe has to be set
The smell of clean linen
Will lighten my mood
When it does not
I keep folding

Saturday morning is laundry time
What happened in the week
What's on your mind
Where do we go from here
What to say how when
It all comes out in the laundry

And just like that I am fifteen years old
Watching my grandmother
Bend over torn basket
With his boxers falling out
I wondered why it mattered so much

I prayed for this
This kind of normal

Towels and washcloths 
Sweaters and socks and denim
Underwear and T-shirts

This is how I super woman
I scrub corners
I find cobwebs

I remove our stains
I throw out what we can't use
I open windows

I paint pictures
Find frames and photographs
Grow plants and polish wood

I make new stains
Our stains

Nineteen steps down 
Silver key unlocks the laundry room

Match socks 
Put clothes away

I discard
I make space
I keep memories
I hold secrets
I add softener

This is how I love

Friday, January 18, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 18 - Dear Jaha

The day will happen
But not if you don't take a minute to breathe
If you do not breathe
The day will not happen
Not for you
Burlington Coat Factory will open
But you will not get new leggings or boots
You will not pick up your son 
And you will not complain about
His phone not being charged
You will actually disappear
Because you did not take a minute
For you

Work does not count
Breaks at work do not count
The bank after work
The post office before that
Your appointment with the doctor this morning
The dishes
Separating the laundry
Getting the car washed
And going to Ralph's Market
Even to get fifteen items or less
None of this counts
Especially if your shoulders are tight
And you are holding your breath the whole time

The post office the stores
The car the job
The traffic and McDonald's 
Only matter when you let go
When you take in the moment
All of the moments

Aretha Franklin's Say a little prayer playing at the bank
The security guard with the deep voice and perfect smile at CVS
Leggings two for fourteen dollars at Rainbow
The twenty dollar bill under the seat

This is what counts
This being still in your car
In a parking lot
On Crenshaw and Imperial
Watching the buses roll in
Letting go

And if you did not laugh at the man
Selling bootleg videos and fake Louis Vuitton bags
With a sweat shirt that said
Then you missed the whole point of the day

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 17 - Dear Isaac

What if the story was never your father's 
What if the lesson to the world was meant from your vantage
How old were you
At what moment did you know
The story sings his faith and courage
But what about you
Was there no wiggle
No struggle to escape
When did you give in
Who saw the ram first
Who heard the voice
What was it like the second after
Did he speak on the walk down Moriah
What did he say
Did you run tell your mother
Your beautiful mother
Who was barren for so many years 
Did you trust him after that
How protected did you feel
Did your mother sing to you that night
Rub your head while you slept

Did you flinch for years after every time he called you son

What did he tell you about his god to make you stay
Please tell me, Isaac
What words did he say
Tell me about that kind of faith

O it is a lovely song, Isaac
How he had a son 
Was ready to sacrifice his only one
But you were not
They could not have forgotten about Ishmael
What about your brother

It is like that, you know
With women and children
We are forgotten and dispensable

You ever wonder why you
Why your life was up for gamble
What if he had not heard the voice or saw the ram
What if he acted too soon
Then what
Then what about you
Don't mind me, brother
I was always inquisitive

What if the miracle was due to your faith
And not his

What about others
After and before you 
With no last minute bells to be saved by
Do you ever wonder

So that you know

If you ask me a question and follow it with "if you don't mind me asking" then,

1. More than likely, I do mind you asking.

2. It's none of your business.

3. We aren't that close.

So don't ask or,

1. Don't get offended when you get ignored.

Thanks. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 16 - To some folks it means somethin'. To some folks it don't.

I remember the blood 
Bowl of fruit 
Baby blue walls 
The voices
But that's it
Makela said there were stained glassed windows and ceramic floors but...
We don't talk about it anymore

We always walked
Her thighs my heart
We never wondered why we were so easy to respond
He came out of 259 Elm Grove
On the other side of Beacon Way 
Where the watermelon truck used to be
Before the gas station closed

He was old with a limp and tattered clothes
No teeth and black billfold
We didn't want his money

He asked us to please go inside and help him with his cat
He would give us fifty dollars if we went in for his cat
Who needs help with a cat?

I smelled the oranges first
Makela saw Baby Jesus in the window
At the same time we noticed the bowls of blood
Next to the red apples and strawberry

We don't know why we didn't leave
Made our way to the kitchen instead
Somebody mentioned Grandmother Hattie
Somebody else said something about rain
Wouldn't stop about the rain
On a day like that
Only about the rain

There was a room full of voices and no bodies
No cat and no old man
Voices about communion and the cross
Singing voices
Preaching voices
Voice in the corner said her name was Scotland
Said she knew everything there was to know about
My great grandfather Drake

It seemed like the whole day
But we were there maybe an hour
Hearing voices tell stories about
Life before our time
There was never a why we were chosen
No truth about the cat
No revelation on the voices
Or how they knew the what

Just 259 
An old man with a lie
And voices about folks I never knew
That won't turn off in my sleep
On my drive
When I'm awake
While I write

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 15 - The chicken or the egg

A story does not know it is something to be told one day
It is not biding its time to be chosen
To be held in your mouth 
Savored and swallowed
Forgotten and flushed

You think story is concerned whether you can write or not
You think story care about your cadence and comedy
The way you hold the microphone up close
Or write at your oak desk from Ikea late night or no
Baby, story is out there living

Is in the back of somebody's church
Pairing hallelujah and goddamn

Is under a bridge
In the pocket of a woman 
You passed by yesterday
On your way to the library

Story has a life

It does not have fantasy 
Of ending up in a gold trimmed journal
With your name embossed on the cover
It is not looking for you
It doesn't see itself mandatory 
To your moment
Story is poly amorous

You betta get in where you fit in

A story is busy navigating its way through relationship
With its mother who tried but never understood
With its father who wanted it to be something else
And gave it a nickname ending with ie or y

A story is running
Arms pumping
Knees high
Head constantly turning 
No matter how many times you say different
Story looks to past
It was raised that way I think

Story wants to be 
To feed off of energy and love
Hate and jealousy and fear
Forgiveness and hope and butter
It does not judge
Story wants to play itself out
Grow details and verbs
Similes and sugar

Story ain't thinkin' about you
It's in the air always creating itself new
It is thick and musty and everywhere
Like the flu
Story is sticky
And gets stale
It goes to sleep
Wakes with new conundrums and corridors 

Story is not impressed with your hardwood floors

Is star honored it caught your gaze
Does rain check its schedule 
For your picnic outdoors

Story has a life
Rolling down your block
With participles dangling
Fitting your grasp

If you reach