Good Morning to You! REVISED

Image via Wikipedia

Half awake, look sideways
time ticking away its loss
breakfast snacks hides
buries last cocktail I will
sleep 5 minutes more.

Wake up!
Drooling lateness’s regret
rush the turn of the covers
feel the static of the T.V.’s weather
feel the jilt on the news it brings when it’s summer.

Lukewarm swarms the faucet’s trickle as it drips
decide what is safe to wear, press pour into a Thermos
stare at the clocks that you frantically embrace

not even your pink, yellow and white pills can save you now
you scratch your head aganist whether or not you need a cure
calmly pushing them down in my pouch anyway
As your necessities sigh right back at you:

phone, ipod close by
keys, breakfast, lunch
coffee in tow, mints
cigarettes in pockets.

With sunglasses on, yeah
you’re ready to go, then race.
Yeah with sunglasses on
yeah I’m ready to race, with cigarette lit
pods in place, check for messages.

Catch the steeplechase on the 9:15 R
it will take you to 57th and 7th Ave.
55th is my destination.

Wrestle in between the inhospitable hot seat
a man, smaller than you, with his legs spread apart
displaying what he got, and a woman in petite position
when design decided she is taking on a half more of her seat
when design decided to exclude a space for her

you sit anyway, you squeeze your eyes close, you fit.
At every abrupt stop you hold your breath
as to not lean aganist your neighbor’s edge
but sail you will along in this alone silence
your mind full with thoughts on her
your ex lover, the last time… when was it?
Oh good, I’m forgetting markers.

With sunglasses on
yeah you’re ready to go, then race.
Yeah with sunglasses on
yeah I’m ready to race, with cigarette lit
pods in place, check for mistakes.

Then walk three long blocks
delight up like the horde in front of you
followed by a spit and a mint…

The Path

I don’t expect directions
they’re useless anyway

as my reference

I’ll have to depend upon
my own voice

tending to my own discrete guilt
swearing back as I hope

nobody’s notice in the clouds
nobody’s thoughts in the darkness

to make it seem better
I’ll imagine a Hero

just so not to remember how much
measured haunts my own stairs

listening too long
becoming so too commonplace

dying while my own shadow is so sucked in
moaning a web of a useful-less view

to cover my own liars

Maybe She Just Didn’t Wanna Dance With You Dude

discoball in Japan
Image via Wikipedia

Well thank goodness for dat, cause I woulda been confused
being as it’s a queer disco ball spinning its bacchanal lights tonight
shiny confetti glimpses of why you’re here, staring right back at me
from across the room.

Did you find my gaze entertaining?
One to test out but never wake up to, cause you’re so sure
you don’t want what society prescribes, and yet you’re here
with us, where poverty procures a so call lesser being.
You wait for him.

I’ve become your novelty of sorts, I’ve become your snicker
with your friends in a corner, watching me to see me
build up the gumption, waiting for the right song to cheer me on.

Did it make you feel wanted?
Most beautiful of all?  When I didn’t ask for your name
your number, who you’d like to fuck on a regular
I didn’t ask for your life, I asked you to dance.

Back at It Again

Catch me on the air next Wednesday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m. as dj Calypso Sally for my one hour show, Broad Strokes, of soulful tunes on Washington Heights Free Radio (WHFR). I’ll be doing my thang, digging deep from my mixed bag of music, playing new discoveries and perhaps some well known artists. Learn how to listen HERE.

Also, I’ll be reading from my manuscript, Cancelled Without Prejudice, on Saturday, May 7th for Fractious Press‘s May Fair event:

When: Saturday, May 7th
Where: Ding Dong Lounge, 929 Columbus Avenue between 105 & 106 Streets
Time: 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

In the meantime, here’s what you missed last month: LISTEN HERE.


Life PartnerTeams vs. Star Slinger
The SpaceMagnetic Island
Come My SunshineThe Comas
From the Grass DubSly & Robbie
Holy HolyWye Oak
Tonite is De NiteBrother Resistance
Strings of LifeThe Dirtbombs
Backyard BettySpank Rock
Whop Cocoyea – Shadow
Back to BackWolfgang
Puzzled by PeopleThe Streets
Love MoreSharon Van Etten

Bringing you stories, live events, and much more, WHFR tries and remains independent of any corporate sponsorship.  So, if you like what WHFR is doing, you can donate by contacting us at  DIY forever baby!

Also, if you’re in a band or know someone who is, and would like to be on the show, please email me at


Avalanche on Mt. Timpanogos Utah
Image via Wikipedia

I laughed at him–Dr. Lang–the psychiatrist.
Apparently he’s never been at the edge
of any natural disaster–the debacle turbulence
of almost pissing yourself–how long can you hold it?
Or sensed the secret–why a tamed dog one day
ripped apart the baby he once played with. Can you
foresee a trifling accident turn into a typhoon?
Bloodshot eyes witness the terror in the sun
rising, pouring, without a care of the closed curtains
into my sixth floor windowed room. Ignore the taunts
of the stickman’s shadow leaping into the wind
of a cyclonic train. I laughed at him. Unaware of
Nature’s fickle primordial demons, he demanded
I postpone until next month’s appointment.

We Have Not Seen Ourselves In this Light

Turn off the lights
because it’s ugly
looking at you this way

where anger trumps everything
it is so a situational, life that is
a chemical reaction to a set of dynamics:
where opposites collide and nobody is listening

it is seen through the regretted mess
broken bright bulbs
pieces of the argument that made sense.

Yes we have failed so gloriously
if only we can talk to each other without weaponry
then those words of I love you wouldn’t be so conditional.

It is in those ways we are like our own parents
when it gets heated at least
they say things that we’re not suppose to repeat
the words we overheard them express to each other
in those unkind ways, that they know hurts the most
remaining with us like remnants waiting to be discovered in ourselves
any day now, we unconsciously say them to each other.

Turn off the lights, I say
because it’s ugly
looking at you this way.


Image by dentsadventure via Flickr
Bully, I wear my scars well
the scars meant for me to remember
to remember something that did happened
the scars are there for me to remember
oh how I remember how you bullied me
into submission, I watch you hate yourself
as you tell me, want me to tell you what to do.
Bully, I watched your need to be needed and then
you hated yourself and hated me for it.
You’d prefer control, you’d prefer control
since you’ve never had it. 

Bowl of Soul

She talks about friendship like the rest of them
and already I know what she means: Never call
Never text, Never reach out with your hellos of
“How are you?”  But yet I hope, she is different
as I build sandcastles for things beyond my reach
as the ocean pulls in and then devours everything.


assassination of heroics

Your point of heroics you so excitingly take as risk
when it just means you’re a jackass, just took six bullets to the heart,
from a gun loaded with somebody’s unmentioned soul.
When your first word, first verb of action, should of penetrated,
cut through, bust somebody’s vessel, it left a flesh wound,
somebody took it and made you a mute,
because you won’t listening to the first verse of Do it Now: 
The first cut should be the deepest, to penetrate
No longer linked to nobody, somebody is the shit now.
Somebody won’t be silhouetted curses of ain’t it a dream
won’t be the first thing tagged as a backlash
ricocheted as pastime masquerades, as a nigger being lynched on a page.
Ain’t it made easy regular, unmade uneasy irregular
in whichever mode of horror, so subtly exhausted, so abruptly gassed-out.

From Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides album

Elegy for Ma

single clawed petal of Dianthus sp.
Image via Wikipedia

There is always the question of destination:
when and where will I go?
A sudden sadness erupts as we become witnesses.
When the flowers–once so voluptuous–turned prints,
dust, patches of petals–we try to reconstruct
only to discover what is lost is gone forever.

There is always the question of destination:
when and where will I go?
But never do we ask how is a flower a flower?
Was it her love petals that gave her beauty?
Her blooms to be gifts?
Did her soft aroma dare us to feel the fabric of her skin?



“Yet so many of the stories that I write, that we all write, are my mother’s stories. Only recently did I fully realize this: that through years of listening to my mother’s stories of her life, I have absorbed not only the stories themselves, but something of the manner in which she spoke, something of the urgency that involves the knowledge that her stories- like her life- must be recorded.”   Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens.

After reading this essay, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, I thought of my own mother obviously, and her stories she told me and my siblings. I remember how much it irritated me, since it was the same stories I’ve heard from the womb. But now, as I reflect on the stories that I’ve written, I’m reminded of those times she’d sit with us, and tell us about her life, like we were her recorder, documenting those times that were missed. I can’t help but see my mother staring back at me from my pages.

All my life, I’ve tried not to be like her, my mother. I’ve avoided experiences I believed would lead to one of her tragic endings. How sadly ironic, that the stories I was trying to forget are the stories that I’ve been unconsciously writing, that I can’t ignore because they make up who I am.

Walker also spoke about the lengths her mother took to transform their, shabby, home into something special, unique and warm, and how this act was her mother’s way of expressing herself. It was a manifestation of her mother’s love: planting an ambitious garden. It was, also, a reflection of her mother’s artistic abilities. This has opened my eyes to my own mother’s ambitious gardening.

When I was a kid, I never considered what my mother did in our home as a manifestation of her artistic abilities, mainly because it wasn’t something people celebrated, valued or respected. It was taken for granted, and considered something that women are expected to do. There wasn’t anything special about keeping a home, and raising five children.  Now, as I’m older, I regret that I never recognized and appreciated my mother’s ambitious gardening.

She knew how to make, and keep things beautiful, my mother. Even when she didn’t have the correct tools, she invented her own tools, and her own style which made everything even more special. She had the eye.

I miss her so much. And words can’t bring her back.  Nothing can imagine her back, or how much I miss her, my mother (My Imaginary Margin).  Especially since she can no longer share in my revelations.  Selfish, yes. Even now, when she’s dead.

I can’t remember exactly when I stopped celebrating Christmas, especially since it was such a huge deal for my mother. She’d go the extra mile, staying up all hours of the night on Christmas Eve, redecorating with new curtains and bed sheets.  The smell of freshly painted steps, and polished furniture swelled throughout the house, giving an exciting sense of newness, of home.

And of course the food, the food that was made with my mother’s hands, seasoned with all her love: baked fish, chicken, and stewed pork, macaroni pie, ham, callaloo and beans, and avocado salad; gingerbread, sweet bread, fruit cake, carrot cake, punch de creme (a Caribbean punch made of cream) and sorrel (a Caribbean drink made from the buds of the sorrel plant that grows in the Caribbean) that is boiled with ginger, and then sweetened with sugar, or if you like wine or rum.  Hmm, yum. The cooking was insane.  As a child, the kitchen was a garden of wondrous smells and deliciousness.

Mother is my substance, whose love I suckle upon
absent of thought to what she is.
Mother is my substance, whose skin is young as mine
even as waters sweeping along oceans and rivers
glowing brownish illuminations as the sun.
Mother is my substance whose personality
I mistakenly guise as funny, and foreign to mine

I’ve noticed in fact, the tendencies to hold my head like mother
my rear end suddenly resembles the roundness of her bountiful rump
and I’ve recently discovered a colony of moles on my neck like mother’s.
My laugh has changed as well into her scandalous octaves
which made you join in with joyous glee
I am reminded everyday of her presence and her legacy.
My mother, my substance, my ambivalent substance.


Dedicated to Bernadette E. McLeod 1947 – 2005

It began that way, didn’t it?
Telling lies, make believe
because I’m the writer
I’ll complicate how
when the what I feel
mouths up hate
salivating off my lips.
I should really drown those words
drown myself in liquor every night
a resolve I blamed on my mother anyway
when she was crying out
crying out all her life
when there was no one to listen
no mirror to edge up close
blow her breath into
her own air fogging a cloud
hear her own name
bounce back in a song B
smell her own liquored breath against her face
feel her own danger against her skin
nothing could sing
no Sunday morning could song back her hymns.

It began that way, didn’t it?
Always in a place where only the strong will survive
the fate she unknowingly prayed against
living in spite of Reason’s you should die
nothing to pray for now
nothing to explain
nothing to succumb to
she has nothing to fear
she stops now, the doctors’ last minute ambition
can’t do for her now
like I did her, a second thought
the last breath to revive, bringing her back
to give her all I wanted to say, while her pressure drops
as the infection spreads to her mind filled with everything precious
pictures I desperately fight to hold onto
the sound of her voice on a phone greeting.

It began that way, didn’t it?
In the company of familiar strangers
she coughs up blood in a hospital alone
in the company of familiar strangers
she crows out my name
because I can’t remember the last time we spoke
I want to hear her now
I want to know what she thought
she’ll call tomorrow and leave me messages
say she has a smile on her face
with one eye open
say she’s peaceful
waiting to see that one person
to close her look at the world.
But it wasn’t her lying there
in an expensive coffin, dressed
in favorite colors with a crown on
I wanted to see her feet
with bunions, callus nail polish
I wanted to see my inheritance
walking for a long time
looking for that window
but I was too afraid to know
opening the other end.
It was my turn to say goodbye
when I had already dreamt this day
when the air was so thick
I couldn’t breathe
her eyes darker than the usual brown
so shiny I saw my reflection.


Taken by Cocoyea

wanted to give you the greatest
the greatest melody for others to wonder
but I only have what I know, some sketches
of the skylines setting in the evening’s
polluted glow. Some unfinished thoughts in
my empty hole ridden pockets.
I wanted to love you like no other
so much so, nothing could stop me
I wanted to… I wanted too much.

Daffodils are Lilies

She said it was a bad connection as she summons
the executioner to sever my heart and banish me
my presence erased for always, thrown aside with the rest
while I still search for the correct signal of what she seeks.

From room to room, I roamed and performed
played with different identities I possessed
but none of my faces she could recognize, nor
did she have the patience for it, to see what I see.

She said it was a bad connection as she didn’t
want me from the time I made my introduction
with my best language I pursued her current interest
from my best seeds I gave her my daffodils
when it wasn’t I, I wasn’t the jester she was seeking.

Injured by Need

when the days run faster, you fight
and search for a pattern, but you
you remember not to lean sideways
as you bend, you can’t remember
the last time she crossed your mine
nor can’t you remember her presence
what she looks like, or what she
sounds through the recorder
that is memory of a day
as she walks across your page.