Friday, April 30, 2010


Marching through DC,
I feel your collective souls
pushing me/pushing all 500 of us
towards the justice, you died
before achieving.

Even through I’ve excepted your passing,
I refuse to relinquish your memory.

And Suddenly Without Anymore to Do

(Poem that begins "And Suddenly...")

I am so looking forward
to the week I plan to take off
after the last bit of duty is finished
with the completion of Pride tomorrow.

Already, I admit to self
that my week, will be more
like a weekend.

Books, DVDs, and Facebook
can only occupy writer’s muse
for so long.

But I still need a break,
after 7 days of activism
as much as my advocate soul
rebukes needed rest.

The Line...

(a protest poem)

This time Shaniek and I are yellow.
Members of other color squads stretch
back as far as my head will turn and still
allow me to move forward in a reasonably
straight fashion.

Our bodies,
no matter how bent or overtired,
are a sight that rivals any Victoria’s Secret spread.

Not So Little Girl, Found

(a hope poem)

Shannon writes me notes
in a child’s scrawl,
even though she’s 14.

I wonder
if she knows
how necessary her moms-
yeah, she’s got two- notes
about dance recitals, baseball practice, and track meets
are to my personal, overworked sanity.

She reminds me,
the honorary auntie she’s never met,
that there is more too life
than this keyboard
or whether some grant committee finds
my work “suitable for funding”.

She reminds me that no matter
where someone starts out in life;
you can become what or whoever
the universe and you, yourself, decree.

More than 5 times

(about things we've done more than 5 times)

1. Made mistakes, in some cases really bad mistakes

2. Brought shoes, ugh!

3. Eaten burritos, cakes, and Big Macs

4. Given speeches on various issues

5. Kissed girls

6. Had sex

7. Recited the words, verbatim, to It’s a Wonderful Life

8. Taught Dance

9. Been paid to write

10. Been to pride marches; going again tomorrow

11. Voted

12. Been to jail for justice!!

A Music Poem


(Inspired by Scars by Johnny Crescendo)

I wonder, listening,

to my friends activist anthem

about his own purpled/lavender

permanent skin, if the man

who “bent my bones and organized

my personal zones.” Does have scars

and whether they are available for public viewing

as mine are in shorts while standing.

An Evening Poem

Marlboro Man

People smoke outside hotel,
sadly giving cancer to activist lungs
electing to shut them up more effectively
the powers that be ever could.
I notice them under
the Confederate graying evening sky
and I’m more sad than bearable.

An Exhaustion Poem

Sleep, Sweet Sleep!

Miles rolled, self and chair
already tired from journeying to
two canceled events, although admit
my own delight at seeing grandma’s eyes
grow big and feel with tears upon discovering
an unexpected me at Atlantic City 85th birthday celebration
that I stopped by en route to DC,
where I’ve come to cast my vote
for justice on multiple fronts.

Earth: an acrostic version

Every body, in fact,
All things must
Here on water drop world.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

According to My Ex-assistant’s Son

(assignment 21, write a poem entitled according to___)

My purpling knee injury
which rendered me bedridden
for nearly one month
could be miraculously cured
if recalcitrant adults would just heed
his repeated baby words.

“Put her in the chair, mommy.”
“Put her in the chair, mommy.”
“Put her in the chair, mommy.”

His refrain repeated, everyday and often
when he visited ill, prone, irritated
aunt by designation.

On the day,
I was well enough
to be mobile.
He points at me, driving around
chasing him through parking lot,
tired after near month of non-exertion
and says, defiantly,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Choosing Different

(theme "not looking back", 20b on poetic asides)

I refuse
now that I have
decided to forgo
Boston activism
in favor of my grandmother’s
85th birthday.

I will not look back
and wonder if I made
the wrong choice.

Looking Back

(assignment 20a, theme "looking back")

I look back,

my memories of you

calling to me as always.

I see you in dreams,

naked and eager-

your long hair running

between my shower wet


Its funny when I think

of being with her;

her skinny fame, her crutches,

her hair like yours,

between dry fingers

as I don’t know her

as well as you.

I think

she’s the future.

You’re the past.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sojourner Truth

Assignment 19, write a poem about a person. Title the poem with their proper name)

Your were born Isabella;

changed it to Sojourner Truth

when you learned the word Sojourner

from being read the Bible

when you, yourself, couldn’t read.

You sued your son’s master;

demanded his return from Alabama.

You won, even though as author said

“Slaves didn’t do such things!

Women didn’t do such things!”

But you, in spite, of expectations


Peter was freed

and returned to your care.

You went to New York,

because you heard black children

could take schooling there.

Your son, you vowed,

would learn to manipulate words,

use them as the liberation tools

God and you meant them to be.

When he was 18;

he took a job on a whale boat

sent you a few letters from far

off places, when they stopped

you assumed he died.

Then God told you in a dream

to travel and speak about your

life in bondage.

You did as the Lord instructed,

being a pious woman

you could do nothing else.

You gathered your few belongings

and your lone quarter, took the ferry

to Long Island, made your living

working the fields, doing laundry,

earning wages and lodging wherever,

however you could.

You spoke of a life in chains,

of the master’s lash and misogyny.

You spoke- fearless- to people

who sought to make you fearful.

You met Lincoln,

shook his hand,

recounted the tale in letter to friend.

I wonder if you felt like Cinderella

at the ball.

You are what

this little, colored girl

aspires to be.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

To the little hockey player

You are small for age,

pale as milk and have crazy thick glasses

like Steve UrKel, a TV character

you are too young to remember

accept via rerun.

Green wheelchair and brittle bone disease

don’t stop you playing rough house games,

you say (and seem older saying it),

“My bones will break anyway,

might as well break them playing hockey.”

When you get older,

perhaps you’ll hate-

as much as I do now-

people calling you inspirational

merely for living life on terms

dictated by self rather than impairment.

But today,

you are too young

to have learned that

and you make me smile.