He kneels on the pale marble floor,
she sits under the harsh white light
and the moment is pregnant with silence.
This house is clouded by a darkening night
and when my father starts to cry
my mother starts to scream.
The tears of hard years
carved mountains and valleys
like wrinkles across his face and hers.
In mending what is eternally broken
they have both shattered
and the rest of us are damaged, collateral
Talking with him is an open road with many different journeys
Talking with you is like a conversation with a shadowy figure that is scared to come out into the light
He looks at me as this sweet girl
You look at me as you would a project
But what you both fail to realize is that I am neither
I am not as kind and sweet as you think,
Matter of fact, I am just like you
Beneath this exterior, I am demon too
I am no project
I will never be poked and prodded
To be honest, I can hide just like you
become a mystery too
Not for the first time
nor for the last
He sat alone
filling with remorse
He said to himself,
"Did I blow it?
Did i waste my life
in a frenzy of cocaine,
methamphetamines and Vicodin?"
He waited for an answer
but it never came
A towering shadow of a man is all that is left of him,
one of 18,000 people without a home in Detroit, Michigan.
He blends into buildings and cowers under the feet of passersby,
he is not invisible but camouflages himself among the city streets.
His hair is painted pavement gray,
his skin scarred and pallid.
He lives his life making treasures of others trash,
making homes on donated bench landmarks,
and the sooty, littered asphalt in the city.
He walks as if one leg is shorter than the other
In spring we welcome budding leaves;
With us longing to rest beneath them in summer’s heat.
Then Autumn paints the sky with auburn gems as it takes a noble ‘s seat, And Winter to steal it away with its unseen thieves.
You’re leaving tomorrow
19 years with you right down the street
Tomorrow is far away
so we talk and laugh
like we always do
We try to make the most of the time we have
But today is just like the others
I leave your house late and come back early
Without even noticing
today became tomorrow
with no sleep to divide them
The sun shining bright
but a dark cloud is in our hearts
a sinking feeling inside us
Tomorrow is today
but it doesn’t feel real
Flowers, we all are
Some of us grow taller than others
And it isn’t fair, but nothing can be done
Because life is a test that pushes us beyond
But some of us fail because others succeed
Because some people cheat their way around
And slither into the ranks of greatness as they drag everyone down to failure
No matter how hard we try, sometimes it’s not enough
Even though we’ve exhausted ourselves to the brink
And rest is not an option because there’s so much work for us to do
So much for us to accomplish
The first time we met
was at a greyhound station in the hills of Tennessee.
Even though we had known each other for well over a year.
my visit was overdue.
It's funny how I decided to look so far away for companionship.
Based out of Metro Detroit,
there were plenty of options nearby.
Kids in my high school were out and open, about who they were and who they liked
yet I hesitated to do the same. As if there was an uncertainty and a fear built out of it.
That sense of distance created a sense of security.
Four legs and a flat surface. Cover it, color it, stain it, and drape it.
Some are wood, glass, metal, plastic.
There are so many varieties, limitless colors.
Like a person crawling on their knees, a slab of stone thrown across their back; a burden that should be too heavy to bear.
That was where he always came to feed his appetite.
Not for food or sex, no.
The kitchen was used to feed me reasons about why I wasn’t good enough.
“You were too lazy to wash the dishes?”
“I told you to shut the hell up,” and “Ugly worthless bitch.”
Dust-covered boots, labored navy pants,
Men standing united with purpose
amidst broken armored pieces.
A commonality of pausing
before the lens to capture a moment.
A workman’s playground where talents and
physical exertion resolve impairments.
Focus on disconnected body parts
waiting to be melded, metal-to-metal.
Together, brothers, friends, and comrades.
GM factory workers now businessmen.
Sometimes gathered in a football
huddle, ruminating, seeking the best
play or direction for completion of a
A teapot is
a miniature silver stagecoach,
wheels and horses absent,
a goldfish out of water,
temper rising steadily,
A manic-depressive Dad,
up seventy-two hours
ranting repeatedly about
the salesclerk who didn’t cover
his mouth when he yawned and
the neighbor who he thinks
ignored him “on purpose” and
Mother, who he says
“is not saying anything
to take us forward,” wherever that is.
Exhaustion, dejection, Silence,
We never believed in Santa Claus.
As the holidays approached, Mother stayed
up late into the night sewing while my father smoked
In the mornings my brother and me were shuffled out
the door to school. Christmas programs were
planned as we grew increasingly
restless. One evening when Mother was
in the kitchen cooking, I ventured
into a closet and found a large black doll,
hand-sewn. She had a beautiful dark
brown face, long arms and legs, rosy cheeks,
big almond-shaped eyes with eyelashes,
Shiny grooved revolver
Aging rings of a tree,
Infinitely whirling like the hands of a clock
Propelling through time and space
Sitting amongst enlightened minds,
Friends gathering around the table
The dreamers, encapsulated by the rotating side of a 45
Listening to “What is and What Should Never Be”
A Band of Gypsies
Embracing, exploring, expressing
Fighting for a cause, it’s our right
Generations whirled around
A single idea, protesting and professing
It happened not long after I came into this world,
after we had become whole
Those four cherub faces, eyes sparkling and all matching
Mother and Father looking on
A perfect couple,
complimenting one another
His jet black hair slicked back
He’s wearing a crisp clean collar,
His tie straight as an arrow
Her bright smile behind her raven hair,
a golden fleur de lis, pinned on her three button jacket.
Their arms surrounding us,
holding us in this moment
Captured briefly, it’s my only proof
I walk into a bar and everyone ducks for cover
9/11 is the punchline here
No one is laughing
Not me, not the bartender who won’t look me in the eyes, not the collection of sweaty bodies, too drunk to hold their heads up
Misunderstanding is the punchline here
Misunderstanding, miscommunication, misinterpretation
All these misses that we have allowed to seduce our hearts
Fear is the punchline here
Fear is the tool used to isolate, used to
The sky was bright and clear.
We sat shoulder to shoulder.
It was two different colors as a matter of fact.
I felt the ocean between us stir.
Turquoise and Sapphire if I can recall.
It was quick and painful.
A line of clouds seemed to separate the two.
An impact tsunami? “I think I Love her”.
What did the sky look like without those clouds?
Drowning right next to him, could he hear the gasps?
What did it look like where they met?
So close his heartbeat pulsed throughout me.