PRAYER LINE

featured in the poetry forum March 12, 2016  :: 0 comments

The older I get,
The longer this is.

Wanting to save,
Comfort,
Heal,
Them all.

But I’m no god, you
Can say I got it
Ass-backwards.

Bound by the chains
Of reality. Looking
Across a field of hope,
Fenced in the end
By doubt.

So, I look up and I…

Howl.

When (if) there’s good news,
My soul lifts with
Foolish pride.

As though I had
Something to do
With it.

editors note:

Get him on the main line, tell him what you want. (Damn! No signal out here.) – mh clay

A Juke Joint Christmas

featured in the poetry forum December 28, 2014  :: 0 comments

Here, at Ida Mae’s,
Christmas dinner is
A huge pot of gumbo
Made by the owner.

This is her family now.

And at four-foot-nothing, she’s
Still “Big Mama.” Everybody’s families,
Friends and lovers? Dead or gone.
They drink to their names either to
Praise or curse.

But some just love the welcoming
Fragrance of piss, cigarettes and
Stale beer.

“Hey, Big Mama! If my wife calls, tell
Her I ain’t here!”

And Ida Mae gives him a smile and a wink
As she strolls to the jukebox to play
“Silent Night” by the Temptations.

editors note:

Long after the Day is gone, our Holiday memories live on. This one from Roderick recalls one about (someone’s, everyone’s) Mother Christmas. – mh

The Story About a Dog’s Name

November 14, 2014  :: 0 comments

One day a twenty-something white woman was walking down a sidewalk, in the suburbs, when she bumped into an elderly black man. She was startled because this man was walking the biggest Rottweiler anyone has ever seen. “What a big dog!” the white woman said. “What’s his name?” The man then tied the dog to a tree and told him …

Run!

featured in the poetry forum August 11, 2014  :: 0 comments

Run little black boy!
The gun went off; the race began
And the starting line’s still where you stand.
It doesn’t help that you have shoes of concrete,
While the rest got new kicks on their feet.

Little black boy, you need to get to running!

The race is harder for you; no use of complaining
That sunshine’s everywhere, but your lane is raining.
Crying and yelling that this ain’t fair ain’t gon’ help you.
Neither is beggin’, “Slow down!” No! Here’s what you do!

Run!

Many have tried and failed. Many already paved the way.
You will help others behind you with the dues you about to pay.
So gotta work harder than everybody if you wanna see the end.
Gotta work even harder than that if you wanna chance to win.

But nothing will happen if you don’t get to running!

editors note:

The Level Playing Field of Life, more level for some than others. (Roderick says he wrote this one “in dedication to Maya Angelou and as always Langston Hughes.” Well done, Rod!) – mh

Play The Role

featured in the poetry forum May 18, 2013  :: 0 comments

We should all be
Like white women in
50’s B-movies.

They screamed to the
Top of their lungs,

Eyes bulged out to
The size of volleyballs

Their hands either pressed
On their pale cheeks or
Extended out as they
Look away.

Because the evil thing
Covered in plastic and makeup
Creeps along to seal their doom.

There might be something
They can do to prevent it
(Such as the logical idea of
Running), but they don’t.

They scream motionless
Hoping someone hears and
Saves them – but they won’t.

Yeah, we should all be doing
That right now. Scream. That’s
The only thing missing.

editors note:

Aaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeee, helpmehelpmehelpmehe-e-e-e-e-e-elp! (The monster is still there…) – mh

Anorexia

featured in the poetry forum August 28, 2012  :: 0 comments

I’m gaining weight!
Putting the pounds
Back on!

I just know it!

I can feel my face
Growing, getting
Rounder. Right
Now as I sit!

My gut is getting
Out there, too.
I can feel the fat
Building back up,

With each second.

I’m putting the
Pounds back on.
I just know it!

It must be that
Sandwich I ate
A couple of days ago.

I shouldn’t have
Been so fucking
Gluttonous! So
Weak!

If I can go without
Eating for about two
Days, maybe I’ll burn
It off.

Maybe I can push
It to three.

I’m putting the pounds
Back on. I just know it!

Look at my face! It wasn’t
This round yesterday! My
Gut wasn’t this big either!

I shouldn’t have eaten
That sandwich.

I think I’m putting the
Pounds back on.

I can’t go back to
My former self!

When no one noticed me!
Didn’t know I existed!
No one fucking cared!

Then, it was, “Oh, you
Look great! Wow! Look
At you!

“Wow.”

I don’t hear that anymore.
Now I hear voices of
Concern.

They’re just jealous.

Everyone knows the
Larger you are, the
More invisible you
Become.

And, I’m not going
Back to that!

I would rather die!

I’m going to check the
Scale…

I weigh the same…

Or maybe I lost the
Weight in-between
Weigh-ins, and now
I’m gaining it back.

I think I’m putting
The pounds back on.

I just know it.

editors note:

Such is the fate of the invisible man; responsible for missing sandwiches everywhere. – mh

He Lives!

featured in the poetry forum September 4, 2011  :: 0 comments

Jim Crow is gone
From our sight!

He’s no longer here
To torment the
Colored folk!

Gone from the buses!
Gone from the restaurants!
Gone from the voting booths!

The courtrooms!
THE ENTIRE SOUTH!

Jim Crow has
Disappeared!

But…

He is just hiding.

And you can
Find him,

Inside a woman’s womb.

Forward March!

featured in the poetry forum October 2, 2010  :: 0 comments

There they go!

The Mighty Christian Right!

Marching,
Marching,
Marching,

Marching! Through,
Communities, cities,
States, countries, and
History already written!

Marching,
Marching,
Marching,

Marching!
Intimidating!
CRUCIFYING!

Anything and anybody they don’t
Agree with or so-called threatens them,
Package it as righteousness, and
Sell it without the warning label.

WARNING: Swallowing this could
Send you faster to the Hell you are
Trying to avoid, and open the doors
To the tyranny you fear!

It’s enough to make me
Ashamed to call myself
A Christian.

Don’t they realize
That shit doesn’t work?

Didn’t they read the Bible?

Icy Road Traffic Ejaculation

featured in the poetry forum March 21, 2010  :: 0 comments

I am a sperm released because of a
Steamy, wet American Dream this morning.

I’m traveling up the virginal walls of I-20, up
Towards the Fallopian Tubes of 360, 183 and
161.

I pass my dead fellow clones who lay in the ditches,
Swim past the weak ones stuck on the hill.

And I reached my destination to fertilize the
401K nest egg.

Only to be later aborted by a coat hanger
That sports a company logo.

Nothing Going on but The Rent

featured in the poetry forum January 2, 2009  :: 0 comments

She is happy when
She is with me, so
She says.

She drinks.
She laughs.
She dances.
She sings.

She rants on life and
I listen.

She moans in passion, and
I listen.

And though 15 years my senior, with
A certain look, or
A kiss behind the ear,

Will have her blushing and giggling
Like a schoolgirl.

And that’s all good, but laughter
And happiness doesn’t pay the rent.

She misses me when I’m not around, so
She says.

After three days of my absence, like clockwork
She calls, and
She looks back on the time
We spent together days ago, or the nights before.

I guess those memories keep
Her going, but
Memories don’t pay the rent.

So, as
I write this piece, as
I listen to poets, as
I drink, dance, and rant on stage.

She’s at home with the man
She pretends to love. And while

She’s in the bedroom watching TVLand,
He’s checking his MySpace page, while switching
His cell to vibrate.

Because in their home, there’s nothing going on but
The rent.