Freestyle #1

November 21, 2013

The funkiness of fun
absolution from writing
what seems to be

thoughts and memories,
the heart and science
mingling, interbreeding

casting aspersions
on the culture somehow
still deemed sacrosanct


echoes of theory
resonating in the inner ear
and the third eye

three hundred and sixty degrees
of consciousness includes
ascension to humanity

still, interrelatedly, i say
huey and john brown are reflections
of the gun culture i admire


my thirteen self intrudes
full of the awareness
of dec. 9, 1980

tape deck, white irish
teacher crying.
what is going on?

my thrown-for-a-loop self
confronting this grief

not quite a decade
before a teacher slipped me
the autobiography of malcolm x

on the sly.
see when i give thanks
it isn’t to smash

it’s an articulation
of how truly, honestly
my life was saved

but maybe your life
doesn’t need saving.
maybe you’re free

because you either
made your piece
or your concession


i don’t know
but i just spent a half hour
hugging my child

who told me
a few hours earlier
that he was too old

for my kisses
but when he hugs me
i’ll be damned if i let go


Contraband Marriage

March 17, 2010

We make it work by inches.

Our hands extended above our heads

pushing at the concrete

understanding that

even if it’s turned into a wall

that wall will one day crack and then break

under the pressure of our hands

and we will breathe free

Contraband Marriage book cover

In prison, a place where emotions based on affection are just about non-existent, love becomes the rarest of commodities; and as such is both highly prized and legislated.

By falling in love with a man who was incarcerated, I was participating in an activity considered contrary to the status quo on a variety of levels. Black people aren’t supposed to love one another. Black women aren’t supposed to love Black men. And no one is supposed to love the prisoners. But it happens and such love becomes contraband; something to be smuggled in and experienced on the sly.

Contraband Marriage covers those oppressive times and travels along the hemline of loving after incarceration, digging deep into its affects on that love, my walk into motherhood and how simple the decision to disentangle became when a child was involved. In multi-color, it paints the pains of the personal being political, the bumpy terrain of healing and the beautiful difficulty that can be forgiveness. It is a love story written in lyric and free form, set in reality with a different ever after.

ISBN:  978-0-9789355-5-9

For previews and ordering info, please visit my storefront.