Proofs of Purchase

The following thoughts have filtered from a mind that has been oversaturated with images, screams, romance, text, and sounds since The Carter Administration. If you are not satisfied, then I recommend a double chocolate brownie from Starbucks with a tall bold of the day.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Soul Tailors featuring Alvin, Simon, and Theodore

You taught me about the nightshift
Before I could unzip my onezie
You crooned that hearts of fire sing love's desire
You perfected the dub for getting up and standing up
You told me that blacks are africans, even in poland
You had the gall to not worry if hell was below
Since we are all going anyway
And do it super bad
In a little red corvette, going much too fast
I asked my father to play this record again
Did the freaks really come out that night?
Should I keep it and myself in the closet?
I won't be an extension of a boy
But I can get next to you, baby
Tearing not only the roof off this muthasucka
But that soul, wit yo hot butta.

Father Vincent D'Angelo

Lou Carnesecca dribbled from the meadows
To the Garden, at 40 degrees below
Normal body temperature
Chris Mullin's jumper hit from every prefecture
Malik Sealy hovered above the planks
Mark Jackson was the deity of shimmy
As a nondeity, I confessed my egalitarianism
Your welcome mat euthanized my unconscience
The road to Queens was long
The subway to Tribeca is shorter
Six years of darkness
Succumbed to one beam of promise
You forgave me, Father
I now know what to do

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Barnard College

In good ole Indiana, I hit from downtown on the court
Once in awhile
In DC, I was a multiple All-Star
But the nation's capital started to finance
A priceless adjunct fellowship
The first term had a German mandate
We dominated the tennis circuit, four years straight
While you sprechen deutsche
You taught me generosity, sacrifice, and diligence
Bitte Schoen
Before retirement, I cultivated a bonzai garden with seeds of art, soul duets, and technology
In two years, it sprouted wisdom, motivation, and elegance
The garden was blown away by steely Honduran winds
Cut with sunny, spiritual Tuesdays
Eight months of consistency paved a trail for railways
Those cabooses hid for comfy Korean cirrusses
They glowed with grace and empathy
Nine months of clear days then turned into a heavy downpour
Soon after, a higher village beamed
Six years stitched for a doctorate in romancology
Good for conquering society
Thank you, feminologists

Du Lacs

I cheered and cheered for your old golden suit
The echoes woke up my dreams
My mother nourished international fruit
LaFortune Center gave out the snacks I love
Snite films sparked awe left behind
In the unlit walks through John Adams
The stadium reeked of catechisms
Beyond the Du Lac gel of blue
Into the cytoplasm of many
Those vessels stay full for those chosen
Mine froze after echoes of joy
Twisted into shouts of ignorance
A quizzical glance
When my hair fried blonde
As Greg Lemond rode cerebral laps
Of love and confusion
I know that Earth is under me
But Notre Dame pulled its rug out
To swat a supposed alien
Bigger than Jeff Goldblum

Friday, January 22, 2010

Unhooked Phonics

Nouns get crutches from a predicate
Esoteric subjects funnel into objects
Entities that build paragraphs on beechwood
Would Minwax complete the sealing
Stopping newborn cracks in the essay?
Before the sentences sprout into hearsay
You say, but what about heresy?
Well, let me tell you about heresy
Our old buddy
Our old pal
He cloaks as typed doctrines on a typewriter
A yellow sheet of pronouns, past participles
Present perfect syllables and conjugations
Rather be perfect from now on than later
Later ends up in city wastebaskets
Reuniting with his eternal conqueror
The spoken word of Jahweh

Eyelash Academy

Pull up the wall, then brace your hips
So that your right leg catches up to your left one
Pull up on the boulder, then push your body
Over onto the ledge, with chest chlorophyll stains
Take advantage of that powder and green leaf
Filtered from your nails through your sciatic river
Voices only exist in blurry prints
Physical beauty exists in front of your eyelashes
Euphoria dances beyond the light shower
Stillborn revelations stay in it
Believe it or not, wisdom and euphoria have had an affair
That The New York Post missed on Page Six
If you want to know more about it
Don't ask US
Tell it to the people that don't climb boulders
They run around on the track in diagonals

Thursday, January 21, 2010

First The Pence, Then The Pound

I could say how the mighty have fallen
But that would be a fallen statement
Cadbury eggs will now have Kraft cheese
Manchester United is run by American single slices
Canada sliced out its own Constitution
Germany platooned your midshipmen
India brought restitution to its shores
Africa was left with destitution
But economic revolutions are coming soon
Australia worries about no solutions
New Year's resolutions live again in Hong Kong
Sure, the language lives everywhere
But your pulse ticks
While the European Union talks
To cut the pound into a cent

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Standing Tall, by Jamie McKenzie

Some kings rule their kingdoms sitting down
Surrounded by luxury, soft cushions and fans
But this King stood strong
stood proud
stood tall

When the driver told Rosa
"Move to the back of the bus!"
When the waiter told students
"We don't serve your kind!"
When the Mayor told voters
"Your vote don't count!"
And when the sheriff told marchers
"Get off our streets!"
using fire hoses, police dogs and cattle prods
to move them along
This King stood strong
stood proud
stood tall
Speaking of peace
of love
and children
hand in hand
free at last
free at last

When some yelled for violence
For angry revenge
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
He stood his ground
Preaching peace

And when some spit out hate
He stood there smiling
Spreading love
Until it rolled like the sea across the land
Sweeping away Jim Crow
Breaking down the walls
Ringing the bell
For Freedom

Standing on the mountain top
They shot him
Hoping to see him fall
Hoping to put him away
To bring him low

But this King
even in death
even today
stands strong
stands proud
stands tall
And we remember

Osaka's Comet

I got word from above
The Chrysler Building, blocking a dove or two
A star, with a fist, lay in the East
When the East is in the house
You think danger
This time, I saw a ranger
I heard of your food labs
You told me of soul collabs
We use legos to create a virtual soul dance
Without a hangover, fiction and non
Our dance blends into a myth
Greater than Halley's Comet
I stand witness to your arrival
The beacon sprays a sea of light
For us, the sons, and daughters
Of New York with Illadelph
You defy astrologers, saying that comets reappear twice in a lifetime
I wanted to believe
Then, I thought I knew better than to wait
Now, I wonder at times if I did

Monday, January 18, 2010


You hit a serve from Dusseldorf
I returned it at the Phillips Collection
You collected the shot
Lacing a forehand, skirting the line
I argued that Becker had retired
He, the ball, and Berlin's Wall were out
The ump called it a winner
You smashed an ace at 120 km/h
I stood, kicking the hardcourt
Trumped by Deutschland
Unlike Kurt Russell, I escaped to New York
Plotting for the rematch in Flushing
You served promises
You volleyed threats
We competed again on Labor Day
Outdrawing Sampras vs. Agassi
You see my developed backhand
We play ballet on the court
Aces followed by winners
Borg and McEnroe were envious
Your lobs continue, coated with "Mein Susser!"
My returns up the line, shoot 'Vas?'
The forehand punctuates the stripe
Ich liebe dich!
I backhand over the net
Ich liebe dich?!
I serve for championship point
I nick the corner angle
Game, Set, Match, Saleoneusa.
We shake hands at the net
Whispering of future doubles
You train in DDorf
I train with Fort Tryon
We run the doubles circuit
Our electricity generates fortune, domestic and global
Weary of US Open dominance after three titles
We put on new uniforms in Germany
Forming into Tennis' Voltron
Destroying foes in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Cologne
Bonn nominates us as speech ambassadors
We play a special friendly in Amsterdam
In the Van Gogh museum, I curse
Damn, I pull a hamstring
You curse my vices
I yell about your strategy
Our minds and bodies plateau in Dusseldorf
Foreshadowing a retirement
Later on, we play under the Flushing moon
We burn down Boston, setting back Brady's platoon
Then outduel the Philly jewels
New York holds up a mirror
Wrinkles, sore shoulders, and bruised knees shine
From the long tour
You are hungry for more winners
I am full from success
My heart needs to recoup rhythm
For the next tour
You rave about our past adulation
I talk of stopping for present meditation
You compete in Cologne at the German Open
You find an old friend from tour as a partner
I meet a budding star from Osaka
We meet in New York, going for the gold

Friday, January 15, 2010

Walter Payton

Your perfume colors my nostrils
As your dialogue blocks my ambition
I stiff arm your negligence at midfield
As your stubborness tackles me at the 40 yard line
But a first down is made
John Madden drools about his nuclear turkey leg
While I puree black beans with orange juice and crisp peppers
The trick play catches you off guard
As I leapfrog your defensive back, whose curly mop pokes out the helmet
You reappear as a safety to rip my arms off
It's far too late, though, as the ref calls an illegal hit
First and goal is where the beat reigns supreme
Logic can tackle you when the goaline lies past Minnesota
I do a biscuit shoulder shake and the goaline morphs into the Pacific Coast
The crowd noise coasts with the blue velvet
Purifying my legend as a clutch player
Rather than a choker
Game over. I got you.
Six points

Alka Seltzer

Two Alka Seltzers cannot clean me up
Eight glasses of water cannot neutralize
The assassin acids cramping my senses
Suffocating from malpractice
Beginning a hollow era
Stacked with invoices for Honduras
Cuts to be sown from the stabbing
Questions pondered
Was I tortured?
Attacked even?
Was she The Manipulator of Limon?
Or a construction worker for our village?
Was the whole thing adult's play?
Or children's work?
Transition should be trusted
When the glass is empty
I'm finished now


You were the first to break shackles
De la consquitadors y Napoleano
You shrugged off the deadwoods in office
You stopped the glass bullets that jumped from behind the shanties
You share land, but not fruits, with Dominicana
You gave us Basquiat and we got an art futurist
You gave us The Fugees, and we were not ready
You somehow, someway, brushed Aristide off of your shoulder
You got bored cleaning up from all the hurricanes
Your children went everywhere like Johnny Cash
The Lord tried to shake you into the ground
But you stood still, with your palm skirt flowing
You are Haiti
An undistressed damsel

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winks, Twitches

Stirred and shaken
Kissed with lime
Sizzling hot with a frozen core
Bold taste holding a smooth finish
Indomitable passion punched
By unpredictable anxiety
Indigence diverting the stones of excellence
That roll through the prairie
Gathering all dust but no grass
Nor moss beneath the firs
Whistling sounds by the Puget

Rainforests and Bonzai Gardens

Our voices dance together in dreams
Full of rainforests and mountains
Melting the ice caps
Drying the oceans that separate us
So our minds can unite
My smile knocks down the Statue of Liberty
To free the land
For the growth of our future
Your purple tulips
And my tomatoes
That reach above the pine trees
To speak with our sun god

The Cabinet Is All the Rage

Too often we see one thing
With x-ray vision
Developing one thought
When reality makes us think of several thoughts
But reality can be drawn by the brick houses
Sitting on top of blueberry hills
Tickled with thin ferns and thicker dandelions
Then reality can photograph the rusted can of Progresso soup
Emptied by the mother upstairs who had to steam the bellies
Of her four children, whose gazes lived too short
And turned into a wide look at the cupboard
For the last few Triscuits or Chicken In the Biscuits
That one of the brothers ate
Out of sight
Into his hands

Sonnet 116, by Bill Shakespeare

I had to post this one just to emphasize the wonder of this man's lyrics and warm those cold January Hearts.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments, love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown although his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come,
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Lower Sodium

ConAgra took out a couple tablespoons
Of tomato soup by Campbells
More tomato, less salt
Well, it's about time
Suddenly companies are making healthy choices
To help their unhealthy balance sheets
Citizens still can't balance on one leg
Much less two feet
Filled with diabetic surges
Stopping the marriage of feet to sidewalk
To lawns
Tennis courts
Around school tracks
To feet, this movement does not taste great
But your body has more filling

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sparkling Swarovski

I burned up gray matter
Sprinkling ash flakes after
Blown by echoes of confusion
I peeked behind my elbow
Seeing the stone crevices
Follicles rise, to controlled chaos
Then one day, I ran into old cheeks
Then old foreheads
I laughed
I swallowed Crystal Pepsi
I am a stud
Freed from the dark christian spiral

The Dolo

Four of them
In black
In red
Betamax galactic

Tony Shafrazi

27th streets are far between
Bustling at day
Dormant at dusk
At one art luminaries
Emerging and historical
Splash consciousness
At 85 years of age to 7
With 7 decks looped
To the cacophony of
Grand Concourse, 1981
The Boogie Down produces
Soliloquies from KRS-One
Verbal vignettes by D-Nice
Photo illustrations etched
With the lips of Lord Finesse
Where patrons proceed
Continuing to rock the mic

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chinatown to Chinatown

Twas three days after Thanksgiving
Dark touched the streets
The Lions stopped roaring
Mariah Carey's breasts kept bobbing
The Nation's Capitol started boiling
Skins got redder with another loss
Asiatic indifference
Lost and found upon 7th street
Pushed by exoskeletic gymnastics
That gain a 10.0 on the balance beam
Heightening the unbalanced din

Cupid Takes a Long Lunch

The place where I dwell
Is where the warriors dwell
With the storytellers who sell
Images and syllables
That string along heartache tales
Of a retrograde complex
Concaved by lemon bites
Not sweet lemonheads
But bitter like Heineken
So sour that Chuck Berry smiled
A toothy grin, polished with Crest
Another tale of an undergrad nothing


What happened to real racism?
Back in grade school, the haze of corn
Began with questions of sartorial matter
Why do you dress so well?
Wow, you talk like a Senator from Capitol Hill?
You play the violin?
Your family lives in that house?
You take algebra in the seventh grade?
Nowadays, white people slide by faster in the office
Than the long O without slurring
The 20th century was soaked in racial tea leaves
Double helix intertwined into the crinkled sciatica
Of all youth
Erudite, youthful vernacular inverted into pop-culture slangonomics
That board rooms coallate into white powdered Jolly St. Nick hedonism
Ties around the black man still seem
Unusual to the classic Anglopolis denizens
Unlike their Zen memories
Of Benson serving pot roast and floating sarcasm
Eyes eating up Pac Man pellets
Of visual brutality

Dear Mr. Mugabe

Why do you buy this expensive shit in Switzerland?
That drives petrol up to 5 bucks a third of a liter?
Forcing the collision of awkward dialects
And unfriendly scorn, the only fuel that drives
The malice, the heartbreak
That washes away the joy from killing
Cecil Rhodes, the unfriendly, scrambling ghost
Who mined the velds, pushed out the springboks
Swallowed whole the Ndebele ids, Shona egos, and Zulu birthmarks
Only cause his pupils could not let go of
The gold glitter
The glitter cut down Rhodes
And will cut you down too, Mr. Mugabe
You filled your manor with Benzes
And earned the phony respect from your big sister, za
Isn't it enough?
Just go to Londontown and diversify your portfolio
At Barclays off of the Thames
Then you can leave the Zims to the Zims
The gas lines will get shorter
Bread will sprout again on supermarket shelves
You will not have to be exiled
By a Ginzu strike from my main man and your son
Nyasha. Big up, playboy

Candyman Has Big Shoulders

He used to whisper three times
Taunting shrunken hearts with sharp metal
In the foreground of a brick Atlantis
They called it Cabrini Green
But Grant Park did not give Cabrini any trees
Nor bicycles nor Ipod shuffles
Princess Lake Michigan gives us legendary gales
That leave ears blue and shiny Rudolph noses
Aorta stay warm, growling with anger
Years are longer in the city of wind
1919, 1959, 1983, 1993, 2000, 2003
Short bats twisted with shorter luck and fell
Lowering shoulders of many
Yet the spirits gleam white
Like Marshall Fields at Christmas
Even shining the hubcaps of my 88 maxima.

Ninety Miles

The distance to there isn't here
Except when Mother Nature
Sneezes from October to May at 75 miles an hour
Then Milwaukee hides in the background
With Waldo smiling and sipping on tea at 5 p.m.
You ask why not at 4 p.m. like our neighbors across the pond
Because the distance is close enough
To hear the biscuits crunched, the lips pursed, the gloves worn
And think that the isolated English mindset
Distances their thoughts from the jovial side
Of the emotional football field

Rejected Again

Wind pushes the eyebrows down
Of the city, and my frail torso
Not enough to shake my lonely teeth
To slurp two-three slices of cheese
Finally, I tasted my true value
To our wide world
That pizza cures the common cold
One that freezes my sexual desires
Along with my large balloon
Gravity pulls it toward Uranus or
Toward the gum dotted sidewalk
Nesting on a dry cigarette butt
The mission to Burma is off again
But I can’t reach for my revolver
It’s too far away, in my old pizza box

Listen to My Demo

The audio stimulates the nose
The nose scratches the ears
As the ears widen the eyes
Close until the mind
Opens the cerebral cortex
Vexed by dim blue clouds
Thundering with tornado swirls
Split open as yellow streaks pierce the sun
Shone behind me
Bushels of yellow, red, and brown leaves
That gather in the scrapbook

Newly Minted

Nirvana rose from Mt. Saint Helens’ winter dress
Winning the hearts of men
Completing sentences
Giving answers to the Daily Double
Trekking the globe
With sacks of bitterness
Axes sharpened with anger
Angered that the globe
Draws its own bile
Severs the confused
Into a singular particle
Left with two atoms
Rather than four
Dissolving the compound
Into a fractured element
That needs hydrogen

The Puddle

Throwing a fit in the sky
Leaves consequences behind
Not only the 8 ball, but also between the toes
And over the ankles
Cuddling over the textile fortress
Turning into a molten drawbridge
Where hydrogen comes to dance
With oxygen on the second date
Stopping to set date and time
Before it contends with soil
For natural supremacy

Don Imus

The amazement of faces
Never waits for our peek
Nor our stare at 1 a.m.
From a police car on 176th
It arrives at sunrise
On the face of the Gray Lady
Reeling video thoughts
And clouds to our conscience
Don Imus and Jackie would agree
That to look is human
And to judge not divine
My eyes are brown because of Africa
My heart booms with red blood
My mind bleeds from another lesson
For another shock jock

Whole Dreamin'

Don’t wake me
Don’t tempt me
Don’t touch me
Don’t blow on my face
Don’t shake my shoulder
Don’t tickle my elbow
Don’t lick my ear
But you know what you can do?
On the real?
Blow me

Claimant forms

You claim to want stability
But you missed Mr. Precocious
Desires of personal attention
Tumble out of your lips
But you missed my reference to the movie’s plotline
Your belly screams for a tomato with mozzarella
I smothered your stomach with Penne Rigate and Pesto
Mesclun too
You prefer a voice to digital discourse
So of course, I call to wish you well for the next school day
After I tell you that your bumbling of the word, “Polka-dot”
Needs to quit
On First Avenue, you claim to need a man
I order a cab, pay the fare, let you freshen up at my place, and whisk you home
While eggs drip from your lip corner
To the crumb on your cheek
They say that you can’t fight what you can’t see
It seems like you can’t see shit

Sandbox of Freedom

They bomb our country
No shades of shame
Guiliani and Pataki once added up to enmity
Which tenacity threw out to the Hudson
Nine years later with 9,000 Century 21 bags
We sift through sand
Tossing rubble into our eyes
Burning blueprints with egos
Stuffed with dry ice
The horns of the Bull sink below the Path
Stabbing Sam O’Neill
Nuclear families and diplomats
The FDNY, NYPD, EMS....Hill Street Blues
Lose bones to The Port Authority
Who throws them to Silverstein
Without asking Dr. Evil
Forgiving them is not divine
Since they love to err
As they forgot the human

The Dragging Bullet

You suck the life out of chicken wings
That never flew
Rarely thinking of their pain
You preach empathy to the sick
While practicing apartheid
Not of race, like South Africa or Australia or the United States
But of consciousness
You touch with tenderness
Yet move like Robocop
Dreams of bright sun from Calilfornia
Spotlight your words
The harsh snow of the Yukon Territory
Emits from your soul
Your educated doctrine beams with effervescence
But your fingers spit slow bullets
Leaving pains in my heart
While dystopia captures my mind
Regardless, my soul rebuilds
The bricks of my skin
Then it paves the ventricles of my legs
For the waves of humor, of grace, and of justice
That nourish my brain and nudge it
To seek a red trail
Leading to a wonderland
Where I can meet Alice
And ask her for the phone number of Donna

Perception versus Reality

Perception is a helix of pictures
Constructed by pieces of a Jenga tower
That peruse the psyche of man
Oozing through the pores of the epidermis
Expediently building particles in our area
Particles shaped into passions
Realistic or figments of
An imagination locked up
A music chord unbelted
Parts perceived to be pedestrian
Skipping across Delancey Street
To participate in the sludge of the East River
Corroding into real viruses, to limit
DNA generations, overture collaborations, and solar stimulations

Eastern Market

The streets tapped with looters
After Dr. King collapsed
U Street sizzled with Duke, then Lucifer
He sent his henchmen for the Invisibles
Lucifer had league championships
His team even beat the Yankees
He had it made. Fame. An Ethiopian girlfriend
A house in New Zealand
He made Jerry Jones jealous
And that’s hard to imagine
Or is it?
Then, one invisible man had colored visions
Ones of a transparent metropolis
He swept around K street, collecting blue chips for blueprints
Until his white lips stained his blue suit
Ben offered chili dogs, spicy on a toasted bun
High rises begot high tax brackets
Invisible hearts burn at the feet of Abe Lincoln
Four score and five years today

The Noise Doctors

Feedback of Chords
Going portal with the post-punk
Sending out white shrills
From the green pumps of Kim
The commissioner of feminism
The princess of dancing tonsils
Your Downtown Royal Highness
Who would fight Mr. Moore onstage
If he dared to sing on key
Daring to pretend
Their thrones had been conquered
But Drew and Fabrizio
Seeing the forest for the trees
Salute the greenery of our favorite rock botanicals
Since Kim and Thurston could eliminate them
With 10 minutes of blissful guitar dissonance
Clearing the skies of acid rain
Hamptons excursions and drunken nights at Quo
Whoa, dude
I’m like, cured


A fit mind needs fitness
Dream exercises to develop
Biceps that tackle questions
In our daily musings
Kerry or Bush?
Will the Yankees fall again?
How did Kim get her fiery hair?
Why did Europe mobilize their currency?
Is a beer really worth $7?
What if Africa returned to global prominence?
Only through daily doses of dreams
Can we imagine the answers
To concepts that challenge our social structure
Giving answers that Bill O’Reilly will claim as his own
When we know that is a bullshit thing to conceive


The gray matter sprays thought around a circle
The Indycar race has a photo finish
That Mr. Sandman waits to judge over
Once he sprinkles the track with a photo flash
Judges can cut the mental fat
Brought on by months of late payments
4 a.m. crawls on the A train
Without a dash of female touch
Not necessarily an angel’s
Just a touch of butterscotch
For her sweet tooth, as well as mine

Haters' Rock

People sure have a lot of nerve
Saying that it’s weird for me to rock
Like David Bowie when I think like a b-boy
But fuck, David Bowie could never
Do the damn thing like Little Richard
To prove his point, he put on makeup
And made up crazy phrases
Like Mary Poppins, another icon of
The Tutti Frutti aura
Foaming pirates need a history lesson
That Fats Domino didn’t make shitty pizza
He make the rock and roll that you bought
To bounce your headphones
So your mother, a Donna Reed stunt double
Wouldn’t cry Reefer Madness
I will roll the rock and talk this way
To write a Letter with 23 strawberry fields

Ronald Reagan

Fits of depression skated in my varicose veins
After the Gipper won a battle over the frozen castles of Prussia
He desperately pursued the public endearment
Wanting the granite to melt away
That he had to purge all the soul from public discourse
Soulful soup kitchens stopped singing a capella tunes
Tuned out by thoughts of extraterrestrial wonder
Circling the red planet
Dilating the world’s pupils so much
That German limestone played the mis-en-scene of CNN
A beginning for a viewpoint of dilated expression
Breeding the suffocation of civil consciousness
Of Oliver North transactions to Saddam
To the proliferation of foreign investment
For the Nazist apartheid vision of P.W. Botha
Both of those men got their wishes granted
Just because Ronald Reagan knew how to act
And direct like Mr. Scorsese
The Steven Spielberg of politics
Even got Margaret Thatcher to put on a happy face
Citizens of California want him on a dime
I say a three-dollar bill
Since he felt AIDS was so queer

Pictures of the Post

Mesopotamia has been a place of negativity
Before Rumsfeld, there was Saddam
Landlords often smell like NBA armpits after Game 7
The vibrant odor smacks the wall of blood
Accented voices screaming at a lung’s peak
Ears hindered from barred windows
Opening the sky for a bird to chirp
A sky without sulfur and carbon monoxide
But with a salty tingle
Of crispness, clearing a beach
Unwalled, missing seashells and pebbles
Pebbles lodged into the brains of a few
To the detriment of many that are chosen

23rd Street

Saddled with wet jeans and eyebrows
The layer of Afro-sheen slides onto my forehead
My forehead still has a clutter of rain, sweat, and worry
About the next morsel of bread
The bread doesn’t have to be smothered in Danish butter
It doesn’t need jam
It does need to be in tune with Roger Waters on the wall, as he
Elevates my slumber to satisfaction

Gateway to the West

Black unemployment lines stretch along the grey block
Pimpled with Newports
Tensions circle like Tyco
Western leaders created buts
To make us think about drugs, chicken, and candy
Rather than leadership lines
Leadership rather comes from ones own perspective
Pushed forward with the strong arms of God
Allowing the chance to break through the wall of buts
That separate the thin line between self-hate and self-love
That cement our superior depth of imagination
Only with visualization of wealth and health
And the stealth physical execution
Begin a linear dissolution
Of the walls of buts
Or whatever you call it


Most don’t believe that I lived with you
For seventeen years we danced together
I dreamed of exiting stage left
Interstate 80 was my favorite destination
You were so vexing and tempting
I hated that you were only aware of the rusty grill in your backyard
I hated the same flat grassland dress that you wore
Sometimes you dared to wear apple trees on your green blouse
Ears of corn even
It killed me that you always smiled in my face
But you hated that I was an African
Not even a nigger, mind you
But an African wearing Calvin Klein Jeans
You hated that I could Speak and Spell
Better than my toys
You hated that the fam kicked it to Our Lady
That was your Garden of Eden
Pure with Roman Vanilla Extract
You made up for it sometimes though
Friendly families open long distance tables
Tickled with fruit pies, brownies, potatoes, without a trace of romaine
You blew summer breezes that whispered into my ear
To pick strawberries and toast the sunset with a waffle cone
But after years of buying music and driving endlessly
Wishing that you would go away
I did what every man tells their first love
Fuck off

They Love Me

I stepped into the elevator
Filled with black and hums of Duran Duran
The white man breathed cigarette smoke out of his suit
A couple of Asian women spoke and giggled
I had to make sure that I could speak about my last job
The 9th Floor opened, a pool of orange
A meeting kept the boss an hour behind the schedule
One that had my name on it
I thought, that’s what is in a name
Monika shook my hand, not understanding my suit sans denim
We sat in separate chairs, locking our eyes into one path
Our eyes helped us talk about our professional needs, our desires, our last nights
Then we felt comfortable, and excited
At the same time

Brilliant and Cancelled

I leap into the subway door slit
Squeezing my spine out of place
The grade schoolers eat up oranges
My eyes are eating up the subway photos
Of another show that ended earlier
Only it will also get an endless run of fearless syndication
Tears shed for joy in my tiny room
After the unseen footage airs
Without the trouble of tearing off that DVD shrink wrap
HBO and NBC will take a commercial break
To laugh at you, white people of the world
For laughing with Carrie, Samantha, Monica, and Ross
I am laughing too
Because watching Donald Trump fire an Orwellian drone
Is must-see TV

Turtles' Fables

Fabulously green like a $50 bill
The turtle glowed in the black cloud
Of a Halloween storm
He hid his head in the blackout of the office building
When the winds escaped
Battery Park and the feet of Lady Liberty
He slowly climed down the Soho sidewalk
Passing the hurried heel clicks
Outwitting the debt-ridden college students
Steadying his sharp irises
He knew that he was slow to match
The pace of a rabbit
But he strode quickly
Unfolded his elbows to plant his shell
And blossom on the bank of the Hudson River
His bed was a lilypad, sponge-worthy
But his bed was not in the ocean
It was in the plan

Tainted Gifts

The boy peaks through the redwood portal
Spooked by its distant orange claws
That pierce the grape sky above his head
Red blood bubbles into the blue pathways
Of arms calling to subdue root beer thoughts
He then walks along the brown trail
Combing down branches from his eyes
Rose bushes are unavailable to love or poke
His toes of determination, full of sand
Rocks living in his toenail
Slide off as water massages the blood
Growing into plasma
Looking pretty in pink


George Clinton has a brain
Brighter than a Zenith Technicolor
When he colored the cities chocolate, and the suburbs vanilla
The city smelled like fresh urine
Too many black people bleeding on the concrete
Defeat pushing their eyebrows down
But never out of 125th street
Or Bed-Stuy. Or Oakland
Or Benton Harbor. Or Detroit
Or Atlanta. Or D.C.
Or New Orleans
HMV dared to scratch up the mixtape. But they got scratched off the block
Mixtapes are now compact discs
Compact with hooks about
Platinum, Vandalism, and Sexualism
Romanticisms about the things in the hood that have changed
Changes in the faces of the crowd
From Black on Black to Black on Carribean on White
On Dominican on European
Adding itself to the true testament of Hobbes’ Leviathian
That the state has absolute legal power
To build a Disney store
For children without memories and floating balloons
Of their own superheroes
Mighty Mouse, even

Recession Endurance

Disappointment, strong without ointment
Our lady anoints me with the plague
Bubonic, shook like a catatonic
Same as it ever was, but won’t be
General Bush, thou canst reduce me
Beneath the radar, my star defies missile sparks
Dark clouds, night hours of gun claps
Snap, crackle, pop on iron walls of capital
I sear the meek like a Kenyan jackal

1:30 a.m.

Boutiques flow to darkening
Vikings maul the limestone, sailing and pillaging
Pleased to meet ya, Lolita
Range Rover seat flipped down, three seconds flat
But Atlanta like them girls with the Daisy…
Sheeat. That age been over
And it’s nothin’ but a number
1977, a plague on all our houses


Double stuffed, with no cream of vanilla
I watch Earth asking brown to do it for me
Break chains, plant maize, say hey Willie Mays
The New York Knicks can’t play
Nearly 25 spins in, I still can’t recommend
Calculus, mathematics to you phony phanatics
Spinning currency on your gold trimmed atlas
Because we all know that Africa is the land
Of human mates, ready to return the pride
Burning with justice, egalitarian, extraordinarily proletarian
Lead by yours truly, Frantz Fanon


To be honest
Being black and gifted sucks hard at times
We then call Martha Stewart to whip up
Lemon tarts to sweeten the lips
My effervescence even
Yet they say that less is more
That missed me

Mount Osmium

Pop Culture needs black intellectuals
The world brims with 18-year old basketball prodigies
Decorated with soft drinks, Armani pinstripes, and Afro-European wonder
Flashed through the Clear Channel vocoder and ESPN plasma
Ralph Ellison gave up, on the black thought pool
Calling us invisible
My two negligible eyes see clearly
The brother on Sutter Avenue
Playing mixtapes of 1985
Live Run DMC walking that way to your earlobe
Heavy voices saluting Malcolm X
The X factor of Black Psychology
My eyes also see that one woman
Cascading on the West Village cobblestones
Pushing the stroller for little Joey
Not little Freddy
Because little Freddy needs money for his school field trip
To the Brooklyn Museum of Art
Where Zulu spears, Ashanti bricks, and Egyptian hieroglyphics
Answer the question
That one about black thinkers

Thank God it's Midtown

I want to quickly celebrate
The existence of Midtown
With the King Midas Touch
Making long block strides
Rocks the blinding LG science
Diamonds encrusted of dull glow
As Charlie Mingus, so sweet to show us that
The toe tap meets the hand clap
Bebop flares out to Art Rock
Critics judge, review, and follow
Drones listen, read, and saunter
I float through with magic like Orko

An Eclipse

Live from the Hudson Hotel
Draped in ornate glamour
You beamed with modernity
Curious, I spoke of Earth, Wind, and Fire
You yelled, "Marvin Gaye!"
I laughed, filled with excitement
You were the Sunrise, my chance at redemption
After falling suddenly in a Korean battle
Unseen by my neurons
Then you set in the Far East from whence you rose
I spun from the Heights to Queens, through Brooklyn and the South
To cleanse in Miami saltwater
I memorized your laughs, your smiles, your whispers
September, you rose at half set
Only to fade slowly in October
I ran through the Lower East Side
Viewing your sunspots with a telescope
I ran to Philly and recruited Maxwell
Planning a new era
But the battle had been lost
Way back in July
When your rays fried my skull
And grace was stolen from my soul

Knowledge was Power

To enlighten is not to dwell
But to inflate the masses, from Massachusetts
Into the wild of Myanmar
Wild nights in Tribeca
Are killing my brain
Whispering taunts and illusions
Of grandeur, steamed with mussels and lip gloss
Staining my shirt and chest
Before, my ventricles beated
The words of Malcolm
Who yelled through Baldwin
Who sweated with Ellison
Who ate with Reed
Who rapped with Newton
Who strategized with Seale
Who laughed with Davis
Who counseled with Hampton
Who sparked Fanon
Who inspired Biko
Who built Mandela
Who warned Nkrumah
Who then told Rawlings
To watch Charles Taylor
So that he would keep Sierra Leone
Off his nails, out of his clutches
Now I walk the city
Unsure of grabbing the torch
For shame

The Show

You are a bench coach at the single-A level
A role that has purpose
For only that situation
It builds local fervor, then global silence
I'm batting .320 at double-A
Playing a graceful centerfield
For the love of sun, grass, peanuts
The camraderie from fans
The team history
The pride of my uniform
Next season is a short stop at Triple-A
An Italian tournament
The speeds change when thrown from the mound
My determination stays the same
I swing softly and hit hard
Because the bright lights beckon

Constant Drizzle

I know that you're gone
I know that it is over
But my eyebrows collect raindrops
Spitting sleeplessly in Seattle
They float without gravity
While penetrating with permanence
Of a microfiche era
That never transferred to Blu-Ray
Despite our vivid color spectrum
We glowed like stars from the Gilded Age
As our relationship flickered dust, ash, and embers
I tried to douse my flames with calm
And replace them with smiles of sunshine
But my teeth were stained by Camel Lights
That pretend to salve my ruins
I know that you think little of me these days
Perhaps wondering why it ever started
While I chatter teeth in the Great Lakes
Under black cumulus clouds

Two Windows

I look through two windows again
With two eyes rather than four
Looking at the sidewalk alone
Rather than the constellations together
I can find Orion and Sagittarius
with someone
I can find them alone
I will find fiscal guidance alone
I will better respect personal boundaries alone
Then I will find an empress again
Outside of these panes

The Old Days

Mystics from the Far East now calculate p/e ratios
Mystics from the Far East measure taxes on tea
Nomads from the Subcontinent play the flute
Before installing a network
Gandhi smiles from above, seeing his salt revolution
Take a digital reprise
The biceps of Putin flex with the scowl of Lenin and Stalin
The Kremlin spreads oil from the Siberian tundra to St. Petersburg castles
Oz bounces on the red plateau
And stops the Tasmanian Devil
The Motherland lives with persistent demons
Smiling to give rhythm, joy, harvest, and wisdom
The Amazon rainforest grows with vivid colors and Olympic pride
Ronaldo kicks stones through the slums, robbing fear from the hood
Pilgrims and colonists bite their thumbs
Worried that a classic sequel to Rome is in production

No Options

Mr. Bill meets with Mrs. Inspiration
He is knighted to save white blood cells
He needs to rescue drying bones
And energize fraying muscles
He goes to Washington
To triumph like Mr. Smith
His staff is sharpened
With words drawn by a mighty pen
He cuts through the House
Bloodied, but staying strong
The blood keeps flowing instead
On the way to the Senate fortress
They take his liver and fry it
A proud knight then
Now a shameful jester