Thursday, January 29, 2009

"to a tried and trusted friend"

shapeshifter poems


the legend is whispered
in the women's tent
how the moon when she rises
follows some men into themselves
and changes them there
the season is short
but dreadful shapeshifters
they wear strange hands
they walk through the houses
at night their daughters
do not know them


who is there to protect her
from the hands of the father
not the windows which see and
say nothing not the moon
that awful eye not the woman
she will become with her
scarred tongue who who who the owl
laments into the evening who
will protect her this prettylittlegirl


if the little girl lies
still enough
shut enough
hard enough
shapeshifter may not
walk tonight
the full moon may not
find him here
the hair on him


the poem at the end of the world
is the poem the little girl breathes
into her pillow the one
she cannot tell the one
there is no one to hear this poem
is a political poem is a war poem is a
universal poem but is not about
these things this poem
is about one human heart this poem
is the poem at the end of the world

c. Lucille Clifton

oKay so, Lucille Clifton and Ishmael Reed read at the Schomburg up in Harlem today. When I met Lucille, I immediately felt grateful. If ever I could tell her: Lucille, I admire your fragile strength. It is remarkable to have met you, to have witnessed the humility in your voice, the wisdom in your laughter--

What a powerfully moving woman. She was hilarious. Her sense of humor is vital and her stories are incredibly human, honest. shes a fresh poet. and i recommend her to all. So I thought I'd share her "shapshifter poems." Please read.

(Lucille Clifton at the Schomburg)

when the words enter
and crash, when they sing
softly through
let the flute of them
carry away into
the consciousness of the night
of the morning
when women all over
remember themselves between
the ancient ink of some bare breasted
book, may your laughter run wild
in the heavens, in love.

Friday, January 23, 2009

they estimate over 2 million gathered in DC for the inauguration...

It was all really last minute, when I finally convinced myself that I should make an effort to go to Washington, DC for President Barack Obama's Inauguration and though it was physically, a tiring trip, I am glad I was there. I was invited to perform for the NAACP's Pre Inauguration event which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I got to vibe with some good friends and it set up the motive for Ainsley, Sabrina, Javon, and I to road trip together. We spent our time marching through crowds, staying up all hours of the day in the freezing cold, eating all kinds of junk and it brought us together in a memorable way. Let me just say, the most consistent joke of the trip was generally pertaining to the amount of fur coats (real or fake) that we saw through out the trip. You wouldn't believe how many people walk out the house every morning swearing up and down their fur coat is in style. Hilarious. Anyway, I particularly enjoyed the Busboy and Poets Restaurant, ironically they turned down a perfectly great open mic opportunity with a whole host of poets in town. pretty stupid move on their part or at least the manager who argued it'd affect the shifts of his waiters blah blah blah. dude, like really, your whole shit is called "busboy and poets" and you have like ten poets from all over the country in town, its not everyday Obamas be President like this... i really think something magical could have happened, artistically in the context of where and what we were all there for...but whatever. just goes to show we aren't all prepared to change in order for real change to take place. it was a disappointment. I'll leave it at that. On to more important moments, I know at the time we weren't thinking this cause it was cold as an icebox while we were outside all day, but it was really something to see all those people flocking inside the Smithsonian for warmth. how we all shared space and made a way...if you were there im sure you feel me. in more ways than one this trip really fostered an energy that encourages unity and strength through numbers, we actually had many interesting discussions and arguments on this trip, about masculinity, politics of course, love, loss and everything in between but inspite of our differences and disagreements overall i think it brought us together. i learned something from everyone we came across and jotted down some beautiful observations.most people held a certain spirit throughout the weekend, a hopeful spirit. and of course, laughter was the greatest thing we could have ever thought to share with each other. I was journaling while we were out there maybe i'll excerpt some entry up here soon. but for now just wanted to share the photos I took. hopefully you'll enjoy them and see a bit of the way I experienced the inauguration right there in DC!

For more photos of the inauguration weekend I spent in DC CLICK HERE!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lawrence Road Middle School Poems

Dungeon by Ahzhanae Sands, Age 13

I live in a fortress where the walls are bound together by glue and
where I'm rubber and whatever comes to me comes back around to bite
you in the ass like a pitbull foaming at the mouth.I live in a
fortress where I am a hostage to my own humanity as I'm self-detained
and forced to live in this mess I've made. I live in a fortress where
everything is black and the windows are covered in bars, I can't escape as
they go clickity klack, they whisper

The Girl

The girl that just acts her self

Not worrying about anyone else


She wears her hair the way she feels

Dresses how she wants

And does her own thing

The individual girl

Living in her own world of no cares

While hurtful comments bite her from left to right

She still has the self esteem

That helps her sleep at night

The girl that draws whatever she feels

In her head on paper even on her self

The girl that takes criticism and just laughs at it

The girl that stays to her self

With her own styles and fashions

Her own actions

Her own most used phrases

Meanwhile the world looks at her as if she were some mental case

When really her knowledge is above standard

The girl that says what she has to say or wants to say

When nobody’s even listening

The girl that constantly talks to her self with out her knowledge

Is the girl that’s just who she is

Not trying to live up to someone else’s standards

But her own

Living a life with no expectations

Expressing her self with each and every creation

The girl that doesn’t live for the world

The girl that loves being known as

The Girl

By: Subrina F., age 13

by arielle Mcgraw, age 13



Dejection- January 3rd (2009)
At age one, that's where it all began.
Who knew such sudden events could occur?
Such dolfulness in my heart
Everything happened so fast, what could I possibly do? Nothing
So here is the legendary story of January 3rd.
The holiday of December, she was a house warming
Who knew after a few weeks of knowing what's going to happen would happen within such a short period of time.
My brother's birthday, midnight they did what they had to do
As he held her, everyone touching her feeling the five fingers shake,
it started to rain down the cheeks of sorrow
To bed she went
As I adaged at the others, rain turning into snow, I began to join.
Days later, the mourning came
I was very disappointed to see her come in a achromatic bag
She was frozen
As I saw them untie the achromatic bag, I shook and shivered
There she was
They nicely laid her in the white casket,
I felt the rain about to come
I couldn't believe it, she was gone
I couldn't take it
I returned and caught myself back under the roof
They buried her
I love her
Who will I take with me downstairs in the morning now?
Who will come down those brown staircases to greet me?
Who will I comfort when I need it?
Gone, but never to be forgotten
Such dejection...
On January 3rd.
by Shaina Phillips, age 13

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lawrence Road Middle School

Good afternoon folks in cyberspace. I wanted to tell people a little bit about some workshops I have been doing in Uniondale in collaboration with a teacher at Lawrence Road Middle school, Yuval Malkiel and also, Ms. Mahogany Browne. Now, I came up with this idea that since I meet with my students weekly and assign poems weekly, I would take advantage of the things they already use and try to make doing these assignments more intriguing for them by giving them a little initiative. Perhaps, this will encourage a whole different mode and type of passion on their part but we will wait and see. So, last week I told the lovely ladies of my workshop that I wanted them to start emailing me their poems and that at the end of the week I would decide which poem would be featured here on my blog. That way others can read and learn a little bit about the amaziness that is them--also it will hopefully ask for a different type of commitment to their work. When I asked whether or not they all had myspaces, emails, and AIM there were no hands left unraised, and being that the internet is addictive to these kids as much as it is to myself and others alike, I think this should prove to work out well. Please support them by at the very least reading the poems I post of theirs and perhaps giving them some encouraging feedback; they are great kids.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New York Magazine Video Look Book

So around two years ago Spring 2007, I was stopped by these two women from the New York Magazine that wanted to interview me about what I was wearing. I was conducting a performance exercise in Union Sq park so I was taken a little off guard but the guys from my workshop made fun of me and pushed me to do it. If you can tell I was a little geeky and cheesey the whole time cause they were watching along with every other NYer in the park. I also lost some weight since then haha. Also, Amy Loracca pronounced my name wrong which is really weird. But I just thought I should share with you all my geekiness... I miss the guys from this workshop... if you're out there reading this, shout out the the Odyssey House Brotherhood Poets of 2007!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Holly Port Photography

Hey Yall, so I have gotten my fair share of compliments on some of the professional photos folks have taken of me, I honestly believe it is all their doing. One beautiful photographer, mother, wife, and friend I want to tell you all about specifically is, Holly Port. She's responsible for most of those beautiful profile pictures I put up and even the headline picture of this blog. I want to encourage you to check out her work on her website. She's based out of Culver City in LA and captures some incredible moments of families, children, and couples. She is also, in part, responsible for much of the Obama support in Culver City, cosponsoring and producing pre-election events. Her energy is quite incredible and she has an infectious smile. She's also got some spectacular kids that speak Japanese and are beautiful models for some of her pictures ;-) (if you're reading this Holly, all my love to you!) I also encourage you to visit her myspace and add her. But for her website click here to see more of her work.

Monday, January 12, 2009


This past September I was contacted by some producers of a television talk show in Australia for a special that they were doing on the "American Dream."
if you want to see my poem im under the web extra tab on the site
click here

click here to watch the episode in full

ask alexyss

to all the women out there that do not know about ms alexyss taylor... she sure is somethin else. I just wanted to share this clip and will later speak on the whole "vagina power" movement. In this clip she doesnt speak so much on vagina power as she does an altogether different issue with black women and their mothers. A good friend of mind, Eden Jeffries and I, have been really following this whole movement of female empowerent while trying to encourage women to take control of their sexuality and spirituality. What started as a humorous past time of ours, making fun of vagina power etc, has now turned into a somewhat important movement for us. Mostly, we find Alexyss entertaining and quite hilarious. She may not be the most exemplary of black women, but many of her points are relevant and valid. However, the character she plays is so outrageous that most people do not take her serious, let alone me. She plays her role well. All the profanity is not necessary but emphasizes her overt confrontation of sexuality. enjoy the extremity. she means well, or at the very least, i hope she means well...please note the classical music she has playing in the background while she cussin up a storm hahahahahaha, oh alexyss taylor....hahaha shout out to eden!! throw up the V! check my homegirl out on her myspace page: (i think she has some real music potential, don't you? lol)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I particularly love this photo because it makes me smile everytime I see it. I call it " you need to take a deep breath and shut the fuck up." (lol inside joke) I am hoping to share more photos I take with people on here cause I take many and sort of pretend I'm a photographer in this alternate universe called my mind. I am pretty sure if I could afford the cameras of most professionals, I'd be able to take some ill shots. but for now, i'm working with what i got. As for Afrikanus, this man is far more than most people can handle but i got mad love for him. he's an ol school fella of Harlem, USA. For those of you that have met him and know him, yall surely understand the beauty of this picture even more. He means well most days, but sure wouldn't mind stepping on your toes with his theories and contradicting philosophies of blackness and masculinity. you can catch him any given sunday at Abiodun Oyewole's house of the Last Poet's getting it in with folks about their views, opinions, and poems...some people just get to that age where regardless of what ridiculous thing they say out of their mouth, you gotta pay dues and give your respect, Afrikanus is one of those can catch me debating with him on the regular until then, it is always love....

a poem called "she"

a poem i wrote this past summer after having a conversation with a good friend of mine Simply Kat. I wrote it with a couple of women in mind including myself...

She lives in an apartment made of bricks
with a bathroom that sings of a fleeting heart
her kitchen faucet has a sore throat,
ends up in conversations with the skin of her ear drums
at night,
she loves in silence
dreams of a voice for making love
on white linen, stained
with well-worm human

In Octobers,
she imagines windows like the ones
along her new lover's spine,

tired of shoveling dirt over the graveyards
on her mother's wrists,

a daughter remembers
the switchblades tripping off the ledge
of her mother's
chicken-scratches her insecurities
on the mirrors of her eyelids,
licks suicide off the plate
like a bulimic torn between the God that promises heaven
in her stomach
of being hungry,
of gritty knees,
and calloused palms,
tear-stained cheeks,
and retired songs
she hums
prayers between the fingers of clenched fists
amidst whirlwinds

i wish i could tell this story like a lucid dream
could stitch heartache like loose strings at the seam
but i am tired
of spiraling

you see,
love doesn't like to be fucked
from behind
lest i need to remind you of the missing artery
in your ribcage

boy, God ain't make no mistake
when putting a woman into your life

this, is
for every
that has ever
laid a hand on a women:

May the wind blow against your skin
and you will
feel me
may she smack you the way
i never could

you will die
an old man with your hand balled in a fist
at the bottom of the atlantic
there will be a war
on the terror

may a thousand nails chase you in your sleep
claw at your flesh
like unicorn horns

angels will tear
their wings
from their backs
and beat
the shit
out of you
with them
feathers splattered wet
like abstract art

for they will fall
in your vanity
wishing to be human
just so they can show you
how its done

may a million battered women
march out of their graves
and dig their rest
in your trembling soul

and she wishes
she wishes she could say
all of these things
but us,
are said to have carried our hearts on our sleeves
always washing laundry
in case it bleeds thru the seams

she lives in an apartment made of bricks
with a bathroom that sings of a fleeting heart
her kitchen faucet has a sore throat
ends up in conversations with the skin of her ear drums
at night
she loves in silence
dreams of a voice
for making love
on white linen
stained with well-worm human

In Octobers
she imagines windows
like the ones along her new lover's spine


whatever happend to megan williams?

Although, I have my apprehensions about Roland S. Martin I came across a very relevant and necessary article by him the other day online. For the most part I usually tend to think of him only by his TV One sporadic rants but he does seem to be on point with his frustrations and news reports. He is definitely a journalist that is concerned with folk of color. Now as for this article, it was referring to Megan Williams and the lack of media attention towards her case during the whole media frenzy of Michael Vick. I mean, I have already learned not to depend on the media for my news feed but really? Does anyone even remember Megan Williams?
In the midst of discussing my issues with the study and talk of black females ( i use "black" to include all women of the African diaspora: carribean, latin american, north american etc) and the lack of in depth analysis of our traumas, faults, and abuse--Javon Johnson mentioned Williams to me the other day and I couldn't even put her name and story together. If a black female ever felt neglected or ignored ever, I am certain it is now. It's a true shame. I think Martin gets at us taking responsibilty in his concluding argument that perhaps we, as readers and listeners, do not hold the media accountable. Perhaps our interests are so far removed from each other. Real news, today, isn't news unless it involves celebrity gossip and tragedy. And even the kinds of celebrities are isolated in certain types of stories. It seems we are so desensitized by the flocks of violent, abtrusive images we've been fed its absolutely normal and okay to expect and accept it any way it comes. No one is outraged anymore, and if in fact we are outraged it is humorous to most, a mere reflection of times for others. I don't know but whatever happened to Megan Williams, whose gonna write a poem for her? Whose gonna protest for her? Where are our men, sitting in their barbershops having every opinion about Michael Vick and no discussion of Ms. Williams? Where are our women, plagued by our own abuse and competitive streak, we fail to recognize ourselves in others? (yawn) I'm tired. Until, next time we send the image that its okay to abuse our women by the lack of concern we have for them-- I'll just have to keep Megan in my prayers, devote this blog to her and women like her, hoping we never let it happen again...ahh what a life of the average American, the privilege we have to not care...Isn't it lovely?


Here take a look at the article:

(CNN) -- When federal prosecutors in Virginia released details of the dogfighting charges against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, all hell broke loose. Folks were protesting, calling for him to be immediately kicked out of the league, and demanding long jail sentences for Vick and his co-defendants. Many lawyers went on television and admitted that had Vick beat a girlfriend, shot or even murdered someone, he wouldn't have been slammed as hard as he was for the vicious acts committed against dogs. I suppose those lawyers are right. Just look at the case of Megan Williams. The 20-year-old West Virginia woman, Megan Williams, was kidnapped by six sadistic individuals and held in a mobile home. They raped her, forced her to eat rat and dog feces, made her drink from a toilet, stabbed her multiple times, and called the black woman a "nigger" every time they beat her. Thank God she lived, and may be released from the hospital in a few days.
But it still raises the question: What causes such outrage and fervor in one case involving dogs and not another?
The same thing was said about the shocking details surrounding the deaths of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. The two University of Tennessee students were on a date when they were carjacked by several men. They were taken to a house where they were held. Christopher was raped, doused with gasoline, shot and his body dumped on the side of a road. Channon? She had a household cleaner poured down her throat and was later raped. She, too, was murdered.
Although the two were white and their alleged attackers black, police say race was not an element in this case.
These two cases are heinous and despicable. But why do we respond with speed to one case and not another? Is it celebrity? Or do we not have the same compassion for human beings as we do for dogs? Was the Vick case that more important? Take, for example, the U.S. Senate floor speech of Robert Byrd, the senior senator from West Virginia. Calling the allegations sadistic, Byrd thundered: "Barbaric! Let that word resound from hill to hill, and from mountain to mountain, from valley to valley, across this broad land. Barbaric! Barbaric! May God help those poor souls who'd be so cruel. Barbaric! Hear me! Barbaric!" He later added: "I am confident the hottest places in hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God's creatures in such brutal and cruel contempt." So, Sen. Byrd, where is the floor speech for a woman from your own home state? Where is the outrage when a woman is viciously attacked? This is when the media gets slammed. We've determined that Vick, Paris Hilton and the shenanigans of Lindsey Lohan are far more important than the viciousness of what took place in West Virginia and Tennessee.
But maybe the problem isn't just the media. Maybe the problem is you. The reader. The viewer. Maybe you've decided that you care more about discussing a celebrity than nobodies like Megan Williams, Channon Christian or Christopher Newsom.
---Roland S. Martin is a nationally award-winning, multifaceted journalist and CNN contributor. He is the author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

to miguel pinero

Being a Nuyorican Grand slam champ, I have definitely thought about the history behind the title. In fact the history of the venue is particularly what makes any Nuyorican title worthy of mention. It fascinates me how live the spirit of the Cafe is. There is no stage quite like a Nuyorican Poet's Cafe stage, and for anyone that says different, trust: go see for yourself. something is rather mystical about the building, the audience, the ambiance. It definitely has been imitated on every poetry television show, commercial, etc and yet could never be duplicated. I wasn't able to stay long but while I was there, this past friday was a semi-final night, and what an incredible night it was. Mahogany Browne is a remarkable host and is able to bring such a startling energy out of the crowd, a type of energy that is so rare and truly magical. She gets the crowd laughing and dancing that way they don't leave every week judging a poetry venue as just a finger-snap audience member overwhelmed with the range of evoked emotions. Her light-hearted Oakland by way of Brooklyn humor always sets the crowd afire with a warm joy.
Anywho, I think about ol school poets often, i refer to them for inspiration, guidance, and just wanna make sure I'm creating my own voice in this art. Not too long ago, I looked up "Miguel Pinero" on youtube hoping to catch some live footage of him and wat'd ya know, i found one real dope youtube clip. I don't think most people even know this is out there but take a look at it. Miguel was truly something. I hope us poets have made him proud, that Nuyorican is something he could've been truly proud of...sometimes i see miguel algarin sitting at the bar of nuyorican along with pepe's loud self. and well, most nights algarin is either a full bundle of true nuyorican humor or some days he can be a ghostly image of the past, appearing haunted--i wonder often what it must be like to see all that you've lived and loved come and go, to be truly a living legend while gentrification and time takes your neighborhood and cornerstone memories...i admire the man that he is in spite of the man he is not. may we never forget either of them...

check out:

a poem i am working on, more like a recent freewrite...


The only Puerto Rican I know
is the kind whose radiant rosebud sun
rises on a rusted fire-escape
in Washington Heights
and sets
in the black coffee
of an immigrant
after cleaning
behind white folk
in a park ave hotel.
the mornings she'd make farina with bleeding raw cinnamon
she turned into the character of some book
i believed i had read called a memory in my childhood
how she used to lock food in her bedroom
wen she went to work
the way i know hunger like an angered stomach
feeding on itself
the kind of starving a wicked aunt
A flat-chested brown bean niece
how a man will never find me beautiful
never pale enough to be spanish

the kind whose uncle's crooked smile
And salami belly
clicked through football games
all Sunday
a dream
too American,
too much drive and passion
to pursue

the only puerto rican i know
is the kind whose prima
was too fast
and too insecure of
the round mango breasts God gave her
too early to know how to walk with them
how to hold her head high with them,
how to keep from losing
her virginity
some little boy's dirty fingers slipping btwn
her legs
sitting atop abuela's bathroom sink

the kind whose primo becomes
a yellow bumble bee of a latin king,
remembering the bodega on 189th where i'd get him loosies
they were a quarter then

whose grandfather dies
a loud carona-drunk
latin laughter, salsa dancing
in his grand daughter's memory

the only Puerto Rican I know
is my father
a running faucet of a man
who could never keep up with his legs.
a once told romantic love of a bitter woman,
who bore his child,
a fuming fire in her voice,
only to grow and grow
a warring soldier of love and loss.
reminiscing on his potters field mouth,
how his smile hurt me
his teeth were like tombstones
the way they stood in his gums like graves.
how his construction-work fingers grasped a heineken bottle,
flicked a newport cigarette bud
the way i saved them like souvenirs
the only puerto rican i know
i deny as my father
they called him angel
a wicked sweet joke
some God in the heavens found funny


Blah Blah Blah Poetry series!!


Alright, so the blah blah blah poetry series is back yall!! As for those of you that are not aware of this amazing show. Beau Sia, an amazing poet and friend, came to me a little around two years ago about producing a show at the Bowery Poetry club. the whole project created a means for us to collaborate and to also invite a great friend of mine to co-produce a series, Tahani Salah. It was a monthly series for three months last year and much to even our surprise it had an incredible turnout. Blah blah blah is very different from most poetry shows because it is a means to create a bridge between the younger performers and some of the ol school kats. We also have a highly competitive open mic sign up because every show we allow for 10 or so open micers to be showcased along with the features. We are starting the show back up this January and it is definitely going to be bananas. I encourage you all to tell your friends and try to make it there as early as possible because it is bound to be a crowded show!! thanks to all those that continue to support our endeavors. Shout out to Beau Sia for being an incredible mentor and friend in this process. As for Tahani, thanks for being there to ground me and always make me laugh in the midst of it all...



A new performance poetry series organized by Tahani Salah and Aja-Monet in collaboration with Beau Sia for the Bowery Poetry Club where we vocalize unity, good laughs, and even better poetry. Attracting a new audience to the club that adores the art of experiencing art and appreciating a moment that can never be replicated!!


"Pure lyricist, lovely”
– Saul Williams

Celena Glenn is a ballet-toed bulldozer shoveling blankets off the ice-covered lakes of the heart’s malfunctions. Former host at the Nuyorican Poets’ Café and two-time National Poetry Slam champion. She is currently ranked second in the World Poetry Slam. Celena is featured in Spoken Word Revolution a new anthology narrated by the creator of the poetry slam Marc Smith, and bullets and butterflies a queer poetry anthology to be released Janurary 2005. Also soon to be released is Slam Channel a documentary about the lives of contemporary poets in NYC and Austin, TX in which Celena has a main role. Celena urges that every ghetto, every suburb, every mansion recognize the relativity of circumstance and allow those elements that discriminate, to unify the world as a humanity of oppressed souls.


Merging race and gender theory with comedy, lyricism, and rhyme schemes, Javon has become a very awarded spoken word/slam poet. Javon began writing in 2001, winning slam nationals in 2003 (team Los Angeles), in 2004 (team Hollywood), and in 2005 he placed 3rd (the only poet to make finals three years in a row). Javon has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, BET’s Lyric Café, and co-wrote a documentary titled Crossover, which aired on Showtime, in collaboration with the NBA and Nike. The Los Angeles Times said, “From subject matter, to wordplay to delivery, he is working it out! It's hard not to have good times while watching him have a good time on stage.” Currently Javon is a Ph.D. Candidate in Performance Studies at Northwestern University, where he deals with the performance of race, gender, sexuality class and pop culture. His dissertation is a multisided project between Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, which looks at identity politics and community negotiation in slam and spoken word poetry communities


Wednesday, January 07, 2009


new poem (2nd draft)

Mud woman, stop building shrines
to your past.
what earth have you left for yourself to love
like this, returning to your mother's home
of curses and witchery,
slick tongue of fire and regrets.

You are a drop of miracle.

If you had a father
God would have been jealous.

when the air is wet and sticky,
take time to please
in your own smell
of funk and armpit.

elbow and
ankle your way

Set another woman free.

She is bathing in the lotus of you
blossoming in the breath of you
gasping in the quench of you
bending in the arch of your back.

in case the shame of you comes
like a stranger,
knocks on your door looking for an invitation
shake her hand
hug her like
a long lost friend.

they will call you an aggressive lover
a strangling dancer
show them the maps of your wrists
the railroad to your heart
how you nicknamed your feet
never beautiful enough.
be a streetwise hustler with your voice,
a common sense bookworm woman
and please,
in case
never hold on
when standing at the edge of fire escapes.
there are a garden of birds waiting for you in the sky
some call them angels
others call them gods

Remember to escape your body
every chance you get.
spend time with the moon,
point your finger to the sun
with your hand on your hip
like the attitude of winter.

always swallow the stars
let the river of them rest their faces
in the dark of you
where you protect tigers and lions
fairies and dragonflies

mud woman,
you are never bitter
no, you are not an aimless black satin bullet
simply call it experience
call it wit