I’m Terrified 

I’m terrified

Of Love

Of the way it changes everything.

Builds them into crescendos 

Then drop kicks them into black holes millions of light years away.

I’m terrified 

Of people.

Their ability to make you feel things.

To love you.

To stop loving you.

To suffocate you with their love until you no longer resemble the person they loved in the first place.

I’m terrified 

Of art. Of my heart. Of artists and surgeons and architects. Of brilliance. Of passion. Of everyone finding out that I have absolutely no idea about anything or anyone.

I’m terrified. 

Of change. Of nothing ever changing. Of words. And the world. Of light and sound. Of sounds. Especially laughter. Especially the laughter of the ones I love.

I’m terrified 

Of the ones I love. Of lost. Of possibility. Of brilliance. Of mattering. Of pain. Of my restrictions. Of myself. Of people who say shit like “there’s nothing to fear except fear itself.” When I’m so terrified of every single thing, especially fear itself. 
9/30 I have been writing every day I’m just terrified of sharing certain pieces. I’m only sharing this one because I’m terrified. #NaPoMo 

The Thing I’m Obsessed With.

Friday was the Book Release Party for my new Poetry Book Brownish Green Female  Sheep. It was my first book release so I have nothing to compare it to but to me it was the most amazing Book Release ever. The venue, Ybor City Barbering Company Barbershop and Bar, was beyond perfect. The atmosphere was ELECTRIC. My best friend since 7th grade snuck in the night before which made the night even more special and I was surrounded by friends, family, and associates, the majority of whom all bought the book!!

I was on cloud nine the entire time. Electric from my frazzled nerves and the endless supply of Mimosas the fabulous bartender kept sending my way. My wife, in true AB fashion ensured that the guests were having a great time, my best friend managed me and the book purchases, Sheree L. Greer my mentor/dear dear friend/cohost along with the ridiculously talented Samira Obied hosted the show in epic fashion. So when I tell you that it was the dope show, I mean that in all caps. DOPE SHOW!

I don’t know that I would’ve asked for anything more… Except while taking pictures with my family one of my brothers said to me, “you’re fat you need to work out.” To which I replied “I work out at least twice a week”. To which another sibling replied “you need to work out more than that.” I’m not going to go into anything about how I don’t need their help to lose weight, how I’m struggling with candida, or how neither of them is an authority on weight loss. I’m just not.

For some background, I’m the oldest child and my siblings don’t really know about my eating disorder. They don’t even really know me like that. So I’m not even mad at them  for saying what they said. They don’t know how I hate my body most days. How I work out with my trainer and feel super happy with my progress until I stand in front of the mirror naked. They hadn’t read the book so while they knew that the book was about love, they don’t know that the longest poem in the book is dedicated to Anna. One of my most secret friends. Or she was, I haven’t seen her in years, though I’d be lying if I said I don’t think about her daily.

They don’t know. They couldn’t know. So I don’t fault them for taking one of the best days of my life and dampening it a little by talking about my weight, they’re humans, and one thing that humans are good at is offering criticisms and critiques as if we would die without doing so. But, If I had one wish, it would be that  we as a society  stopped commenting on things like weight. We have no idea what the other person is truly struggling with.

If you or someone you know is struggling with food obsession you can speak with someone in your local community or at Eating Disorder Hope.

To read Anna You can purchase Brownish Green Female Sheep from my publisher Vital Narrative Press or from Amazon.

It’s Not Easy Being Me

It’s not easy being me.

Some days I don’t want to be me.

Sometimes the burden of proof is too heavy. Too hard. Too exhausting.

You get tired of explaining that your intentions are pure.

That you’re not angry.

Not a bitch.

That you’re happy. And loving. And caring. But you can have all the actions to support those things and people will still see the versions of you that they want to see.

 

 

Chocolate Memories

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Chocolate Memories

I still remember the moment I saw her.

Her lips cherry frozen cup red,

Skin chocolate covered mocha brown

like a worn out penny,

Beautiful and nappy headed.

I loved her from the cinnamon of her eyes,

To the chipped polish on her fingertips,

From her lopsided ponytails,

to the scuffed toe of her converse.

Double Dutch champion.

Taught me how to spell:

M. I. crooked letter crooked letter.

I would’ve married her that summer

And she would’ve been the best wife I ever had

But summers end to soon

Before loveburns thoroughly heal.

Live Out Loud

Live Out Loud

I don’t wear a watch because I march to the beat of my own drum.

That’s not to say I don’t respect other people’s time. 

I do. 

But in my mind:

There are no clocks. 

There is no time. 

There are no limits except the ones you’re imposing upon your self. 

Stop. 

Love. 

Live. 

Be free. 

You don’t have to have it all figured out today or next week. 
You have your whole life ahead of you. 

So stop with all the planning

The “by 25 I’m going to be here”

“By 29 I would have accomplished all of this”

“By 35 I’m going to be that.”

Stop

Stop

Stop doing that

And start doing it

Start living, 

start giving, 

Stop and smell the roses.

Run a foot race down the street in your bare feet.

Plant a tree.

Kiss some chick you do not know.

Fuck any and everybody you want to fuck.

-use protection-

Just do it.
Do the whole world a favor; 

Stop planning it out and start living out loud.  

 Things I wish 25 year old me had known.

To Know Me Is to Love Me But You Don’t Know Me

I am not your fucking Martyr for girls who make it out the hood. Am Not-Look how far she made it./ That shit you see on Facebook is Cliff Notes.

Do not fall in love with the me of Instagram Pics and Twitter Quotes. You could not possibly know me from hugs given at Open Mics.

It is not flattering to hear you spout my praises from your throat with someone else’s words.

I am not soft. Not Easy. I am Rose’s thorns and slip knots.

You have no clue of the nights I cried because I did not know where I was in the city I have lived in for twelve years. Have not bore witness to viscous rants or the time I broke the window out my ex-girlfriend’s car.

Sure I have grown. Have no desire to hurt those who hurt me but all that stuff is a part of me. Like penny candies and loosies. Salt water taffy and blue crabs.

You think you’re attracted to the fire and ice that flows throw my veins but you shouldn’t get too close. Everyone granted a close up has failed to stay the course. Do not think you are any different.

Do not attempt to appease me with your pleas of love. To know me is to love me which is something that you don’t.

It is not something that I am even requesting of you. Not expected. Not admired. Not even frowned upon.

I have no interest in being loved for my wittiness nor my prettiness. Could care less if you like the way I laugh. You are falling in love with things that can not be guaranteed making your love undependable and the last thing that I need is false promises.

Aspirations

When I was five I wanted to be a Ballerina, and a Princess, and I wanted to learn to swim so that I could be an oceanographer and swim with the dolphins.

And when I was ten I wanted to be a fashion model, and a dermatologist so I could fix my brother’s skin, and to be the most beautiful bride ever.

At 17 I only wanted to be able to go with my friends to the movies and not be able to relate to the woman on the screen who had just gotten violated and was no longer whole.

I didn’t wanna be a tragedy.

Now I’m 30  and over the years I took enough ballet classes to be considered a ballerina, had my picture in enough magazines to be considered a model, learned enough about hygiene moisturizing and diet to call myself a dermatologist.

Learned to swim. -Went to sea world.-Swam with dolphins.-Oceanographer.

And I am a Princess.
And
In the very near future when I marry my GIRLfriend in her eyes I WILL be the prettiest bride ever.

I am funny and I am smart and I am loved and I am accomplished but no matter how much I accomplish I will never be WHOLE.

I wasn’t going to share this poem today but every time I see a picture of Bill Cosby circulating I think of all the women who wanted to be an actress, then wanted to act opposite Bill Cosby, and then wanted to not have been violated by Bill Cosby… and I think how fucking awful it must be to have to have gone through something as traumatic as this then to have millions of people chiming in throwing in reasons why this just DID not happen to them. Or stating that if it did it’s only being used now as some sort of conspiracy to bring down an icon.

No, I wasn’t there but I vowed at a very early age to believe the victim because I personally know how many people don’t believe the victim and how that makes you feel. How it feels when the police ask you the same questions over and over again because how could he possibly know what tv show you were watching and why would he leave his naked wife for a child. I remember the times I pondered being dead over having to look at my father in the face knowing that he believed that I was just a fast tailed little girl instead of someone who went to sleep and woke up with a man who was supposed to be on top of his naked adult wife, already on top of and inside of her.

Rapists, molesters, predators, and abusers come in all shapes and sizes. Many of them are married and in high profile positions. They are your teachers, your police officers, your pastors, your dentists, and some of them are even your favorite jello pudding pushers.

You Are Worthy- For Porsche

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I wanted you to know your worth

To understand that since birth you had not been cursed
That you, you are one of the greatest gifts of Earth
And that your appraisal is tied closer to your ability to lead over 300 people away from oppression,  prevent genocide, break glass ceilings, lift cars off of children, and rewrite history, all while barely receiving acknowledgement

 You are not a mistake you are too many exquisite details to be a mistake

Mistakes,
if that is in fact what you think you are
are the true wonders of the world and how could something so wonderful
So magnificent
So glorious
Ever
ever be a mistake
And I wish that you knew how
fucking glorious you are
Segway I recently found out that the reason why men have nipples is because a penis is actually a mistake at conception
we
are
all
women
So the next time someone tells you some bullshit ass story about you being some mans rib
You open your mouth and you smile wide with all of your teeth
Smile so wide that they have to put on their shades in order to engage with you As they well should any way because even diamonds left in the middays sunlight don’t shine as bright as your presence
I want you to know your worth
To realize your strength
To know how bright your light shines
To realize that you are somebody
And maybe you need to go back to the old days
Write it on your mirror or get new school and tattoo it on your chest right above your zodiac sign
And say it to yourself everyday
Frontwards and backwards
I am somebody
Somebody I am
Until not only you but the whole world recognizes just how exquisite you really are
You are a super star
And you don’t have to be a Barbie, a bad bitch, a drop hoe, or anyone’s ride or die to prove this
You don’t even have to prove it
You just have to simply
Know
ADJP

Poetry and Other Such Things

To my Uncle Otis who taught me that broken and repaired things are stronger than the original

I see you
Notice the way you managed to make a way out of nothing
Allowed this country to tear you in two
punch rocket holes in your soul and still manage to avoid being another man standing on the corner begging for dollars with “Help a veteran signs”
Can’t imagine that this was easy
Not easy like raising another’s child
Not easy like trying to steer black boys straight when the world is crooked
Not easy like burying someone you’d put your all in to while expecting them to out live you
Not easy like repeating the cycle
I see you 10487444_261613754027876_7712151747494812132_n
And I wonder if it’s hard for you
Harder than the trauma that exploded your torso
Harder than returning to a country who begged for your representation
While never planning to represent you
I see you like I saw you then
The first time I realized that this country is built on the backs of the souls of those broken and repaired
The first time I realized that the strongest souls are those who were once broken and are now repaired
3/22/14 ADJP

Brownish Green Female Sheep

Brownish Green Female Sheep

We had a game

A way to say I love you without actually saying it first

It required intelligence and imagination and I loved it

Brownish Green Female Sheep

One Four Three

Ti amo

Te quiero

Yo quiero tu

Aloha wau ia oi

We wrote these sayings on notepads and on the back of envelopes

And advanced to writing it on the backs of wrists, the insides of lifts, and the undersides of hearts

used tongues, fingers, and even hot wax

To express desires that we were too scared to say aloud

Assuming that once we did the magic would dissipate

I wish we’d stuck to that word game

After that I Love You can’t feel the same