Innanet Friends

Tell your new boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/ baby mama

Dat,

You got an innanet friend who low-key got they shit together

be sliding in your DMS saying shit like:

Yasss,

You  Betta,

You got this,

You matter,

Yo I aint seen you on the internet in a few, you good?

Where can I cop?

That ya’ll aint probably never ever met irl but if you ask she’ll likely slide you 20 til payday/pay your electric bill on her credit card unless she saving up to help somebody else

That she be sharing your shit, commenting, tagging folks to see your art work

All out of some weird sense of community

Expecting nothing in return

Cept for you to be good, keep your problematic levels to a low, and win.

Tell your new boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/ baby mama

Dat,

You got an innanet friend who only wanna see everybody win.

 

 

High Quality Problems

Feels like,
I can’t find an employee to save my life
Like they all lying
won’t tell you the last place let them go cause they got a problem
that sometimes those problems show up in the middle of the day for no good god damned reason
Like they all wanna be paid $2,673, 412.18 just to show up
mostly on time
won’t look you in the eye when you ask simple questions
you just own the place
just can’t relate
just never had to work from paycheck to paycheck
got no clue how to make a dollar stretch
like yo back don’t ache
like you don’t sometime when it’s cold pay them, cash yo check and put it right back in to cover theirs
like what’s a weekend
the time you spend scouring the internet looking for qualified employees
who only gon’ look down on you
you young/black/girl
can’t possibly know shit
also, who gave you this place: your daddy. your husband. you had to sleep with somebody
Like, you ain’t had enough problems
couldn’t figure out your place in this world
decided to make your own
decided to depend on the honest and talented hands of men who got more problems than a little bit
Like, can’t talk to nobody
who gon understand
who ain’t listening to you thinking you are lucky they showed up
who aint judging you for discussing yo high quality problems
Feels like,
I can’t find an employee to save my life
wouldn’t trade it for the world
wouldn’t wish my high quality problems on no body
specially if they needed it to save theirs
2/30

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

IMG_6223

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.

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.

Formal Notice

Formal Notice

I’m willing to move my ribs to the side for you.
Pluck open my back and give you pieces of my spine so that you can stand up straighter.
Invite you to have the pick of the draw when choosing my shoulders.

Choose wisely.

I want you to be properly prepared as you carry the weight of the world. You’ve been doing it alone for so long and two heads are better than one.

Three shoulders are better than two.

I would give you my heart but I need it. Couldn’t give you pieces of me so unequivocally without it. But I’ll give you a kidney,
sliver of my liver,
part of my lungs,
I would give you my tongue if only I knew you would use it to just speak up.

Why don’t you ever just speak up?

Why don’t I just speak up?
There’s an old saying advising people to do unto others as you’d have them do to you.

But what if you’ve given others your Milky Way and half of your stars out of the goodness of your heart and they can barely part with a kind word?

What then?

What do I do when I’ve shown you that I’m willing to give you more than half of all of me and I realize that you can’t be bothered to do the same?

What then?
What if I changed.
Gave to the world an exact replica of whatever it is that the world has given to me?

Dear World,

I taught you how to treat me. Accepted your bullshit even though I was allergic to it. Even though I knew it for exactly what it was.
But things have got to change. I can not continue to dry out my oceans to fill your river beds when you wouldn’t offer me a cold drink if it required too much work. Consider this my formal notice that the old ways are done.
And when you start to notice don’t be surprised.

Remember,
you already done been told.

A Sunday in August

Eight years ago I met the love of my life. We became really good friends because in my head I was already with the love of my life. Throughout the years Ashley and I would remain friends going on occasional dates to catch up in between whoever was our most recent or current love of our life. Last July she called me and wanted to know if I would date her exclusively. I was excited but I didn’t think it would pan out to be much more than a few dates where we would catch up, enjoy each other’s time, and decide that now wasn’t OUR time; again. We would remain great friends and I would complain to my two best friends how I couldn’t find true love because no one would ever compare to Ashley. She was the ruler that everyone needed to measure up to. Honest to a fault, funny, sexy, and so positive. She made me better.

So much for great expectations and all that jazz. In her head this was our time and I would be her wife. I found out that we were in a relationship in my sleep as she told some guy that I was her partner. Excitement of what this time was for us began to set in. I told to myself OK it’s finally happening, I’m in a relationship with Ashley and life is grand. We move in together, we begin to build a life, and I am as happy as a bee on it’s favorite flower. After a while we begin to discuss marriage and I know that a proposal is coming soon. In fact being the control freak that I am, I have decided that the proposal is going to happen when we go to Italy for vacation.

My best friend and I begin to concoct a plan where I’m going to look perfect the entire time; my nails are going to be perfect, my outfits are going to be perfect, and I will never be without lipgloss. (A girl must always be prepared for the marriage proposal by the true love of her life.) I’m planning with my best friend how to be properly prepared for my proposal while Ashley is planning with my best friend how to throw me the perfect surprise proposal/engagement party.

So much for plans and all that jazz. My hair was perfect; before we spent a day at the beach and any natural haired woman who gets her hair straightened will tell you that the day at the beach is the end of straight hair. My nails were ok but they were far from perfect but this was fine by me really, because all that I had planned for Sunday was Brunch with some of the people from her networking group. So after the beach in go the two strand twists. A twist out is perfect for brunch… I should’ve caught on when she kept asking me what I was doing to my hair, what I was wearing, etc, etc… but I didn’t. As a matter of fact I didn’t even catch on when the people started dancing to OUR songs in front of our table. I totally believed her when she said that they did this often.

I’m glad that I didn’t know, that I wasn’t in control and properly prepared, img_2316that my hair wasn’t perfect, and that I totally would’ve worn a different outfit had I been aware. And I’m glad that it happened on a Sunday in August amongst all of my sneaky friends.

 

Photo Credit: Christy Marie Photography

Video Credit: Rokosz Studios

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