A Letter to Our Sons

The deepest sadness washes over me.

My heart aches to witness your struggles,

but they will make you who you are.

And baby boy, you always learn things the hard way,

but you’re reaching the cusp of Orion,

and on the edge of manhood.

People will do for years,

what your closest kin are doing now.

They will buy other people’s lies.

They will believe and submit themselves,

and give up everything they are,

For the comforts of socialized slavery.

We are fighting a revolution,

every one of us, who decides

we will not be forced into coercion.

You will be called hateful things for your beliefs.

There will be no end to the vitriol,

So be strong,

Mon fils d’esprit,

and choose your battles wisely.

Your true mothers and fathers are always with you.


By the Arrows of Eros

I walk beneath the moon

and know that she shines for me

I contemplate the softness in your eyes

in every moment we walk closer and stand nearer,

I feel as if there is only you and I.

 

And never had I dreamed any of this

or imagined I could know your heart

as well as I do, in such a short time.

 

Yet this I know,

I want someone so beautiful to me,

that my heart aches at the thought

of ever parting from you.


Portrait of a Princess (in memory of the late LaVonda R Staples)

In days gone by I loved a woman
whose power was her voice
and whose vision she forged
from the pages of history
and healthy doses of street life.
She could tell you things about historic Saint Louis
that museums and tour guides don’t know.
Things about the old families that built the city,
whose bones built the foundations,
and whose money financed it.
Tackling any establishment was essential
and fundamentally her scepter to behold,
Her criticisms she turned on every pair of eyes,
across the Midwest,
up the eastern seaboard,
and across international waters,
Long was the journey of her torch
There was no place her light did not touch.

In days gone by we laughed and cried,
And we held mighty discourse on childhood and motherhood,
Children and education,
To my babushka she fondly granted the epithet, boyfriend,
On account of his beautiful features.
We talked of soap and cigarettes,
Where we had come from, and who we were on the inside,
Drug addiction and art,
History and psychology,
Depression and scholarship,
Domesday and legacies,
Religion and spirituality.

She told everyone she knew about her “witch friend”,
Some crazy lady who put out food for the spirits,
But she knew all too well about spirits and the gods,
When she wasn’t trying to avoid the mercy seat;
And the lwas sometimes called from that devil house
where she did time
toiling away for a lover who didn’t value her enough.
She had seen the underbelly of academia,
She was very good at walking into the underworld,
Though she would forget to come up for air.

In days gone by we made plans for the future,
We spoke of Kent and Saint-Paul de Vence,
Her dream of walking through fields of wildflowers
on an approach to James Baldwin’s estate,
making connections with people who made a difference,
who were at the crossroads of their own human revolutions,
somehow failing to realize she was at the crux
of a very large epicenter, herself,
she would make the waves
and I watched as those waves connected people
bringing her ideas to distant shores
and inciting exchanges that could not be reversed.
This reaching out to change the world
Through the parlance of the scholar’s path,
This was her great work.

In days gone by I watched her die,
And in her dying she recorded her life,
Scrutinized and analyzed death in objective fashion,
Invoking the air into her perceptions,
Without true regard for the emotional concept,
Until there was a shoulder of stone to cry upon.
How did Nostradamus die?
Books will tell us naught,
But he pulled it from his astrological chart,
And as sure as he knew his death, we knew hers.
Something she had once seen in my portfolio,
Something uniquely alien
And based on early twentieth century scifi-horror, she saw
as the new post-modern,
And decided she had to have it.

So I gave it to her one Saturday afternoon,
When other people were raiding supermarkets
Before the insanity of arctic winter storm frenzy,
And she was approaching the gate.
“You look very bright,” she said to me,
Poking my belly,
wondering if the strawberry witch
was working on pregnancy number 7.
“No,” I told her, “just fat.”
A slurring mess from the morphine twisting her tongue,
Clinging to me in the throes of agony,
Screaming out of a pain I could not stop.
With time and energy enough,
To decide to bequeath to me
The plastic blue jewelry set,
Maybe she thought it would make me look like royalty,
Or the way she longed to be motherly to me.
I had my fill of that from my own mother,
And those days have passed me by.
She yanked me by my hair,
Brushing a camphor lotion through.
What could I have possibly done to her in a past life,
To warrant this kind of treatment,
It was a question I was afraid to ask,
But she was a dying woman,
She could use me as a rag doll for five minutes.
She wrapped a scarf around my neck,
And sent me off.

I said goodbye, as I left her with the canvas.
How does a scholar die?
A shrine to the right of the deathbed,
Made up of jewelry and religion from her youth,
A collection of medicine bottles and a pack of smokes.
A growing procession of spirits as the gateway expands.


Recent publications

My work was recently accepted to a couple different anthologies. For more information, click on the links below.

Stepping into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses

A Mantle of Stars: A Devotional for the Queen of Heaven


Midnight Divine

Your ever-long absence
leaving the ghostly imprint
upon my hands,
As I wager to divine
under a full moon,
to know,
oh I would, to know,
to feel;
To know what you see in me.
My thoughts find me in a midnight café,
piercing curiosity
of how every track in the playlist
seems to be reminding me,
of the things that no distance can sever.


What Ozymandias Saw

Rooms full of attachments
the dead have long forgotten,
and left to the living,
Mementos and trash piling up,
behind closed doors
Whose energy lingers on,
frozen in potential and longing,
for someone
to draw its psychic touch.
The inevitable moment
that floods the heart with memories
too powerful for vessels to contain.
As fingertips slowly trace the contours,
of objects,
that will be discarded in time.


The function of Chaos

Dark city streets
and neon lights,
in these dreams of mine.
I paint imagery out of the shells
of ghosts,
still jacked into the system.
The artist,
the mystic,
the weaver of worlds,
merging the living and the dead,
to create something not altogether new,
but to revive the memories
that lay dormant,
in every pair of eyes,
I glimpse.
The flicker of fire-light
whose possessors question,
if only briefly,
What lies beyond the apex
of absolute potentiality.


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