enjoy my work. i post what i write, what i see, and what it means to me. good or bad, comment away.


This is just to say -

* I was looking through old papers from high school English classes and I stumbled upon this poem from sophomore year, along with a short essay on how I wasn't really into poetry and didn't see how it would ever affect my life. HA!

This is just to say -

I have broken
the strings
that are on
your guitar

and which you
probably needed
for your next

Forgive me
It was so tempting
to try and play
like you

Beautiful Death

The red of her lipstick hid the blue of her mouth
Rouged cheeks disguised the pallid gray of her skin
Elongated eyelashes and dark shadows of painted silver
Drew attention away from the absence of breath

She was a beautiful death
She was waiting for me
I was not ready to go
This was alright with her
She is a patient wraith of a woman


Grey-blue portals to lite-brite thoughts lay
Nestled between ever-moving brows and slightly
Native-influenced cheekbones.
Centered is a nose from my mother,
Origin betrayed by the slight rise at the bridge.

A smile made crooked at birth;
Fresh greater-than symbol framed by a
Beard that cannot seem to make up its mind
Between the blonde of my youth and
Dark brown of my father.

A body that to me shows whisperings of
Athleticism finally peeking through
Years of college dietary choices too often liquid
Supports a head covered with a preemptive strike of
Salt and pepper seasoning my scalp a few seasons too early
But at least I have my father to look like.

why i write

I write because
Too many people won't talk anymore
Too many problems too quickly ignored
Too many detriments the same as before
And sure, I'm only one man with pen in hand
But words are how the world began
With words, life was formed;
Calmed was the storm;
And if sticks and stones
May break my bones but
Words will never hurt me,
Then how can the tongue be
A two-edged sword?
And they say a pen is
Mightier than the sword anyway,
So I write.

I write because there are those who cannot
And the proverbial fight must still be fought.
What fight is that, I don't always know but
Someone has to fight it.
And so I'll write it.

Language unites and language divides;
Words build up and destroy in the same sentence.
This power rips from my insides, in hopes that
One can somehow provide penance for another.
I've shattered and I've put back together.
It doesn't matter whether or not the intention
Is pure or wicked; that two-edged sword will
Sever in either direction. And the repetitive arguments
For justice and peace are making no headway
And becoming trite.
So I write.

I write because white sheets with empty blue lines
Make me anxious. Blank pages for verbal sages,
And I ache to add a few lines from my couple decades
Of wisdom to the ages. Language unites and language
Divides but words from the soul bridge any gap.
And gaps are getting too wide, spreading like a
Cadaver's chest, revealing insides left by the wayside.
Rescue is pertinent or catastrophe is imminent.
So ink on paper, thoughts exhibited on parchment
Previously unscathed by the two-edged
Sword is what I crave.
So I write.


These hands have clasped with death.
Palms display a lifeline not mine, yet I live it.
Brain holds memories inaccessible to me
Heart pumps blood I do not own
Knows a love I have not known
And yet here I am.
Separate parts forming one being
Sans identity
Plans for me cut short by a realization
Of fantasy.

My father, my father
Why have you forsaken me?
Frankenstein, my creator
Have you mistake me, your creation seed, for a creature?
Did you know you were playing God when you brought me forth?
Born from a storm yet never birthed...lightning flashes
Life from God's fingers as they stretched
Across the sky like ever-fleeting cracks in the
Windshield of the universe.

And now I stand, forever cursed to wander
This earth a spiritless being, never seeing
An end to this torment. You forwent reason
When you made me, save to satisfy your own
Perverse curiosity. It's heretical hypocrisy
By which you've begotten me; giving life without
That which sustains it.
So here I am, nameless.
Wanting only to please you, appease you;
Show you that my soul could come through.
I just needed a teacher. Someone to reach in
And jump-start the heart beating without purpose
In my cavernous cadaverous chest.

But all you showed me was disappointment and
Terror. How dare you reject me.
If you cannot respect me, you will fear me.
My purpose - pain. The only emotion you have
Taught me to understand all too well in this
Gangrenous prison cell shall become you
Terrestrial hell, encompassing you in
Sleeping and waking. You will feel the
Aching in my heart, doctor. Father.
It is time I find the life I was denied by
Your pride.

My life is not over; it is just beginning.
My life is not over; it is just beginning.
My life is not...
It is just...
My life is not just...
It just is...

And through this,
I shall be


foliage fall

Limbs on limbs
      Reaching higher as the footholds
            Lose their strength
      Keep on climbing anyway until
Slowly cracking
      Limbs turn into wings turn into
      Rude awakening fast approaching
Back meets earth
      Like a thunder clap. Breath leaves
            Body like an escaped
      Convict; Doesn’t want to return ‘til
Warden Respiration
      Hauls him back in; pain settles but
            With temporary residence
      Not sure how it happened.
Won’t attempt that ascent
      ‘Til youth permits forgetfulness


Sometimes, I miss you…

Like slow dances in the hallway to music heard only in our heads;
Like late nights curled up by the fire with a glass of wine and the
Sophisticated musings only Family Guy could provide.

I miss you like all-day text message conversations because our schedules
Don’t always allow us to see each other;
Like finally seeing each other and still having so much to say
Because every word from our mouths is important.

Like waking up and seeing you next to me and every time feels like the first.

Sometimes, I miss you like road trips to Louisiana, East Coast waves in July,
And sleeping on the air mattress in the guest bedroom at your mom’s house…

I miss you like love-making on a beached catamaran that was too quick
Because we were both so nervous, but still amazing.

And sometimes…sometimes I don’t miss you.

I don’t miss you like double standards and unearned mistrust.

I don’t miss you like I can’t get lunch with another woman,
In public, I might add,
Whom I had known for five years before meeting you;
Like you can go on a four-day surfing trip with two men
I’ve never met and I am supposed to be ok with that, which I was…

I don’t miss you like Valentine’s Day blizzards when you are angry
Because I won’t drive across town in blinding snow to cuddle;
Like you thinking I forgot your birthday because
I was still awake at midnight but didn’t call you like your friends did.

I don’t miss you like…like…like a migraine;
Like you coming on to me only 3 times in nearly two years;
I don’t miss you like constantly questioning my own self-worth;
Like trying to live up to the man I think you deserve
While being constantly compared to the man your
Father failed to be.

Sometimes I miss you…but most of the time, I don’t.


poems i like 2

So I have posted on here in almost two months...depressing. I know I want to write, but I cannot seem to find the inspiration to just sit down and do it. Time for forced free-writing...

In the meantime, here are a few pieces by other authors that I have recently enjoyed...

"The Shoes" - John Mole

These are the shoes
Dad walked about in
When we did jobs
In the garden,
When his shed
Was full of shavings,
When he tried
To put the fence up,
When my old bike
Needed mending,
When the car
Could not get started,
When he got up late
On Sunday.
These are the shoes
Dad walked about in
And I've kept them
In my room.

"About His Person" - Simon Armitage

Five pounds fifty in change, exactly,
a library card on its date of expiry.

A postcard stamped,
unwritten, but franked,

a pocket size diary slashed with a pencil
from March twenty-fourth to the first of April.

A brace of keys for a mortise lock,
an analogue watch, self winding, stopped.

A final demand
in his own hand,

a rolled up note of explanation
planted there like a spray carnation

but beheaded, in his fist.
A shopping list.

A givaway photgraph stashed in his wallet,
a kepsake banked in the heart of a locket.

no gold or silver,
but crowning one finger

a ring of white unweathered skin.
That was everything.

"in Just-" - ee cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan whistles


until death comes (extended)

This is an extension of a piece I wrote a while back that was short, found in my "short collection two." The other day I was reading through and more came to me, so here is the extended version:

Until death comes
Until my final breath comes
I'll breathe deep from wells sprung
from mouth
Swallow doubt and reach out to
East, West, North, and South; all around
At the very least I'll speak
My mind in time with verse and rhyme
And listen in kind
On this page, mine is yours,
Yours is mine
Until death comes.

Until life ends
Until all strife ends
I'll strive to love in ways
Only God can comprehend

Storge – affection, a love expected
Philia – friendship, a love respected
Eros – romance, a love connected
Agape – without condition, a love perfected

Build frameworks for spires
Smelted by heart-fires
Towers of selflessness and devotion
Devoid of all emotion save adoration
Because hate destroys nations
And so through my mouth I'll try and
Speak salvation
Until life ends.

Dum spiro spero – While I breathe, I hope.


on ducks and shooting stars

Lone ducks are hard to spot at night
Floating on Lake Wateree (Windsor)
But plentiful feathers on its tail are white
And they well reflect the pale moonlight
Thus making them slightly easier to see.

Back and forth the lone duck does swim
In an unverifiable figure eight
His summoning quacks echo in the moonlight dim
As he calls his lover back to him
Though she never arrives, so patiently he'll wait.

When looking up at the star-freckled sky
Wondering what celestial beings there may be
The pale dust trail of a meteor goes by
As the lone duck's lover may quickly fly
Overhead, his solemn call her ear cannot yet reach.

And so my eyes, and yours as well
Call the heavenly sent bodies our own;
Wishes upon them made. Don't tell.
We'll depart on seeing three strikes of the bell
And leave the duck to his paddlings alone.

Then off to bed we both retire
I to mine, and you to yours
Somewhere else two minds now conspire
Of wishes wished and stars admired
While up above a meteor still soars.

life song

People say that music is life but
I contend that life is music.
Everything you're composed of composes
a unique composition so open up your
Mind's mouth and use it.

When I write a song it's more than just
Ink on pages with notes and musical phrases;
It's me celebrating what today is by adding
Parts of myself in stages.

A heart beat bass drum, treble tears, and the
Trembling tremolo of my shaking fears to start.

I want to combine my assonance and consonance
To create a dissonance that causes your
Tympanic membranes to dance.

I want to whisper with crashing cymbals and
Produce a din with something as thin as
a tin thimble; form overtones that you
Can only hear with your chromosomes.

The curvature of your backbone is a saxophone
And notes slapped out in a funkadelic style
Come together to form your spinal chord,
The air made hazy with the smoke from a
Parliament, of course.

Take a hammer to your brain cells and hear
Bells echo in your cerebellum.

I want to wrap my hands in paper and play
Guitar till my fingers bleed,
Red florets writing out my life's song for you
To play back to me, soulfully, allowing every
Note to reach into memory and conjure up the
Reasons I wrote that song in the first place.

I want to touch your soul's face with melodies
That return your spirit's grace to how it is in
Its innermost space. Eyes closed, mouth agape;
Letting words and notes take the place of breath,
Inhalation and exhalation, exultation
A total tonal intellectual invasion.

Reverberation digestion, taking in aurally and
Regurgitation orally, an ominous vomitous flow
From me; never ending, no pretending that the heart of me
is just part of what you're starting to see.

So listen closely to this lyrical flow presented to thee.
It may be an unfinished symphony but don't worry.
My life has only just begun to be.

People say that music is life but
I contend that life is music.
Everything you're composed of composes
a unique composition so open up your
Mind's mouth and use it.


My name is Blaine Eugene Young II.
European blood runs through my veins as
Strongly as the names that represent that heritage
Flow from my mouth.
Blaine from Gaelic meaning “strong and lean.”
Eugene from Greek meaning “well-born and noble.”
Young from Old English meaning…well, meaning “young.”
And the II, a numeral of Roman origin to signify that I
Proudly bear the entirety of my father’s name.
And this is what bothers me…having that privilege, I mean.

Because while I have that right, I repeatedly meet
Black men, women, and children who share my Old English
Last name. How is it that men with blood from Africa coursing
Through their bodies to a beat of hearts pumping since the
Creation of Man can share this trait with me?

My deliberation leads to consternation as I realize that
It’s because Youngs from generations past decided that
Their Anglo-Saxon nomenclature was superior to that
Of the ones shared by generations unfamiliar to them.

This is for the men who lost their family’s
Last name legacy to slavery;
Men who had the right to give their sons
Something to pass down taken from them by force
Locked down by bars and chains,
By bushel baskets and whips.

This is for the men who were forced to wear
The name Young on their backs, etched by bits
Of stone, bone, and glass; surpassing human tolerance
And renaming not just mind but body,
Calling it “Owned.”

Can you see them? See the hands of wives
Rubbing a homemade salve into the raised flesh,
A human Braille, spelling out a name given
By white men to erase African roots.

Can you hear them? Free men taking on the name
“Freeman” to regain a sense of independence
From so-called men who feared what they
Did not understand.

Well I don’t understand either. And I never will.
Because my name is Blaine Eugene Young II,
The name of my father. And I will call my son a Young.
And I never thought that I’d be one to call for reparations
Because money cannot erase hundreds of year of subjugation
But I am calling for them now…appellation reparations.
But how do you give someone their history back?
I don’t know. Maybe my son can figure it out.


lover, please

I know I might be a little too late
But allow me a moment to try and explain.
See, I lost my head and I wound up dead.
And now as you're standing over my grave, I'm asking

Lover, please
Lover, please
I need you to be strong for me
So wipe those tears from your eyes
Only tears for me now are from the sky
Lover, please...keep on loving me

I'm sorry I never made it home
Sorry I left you and the kids alone
I made the wrong man mad; I didn't know he was so bad
And he told me for this world I didn't have too long, so

Lover, please
Lover, please
I need you to be strong for me
So walk away from this hole in the ground
Don't look back, don't ever turn around
But lover, please
Please keep on loving me

I know it will be hard to move on
But like my arms around you, baby
As you hear the words of this song
Can't you feel me in the air
I'm not really gone

Lover, please
Lover, please
I need you to be strong for me
So wipe those tears from your eyes
Only tears for me now are from the sky
So lover please, keep on loving me
Lover, please...keep on loving me


first feature performance

Ladies and Gentlemen,

IF you can be in the Columbia, SC area next Monday, May 31st, then you're in for a treat (as am I)!

The Unusual Suspects Presents: In The Beginning There Was The Word
Featuring: US's own Scooter! (that's me)

When?: Monday, May 31st, 2010
9:00 pm

Where?: Pandora's Lounge
8605 Two Notch Road
Columbia, SC 29223

Cover: $5

Drink specials if you like, but mostly just some awesome spoken word. Open mic after feature performance, and most likely before. Come on out if you can!


short collection two

i. Ocelot

What a lovely spot, Ocelot.
As long as you do what you ought,
You’ll surely never be caught.
But don’t get caught up in haught, Ocelot.

Perhaps I’ll name you Scott, Ocelot.
Misbegot? Surely not.
Your battle well fought, though
Unfortunately for naught, because
Your pelt is what I’ve sought, Ocelot.

This isn’t what I thought, Ocelot.
This feeling what I got
Is regret, from which was wrought
This poem that I jot, Ocelot.

Apricot, kumquat, hot snot dot.
I no longer what to rhyme with you, Ocelot.

ii. History

Leave your mark.
Deep or shallow, leave it nonetheless.
And be sure to do it intentionally.
Your intention doesn’t determine its actuality
So why not make it intentional?

You will be remembered.
Epic or tragedy?
Giver or taker? Reaper or maker?
Change will occur, so ensure it is positive.
Leave no stone unturned, no path untraveled.
Use less; love more; touch many.

They say history is determined by the winners
Defy convention; make history by losing

iii. Until Death Comes

Until death comes
Until my final breath comes
I’ll breathe deep from wells sprung
From mouth
Swallow doubt and reach out to
South, West, North, East; all around
At the very least I’ll speak
My mind in time with verse and rhyme
And listen in kind
On this page mine is yours, yours is mine
Until death comes

iv. The Last Drink

A solitary solitaire adorns her wizened finger of promises
As she sits at the window table
Two glasses sit beside her; one empty, one full
Martini dirty with forgotten hopes
A third across the table too,
To remain there as every time before.
The chandelier reflects from her
Moistened eye
As it does the solitary solitaire
In solitude.
Again he won’t come.
Again she forgets.
Again she’ll return.
A weekly ritual cemented in
Her forgetfulness
Of loss (though not of love)
Each night the last night
Each drink the last drink
Each the last.
Each the last.


short collection one

i. solitude.

sitting in the e m p t y
his footsteps echo off the cold, hard
mottled stone ears hear not

i look; his eye averts instinctually
perhaps he wonders what brings me here as well
but mortal consolation is not what we seek

no words exchanged; our acknowledgement of
the other found in the respect



ii. ripple.

rocks cause rrrrrripplesssss on your surface
yet you wear those rocks to pebbles to sand

theybreakyouquicklybut you return to Serene

you wear them down slowly over time to


so i ask? who is more powerful.

iii. cleansed.

partly forgivable
mostly rememberable
somewhat affirmative
wholly negligible
never usable
always using
occasionally sealable
frequently washable

TMI or Salt Tears and Sugar Tissues

She returned to the counter
after 'bout half an hour
desiring a cinnamon bun
the final one

I did not ask why; frankly
I did not care. My emotional
connection started and ended
with the smile I offered from
behind my cash register shield.

“I've had a bad week,” she offers
as if to explain why she orders the
sweet at the end of her meal.

“And when I am sad, I eat.”

While this was rather apparent, she
seemed to have mistaken the stains on
my apron for the scribblings of a
psychiatrist's leather-bound journal.
Surely it was not justification she
sought because she had already
found that in the ding of the
microwave I used to heat up
her pastry. Twenty-five seconds of silence
passed, and that bell was all she
needed to seal herself into her private
hell. I handed her the formerly frozen
comfort food and she turned away, offering a
curt “Thank you” and returning to
her seat by the window.

Each bite tainted by a sadness I had
No way of lessening.


summer smells of honeysuckle smiles

It was that smell
Of honeysuckle and bar-b-que
Floating on the dusk breeze
Leaning back easily there
In my easy chair as
That smell,
That honeysuckle and bar-b-que
Took me back to childhood.

Memories of tall oak trees swaying
Children playing games of tag and chase
Just running all over the place.
Climbing into the old wooden fort
Mom told us to stay away from
Even after skinned knees and
Tetanus shots that we forgot because
Kids will be kids and
That’s just what it is.

Memories of running through the
Bushes, only to find a few hours later that
Poison ivy hides well among the rest of the
Dark green; pink calamine lotion painting
White legs in strange designs
Following itchy lines…
It was just a part of growing up.

Falling asleep in summer with windows open
Strange orchestral arrangements of
Crickets, frogs, and high-octane funny cars
At the quarter-mile track down the street.
Waking up with the dirt of yesterday still on our feet
Ready to be mixed with tomorrow’s naiveté
As-of-yet untamed unknowns and

Yeah, it was that smell
Honeysuckle and bar-b-que that
Took me back to
My childhood memories.
And a smile slides across my face
Settling comfortably crookedly to the right.
Those memories reminded me of now
And a knowing that even without the dirty feet and
Skinned knees I could still revel
In my childhood memories
Facing the future with my
Crooked honeysuckle smile



I've battled depression for years
Holding the tears
Fretting with fear for future,
apprehension for present, and
Regret for past missteps.
I've sat in my room,
Shades drawn and
Moody music on.
But I am not here to talk about depression.

I've held pills in my hand,
The weight of them strangely more noticeable than
When they were in the bottle.
I thought about the gun under my roommate's bed.
But I am not here to talk about suicide.

Today I cried for the first time in years
And the tears fell heavily, felt heavenly
As they ran down my face. As well they should,
Being that they were so inspired.
But I am not here to talk about being sad.

No, this is not an emo poem;
This is not a pity poem;
This is not a woe-is-me poem.
Ladies and gentlemen,
THIS is a redemption poem,
An ascension poem
Because a weight has been lifted,
Emotions sifted and the bad falls away
Like the chaff.

Truth has been told,
No longer to withhold my forgiveness,
Which was only truly withheld
By my pride anyway.

I once was lost but now I see;
Once was blind but now I'm found and
Though it may not have been that profound,
Those words resound like a thunder pound:

I'm sorry; forgive me; I love you.

The last phrase repeats in my head,
But it is not the echo of my own voice
I hear so clearly.

It's yours.

And though I know it's not enough,
All I can say through choked breath is

Thank you.


poems i like

I recently stumbled across a few poems that I really enjoyed and I wish to share them with you.

"Truth" - Barrie Wade

Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words can also hurt me.
Stones and sticks break only skin,
while words are ghosts that haunt me.

Slant and curved the word-swords fall
to pierce and stick inside me.
Bats and bricks may ache through bones,
but words can mortify me.

Pain from words has left its scar
on mind and heart that's tender.
Cuts and bruises now have healed;
it's words that I remember.

"Tich Miller" - Wendy Cope

Tich Miller wore glasses
with Elastoplast-pink frames
and had one foot three sizes larger than the other.

When they picked teams for outdoor games
she and I were always the last two
left standing by the wire-mesh fence.

We avoided one another's eyes,
stooping, perhaps, to re-tie a shoelace,
or affecting interest in the flight

of some fortunate bird, and pretended
not to hear the urgent conference:
'Have Tubby!' 'No, no, have Tich!'

Usually they chose me, the lesser dud,
and she lolloped, unselected,
to the back of the other team.

At eleven we went to different schools.
In time I learned to get my own back,
sneering at hockey-players who couldn't spell.

Tich died when she was twelve.

"The Leader" - Roget McGough

I wanna be the leader
I wanna be the leader
Can I be the leader?
Can I? Can I?
Promise? Promise?
Yippee, I'm the leader
I'm the leader

OK what shall we do?


i'm on youtube!

One of the poets from a local performance team called the Unusual Suspects named Carolina Blu posted some videos on YouTube from the last slam here in Columbia, in which I placed 4th. The sound quality is bad, but if you work with the sound on your speakers and the sound in the video player on the site, you can understand what I'm saying. I need to memorize my stuff so I don't have to look at the stand and can use my hands differently, but I enjoyed it. Check it out for yourself!

Round one: My 7th Grade Mind

Round two: Porn is Bad, Mmmk?

attempts at haiku

I don't really care for haiku all that much, but here are a few that I have written recently for the sake of expanding my poetic experience.

1) i don't like haiku
being concise won't work with
my verbosity

2) light it up, breathe in
never to be free again
nicotine shackles
(inspired by an anti-smoking drawing by a student at Alcorn Middle School)

3) smell of sweet salt air
sounds of waves causing smiles

4) children in the streets
calluses on soles and souls
no shoes on small feet

5) first day of bright sun
pale skin used to long sleeves
white now painted red


if i had known that awaited me as i hobbled
into the locker room at the public pool
that day, i wouldn't have so readily told
my mother i'd meet her out front on my own.

nursing the raw patches of skin on my feet
from the rough pool bottom, belying the
the impending rawness of fear, paralyzing.

there were two of them.
i'm not sure how old but certainly well beyond
my eight years of naivete that i carried
over my shoulder with my towel,
eight years of purity dripping down my body
with the chlorine pool water too weak
with irony to cleanse me.

i did not know that sitting alone on a
bench of innocence is an open invitation
for attempted molestation.

"hey," one said. "you wanna see a dick?"

my nervously choked refusal wasn't quite strong enough;
not stronger than the smell of fear on which
his canine mind capitalized.
they approached, i cowered.
no reproach, mouth soured.

only eight with a dick in my face
cheshire cat smile, taste of bile,
smell of pool water beguiles my senses.
fear frozen, eyes closing...
loss of innocence approaching.

i'm not quite sure how much time past,
happened too fast. like a voice calling out
in the wilderness, i hear my name echo through
the locker room.
the wolves scatter and
my innocence follows me like
mary's little lamb out into the sun's
salvation light.
wool slightly stained but as of yet
still unshorn.

my verse works

UPDATE: At the bottom of this poem is now a video of me performing this piece as the Sacrifice before the pre-Southern Fried practice slam between Unusual Suspects and the VerseWorks team. The first line is cut off, but it's good quality. Enjoy!

I spit poems like metaphorical chloroform,
Knocking you out and sending your neurological
Pathways into an electrical firestorm.
From my mouth, clichés are reborn.
Words transform like a new dawn.
Ideas unformed take shape,
Erupt from my mouth like a lion’s roar.

I give life to my words like Frankenstein
Did to his monster.
I’m not done, sir.
Spray rhymes like a super-soaker.

A serial scribe with ethereal rhymes
Everything I say a lyrical miracle,
My material will infect your mind
Like venereal disease.
Take me in too quickly, give you brain freeze
I’m a brain tease.

Voice paints mental images with ease that would make
Da Vinci jealous. My rhetoric is what makes
Mona Lisa smile. Just wait a while
You’ll see why. I’ll write till my pen runs out
Leave no doubt that my words
Carry existential poetic clout.

And if and when you come, come prepared.
Enter on a pipe dream, leave in a nightmare.
My words echo in your ear like a mic stuck on reverb
Repetition absurd (repetition absurd).

So pay attention undividedly
Because you will never
Write quite like me.


I worked with her twice a week, pulling her from her related arts classes to help her learn to read better. She seemed grateful at first; quiet, compliant, presumably eager to learn.

But then she told them that I was a pervert.
Told them I would tell her that she’s pretty.
Said I would try to hold her hand in the hallway.
Accused me of following her into the girls’ locker room.

My breath catches in my chest as I instantly distress over potential career death.
No reputation left. Those three words fester in my mind.

No. Reputation. Left.

Her words like poison, dripping down my throat along with a lump the size of my future.

What could possess a youth seemingly so innocent
to cause me such detriment with her verbal excrement.
I’m innocent!
How impudent can she be?
Is she that selfish that she cannot see that I’ve sacrificed 5 years, endless late nights, internal will-fights, and $80,000 to dedicate my life to hers.
I just wanted to help you!
You’re in 6th grade and cannot read!
I just wanted to help you!

Never in my life have I EVER considered crossing that line.
11 years old and knows enough that those accusations will cause a sensation wild enough
This child’s enough to ruin me.
With just a few words, she’s abused seemingly unmitigated power.
My spirit aches as I watch my dreams soar away on the wind of her deceit.
A verbal zephyr with ends immeasurable.
And I just want to collapse.

But I refuse to spend the rest of my life on a list where I have to introduce myself to my neighbors as a child molester. I will not accept defeat. And by the grace of God I can stand knowing that there are those who believe in me and my integrity. A principal who believes me and knows how to crack a liar. And I can walk through halls with my head held high because I’m safe. I’m trusted.

And I am not a pervert.


my promise to my students

Pondering the puzzling picture presented before me
I'm struck by the stunning statistics...the defining demographics.
A quixotic quandary of questionable proportions is perpetuating itself
through the American Education System; perpetuating, that is, as a pestilence does, perpetrating the stereotype that poor performance in the classroom is an accurate portrayal of a student's self-worth, intelligence quotient, and ability to succeed.

Well, poppy-cock, I say. Preposterous.

Since when did the youth of America become more quantifiable than qualifiable? Names to numbers, individuals to integers; no, even imaginations to integers...and yet, people wonder why our children are not identifying intellectually with, performing unequivocally against, youth from the world over. Maybe it's because a lack of identity leads to a lack of serenity, and who can function idealistically when their individuality is being minimized methodically?

Bridging the achievement gap? More like increasing the aggrieve-ment that we feel towards our students, hiding the shame and allowing common sense to go on sick leave...I mean, come on - it didn't actually take a reprieve on its own, did it!? Punishing students for skipping school with out of school suspension is a self-depreciating cycle of ineffective punishment.

And this lack of sense is too common, so my promise to my students is that I will refuse to allow them to just fall into the status quo. I will always know names before ID numbers, want to hear all about what they did over their summers and not as some silly beginning-of-the-year prompt, and I will always talk to their parents.

Like Holden Caufield, I will catch them in the rye, not leave them by the wayside, truly mean "NO Child left behind." And when they try to leave the ground and fly, I will push them towards the sky by inflating their minds with words of guidance, encouragement, and love.

I'll teach them how to avoid the government-approved imagination speed trap of the achievement gap and show them to never let numbers and statistics be something to hold them back, because if you believe in that then you tell those who don't believe in you that they were right.

And I won't let that happen.

I promise.


reminiscing on old love

When I see you, you don't smile anymore.
The corners of your mouth may turn up some,
But I can tell by your eyes.
Your mouth goes through the motions but
Your heart doesn't back it up.

I wonder if it's because he doesn't hold you
Like I can, cradle the small of your back
In the palm of my hand as we waltzed along the sand.
Waves lick at our toes impatiently,
Wanting a taste but nervous for the response.

Does he know your freckles are markers on a treasure map?
The touch of color in your cheeks, the flush across your
Chest the result of a pleasure tapped from a well
Much deeper than he'll ever know,
Deeper only through years of my hard work.
And does he know that as he attempts to dig a new one,
The dirt he tosses so casually aside only falls back in
Behind him? Every shovel full another
Addition to covering what we had.

He digs for something
Settles for anything
Finds nothing...
Nothing but pottery shards of me
And you and us.

Do you tell him that the far away
Look in your eye ends at my face?
That searching his soul is really
You seeking for some semblance of
What we had...some resemblance of me?

When I see you, you never truly smile anymore.
If you ever will again...
Well, that is something that
Only you know...
What I know all too well is that
Too slowly does your love grow and
Too quickly does your heart close.

But I...I smile...
Smile at the freedom I now know,
The freedom you once stole.
And I laugh at the
Proposition of your admission
That you miss me.
Because I know...

And I smile.


I cannot decide which I prefer the most
Dove, Ivory, Dial, or Coast
But regardless, I am not one to boast
About being Zestfully clean.

And it's not just my body that is of dirt bereft
Because thanks to Tide, Woolite, and Dreft
My clothing will surely, undoubtedly be left
Spotless and wonderfully pristine.

But no matter how pure everything may be,
Life is really just one big martini
And it only takes one thing to make it all dirty:

Olive Juice

relief map

Each spot a bit different
Yet each telling the same message.
Unique, individual
Angel kisses
Moving my hands over, feeling each subtle lift
Reminding me where to go

Hand resting here makes you close your eyes
Lips brushing this one elicits a sigh
From your beautiful mouth.
Each one proof that you were hand-made
By God Himself.

Forgive me for thinking it was just for me
But perfection this absolute
Could be nothing but divine, in my mind

So if you please,
Let me be my own guide along the
Map of you...because getting lost is
The best way to find my final

my seventh grade mind

Hit me, mother fucker.
Hit me.
Shove me into the locker.
Knock my books out of my hands.
Throw things at me when the teacher isn’t looking.
Hit me.

Call me names like you always do.
Whisper them; yell them; repeat them,
Till you feel like you’ve gotten your point through
To the very core of me…but you’ll be wasting your breath.

Because I’ve been called these names every day for so long now that
They no longer carry the same meaning for me as they do for you.
Pussy, faggot, homo, queer…they all go in one ear, then in the other ear,
Then out through my brain stem,
Down my spinal cord to my central nervous system,
Numbing my nerves, dulling my heart
So that your words no longer have the impact that you want them to,
That you assume they do.

It’s fine; it’s normal to me now.
Because I’ve grown up in a house with
Parents who love me and have given me everything I ever needed
Except a patient, listening ear.
And I go to a church with a cool youth pastor and
A snack bar and arcade games,
Where I blend into the back of the room
With the rest of the expendable teenage dirt bags.
And all of my friends are my little brother’s friends,
Still in elementary school;
And playing with them makes me feel like
I’m more alone than I really am,
But it’s better than nothing, isn’t it?

And seeing my friend, whose body will not age any further
Than the 12 years, 3 months, and some-odd days he was
When the noose cut off his final breath;
Seeing his young body in his casket after He had hanged
Himself from his own bunk-bed…with a dog leash;
Seeing his mother beating her own chest as she weeps into his;
Hearing the cries of friends and family at the funeral and being
Unable to add my own sobs or even silent tears to the chorus of mourning;
Through all this, only one thought crosses my mind –
Isn’t he lucky that he doesn’t have to deal with this shit anymore?

Every day I go to my room
And wonder in my seventh-grade mind: will people notice me tomorrow,
Or will be another day of imposed invisibility?
Every day I go home to my room
Where I do whatever it is I do,
Things I will end up not even being able to remember;
Things involuntarily blocked out of memory
Along with the names of classmates, teachers,
And peers at church;
Field trips, church retreats, and girls I had
Crushes on who didn’t know I existed;
Where my mind is a blur of the past four
Years of loneliness and middle school torment;
Where my friends are my friends
Only when no one else is looking and
My repose from the emotional blitzkrieg
On my young, tender heart is non-existent;

So hit me, mother fucker.
Hit me.
See if I care.
You’ll be doing me a favor.
Help me to feel something again.

echoes of forgotten youth

Wax eloquent on preteen sycophants;
Pseudo-psychotic, semi-neurotic faux infants with
Perpetually lower sagging pants yelling
Substantially unintelligible rants full of “I can’ts”
With no explanation other than a shrug of skinny shoulders.

Leader of the pack with an
Idiosyncratic monkey on his back,
Toadies executing diversionary attacks
So he can rough up the pariah. No real sack,
Though; cries at night wondering who will be his messiah.
Parents on crack so he has to raise himself up by his own bootstraps,
Straps on boots with worn soles, too soon an old soul.
No soul? No, no sol –
No sun, no light, no fun, just fight, see gun, feels right, just one…last…breath.

Knows too much too soon.
Unwilling Lolita, got to please him, keep him happy.
Pay bills with her body, somebody, anybody,
Embody sex, disembody mind to forget,
Swallow that cum and regret in tandem,
Quickly quenching, sickly wenching,
Thickly stenching breath,
Fucked to a living death.

Echoes of moans sounding, fists and hearts pounding,
Voices raising, pipes blazing,
Cloudy-eyed glazing gazing towards future.
What future? Snitches get stitches but no stitches
To suture open wounds, use her, abuse her, bind her, remind her.

Wound up, bound up by a youth too soon taken.
Echoes of forgotten youth bouncing on hollow walls;
Heart beats, bass beats, running feet, silent streets;
Misery and hope meet, mistreat, overcoming an unlikely feat
For that woman of the street because of blind conceit.
Brush the dirt into the back seat…

Are you fucking kidding me?

i am a man

As I sit in my classroom, I can hear students lining up outside to get the H1N1 shot at the makeshift clinic they’ve set up in the empty classroom across the hall.

And I hear things like:

“Shoot, I’m not scared of no shot.” And
“If you cry, I’mma laugh at you.” Or
Don’t be a pussy, be a man.”

And it saddens me, because I’m a man and
I haven’t cried since I don’t know when, and
sometimes it’s all I want to do.

I held her hand as my grandmother died
And all in the room, but I,

I see the news on the TV, read it in the paper, hear it on the radio –
Rape, murder, kidnapping, racism,
hatred, disease, plane crashes, car crashes,
natural disasters…
Story after story of death, loss, and heartache.

I want my eyes to water; I will the tears to come.
And they don’t.

But if this is supposed to show that I am a man,
then why do I feel like something is missing!?

I always though that I could be a man by watching football with my boys, grilling steaks, and drinking beer JUST the same as playing dolls with my daughter or singing her to sleep.

That is to say, my future daughter…because I have also always thought that being a man meant being sure I can handle the responsibilities of life before risking taking them upon myself.

See, right now I am more concerned that I won’t cry
When my children are born or my parents die.

Suffering from what I have to call emotional constipation is becoming a burden that I no longer wish to carry. I want to try, tears that show I am a man because I feel and hurt and care; tears that show I am a man because God has called me to help others before myself.

But they just won’t come.

So as far as I’m concerned, when being a man means I’m no longer allowed to cry, or feel pain or emotion…I guess I’m just going to have to find a new way to define myself.

porn is bad, mmmk

For a while there, I was one of those guys
where big breasts, curvy booty, and open thighs
were what it took to catch my eyes.
And it took my return to Church and God to realize that
society was taking me on a ride to perversion that
I was raised to have an aversion to.
So I decided to rewrite my story…
a new version with a submersion into the
real and good and right instead of the fake and bad and trite.

Society, what gives you the right to dictate what it takes to make my dick straight!?

A perverted pandemic is sweeping the planet in the form of fake girl-on-girl action and midgets wearing spandex and yeah, we laugh. But the reality is fifty percent of American marriages are ending in divorce, the source for some lying in the fact that men fantasize about women who aren’t their wives. And some of these wives struggle all their lives to actualize what he fantasizes about, without realizing that those fantasies are computerized. And these wives end up doubting themselves, names on the dotted lines evidence of a feeling that they are inadequate.

“Dude, that girl is hot!” You idiot, haven’t you ever heard of photoshop? Some dude can sit in his parents’ basement and make Dog the Bounty Hunter look like Giselle Bundchen, just clicking away on his mouse, munchin’ on potato chips and thinking about what’s going to happen on World of Warcraft later that day. People look at pornography as demeaning to women, which is absolutely is, whether women head the company or not, while being blind to the men who have to deal with an addiction proven to be stonger than heroin. So fellas, next time you’re with a female friend (with whom you are comfortable and who has seen porn), ask her if the average woman truly needs to make THAT MUCH NOISE when she’s having an orgasm. No wonder so many happily married couples are dissatisfied with their sex lives. They strive to achieve and pornographically unachievable level of ecstasy while failing to recognize what their partner truly wants.

Like I said, I used to be one of those guys where big breasts, curvy booty, and open things were what it took to catch my eyes. But I realized that this wasn’t me. Because the real me, the one that wanted to be the doctor, the teacher, or the mentor couldn’t stand talking to girls who conversed about as well as a front door. I need an intellectual woman. And I knew I was beginning to change when seeing scantily clad women, which used to give me a “tizzle in my pizzle,” now just made me feel sick a little, because a girl who doesn’t respect herself will eventually wreck herself (thank you 1995).

I grew up singing and writing, using words to express myself instead of sports. And lo and behold, what should unfold but an ugly duckling story of sorts. See, God gave me a gift with which to exhibit my thoughts. My poetry is not just poetry, I call it flow-etry because it flows from me so fluidly, allowing me the opportunity to stimulate you…not sexually, but intellectually, ceaselessly, until you…come…hard…to the realization that you’re finally more to me than just a fantasy of breasts, booty, and thighs. You’re an individual mind. And I’m more than the nerdy, goofy kid who still laughs at fart jokes and gets excited about grammar. I’m an artist, and I want to decorate your mind’s eye with pictures painted by words and ideas etched with metaphor.

these are the remedies

These are the remedies
The ineffective medications
For our everyday affectations

These are the Desirees
Those things craved by the masses
To assist when their glasses are “half-empty,”
Though when seen as “half-full,” the desirees
Lose their Desire-ers.
The power of positive thinking, or the realization that
Life is as exciting as you make it out to be.

It’s just a placebo
Making me believe that I have let go
When in fact the demon inside me
Just goes into hiding, waiting for a
Doubt in my mind on which it can
Pounce and pronounce and exaggerate.
To the point I can’t take anymore.
Then the placebo is what I abhor.

Wanna play a word game?
Take out the b, add an ellipsis for dramatic flair
A dot dot dot whore

A whore…something that loses its
Significance and value and meaning.
No longer about love but about filling that
Primal need for release and satisfaction,
Though said satisfaction
Leaves you only more empty than
When you started.
And yet you still lie there, broken-hearted.
The point?
The point is you no longer have one

These are the remedies.
The ineffective medications
For our everyday affectations.

John Doe comes home from work to his wife,
Jane, whom he said he’d love for life.
But see, John didn’t know that life truly meant.
Working a dead-end job to barely pay rent,
His last $15 spent on a fucking bottle.
Jane screamed, “That was all the money we’ve got. I’ll
Never figure out how to feed the kids
For the rest of the month. This is not what I signed up for
When I took your ring.”
John just closes the door, sits on the floor, and takes
His first sip. A quick fix to a long-term problem. And
Still, no mention of the children.

Children…a blessing from above counted as less.
How dare the receive anything but the best
From society. But a burden many are counted
Because to their parents, they have amounted to nothing
But another expense. Talk about glass half-empty.

And don’t think for a second that SES has anything to do with it,
Because you can find a
Mess in the tire tracks of a POS ’86 Honda Civic
Just as easily as in those of a brand new Dodge Stratus.
And by the way, in case you didn’t know, SES means Socio-economic status
So that Mercedes-Benz or that Beemer you see rolling down the street…
Remember that life with seven figures isn’t always so sweet.

But when the babysitter is now a television
Where children learn more from The Wiggles and Dora than
Their own mothers, and teachers are expected to raise children
Birthed by others and not themselves: This is why parents complain
That Johnny and Jane don’t love or respect them
And yet still expect them to sate their every whim.

These are the remedies.
The ineffective medications
Of our everyday affectations.

It’s a shame, but the question is “Who’s to blame?”
It’s a crime that instead of spending time with their kids
Wealthy men and women are placing bids on
Newer, bigger houses…
For people who aren’t their spouses.

It’s a shame, but the question is “Who’s to blame?”
Well, as long as that man is being enabled
To pick up that pipe and smoke that rock;
As long as that girl is being forced to
Pay her bills by sucking cock.
As long as I sit by and quietly place a lock
On My mouth, it’s my fault.

These are the remedies,
The ineffective medications
For our everyday affectations.

But these simple things can be the cure.
A smile that’s genuine and a heart that’s pure,
A mouth that’s open and a mind that’s free,
A hand that can write or a body that can be
On the front lines of this silent war
Against that placebo and against that whore.
These simple things can be the cure
And that’s why I plan on doing more
With my life.

Now, how about you?
Take a chance
Make a change
And know that inside
You’ll never be the same
When others come first.
Because a feeling of inadequacy
Is certainly far worse than a knowledge
That someone out there at least cares.

Remember, be the individual who makes someone more concerned with feeling as though you care, and you’ll never have to worry about whether or not they care about how you feel. Respect is reciprocal.

These are the remedies,
The ineffective medications
For our everyday affectations.

a not-so-standard fairy tale

I am thinking of a fairy tale
That's a little out of sorts,
Where the maiden saves the dragon from the knight
and the princess is the one with the warts.

Where the troll lives in a big brick house
And the giant asks to borrow sugar, just a smidge;
Where the wolf climbs up a big bean stalk
And the pigs live under the bridge.

The prince is awakened by a simple kiss
From a horse that used to be a king;
And a frog curses the witch to forever be trapped
As a bird that's unable to sing.

The sun shines at night and the moon glows by day,
But stability is what these characters crave;
As Aesop, Mother Goose, and the two Brothers Grimm
All turn over in their graves.

nothing matters to the dead

Nothing matters to the dead.
There are no books left to be read.
No more lessons to be learned,
No more monies to be earned,
And no more apologies to be said.

Nothing matters once you die.
No more me, myself, and I.
No more dinners to be cooked,
No more promises overlooked,
And no more sorrows left to cry.

"All old things will pass away,"
A man once told me that the Bible does say.
But as he offered me the book,
I shyly grinned; my head I shook.
I thanked him kindly, but plainly said,
"Nothing matters to the dead."

when she stopped on the sidewalk

When she stopped on the sidewalk
The cold November wind blew through her hair.
She gazed up at the gnarled branches of the tree
Her father planted years ago. The hardwood fingers
Scratched at the sky, as if to beckon out
The stars from their daytime sequesterings.

Her hair danced around her face like the
Feathery, tired clichés dancing around as the
Metaphor of her life.
"What have you seen?" she wondered
Aloud to the tree. Getting no response,
She shrugged and placed her
Headphones back on her ears; her words
And music echoed in her mind in an unlikely duet
Of uncertainty and contentment.