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The Word of Gaud



Cover the beliefs bestowed upon you in an idea-clear coat.

They will shine, but not bend, nor flex.

Call them yours.


Harvest the thickened bile from your liver to weaken those structures.

Sword and shield them [as though] they could crumble.


Let dry.


Sheath your beliefs in shrapnel pillaged from wars with other ideas;

shrapnel and opposing incisors.


Baptize them with your plasma.

Pierce them with your bone.

Crown them with your hair.

(from "Holy. Wholly. Holey." manuscript)



My grandmother's voice tells me who I am not.


In the small apartment she rented

after selling the house where all her

granddaughters shared chickenpox,

her pots still sputter secrets on the stove.


The throne of her recliner chair is empty,

save a cold crochet needle

gleaming amid geometric yarn. She is

in the bathroom showering,

Westerns blaring from the television-                                 “Stick ‘em high”



The percussion of her body against ceramic

melds with the high-pitched screech

of the shower curtain.

She slips in the tub,                                                             "shit…"


Fear grips my voice with generations of familiarity.

I freeze before the long barrel of unknowing.

I am silent.

                                            “This town’s not big enough for the both of us”

My blood gallops,

heart beating on ear drums,

lips condemned to each other’s company.

There is no room for either of us

to be ok

in the gorge of my silence.


I panic, praying that

she is not hurt. Praying that

she says something, anything

but                                                                                          “help”.

Praying that I will not hold her in my arms

as I have been in hers-

cradled and vulnerable.

The weight of my love for her is crushing.


She emerges, haloed by the yellow light

of the bathroom.

I lock my eyes on the quickdraws

and gunfights in front of me.

I am not a hero in this story.

(Published in "Joy Has A Sound: Black Sonic Visions" - Find it here.)


(for the people of Flint, MI with empty cups and running faucets)




Someone fed them

A story

Of Jesus turning water to wine

Here they heave

From their subsequent thirst


Lies wafer-thin as the body

Lead pours out as the blood



Do this in remembrance

Do this & remember it

Do this & dismember them




(published in "COASTnoCOAST: Issue No. 2")

The Garden


Adam realized he

was inadequate.


He saw what the woman

pulled from his body

knew long before, that

he was dim and

dirt-made. The angel,

her own piece of

forever to consume, while

he was merely her

limitation in paradise.

And Adam, feeling the heave

of less-than like the first

heart that ever broke,

told Eve:

put some fucking clothes on.

(published in "Moss: Volume 4")



They all wipe their faces

My grandmothers & great-greats

They pray with faces meeting palms

Rebirth by their own hands


My great grandmother had the residue of fallen hopes on her brow

They were not sullied

But they were heavy

And she couldn't breathe

And didn't know that dreams could feel dirty when they were not yours

So she cleansed her brown in brown

To reset


Six greats ago the mother of my mothers

Heard herself called

By a name other than her own

She wiped the perspiring accusation from forehead to chin


And again

She washed their sins


I am no different

I palm my prayers

With oil on my face

Dirt in my dreams

I perspire until I am reborn

My mother showed me how


"Close your eyes, baby girl

But only for a second

Then you come back

You always have to come back"

(published in "NILVX: Ancestors")

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