Thursday, July 28, 2016

a poem you can understand

i'm done with (*begin air quotes*) real poetry (*end air quotes*) because (*begin air quotes*) real poetry (*end air quotes*) sucks.

It's old and white and stuffy and holier than thou and my dad doesn't want to read it.

Metaphors, hyperbole, and other things you forgot from English class

I just want to tell the truth. I want these voices in my head to settle down, I want to this feeling in my stomach to go away. Let's talk about being alive.

Let's talk about the shows we watch and the food we eat too late and the things we do when nobody's looking. Let's come to terms with ourselves.

I'm not looking for favorites or comments or retweets. I'm trying to connect with you while at the same time avoid talking to you when I see you at the Wal-mart self checkout

stop looking at me

please see me for who I am

These poems need to stop lying and start dancing, they're putting me to sleep. Poems need to be bike rides and drunk texts, I want an equal opportunity employer.

I said this was going to be a poem you can understand and then I went and put all this poetry in it.

Let's watch Adventures in Babysitting and forget about the F-words until it's too late.

I'm deleting my Facebook, I'm deleting my Twitter, I never had an Instagram, and I have to publish my own books. Nobody will pay to hear what I have to say

so that's why I'll tattoo it across my arms and start wearing tank tops again.

stop looking at my arms

please see them for what they are:

equal opportunity employers

All poems are not equal in the sight of God

please forgive me

please buy my books because my mom can only buy so many

someone tell my son that i'm someone worth listening to
someone tell my daughter to stop wearing so much makeup

these poems are last words and eulogies that i get to write for myself because i won't be invited to my own funeral,

someone please bring the potato salad, but don't let it sit outside in your car for too long.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

poetry fatally wounded outside las vegas club

look, baby, i don't know how to say this,
i'm sorry
i may not have killed you
but i was there when you died
and i was holding a pen
you look so beautiful on white
(here i go again)
when the whole world feels black and gray
(like when trey kept stabbing that girl after she died)
weddings and funerals on every block
remember when shawn's dad had both in a span of six months
his children never stopped crying
on more than one occasion i've been afraid of a fly
because i thought it was something else
you were everyone's fling, girl
middle school love notes and instagram posts
i never should've spent so much time on you
my daddy never taught me
to write a verse or turn a wrench
listen to me still try to get it righty tighty
lefty loosey
my mama told me to use my words
i googled what it feels like to stab someone

Friday, July 22, 2016

depression metaphors

you must not be from round here

round here we fix our own cars
we pop the hoods and scratch our heads
pass me that wrench over there, no the 5/16ths
let's see here, let's see here
okay go ahead and start it

round here we stay up too late and we sleep all morning
we leave the lights off and the blinds closed
the next episode automatically plays
another drama
another unresolved problem
for $9.99 a month

round here we listen to throwback playlists from the 70s
we long for those days
even though we weren't born yet
tell mama we're comin' home
but she moved out of that blue house 10 years ago

round here the clocks don't work
someone must've taken all the batteries

round here we speak swahili
and everyone else doesn't

they must not be from round here

Thursday, July 21, 2016

my wife left to get milk and bread

because we don't have any
because we're hungry
because there's nothing left to do in the summer but eat breakfast
and watch netflix while the lawn burns in the front yard and the country
burns in the back yard
these foreigners don't feel welcome here no more
the statue of liberty dropped her torch and put up her middle finger
this is war and nobody's got a helmet
my best friend growing up was puerto rican and we lost touch
i asked him how his parents were and he said they went back to where they came from
i don't know where i come from
they told me it was up north but i was too young to remember
too young to hate someone cuz what they look like
i didn't learn that til junior high
and i don't remember anything else
blame the schools, blame the media, blame the parents
remember that summer afternoon you fell off your bike and broke your arm
then figure out who to blame
freud said there are no accidents
then he got cancer in 1923
the same year of the rosewood massacre
when a group of white men took matters into their own hands
before we had to hide how we feel
before we had to lock the doors at night
back when the night was safe and beautiful
the stars were beautiful
my wife is beautiful
she left to get milk and bread
she took the old milk and poured it down the sink
so we'd never have to see it again
old, white, and sour

so the faces of my people

Friday, July 15, 2016

forever to learn

oh, to be young
to have your whole life ahead of you
a photo album with space
and a bucket list in progress

12, 16, 24, it doesn't matter
you don't know how to change a tire
make an omelet
replace a sprinkler
read a book to your daughter
but you have forever to learn

you have forever to learn that nobody cares about that scar on your eyebrow
nobody even notices

and nobody cares about your poetry
the posters on your wall
why your last boyfriend broke up with you
or what you dreamed last night

for god's sake please don't tell us about your dream last night

tell us about your dreams
tell us how you're going to change the world with your fists closed
tell us what you see in the clouds
and keep telling us

you don't have a good voice
but keep singing

Thursday, July 14, 2016

dear 1776,

dear 1776,

you probably don't remember me

sorry i don't always stand up during the pledge
i used to
sorry i don't always romanticize you during the national anthem
i take off my hat
but that's only because everyone's watching

i first met you in grade school
i tried to memorize you
but it was just infatuation
i thought you looked really good on that shirt
they waited to tell me about slavery
we didn't even know each other

the war didn't end with you, that's when it started
america has been burning ever since
the revolution will definitely be televised
forget the hashtags
i'm wondering if any lives matter

north v south, east v west
america is a rap battle
america is a youtube fist fight

i'm listening to beyonce's lemonade while i write this poem
maybe that's why i'm angry
maybe that's why i'm taking a baseball bat to your fire hydrants america
maybe that's why i got my homegirls with me throwing up our middle fingers
but hold up,
they don't love you like I love you,
slow down,
they don't love you like I love you,
let's end with love and forgiveness
someone hold my green card while i french kiss the statue of liberty

what a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you
your founding fathers were just kids
franklin was 70, but hamilton was only 21
playing with guns and other inventions
we're all just a hypothesis in this experiment
with no control

thanks for the pursuit
it's more than anyone else has ever done for me
you're like nowhere else

i'm listening to the liberty bell ring as i write this poem
i can still hear it

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

birthday cake

mark each day on your calendar
it's a celebration
every day is that day's birthday
don't forget to put your card and your dollar in the mail

going through life trying not to think about it
someone's                 gonna              die        today
a random tuesday
this random tuesday ain't random no more

elton john talks about candles in the wind
and marilyn monroe jumps out of cakes
while jfk dreams of 1962
when we were all younger

grandpa cal got old and josh got sad
death killed everyone i love
dad taught me how to shoot a gun before i was strong enough to hold one

here's to the jc penny memories
when we left our phones in our '57 chevys
catalogs of two dimensional people
forever smiling
back when death wore neck ties and fedoras

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