House of Lies

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This is a house of lies
I guess that makes me liar-in-chief
Chief Supporter of Delusions
Chief Enabler of Foolishness
Chief Promoter of Farces and Falsehood
Can I put that on a resume?

Sir, do you have mess that needs hiding?
A jalopy that needs a selling?
Then, I’m your gal.
At least until you want the Truth
Ain’t seen her sorry face around here in years
Not sure I’d even recognize her.

Yell, if you see her coming
Tell her I’m in the house of lies
The one built of walls with no footholds.
But like a rock face in the sun
The cracks hold promise:
Maybe Truth is a climber

Freedom Tongue

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“Good morning, how are you?”
When I really mean, “Mawnin, how yuh do?”
Colourful vernacular paints the corners of my mind,
Eager to confront the world with my point of view
Though conditioned to use the Queen’s English,
I gravitate towards those wild refrains
Choose different words, better words, I am told, but how can I resist?
How can I resist the chance to honour them, resurrect them,
Immortalize them who gave me this sweet song?
This patois, this amorphous dialect,
So refined and delicate to the trained ear and open heart

Battles have been fought for this in-between tongue
Soldiers walk with arsenals of grammar and spelling,
Ready to strike for the right twang, the right to twang
But like many before me and beside me, the joy is in the freedom,
Freedom of words frolicking to their own melody
Even when it’s mostly unspoken, the laughter of my mother tongue,
My mother’s tongue
Connects me to the legacy of home,
The wonder of my people,
The fellowship of family

And when the day’s work is done
I take up residence with history
A history both misunderstood and cherished
To deliver me in ways no other can
To mis-educate myself and journey this bless-ed freedom tongue
Yours to discover with a little imagination
My dear brave reader, I bid you “Good evening, take care”
Or better yet, “Likkle more, walk good.”

(Written March 2012 for the Come Home Jamaica competition)

Sleeping Beauty

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She woke up to find her happily ever after had morphed;
This version had hard edges and harsh fluorescent lights.
Like a cruel joke where someone rips the pillow from beneath your head,
Twas a rude awakening, indeed.

Each morning, she recalls anew the series of unfortunate decisions:
She never planned on forever but somehow fell head first into this cesspool of mediocrity.
She gave up on feeling celebrated, regal, and cherished,
Sold the dream for a one-way ticket out of the present.

Fear looks a lot like bravery when you’re fiending for a change.
Now that brave face stares down a road of unending strife;
Those brave hands wring resentment from the party clothes that mask her pain.
And each day ends with tear-spiked tea and little less of her soul.

Meet me in Montauk

Photo Credit: Wolfgang Wander, http://www.pbase.com/wwcsig/image/53410670
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Meet me in Montauk.
No, I’ve never been
But I hear it’s where you go
to pick up pieces of yourself,
Pieces of a life once dreamed

Where you go to fish memories
from the ocean of time
And stitch them together like a patchwork quilt
A soggy patchwork,
but yours

I don’t know if the sun shines eternal or what shoes you should wear
Just that I need you to catch the dreams
that have slipped through my fingers,
through these sieves for pockets,
and left a trail of dust in my wake

A trail of half-living, easily blown into the abyss of history
The ethereal evidence of my consciousness
Lost to futile strife for a spotless mind.
Memory-fisher, Dream-catcher, Consciousness-finder:
Please, meet me in Montauk.

(Photo credit: Wolfgang Wander)

Restless

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I’m feeling
restless.
Wanna do something
reckless.
I think I’ve forgotten what that means
in this time of sickly comfort
and mobile fortresses.
I’m craving something
that can get my
heart pounding, blood rushing
to oxygen-hungry grey matter
and oxygen-deprived red,
something to jolt me
out of this sober stupor,
something that can seed a
“Remember when…?”
or a “Can you believe…?”
Something to sustain me after
the mind is mush and limbs are listless.
What do restless people do?
Can I be reckless with you?

Farewell

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I am woefully behind on my NaPoWriMo posts and am trying to catch up but I liked today’s prompt and was already working on something that would fit.

Thrust back into the concrete jungle
my nerves are inundated by the cult of busy.
It all seems so unnecessary and
everything is strangely offensive.
How long before it all feels familiar again?
How long before I feel a part of the machinery
and apart from my place of origin?
In this moment, that connection feels urgent
and nourishing, a matter of life and death.
But over and over again, the cord must be cut.
Over and over again, farewells must be dispensed:
one, then two, then all at once they spill
from the bottle of my heart.
Goodbye my love, adieu.

After the Stage

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NaPoWriMo Day 26

You’ve wordsmithed your way to greatness
(At least in your eyes)
You’ve given the people what they want
(Even if they didn’t know it)
You invoked feelings of bliss and nostalgia,
all honey-sweet and finger-snapping good.
You’ve said your piece
but did it bring you peace?
Are you loose like well-massaged limbs?
Or tensely awaiting the praise-filled reviews?
(or scathing indictments?)
How do you feel after nervously sending your baby
out into the world,
naked and alone
with only your
(magnificent)
delivery for protection?
What are you waiting for?
Why do you keep looking into the crowd?
Jump down,
smash the stage
And go shout it from the mountaintops.