three Thelmas

Thelma was from Panama

a dancer in her day

came to Hollywood with glimmer in her eyes

but ended up scrubbing walls

and partying it up for pay she said

Thelma was from Washington DC

went to fancy chemistry school

came to NYC to do her thing

and we all three Thelmas

black eyes in common have we all

three Thelmas from different places

in the world cold winter rain

has become the norm

beads of soaking wet misery upon our windows

stretch and shrink and rainbows emit

no colors through the smog

orphan

i often forget his smile the glint of his eyes pulling an old dog eared letter i touch his cursive delicate but unintelligible there are no particular ideas in the tight ringlets of pale black ink his mind was full of scorpions she never returned to him they both mad with ego and one uppance i progeny alone i with a heart full of wasps

lost on the way

mbrazfield (c) 2020

ya ever listen to sister Tharpe wailing on her guitar while spiking up your mohawk

strumming and tugging at my strands as her sweet sultry honey melts into my ear veins

getting ready for TSOL to play on the Sunst Strip in LA balls to the wall sexy hell

underage but i don’t care the way i’ve been living i’m going no where

life was too lively growing up at home so i ran from the folks

and broke all the rules danced on the shore at 7 past noon

big black ugly boots Cinderella slippers were for fools

stick my tongue out at the sky fill my nose up with white lies

scratches cuts bruises and tears bloody trousers fists in the air

scent of cars black smoke and politicos resign my gender go underworld

Christ Savior i see the Son can You explain why i felt at 3 like 21

riding on the bus with the ladies of the night shift who went to clean the houses of the rich

indignation in their smile as bright brown eyes fell on my style

echoing in the length of the trains how can this child spit on the American dream

missing the point in what i conveyed symptom of the American nightmare lost on the way

available but not to you

mbrazfieldm (c) 2020

your expectations wants demands tactics tricks and commands are just a mirage
i too can do unto others but i choose not to i am at the disposal of my mind heart and soul exclusively
i break barriers and ceilings with the ultra sonic boom of my love quietly in the middle of time and my shed tears turn into diamonds
from my breast i nourish innocents the army of all
with a turn of my fingers i knit the cloth to shield innocents from the darkness of your claws

memorandum

would it make life easier for you if i said outloud what i’d rather just share with you

would it make you a bigger man if i would publish all of my missteps and ineptitudes

do you deserve to know how much you mean to me the tears i’ve shed the drugs i dared to impress you

do you care about my thoughts my feelings my decrees or what i see around this word

if what you want is to fuck and bolt pretend that there was nothing wrong

if all you want is to get a title of renaissance man a golden plaque with gilded letters and pretty words

that’s not really me i’m now buried in a cold dark life locked in under the headstone you chiseled for me etched with nothing meaningful

Yucatan

Picture courtesy of Sue Vincent

The evening was cool and the calm was fuzzy and delightful. Abbey walked through the narrow door of 4302 and laid down a paper bag full of spices and stuff. She loved going to Grand Central market to gossip and catch up on the news of her world. Abbey asked if I was going home tonight because her boyfriend was coming over and she didn’t want him to pick a fist fight with me again.

I promised her that I would go to my friend’s house on the west side later tonight and asked her if she noticed anything different about her room. The Pine Sol fumes suckled her dainty caramel nose and licked in and out of her nostrils.

Thank you for cleaning mi reina, the smell takes me back to the valleys and rivers of my town in the Yucatan. Abbey had come to the US in the early 60’s on a travel visa and stayed. She started taking the dried Chiles, peppercorns, cumin and pumpkin seeds and chocolate bars out of the paper sack. Being a little high, watching her pluck each item out of the sack was like watching a jeweler study his precious stones.

Sitting back on the only chair in the room, I asked Abbey about her town in Mexico. She pursed her lips inward and let out an exhausted sigh. Staring at the dim lit ceiling she noticed the freeway knot of spider webs forming on the northern corner.

Abbey looked past the top of my head and stared of the Virgen of Guadalupe poster on the waxy wall. In a little girl voice she described the valleys as having shaded trees and cool patches of grass. The streams, as she remembered were cold enough to soak their beers and sodas when the families of the village would go pick-nicking on Sundays.

Abbey appeared lost and happy reminiscing about her country. Did you know that in the spring time we’d light big fires and because the temperature in the valley was still cold in March, the smoke looked like cloudy fumes against the pitch black sky. And the stars, Ave Maria purisima, the stars were so bright and when you saw them through the smoke fumes of the fires the whole thing looked like a fancy lace veil twinkling with diamonds.

In a melancholy tone I absent mindedly asked Abbey if she missed those nights with the firewood fumes and the stars and cool streams. She smiled wide enough that I could see her gold tooth as she looked down at her old beige pumps and she shook her head telling me no.

The door shook from four heavy thumps. Her boyfriend was in the hallway asking why the hell she wasn’t answering. Abbey cursed under her breath and ordered me to stay quiet and to leave as soon as she let him in. I tried asking her if she was going to be o.k. or did I need to alert Spare Cock.

my way…

the evening was cool and the calm was fuzzy and delightful Abbey walked through the narrow door of 4302 and laid down a paper bag full of spices and stuff she loved going to Grand Central market to gossip and catch up on the news of her world Abbey asked if i was going home tonight because her boyfriend was coming over and she didn’t want him to pick a fist fight with me again

i promised her that i would go to my friend’s house on the west side later tonight and asked her if she noticed anything different about her room the Pine Sol fumes suckled her dainty caramel nose and licked in and out of her nostrils

thank you for cleaning mi reina the smell takes me back to the valleys and rivers of my town in the Yucatan Abbey had come to the US in the early 60’s on a travel visa and stayed she started taking the dried chiles peppercorns cumin and pumpkin seeds and chocolate bars out of the paper sack being a little high watching her pluck each item out of the sack was like watching a jeweler study his precious stones

sitting back on the only chair in the room i asked Abbey about her town in Mexico she pursed her lips inward and let out an exhausted sigh staring at the dim lit ceiling she noticed the freeway knot of spider webs forming on the northern corner

Abbey looked past the top of my head and stared of the Virgen of Guadalupe poster on the waxy wall in a little girl voice she described the valleys as having shaded trees and cool patches of grass the streams as she remembered were cold enough to soak their beers and sodas when the families of the village would go pick-nicking on Sundays

Abbey appeared lost and happy reminiscing about her country did you know that in the spring time we’d light big fires and because the temperature in the valley was still cold in March the smoke looked like cloudy fumes against the pitch black sky and the stars Ave Maria purisima the stars were so bright and when you saw them through the smoke fumes of the fires the whole thing looked like a fancy lace veil twinkling with diamonds

in a melancholy tone i absent mindedly asked Abbey if she missed those nights with the firewood fumes and the stars and cool streams she smiled wide enough that i could see her gold tooth as she looked down at her old beige pumps and she shook her head telling me no

the door shook from four heavy thumps her boyfriend was in the hallway asking why the hell she wasn’t answering Abbey cursed under her breath and ordered me to stay quiet and to leave as soon as she let him in i tried asking her if she was going to be ok or did i need to alert Spare Cock

fancy James Brown footwork

Last night was rough at the Cecil. I invited friends from school to party at Turkish Turi’s, but they couldn’t hang. It wasn’t cool enough. Turi was salt of the earth kinda’ people. Rough and say it like it is, but protective of the people around him.

My mother agreed to meet me on Los Angeles Street and 7th on account she wanted to buy some rugs for her house. She was in a good mood and I wanted to bond with her. It had been a few days since I was at her home. I was late to our 12:30 p.m. meeting place.

As I made my way to greet her, my head looked down, avoiding eye contact just in case she was pissed. Mother was German, punctuality was no joke. She had on a beige PONY track suit, very soft and fancy; lady like and proper. Her hair pixied and dark red like cherry wood. Her neck graceful and pale was  adorned by a very thin gold chain and a blue diamond pendant Star of David.

Sitting in front of the Cecil daydreaming and sobering up; anticipating meeting with my mom, I remembered a time when I was around four. She was dressed like an angel, a Charlie’s Angel, bell bottoms, pink lips, rippling feathered hair and white boots. It was the mid 70’s, but my mom loved British rock and with a little Daniel’s in her she started grooving to T.Rex.

Lucy was happy that day, like genuinely happy, laughing and dancing and talking her German tongue to her lady friends and kinfolk. We kids never learned. Then, as I was looking for my can of apple juice, she invites me to dance. “Bang a gong, get it on, bang a gong.”

As the buses swooshed by and the vagrants were getting ticketed in vain on Main, I smiled wide. I was lapping up the memory in my head; a short chubby four year old with red patent leather Mary Janes contorting like Joe Cocker. I bent back, down and sideways, but the coup de gras was the fancy James Brown footwork I threw out there for my mom to see. I’d watch him on Soul Train when my baby sitter would come on Saturday nights.

The world felt better at 1:13 p.m. I was late, but my heart was in the right place. Lucy’s was too. The edge of skid row was my home away from home. It felt like my mother’s arms or at least what I thought her arms might have felt like. It was very unnatural to see Lucy there, so beautiful, but so sick at heart. I was more of a body guard than a daughter. She stayed in a home paid for by a man who was just like the other men who had sent many of the women I knew to exile at the Nickel. Lucy was not only a victim of my father, but her of ego as well.

my way…

last night was rough at the Cecil i invited friends from school to party at Turkish Turi’s but they couldn’t hang it wasn’t cool enough Turi was salt of the earth kinda’ people rough and say it like it is but protective of the people around him

my mother agreed to meet me on Los Angeles Street and 7th on account she wanted to buy some rugs for her house she was in a good mood and i wanted to bond with her it had been a few days since i was at her home i was late to our 12:30 pm meeting place

as i made my way to greet her my head looked down avoiding eye contact just in case she was pissed mother was German punctuality was no joke she had on a beige PONY track suit very soft and fancy lady like and proper her hair pixied and dark red like cherry wood her neck graceful and pale was  adorned by a very thin gold chain and a blue diamond pendant Star of David

sitting in front of the Cecil daydreaming and sobering up anticipating meeting with my mom i remembered a time when i was around four she was dressed like an angel a Charlie’s Angel bell bottoms pink lips rippling feathered hair and white boots it was the mid 70’s but my mom loved British rock and with a little Daniel’s in her she started grooving to T.Rex

Lucy was happy that day like genuinely happy laughing and dancing and talking her German tongue to her lady friends and kinfolk we kids never learned then as i was looking for my can of apple juice she invites me to dance “Bang a gong, get it on, bang a gong”

as the buses swooshed by and the vagrants were getting ticketed in vain on Main i smiled wide i was lapping up the memory in my head a short chubby four year old with red patent leather Mary Janes contorting like Joe Cocker i bent back down and sideways but the coup de gras was the fancy James Brown footwork i threw out there for my mom to see i’d watch him on Soul Train when my baby sitter would come on Saturday nights

the world felt better at 1:13 pm i was late but my heart was in the right place Lucy’s was too the edge of skid row was my home away from home it felt like my mother’s arms or at least what i thought her arms might have felt like it was very unnatural to see Lucy there so beautiful but so sick at heart i was more of a body guard than a daughter she stayed in a home paid for by a man who was just like the other men who had sent many of the women i knew to exile at the Nickel Lucy was not only a victim of my father but her of ego as well

they

they too tumultuous for the human skin in the concrete castles of their heritage across seas and spirits children of the mental Gypsy of the skies buried standing up because of the way it had to be they modern ancients blood slow blue for bruising not for nothing else pain deep from marrow bone deafening in the soul of future fruitlings scrubbing out a filthy spot that wickedly came anyway woe upon no one else but the dueling ‘archs’ and pass the wine for sobbing