transference

mbrazfield (c) 2022

she spills her thoughts unto a loose leaf notebook page with an old blue Bic ink pen
her kitchen table strewn with paper scraps cheap chocolates and charity meals from St. Vincent’s
on her bed plastic liners rolling papers and blue aluminum bags tufts of tobacco on her sheet an old exaggerated Brave on the label
arms scarred by a childhood rash disease that taught her plenty about loneliness
now she the matriarch of two generations birthed from her
she wanders down the halls watching the world through an orphaned telescope
i like watching her turn her room apart
to show me husband’s funerary ashes
and dead baby one shot down before his prime
is the conversation everyday
then my turn to drive away
to punch on keys a progress report
about the life of another woman
whose had to pay a staggering price for wanting happiness

coyote bones

the snakes slate in color in and out of my eye sockets i call on to the night she is quiet and upset i have made her head of clouds white with the thunder in my brain thoughts ooze morbid dry like broken coyote bones in the dessert lay waste unlike romantic dreams of peyote glam summoned by spirit animals tis best to let me float or bleach under that hot hot sun stone apart from the many other coyote fallen

Shulamite

There are things in my mind that no one except I can see. Those things, demons, grotesque that taunt me. I hear them coming closer, but I’ll fuck them up. They want to destroy me. I, so ashamed of my age, only a drunk and you there in your profession and you have this tone to your voice. I let you in my home. I am offended. Look at me a Black woman, you must think, reduced to this just a drunk, that’s what I say. I have missed out on so many things. Alcohol is not the problem. I am the problem. I have great grand babies I have not met. And my son who died would have been almost 40, yes. The one who lives doesn’t know how I am here. I had an aunt who raised Pothos plants, and the vines would grow across the top of her windows. Yes, those are it. Look at those leaves, simply beautiful and mottled just like me. I should get one. They are sturdy, they could put up with me. I look down a lot, don’t I? Oh now, I’ve started crying like a fool. I’m old, I weep sporadically. You asked if I had drink today. Can you smell the alcohol? Let me excuse myself, I’ll be right back, have you seen my matches? Why are you here? You’re a lovely little thing and I am little too, but I belong to those who dwell by the back alley. The state grants me this nice room and they’ve not yet plucked the thorns from my soul buried into to me deeply by these streets. Are you the thorn plucker? Be careful how you weed this sickness from me. I might not be able to stop bleeding. I will be fine. Your eyes are a strange color. You wouldn’t be the devil coming to take me? I resent your calm and your character, your understatement, and your concern for me. Do I speak like you thought I would? Are you surprised at my poise? Of course, you’re not. You are one who knows better. Alas, I don’t feel like a statistic with you. Have you guessed that I too have read Baldwin and Joyce? And here we are together with those demons of mine in the corners. I can see through the pieces of my heart at the pit of my belly that your heart is breaking for me. You do not see a Black woman at all do you? You, in your profession and your sterile words and your tone, you see me, don’t you? My daddy used to call me Jasper, his baby girl with ashy feet.

intertwined are we

intertwined are we
today was hard
my black sister
drunken on the
couch where life
grabs hold and
won’t let go
intertwined are we
me in my sea
of clinical tricks
to pluck the
splinter from your
broken shattered heart
intertwined are we
today we sparred
my yellow sister
sad and lost
sick of it
all you cry
within your soul
me with idiot
pen instructing you
to just sign
here and here
intertwined are we
my dear brown
sis your laughter
hides the rage
of voices in
your head tormenting
the peace from
your inner self
i can only
smile and praise
your strength knowing
that tomorrow night
there’s a chance
your spirit dies
intertwined are we
the nights linger
like the cigarette
on your busted
lips quivering from
meth and shame
from the time
of birth til
the time of
death you walk
in the weave
of that shadow
in that valley
the good book
warns us about
i follow your
stride into the
caves of the
damned you hoping
i go away
i knowing that
this was my
launching place before
intertwined are we

trilobite, us redux

hey its me any little girl here in the land of Califa
standing here
watching pixelated faces lecture me
Mrs. K spits
as the psyche creaks
politicos burrow into the livers
the decorated soldier begs in vain
dog puke dog and starves to death
and any one rich man holds the Sun hostage

we’ve arrived as widowed child wives old at 17
mutated as this
guilted to breathe it in
carefully engineered rhetorical prison
abandoned lots with broken earth
and wifi chambers force my heaving love to transfer through a tiny yellow ball
long gone by the days of my defense of common sense our bloods leak out of the pipelines

cut from this a thorny dress for me to wear when i cross the fields of certain death
mouth cannot afford to feed so we label it starvation chic Spring collection 2022
from a city where His houses are closed but the fuck joints spread eagle open
and instead of elevating our children to a sacred garden
your success plan exclusively gives us their early termination option involuntarily of course

beat into this
bleeding and punching at it
punching at it
punching at it for this
self sacrificing to it
choking like it
mutated
berated
humiliated
because of greed
used by it
raped and sodomized by it
sold down the sewer by it
indentured to it
turned stupid through it
sterilized  by it

the soul cauterized
hands plucked off
the tongue
the dust
the micro wave
broken fists bow to the 5G gods and all of the ROC’s men
my rivers polluted
my children can’t swim

somnambulant diagnosis reach for the
SSRI’s
SNRI’s
MAOI’s
IOU’s
IUD’s

we’ve voted into this desperate resignation but somewhere in those pigeon holes i am alive
but we’ll pay into the bottomless recession
that put together with our farthest most ancestors brought back from heaven can’t help us from debt
commandments will be outlawed for AI commanders
turn in thy neighbor will be a passport to breathe one more 8 hour pain filled day
charity will be uselessly lewd
schooling will be punished
the Statue of Liberty shall pawn her torch for three dollars
God particles will slice time wide open
the horned beasts will be the priests
because hell hath no fury like the secretary of state scorned

the new world order hid away Galileo’s brain under the Sepulveda Pass
law will pass
nature will pass
we will pass
men on fire will eat men of eternal flames
those who are spared will be consumed by the madness of the NYSE silent bell who tolls for the all known
space stations will be the new sub stop
packed lemmings with visible dog tags
shooting off operation warp speed go go go to build castles in the clouds for them if there’s a future Florida

lord Silly Con forbids your show of common grace Queen Squad will soon order you off with my head simply because she can but she’s not a she because thee real She is kindness

sonnet for the trafficked

streets wet with ocean dew by the train stop

girls with glittering mouths dance in the eyes

men who lost their wages to sinful lust

we smoke with lights out every other block

in the ally they waste covered with flies

bended knees to a system that’s not just

our dreams fast escape through broken windows

on some faces a smile is just a lie

through loss of self remember not to trust

we long for those we love trapped in shadows

filthy shame to cause our blood to rust

the soul cauterized from love so we die

walk the streets with spirits that now are crushed

the warmth of hearts these mean streets have frozen

at night our cries hush

a winter suicide

There was nothing unusual about the morning for seven minutes. Then the news came.

A winter suicide.

In South Central Los Angeles it was still nothing unusual. The mentally ill with a history of homelessness, drug use and unconventional survival skill die all the time.

We were going to meet to work on goals and stuff. Her new life.

By the simplicity of her allowing me to journey with her, no doubt my life would be changed a little yet again.

Not on the surface, but on the inside. In the marrow of my recollections.

Her life and my emotions were like the sugar in the sorry cotton candy machine. Fluffy and sweet disintegrating under her tears. They speak and share; inform me, keep me employed and then I feed the stats into the county machine and do it all again five days a week.

This one was shocking in a painful way like when you’re kicked in the ribs, but you can’t scream or your face will be kicked in next.

Then anger and resentment set in against the factions of claimants of caring and the keepers of those who matter.

Why did she only matter to me? I, a nobody as designated by said keepers.

Let us not scrape it under the crusty superficial bloody red carpets of the city. I grew up here too. I recall a running record of events. I recall the angles and twists of stories.

Driving through streets filled with junky dreams and the parallels of pathology and human conscience. Crypto gods hoard discarded lives outdoors to make room for the lives whose pockets they can pick within their trap doors.

Later I figured I couldn’t be mad at any higher power we’ve sunk so low I wouldn’t know where to go.

It appears that in the city the affluent are the only ones building up taking over God’s once very holy real estate.

In the night alone in my place thinking about her life and our collective deaths. I refuse to believe the asses or the elephants, the foxes or the talking heads from studios named after pretentious consonants.

Instead, in dreams awake I face the moonless sky. Light a candle with her in mind and believe the truth of the life in her humanity.

mock the bird

in walking Kadapul petals fall to coat my steps

but really they’re just dirty leaves

as my daydreams waft into another direction

there is a certain equalizer in knowing

something comes this way and we all feel it

thoughts crumble upon the upward pounding of my feet

instinct against the grain

follow through with the maps in my head

stop and wave at a child and her puppy

another block and sun does shine

a mother talks a husband hounds

from his sitting family

‘what do you want to drink’

with coffee in left hand

passer bys ignore me

i blend into the posted centennial wall

the one by the bronze pig heads

and the bike racks rented by the Metro line

death mask faces reflected in mine

our wrinkles in the old and young

mock the bird silhouettes of our sky

our return in trying to make sense of our lives