p312

no here no there
no peace no air
just You watching me
revolting soul both knees
weak frail not knowing
but understanding too well
madness only You see
me gone from clay
breath taken given away
slave to this world
pollution no control ugliness
takes its righteous toll
energy in the black
energy in the white
dark horse pale horse
hurry to my jail
rush me through valleys
carry me on the
trails leading to something
unimaginable star nova supreme
last night heard screams
tis was i son

for MP find peace, brother

habit

in the passing of the sun behind your painted glass eyes i wish i could sleep in trust of your seasoned strong arms but there around the bend of the sweet words in your throat awaits the anger of us both as you ebb and i flow out far past the horizon of the outermost still in the days ahead of us we vibrate alone longing for a reading of our minds we touch each others’ beating of our hearts in monumental silence

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.

Daniels and lions

i like to see the people in the park under strawberry moon
in Pershing Square a silent film extraordinaire
they sift through refuse cans filled with Starbucks cups and the ever elusive recyclable water bottle
they work through their children’s play dates daddies selling crystal meth to pay a debt to a society that castrated them at birth
or take for instance the widowed diabetic arthritic hunched over Latina grandmother selling chips and Gatorade while watching her grandchildren who were orphaned at an early age because the sweatshop took their mother at 50 cents an hour to pay to pay to pay
the cloister of the lost waifs from mid west America find themselves now staring at the sun crusted over in sweat and cum fentanyl albatross around their neck wishing they had listened to momma
we are here together alone toiling exposed perfectly harmoniously in despair survival but standing
we are here clinging with bare hand to eternal waking time
we are Daniels and lions all

i knew the rainbow

im not ready to write that poem about pride i want to hold on to the last withering rainbow tufts of our youth
even as society judged you even as i relied on you as your own life hung over the cliff you gave me love
im not ever going to write about the goddamned rainbow and flags and house music and all of what you were pigeon holed into
i ache for you when i see a live pulse in the inside of my scared split wrist
i feel burning shame as if i could only gut myself out the several times you bought my junk when you needed life extending medicine
no i cant write about the marches and those vigils and political farces when i miss you so much
you were my mother my father my sister my brother my protector my guide you were my life choice accountant my guardian my saint
remember the time i was raped and you found them out and morphed into holy rage for a moment hell closed up while your fists rained down fury upon them we both wept
remember the morning when i knocked on your door and your mother answered with a face wet with Mary’s eye dew
from behind your favorite Japanese screen you called to me wondering if i brought you Thai iced tea
i navigated my shock to see your skin and bones when two weeks ago you wine and dined with joy at the Tenderloin
you said come kiss the queen and as i neared the top of your hand lowering my lips to your cool forehead
i melted next to your neck and received the final tear from your left eye and i knew the rainbow wouldn’t ever light my path again

*for Asa, i miss you so much friend say hello to Freddie for me

things in an alley

mbrazfield (c) 2022

the smile the face the walls the sky the trees the ideals the rules the drugs the wolves the women the men the youth the old the sick the grass the tombs the space the prison the haste the mastery the theater the church the vision the isms the rules the history the law the upper ground the under ground the groups the lone the sailor the whore the priest the angel the holy the devil the medicine the blues the reds the thoughts inside my head today and evermore

Gabriel’s boulder

and with the flash of lightening my heart stopped the anguish of a thousand needles in my arms the guilt of surviving what others had not came to me in a night of bad dreams

it’s always by the river where there is pain and fear flanked by genuine love created like a diamond is through tons and years of pressure

in the dream its always cold like a movie with a storm showing something deeply wrong earning us that satan comes trotting to destroy us

the thunder speaks in deep cracks shooting through the canyons filled with rage pouring through the vessels of my soul in darkness my pupils open wide gaping for any light but my consciousness goes under

and that white flash slips through the glass again to retrieve me from catatonia’s grace and prick me with memories of all those years wasted by the river’s bed