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

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.

GB

GB lost her friend today
in a family of ten GB lost herself
in a culture where family was amputated from centuries ago then GB lost her crown
GB’s friends have lost their battles yet they hang on like fatal car crash victims who wont recognize the great beyond
GB cried today sobbed is the better word
GB judged herself for not being there when his time had come
i only a specter following her around mute and heavy dragging the chains of frigid bureaucracy
GB lost her head for a moment frozen grief there standing
GB never had what we do but we dont comprehend when GB begins to agonize
GB died again today and wailed betwixt the thunder of the freeway next to us
tomorrow GB will wake up and look for him in her dreams his wheelchair there with a a little box of rolling papers asking her for grits and bacon

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

yours is

yours a cool blue glance that burns cold in the midst of my heart

yours a hot clutch tight around my fevered mind

yours the sound of angry thunder sticking at the door of my vulnerability

yours a distance beyond comprehensibility that weighs on my caving chest like 19 billion suns

yours a bitterness spilled across a bleeding tongue

“depression demon” mbrazfieldm (c) 2022

in essence

around here we radiate from the inside
we laugh because crying would mean shedding and giving out
with laughter we bring breath in
around here the afterwinter doesn’t fully unfold
yet the night and day in mid summer dreams can be very cold and far away
a never ending road of rocks and thistle
around here we build and tear down when it becomes necessary
in essence we always build
around here time does not matter and the Constitution is a gamble

mbrazfield (c) 2022

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.

don’t want marching saints no more

I don’t smoke anymore. I don’t pay attention anymore. I don’t do much anymore. Anymore matters not to anyone. It’s been about two weeks. There is a foggy dream pricking at my waking reality. There is a politeness as to not give away who I am, and who we are, and what we are not made of. Orion’s Belt has lost another Queen Sister. Look up, see? The castle shines less than it did about fourteen days ago.

Sitting next to me, he, young and professional talked to you about developing a plan for hope. Sitting next to me, your cracked yellowed fingers, stiff like frankincense resin, shuffled through your last official systematic memoir, but he and I didn’t know. Did you know? Or did you know you couldn’t go on? Your blue framed reading glasses made of plastic were spotty and needed a scrub. Your skin ashy and hair matted into a bun, those fingers searching for that someone who told you that you were fine so that we could tell you too

 We met on St. Valentine’s, you tried with all of your might on St. Habet-Deus and laid yourself to rest on St. Alvaro’s soiree. Yet, when the old timer hard core practicing apostles hailed St. Polycarp, I stood looking at the west atop the building’s nest with my back to your door sealed by the authorities of science and service.