Charleston SC poetry

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when will I stop seeing tired eyes after waking up next to mirrors? why do I call the cracks on my face fault lines? how does the earth hold so much weight, so much anxiousness? when will I stop messing with my hair? when will I break free from vanity’s repetition: * look for natural […]

the colossal

depression and anxiety, you are not just the elephant in the room, you are the weight that holds the animal, the air shared with its shadow, the zoo that won’t release a caged mind. depression and anxiety, you are not just the elephant in the room, you are the ceiling below the sky, the mosquito […]

on headphones

muscle memory through music releases sound waves of remembrance through my body. and I realize I am a little boy sleeping in a man’s frame, sentimental and sensitive to the audible accents of melody ringing through my years.

the land beneath

our country is not ready to leave its body. it is frightened of the enlightenment that comes with looking at soul. we the people are too attached to ego – emotional development that doesn’t touch bone. we put on makeup to cover blemishes of burden because we are too scared to look at the truth, […]

BLACK NUMEROLOGY (a poem for Walter Scott)

Walter Scott, I’ve watched your death hundreds of times. Recently, I counted the steps it took before the eighth shot grounded you: 13. you took 13 paces, running for your life, inline and online, the warrior stride of a 50-year-old body that died too soon. I wonder how many impressions your feet made before that […]

ambient noise

written for the Homeless to Hope Benefit Concert at sunrise, street sweepers silence the ringing filth of a late night’s vibrato. in the sneaky hours of the morning, empty bottles and parking spaces form a hushed choir, a privileged quiet, a soundtrack to the aftermath of the discord that comes with alcohol. before noon, the […]

COPY/PASTE (a spoken word poem)

… A poem about being the only black person in many spaces in Charleston. I wrote this after walking down King Street to attend a Spoleto event. I. i have always been the thing that’s not like the other – the analogue touch through digital screens, the bougie drink at a neighborhood dive, the black […]

tempo (self-portrait, part 4)

dear friends, allow me the space to re-introduce myself …

the birth of all things

the heartbeat miracle. cadence of creation. 150 beats per minute of pure God sound. a tiny thing, constantly growing. music of the body. energy in form. the birth of all things. the shadow self. the father’s joy. the dad’s anxiety. the tightening of the teeth. immortality as reality. a baby who will be greater than […]

The rain.

(written for a collaboration with Chicago composer Shawn Okpebholo and baritone Will Liverman) When the reality of racism returns, all joy treads water in oceans of buried emotion. Charleston is doing everything it can to only swim in a colorless liquid of calm sea and blind faith. But the Lowcountry is a terrain of ancient […]