Charleston SC poetry

Articles from this Category

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 rain.

Written for a collaboration with Chicago composer Shawn Okpebholo and baritone Will Liverman. Their version, including pianist Paul Sanchez, is on the album Dreams of a New Day. It’s also included in my book, The Birth of All Things. When the reality of racism returns, all joy treads water in oceans of buried emotion. Charleston […]

the language we learn

I. masculinity doesn’t have to be toxic, but some men choose to put poison on their tongue. foaming at the mouth before flinging unholy thoughts into action. hungry for prey, licking their lips as biting words draw blood. women do nothing to feed this venom. porn and pop culture evolved from paper cuts to pixels […]

a divine feminine (wine + food 2019 poem)

if you believe superheroes didn’t exist, then you never knew Georgia Mae Jones. My grandmother. she could have saved the world with her poundcake – it had just the right amount of sugar to defeat any evil inside of you, it could turn a sour weakness into sweetness, take your tastebuds to hyperspace, and awaken […]

The United States of Anxiety (a spoken word poem)

Welcome to the United States of Addiction. In this country, your smart phone holds more meaningful moments than your memory. Here, social media is social justice and history is a hashtag for broken screens to get their fix. Here, fame doesn’t lead to fortune – just first-world problems. Echo chambers for people at war with […]

when falling into fear is easier than falling asleep.

my cat doesn’t like car rides. an otherwise fierce feline becomes a furry bundle of fear, rapid-fire breathing and foaming at the mouth, every second is suffocation, every bump in the road is permission for each hard breath to be a puke premonition on my feet, my lap, the back seat. but she paws her […]

antenna

cover my skin in sorrow, lay my body down with feathered tears. help me sleep with the dreams of friends who are having conversations with ghosts so that i can wake with their pain. a shared depression, a thread among empaths. give me the compassion and emotional power to be strong when needed.