My Father the Teacher

My Dad taught me how to ride a bike
he took us to the park to fly kites
he took us on walks
he worked the night shift to feed us
he was there in my life

My Dad was also an angry man
as Black men living in America must be
because anger at injustice should be expected
but he also did what angry Black men do
he went to church even though he despised it
but even as he hated church
he still took us to church
he was there in my life

My Dad at 79 continues to teach me
even as i now teach him feminism and texting
even as we teach each other forgiveness
even as he continues to teach me
about the history of Black men in America
just as he taught me Black History as a child
he is here in my life.

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talking to you for real this moment

continue
saying that
and me yours
no mistake here
i yours
no mistake here
you listened
i saw that
in you
and
value you
you asking
you valuing
you seeking
me regaining
my voice
continue
to be
exactly
who you are
what you are
i owe you
much i wish
to give

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what erotic subjectivity looks like part 1

female sexuality
female subjectivity
erotic subjectivity
woman
unbound
untied
to childbirth
to marriage
not owned
not controlled
no fear
no shame
no mask
speaking
consenting
deciding
being.

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fast forward to the good parts

you’d get it all
if you said it
plain and clear
clarity on what
this is between us
way i see it
intimacy begins
with synergy
brain and spirit
even if you thought
Lynch’s rabbits
went too far
we could still
Romance like Breillat
or look for
that indy movie
with no rating
like Cronenberg’s Crash
but gets you
hard enough
to bend me
over a table
lights still on
you could
get to know me better
like sharing poetry
while we watch
collapse of the West
under the weight
of our collective desires
unrequited
or long walks
in the park
discussing the absurdity
of human existence
in the 21st century
as well as looking
for any reason to lick
your lips before
kissing you.

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which floor?

motion upwards
belly feels that pull
joints creaking
car groaning
two talking

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timeline of why part one

you danced solo
circling as you
took in the crowd
greeting and reading us
first time
you appeared
moved familiar gait
open to all who
truly saw you
needing us
to remember
i forgot
i met you before
you already knew me
never explaining how
but
you danced
you danced
you performed
tempo changed
i forgot
how to waltz
like i forgot
how to ride a bike
and i still
dont know how
to dance
without stumbling
or why
you asked me
to dance

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American Nightmare

After reading Kevin P. Keating’scleveland-visitor-bureau post in Salon.com, “Cleveland’s Heart of Darkness,” I felt a need to respond to his description of racism and classism in my hometown:

I lived it everyday in suburbia. I faced it everyday, as did my parents, brother, and most of my relatives. My parents thought moving to Bedford Heights would protect us from the ills that plague our culture–it was there in suburbia–just hidden under euphemisms.

This latest incident in Cleveland comes as no surprise–but through it all, the people still come together even when the rich and privileged don’t care. Notice I didn’t say that this was about race. Race is only one part here–SOCIAL CLASS has ALWAYS been the measurement by which the institutions and those running them have dispersed services and care in most cities. You see just as many if not more poor Whites getting ill-treatment as Blacks and Hispanics. We just tend to be locked up at higher rates.

To be poor is to be invisible in this country. That, to me, is part of the horror story unfolding in my hometown.

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