Tag Archives: like this

one by one, like a gypsy: poems from jamaica

my fingers have been itching with poems lately, and now that i’m back sharing, the digits are twitching with readiness.  so, life keeps handing me these tests.  you too?  and i keep taking them, why, because its an honor. for you too?  these poems, they are from when i was in negril last weekend, in the ocean, in the dancehalls, these poems are from when i was in kingston in the streets.


take it slow

take it slow

haste makes waste

lie makes die

and why dye

when the colors of life

just be like cry

melt all down

your thigh



hands on your chest underneath me

hotel guard wounded heavily

while you was stabbing me

they straight stabbed security

blood all down the sidewalk see

he ran away

you ran up in me



i wish i had the words

to tell you how delicious

i wish i had the words

to let you know how

do i feel

i wish i wasnt the only one

the only one, the only one

but since i am

i’ll be the lovely one

the lonely one

the lion one

the growing one

the one with no words

sings and understands the birds

incredulous i am

without words

i wish, i wish i had them

to speak of the tides

of intimacy would be too rude

even for the rude girl crude

intimacy is electric blue

gemstones jade blue

turquoise in a horseshoe

the waves they adore you

open and closed like a fist

sting ray swimming right along with

bug eyed fish

feel them limbing wish

i had written like this, like this

alas only a goddess

sun strewn

oh i wish

i knew how to write this

but i don’t, all i know

is the style of fists

and yet i don’t wish a heart open

on anyone

the open hand the open heart

the open fire the open start

the lancing and the lanced heart

wide open where do i start

oh the intimate heart

never does it end and never does it start

wishing on a star

another one fi we

who open and close

mouth, starfish, sea

are you a natural sponge

is that what you showed me

there in the cove

pirates us grow


nothing wrong

nothing wrong with a morning spliff

nothing wrong with a moonlight riff

im not talking about magic

im not talking about logic

oh me say, me say, me say

nothing wrong with enjoying your day



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april twelfth two thousand and eight

i open up the paper and what do i see

stories not meant

for me

cuz if they were/i would feel them

and in a blur/i would hear them

all the mouths screaming

bubble gum dreaming

fangs glisten gleaming

childrens faces beaming

and bleeding

for change




just a quarter

was what i asked the man for in the evening and what he gave me

was what i gave the woman seated next to me

this morning

in the dollar van on flatbush street

glossy black, shiny rims, incessant honk

tell the people you are here

i caught it after i got the strawberries, coconut biscuits, and oj

from the asian owned grocery store at beverly

it was steam coming up from big bowls of ramen

breakfast time for the workers and for the boss

one seated up front with the paper

two seated in the back together

and the lady at the register




i got on the dollar van

which just got turned a dollar fifty

and sank down between two worlds

the flying by flatbush stores

outside a people overworked, floored

inside the rope attached to the door

a driver pulled out smiles from every west indian core

expose soca smile

why dont you stay a while


u wan me l8?

he’s up there counting his 1’s and 5’s

at every red light

heads up and fight

this way

warm and with smile

dollar van

i like your style


up this spring

trees bloom like bling

cant help but to sing

and bring


morning dove

come give me a hug


here goes some tuna

for your rug

and some humor

for that persistent bug

i heard that persians were gloomy

and vietnamese cats were not to be fucked with

and black folks will cut you

and gujrati homeless hotel owners pimp their guests

and a nigga like me is still on my quest

and im thirty

and my smiles so dirty

you could see it cream

spring dream

come clean

don’t be mean

cuz outside

the war is on

the snack bar is now open

and between my hands

is a prayer

one less layer


please one less layer


free tibet/free me

be tibet/be me

then tell me

who to hate


as ever,


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