Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Timelines & Poetry...Poetry & Timelines

So it's been a balanced start to the new year.  I could say a hellish one, but that would refuse to recognize  the good that's occurred--AND THERE HAS BEEN SOME GOOD!! 

So I think I'm going to do this post a little different, and kind of present a time-line of events if you will, because I think that will put things in a better perspective.  So here goes, and please forgive me as my memory is not what it should be, so somethings, may be off.

  • Jan 8, 2019 Fiance' Friend comes to town to help out for the week as new baby will be born 
  • Jan. 9, 2019 New Life happens and my baby-girl is thrust into world.  We all love Naomi!
  • Jan. 11, 2019 Fiance mother comes to town to help.  (Love GranMa, no issues so don't even think about stirring the pot--lol) 
    • *Note both my parents are deceased
  • Jan 12, 2019 Baby and Mom come home, Friend leaves, GranMa still there.  Big ole happy family!
  • Jan 18, 2019 GranMa leaves 
  • Jan 21th- Feb. 4th off from both jobs
    • Had a great time  with my family, realized just how much Moms do! Big Shout Out to Stay At Home Moms!!
    • Got reacquainted with my 1st born, now 1.75 years old!  She is either on and going, or off, down and sleep!
  •  Jan 30th Received call from Vice Principal; was told my contract for next year would not be renewed and that my position for next year would not be available.  Essentially told I would not have a job for next fall.
    • So this is a three-fold event:
      • 1. This is my second job, that I have at a school.  Of the jobs I have/had this is the lesser paying one
      • 2. I still have/will have checks coming in through July.  But I knew waiting all winter to try and get a job during spring and/or the summer is pretty iffy
      • 3. Didn't really enjoy the rest of the time off because now I'm stressing about needing to find additional employment for supplemental income
    • So I'm like damn how you get fired on like, paternity leave??  Can a black man get a break??  Could the timing be any worse.
  • Feb. 1st--Starts applying to jobs
  • Feb 2nd Back to work at the hospital (Schedule is Tu-Sat) easy shift, and easy way to ease back into things.
    • Also co-workers were super supportive and loving!! They showered little Naomi and family with gifts! Love my hospital co-workers!!
  • Feb 4th back at the school, also back grinding.  Continues grinding put in several applications for positions.  A brotha like me don't wait around.  Got two kids--'gotta keep the heat and lights on!'
    • Gets word from counselor, that someone emailed her, because she's my reference (Also a damn good counselor, also a damn good friend!!)
  •  Week of Feb. 4th just hella emotional.  Didn't want to be at the school, but I'm a man dammit, so we grind it out.
  • Feb 5th I received an email in regards to application--They want a phone interview, and I'm like hells yeah let's do it tomorrow!  
    • *But it's weird because it's not the same company who asked my co-worker/supervisor for a reference 
  • Feb 6th I get another email from a third company in regards to my resume, and they want to do a phone interview on the 7th.  So at this point I'm all in. 
    • My phone interview with the 1st company went well.  I had a second interview with another company set for the 7th.  Then I received a call from the company the counselor talked to and they said they wanted to interview me. 
  • By the end of the week I had face to face interviews scheduled for the 11th and the 14th.  (One on the 11th, with a different school district, two on the 14th with different non-profits)
  • Feb 11th interview with the school district went real well.  I felt there was a connection, but wasn't sure.
  • Feb 12th GranPa comes (still no issues, love GranPa, and still don't even think about stirring the pot--lol) 
    • He and fiance were able to get a lot done for our house, and it's always good to catch up with GranPa
  • Feb 14th Valentines Day--we just had a baby, and I was told I wouldn't have a 2nd job come the fall...ain't nobody thinkin' bout no romantic love--We Real Up In Here! (lol) 
    • Scheduled to be off from the school job, because had interviews set for am and pm
    • 1st interview went ok.  Didn't feel a real live connection, but went fairly well.
    • 2nd interview was interesting because it was for two positions.  One for an administrative role, the other for more of a role working directly with mental health people.  
      • Of course the 2nd role ended up being more of a fit.  Interview was good, somewhat hard to read, but I think we both got a good feel for how we could work stuff out
  • Feb 15th GranPa leaves
  • Feb 15th Cousins arrives
    • (mind you, still all her family)
    • Cousin is cool, they go out with Fiance and the kids.  My oldest shows who she is, but she's 1.75 years old...that's to be expected.  Plus she's cute as all get out.
  • Feb 16th we all head out to the kid restaurant that both Fiance and Cousin loved as kids, and of course we take our babies
    • Note: I'm tired after working two jobs and having interviews all week, but suck it up and go out that afternoon with everyone before work
    • We had a good time, but 1.75 got tired, and showed out a little bit.  Looking back, there was some really good communication between Fiance and I, and some recognition too.  So we made it through that Saturday.
  • Feb 17th No extended relatives, just the immediate fam.  No jobs to go to.  We rested well.
  • Feb19th  Got word from the other school district.  Got that job baby!! It's the one I really wanted of the three.  The schedule is right, the kind of work is right, and the money is right.

So I go through this whole time-line to show, there has to be some understanding.  There will be pitfalls, but there will also be joys.  Some things will be missed, others made.  There has to be balance. So in honor of time-lines and balance, I present to you some poetry (as if you wanted MORE to read) Enjoy this little piece, and enjoy perspective of balance.

There are some time-lines we find
to be extremely extraordinary.
Others be rough patches  of reality.
We recognize enjoyment while 
attempting to 
exit anger, block out negativity, & accept beauty.
All things do not occur at once,
your car will not break down
at the immediate moment
your scratch-off wins you $800,000.
Nor will you find
complete happiness
at your highest climax,
with your 37th sexual encounter.
(However, that shit might be bomb,
  for about 73 minutes!)
Timelines follow universal order,
when disorder appears to 
dominate your being. 
Balance is a biah; but...
it, serves, purpose.
It. Serves. Purpose.
Try to remember that 
when your well paying position,
with that high profile, billion dollar company,
texts you a pink slip,
while taking your morning constitutional
the day after your two year old
has received their 
first set of stitches--
It's balance.
Timelines are tricky &
progressive.  Always remember,
you are not where you were;
and things will occur to 
propel you forward, or 
Don't whine, remember 
winning must be unwound from 
barriers and obstacles and learning opportunities.
There is no progress without 
the struggle in regress;
you time is not
a, fixed line.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Explore (poem)

Read me.
Like Southerners love sweet tea,
Like Africans love liberty,
Like Twitter loves tweets.

Read me.

Whether white snow
be thick on the ground
or citizens be blind
& justice can't be found.

Read me.

If need-be, be
blindfold; if my color
makes your judgement
For these words universal
to the blue circle,
we all live & share,
should not matter
the skin color or
length of hair;

Read me.

And be easy
for eternity faces us all;
rich, poor,
plastic, fake,
Real as Fuck, or
plastered to the wall.
This may not be for some,
but stick wit' 'cha boy,
this ain't the only one,
so give it a try,
it ain't crack
no like
but you might just find something,
you like

Read me.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Can Speak On (poetry)

We could speak on
saddle stitchin' 7-year-olds
holdin' down buckin' broncos
with a pair of fresh J's on the shelf
and a real nice pair of boots
protectin' 10 toes...

Or go space-age love story
with sweeping strokes
of star-dust, that
in comparison to your beautiful
soul; always get lost in your eyes.

(yeah right)

We could speak on
Being in the moment
and enjoying the eyes and outlines
of mother and newborn baby.
Or imagine a day when
perfection is at the intersection
of Eternal and Happy,
float-walking with loved ones;
on thick, water rushed sands
being sucked out between gripping toes
as the tide rolls out, and
baby teeth filled smiles
roll in

We could speak on
follies and floundering;
self-doubt while searching for
a Loch Ness monster, you know is real.
Be calm. Be still.
Listen to your best heart,
then follow.

Or we could
rally the rhythm
in your soul
dominating dance moves
barefoot under fresh dust clouds
creating energy
creating breath
creating feeling
creating joy
creating me
creating you
creating we


Saturday, December 29, 2018

last for 18--spoken word

Greetings for the last time, for this year of '18.  It was a good one for me, hard, but good.  I know my family/friends have felt the grind, I know the city has felt the grind, and I know this nation has felt the grind.  So please enjoy this short one, as we put to bed one number, and wake another.  

May this end bring you peace, may the new beginning bring you renewed joy.  The typed version is just  below the video. 

Happy '19 ya'll happy 2-0-1-9!


Still there
still care, like carousels, we
ride in circles.
Don’t know if it’s the
“O” in the Word or
the “O” in the Love
we rotate on the rhythm
of past memories,
future maybe’s
consistently inconsistent
we sit silently--in comfort.
Uncomfortable in the present
so we pre-sent options
to our optics; retina scans
for social media, not
taking into account, our accounts
have been accessed for
other’s bank statements
Can’t count on the Fed
so we scale up with
fam and friends, at ends to
get ends, stay happy and
wave a limb when we can,
because some so-called triple-amputee
raisin’ Go-Fund-Me monies
for massive wall uprisin’--
These dummies so funny;
never shocked or surprised
(always stay frank--)
when the villain runs away with all
their bank,
(what do you think they’ll say?)
Stay Safe
Stay Relentless
Stay Real (as fuck) as
teen years end
on this new millennium
and the heels of hate
keep clickin’ and calendar
pages turnin’ from
18 to 19 to 20--
Maybe at or before 21, we can relieve
ourselves of the need for
guns and control elections
which were stolen by strong-hold dictators
east of us.  Unable to be seen
from Alaska’s back yard--
I think y'all get my meaning,
keep dreaming as we put
Kris Kringle to sleep,
and pull the covers up over

good ole ‘18

Monday, December 17, 2018

(Mirror Reflection) ?Workers Health Mental for Matters Health Mental Does

It is the ending of snacks, signaling the final call on the night. The fresh step of staff’s new bounce; a finale in the making. Far enough into the night, far enough into the work, for enough time passed where thin pinned patience somehow gets fatter, gets thicker, re-grows like skin cells to reach that final hour.

When the stale and musk air somehow clears just enough to breathe again, heavy fog seemingly whisks away allowing dry eyes to moisten and see gleaming, sparkling light.  Although it is dark, a day worked, is not a day wasted, and when in service to others, there is purpose. Purpose other than bottom lines of a financial sheet.
To care is the purpose, unlike any other.

Care not like cashiers keeping crush-happy canned goods from vulnerable bread loaves.  Care not like the malevolent manager fretting over late, overworked, work staff. Care not like callus teachers of their intolerable students or “the oldest professionals” of their johns, or filth collectors of full, plastic, cracked trash bins on Tuesday and/or Thursday.  

Care for unbalanced individuals; unable to function in free, yet judgemental and four cornered society.  There is no talking to yourself in the mirror, free and clear on the outs. The box will come, red and blue lights will come, handcuffs will come, the struggle, the violence, the lock, key, can’t go, have to stay, will come.  
The paranoia is real. The delusions are real.

The six small fairies standing on the edge of the doorway refusing to let them in, is real.
So the care, has to be real.

Work laughter comes at a price.  Equal to, or greater than the delusion, triggering complex and intricate paranoia, a simple giggle is like lighting the fuse for Macy’s 4th of July fireworks.
So the care has to work.

It’s the gathering; the glorious granting of group involvement which at times, is despised the most. It is inconsequential information to some who may be incompetent, but run like shoes in a Nike factory in Malaysia--consistently.  It is checking in, cornering emotional well-being, hoping and searching for some semblance of balance.

We’re tracking, and we’re tracking, and we’re tracking
Did she just dig up her nose and rub it on that other patient?...damn.
There has to be responsibility and consistency

It is the voices, and vices, the asking for medications, for Maalox, or antidepressant, or anti-psychotics. It is asking for headphones, when headphones aren’t allowed at this time, or side conversations which involve the freezing of eggs, or the loud scream of “vaginal itch” that happens right as the group gets quiet.  It is anything to avoid the prescribed activity.
Checking in is a responsibility

Suppose to help, suppose to educate, suppose to help self regulate, but the most common response is: groups are redundant.  They don’t help, I’ve heard all that stuff before, I’ve been here 7 months, none of this is helping.  What would be helpful is one on one therapy, not all the group stuff.  Even though most have not given an honest effort to trying any of the suggestions, therapies, or coping skills, that are provided during group.
Emotional well being is a responsibility

But still we hold groups, and give the information.  Sometime for the pacing man wearing headphones who needs a break in the music, to put a break to his voices.  And other times for the new patient, first time admitted, looking scared and confused.
Safety and comfort are also responsibilities.

It’s the mid-point for break, but more like the quarter point, but break happens anyway. Where a precious 15 minutes is all that’s provided, for providers to paranoid, delusional...darlings?--yeah, that’s it, darlings.  It’s the time designed to resuscitate and renovate minds’ state to stay sane...but still deal with the unstable. And we have 15 minutes to do this.

So who should be where?--ok admin, ok

It is the list for dinner, the lining up of the impatient patients, the walking outside receiving refreshing, and sometimes brisk air--depending on the season.  It’s knowing your patients are (for the most part) pretty stable; there may be some pacing, or nonsensical talk (yes nonsensical is a word and a thing), or impatience.  But seldom is there drooling, or yelling, or refusing to do what is expected/told.

It’s welfare; the health and happiness of a group. Basic needs are not always basic.  

Back on unit some may refuse the need of nutrition.  May complain and curse limited choices which may lead to confrontation. Other issues arise when patient fingers want to slide-down-throat, dislodging nutrients from inside out.  And there are those who take two bites of finger food, scrunch face in disgust, then toss it out. With a 90 pound frame, the shame comes in the psychosis of what beauty and health appear to be.

It’s welfare, sometimes providing the basic needs is not always basic.

The beginning is never boring, the unknown usually isn’t.  Many times it’s busy, bustling, and bouncing with movement erratic.  Voices ranging from whispers to crashing conversations & the occasional yell, outburst, or naked bottom urinating on the half-assed cleaned linoleum.  
It’s a psych unit, some of this is to be expected.

Clocking in, the smell is usually immediate, diaphoretic, evil and feculent.  The thought of I signed up for this, and these are patients who are sick run through cerebral cortex.  Pleasantries are exchanged in hurried manner; from “happy about to get off” coworker, to “burnt out in disbelief they’re still coming in” co-worker.  But there are smiles nonetheless.
It’s a psych unit, some of this is to be expected.

There is report, or fill-in, or daily meeting where all the juicy details are described from the shift and/or shit-shift before. Intimate particulars are described, funny stories are shared, and some plans are hashed out. There remains a consistent ‘blind eye’ to the time that patients have spent ‘locked-down’ on the unit--sometimes it is the only way to get through the morning.
It’s a psych unit, some of this is to be expected.

It’s close to mid-morning and you awake, invigorated, the air is fresh, your mind clear; you are solid with life right now.  You’re up for your coffee, or shower, or first run, or cigarette, or first kiss to the love of your life. You’re so happy to be alive.  Your thoughts are yours, there is only you.

This is early morning hypnotist brokering good will to your psyche and spirit. Complete that goal today, the reflection you see is the best reflection.  Today is your day; you rise, you assist, you succeed.

It’s like Obama was your alarm clock while Oprah threw back the covers yelling “you get today, and you get today, and you get today, everybody gets today!!!”

Today you got this, confidence rides in the sole of your shoe boosting your steps with bounce and vigor.  Face the world with the fact that you can care for others because, I can take care of me.

I can take care of me.
I can take care of me
I can take care of me.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Odd Jobs & the #WritingCommunity

Odd jobs will always be a thing that writers will have to deal with.  Writing doesn't always pay the bills, and friends with ends to lend, ain't always around.  In this new age of self/desktop/immediate publishing, there is still the need for the odd or creative way to gain financial independence.  Some of these odd jobs may include bus driver, campground host, hotel clerk, cutting hair, or substitute teaching.  Whatever you do, it's suggested that you find a job with a high wage, so you can do it part time.

For me, I've found working in education and human services/mental health fields to be rewarding financially.  At times each have not been rewarding emotionally.  In education I deal with youth, it can be hard, they can be lazy, and everyone makes bad decisions.  Mental health has it's moments too; intense situations, arguing patients, issues with family members, etc. etc. etc.

However recently I put out a tweet I didn't expect to get much from.  But there it was, writers from

all over talking about their wonderful and/or horrible side gigs.  I am still amazed, still in awe; to date there have been over 8000 impressions and counting.  Now I'm not sure if that's viral (probably not) but it does make me feel damn good about the wonderful #WritingCommunity on Twitter!!

I mean there were teachers, SPED teacher, professors, field engineers, HVAC technician, legal assistants medical assistants and students of all kind!

One person checked in and said they worked in hell (ha!)  Not really, their hell was a call center; but if it had goats, then it would be a different story.  There was another who said he was a male dancer--I understand, it takes all types. There were even some lobbyist (for non-profits), and sufferers of PTSD and CPTSD. There was even a guy there who like me, who busted out two jobs--think he was a firefighter and doing construction.

Connections are amazing!  They are the beginnings of our stories, or little reminders that we are not alone, or reads that make us chuckle, then get back to the grind.  It is good to know that the community is strong, and though there are obstacles (like hellish jobs) we continue to write.  We continue to imagine, continue to write, continue to connect with each other in weird and wonderful ways. 

So keep banging out those odd jobs, pay the bills, and write till the blood in your veins is nothing more than the word you have left on your paper.  I go by poet402, and I approved this message!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

This is father-hood

It is 16 hour days split between two jobs; a classroom full of teens, and a milieu full of crazy--schizophrenic patients to be p.c.  It is a toddler who was a preemie, who you can't say no to, even when she says 'ma-ma' with a French accent repeatedly.  It is 25 minutes in the morning, 50 minutes in the afternoon, and about  40 minutes past 11, smoking wonderful cigarettes behind the drivers seat of a 99 Cadillac, riding.

This is father-hood.

There is no such thing as time off, no such thing as true rest, no such thing as me time.  It's no longer about me.  It's about the girls.  By the time old number 19 rolls in right after 20, there will be three. Two under 2, one over 18 (have no worry that's the beautiful wife), and my old ass, the only man in the house, with locs graying with each giggle, thud and diaper change.

This is father-hood.

The house is constantly rockin',  me up at 6:30 (if lucky), gone by 6:55; Mom coffee at 7:15 (if lucky) then it's toddler time.  PT, OT, up the steps, down the steps, waddle waddle waddle, play-date, lunch time, laundry, and if she's lucky, the toddler naps.  There are texts at lunch, sometimes a call, sometimes face-time on the road to "crazy", but rarely there is time for us.  I miss her, and at times thinks she misses me, when she has the time; we play dominoes sometimes, and other times shadows touch gently behind closed doors.

This is father-hood.

There is Saturday morning when she gets to wake up, and I am there.  The soft da-da wrapped in a toddling French accent is there, bright and early on a day I could sleep in.  But I haven't heard that da-da live in 5 days, so it's like ice cream for my ears.  I am always happy to hear that sound. Usually tired, usually wanting more sleep, or time alone, I am happy to see her face, and have coffee with mom.  Time is like a T-Rex bone, you don't run across that shit every day.  Saturday mornings are good times.

This is father-hood.

It is ensuring the roof, the lights, the heat, the floor, and fluffy blankets (more for comfort than warmth), are there.  It is enjoying smiles other than your own, all under one roof.  It is knowing things could have gone another way; being happy it didn't, even when times are bleak, or when emotions are angry.  It is missing mom and baby's face, as pay days create waves that bring us closer to "forever houses".  It is easy and not, responsibility and being silly, learning for her, mom, and me; it is joy.  It is something I thought I knew but never had a clue.

It is the best position I will ever hold.

This is fatherhood.