Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday 13th Before Lunch....& After

Before Lunch

We ain’t doin’ time,
like convicts convicted;
Be we got
convictions like church believers
in Christ, & the Holy Trinity.
Be wise like the Father,
Fight like the Son…
Don’t just sit there
like some damn indigent
holding a sign—
I need you,
to work like
the time you complete
will clear yo’ mama’s left ventricle
of all the cholesterol she’s collected
for the last 30 years
I need you to
work like
your last is your first,
& your first is like
fist of fury, flying
& blind men walkin’
all over the world are in

I understand
how difficult it is
to focus on flat screens
from a laptop as your
teen-age hormones are
raging against the system,
we ain’t even talkin’ ‘bout sex.
It’s a matter of
knowing your surroundings
knowing your place
It’s finding integrity
amongst a table full
of cheats,
it’s staying awake,
persevering &
bending just enough of
the rules
to make it through the class.
It’s fucking high-school,
in the hood,
in a cold ass room
recovering credits with a teacher
in a Negro League jersey.
(but they don’t get that last part.)
And it’s the most,
because respect, rules, limits,
and relationships
go hand in hand
to create this atmosphere,
this learning space,
this, room 118.

When they,
come in
more quiet than church mice,
I wonder if it’s because
they struggle with English
or they’re just shy.
With one, I can’t lie,
let him slide by
b/c the young man
handles his biz; kinda look
the other way when
thumb swipes @CellPhoneFace
It’s the quiet class, the chill
class, the break in my day,
I’m almost ashamed to
collect money on.
Almost like,
my students are almost focused
Almost like
my students are almost working
Almost like
I didn’t even come close to
believing that bald faced lie,
and allowing him to leave.
That phone shit can wait if
you expect to graduate.
Almost like
damn, you’re so close, you had
so many 2nd chances
Almost like damn;
you’re busted, you’re a cheat
Almost like damn you can’t focus.
Almost like, you almost graduated
Almost like, these students
almost impressed me.
Now it’s that shallow time when
you’ve thrown in the towel &
you’re just waiting for the bell to

Fuck these kids
Fuck this school
Fuck these teachers
why does it feel like
I’m working
harder than the kids

Somehow good interactions
removed all
anxiety, frustration, & pisstivity

….After Lunch

Last class,
last pass,
last time I tried
was before lunch.
So when room is
filled with hoodlums from
hood-slums, smellin’
worse than Denver’s finest—
Fuck you,
bathroom passes for everyone,
hoping that
every child bails
at 2:28pm
2 minutes before the bell rings.
Happy Friday,


Friday, September 29, 2017

For National Poetry Day (In Protest)

Before hands
raise high,
to darkened sky;
Before 1 & 2
come together
& day goes by,
allow the pen
to gather might
from the mighty
& clarify the cause.
It’s not about
an anthem, or flags, or
kneeling, or NFL players
or the NBA.
It’s about MURDER,
& Crooked Cops,
and a president,
presiding over INJUSTICE
with a smile, & wink
to white supremacy.

If this were a school of
elementary students,
we could
“shame the ‘right’”
for thinking, and acting, and
being, so wrong—
Alas, it is not,
but if this were
a class
with the leader at the top,
he’d surely be
an ass,
and our knowledge base
would drop
as some are not
heeding the lessons
of our past.

I will not
be a slave today
or tomorrow
or next week
Not for your
corporate greed
or freedom of speech
You cannot
buy my silence
by placing the face
of my foremother
on the 20-dollar-bill.

This is for
the people and
poets and
protesters and
victims of storms
amassed by factors
the federal government
says it doesn’t exist.
We shall not
be sheeple,
to be herded and
ignored; shaved and
taken advantage of.
You will see us
in the streets,
tired and weary with
worn shoes and
heavy hearts
yet full of
life and opposition.

For we are
the people, and protesters,
and victims of storms,
amassed by
the factors the federal government
trapped in an unfair justice system
with a president
presiding over
injustice, with a
wink & a smile

to white supremacy.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Past the Midpoint (Poem)

So because we’re past the midpoint of this year, and I’ve clearly failed in my goal of writing, editing, and posting more…
I’m going to write a poem today.
One for the masses;
for mothers and fathers with
premature babies,
stuck in hospital rooms, with
incubators or isolettes.
With teeny tiny diapers,
allowing only the NICU nurse to change them.
I didn’t get to change my daughter’s first diaper.

It sucked. But then
I saw her mother hold her
for the first time,
and I saw my family
for the first time
and I began to breathe
for the first time,
in a long time.
And my life changed
as the country changed leadership,
and the ship that 
seemed to Hope,
couldn’t float, and in waves
we took to the street — 
In solidarity and confusion
we asked:
What did we just do? How in the hell
did that happen?

Then true colors were shown
in Charlottesville,
when words were not strong enough
and hoods removed to display
in all his divisiveness.
And we had to remember,
this is not post-racial,
there is no post-racial.
 But there are clocks
with hands, that can be
turned back.
I am a father now,
I must continue to fight
for what is right,
for what is fair.

And still more disasters,
happened in Houston, 
while 45 tweeted book promos,
and complaints.
I worried about the 
people in waters brown, up to 
knees, flooded cars, lives in ruin.

Reminding me of Katrina,
while my own father was dying;
Reminding me 
I am now a father.
I must continue to educate, 
and document. 
To remember, 
to be able to show the future
what went wrong.

Under the shadow of dual jobs;
one as educator, the other as 
caretaker for schizophrenics,
there was yet one more 
DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Defined by 44,
Destroyed by 45.

To be alive in such a 
that so much could occur in such short
that so much ignorance could stew in such little 
I have no time, as dual jobs defer
my days from my daughter;
I make precious moments count.
Counting with her, showing her colors, 
while carrying her on my shoulder, watching her smile,
I let her know, it’s ok.
I let her know, Daddy’s here.

Through all the recent 
hopeless disasters 
the country has gone through,
we’re still here. Mama’s here, Daddy’s here,
and so is she.

My little fighter. Born three months too early,
she fought through tubes, and wires,
isolettes, and first touches with rubber gloves,
instead of soft Mother’s skin.
She knows of disaster, even if 
she’s too young to comprehend. 
She is not afraid, she shows no fear,
she faces it,
head on like hurricanes heading to the shore.
She is certain she will make it.
And I, her father
am reassured.

©2017 Clarence 

Monday, February 27, 2017

2 & 1/2 Weeks of New (Series Remainder)

New II

Still true; New day under
new sky, new sun, new clouds—
But today is cloudy.
Sun only able to peer through & around.

Storm front comin’;
time to stock up on
can goods of
       I got this
       super-confidence with a cape &
       fake it till you make it
New day still—
       not like yesterday
       like toward the end
       when we had to pull
       $ out the atm
       like pullin’ a rabbit
       out our ass &
       pardon my French
but my chi must of
made a sharp left turn
bout noon, and
       Ain’t caught up with
       my ass yet.

where is the balance



New Day
       New doubt
       like icewater
on marble floors
       at 5 degrees

Familiar frosty;
       not like a
       chocolate wendy’s
       the kind that deals
       with shoulders &
       Turn your
       Back on me
       & go Back
       where you came
       (Tuesday Night)

new day


New Iv

New Day,
New Day,
New Day,
Ideal situations
never exist & imagination
fails you in the future

New Day
Arguments like
       zig-zags for puffers—
       Always around.
And round 2 came Wednesday
evening when she wanted
to talk for 5
       By the end of 5
       it was like a
       count of 5
       this lightweight
       was laid out on the canvass

new day
New day
New job brought
       new exhaustion
       to an old body
       as the old part-time
peeked his head out

at old part time,
       white lady with crazy hair
       hired new manager
       with power issues
       while all black staff
       are called boy & travel
       with white shadows.
       Stress level loc-high

       & if this s.o.b. say one mo’ thang…

handed in shirt, keys, & badge
       shit felt good


New V

New Day
       Good Day
fears met convictions
& convicts
got hold of the keys
stitches met patches
& holes
they thought were
too deep
were covered
under a salty shine.

New Day
       New Feeling
where ½ beds
were made whole
and 1+1  =3
and balanced equations
equal communication
and good days (are)
       (A) New Day
where success
is found under
rubble piles of
because we refuse
to allow our
shadows to lead

Be clear &
in your new days
new experiences
new relations
make room for
learn to
       embrace them
For one is never
however words & actions

new days


New VI

Be Well,
       be mindful, be awesome, be true
Be Present in all
you do
       be beautiful
       be confident
       be strong
       be you,
Be present
in all you do

Question &
Bravery is a skill—
Respect it
Develop it
Use it at will
       Be willful
       Be respectful
       Be determined
       & move
Be present
in all you do



creatures of habit
grinding to a halt
in traffic
same spot, same space
every morning
making grooves w/
two step motion
radiophiles drone on
over rainbows &
Mariah Carey

Why can’t they
create a
affordable flying car
that works

creatures of habit—
       This is not a
       dress rehearsal, or
       private practice for just the
       offensive line—
       This shit’s live!
       Training to work with
       the mentally ill is mandatory;
       we need your
       mind, your body, &
       your soul
       so please leave 
       habits of traffic, 
       baby, baby mama,
       doctor appointments &
       how ever many 
       lost hours of sleep you’re searching for
       due to binge watching Netflix—

creatures of habit
attempting to house it’s soul
on corners of
intense insanity, we
sugar-coat down to

But keep living, keep
striving, keep complicating
knots till the oceans
your eyes uncross,
& stomach unlocks

The repeat that ish—


(Tuesday 2/14/17)

The number
two ones
added together
makes 3,
or two,
on how you see things
on 2.14.17
It’s a numbers game.

Got me
what am I doin’
why this, why this
the number
Math subtracting
down like life ain’t

1 & 1
mirror image
images of a
four passenger family car
pulling up on
4 wheels
with four family members
in the rearview.



You can always scream to God
& see if it’ll help.
Or sleep & dream of
rabid puppies
tearing at the flesh of your problems

We network w/our neurosis
in hopes for a better life;
Limping along a beaten path
to the left
our happiness
to the right
our strife.

Sometimes we
make babies with people
we’re not madly in love with,
but love them regardless,
and complicate it
by trying to
figure it all out.
       you can always scream to god
       & network w/neurosis
in hopes for the right answers
& a perfect life.

It is usually  hard
starting a new job;
it is even harder
when life hast it’s
left foot up your
       you can always scream to God
& network with your neurosis.