Monday, May 29, 2006

4 days off and?

ive needed time to sort through things.
dont know what the conclusion is, as i seem to be
still working thru it

dont know where that will lead me
or leave me

what i do know is this.
i dont like sometimey shyt.
never have -- never will.

i am who i am
always have been

even now. i worry about you
but i cant walk you thru this
i can ask you to be honest with yourself

that is something only you will find
within. and then it will make sense

this whole world
this crazy place
these painful times

will envitably work themselves out
with or without your consent

[ed note: on friendship and the importance of sisterhood]

Thursday, May 25, 2006


so like she says,

"we have to be careful what words we use while performing for this kids"...

[ed note: the kids are pregnant teenagers or new teenage mothers, most abandoned,
some from rougher than rough sides of life -- and all censored all the time.]

i respond


to be continued

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

last chance

Penmanship Publishing Group

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONSHIS RIB: stories, poems and, essays by her.
(editors: Mahogany L. Browne & Bassey Ikpi)
Foreward by: Patricia Smith

This anthology is open to women writers featuring poems, essays, prose,fiction, non-fiction, memoir and monologues.

Submissions should fit intothe category below:
Self- reflection (self-love, how-to, etc)
Laugh Lines
Political/Socio-Political (investigative, etc)
Individuals may submit up to five pieces (short stories/essays no more than 5,000 words) to either or

Mahogany L. Brownec/o Penmanship Publishing
52A Carmine Street NY, NY 10014
Submission Deadline: June 1, 2006

Submissions should include a separate page with your bio, picture and
contact information (email and phone number).

Contributors will receive a copy of the anthology and selected authors
will be invited to participate in the Penmanship Bookstore Tri-City Tour
Fall 2007.

gotta catch up

books i've gotten but have yet to read (insert sigh here):

house on childress street - family memoir (by my friend kenji)
artist's way (thx christa)
bell jar by sylvia plath
yo by julia alavrez
hollering creek woman by sandra ciscernos (and a book of poems)
edible woman by margaret attewood
writer on writing by m.a.
100 million pieces by you know who

and 3 other attewood books!
want to reread even dogs go home to die. and pearl cleage's deals with the devil...

i will be taking a trip to kansas city friday evening, so i will have a great chance to finish atleast two books... which is way cool.
countdown for summer. 3 more weeks of classes, then i have nothing. just me myself and him. amari will be soaking up the cali sun and i will be bklyn bound. jam on it will be running as well as our new open mic in bklyn @ good morning blue

looks like its gonna be a busy one

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

days past...

there will always be moments where you are tossed back into a place or time.

i recently visited that place.

it was a bad place. one that i pretended didn't affect me.

the fact that my skin was browner than a paper bag.

the fact that i had a gap-toothed grin, rather than a perfected colgate smile.

the fact that i had more curves than a race track...

and now - i feel like im that lil' girl again.

all unknowing and ill-fitted.

irregular like the socks no one wants in the bargain shop.

i feel like this just by browsing pages on myspace.

arguing over stupid ish.

and coming into my PMS. yes, i know. it will pass

but what if it doesnt? and furthermore, what if i dont want it to?

within seconds, i have discovered friends and rediscovered humans that will leave me to fend for myself without a second glance.

i am lonely during these times the most.

is that why i am giving of myself so much?

why i wait for phonecalls. recheck email. offer my heart wait for it to be stomped out like fire.

is this why i open myself to everything without every opening myself to what's perfectly right?

am i afraid if i wait for the rightness to come, i will be a blank open space filled with void and promise.

am i tired of loathing and suffering, liars and cheaters, ego stricken maniacs and the like?

and when will i stop waiting for friendship in turn for unconditionality?

when will i stop revisting that lil' high school girl that waited for everyone to see the beauty without sacrificing my virginity?

when will i let her come out of the shadows and stop dancing and smiling and helping and hoping to be loved with familiar hands? with genuine warmth?


Thursday, May 18, 2006

workshopping 2: pick a word

we were given words by the class (serene and i) then instructed to write a group poem (harder than u expect - trust me they whine about that one anyway) but here are the words:


and here is what i got:

She powerful vessel
outspoken freak society

she throw hips to the wind
and tongue in his ears

he yell nicknames like slut
swear her ministry be of the red light persuasion

show loyalty to the testimony of his rib
she smile sweet

swallow betrayal like sugar
infatuated with the blue fly
feeling she gets

swirling butterflies into cocoon havens
rub her womb
stirring sentiments

call her she-devil
birthing worlds
despite the wind

workshopping: NOOSE

personification exercise with my kids. this is what happened with my topic.


She spilled tears across my face
praised the heavens like
they could save her from my vengeful grip
i never start the madness
insteady they employ my unbiased hands to do their dirty work
and all she did was dance in the night
turned apples to cider
when moonlight slumber couldn't keep her
and i watched
sure they would trail her footsteps of freedom to a halt
and sometimes
i moved with her
let the wind carry my torso like paper
like feathers
like lover's hearts a flutter
i moved for her
until i heard their footsteps
watched them snatch away her smile
stifle her spirit
bound by fear until she dangled
in my reach
whispering my grip wouldnt block her view of the moon

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


because being too loyal can be a conflict within oneself...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

grudge lift


yea you. im sorry i hate you so hard. let me rephrase that. im sorry i dislike you so much. but i no longer do. as of now (actually, as of april 20th) i no longer give a flying rats ass. it does me little good to think so low of you when i can just stop thinking about you altogether. it's easier for both of us. i think. wouldn't you agree? so there it is. the ax buried. beneath your bones restful sleep, my pretty. i will think of you like i think of hemorroids. only if you should pop up and bother me. but otherwise, not at all.

here's to growth.

mahogany l. browne

my baby is growing up

checkin' out flights so lil mis thang can take her first plane ride to cali...

my grandmother said hurry, the guy said uh? and my heart said breaking now - stand still

Monday, May 15, 2006

what's the difference?

difference between poets and emcee's... i've worked with both extensively. as a producer of the hottest battles for the underground emcee (before fight klub & 106 & park -- but after blaze, resectfully). and as a poet on tour - full time for the past 5 years. its hilarious, the similarities. the shyt that makes them both nutty, besides the fact they are both roles in an artform revered. i dunno... peep it. add some of your own if you like. i dont give a F&K!

the difference:
poets are allowed to be sensitive and smile -- emcees are expected to be growling animals ALL THE TIME (minus my lil bro PEN PEN - huggy bear of this rap shyt!)

poets can't get dat huge endorsement (minus b. grey) dat rappers and basketball players have benefited from. Wheaties doesn't see the million dollar venture in a stanza, just yet!

poets that move crowds of 1000 plus can walk thru an airport with someone saying "boo" whereas even a booty rapper (see Nick Cannon pre-WILD n OUT) waits for the paparazzi at the pretzel stand in JFK Airport.

poets still have to endure the bizarre questions of "can you rap? well, can you" or even worse "do you sing poetry?!"


poets do have just as many groupies as rappers (even the poorly written pompous poets get booty offerings).

poets have egos. huge ones. just like rappers. even if it's unwarranted. ( i mean just because you went platinum dont mean your good. it means your label bought a lot of albums. and just because you won a slam doesnt mean you are better than anyone else. it means you had a good night.)

more to come... family feud is coming on!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

leave it to me and this mother's day gift

nothing really matters
not slam
not poetry beef
not hip hop beef
not wanabees
not lip synching
not image friendly-marketable treason
not babies gone wild commiting suicide via MTV

no reason for laughing
no joy to the world
santa's coming
he's got the easter bunny
with a mulatto sidekick
no hate on hate blackness
humanity's crying
pick at their tears like a parent
and see the horse with a mouth wide open
gums bleeding our flags waving

tell me this ain't teen spirit

suicide note prepared in the GOV'T's scripthand
food stamp scars tattoed across the wrists for
every single mother turned away
she's only allowed one day to breath
today is her moment
to forget the cable and light bills
the kids' school clothes
the laundry, the man that left her - the man that wants to leave - the man that loves her regardless of her heavy womb
this is her moment
to disappear behind the smiling mask
make it geisha
comfort women
mary magadelene
proper whore for today

before the abortions
the miscarriages
the stairway to heaven
the this
the um
the bap
the this
the um
the bap
the birth

the mother
holding masking tape against the corners of liberty's mouth
teaching her to take notes
sideline silenced
wooden sticks with rubber slip grips,
standing pretty

Saturday, May 13, 2006

nuyorican grand slam champ is..............

not me...
archie the messenger took it. and he worked his ass off for it. i love that he has a great attitude. very nice, indeed. and last nite. there was nothing i could say. i mean, really.

however, my new friend archie - could have farted the dictionary and got a 10 on effort and originality! slam be like that, never a given...

roger once told me something in the airport lounge. its beyond his sexually deviancy (lol)... he told me, as long as you LEAVE YOUR HEART on stage that's all i ask for!

and last night. that's what i fukn did. so...least, im not bitter.

it could be worse

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

girl talk -- so so a work in progress. but whatever

because i woke up this morning
sun shrouding behind clouds
daunting me a whim of remorse
its my fault
i hold baggage like women hold dead fetuses
praying over the lifeless limbs as if this would bring them back
instead it is you
allowing me to cradle each mistake brow heavy woman
you remind me of my mother
minus the crack pipe addiction and swollen eyes
shutting me out because my love was just a little too tough
for texture sake
say it aint so
why women love like the demon possessed us as we lunge forward everything high school took away
we dont love ourselves enough and wonder why he cant love us like the movies
but pretty woman is still a film about a trick buying a whore's love for a week
still, id trade it in for these secrets
these voices
these shadows that haunt me like wolverine scraping my abdomen
who made the rules
scribbled the position of my heart on a napkin and tossed it softball fast pitch
vocal training was never about finding your voice
and if my rambling randomness frightens you
youre lucky
it means there is a shred of sanity still clinging to the creaks of your bones
cartilage deflecting fear of the unknown
i dont want to know anymore
want to find the space that allows bliss to become home
with flowers on mantles, i think daises would be perfect
and warm baths with candles to protect my angels
steam heaven, id laugh
lather myself a new woman
name her me
cherish all that i hold
and be
happy with

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

uh oh

what in the hell just happened?

Monday, May 08, 2006

i'm sorry momma

i never meant to hurt you -- i never meant to make you cry, but tonight i'm cleaning out my closet!

that's where i am right now. cleaning the hell outta my apartment. movin' thangs around until they suit a more refined me. cleaner. more space. less junk. more focused. i can't wait. but i have to figure out the shoe situation. i mean really. i have about 70 pair just sititng here - looking at me... most of them have boxes because the baby cat Cosi decided she liked italian leather too soon in her life for me to try and kill her.

i am happy for my sis, Bassey. she is going to be a great one. for someone more important than those that sit in the audience and judge... trust me sweetie. you were born for this :)

ive been working out more reguraly. it hurst more than you know. atleast i dont hate it as much anymore.

and the foot. oh boy. the foot is still all hell, i've just learned how to ignore the pain and remove the shoes quicker. i cant wait for the operation that will straighten them out and allow me to rock my shell toes once more... huuuuuwaaaa

i can't write

i will work on it. something in this will make you feel alive.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

so far

i've become accoustmed to missing days out of my life. it is a never ending cycle these days. up @ 700am. amari to school, gym on most days, 5 - 7 workshops every day, pick amari up, think of writing, fall asleep instead. last night i was able to host the nuyorican's 1st teen group slam. and these kids were phenomenal. i was finally able to see NJ in their entirety -- which was dope and amazing beyond belief. then urban word's two teams came thru (RHODE ISLAND wasn't available) and did the damn thang as well... do they still say that? do the damn thing?

catching up with cats on myspace is seriously scary. did i type that outloud? probably... but it is. and i am waiting to see how i make it not effect my life more than a comment page or email session that lasts over 2 hours. because my time is worth so much these days.

though you probably couldnt tell with my lack of blogging -- i am certainly feeling my way around in the dark with sunglasses! but i am here. and thinking of the future. thinking of the nationals and how that will pan out this year. i am going regardless if i make the team or serve as coach... i am happy to leave the dramatics behind. though im not sure the dramatics wants to leave me.

which leads me to now. it will always be something or someone to fuk with your momentum. someone challenging your shine for whatever reason. someone questioning your word, your womaness, your writing, your worth. always there in the shadows -- in the crowd -- under your arm, acting as friend. i realized it will always be that way because we are usually a trusting people. but the endurance of it is what will separate us from them. them being under-developed humans. i mean, how else will they learn how to become civilized? become human again. not pure - still dented and learning, but trying. trying to be better than leeches.

only their actions can prove this. we cannot walk them thru the fire. we cannot hand them the cliff notes to life.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

divorce court

judge maybeline said "there is no glory in NOT asking for something"

wow... im so looking for those child support papers, again...


lend me your ear
let me cut the cartilage clean from your flesh
this is easier than loving you
easier than tucking in your fears at night
when you refused to call your children by first name
lend me your hand
let me slice away the life that beats beneath your callouses
gun heavy hand weighted with decisions born into breath
i see you shaking
wishing everything real to dim and dull in the light
leave you the shadows to bait with your tongue and prayer
tuck the babies away from the window, you offer
your only parental guidance yet
this makes you feel better
to offer advice about windows
when the open doors bare fangs

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

so i promised

myself - -that i would write a poem today

then i remembered i had a teacher's meeting
rent due
5 classes to teach
and another hair appointment

i want to find my breath again, ya'll. i want to find my self again, ya'll... i want to write cause i can

Monday, May 01, 2006

so what's next

i heard a man crunch a woman's spirit today. the process of bklyn desensitizing is a hideous ritual. as a woman. i should clutch my womb and moan for her. but now - i just reach for my cell, breath still even, and dial 911.

we talked about this. how its not always a man's fault. but then - im from a bruised heart. from the hills of a woman's submission. i have been birthed to realize when a blow is coming. how to duck tight and hold still. not that i've had to.


i began to swing first. when the argument heightned and the idea of his hand against my flesh in anything remotely negative swam behind my eyes -- i began throwing punches. tossing furniture - swinging fists into sheetrock. i wasn't prepared for anything that tasted like blood. it never got that far. i always had the hands of a gentleman hold me. even if their hands tasted like other feminine forms -- they never physically abused me. i was lucky.

i am lucky.

we sat in the front seat of his car watching the man kickstart the blood into her chest. he wasn't trying to save her. but the way she flailed her arms in defense, you might've thought differently.

or when i watched him throw another her ontop of the hood of the car by the throat. then pick her up with the same hands that probably loved her hours before and toss her against the concrete. she told him he wasn't shit afterwards. as if those words would cut any deeper than the gravel still stuck against her skull.

or when we walked from a poetry venue in harlem. and the crack addicted couple argued in the middle of the street. we stared like the rest of them. even when he took the women's crutches and bashed her against the head. then carried her off like a neanderthal. the bodega workers laughed together and i stood there. stinging from the pain that must've been hers to hold, feeling like i owed her more than just a witness to her humiliation. it left me feeling like i am not as lucky as i think...