neutral territory

been in one battle o’ anothuh
fo’ mos’ o’ mah adult life
an’ Jesus knows I’se tired
o’ all dis bullshit strife

dunno why some folks get happy
from spewin’ bile ‘n blight
but ah cain’t get down with dat –
all ah wanna do is write

everyone has dey problems
dey got hopes ‘n dreams ‘n fears
we all got dat in common
no need ta cause each other tears

mebbe ah’m too idealistic
thinkin’ we all had a future bright
ah kin only speak fo’ me –
‘n all ah wanna do is write

copyright © 2014 KPM

neutral territory

(sub)urban nightmares

hell is bein’ forced to see
dat which causes misery:
     racks o’ new clothes
     dat ya got no money ta buy
     handcuffs on yo’ man
     cain’t do shit but wave – bye bye
     heavy snowfall
     when yo’ landlord’s cut off da heat
     a baby boy in raggedy shoes
     too small fo’ his growin’ feet
     folks comin’ out de grocery store
     when you ain’t et in 10 days or more
     da banker dat denies yo’ loan
     dere goes da house you’ll nevuh own

hell is bein’ forced to see
other folkses misery:
     strung-out hos on corners
     endless homeless faces
     unemployed peoples
     wit’ sad defeated faces
     no pre-natal vitamins
     for dat baby in yo’ womb
     got no health insurance at all?
     bettuh start savin’ fo’ dat tomb
     men whut live in boxes
     asleep in fetal positions
     ‘n others dat you know
     strugglin’ ta survive in awful conditions

hell is when ya realize dat don’ nobody care
hell is da fear dat you could end up dere

copyright © 2014 KPM

(sub)urban nightmares

 

undecided

my beloved country is currently divided
so my everyday life is now two-sided
one group yellin’ YES whilst the other nods NO
but it’s together towards the unknown we all go

I’ve read every article – every note
I remain unsure which way to vote
I’ve no real interest in politics
but this current divisiveness I long to fix

my heart swells to see the Saltire dancin’ in the Scottish air
an’ whether yay or nay for her people I dearly care
each day that I’m here I bless those bonnie skies above
I pray for my beloved Scotland – let us remember how to love

copyright © 2014 KPM

undecided

de promised land

you laugh too loud
you smoke too much
& wit’ yo nasty walk & such
you kin fuhget about de promised land
you’ll nevuh reach de promised land

yo’ head is hard
yo’ temper’s quick
yo’ dirty jokes jes’ make me sick
you can fuhget about de promised land
you ain’t gone see de promised land

“what ah do makes me happy,
& this you’d begrudge?
when did Gawd die & make you mah judge?
all ah’ve done, all ah have
was done by mah hand,
right now ah’m in de promised land
ah am in de promised land.”

you talk too much
yo’ words are brash
& yo’ deeds ill-thought & rash
you can fuhget about de promised land
you’ll never make it to de promised land

you foreswore yo’ father
you neglect yo’ mother
you deny yo’ sistah & brotha
you can fuhget about de promised land
you ain’t wanted in de promised land

“how ah live
is mah own affair.
for yo’ words
ah have no care,
cause ah’m livin’ in de promised land
ah’m already in de promised land.”

you drink too much
& yo’ friends smoke weed
fo’ others’ thoughts you have no need
you can fuhget about de promised land
you ain’t fit fo’ de promised land

yo’ only concern is
yo’ wants, yo’ goals
& you pursue both at da cost of yo’ soul
you can fuhget about de promised land
you don’t belong in de promised land

“if narrow-minded folks
like you kin get in,
den ah’m better off
wit whut you call sin.
ah’ll make my own promised land,
ah’ll make my own promised land.”

copyright © 2007-2014 KPM

de promised land pic

American dream

there are dark corners
of the American dream
where the eyes of citizens
have no gleam
just foreclosed houses
repossessed cars
‘n old gang-bangers
with keloid scars

there are cold spots
to the American dream
where isolated citizens
in loneliness scream
high-priced rooms
where insanity hums
‘n funerals for old folk
where no one ever comes

there are decaying bits
to the American dream
where the hopes of once-happy citizens
now curdle like rancid cream
here the rich get richer
while the poor try not to mind
‘n we all pretend not to see
the home of the brave decline

copyright © 2014 KPM

American dream

a place not here

in the chilly mists of morning
every day
reluctantly they go away
hair hangs in eyes
heads hang at half mast
steps are slow
expressions downcast

weather is no deterrent
sun or snow
quietly determined off they go
to do silent battle
with grim reality
while the clock ticks down
until the moment they’re set free

copyright © 2014 KPM

aplacenothere pic

the boy with red laces

I saw a boy this morning
he had red laces in his shoes
his hair was lank & greasy
his right eye had a bruise

he wore a dirty sweatshirt
his jeans had a hole at the knee
& he shivered with the cold
as he shyly glanced at me

though the morning air was chilly
his forehead shone with sweat
as he timidly enquired
if I had a cigarette

I took out my menthol Sterlings
I placed them in his grimy hand
saying, “you can keep ‘em, dude,
‘s okay – I understand.”

he thanked me then he hurried off
this boy with red laces in his shoes
just another fragile human
with a face full of the blues

copyright © 2008-2014 KPM

red laces pic

3:40

in da record shop
is where ah wait
chillin’ wit Ricky
near da heatin’ grate
illuminated by
a florescent light
on a cold C-town
winter night
ah’m doin’ what
ah always do:
sittin’ here waitin’ fo’ you
waitin’ waitin’ fo’ you

ah’m trippin’out
on Ricky’s dirty hair
as discordant music
fouls da air
playin’ Tempest,
a borin’ arcade game
while Ricky cracks
his jokes so lame
an’ ah’m doin’ what
ah always do:
sittin’ here waitin’ fo’ you
waitin’ waitin’ fo’ you

Ricky acks me
do ah want some crack
an’ ah say
“naw, my old man’ll be back”
so he goes on an’
fires up dat pipe
its smelly smoke
makes a thin white stripe
meanwhile ah’m doin’ what
ah always do:
sittin’ here waitin’ fo’ you
jes’ waitin’ waitin’ fo’ you

at long las’ yo’ ass
breezes thru da door
yo’ imitation Timbalands
pissin’ snow on da floor
kissin’ me ‘fore you drag me
outa da shop
an’ Ricky yells “y’all wait up!”
but we don’ stop
cuz ah’m done doin’ what
ah always do:
sittin’ ‘round waitin’ fo’ you
waitin’ waitin’ fo’ you

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

340 pic

Narcissus

lemme say a few words
about Narcissus
legend has it he’d live long
if he took no missus
he had a massive mirror
that he kept on a shelf
‘n the townspeople reckoned
dude was in love with hisself

behind his house was a
big ol’ heart-shaped pool
where he’d stare at his
reflection like a dreamy fool
he was plagued by many suitors
of both sexes every day
but he hated their attentions
‘n sent everyone away

folks said he was conceited
everyone thought him vain
never occurred to anyone
that dude might be in pain
Narcissus didn’t love hisself
that really wasn’t the deal
he kept starin’ at hisself
to prove that he was real

Narcissus doubted everything:
people, time ‘n space
this constant sense of unreality
caused him to focus on his face
he heard voices in his head
“you’re not real,” they would insist
so he gazed upon hisself
as reassurance he did exist

‘twas a lonely life
‘n this is how he lived for years
seeking proof of his existence
to the echo of his neighbors’ jeers
unconvinced of his substance
at last the voices led him astray
‘n he drowned in his reflection
there to fade away

copyright © 2014 KPM

narcissus pic

zygomaticus major & minor

she smiled from day one
her daddy said, “it’s just gas”
“naw, she’s smilin’!” momma beamed
but daddy said, “you’re such an ass”

she smiled when she learned to walk
an’ when she learned to tie her shoe
an’ momma smiled while daddy grimaced
as she grinned an’ grew an’ grew

she smiled her way through school
pleased with every hard-earned A
an’ all her teachers told her,
“that smile often makes my day”

at 19 she fell in love
which really made her smile
he discovered rope at 29
her teeth weren’t seen for quite awhile

decades later, she’s still smilin’
it’s her defense an’ best disguise
an’ no one’s ever noticed
that her smile don’t reach her eyes

copyright © 2014 KPM

zygomaticus pic