Contentment

Contentment |ken’tentment|

noun

A state of happiness and satisfaction

I never knew beaches like this existed in New York. The sky coated in blackness. The moon glowing like a pearl right in front of you and I. Rays of light shine down from it like a UFO making its way to earth exposing just a portion of the ocean waters that ripple and gleam like silk and stretch to what our eyes make out as the edges of the earth, barely visible in the darkness of night. A scary but excitingly fascinating paradox. Like you.

Hours before we met by a pool in a million dollar mansion surrounded by energy and vibrations that were distantly familiar but difficult to transcribe into words. Much like those advertisements you see in middle America about what it’s like to be “the one” in the middle of it all, experiencing the high life, except this was reality and far from an advertisement. Breathing in a new experience and new place far too much of a cliche to peak my interest organically but somehow I ended up here; a subway, to a train, to a bus, to a ferry, to an island, to the edge of this pool in front of you.

Though a bit vulgar and forward in a drunken state I wasn’t off put by you (with a now developed relationship I understand that vulgarity is balanced by a deep moral compass). Once I pierced through the shell, I saw your heart light up as you word vomited about all of the meaningful things in your life. That last hour of the party we sat by the pool surrounded by at least four dozen people, but it was just you and I. I hardly remember speaking to anyone but you for 45 minutes.

Will the magic of this moment be left here on this island? I’ve been told that I could never fully enjoy things because I was always in the back of my mind waiting for them to end. Is this it? Does it all end here? That’s because in my mind perfection cannot exist undisrupted and so peacefully. My fear was strange, because I truly had no expectations, none at all, but to be in your presence. It was a strange kind of magic that still left me completely conscious and aware. Magic and total awareness; two other things I didn’t know could exist at the same time. When I close my eyes I can still hear the deepness of your laughs and see the whiteness of your teeth and broadness of your mischievous smile and the rich warm brown hues that make up your skin…… the casual smoothness of your voice when you call me “baby”. Remembering you when I close my eyes leaves me in an unwavering and unbreakable state of contentment.

It’s just a moment in time not meant for forever, not built for monogamous devotion, or contrived ideas of perfection but when the time comes for us to shift apart promise me you won’t forget me. “Say you’ll remember me, standing in a nice dress staring at the sunset, babe, red lips and rosy cheeks say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams, ah-ah-ha”

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Shit Made Gold

For nine months I forgot. The hurt was so intense I stepped away from the one thing that always ground me; writing. The day I stepped away from writing I began to lose myself more and more and it became harder and became increasingly more difficult to pick up a pen (or a key board) and get back to writing. The last time I wrote was in January about the Brown Bronx Boy, whose birthday is ironically today, the first time I have had the courage to write all year. After three years of trying to figure shit out figure my life out figure out who I was what I was doing where I needed to be and the things that made me happy. I began this year at an ultimate low

Recently I turned 26 something I dreaded because I saw was myself aging and the things I wanted and so deeply desired in life still unattained. I spent my birthday in the peace of my own company doing what I do so well meditating on thought, eating burgers and shopping. I have had luxurious birthdays spent on vacations wearing hundreds of dollars’ worth of fashions on rooftops and by the pool, surrounded by tons of people and I have had birthdays where I was too broke to leave my house. This birthday I had the resources and agency, to do virtually whatever I wanted, but I didn’t feel need to fill that space with things I thought I should be doing or things to distract me from feeling. I felt whole, I felt fulfilled

And now at his point in my life caught in between being jaded and bound by the expectations of reality society and life but still being young and carefree enough to be relevant, I feel an ultimate freedom. I am better than I have ever been, I am more beautiful than I have ever been, feel the most beautiful I have ever felt. I am wiser, more experienced I am more grounded emotionally, socially and financially than I have ever been in my life. And the greatest part of it all is I did this. I made this happen. My closest friends always tell me the one thing they admire about me is my ability to take cover shit in glitter and transform it into gold.

My life is a story, a story made for books for screens, for public consumption and I am going to tell that story by returning to what I do best, write. I am a writer.

Womanhood by Catherine Anderson

She slides over

the hot upholstery

of her mother’s car,

this schoolgirl of fifteen

who loves humming & swaying

with the radio.

Her entry into womanhood

will be like all the other girls’–

a cigarette and a joke,

as she strides up with the rest

to a brick factory

where she’ll sew rag rugs

from textile strips of kelly green,

bright red, aqua.

When she enters,

and the millgate closes,

final as a slap,

there’ll be silence.

She’ll see fifteen high windows

cemented over to cut out light.

Inside, a constant, deafening noise

and warm air smelling of oil,

the shifts continuing on. . .

All day she’ll guide cloth along a line

of whirring needles, her arms & shoulders

rocking back & forth

with the machines–

200 porch size rugs behind her

before she can stop

to reach up, like her mother,

and pick the lint

out of her hair.

Power by Audre Lorde

The difference between poetry and rhetoric

is being ready to kill

yourself

instead of your children.

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds

and a dead child dragging his shattered black

face off the edge of my sleep

blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders

is the only liquid for miles

and my stomach

churns at the imagined taste while

my mouth splits into dry lips

without loyalty or reason

thirsting for the wetness of his blood

as it sinks into the whiteness

of the desert where I am lost

without imagery or magic

trying to make power out of hatred and destruction

trying to heal my dying son with kisses

only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.

A policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens

stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood

and a voice said “Die you little motherfucker” and

there are tapes to prove it. At his trial

this policeman said in his own defense

“I didn’t notice the size nor nothing else

only the color”. And

there are tapes to prove that, too.

Today that 37 year old white man

with 13 years of police forcing

was set free

by eleven white men who said they were satisfied

justice had been done

and one Black Woman who said

“They convinced me” meaning

they had dragged her 4’10” black Woman’s frame

over the hot coals

of four centuries of white male approval

until she let go

the first real power she ever had

and lined her own womb with cement

to make a graveyard for our children.

I have not been able to touch the destruction

within me.

But unless I learn to use

the difference between poetry and rhetoric

my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold

or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire

and one day I will take my teenaged plug

and connect it to the nearest socket

raping an 85 year old white woman

who is somebody’s mother

and as I beat her senseless and set a torch to her bed

a greek chorus will be singing in 3/4 time

“Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beasts they are.”

To Black Women by Gwendolyn Brooks

Sisters,

where there is cold silence

no hallelujahs, no hurrahs at all, no handshakes,

no neon red or blue, no smiling faces

prevail.

Prevail across the editors of the world

who are obsessed, self-honeying and self-crowned

in the seduced arena.

It has been a

hard trudge, with fainting, bandaging and death.

There have been startling confrontations.

There have been tramplings. Tramplings

of monarchs and of other men.

But there remain large countries in your eyes.

Shrewd sun.

The civil balance.

The listening secrets.

And you create and train your flowers still.

I am a Black Woman by Mari Evans

I am a black woman

the music of my song

some sweet arpeggio of tears

is written in a minor key

and I

can be heard humming in the night

Can be heard

humming

in the night

I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea

and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath

from my issue in the canebrake

I lost Nat’s swinging body in a rain of tears

and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio

for Peace he never knew….I

learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill

in anguish

Now my nostrils know the gas

and these trigger tire/d fingers

seek the softness in my warrior’s beard

I am a black woman

tall as a cypress

strong

beyond all definition still

defying place

and time

and circumstance

assailed

impervious

indestructible

Look

on me and be

renewed

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn B. Bennett

I love you for your brownness

And the rounded darkness of your breast

I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice

And shadows where your wayward eye-lids rest.

Something of old forgotten queens

Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk

And something of the shackled slave

Sobs in the rhythm of your talk

Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow’s mate

Keep all you have of queenliness

Forgetting that you were once were slave

And let your full lips laugh at Fate!