No Such Thing as Free Peas and Rice

I need to create

boundaries

between me

and them

I need to stop taking

unsolicited advice

when the season is nice

when the flowers are fresh

I need to stop getting sliced

up with

my side of rice

my potatoes and greens

can we not be mean

today

while I sprinkle my Old Bay

seasoning

all over my despair

do you not see me here?

I need to stop listening to

my life forecast

with my info

on blast

my life

on display

for anyone

you forgot

was along the way

at Smashburger

while I’m eating my fries

enduring my forced intermittent

cries

for help

get me away from you

who wants to analyze

my every step

while taking no steps

with me

not showing a moment of gratitude

for me being alive

or even peace of mind

I need to stop taking advice

with my free peas and rice

no such thing as free peas and rice

Death by Money

Lingchi sounds

like lynching

it sounds like the sound of

fire put up against

flesh

as the hairs curl back

and the skin becomes

hot

then

red

then brown

a nasty bubble

white formations

on end

wondering if the healing process is really happening

because every transformation

after the Lingchi

stops

feels like another cut

another bruise to heal the bruise.

Lynching sounds like Lingchi

Crowd around me

as you give me my out

Let the ghosts come and feed on my flesh

as I’m taken away

by the barbarity of your caring

which you call caring

because you cared

that something happened

so you intervened

only really to make it worse

only really to take out

all of your frustrations

on the final sign of disrespect

for you

you’ve had enough

so you throw paper at me

to hang me

because you know

I won’t be able to see you

cutting me

while I’m scurrying to pick up

and count the money

which is no longer money

because you’ll never give me

what I want

I have to take it

Ghostwriter

What does it mean

to be a ghost

writer

does it mean you are a ghost

who writes

or a writer

who talks

about ghosts

or a writer who writes

on behalf of the ghost

population

or does it mean

the words disappear

from the page

as soon as

they’re written

only for you

to wonder what was

there

something you can feel

but not see

something you know happened

but you don’t know who made

that thing happen

or

why

they could not just show their face

say their name

celebrate themselves on the page

too

with their words

perhaps a ghost writer is

a medium

and the ‘real’ writer

is not really real

it’s just someone the ghostwriter

imagined

up

channeled

from another

life

of their own

because they were

too afraid

to say

‘I wrote this book’

this was my life before

and I want it to be

no more

Resilience to Fear

There is a look that certain people have

a resilience behind a fear

it’s like those people imagined

that it just had to be

this way or that

But, then it wasn’t

and the question became

when will it be that way

instead of

will it be that way

this created the resilience behind the fear

instead of the fear behind the resilience.

some people want to believe

in things they have never

seen

or things they have seen

others

do

or

others

have

they assume

they will have

and do

those things

too

But, thinking is different than doing

and the people who have

do

or are

given

the people who do

do

or they discover

If you’re looking around

wondering

waiting

when will someone give, do, or discover for you

well then the question

in any event

becomes

when will your resilience

come out from behind your fear

to the front

of your imagination

you want to believe

but you don’t believe enough

to actually get down

on your knees

and scratch the dirt

up under your finger nails

so you’re sitting there

looking like

a paralyzed

genius

in waiting

and everyone sees it

but no one understands

what you’re waiting

for

time and ageless

Time and ageless things

Are happenings

that illuminate the soul

beyond a thought

or a memory

freedom rings in various places

none all too well-known

fighting for a sunlight

a sunbeam

a second horizon

a coming of the dawn

which looked like the coming of a night

thunder begins to strike

and confuse the beautiful

haze

in the distance

it seemed fair

that it would always be there

but then the day got up close

and showed

itself for what

it really is

time and ageless

but here

and gone

forever