Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Dialogue: Kevin & Tiff

"See? Why do you always do that?!"

Do what?

"That! You mumble some shit and then when I ask what you said, you say 'nothing' or 'nevermind'. Like what the fuck? Im tryna talk to you-- I'm tryna understand what's going on."

I don't know.

"You do know. Don't give me that; don't tell me you don't know. What is it? Are you afraid to talk to me? I don't get it. I'm here. I'm trying and you're not giving me anything."

I'm tired.

Now you're tired? Well I'm tired too. It's like the more I reach out, the more you pull away. What am I doing wrong?

Nothing. You're perfect.

"Oh please. Just stop. Don't give me that, Tiff."

You are! You are, okay!? I'm not like you! I can't just say what's on my mind all the time. Half the time I don't even know what it is I'm feeling, okay? It's like I feel too much at once and I can't decipher which feeling is which or which to express first. It's exhausting, and then this happens! I love you. That's what I know, but I don't know-- I can't be like you. I can't. I can't give you--

"Give me what? I'm not asking for anything, babe. I'm not asking for anything.

But you are! You're asking for me; the parts of me I don't know how to give. I just--

" I just want you to talk to me. You come home and you're sad and I don't know why. I don't know if something happened out in the world, at work, or if it's me . Like do you not like coming home to me anymore? Is it the dishes? Cause I know I leave em in the sink sometimes. Is it my shoes? I can work on that-- I know you hate when I forget to take em off at the door. Gosh! I want you to want this as much as I do. I'm trying here. If it's not enough-- if I'm not enough--"

Oh, babe, you're more than enough. I don't care about the dishes or your shoes. That's ridiculous. I love coming home to you. I just-- I don't know-- something's off with me. Something's off. I don't know how to explain it. Like, sometimes I have these really weird thoughts--

"Weird thoughts...? What kind of weird thoughts?"

Bad ones. I don't know why and I never know when they'll come. They just do. Like, the other day, I was coming home from work-- I was waiting for the D train-- It was me. It was my voice.

"Oh, babe, come here. Don't cry. Come come come. Breath."

It told me-- it told me to jump and I saw-- I saw myself-- I saw myself do it, Kevin. I saw myself jump out in front of the train. It felt so real-- I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't stop. How was I supposed to tell you that? I just-- I didn't want you to worry. They're just thoughts. Just thoughts, but it's been happening a lot lately and I don't know why. I love you, I do. I love you so much and I don't know, I just couldn't tell you.

"I love you too, babe. You know that. I just-- you don't ever have to feel a way about telling me things. I don't care how bad it is. I'm here. I love you and this-- this is important shit, Tiff. Suicidal thoughts-- they're not just thoughts. Look at me-- we are going to get through this. We are gonna get help with this, okay? It's gonna be okay. I love you. Just don't-- please don't leave me out on this one. Please.

I'm sorry--

"You have nothing to be sorry about. Nothing. Please don't apologize.




"I know. I know. Come here. We're gonna get through this. I'll do some research in the morning. We'll find someone. There are tons of good therapists in NYC. I'll go with you if you want, or not, it's totally up to you."

I'd love that.

"Okay. Good. Thank you for telling me about this. I was so worried. I knew something was up, I just didn't know what. Thank you.

Thank you for-- being you.

"Always. I love you, Tiff. I do. I need you to know that."

I know.

"Good. Let's try and get some sleep."


Monday, November 13, 2017

Take the Woods

I saw your eyes
carved in the bark of a tree
Your heart
stitched in the throat of a breeze

How comforting

I had a thought:
Maybe you're the me
I never get to see
cause I'm always looking in the mirror
at distorted flesh

We can never really see ourselves
outside of ourselves
and that shit makes more sense than gravity

But you
when I look at you
I see me

And I wanna love meyou but
I'm scared to

I'm so desperate to give it
I starve myself
meaning I'll probably starve you too
and you'll leave
like I always want to
This place
This body
These thoughts in my head
that constantly ask questions full of

Yet still
I'm trying to make myself
make sense

So take the trees
take the river bend
take the smell of bird shit
and the gas from a skunks ass

You're too lovely for me to grasp

Take the woods.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Free Write: Grammar Mistakes and All (no stopping no erasing)

Reach out into the corner
where I've hid the stone

I can't promise you that it'll work
   the stone I mean
I can't promise you love
    or comfort or mouthfuls
of empty screams @ night

I might run through flames
when the sunshines

I might leap into the oceans
spray and land ontop
    of my own throat

Im no magician
I do believe in ghousts

One called me a snow flake
Once cuz I melt so easily
I can not tolerate hugs
that harbor too much
  touching for too long

makes me want to swim
in the sea and drown
in seaweed soap

I don't believe in danger
because every breath is a

Stroke. A penny underneath
a cloud. I don't remember
being a child without
lonely thoughts or a
blankie that kept me
warm. I wish I knew.

Everything means nothing

no matter what we do, we
cant really change anything
that's already been done.

I think that's magic
that's probably the closest
we'll ever get to freedom

to toleration mid drift moans
and empty rooms full of

I wanted that once.
peace to roam beneath my
feet. All I'd have to
do is
reach down and
pluck it from a shard of
melted belt buckle stones.

I could be soft, but I don't
know where to begin or where
to throw my shoe when it

I hope I find stability in
your left arm. In the
way you lean down and
kiss my knee. I hope
I find you sitting
beneath some old tree
praying for me to sit
beneath it with you.
If only it could be so simple
we dont know how to sit,
how to count without moving our feet. we don't
know how.
We keep passing each other by
keeping missing when we
fall on the same count.

We could be magnificent.
We could be dead in graves
and still love the wind
that speaks.

We could never exist and
still be
     just fine and thats
cool. I think I like
that idea for what it could
be. I wish I knew you
a thousand yesterdays
     when I needed a friend
I never knew. I wish I
harbored you.
I'm so greedy so empty
so misfortunate.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

She Comes and Goes

My feminine energy
knows: stagnation is hellfire to the brain.

When she leaves,
she goes
behind an empty space in my face;
I have a hard time remembering names,
forget how to identify my own pain,
fill the hole in with a smile so fake
it splinters.

I am content with her absence
(despite Lonely)
scratching at the soles of my feet.

Too many men have grown
in me

so I scramble to find her stench drenched
in every place I've never been.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Common Ground: E-Books vs. Hard Copy

I've always loved books. I love the way they feel, smell, and sound, so much so that when I get a new book, I hold it up to my nose and shuffle the pages. If you are a book lover, you probably know what I'm talking about. It is a truly spectacular moment that you just can not experience with an electronic book.

However, I finished my first ever Kindle electronic book (via the app) the other day and, I must say, at first, I didn't really know how to feel about it. The days following my completion of the e-book, every time I looked at the physical books that I brought here with me to Jamaica, I felt like a traitor. To be fair, I read Animal Farm by George Orwell, a book I've wanted to read for a very long time, so I felt good about finally reading it.  I found the book to be extremely reminiscent of the current social and political climate in the U.S (you know, with Trump and all) so it was a very relevant read.

I downloaded the Kindle app because I have Amazon Prime and with Amazon Prime, not only do you get 2 day shipping (free of charge), but you get a host of movies and shows (via Amazon Video) and a host of books (via Kindle). At first, I simply took advantage of the 2 day shipping and Amazon Video, but out of curiosity, I decided to downloaded the Kindle app. As I began browsing through all of the available books that I could potentially read for free, I couldn't resist. I decided that I would give it a try and if I didn't like it, I would delete the app and that would be that.

Now, there are quite a few things that I actually really dig about the Kindle app. For example, once you download the book or books that you want to read, you don't need internet in order to access them. Even better, the app has features that give you the option to highlight and insert little notes. Not to mention, if you press down and hold your finger on a word, you are able to get the words definition and similarly, if you hold and press down on the name of a character or person mentioned, something will pop up that reminds you of the role the person or character plays within the book. I love these features because I don't always feel like googling a word I don't recognize when reading a book and sometimes (say if I'm on the train and I don't have service) it just isn't possible. Also, often times when I'm reading a book where there are lots of characters or characters within the story who happen to have similar names, I will mix them up or completely forget who is who.

Since finishing Animal Farm, I've started reading another e-book and I've decided that I shouldn't feel weird about it. Although I love physical books, it is the act of reading that I love the most. It would be foolish of me to allow my love for one to get in the way of my love for the other. Though the contents or words within a book can be freeing, it is the act of reading that sets it in motions. Just because I read and own e-books, doesn't mean I have to trash or get rid of all of my physical books. No matter how many e-books I download and have on my phone, I will always be that person with a book in their bag. Both e-books and physical books have their limitations, but my love for reading and words has no bounds and so I officially refuse to choose between the two.

Books I'm currently reading:

Hard Copy  


Saturday, August 5, 2017


Convinced that I would never be satisfied with just one storey, I begged for eight, twelve, sixteen, and was devastated when I had to settle for the median of the three. I got twelve storeys full of human beings, hunger and greed, plots and schemes, needles and piss, dime bags and shit, and eventually the antagonistic feeling that lives would be better off without me. 

The feeling began when an eighteen-year old girl was shot in the face outside my front door; it grew persistent when an elderly woman was robbed and beaten half to death right on my third floor. There used to be or sometimes there are moments of peace, but they occur so infrequently. One day, I noticed how the sun rises and sets— warning us of the inevitable. I've never been a consequentialist, but something in me shifted.  

I heard a young boy state to his mother once, “Ma, we should move.” and she replied, “This is the best that we can do.” The young boy didn't make it to see twenty-two. The day after his death, I looked straight into the eye of the sun and begged it to melt away my storeys, but the sun denied my request. I blame myself for the young man’s death, and his mother, she blames me too. I know this because she finally took her dead son’s advice, and she moved. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Look

His eyes,
squinted to some incalculable degree,
tricks you into thinking that you've got something insightful to say:

"What?!" is all you chuckle up.
"Nothing," is his response.
He smirks and continues to stare.

What does this fucking look mean
and why does it make you want to measure his spleen,
clean his tongue to embrace the debri,
carve out a space in his heart
where you'd fit perfectly?

The Look,
looks the same on every face, but
We both know you:
Too afraid to stick around
long enough to discover
if what you believe the look to mean,
is true.

You always leave before they do.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


my trouble is this:
I desire things in which I cannot give
my shortcomings
the evidence

my past:
consists of a mother
and many men 
and how she would bend
to their every whim

You will drown in me
so please

Take yo ass back to shore
and leave me be

The Thought of Having a Kid Scares the Shit Out of Me

For years, I have stated to my friends and family that I don't want to ever have a kid. My reasoning has always been something like, "because I don't like kids" or, "because this world is fucked up. The first response is completely untrue, the second, partially so. I actually love kids. Kids inspire me with their wit and vision, honestly, they're pretty dope. This world is fucked up, but it is also full of fantabulousness and kids know this.

However, the thought of having a kid does in fact scare the shit out of me.

I've thought about what it might be like to be a mother since I was little. I always imagined just me and my kid (in an apartment full of music and books), never a partner. When I tell folks this, they always seem so surprised, but it's true. I watched both of my parents struggle to maintain relationships with folks and so I grew up and didn't really care much for finding a partner of my own. I still struggle with this and I think I am slowly coming to terms with it.

I was raised by my mother up until the age of eleven, I would visit/see my dad on rare occasions. At the age of eleven, I moved to Florida to live with my dad and his partner (and her children) for four years and then moved back to NYC to live with my grandmother. Living with my dad and his partner was full of ups and downs. I often felt like the whole nuclear family thing was a hoax. I know it's probably not always like this, but the whole thing felt forced and unnecessary. I don't think I've ever seen a healthy functioning nuclear family situation and to be completely honest, I don't care much for the illusion of its functionality. I don't believe that a child needs a mother and a father in order to become some kind of full human being. I believe that all a child really needs is people that love them and encourage them to be the best human being that they can be.

One of my biggest fears, in regards to having a kid, is that they'll absorb all of the shit that I struggle with (anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, etc) because I don't believe that these things will ever leave me. I also fear that my kid and I won't have a good relationship. My parents and I are not very close and sadly, they aren't/weren't very close with their parents either.

As a kid, I was always worried about my parents, especially my mom. I have this really awful habit of biting my nails; I developed it when I was a toddler. Biting my nails is one of the many ways I tend to deal with stress and worry. It sucks. I love my parents, but often times, I find myself wishing that they were there for me in ways that I know (and now understand) that they couldn't be. 

In fact, sometimes I wish that my parents were there for themselves before they had me. However, I know that life doesn't always work out the way we think it should and that's okay. We do what we can.

My point is, I do want to someday have a kid, but for right now, I need to work to make my world (not the world) a place where they will be able to befriend love and not fear it the way that I do.

I applaud folks who are out there making the nuclear family thing work. I have many friends who seem to be doing the damn thang and I am happy for them. I get that just because I don't believe in something, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist in the minds of other people.

But, yeah, I just wanted to write this and share because a friend of mine got me thinking about it. They happen to think that I am going to someday fall in love and have the whole family, house, car, thing going on. I beg to differ, but ya never know.  


Friday, May 26, 2017

Don't Let Her Stand Alone

The other night, I was on the D train heading home from the city; I had my headphones on and was in my zone. However, I love to people watch and am constantly observing folks. Three people in particular happened to catch my eye not only because they were across from me, but because I could tell that there was something weird going on.

There was a guy, who happened to be standing beside a woman who was sitting down in the seat closest to the door (Woman A) and another woman (woman B) who was sitting a seat away from Woman A. At first, I simply assumed that Woman A and the guy standing beside her were together because they were conversing. However, I noticed that Woman B kept looking at the couple with a queer kind of interest, almost as if she were amused by their exchange (her mouth was opened and everything).

I was thoroughly confused, but I continued to observe.

Suddenly, Woman A slowly started putting on her headphones while the guy was still talking to her. This is when I realized that not only were they not together, but that she didn't even want to engage in conversation with the dude. In realizing that she was trying to ignore him, he sat next to her, which placed him right in the middle of her and Woman B. At this point, Woman B looked at the guy with disgust because now he had also invaded her space.

The guy continued to try and get Woman A's attention. He gestured for her to shake his hand, which she did, but after the first handshake, he spoke and then gestured for her to shake his hand again. The second time, she refused, but he persisted. Mind you, both of her headphones were still on, a clear sign that she wanted nothing more to do with him. Next thing I knew, the guy reached over to touch her knee. She gently pushed his hand away before he could touch her. 

This is when my blood really began to boil and I told myself that if he did anything else I would step in and try and help her. Her gentle shove of his hand semi convinced me that maybe, just maybe, he would finally leave her the hell alone. In my head, I was screaming and cursing and just wanted her to get up and walk away, but I could tell that she was afraid to even move. I could also tell the guy peeped her fear and fed off of it. She stopped looking at him entirely and seemed to get smaller by the second.

In between rolling my eyes and giving him dirty looks, I began accessing him further. From what I could see, he didn't have anything on him, not even a bag; there didn't even seem to be anything in his pockets (his jeans were tight). Suddenly, he started to reach up to stroke her hair and that is when I felt my body jerk up and into action. I stood up and placed myself right in front of him and said "yo!" He looked up at me and gave a little smirk. He smelled of alcohol.

I looked at her, to assure that she knew that she wasn't alone. Immediately, a man stood beside me, looked at her and asked if she wanted him to call someone (mind you, we were in a damn tunnel). She shook her head no and then the man suggested that she change carts at the next stop. I agreed with the man and told her that that would be best because the guy was clearly intoxicated.

When we reached the stop, the man walked her over to the next cart. I stayed behind and stayed standing in front of the guy for a minute or so. He said nothing until another man came on and sat beside him. The guy then began telling the man sitting beside him some twisted version of what had just occurred. Of course, he painted me as the "angry black woman," but I was not phased because I was angry, and for good reason! I could tell that the man sitting beside him, half listening, was uncomfortable because he had his hands folded and his eyes focused straight ahead.

The guy had the nerve to wave at me and give a thumbs up as he left the train. I literally looked right through him as if he didn't even exist. I wanted to let him know that he had no real power. Like so many countless men who go around harassing women and making them feel unsafe, he was a fucking coward because as soon as folks stood with her, his bullshit ceased.

Even when he was gone, I remained standing because my blood was still boiling. A young woman, as the train approached her stop, came up to me and said that she was so glad that I had stood up and said something because she thought that no one would. I have always been extremely interested in Psychology so when she said this, I automatically thought of the psychological phenomenon called the bystander effect. This term describes or explains why folks are less likely to help someone when there are other people present. In the minds of folks watching, someone else will eventually step in, but rarely do folks believe that that person will or should be them.

I am not suggesting that we should all be willing to just recklessly throw ourselves into what could potentially become a dangerous situation. What I am suggesting is that we pay attention and lend a helping hand when it comes to stuff like this because it happens so frequently and it's disgusting. 

Don't let her stand alone. She may not be able to see the way out because she is afraid and probably shook by the mere fact that she is being harassed, but if you see her exit, help make her aware of it. Letting her know that she is not alone may just help her see it for herself.