A Heartfelt Welcome

To those of you who call me friend, those of you that call me love, those of you who call me brother, those of you that call me son, those of you who call me hero, & those of you who don't know me at all: I welcome you to the mind of a man who's destined to save the world...
1 word at a time.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Goodnight Moon

A mantra embedded
into my memory system
since I was 4
This is probably the reason
I'm a night owl

Perhaps I still want to be the bear in that book

Curious as to how
moonlight illuminates a human's interior
clueless as to how
a mass so large doesn't speak
content with how although
its seems like it stays in the same place
it still creepily follows people around

I stay awake past 3am on most nights
not to party
(although I do)
not to drink
(although I do)
not to somehow stumble into
some sexual exchanging of gifts
(although I do)
not to write so I can keep from
crying, laughing and/or
pissing on myself
whether separately or simultaneously
(although I do)

I stay awake most nights
because I think that little boy
that used to
watch Eureka's Castle
get sick from eating too many gummi bears
and dunk better than Jordan
on his Fisher Price basketball court
still lives behind my ribcage

and he would very much love to tuck the moon in


The lights smash into my face
like the sound of a drummer
putting drumsticks to cymbals
They dance to the music more
than the people here
But not more than me

I'm getting loose
no embarrassment
no worry
no mercy
no shame
probably because of the liquid courage
poured into my membrane


Reading words on a tiny screen
can have that effect on you
can't it?

Of course it can
especially if they're the words
from a love once recently lost
So it made sense for me to halt
my moves on the dance floor
when I read:
"I miss you"
"I need you"
"I still love you"
"Come see me"

Nevermind who's ride I was
Nevermind leaving my roommate's
annual celebration of birth
Nevermind intoxication
however small it might have been

My mission was a go
and so was my green light
but not his


Lights flash into my face again
only there's just red, blue, and white streaks
dancing to the sounds of sirens
When you wake up in your vehicle
sitting on a shattered sunroof
feet projecting out of a windshield
how exactly are you supposed to feel?


I felt like I was
several beams of light
that were dancing with the devil

Not from the wreck
but because I was holding on
to love unwanted


What an epiphany that is

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Loser Slam Finals

Hello people!

Sorry I've been a little distant for the past couple of months... I've been kinda busy getting prepared for this competition that was kinda important... But it's all done now the smoke has cleared and it's onto the next chapter... May 9th 2012 will be a night I always remember... I participated in my 1st Finals Slam competition and placed 2nd!!! I'm excited because of a bunch of things... I kinda flubbed in the 1st round and thought I blew my chances but in the next two rounds I redeemed myself to be named 1st Runner-Up... Also, and most importantly... I'M GOING TO THE NATIONAL POETRY SLAM!!!! Being that I placed within the top 4 of poets competing, I'm on the Loser Slam national team and will be representing NJ in the NPS in Charlotte, NC on Aug. 6th-11th.... COMPLETELY STOKED!!! All the hard work has paid off like you wouldn't believe... This summer is going to be epic... and you guys are definitely welcome to tag along for the ride.... Until things get jump-started here's videos of my performances that put me in the position I'm in... Enjoy!

"Why We Sing" (Round 1)

"Pass Me Not" (Round 2)

"Thank Ya Kindly, Papermate" (Final Round)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why We Sing

We are human

We were created to do this
We own vocal chords &
possess the ability to make noise
We learned our ABCs that way

We blew bubbles in our chocolate milk,
jumped in Mommy's bed after she made it,
and ate our own boogers
We were children

We are young & old
and somewhere in between

We were born to Songs In The Key of Life
lived through Songs In A Minor
& we die to hymnals & prayers

We have memories

We need to continue legacies

We smile
We laugh
We are horrible at this
We are amused by how horrible we are at this

We are angry
We have at least 3 people
from our jobs
that we feel
need to die
We must get rid of this murderous feeling
We need to keep from screaming

We want someone to hear us

We know no one is listening

We want to be loved
We love others
We love curse words and crude conversations
We love love
We love hate
We hate
We hate
We hate guys & girls
We surely hate you

We hate ourselves

We can't see the tears coming down our eyes
so we gotta let the song cry
We are not Jay-Z
We cannot rap

We are guilty
We are heartbroken
We are orphans
We are pregnant & married
Single & divorce
We are back in love again

We are sneaky seductive sexpots
who know exactly what to do
with you in the palm of our hand

We want to impress

We want to express

We dance write drink eat
We are content angelic spirits
We wish to one day see our deity

We burn beats
bruise rhythms
itch lyrics
scratch harmonies
bleed melodies
and cry in chords

We are music

As I said
We are human

We breathe
We live
We are alive

and most importantly

We shower
(at least I do)
because man oh man
do we sound
acoustically amazing there

Deafening Existence

"Your life is never quiet"

That's what one of my "big sisters"
told me after I gave her a brief rundown
of all the things that's occurred
within the past month
of us not speaking

"It's been a doozy, sis"

I wasn't lying when I said that

It's been a month full of circus antics
Count 'em all
7/7s, 6 overdraft fees
only 5 days of pure peace
4 new phone numbers obtained and deleted
3 hearts broken (including my own)
2 close calls that could've landed me in prison
and 1 night of prayer
and I still have 0 answers

I just want my life to be quiet again

I've been trying to think of the last time
I danced to silence

My mom tells people I was a good baby
I didn't wake her
in the middle of the night with screams
I was a "happy baby"
in her eyes
and everyone else's apparently

Through adolescence & puberty
things stayed pretty mute for me
for the most part
I wanna say it was senior year
of high school when I first
embraced my loud

"To all you b***ches
that didn't want to give me the TIME OF DAY


From then on
I was as loud as the
parties and clubs
I lived in
A... A L.I.T.!?!? OH NOW YOU HEAR ME!"

Still shouting
even in my poetry
My haiku (as rare as they come)
ring like middle school fire alarms
for example:


to be the moment you see
a firework burst
before you hear
the bang

It's time to be meek
I have to be quiet
My life must become a whisper

Is there any way
I can change my name
to "prayer"?


Am I the only one
that hears voices
in their head?

No... of course not

We all hear voices

From our parents to our pets
all of us have many voices
in our heads
What separates us
is the voice we
talk back to

There's always that one
that sticks out
isn't it?

If you could locate the start of it
you would think it's coming
from the space in between
the bottom of your heart
and the top of your stomach

It feels
like a warm sun shower
As if your mom's cooking
is flowing through your veins
turning your fingertips & toes
suddenly into pillows

This voice smells of jasmine
and tastes of
everlasting first kisses

And it sounds

It sounds like nothing

and everything

all at the same time

I remember the first time I heard this particular voice

I was five

I was sitting in a chair in a hospital
watching doctors do
whatever doctors do
in order to make babies
breath correctly

I remember hearing my mother start crying
after my brother stopped

The room froze
and a candle was lit
inside of me

The flame spoke

It sounded like me
only better
As if my voice was
combined with my loved ones'
both present and future
adding in some serious
Barry White baritone
It said:
"Jerel is going to be fine
He will live a healthy life"

Since then I've welcomed that voice
into my temple
Since then it's told me so many things:

"Go here... no, stay there"

"She's the one... no... NO... SHE'S the one!"

"Eat it...... you'll live"

"Ok... ok... what we're gonna do now is
put our clothes on
& get out

"Shhh... don't worry
Regardless of what you think
they love you...
& they always will"

Now obviously
we the "great, all knowing
human beings" we are
of course we ignore
"The Voice"
from time to time

Maybe because we take it for granted a little
Maybe we know it'll never leave
We know it'll never change

We know the voice that said:

"Don't get in that car
Don't you dare start that ignition
Oh Jesus, you're driving"

is gonna be the same voice that says:

"Whatever you do, don't freak out"
after waking up
sitting on a shattered sunroof
inside of an overturned vehicle

I wish I was lying
when I say that
I haven't heard this voice in a very long time
I let it go
If it ever came back
I'd tell it
"I miss you
I miss you like my grandma that I never got to meet
I know you're there
You always have been
And I'm so sorry I haven't
listened to your song
If I utter your name
would you please
speak through me again

has a name for their
"The Voice"

I call mine "God"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dance Outside

I just want to dance outside with you

10 mini appendages interlocking
only when our bodies are close
Well let's say
3 to 4 inches away
from each other

We will be
two planets in orbit
of one another
Rotating, spinning
on our axis
I then, become
your sun
Hand-twirling your elegance
as it surrounds me

I wanna groove with you

Come here baby

Come close

Closer than close

Like waiting in line at
the DMV close
Or deliberately invading
personal space close

Allow my hands
to be a GPS
for your hips
Making necessary turns
to guide you
to your destination

Wouldn't this be bliss?

Beams of Heaven
carressing our souls
as the next door neighbor
we know as a star
plays peek-a-boo
with us
behind clouds

The rhythm of the atomsphere
pulsating through our bodies
as we croon karaoke
alongside songbirds

The acoustics out here are epic

I yearn to dance outside with you

But we can't
The weather sucks

Because there's flooding
behind your eyes
& a blizzard
within your heart

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mac & Cheese

Quick question

Can we be mac & cheese?

or maybe rice & beans
arroz con pollo
steak & eggs please

Damn now I'm hungry

Let's try becoming
untainted liquids
i.e. Kool-Aid, coffee, or tea
and add in kisses
I mean
some sugar

Let's be sweet

Better yet

Let's be Jack & Coke
Cran & Vodka
Gin & Lemonade
Henny & Apple Juice
("Happy Juice" if you will)

Let's be rum & sprite
rum & pineapple
rum & grape juice
rum & orange juice
rum & ice

Can we just become rum?

Because well frankly

I love me some rum

Now I'm thirsty

Let's Be
Let's be
OOOH!!! I got it!!

Let's be a cartoon

Allow me to be
the Tom to your Jerry
the Elmer to your Bugs
the Wile. E. to your Road Runner

What I'm trying to say baby

is that I want to chase you

so that I can be close to you

if even for just a second

Let's become one unforgettable entity
made of two separate ingredients
that are already incredibly dope

Can we please...

be mac & cheese....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Tears

It's been quite some time now
And just....


No waterworks of any sort


But the blank stare
of guilt
And disappointment

I wish it would just happen already...
I wish the plumber would just come
And fix the pipes within
my tear ducts because
that's what I'm used to

I'm used to freeing my emotions
in any and every circumstance

I am but a mere man
But I'm a man
Who cries
Forget pride
Forget shame

I cry

When I'm hurt
When I'm happy
When I'm angry
When I'm scared
When I pray
When I sleep
When I love

I cry

But not today

I'll be damned
if there's not a dam
built behind my retinas
because I feel like
a natural disaster
just waiting to happen

As if both the
Japan & Haiti earthquakes
are in each one
of my lungs
and my heart?

My heart is a flooded New Orleans

Only my levees stand strong
preventing any rivers
of pain and suffering
to reveal themselves

You know what?

Perhaps this means something
Could this mean that
The little boy that I was
Who was picked on growing up
Who cried about everything
Who's still living inside me to this day
Could he actually be gone now??

I don't know

Maybe there's no tears
because I'm guilty
What a filthy feeling
that is


Writing that line down
just made me wanna
shed some pain out
So I'm ending this
to let Niagra Falls go now

Follow My Lead

He told my girl

"You know...
You need to stop following him around"

Regardless of the brickwalls of denial
she built to block his relentless attacks
And regardless of me being in the picture
Now mind you
This wasn't just any ol' picture

This was a timeless picture
A dope picture
A roller coaster picture
You know
One of those pictures that capture you
at the peak of your excitement
And when the ride's ended
you get to see the result and say
"Man that was fun...
We look so happy...
We need that picture..."

We both had copies of this image
imprinted into our hearts
We wore them like they
were ironed on t-shirts
So that everyone that saw us
knew what it was


Still in spite of all this
He told her

"You know...
You should stop following him around"

Now obviously this was a guy
unafraid of stepping
Or damn near dancing
on another man's toes
Because who knows
how many other hoes
that persistent pressure
worked on

A hunter
A lion looking at my lady
like she's a gazelle
And I can tell why
I mean her personality is unmatched
She dresses incredibly fly
has gorgeous eyes
and her smile
Is something you'll die for

But although he saw what I see in her
It was the constant disrespect that
prompted me to want to
commit murder

And I'm pretty peaceful...

But I was ready to go to war
when she told me he said

"You know...
You need to stop following him around"

It never occurred to me
that dude might actually
be right
I never thought she
would actually listen to him

Here's the kicker:

She had reason to

I was standing still
or walking in place
if you will

"The Treadmill Effect"

Making the right movements
in order to progress forward
whether walking or running
but going absolutely nowhere
I used to have a lot going for me

Not anymore

So how could I blame her for thinking:

"You know...
You should stop following him"

When she left
she could've taken my potential with her
but because I hurt her
she became cruel
She tied it to a stick
which was then fixated to a collar around my neck
allowing my potential to dangle in front of me
out of my reach...

I didn't think I was THAT much of a dog...

But I guess that's what happens when you fall off
You lose life
You lose love
You lose purpose
You lose everything

Those lyrics still ring
in my eardrums

"Yes, I was burned
but I call it a Lesson Learned"

Because in turn
I've learned to never
leave your love
lagging behind you
Have them walk with you
If you really love someone
and want to be with them
you'll carry them
if you have to

Because even if you're going nowhere
for the moment
at least you can say
you have your love with you

So hold that slice of heaven down

Maybe then you won't have to worry about them
ever saying or thinking to themselves:

"You know...
You should probably stop following (him/her) around"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ways That You Know It's Black History Month

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is completely omitted from conversation
"Well what about 'Martin Luther The King??"
"Uhhh... he had his day all to himself last month
F**** Him...
It's all about Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas, & Harriet Tubman now
You know.... the real niggas..."

The token black guy brings his boy to the white frat party

and nobody says s***

"Oh that must be his cousin or something..."

I make random obnoxious rap song adlibs in the middle of conversations with
customers at my job
with my parents
with pretty much anyone I come into contact with

Interracial dating just ceases to exist
Bruthas dump their girls like they're bout to flush the toilet
and not because they're too cheap about Valentine's Day

Now that I think about it
I was in a interracial relationship once
and it was dope
Some of the most interesting fun and enlightening
times of my life
Too bad I broke her heart
Unfortunately for me
It's not only love that
knows no color

Lies & mistrust are colorblind too

Rock N Roll music is forgotten
Only songs of Duke Ellington
Marian Anderson Louis Armstrong
Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday
are downloaded across the masses
this month

God forbid I blast some Fall Out Boy or Bloc Party
out the speaker in my car

Speaking of music during this month

(True story by the way)
I saw in ad in a catalog that read:
"Celebrate Black History Month with these great albums!!"

Luther Vandross.... "alright ok... He's Black"
Bob Marley... "Island boy... but ok... He's Black"
Beyonce... "HEY BOO!!... She's Black"
Bruno Mars... "Uhhhhhhhhhh"
Eminem... "Hmmmm... ok... He gets a pass"
Soulja Boy... "OH HELL NAW!"

All of a sudden.... Niggas invented everything

Peanut Butter... Black man
Cell phone... Black man
The planet Jupiter... Black man
Freedom... Black man
America... Black man

I can write "nigga" in a poem
and recite it multiple times
in a room where
the open mic audience is
77.3% white...

The host of said open mic
can come up and say whatever
racist remarks
he or she wants...

F***in Flavor Flav
can come walking out
(clock & all)
snatch the mic from me
call me an "Uncle Tom"
and walk off

and nobody get offended but me

Because after all...
It is February...

I start drinking Hennessy

I stop eating chicken...

Don't ask

People start making random quotes out of nowhere...
Like "I have a dream" or
"By any means necessary" or
"I am somebody" or
"F*** the police" or
"Swag" or "Yolo"
or "I make Black History every day... I don't need a month"

I get real sad
Coming to grips
that my people can't come together
the other 11 months out the year
for nothing other than
money music sports or fashion

Misplaced passions... if you will...

We were murdered
raped, whipped
stripped, lynched
hung, shot
demeaned, degraded
and segregated

Funny thing is
even after slavery
we're still doing these things
to ourselves...

I grin...
Accepting the fact
that although I may not stereotypically average
I'm still Black
and I love it

I cherish that

Because in all honesty
It's who I am
not what I am
that makes


Our Little Corner

Remember when we used to sit there?
Eyes gazing upon each other
Like we wished the other person
Was thinkin the exact same thing
We were

I wanna bet we were

I bet you were thinkin
"Where in the hell did I find this dude?"

Because I know I was thinkin
"How the hell did I come across this chick?

And she likes me?!


Our Little Corner

Remember when we used to eat there?

When I would order a hot tea with lemon & sugar
And you?
You would order a coffee
I remember how you liked ya coffee
You liked ya coffee the same way you liked ya men...


I was like ya coffee...
Nothin major to me at all...
And of course

Our Little Corner

Remember when we used to talk there?

The funny thing is
We both talked entirely too much
We both loved to interrupt each other
(As much as we hated to be interrupted)
And we both would watch each other's lips when we spoke

I guess we were hoping our lips would form the word "Love" at some point during our conversations

Maybe we thought if we hung onto our words we'd be strong enough to climb over the walls surrounding our hearts

An emotional workout if you will

Doing pull-ups while grabbing onto words like

& "love"

& "you"

Our Little Corner

Remember when we stopped goin there?

When things got serious
when parents were introduced
when truths were revealed
no longer concealed were the feelings
that were poured out from
our kettles we called

but after a while
Doin' "the same ol same ol"
got old

Didn't it?

Only one of us knew
it was time to grow


Our Little corner

Is now... Non-existant...
Relatively vanished
Off the face of the earth
Because of love
and then
Because of disagreements


Of you
Ok... I lied...
Maybe not u...
Def because of me

I shouldn't have said what I said
Did what I did
Lied what I lied about
I shouldn't have dog muzzled myself
I shouldn't have let u go back to ya past
Even if it was for a weekend

I shouldve just loved you like you wanted me to
Like I wanted me to...

My little corner
Has been reborn
On account of dumb ass arguments
Over reactions
And retarded disagreements

I'm sitttin in what used to be our heaven
thinking "How did we come to this?"
Looking up but not seeing your eyes
Just an empty space of where an angel used to sit

You're just a memory now

Just an empty chair at a table in a coffeehouse

A love lost

A reminder that I was once a part
of a big something
that was so small


"Our Little Corner"