Tag Archives: race

You have said to me impossible

You have said to me it is impossible
to understand the troubles of your soul
the color of my skin prevents me
the nature of my love forbids
But I am here to tell you
not that you are wrong but that in fact
you are right
My heart has never broken – as yours
but it has broken
My eyes have never cried – as yours
but they have cried
My hands have never bruised – as yours
but they have bruised
My dreams have never been beaten – as yours
but they have been beaten
My words never questioned – as yours
but they have been questioned
My status never forced – as yours
but it has been forced
My sex never stolen – as yours
but it has been stolen
My person never denied – as yours
but it has been denied
And so – you are right and clear when you say I do not know
the pain that you have felt or the fear you have been given
but then neither have you known mine.
Does this preclude us from comforting
or the genteel thrust of hopes hands into the other’s?

When you answer this… then perhaps what once was deemed impossible to know is possible none the less and we can be made siblings in our shared experiences.

The Canvas

Naked to the point of disastrous longing
for ink to shade in letters of understanding
brushes to stroke in hues
bold and courageous
so my skin
won’t be see through
– for all this transparency
is deceptively solid;

Spray Paint Me

My color is blu but
spray paint me
to a hue
more acceptable and
easy to read.
Let me be green
or purple
or maybe an orange sun-setted sea,
so you will love
the color of me.
Because it seems the color of blu
gets in the way of the
internal color consortium
creating a mess of
crayonic proportion!


I really believe
I am a mixture of grand design
a mix of chartreuse
and peppermint wine,
of melony glass,
a touch of silver and gray,
maybe even a bit of fushia-mixed with
a dash of pink
with an oranger flav
but the outside
reflects only
cianic days

my solution
to my colors
unfortunate blu
spray paint me
to an acceptable hue
then maybe
can spray paint
the world too.


People are always talkin about culture,
but I have such a hard time knowing
which culture I fit into.
I have so many
running in my veins
I am not sure
which one counts and
which one is in
Do I
only pay attention
to the dominant features,
the brown eyes,
the unsuntannable skin,
the dark brown hair infused with red….
what is my culture?
Am I Cherokee?
Am I Irish?
Am I German?
Am I Scot, Pol, or
Eu-ro-pe-an? and
which one will you hate less?
These are the questions
I ask
as a poet,
as an artist,
as a person who wants
to be the kind of person
I would want in my own life…
but sometimes not having a culture or
having too many or
not having my cells fully represent me,
my DNA almost exploding
in treachery
makes me wonder
if I will ever be able to
sort out the stories
so that you will read
past my cover…
and discover…
who I am.

Cuz people are always talking about culture
and I am always on the outside lookin in.

Sum of my parts

am not the sum of my parts
let me say that again
am not the sum of my parts.

It required a number of conspiracies
and intricacies
for the universe to melt
and knit
this skin into the cover of me
but it is not the book
not the story
All that came to pass
is the past and
not given life
in this woman
you see.

am not the sum of my parts.
again…hear me
am not the sum of my parts.

The DNA of my person
derived from Irish, Cherokee, Italian and
which were mixed pre-them
to create the future of post-when
in the reflection of a color
off shaded and
and disguised

I am not the sum of my parts
do you hear me?
I am not the sum of my parts.

You see
I am sure there were assholes and saints
in the blood running through these veins
there are stories of love
stories of hate
stories of pain
gun downed
and manipulate
but even all of this, though
in truth an interesting trip
does not
uncover and
any of
this ::pointing to self::

I am not the sum of my parts
let me say it again
I am NOT the sum of my parts.

In this new math I am teaching
lets multiply and
fraction out meaning
beneath the cover of shades
and realize
I am not the great great uncle
who owned slaves
nor am I the woman
who birthed a child out of rape
I am not the brother
who sold out a sister
to the national party of days
nor am I the slander
from the lips of a father
sent early to his grave
I am not the sister stealing
not a mother dealing
not a past decision gone wrong and sealing

Stop trying to make me
feel that way!

am not the sum of my parts!
I am a new creation
the remake of a hundred
successes and
the second and third
of lives gone right,
lives gone wrong
but don’t hold the sword
above my head for
the dealings of lives long since gone.

am not the sum of my parts
this near transparent shade
calls the feet trampled tribes
from Florida to graves
on trails of tears to their final destination
cheated of land out of violent contradiction
the forest hunter’s prey, the clock makers last day,
the masters daughter unable to save and the
poisoned Irish slave
but hear me again
and hear me from the heart

I am not
the sum
of my parts
and if you understand my meaning through
and through
that means

::speak peace and write on::