Home    Contact     Bio and Online Writings   Books, CD, and DVD   Black Magnolias    Photo Gallery   Links
                                               Table of Contents

Preface                                                                                                       7
Searchin’ for Psychedelica                                                                           8
Creation                                                                                                      11
Definition                                                                                                     12
Love Is Life                                                                                                 13
Magic Pen                                                                                                   14
Ghetto Issues                                                                                               15
Nasty (Three Way)                                                                                      17
When You Ain’t Got no Money                                                                   21
Choice…?                                                                                                   23
Dark Room Thoughts                                                                                   25
Science                                                                                                        26
Brief Moments                                                                                             28
Mississippi Like…                                                                                       29
Manifestation                                                                                               33
Premature:  The Anti-Climax                                                                        35
Tangible Documentation                                                                               36
The Hug                                                                                                       37
Ghetto Psychedelica                                                                                     39
Come On                                                                                                     40
Just a Thought of You                                                                                   41
The Workout                                                                                                42
Oh, How like God We Are?                                                                         44
Root Beer Floats and Chicken Wings                                                            46
All Is never Lost                                                                                           47
If                                                                                                                  48
Psychedelic                                                                                                  50
Seasons I and II                                                                                           52
Natural                                                                                                         56
Memory Child                                                                                              58
Café-Chicken Grease Ass Nigga                                                                  59
Schizophrenic Tendencies                                                                             60
Poetry Affliction                                                                                            62
When Was the Last Time You Were Properly Kissed?                                  64
Cool Ranch Doritos/Peanut Butter and Jelly                                                   66
Letter to God                                                                                                67
Something Strange                                                                                        68
Thinking                                                                                                        69
Psychedelica                                                                                                 70
To Get Wild on the Nile                                                                                71
On the Eve of Suicide                                                                                    72
For the Enlightened One                                                                                73
History Lesson                                                                                              75
The Wait                                                                                                       78
[i] Will not Pimp Poetry                                                                                 80
Until [i] See You Smile Again                                                                        82
You Still Stimulate my Nasty                                                                         83
Time Going                                                                                                   86
Life Is a Parade                                                                                            88
Pre-Colonial                                                                                                 89
Psychedelic World                                                                                        91
My Journey                                                                                                  93

Searchin’ for Psychedelica

[i]’m Searchin’ for Psychedelica, constantly settling
for the delusion of ghetto fabulous oil paintings hoping
to find the place where lions and lambs share their
leisure time eating lima beans and drinking lemonade
like it’s a Lexus Coupe or a Quick Pick Lotto. 
But [i] can’t find the Dawn ‘cause [i] spend my time
working from morning dark to night dark as heavy reading
is checking my pay stubs and the second notices of my bills.
Scholarly deduction, critical thinking, and problem solving
are reduced to solving the reoccurring problem of paying
a mountain worth of bills with a molehill worth of wages,
forgetting that only Jesus can feed a family of four hundred
with a two piece and a biscuit.
Still, [i] need an award from the prize patrol
‘cause like a magician [i] come up with a way
to pull a fat rabbit from a thin hat.
But, ain’t no Nobel Prize for surviving poverty.

Poets are philosophers who aren’t afraid
to get paint under their nails, and [i] am a child of the orgy
in my mind when Keats, Baraka, Prince, and Hendrix had
a wang dang doodle all night long, causing me to think about
“it” and how “it” and its “it-ness” can change the hue of my fabric,
signifying the stone cold somethingness of our lives. 
With words [i] am a minor god (street corner wordsmith)
ordering the universe, plucking from the stars what’s significant
enough to record in bound leaves.  But, my edited, cut and paste, language
and after-thought issues illuminate me as an invisible poet
with an imaginary audience.
The light bill towers like a fanged Oak tree
over the simple shrubbery of going to the moon.
Eating cheap pork today is a necessity;
having a heart attack is an afterthought for tomorrow.
Pragmatism is not a theory; it’s a Religion for the defeated.
[i] don’t know any stainless steel truth, any bullet-proof
knowledge, or any capital (G) gods.
[i]’m hoping that all of my truths are interchangeable parts
that fit the engine of any situation because all of my knowledge
exist in the half read Cliff Notes of daily survival,
and any other knowledge is excess, like the left-over parts
from an assembly project that never seems to work properly,
or like the student who proudly protests,
“If it ain’t on the test don’t teach it to me,”
never understanding that missing knowledge
is the missing link in the chain back to God.

Of course, all of my gods are
what help me make it through the night.

When Jesus fed the multitudes, we didn’t listen.
A hungry child doesn’t care ‘bout no isosceles triangle,
and he ain’t trying to conjugate no verbs either.
The rumbled, painful growl of a deserted stomach
is infinitely more powerful than the need to understand
subject-verb agreement or place poets into proper time frames.
Morals are for those who can afford them,
and [i] have insufficient funds in my account.
[i]’m spiritually bankrupt.
That’s why [i] take another hit, still looking for God,
hoping on smoke that my street corner prescription
will allow me to see His face.
My left brain and right brain are speaking
but haven’t spoken to each other in years.
For art has been reduced to rolling a seven,
number of units sold, and who gets the panties.

Searchin’ for God, settling for sex, can’t see the Lamb’s light
through the germination of cataracts created by the mucus
of day-to-day surviving covering my eyes.
Singing the hymn of C. Liegh,
which is often a serous supposition of suicide.
This is my revelation,
being another blues, [i] mean psalm, for David.
Still waiting on that sexual salvation, testify (mind if [i]?)
with my Cadillac and four bedroom crib, [i] think that
[i]’ve finally placed inner peace firmly in my front pocket
until the end of the month comes,
slicing a hole and pouring out my peace like running sand.
Then, once again, [i]’m praying,
sending letters from Hell post-marked by Armageddon because my third eye has
been poked out by the middle finger of all the philosophy that [i]’ve memorized.

Now, [i]’m too philosophical for God,
or am [i] just phil-lots-a-silly,
measuring my evolution by how many toys [i] have?
As literature falls on wax ears, stone hearts, and brains absent of minds,
we are reduced to robotic beings with predictable software
that crashes whenever we are forced to think;
so holy that we can’t bear to hear profane language,
but can turn a blind eye to a little black child living a profane existence.

We no longer know God because
Nature has been cashed in for asphalt progress.
[i] needs to get high y’all, but Jesus don’t come in a dime bag.
[i]’ve lost Heru’s pager number, and [i] can’t answer Ali’s call
because [i]’ve got to go see the downtown devils and
do my degrading dance to earn my unemployment check.
And somewhere along the journey Confucius and Buddha
have been downsized and merged in the hostile take over
of my permed out, Westernized mind.
[i] need a hit of some pure, uncut knowledge,
but my fried chicken and pork infested psyche
can’t take the real Funk (the one-the middle c)
of the universe.  My brain needs an enema ‘cause
it’s constipated on capitalism.
That’s why [i] can’t see God when [i] look at you. 
In the cracked mirrors of my mind’s cloudy eye
[i]’m a carnival show perversion, and anyone who
looks like me has to be standing on this stage of
schizophrenia right next to me.  So, God couldn’t possibly
reflect like me, couldn’t possibly bleed for me. 
So instead of repairing the old rusted pipes, cracked inner walls,
and clanging heater of my decaying temple, [i] put another coat
of paint on the outside and lie to the mirror of my soul.

There is an invisible glass ceiling just above
Baldwin’s Mountain, and from below we can hear
the echo of “Sonny’s Blues” as it rattles in the
translucent iron box around my brain.
[i]’ll continue to be a slave in Plato’s cave,
until [i] realize that utopia is bathing in the bright, Black
rainbow light of the spaces liberated by Lazarus’ corpse.
By the way…what’s in yo’ joint?

Mississippi Like…

What is it to be Mississippi?
Where Capitol Streets cross cotton fields and
Margaret’s Jubilee jams with Eudora’s Festival
even when there are college cuts, controversy,
and the Klan, with plenty of revolution, religion,
red, ripe tomatoes, and rebel’s ruby racist rag;
this is all my Mississippi.
It’s little boys puttin’ dirt in abandoned tires
then rolling the tires by little girls in their Sunday dresses.
It’s hangin’ out at Big Sam’s Juke Joint on Saturday night
and jukin’ to “Sign Me Up” on Sunday Morning.
It’s pickin’ wild berries and stealin’ Mr. Wilson’s plumbs.
It’s mowin’ everybody’s yard ‘cause yo’ mama said so.
It’s where time out means…
mama takin’ a break from whippin’ yo’ leathery hide,
and the thought of a swarming strap still causes you to wake up
in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.
It’s Ross Barnett damming the doorway of education
and James Meredith bulldozing over his ideology.
It’s the Sovereignty Commission playing
hide-n-go-seek with the lives of invisible citizens
while Ebony voices declare “We Shall not Be Moved”
under the salacious sites of riffles and German Shepherds.
What is it to be Mississippi?
It’s no matter how highbrow we get
we still have hot sauce on the table when we eat.
It’s having a special jaw bone from being double-voiced,
being bi-legally lingual enough to talk with two tongues:
a democrat on tv and a dixiecrat under the hill-
wearing black suits in the day
and white sheets during the night.

It’s cinnamon and coffee leaves hangin’ from faded olive trees,
a warm Thanksgiving and a cool Christmas,
where rain steals center stage from snow, and a brief frost
can close school like the notion of the ending of segregation,
as Southern Apartheid is kept alive every Sunday morning.
We still don’t pray together even though our children
can hopscotch over to Ole Miss and play together.
What is it to be Mississippi?
It’s the peanut butter and jelly sandwich
of Archie Manning and Walter Payton
where some like peanut butter more than jelly.
Yet, half a sandwich rarely fills a whole belly.
It’s the quiet confusion that becomes
too cantankerous to ignore-like when the doctor says
today is the day to stop eating pork.
Or, when the pork politics of “good ole boy” kick backs
become too fattening to nurture democracy.
What is it to be Mississippi?
It’s having one street with two names so that
the white folks can live on Hanging Moss
and the Black folks can live on West Street
until the Black folks march up the street
‘causin’ the Confederates to retreat to Rankin County.
What is it to be Mississippi?
It’s being the mirror of the world with a
Chrysler chrome reflection too bright to face.

Someone spat that to be Mississippi is to be dumb and stupid.
If that’s being Mississippi, then [i] wanna wear the crown of dumb and stupid:
dumb and stupid like Medgar Evers and Richard Wright
who used the pen the carve evil into pieces,
dumb and stupid like Margaret Walker Alexander
who used the paint of the past to illustrate
new school prophets,
dumb and stupid like Etheridge Knight and Robin Roberts
who weaved words into portraits of dignity,
dumb and stupid like Robert Johnson and B. B. King
who took tears of bluespeople and made
lemonade for the world,
dumb and stupid like Charlie Pride
who put on white face with false camouflage
to melt the plastic illusions of pale listeners,
dumb and stupid like Tennessee Williams and Eudora Welty
two silver knights who believed that souls could be
saved with secular bibles laced with gospels of the South,
dumb and stupid like Elvis Presley
who took the juke joint of the ebony Delta to pallid patrons,
liberating them one hip thrust at a time,
dumb and stupid like Bennie Thompson and Aaron Henry
who sculpted voter registration cards
into weapons of liberty,
dumb and stupid like Charles Tisdale and Mike Espy
who wielded language like lumberjacks
decimating a forest of fools,
dumb and stupid like Jake Ayers and Hollis Watkins
who used the stallion of truth to stampede
centuries of  concrete lies,
dumb and stupid like Bob Moses and Alvin Chambliss
who combined the artistry of agitation
with the sword  of litigation,
dumb and stupid like Gene “Jughead” Young and my father
who paid my college tuition with jail-time currency,
dumb and stupid like Fannie Lou Hamer and J. R. Lynch
who taught that freedom is the only medicine
for  oppression,
dumb and stupid like Henry Kirksy and Roy McCory
who wore intelligence like a finely tailored suit,
dumb and stupid like Dr. John A. Peoples
who with a gardener’s love cultivated JSC into JSU,
creating Mighty Magnolias of Mississippi’s Modern HBCU.

So, to be Mississippi is knowing that decency, courage, and
forgiveness are not a three-piece suit that can be removed
when they are no longer fashionable.
Like, when you say yes ma’am and no ma’am because
manners are the concrete foundation of civilization,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When you open the door for a woman,
not as a prelude to a rendezvous,
but because women are the fertile soil of our futures,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When a family reunion is a Sunday dinner,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
Or, when you send a plate over to Ms. Mary’s house ‘cause
all of her children took the exodus train North,
and she can’t navigate the stairs like she used to,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When you go to school because education is the sledge hammer
to knock holes in the walls of injustice and oppression,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When you vote, even though there are two flap-jack
politicians on both sides of the ballot, and the concept of
Statesman is nothing more than a mascot for Delta State,
yet you pull the lever anyway because Medgar’s blood
is the only registration card you need,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When being baptized in the blood refers to the plasma of
Jesus and the crimson of the Civil Rights Movement,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When you speak to people whom you don’t know
as you pass them on the streets, that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
And then after speakin’ you ask them,
“Who yo’ folks baby?” That’s the Mississippi in ya’.
Or, when you see a stranger with a familiar face and ask him
if he’s Ms. Ruthie Mae Johnson’s boy,
who lives over the tracks, under the hill,
that had that daughter who married that Williams boy
whose family owns the stow next to the Saw Mill Inn,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
Or, when you got a whole lot of cousins,
but yo’ mamma and daddy ain’t got no brothers or sisters,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When you stand ‘cause a woman approaches yo’ table,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When you refuse to call a woman
after ten p.m. or anything but her name,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When lovin’ your fellow man as you love yo’self
is your political platform, and feedin’ little Leroy
is your social welfare program, that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
When you pay your bills despite them vampire interest rates,
not because you scared of colorless collectors,
but because yo’ granddaddy’s word was as solid as the Earth,
and yo’ daddy’s word is as true as the seasons, and you don’t
want to drive down the value of your family’s name by being
as unreliable as a politician’s promise the day after election,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.
And when you do unto others as you would have them do unto you
because it pleases God and yo’ grandmamma,
that’s the Mississippi in ya’.