Here We Go Again…

19 11 2014

Hey Guys!

I know it’s been a minute but I just wanted to pop in here and dash off a quick post. In about an hour I will be well on my way to Beaufort North Carolina to do some research for a novel I’m working on. My Momma has decided to team up and come along. I consider this her contribution to the literary world (you know, aside from birthing me and all).

Anyway, we are both very excited and cannot wait to find the pule of this little town. I’ll check back in with y’all sometime soon. Hope life is going well for you!



For Starters…

2 10 2012

Hey hey, I’m back. This time I have a poem I wrote last week for my class. As of yesterday it got a thorough critique. So I still have some work to do on it. But as the tag line to this blog is pure, raw unedited… i’m posting first drafts. Hollar with your comments or suggestions!


Au Poivre: With Pepper

During the fall months it was dank in the culvert under Dobbson’s street.
“The smell was not just of cat piss and foul tinned fish” but it was as if
Death itself had curled down there to sleep. Yet in the summer
the creek dried up leaving nothing but the crispy husks
of mud babies, broken glass and a fine cayenne silt that clung
to the bottom of my blanket and worked its way into
the bindings of all my books. That 7×15 hollow of corrugated tin
was my Narnia, Naboo, Neverland. It protected from the sun and tongue-lashings
for daddy had a peppercorn temper. The kind with creole heat
that leaves anger in your mouth and the imprint of
tongs on Momma’s back. I was seventeen when he died, mid-beer,
of a heart attack Mother told me “never EVER marry
a football player.” But I did. And now dessert, at least once a week,
is served with the taste of blood from when fist and flesh meet.

Poetry Restriction = Clamming

1 10 2012

Hey peoples, so as some of you may know and probably most of you do not, I’m in an advanced poetry class this semester. My professor gives us a lot of severe restrictions (syllable count per line, enjambment, topic specific, etc.) for each poem. After you get past wrapping your mind around such limitation you’ll discover it’s actually pretty liberating. I’ve written about some things I never would have attempted before… such as clamming. The research for the poem actually took longer than writing the darn thing. I googled my heart out and even reverted to calling up my momma (yes a shout out to the lady that birthed me! hi mom *waves*) who is a Florida native. This is just the first draft of the poem I created today so it’s by no means finished. But I was decently pleased with the results (minus the last couplet which was a little rushed) and figured I’d share it with you. If you have any suggestions for the next draft just leave them in the comment box. Well here it is peoples, cheers!


The moon is like a fat man’s fingernail tonight.
And the barnacles under the dock are as rocks

Closed up tight like morning glories before the sun’s first light
Breaks over the horizon. My grandfather once told me,
“You can eat the tubers, the Indians did, ‘tater style.”
But I prefer to sink my toes into the brackish silt,

Tread out the quahogs and reach down to mitt my
Hands into live ground. Thick soles don’t weal
Unlike the baby skin of the snow birds who
Rent shinicocks instead. But the rake is faster

And faster is what I need as the water threatens to lap
The hem of my rolled denim. And when the bucket’s filled
I’ll sit on the shore, wet skin prickling in the breeze
And inspect the bivalves who’s sides cleave to one another

With the adductor muscle; “One of the strongest in the
World,” my mother says popping them open with a sharp twist.
Tomorrow there will be chowder but tonight I watch
As my scrounging marks are erased

And that which was stale is refreshed and submerged,
Like the Nile’s inundation, restitution to the land.


2 02 2012

My father doesn’t wear his wedding ring. For some reason that’s never been unnatural for me. Yet for some reason whenever I see a couple in public who are obviously together and the woman has nice bling-bling on her left yet the man has none… I instantly think “scandal,” which is ridiculous. I mean I’m sure most married men have a perfectly good, faithful reason to not wear their wedding bands. In the case of my Dad, he’s a pilot. So what? You think. Well he’s not just any sort of pilot, he’s kinda like a limo driver of the air. This requires that he loads all of his hoity toity customer’s bags. One of which caught on his ring years back (back when he actually use to wear it,) and nearly ripped his finger off. From then on he determined to wear it only on special occasions, anniversaries, mother’s day, Mom’s birthday… things of that nature. It was always weird to see its appearance. I’ve only seen it a select number of times. Its gold and along each side there is a small row of dots. I remember seeing the way Dad would clench his hand randomly during the times he had it on. He is not as thin as he was when he was married and the ring has never been resized. He has a bit beefier fingers than he used to and the ring cuts circulation off. He doesn’t complain thought. He knows how much wearing the ring means to Mom. Though he may hide all sorts of discomfort while actually wearing the ring there is no way for him to hide how difficult it is for him to get it back off again. He stands there by the dresser, fingers slathered with a thick layer of coco-butter, tugging and pulling at that darn ring. His lips purse together until they disappear and he holds his breath until his face turns red and that one vein pops out on the side of his forehead. He’s not a man easily bested and so he always gets the ring off again. And again it will go back into the top drawer of the dresser for safe keeping until the next special event. That’s how it’s always been with my father, his thus and so attitude has always made sure there is a place for everything and everything must be in place… except for maybe when it comes to the frigerator.
Where items are kept in the fridge has been and probably will be the longest lasting argument between my parents. Mom loves to cook (and she’s and excellent one at that) and the kitchen is her workshop. All of her tools must be where she left them (and with as many times as we’ve moved it took months for us kids to retrain ourselves in unloading the dishwasher,) and the contents of the fridge qualify as “tools.” Whenever Dad uses the fridge he just throws things where there is a space, I know this because I’ve watched him, and me and my sister got tired of being blamed for his misgivings. And boy does his flippant nature set Mom off. I’m telling you if the pickles wind up where the mayonnaise goes then its World War III and you had better duck and cover. She will rant on and on about how she doesn’t go into his shop and rearrange his tools (which is a HUGE pet peeve of his) so then why in heaven’s name would he rearrange her fridge?! For all her shouting and ranting though, it never does any good. She’ll rearrange the fridge again, make sworn threats about how it would be the last time and how whoever set it out of sorts would be the one condemned to fix it. Of course this bothered my father none “She can just get over it,” he would say. It didn’t please me and my sister at all. I mean we had no problem putting things back where we found them. But you know if you’re putting something back where it was when it was already out of place to being with… you get confused as to whether you should put it back where you think you know it goes or where you actually got it from. And Lord help the person who stands there with the door open weighing ones options, for inevitably Momma would round the corner and see you cooling the world and then you were in for it all over again. That’s the way it is with Momma. And everybody knows when Momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy, which made me wonder why my Dad continually tried to push his luck. Because if it wasn’t the fridge she was ranting about, then it was the stupid woodpile.
I can’t tell you how many times our family has had to move this huge and I do mean HUGE stack of drying tinder. It was a take none of us women folk looked forward to. Why couldn’t he just find a place to put it and keep it there we would ask of Daddy. His reply to us would be along the lines of “Come on Shaniqua, come on Sha-nay-nay, Po’ Lazarus needs yo help in da field.” Dad likes to listen to old southern chain-gang chants and he preferred to think of us as his little slave hands while he was master of the plantation. Mom eventually got to the point where she refused to help anymore. Which left me and my sister to tromp out into the “field” and help him move stacks of firewood covered with lichen and creepy crawlies. Now I didn’t mind the creepy crawlies so much. And I didn’t mind the black widows. Black widows are easy to identify and easy to squish. Brown recluses I mind though. They like to disguise themselves as harmless wolf spiders, however one kiss from a brown recluse and the next thing you know half your body is rotting off and your life is on the line. I’m all moved out now. I don’t have to move that stupid woodpile anymore. Just the other day my Daddy called to tell me he missed me, (which is unheard of because he’s not one of those voice-your-feelings kind of man.) Needless to say I was surprised.
“Yeah?” I had said.
“Yeah…” he replied. “I miss my slave hand. Now I don’t have anyone to help me move the woodpile.” From this I gathered that my sister had finally given up and given in the towel. It was nice to be missed, even if it was Shaniqua’s brute strength he was referencing. I smiled to myself, glad that I was on the phone so he couldn’t see me.
“Well now,” I told my Daddy, “ I guess it finally found its place.”
“Yeah, “he said. “I guess it did.”

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