Black In America Is...

Black in America is a poem written in blood,
pain filled stanzas of people reduced to mud
on a plantation of snow.

It is living with anxiety that goes undiagnosed,
silent conversations with ancestral ghost
while Marvin’s Make Me Wanna Holler plays
in the background.

It is being fearful of traffic stops
by agenda having cops
who are eager to turn us into hashtags.

It is a worldstar video full of wide hips and tatted backs
playing against the echo of cotton field whip cracks
which dominate legislative voting floors.

It is watching hipsters discover your neighborhood;
appropriation of our culture into consumer goods
because wanting to be black is an American pastime.

It is standing in line for $300 J’s;
fire from religious pulpits condemning all gays
while pastors baptize their side chicks.

It is being more comfortable with the people living in your phone
rather than with the people living in your home
because sometimes illusions are kinder than reality.

It is Grandma’s hands and Pop-pop’s storytelling,
family get togethers full of food, laughing and yelling;
matriarchs and griots mimicking the sun.

It is remembering black love unafraid and intense;
velvet paintings and nag champa incenses
inspiring many raised fist romances.

It is kids who love STEM writing algorithms and code,
blerds, anime watches and gamers who dream bold;
silent architects of future rebellions.

It is the night feared by those only loving the moon,
scared that darkness will ultimately consume
their precious alabaster shine.

Black in America is a poem written in blood,
pain filled stanzas of people reduced to mud
on a plantation of snow.

© 2017 abruvanamedsly


The Day After The Apocalypse

The day after
the apocalypse,
I’ll secretly be happy
because I won’t have to
go to work anymore;

I’ll wonder which
celebrities survived
and if they are able
to snap from their
survival bunkers;

I’ll have a grin
on my face when
I stare down at
my smartphone
and it reads...


I’ll get mad because
I didn’t go to the
grocery store the day
before or wonder why
I didn’t put five dollars
more on pump seven.

I’ll be worried about
family and friends
but hope they can feel
my telepathic messages
to get out of the city
and to the boats
like we planned.

I’ll daydream
about meeting a
Michonne or Sasha
and wonder if my
hair will be as perfect
as the apocalypse
survivors on tv and
in movies.

I’ll probably go commando
because doing laundry
won’t be high on my
survival list;

I’ll think about all the moments
I wasted and all the people I
never told I loved;

I’ll fight hard
not to let my mind
become a grave.

I’ll paint my skin with
all the autumns, sunrises
and sunsets I’ve ever
witnessed, open my
front door and let the
chaos teach me how
to breathe.

© 2017 abruvanamedsly


world tried
to turn her skin into a coffin
but art, love and words
were her melanin.

She was a palette of divinity.

A high priestess of the color spectrum.

A visual representation of Coltrane’s

A Love Supreme.

The sound of blood rushing

through my veins.

My breathing.

I watched from afar
as she observed life,
turning every second
into a muse;

jealous at how light
was greeting her skin;

shadows and rainbows
arguing over who would
accompany her throughout
the day.

She bathed in creativity
and smelled like a spring
sunrise in Zamunda.

When she stared at me,
all I could think of was
a lazy Sunday where want
becomes a canvas and our
bodies the paint;

fingertip brushstrokes
and tongues dabbling
in each other's details;

Basquiat & Kahlo on purpose.

She made me remember why I couldn’t keep my hands off Crayolas.

© 2017 abruvanamedsly

Spectral Figure 2

(30/30) Year Twenty-Nine: HIGHER LEARNING

The most important

lesson learned in college;

question everything.

© 2017 abruvanamedsly


(29/30) Year Twenty-Eight: REMEMBERING LOVE

My parents taught me about
blissful commitment;
the way they embraced happiness
and shared it with the world
was infectious.

Their energy made me feel safe;

I lived in their sanctuary
and vowed if I ever found
someone to spend my life with,
I would mimic the lessons they
imparted in every way.

Remembering their love
helped me from becoming
jaded when those around me
abused what I had to offer.

© 2017 abruvanamedsly

(28/30) Year Twenty-Seven: ROAD RAGE

I couldn’t stay calm while driving to work,
congested roadways made me tense;
especially when I was cut off by a jerk,
whose actions caused teeth to clench.

Retaliation would fill my head,
thoughts on the day’s chores done,
the focus was to see that motorist dead.
Road rage sprung, so I reached for a gun,

was today the day I make the news?
Shots fired, we’re live on the scene;
an idiot magnified Monday morning blues,
destroying a disposition that was serene.

To expel this insanity from my brain,
I started to commute by train.

© 2012, 2017 abruvanamedsly


(27/30) Year Twenty-Six: ROAD TRIPS

I’d rent a van and pack it tight,
taking my nieces to visit down south,
we’d usually leave after midnight,
so I wouldn’t have to hear no mouth.

They were angels while sleeping,
making trips run fairly smooth,
but my ears would start weeping
once their lips began to move.

Are we there yet? This trip is long…
we’re hungry, thirsty and gotta pee.
Turn the radio up, that’s our song.
Look!!! A McDonald’s on route three!!!

They’d be in the back crying the blues,
Uncle Junebug why’d you turn to the news??!!!

© 2017 abruvanamedsly


(26/30) Year Twenty-Five: REJOICE

To make it to twenty-five – a milestone indeed,
especially in environments were not many succeed,
except at self-inflicted genocide,
random gunshots becoming so normalized,
King Herod’s curse attempting to wipe us out;

I made it to twenty five.

A quarter of a century down, how many years to go?
With the specter of ostracization, I don’t know.
Hope I can evolve, reproduce, and become aware,

that until I love myself, no one else will care;
I stand in a quiet place to hear myself shout;

I made it to twenty-five.

© 2011, 2017 abruvanamedsly