pressure cooker

my mother has always been fond of saying, "those babies didn't ask to come here". meaning, parents should never expect their children to save them. their responsibility is to raise them to the best of their ability, then allow the child his or her own life.

it is one of the most important lessons she has taught me.

children should not be used to correct your frustrations, only the last generation's mistakes. they are not (always) you incarnate. and if they appear to be, it is to teach you a lesson. i don't believe it is necessary to force their roundness into the square peg you should have fit.

our babies can only save us if we allow them the freedom to become their own unique selves.

the man of the house is never your 10 year old.

we have to find a better way to handle the fracturing of our families.

how many times have you witnessed a situation where everything's all good until a child begins to assert herself...and if she's not precisely what we groomed her to be, we reject her. no one bothered to take the time to see who she was, what she wanted. and, sometimes, she hasn't allowed herself to know, for fear of that rejection. only to have it happen anyway.

one glimmer of promise, and common sense goes out the window.

expect the best, yes. discipline, certainly. but do not forget balance.

you did not give birth to a protegee. a protegee comes to you of her own free will once she has decided what it is she wants to be in life.

you gave birth to a human being who has her own role and purpose to fulfill in this life, a role that one day will take her beyond being your baby.

nurture her in the world you make for her, but learn to let her go. be there when she falls, but don't cover her in padding so she's numb to the pain.

yeah...i can hear you now. "you don't have any babies...what do you know?"


but if/when i do, i can only teach them what i've been taught.

and this is one lesson i plan on passing on.


thoughts on (various different kinds of) hunger

(penned 8/14/04)

stuck on broke
drivin on E
tryin to make it thru
just one more trip
to the market
'cause a sista's gotta eat

maybe i need some kinda
shaolin monk martial arts diet
make a meal outta air & sunlight
like an indian guru

but i ain't that slick

tired of righteous living
lockeed martin's hirin'
why not kill a few babies
to get some healthcare
job security
and a close to living wage?

too bad
i'm allergic to babylon

scribblin in this notebook
isn't gonna make me dinner

bout to take my last $20 and
go to the farmer's market
with a prayer
go raw foodist overnight
pretend i'm performing a cleansing
pull a scarlett
and refuse to go hungry
ever again

is it mandatory
that poets experience
instability and pain and
pay twice the dues?

but my day's on its way...
(c) 2004 l.a.m.



my silence will not save me.

stuck between
rocky shores and
ancestral hard places
i'm standing
waiting for someone
to give me a voice

waiting for someone
to shout for me
because i'm a lady
and cannot raise my voice
with dignity

if i forego obsolete conclusions
and shout
i lose 98%
of my femininity

someone should have told me that
before i learned to
praise my
own name

like he does

(and not only in bed)

(c) 2004 l.a.m.


love's shadow

I trust You.
I trust my path.
I trust myself.
I trust Universal Law.
I trust Nature.
I trust in Love, Peace, & Joy. I trust in my ability to manifest these things in my life.
I trust that I am Blessed.
I trust that everything I need will be provided for me.
I trust the Divinity within and the abundance of the Universe.
I trust that my prayers are heard and that the Creator knows my heart.
I trust my gifts.
I trust in the power of my Being.

As it is
So shall it be done.


i wrote that somewhere inbetween all the other thoughts i was trying to get down and work out. things i've been trying to work out for months now.

i had a lot to think about last night...i still have a lot to think about today.

i'm hoping that maybe if i let go and truly allow myself to trust in these things, everything else will fall into place.

i read the song of songs before i went to sleep last night. i was trying to keep in mind the beauty of love, not all the dark things it can bring out of people.

i've always liked that book of the bible, 'cause it seemed like it shouldn't have been there. my jaw dropped the first time i read it...

i don't dig how people are always trying to make it into a god/israel thing. why not take this as literally as everything else?

the sensuality of it alone--the myrrh, honey, flowers--is wonderful.

verse 5, chapter 6 made me think:

I opened for my lover,
but my lover had left; he was gone.
My heart sank at his departure.
I looked for him but did not find him.
I called him but he did not answer.

been feeling like that a lot lately.

you know, i started this entry in the spirit of negativity...and in a assbackwards way at that.

i'm glad i turned it into this instead.



every seven years you get a new body.

birthdays divisible by seven, they say, are usually important in some way. generally it's expected that you will experiencing some sort of major transition or change.

i'm still 2 years away from my next "seven birthday", but i feel like it could be tomorrow.

i'm hoping that means things will be smoother and less chaotic by that time. but who knows.

one can only hope, right?

this sign gives me hope for the world. :)


d.c. eats her young

the flutter of a desert fly's wings
on the concrete
of my front stairs

the capital building
is ground zero

sins committed there
echo in the ears of children
with griot blood
who have not yet learned
how to ignore
their birthright

grandchildren of priestesses
in a godless land
reaping the harvest
sown by
demoralized parents
crooked systems
and apathetic idolatry

if we continue
to allow madness
in our house
it is our children
who will embrace it
desperate for
love and lessons
we've become too complacent to teach

like any gift,
they can be

we are
failing the test
god is not
on our side
and the sooner we realize it
the sooner we can heal.

the prayers and curses
of a thousand lips
are blowing typhoon winds
into the center of chocolate city
escorting misery
to your doorstep
but your babies are the only ones
conscious enough
to hear her knocking

rage flows like water
rocking their souls to sleep
like you refused to do
for fear of spoiling them

we will lose
the war
at home or abroad
as long as we ignore the obvious
allow our youth
to play with razor blades
and walk barefoot
on broken glass

we kill them with our lies
confuse with our hypocrisy

suffer the little children

the leaders of the 60s
are returning as brilliant hoodlums
draped in white tees
they're trying to shape into priestly robes

suffer the little children

open your eyes
to the play on the asphalt stage

the ancestors will keep sending warriors
until we remember how to teach them to fight

but all we can think to do
is build more battlefields
for them to die defenseless on.

blood spilled there
will fall on our heads here

the world
is not flat
and we are not
an island

the golden rule
doesn't stop applying
just 'cause you cross the border

fool me once
shame on you

fool me twice
shame on me.

the flutter
of a desert fly's wings
is sending ripples
thru the streets
of concrete jungles
light years away.

(c) 2009 l.a.m.



i need God.

my neglect of my spiritual self is catching up to me. i'm realizing that i need to allow my spirit space to grow, breathe, and live. this is a major part of getting where i need to be in the other areas of my life.

of course, there are some conditions.

i will not be reverting to my judeo-christian beginnings.

i do want to continue my reading/study of the bible. same thing with the koran. i enjoy reading both--the koran especially--but the faiths themselves aren't for me.

long ago, i rejected the idea of a solely male, patriarchial godhead. everything in the Universe is dualistic. my disdain at the Holy Spirit being denied Her place as Goddess disqualifies me for blind faith in the christian trinity. the Divine Feminine must be recognized, revered, and considered just as important as the Male. it is my firm belief that the removal of this dimension in the lives & faiths of so many has contributed to the chaotic state of the world today.

(i also place some stock in the idea that people are becoming more drawn to these issues/ideas because the Goddess is restless in Her neglect. everything moves in cycles...the spiritual consciousness of humanity is no different.)

some historical origins and african prophets notwithstanding, christianity/islam/judaism are not the faiths of my ancestors. more and more, i'm seeing how these traditions have been/are being used & abused in the repression, oppression, and murder of my people around the world.

my ancestors revered nature, life, earth and sky. they understood and embraced the concept of masculine and feminine energy combining to form the complexities and balance of the Universe. every being on the planet does this--even hermaphroditic species need 2 sets of parts/cells to multiply. so why has it become so difficult to accept this premise in our spiritual lives? simply because a few thousand years ago (people wanna act like the world started with jesus. God lived long before yeshua) some dudes sat down and wrote a book and asked themselves, "why should women have all the fun?"

nope. don't buy it.

i am drawn to the more shamanistic/mystic ways of worship and belief. ifa, buddhism, rastafari, sufism, hinduism, and other similar traditions are far more attractive than traditional churches and mosques.

i know that i need a faith that will carry me thru every day, not just a few days a week. i require a sacred space in my home, not just a book or two.

either way, God & i have been playing phone tag for way too long. i will not allow myself to fear this aspect of my life any longer.



it must be in our nature to forget

the immensity of the planet

since we are taught

to stuff ourselves

in an assortment of boxes

that in no way fit

who we're meant to be


we are individuals in every way

except our dreaming

what do you expect

when imagination is crushed

between the gears of the machine

we can't even sing anymore

melodies are regurgitated

instead of inspired

apathy set to sound

we are dying

and celebrate it

accept the worst kinds of nihilism

draped in hope's clothing

of course

the blind are the only ones

who see

depressed knowitalls

who love to wreck the party

everyone else

is having.

(c) 2008 l.a.m.



i do not like the energy of this place.

it has the feeling of a skin graft...naturally artificial. this place, much of it, has been transplanted here, imported. it does not belong.

the walls are invisible, but clearly marked. an abundance of urban blight surrounding the fortress/oasis...pleasant place to be as long as you don't go too far out of the box. when the lines have to be crossed, the fear is palpable.

there is something restless here. history razed to make way for housing, parking lots, new research labs and other assorted knickknacks.

but this place lies over years of memories, blood, sweat, tears. it is not just the antiseptic feel of a hospital that lingers. it is the image of the plantation. the memories of the homeless people who disappeared. the children and the lead.

it is the way black folks are kept in the basements.

the back entrances and lonely service ramps haunting the undersides of the sparkling new buildings.

hierarchy is in the bricks here. bureaucracy in the air. it is difficult to breathe.


consciousness stream 3

my empathy is god's way/ of allowing my great (times 10) grandmother/ to shed her tears//

my lifestyle/ allows space for emotion she may never have fully explored/ or understood//

sometimes i wonder/ how many of her men were chased away/ maybe that's why mine don't stick around//

massa's warped sensibilities exchanged for/ the attentions of absentee fathers and overworked mothers/slavery is/ still fucking my shit up/ only in a different timeplacespaceway//

but/ details aside/ dysfunction is still dysfunction...

i only want to make the weeping stop/ replay the joyful ceremonies/ spread balm over the wounds/ make a way outta no way/ love against the odds that/he'll know how to love me back...

the ancestors desired a time traveler/ so here i am/ stuck in a distant present/ remembering a dimly lit past/ jet lag is a constant/ my growth an attempt to get my bearings//

seamlessly shape shifting to find my level/ water personified/ my patience sculpts stone/ my vitality introduces the possibility/ of life//

i am no accident.

even if my parents had claimed i was/ i'd know better/ i was awaited in this world/ just as i was released from the other/ some grand anticipation/seems to color my forward movement//

the sun illuminates my moisture, and rainbows follow...

this is how i know i will grow into myself.


40 percent

my dad finally got his disability from the VA for vietnam. he will now recieve 40% of the benefits owed to him.

this after 20+ years of struggle.

i've lived my entire life with the ghost of that war. many of us have...whether it was a dad, a favorite uncle, maybe a brother or sister.

for us 20-somethings, our movies started to reflect it--dead presidents, jason's lyric, ...more than a few of the movies in the 90s dealt with the consequences 'nam had on the children of vets.

i had an acquaintance in college whose father went thru some of the same things mine did....while we got along generally, that was the topic we first bonded over. it was the first time i'd met someone who understood.

daddy talks about the lighter side of things...the bbq featuring their pet pig, the 40 days and 40 nights of rain, that kind of thing. i used to love going thru the old photo albums and seeing the golden buddhas in the temples and the weird, sepia landscapes. and, of course, daddy sitting around with a cigar in his mouth, looking impossibly young.

but i know there are many other things he doesn't talk about...the things that took the light out of his eyes.

my mother always told me he came back a shell of himself, nothing like the guy who'd left home.

and even tho i didn't see the early effects, i still knew not to wake him up too fast...not to sneak up on him, ever...not to sneak into the house too quietly. i watched a lot of movies and skimmed more than a few books trying to fill in the blanks.

i've always counted myself fortunate that he came back in much better shape than most, but that's still little consolation to loved ones and children who grow up with ghosts.

there is no way a check's gonna make up for that. i don't care if it was 100%. but he fought long & hard for every single dime, and i'm proud of him for it.

at every anti-war rally i've been to, i've sought out the veterans (especially the vietnam ones) and shaken a hand or just simply said, "my father is one of you, and that's why i'm here today."

when people ask why i'm against war, i'll go thru some facts, but i make it a point to tell them, "i would never want anyone's daddy to go thru what mine did."

i'll never be able to support this country going into even a justified conflict while knowing they're just going to use soldiers as guinea pigs then give 'em the shaft once they get home.

but i'll take this small victory. 'cause every little bit helps.


earth & water

yesterday i found out my mother had a picture of me and a good friend of mine...

we're sitting on a couch...in some dorm somewhere. i can't remember what year it was taken or for what, but it's an 8x10 glossy, so it must have had some purpose. his hair was relatively short...my nails look like acrylics. it was probably around sophomore year...97 or 98.

my eyes are closed. i'm leaning against his chest. he has his arms around me....a very couple-esque pose. he's looking out towards something...maybe a television. maybe he's just deep in thought. he seems kind of tired. i look like i might be about to say something. or about to smile.

the last time i saw him was in 2001. it was early winter, and he came to spend a weekend with me...wanted to see the city & get out of boston for a second or three. he was ecstatic that i had (finally) decided to loc my hair--he was always asking me why i never wore my hair in braids or why i wouldn't just let it go natural...rock a 'fro or something. and his eyes would shine when he talked about it.

unfortunately, we lost touch pretty soon after that weekend.

strangely enough, i had a completely unprovoked dream about him the night before this picture resurfaced. i'm hoping this is a sign.

he nursed me thru a broken heart...introduced me to jerk chicken and the warm, brown-sugar sweetness of first generation west indian guys... took me to my first live reggae show... was always willing to act like my man to keep the undesirables away.

he let me twist his locs when the closest i'd ever gotten to a head full of hair like that was in my dreams... let me cook for him and fuss over him, and i was never anything close to being his girl.

we had some moments.

and a marriage pact ("if neither of us is married by the time we're 40...").

he made me feel beautiful in a place where i simply wasn't seen and at a time when i'd never been so unsure of myself.

you might know who you are by now...so, if by some strange turn of fate, you've come across this page, i hope you're well. something tells me you're probably all tied up w/ some wonderful woman & maybe even a kid or two (congrats), but you can call a sista, dammit.

i miss you.


primordial mama

the woman

i write for

is dark and deep


even her joy

is indigo//

she seems loose to you

but she is only

adept at providing comfort//

her womb's doorway can

house an army

as her rivers wash her clean//

she is

immaculately promiscuous


sacred prostitution


chaste bondage//

...it is a shame that

this language only understands

such rites thru a

bastardized expression

composed of two loaded,

opposing concepts

(c) 2009 l.a.m.


i want to shout my existence

from the tallest mountain

scream my being

into the ears of strangers

maybe thru some

freak of nature

or physics

it will stimulate

someone's optic nerve






(c) 2009 l.a.m.



you have to take my hand

follow me down the road//

it doesn’t have to be made of yellow bricks if you don’t want it to be

‘cause we’re not chasing the wizard,

he’s chasing us//

trying to bottle our kisses and

ground the harmonies we sing

into powders for his garden

(…'cause everyone knows

love makes flowers grow)//

we don’t need emerald cities

we’d rather slide into the ocean

on ghanian gold

spell our names in

semi-precious stonedust

on the sides of volcanoes

to make the Goddess giggle

(c) 2009 l.a.m.



there's a woman i see outside my window at work.

she's out there around the same time every day.

she walks around a lot...i can't tell whether she's talking to herself or not. she has different clothes on every day, so i don't think she's homeless.

she seems to be waiting for a bus, but it must be one that doesn't come very often, 'cause i also see several pass her by.

sometimes she'll walk away and come back. today she seems to have some focus. other days she seems very lost...as if someone disappeared near that bus stop & she comes back every day to search for them.

i never consciously look for her, but find myself looking down and there she is...i've trained myself without realizing it.

strangely, i can't really tell how long she stays out there. i'll look & she's there, i'll look some time later, she's gone. the next day, she's back again.

watching her reminds me of the day an old man walked past me...he seemed so alone i almost ran up to him and hugged him. i knew i couldn't do that, so then i felt like crying...

sometimes it's difficult not being able to express to someone that you understand, that you feel their pain. especially when, from all appearances, you don't seem like you would at all.



think about this:

let's say everything you touched became something other than what it was. metaphors for everything: hair turns to cotton, skin is silk, rain is air, smiles become sunrays studded with jewels.

you get the picture.

the beauty in everything becomes painfully obvious...it has a presence, an aura, that you can't shake. lifeforce becomes something you can touch, manipulate, ease yourself into. almost anything is open for understanding.

senses are dulled & heightened at the same time...you can see and hear far better than you did yesterday, but you may not want to eat.

and in the midst of all this you feel like you're been rocking in a universal cradle; the world around you is kind of dim...like looking thru a frosted glass. you're safe in your nursery. something in the rhythm of the earth soothes you.

that's pretty much where i've been for the past week or so.

i know this is the place where the poetry comes from...among other things. but i never--well, in the last few years anyway--stay in this state for more than a day or two.

i refuse to do anything to snap myself out of it...i suppose out of some protest against the banality of having to see the world "normally" 95% of the time.

i know a way out. and sometimes you don't want--or need--to go back in.


consciousness stream 2

(birthed in the early a.m. of 10-25-04 & edited for something resembling clarity. there's a lot to work with, and there are probably more than 2 segments to it...who knows. it'll probably morph several times before i'm content with it)

scream break things/ scream break things

if i scream long enough/ and break enough things/ will you let me out?/ free me?/ numb me so i can forget or/

dumb me down so i don't notice?

can you stop me/ from dreaming?

the daily grind/ took its toll/ and it's more than i can afford

tax man's comin/ but you don't get no breaks/ this is the soul tax/ the one everyone pays/ it's the only thing/ everyone has/ and your lawyer can't find/ universal loopholes

maybe if i check myself/ into the local loony bin/ i can shake him/ i'm sure he looks there last/ there where the souls/ got twisted on the way in/ or out

snatches of reality/ caught between glimpses of other dimensions

mental illness/ has a thousand more manifestations/ than any therapist theorist quack or scientist/ could ever name

but names have power

it's not that/ we need a cop out/ road rages are/ no less insane than
schizophrenic fantasy worlds

it's that/ there's money to be made/ pills to sell/ books to pen/ seminars to lead

the roots get lost/ in the study of the magnificence/ of the foliage and/ the sweetness of the fruit/ but the roots/ are rotten

scream break things

i need help but/ don't have enough lines left/ to tell you why/ i wear invisible shackles in/ an open air prison/ and folks too blind to see the chains ask/ why can't you walk straight?

why can't you move right?

tell them to/ enhance their vision/ adjust their mental contacts/ get spiritual bifocals/ and they turn away

scream break things

what if i/ broke myself/ would you piece me together?
that's love for real.

would you know/ where my shards fit together?

that's understanding.


(c) 2004 l.a.m.


consciousness stream 1

(concieved 12.27.03)

3rd eye
dream visions
reality on sound systems
and digital screens//

forced into
potential potential
i'd rather leave alone//

there's a finger on my life
don't know whose
...or who'd care enough
to pay that much attention//

books full of letters
letters make words
words make thoughts
paper universe
falliable malleable
capable of decay//

organically grown
streams of consciousness
running out of pens
leaking ingenuity

or maybe just
the narcissitic musings
of a wannabe nubian//

i think
my locs need a few inches
before i'm truly authentic//

or was i real
before all that//

sometimes i can't remember
...there's a lot i can't remember
the pages do that for me
making the price of paper
more than fair//

i need more music
i keep finding my way
out of the forest
the sounds should
hide me longer//

and i should open these books more often//

if i'm not going to meditate
communion of penstrokes
and keyboard clacks
are my only hope//

--if salvation even matters anymore.

(c) 2004 l.a.m.