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Blood In the Water

28


Enigmatic Interlude #1:

Today I sat outside of a Chinese owned deli, downtown Washington, D.C., eating a chipotle chicken wrap made by a Hispanic employee with an iced caramel macchiato from Starbucks. I sat next to a racially ambiguous woman who, I assumed, was on her lunch break and listened to hip hop music as vastly different people walked by...the potential and proximity of what was to come settled in...And I...I smelled blood...


Sweet Silence


When I had a motor mouth,

You had headphones on your ears.


From what it appears, now that I’m silent,

You’re all ears, sitting around pleading in fear.


Sadly, I don’t care, now that you care,

Where were you when I would’ve filled your ear, nowhere?


You always do the same thing, you’ll never change,

I’ve completely lost hope in that fantasy.


So, now I expect you to perform your daily routine,

This exact routine you proceed to do constantly hurts me.


This is the reason why now I feel there’s nothing left to say,

Because I’m tired of stressing.


Obviously, you don’t care about me,

You just continue to be selfish and break me.

Resisting, I keep getting up and preparing to fall again.


Vexation has come upon me so now I’m finished falling.


As long as you are you, I want nothing to do with you,

And by the way, you don’t deserve me or anything.


My love is slowly drifting, fading,

Along with my voice when you attempt a conversation.


All this to show you I’m done, just take a hint and fix what you’ve broken.


Shhh…


Is silence helpful?

Or is it a hindrance?

You cannot listen if you speak too often or loudly

Yet

You cannot share or impart wisdom if you do not speak

Perhaps that is why I prefer to write



Pitfall


Accolades become distractions; warrant reclusive reactions

Subtle soliloquies from the stubborn, they're saying nothing

Vigilant voices speak out amidst the swaying trees

Constantly, consciously trying to remain cognizant


Epitome

Of a soul searching to understand self

Digging for indignant, intrinsic wealth

Is this the pit of me?


Enigmatic Interlude #2:

People have a tendency of asking the same thing. Every time you speak to them, they say the same thing. Is this curiosity? Or do they feel it’s necessary? The problem is not the formation of the question, it is simply that you do not know how to reply.




Outcry


Why don’t you hear me when I speak?

Is my voice of an unappealing octave?

What is it that begets ignoring lending to your ignorance?

Perhaps your conscience…


Pillaged by incessant efforts of assimilationist messages

Pre-programmed lectures of the negligence

I’ve been thrown to the wolves

No little boy to cry over precedence


Note to Self


You are still transitioning.

So you must remember that learning is a process of scaffolding.


Don’t underestimate anything.

Because when you least expect it, you get knocked down several feet.


Being down is equivalent to being lost.

And now you’re stuck wondering just oh how to get up.


Now you’ve messed up.

Only able to now re-evaluate your mistakes.


What you can give should be what you take.

It takes, a while to understand what learning truly is.


Learning is not understanding information instantly.

You have to work to where you need to be although the starting point is not where you want to be.


Use your starting point as your motivation.

Being realistic is the only way to grow and accepting the fact that you will alway have to.


Learning is not a problem.

Some things you will know and others you won’t.


Remember who you are and your capabilities.

You are intelligent, motivated, and passionate,


So use all those radiant characteristics.


Enigmatic Interlude #3:

Labeling one’s own self as an enigma is actually rather pompous, in my opinion; to be branded “misunderstood” by the only person who you believe understands you. There has to be some sort of prophetically unfavorable result of this notion. Nonetheless, here I am. No prophet; just a self-proclaimed enigma.


Next Chapter


It’s so amazing how everything happens abruptly.

Feels as if yesterday I was just graduating.

As soon as that event took place everything continued to change.

The distance I had felt before has started to fester.

And every thought I had developed involving you became improper.

I know, I should’ve expected this, but when it comes to you my mind

Thinks a little childish.

I would just like to take the moment to thank you.

Because with the pain inflicted it causes me to be more motivated.

In this next chapter, you have no page, no part, no sentence.

Say goodbye while you can because I am finished.

Today you made me cry and it will be the last time.

Because now I won’t waste anymore of mine.

You can label it anger or as simply as you please.

But, to me, this my next chapter, my new beginning.




Big Picture


Gnawed fingernails leave entrails of what was meant to be uttered

Only if the crimson tinged plasma could somehow graft phrases

To seep and stain in a way that could be seen, felt, and truly understood 

Yet, this is the most wishful of thinking as the medium dries and is only remembered as a blemish



Insecurities induce consideration of alterations

Transformations for inevitable embraces

No need for patience

Shape shift into more make shift

Received without justification 

Rearrangements of trait placements

Reflection met with harsh statements


Enigmatic Interlude 4:

Can you keep a secret? … Well I’m going to tell you anyways. I occasionally go through random depression periods in my life. During this particular depression period, I was sitting at my desk watching spoken word poetry on YouTube. Each one was so powerful so … I got inspired and decided to make one. Now, yes I’ve written poetry before but never spoken word. I’ve written poetry since middle school in a Shrek notebook. Now, these depression periods can seriously be a psychological clinical issue or disorder, but luckily poetry has always been my therapy. That’s why I write to this day


Reason


Honestly,

I first started writing to impress the opposite sex

Open means to express what I was bred to suppress

Foolishly believing that sonnets were love tonics

And prose produced passion that sustained without tarnish


My naivety painted me into an empty, inscribed corner

Engraved with an ignorant insignia…insanity

Though never actually prescribed

And the wishing well now runs dry


A love poem is simply that

Dried ink, manifested urge, pretty words

From the lowlands of the world as we know it

A side effect of emotion, though, we are too weak to show it




Spoken Word


I want you to hold onto my words as they glide.


Because as I speak, I will be setting aside my pride.


People always want to get inside my mind, but I don’t let them pry.


Inside this mind are thoughts that cannot be unthought.


Behind these eyes are sights that can not be unseen.


But, hey what do I mean ?


Please explain it to me.


Okay, since you’ve asked listen carefully.


As my soft voice begins to illustrate innumerable repulsive scenes.


In order to do this properly, let me start from the beginning.


While persistently asking, “Where is she?” a young girl was mislead every time.


No, it was no crime, but at the time, it was easy for you.


I didn’t get a chance to say Goodbye to you or even three simple words, “I love you.”


And I mean I loved him too but he wasn’t you.


Oh no he wasn’t you and I knew because of the things he’d do.


See you were strong, like me, so I know you wouldn’t need support from others things.


Swallowing the pain, he couldn’t take.


And sniffling due to tears he couldn’t erase.


He’s weak.


You see, he’s nothing like me, but this is only the cake, I haven’t gotten to the icing.


You see, she had to hunt you down daily and each time she’d lose.


So, it was only a matter of time her heart was put on snooze.


Can’t be chasing something that keeps running from you.


Pretty soon you’ll get tired.


Pretty soon she got tired too.


Going back and forth, she had to be tough.


Since adolescence, it was rough, and she felt she had no other option.


But, luckily she did have other options, in which she could direct her love.


Because even the strong needs a hug.


And now she’s all grown up with her tears dried up and her body mind and soul cut up.


Through her eyes, she views that not has changed unless she is doing a survey of her reflection.


And correction this isn’t the end, I mean what’s a cake without extra expression?


Some call it decoration, but that’s not my direction.


Now I hope you were able to keep up with my diction.


I could go all day and explain, but pretty soon my expression loses value.


But just know I value you, I really do.

You followed my directions from the beginning so vividly.


In return let me give you a glimpse of my life story.


Broken Links


Used to be thick as thieves

Now, comparable to cat whiskers

Subtly stroking my chin

Brows brushed by the breeze


Travel shortages, painful predicaments 

Predictable parabolic coordinates 

Desmond ventured for a stint up state

Rather than carry one, Jordan rests on a case


Dale’s life was punctuated with a book-long sentence 

Consequences of decisions, ballistics arrest

What’s next? Forced to recollect...

The inconvenience of David’s convenience store death


Still no explanation for Anthony

Far removed, no closure in the end

Too philosophical? Possible, from a shallow lens

Wishing whiskey sips could bring back childhood friends



Enigmatic Interlude #5:

Artists create because they must. There is no such thing as, “I want to paint a pretty picture,” and producing a world-renowned piece. It doesn’t happen that way. Artists create to escape, or embrace, the truths that haunt them. They bleed from their weapon of choice and leave crimson stained footprints of passion until the trail finally grows faint and disappears. 


Starving


The veins of the land encourage the flow of oxygen

Nation

Passageways winding throughout the embodiment of God's grace

All with the same distinct purpose of supplying our hearts

Circulatory transport facilitated by the beat



Train Station


Stay in the track,

If you fall off, well there goes your life,

It’ll be gone,

The dead can not be revived,

Once you’re so far gone there’s nothing to be found.


It’s going to be a long ride,

Until you arrive at your destination,

Just stay seated,

There’s no way off,

Once the train had already been moving.


I know the ride is long and bumpy,

But, I swear there are good sites you’ll pass.

Not everything is aggravating,

You’ll find happiness in different places.


Faces will pass,

Conversations will be exchanged,

Relationships will be built all on the train,

Some people will jump off or just ignore you after a while,

People lost, people gained, a repeating cycle.


Your family on the train with you will only ride for so long,

Everyone has their own destination,

Remember to always say by,

It might be the last words depending on when they get off the train.


This train ride is more like a roller coaster,

Many emotions will be felt during the ride,

Stay strong, sit up straight, enjoy it.

Soon you’ll be getting off…


Once you’re at your destination,

Get off the train and wait in the station,

You’ll be guided to your next stop.

The next stop is where everything stops.


While you’re off the train it’ll continue,

Going to different stood dropping people off at different times,

The train ride continuously goes on,

Just wave and smile to the passengers.


Pretty


Consumed by a tomb of drunken artistry

Precautious in coping and coasting through the darkest parts of me

Lanterns along the way give the impression that it’s partially safe

Yet, what lurks below the surface has yet to show its true face


To Be…


Art is most commonly appreciated in the absence of life

There is no empowerment for functioning lungs

Most people long to live their best life

Artists dreadfully desire to die their best death


Bountiful words coil around inner turmoil

Hidden thorns incite a tireless toil

Who are we to be wonderful?

Who are we to not?


Enigmatic Interlude #6:

With growth comes change and sometimes change includes elimination. Life reveals toxic and beneficial people to you… but it is your decision who you keep around. In this next chapter of my life, I will do what’s necessary, will you?



Who? Me?


It’s taken a long time to accept myself

Able to look anyone in the eyes, except myself

Rejected due to personal discomfort amongst the masses

A little truth in every joke, never mind my media status


Brief conversations before realizations begin to surface

Used to get down on myself and wonder if I was worth it

Shaky disposition, battling against the mindset

Mind over matter, my mind matters, mad at my mind’s depth



Hurdles


I honestly valued the struggles before,

Because looking back I could’ve endured more.


Crying over spilled milk in the past,

Crosses my mind every time I’ve got a new task.


You never know what’s coming, so prepare for it all.

Because even if you’re expecting to win, you can still fall.


So celebrate later rather than early.

Remaining humble is the key.


Just know there is more than one key.

Lots of keys to collect along the way.


You see, there’s so many locks to unlock.

They will try to block, you from succeeding.


And as your wrist begins to crack and fingers grow weak.

Remind yourself that pain is necessary.


Enigmatic Interlude #7:

Being black in America, you are plagued by the Box Theory: An inherited fight against being placed in boxes. Mental boxes around intellectual inferiority and emotional confinement; Physical boxes which are nothing more than animal cages, and the inevitable coffin.


Bars


Get up by your bootstraps 

As you’re back is beaten blue black

We've been influenced by institutions 

Prejudice jurisprudence 

Finagled to accept the nuisance

Losing it, praying the noose is loosened

To many, it is simply a hollow rectangular prism

To us, it's prison, a metaphor for figurative and literal living conditions 


What’s it Like?


So you want to know what it’s like to be me?

Yo, why is this store clerk following me?

How come cops are suppose to protect and serve, but all they do is beat me?

Every time they seem me or my people, why do they stop us?


Oh, becuase you’re bored and you want to harm us?

You say I was driving over the speed limit but was I really?


Wait! Oh my! How did thos escalate so quickly?


I followed all your rules, but yet you still disrespect me?

Why in the hell are you so intimidated by me?


Oh, I know what you believe, you think I’m a criminal?

You think I waste my life?

It doesn’t occur to you that I’m actually bright?

Let me guess, you just know my dad is a dead beat right?

Isn’t that what you think, when you see me?


Are you answering my question honestly?


You love to underestimate me?

But you know how strong I am right?

Yet you still drag on this same old fight?

You know I’ll win so you’re afraid?


Well good because how do you think we felt?


Now, do you want to start on dinner or clean my house?

Woah wait, it’s your life and you get no say, because you’re … uneducated?

Ole wait you don’t pass the test, so you want to clean the front yard instead?

Oh, if you don’t mind, can you have your wife meet me in the shed?

Are you crying?


Do you want to see the bones in your back?


Are you going to stand up now?

You think you done working?


How hot is it out?

Burning you a crisp, huh?

You better not think of slowing down, you hear?

You know I’m in charge and I don’t care?

Tell your son to set the table will you?


Uhh, I’m starving, did you say something back?


Boy you know I’ll kill you?

Then, how many will be left?

Should I purfiy the earth?


Will you snap out of it?


You know were living history?

Tomorrow will there be another story to tell?

And yes you must know, that your fate is worse than hell?

Are you the Devil himself ?

Actually, forget I asked, will you?

Why do you try to cover everything up with a cold, wet, holed sheet?


You know my questions are rhetorical because the truth and you will never meet?


Are you happy?

How do you feel?

How would you feel if the roles were reversed?

Wouldn’t it be worse?

Because in reality you don’t amount to me?

You’re sad, pathetic,and weak?

You like to stand behind machinery?


You’re mad there’s more to me?

More color, more everything?

Oh, you still laughing?

You think I’m a joke?

Yeah we’ll see won’t we?

You think you know me?


How about you read between the lines instead of judging?


The Cycle


Discredited and disenfranchised

Time and time again

Disregarded and disillusioned

A picture I do not fit in


Highly favored as no one’s favorite

Not even my own

Taught the opposite of empowerment

For I have no home


Asthmatic


Beautiful, black blemishes on my bare flesh

Reflection wondering, “What struggle will we face next?”

Close to wheezing, in need of a rest

Seldom slowing, running out of breath


Oh


Brethren reduced to beasts to be bred

Confederate meddling

Rendering the special

Destitute and disheveled


Love was lost

Then rescheduled

Original unwelcome

Oh… Hello, Othello





The Woke


In and out of antebellum

Addicts of absent consciousness

Welts and well wishes, baring witness

Shallow mixes with the cognitive


That romantic, poetic depression

People often joke about

Mistaken, misunderstood

Knockout in an invisible bout


Yesterday is history

Tomorrow’s a mystery

…Especially…

If you look like me


I’m far more likely to be murdered

On my way to work than most

Where the most mysterious part

Is the minor reaction it would evoke…


Esteemed dreams of hope…

…”The Woke”…


Enigmatic Interlude #8:

The dilemma that I constantly face and subject myself lies within the necessity that I feel for adversity. If I am not struggling, I am not doing enough. Yet, I simply can never do enough to satisfy this struggle. The woes of adulthood are great, and sometimes overwhelming. My transition out of childhood occurred early and almost all at once. 


Homage


With visions so pixelated and digitized, we only wish for truth

All the while glaring up to the heavens, with hopes of getting through

Same story, different chapters, this is all nothing new

The elders have the wisdom simply due to seeing more than you



The Ultimate Test


How is it, they ask me?

As the corners of my mouth turn up, I begin to think.

Now I’m searching, for the answer they seek.

But, I quickly come to realize, I can’t respond to their query.

You see the question may seem simple to you as you misjudge the complexity.

But for me, I just can’t describe the unfamiliar so quickly.

This experience, these new feelings in a new environment, testing my capability.

My ability to thrive under pressure, alone.

Basically, grown. Now I must learn how to float on my own.

Sure, family can be called on the phone.

But, what can be truly done to help me?

As my emotions pick at my brains so eagerly.

Walking around like a zombie, trying to escape reality.

This is my home now.

Accepting that unforgiving independence is difficult.

When all you can do is wish for a remote.

To pause time or simply rewind.

Regretting not cherishing the time.

Now time is of the essence.

Literally, days go by as I blink.

And there is always work to make me think.

Walking and walking , just to get a seat.

In the seat, I tell myself “focus.”

Don’t lose focus, you need to focus.

But focus on the right things.

Trying to make the most of your new life, your new beginning.

Though it feels like you’re sinking.

Decisions, decisions, stay or go.

Nothing gets easier.

The test advances.

So, I am truly sorry that I cannot answer your question.

The real response is I don’t know.

I’m unsure how to feel, because the burning new stress and worries quite greatly doesn’t seem real.

It’s like I’ve been given a token.

I put it in the machine, but if I don’t beat it

It beats me.

And there goes my future which I’ve pushed myself to build.

So if that definition is not clear, imagine running for years.

Now, finally you’re close enough to see the tape.

But each time you seem to be near, it disappears.

So when that question is asked, I answer sarcastically.

Because no one truly wants to view the scars or mentally experience what you’re feeling.

So they block out the negativity.

While you soak in it unwillingly.

So that’s the answer you seem,

I hope I explained it with enough vivid imagery.


Cape and Mask


Mixed memorandums

In tandem

Never been to the opera

Yet, understand the phantom



The Curse of The Good Man


The good man is so often overlooked, mistreated, and misjudged


The good man is the one who accepts nothing for something without holding a grudge


The good man is worn down due to excessive trampling by others


The good man knows what it truly means to be a brother and a lover


The good man knows truth, walks with pride, and endures pain


The good man has no problem with taking a loss for another’s gain


The good man remains this way because he feels that anything else is unnecessary


The good man believes that a good woman is his sanctuary


The good man is completely selfless, shows love for his fellow man


The good man is often battered by life, many wouldn’t understand


The good man would lay his life down to ensure the safety of those he loves


The good man is not afraid to ask for help and looks for strength from above


The good man is humble, patient, and listens intently before drawing conclusions


The good man is able to resist temptation and decipher harmful illusions


The good man overcomes obstacles and adapts to the struggle he faces


The good man only wants to be recognized and feel warming embraces


The good man often stands alone in a world full of apparent evil


The good man has no intention of being spiteful, hateful, or deceitful


The good man is not arrogant, nor does he ever believe that he is perfect


The good man is often, seemingly, the target of naysayers and serpents


The good man lives among the shadows out of disdain for the spotlight


The good man is troubled by irrationality and those who choose to not do right


The good man fights losing, uphill battles with faith that he will win one day


The good man harbors ill feelings within, while positivity is what he conveys


The good man is often lost and on standby with hopes of being saved


The good man steps forward when most would fade; he is truly brave


The good man searches for validity in a universe full of falsehood


The good man questions whether he would ever change if he could


But the good man resists the urge to be bad, which is what makes


Enigmatic Interlude #9:

Looking back on old situations, you are able to re-evaluate your thought process and actions. Did you do what was necessary? How did things work out? These questions help you learn to deal with similar complication in the future. We learn and we grow, if we choose to.


Backtrack


I would never purposely perpetrate that my situation, growing up, was worse than it actually was

With that said, we were always in the presence of love

Though we never had it all

It was seldom that we did not have enough

My father worked ferociously forever,

No denying the extent of his effort


1 parent, 3 rooms, section 8 

Maturity prior to puberty 

Nothing new to me

Many others can relate


Making note of the times

Strictly for old time’s sake

The sake I now savor

Is no coveted birthday cake


Christmas wish lists, maybe senseless

Drove our hope through the trenches

Dredging through December snow

For Grandma’s grudge worthy dishes


Uncle Rich in position in the kitchen, consistently on a mission

But as the years have come to pass

This has diminished without remission


Summary


Wait…

What’s my role again?

On a roll again

Out of control again

Listen!...

Here we go again


Social Mediation


They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Agree to disagree

Solitaires are only solitary

A limited shimmer

That is…

Unless the recognition is clicked and shared

Face-logged and instantly glorified once she hits “pair”

Oh dear, no fear, the fiber optics never fail

All the while, nervous, he smiles

As the comments prevail

Digital demon stealing souls with every single byte

Emblazoned on the palms of many

A lady’s delight


Surface Tension


Sketching my transgressions

Flaws and imperfections

Failures and impressions

Grand essence of blessings


Biological


I hear drums from a far

I think they symbolize my drive to stay alive

Inhale and open my eyes

Watch clocking borrowed time


Just Another Day


Holidays feel like regular days nowadays.


Wake up, get dressed up, just to sit in the same place.


“It’s a special day!” they say.

But tell me, what is so special about entertaining a room that is empty.


All you hope for and expect is to spend time with family.


It’s on these days, the truth is revealed.


Where all your scars resurface when you thought you had healed.


Special days are stressed but are not expressed the same way.


These days, these “holidays” are ordinary.


They are just like yesterday, so why celebrate?


I feel no different today, other than the fact that now I have an old reminder.


But, tradition tells me I should be happy, merry.


Below Zero


Dredging through the snow naked…

Please excuse the foresight

Speaking only hypothetically

But let’s say you are out there for four nights


Knocked on every door encountered

Not a single soul has stopped and helped

At this point, is it ludicrous?

To assume you are truly by yourself?




April 8th


I can’t believe I’ve been living without you.


When I junk shout you, it’s like I can’t breathe.


And in the back of my throat, there’s this painful tugging.


I want to scream.


Surprisingly, each and everyday I feel this hole inside widening.

Because you’re missing.


My missing piece and though it sounds corny without you, I feel incomplete.


Like unconsciously I know in the back of my mind, I’ll never be fully happy.


But, I hope your happiness reached its full capacity, before…


Before you could only utter goodbye.


I wish I told you goodbye.


Having no recollection, only paper reminders, eats at my mind.


I want to cry.


As I try to hold back my tears, I can’t get the obvious out of my mind.


I miss what I never had.


I missed the time.


The time I didn’t have with you.


Though I missed you, I never stopped missing you.


Especially, not on April 8th, because this very special day is your birthday.


So, happy birthday, to my very own inspiration, my strength, and my motivation.


Happy Birthday beautiful and may you rest, peacefully.


Enigmatic Interlude #10:

Often times, you need to remind yourself why you first started in order to finish. Ironically, as your goal is within arm’s length your motivation runs thin. I think as humans we just become tired … essentially, the work difficulty does not increase, but our work ethic suffers a sort of depreciation. So, when you are so close that you can taste your success, keep going.



The Distance


300 meters down, 100 to go

Last leg, later for losing

Desperation on your breath

Do you have enough left?


Eyes steady, arms heavy

Feeling more than ready

Bring the flood

Go...sever the levees 


You can be anybody

Better to just be you, oddly

Breaking habit can be elaborate

Besides, inauthenticity can be costly





Thread Count


Once prone to pocket change, struggles on the pay phone

Induced change, checking the exchange rate from dollars to euros

Dilapidated couch dwelling, nourishment often uncertain

Converted to curtains purchased from assertive merchants



adVenture Capitalist


When you travel the world, you talk different 

When you march with diversity, you walk different

From blurred visions of 70 cents to views on a 70inch

Still not at the victory lap, but the race is so intense

Scattered gratification, elation, coded embraces

Effort and indignation, battle in a paradisiacal basement


Life


Once you enter

You leave when it’s your time

Life will make your heart burn, eyes simmer and sting

In life, everything happens for a reason

In life, people change like the seasons

In life, happiness does not last as long as pain

Things will cut you at the vein

But, soon you will retain being again

In life, anything can happen

In life, things do not go as planned, be careful

In life you can lose friends, as quickly as you make them

Kin will die,

Your soul will cry,

Problem after problem,

Solution after solution,

Be prepared from the start

So things do not get torn apart

Life will harvest every emotion

Try new things, test life’s potions

Challenges, stress, happiness

Buckle up

And buckle down

Get ready for the roller coaster ride.























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