Don’t Give Up.

Bill Jones, Jr.:

And the moral of this story is …

Originally posted on Just Me:

This was an ordinary day, at an ordinary time, in an ordinary place.

There once was a man, who needed to reach the sea. For years, he’d been tormented by the People. They bullied him in school; they never understood when he spoke, for he wasn’t from wherever it was he’d drifted to when he found the People. So, on an ordinary day, one full of ordinary heartache, he decided that he must leave. He had naught but a very small boat, made from the old tire of an enormous tractor. To reach the sea, and freedom, he had to cross miles of scorched earth, with nothing to protect him from the sun. He had no shoes, no shirt, no hope.

But he did have his boat.

After pondering his predicament, he decided that the boat would make a Very Nice Hat. So he wore the boat, reaching the sea…

View original 111 more words

Ugly Secrets

Behind secreted, shadowed, sullen smiles
a heart-faced child cries freckled tears
and staining laughter, if it comes.
She dries her cheeks with dirty
hands that touch too much
and misty, green eyes
that hope just once
within her gaze
you’ll care
enough
to see.

Drowning, draped in sumptuous dresses
her shoulders show her puerile pain.
Wearing smiles like jeweled lies
crafted in her crying place.
Somber, servile solitude
Silent songs are never
sung. Turns to face
another wall of
secrets that
she dares
not tell.

 

Monroe Park, Richmond, Virginia, 1978

Bill Jones, Jr.:

Ya’ll don’t hear me.

Originally posted on Firewing Photography:

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This piece is dedicated to these men, living in the still Old South, in Richmond, Virginia, USA in the 70s. The steely-red-eyed gentleman in the back is watching my two good friends playing African congas in the park. His friend sits and listens. We are the “cultural” youth, embracing our “Africanism” for the first time. I have hope.

Nearly forty years later, my hope is fading, just like the colours in this photo. The “featured” shot was scanned in years ago from the only remaining print. The shot above I restored from the wounded, faded negative. I wonder if my hope can be renewed so easily.

For Tupac and Threepac and all you other niggrandizing Littlepacs. May you rest, in or out of peace. Y’all don’t hear me.

Poet Trees

Devalued by pretense and greed
our brown fruit bears a bitter seed.
It grows in sons, untended crop.
It festers…

View original 164 more words

Seclusion

Originally posted on Firewing Photography:

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Seclusion smells of grapes suffused with loss.
Its sweetened undertones seduce post-sunset.
Alone’s an acquired taste, like strong cigars.
She’s Pinot Noir once fruited, sugared in August
with hints of currant and cherry or raspberry.
Her sweet appeal first dances on the tongue
like Maduro smoke, swirled with brandy, refined,
but left to dry, ferment, until
acerbic, soured. Bitter wine is she,
Alone, to drink; and lord, is she a hard
damn mistress. Slips inside a paper bed
and slides herself betwixt your loins and licks
of cold. She sings of barriers from winter winds.

She lies, you know. Alone’s a whore who sleeps
with those naïve enough to call her name.
We feel her wet, cold breath, the bitter tongue
of her. She’s sexing us, keeping memories near
and friends at bay; attention hound is she.
She likes her drink, Alone, and so do I.
And in the winter…

View original 112 more words

Against the wind

From my “Pain” photo-poetry series:

“Legs II”

Against the wind
and to the sky
with steady gait
past prisons fly.
accept the world
against her feet
and move, uphill.
decry defeat.

that perfect spot
the All have made
in quiet, tears
surrender shade.
when comes the sun
again, she’ll try
to climb up to
sweet destiny.

but night surrenders
take her breath.
don’t notice pain
leave her bereft
of love, of worth
a simple touch,
a kiss, a painless day—
not much.

her prison’s walls
are bittersweet
with angel tears
and kitten feet.
she know her hills
are always steep
and hearts don’t always
keep her beat,

but with the dawn
come expectations
All will meet her
exhortations.
she’ll stretch past pain
and grumble smiles
then climb her hills’
unending miles.

If I tie you down


If I tie you down
Can you tie me up
Use silken words to
Subjugate my pride
Make me long, my dear
for restful servitude
When I’m humbled then
Will that make you mine
Can we do this now
That we’ve got the time

If you touch me there
Can I offer here
If I kiss your you-know
Will you beg me
don’t go
Should I bid you leave
When you dare to come
If I do this baby
Will you love me madly

If I tie you down
Will it make you stick around

Game of Sevens

I recently got tagged on Facebook with the “Game of Sevens” wherein you’re supposed to go to page 7 or 77 of your latest manuscript, then go down 7 lines and copy and post the next 7. Then, of course, you tag 7 more folks.

The thing is, I don’t know 7 writers on FB with whom I interact, and I never tag people I really don’t know. Still, it got me wondering about my two open manuscripts, both detective stories written in the 1st person. Were the two narrators different? Can random excerpts really give one insight into the books? Being intrigued, here’s my Game of 7s Experiment.


 

The Brooklyn Trace

 Narrated by Eddie Daley. Eddie is handsome and a bit of an imp, though with a kind, true heart. He’s not one for flowery language, though nor is he the typical noir hard case.

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Tanya said, “You aren’t fighting very hard.”

“What makes you think I’m trying to win? You’re actually turning me on a little bit.”

“Ew,” she said and twisted her body. She managed to get me in an arm bar. When I tried to counter she released it, grabbed my right hand, and torqued it behind my back. I calmed again and she took the other one and locked it.

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Albuquerque and Boulder come close, but Flagstaff’s prettier, like it’s been frozen in time. Albuquerque’s like a stain somebody spilled in the desert. Still, adopted home or no, I couldn’t shake the feeling something was missing. I think Apache felt it too, even though this was his first time in Flagstaff. I could tell, because he was pissing on the floor of the Camaro even more than normal. I was going to need to get it professionally cleaned. No self-respecting girl was going to be seen in a classic convertible that smelled of chicken grease and puppy piss.


 

Jeanne Dark

Narrated by Foster Cain (and his partner, Jeanne Dark, though not in these excerpts). Whereas Eddie is comfortable in either a suit or jeans, Foss likes to relax by loosening his $80 tie. Eddie’s more down-to-earth, and Foss is educated, lyrical, and more serious. The one thing they have in common: women dig ‘em.

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I knew she was a naturalized U.S. citizen with family still overseas, and I learned she absolutely refused to renounce her French citizenship, which is a requirement for gaining both a U.S citizenship and a TS/SCI clearance. That gave me two important bits of insight: one, she was stubborn to a fault, as are most brilliant or successful people, and two, whatever her skill set, the U.S. government was willing to break its own security protocols to obtain her services, or at least keep them away from its enemies. I presented my assessment to my Government contact, Hardesty, who grunted an affirmation and added that Dark was being considered for some work, which I wasn’t cleared to know, involving people who were none of my business. However, it wasn’t difficult to figure it involved covert ops in the Intel sector. For them to bring me in meant they were targeting her for a very risky operation—one that required a steady hand—and they needed to know if she was stable. To be fair, that was a pretty easy guess. It was pretty much my entire job.

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Behind her, Hardesty snickered. He had good reason to. I stood, impressing her with the full volume of my indignation. Even in her she-wolf cloak of measured indifference, I could tell the lady dug the way I was built. It was mutual, and I was hoping her alpha female ego would require her to stand in defiance against me. She did, and we stood that way, toe to toe, glaring. Were it not for Dark, I’d have asked Hardesty to step out into the hall for a few minutes while Samuels and I worked things out.