& Roo

the well-lived life is not a spectator sport

On James Byrd, Jr.

Those men are not me, but some could say they are like me.
They are white. Maybe they were tall, maybe they had dark hair.
They are Texan. Maybe they called themselves Christian at some point.
They had a driver's license. Maybe they ate fried eggs for breakfast most mornings like I do.
They probably liked a song I liked, or maybe even a poem.

...and maybe that is enough for someone to hate me.

For someone to fill in my details and gaps
with the sooted mud of anguish and
why would you do that? and
why did this happen? and why and why and why and why and why and why and why and why and why and why?

Inspired by "Jasper, 1998" by Saeed Jones


Thought Loops

My brain is a bird

building a nest 

Gathering up imagination like twigs

Building memories 

    out of make believe

Weaving itself in promiscuous circles


I try

     to stop it. 


"There are no eggs yet

There is no sense in building this


          or here."


It feels like talking to a bird.

   My voice, a fleeting distraction,

A far off whisper in the trees. 


I try

     to slow it down. 


I take away its imagination, 

its make believe,

I focus on what's next.


This nest is ready for no one. 

It will be this way for a while.  

Stop & Stare

Would you let me stop and stare?


Stand in front of me. 

Shut your eyes

Think something happy

Stop smiling

Shake my hand

Move your hair to the left

Let me see you palm

Now trace my lifeline with your right index finger

Look me in the eye

Think of the last time you had sex

Keep your eyes open

Move your hair to the other side, use both hands

Purse your lips

Clench your fists

Recite something your mother used to tell you

Look me in the eye



No, More slowly

Hold my hand

Now let go 


I've had my fill


Thank you



Rivet hole driven like bullet

Faux marble linoleum floor

Dirt and shoes

Phones. OMG, the phones. 

Sneakers far more branded than mine. 

Sometimes stripper pole. 

Camo-clad neighborhood rats. 

Cowboy boots with leggings on top. 

Men's manicured nails

Pre-worn floppy wingtip boots

Distressed jeans with a two inch cuff

A lot of marlins swimming in the middle of the Pacific, knowing the coast is just too constrained for them. 

Delancey st. Essex st.  Transfer to the J

We trade an Asian American couple for two well dressed African Americans. 

This train feels like America. 

This train feels like opportunity. 

This train feels like a blessing

That all of us have been made our way here is a miracle.