cirque de la nuit

The inky journey of a modern day Troubador


Strange child

with fingers in the rocks

collecting ants

and rescuing roly polies

Wild child

sleeping on the floor

barefoot on the concrete

smelling of chlorine

with sunburned eyes

writing of castles in the sky

and dreaming of a crown

Innocent child

Determined child

thinking a crown

doesn’t come attached to

a wedding

a marriage

a life that is not yours.

Become a

strong woman

creating crowns of paper

and words

that lie weightlessly on her head

her calloused fingers

adorned with spoon jewels

feet no longer bare

but still starry eyed






Don’t Think

You cannot fathom
So don’t try

Trust me
Believe me
When I show you

The jagged scars.

Even if I don’t

Even if you never touch the
Pulsing wounds in my soul


Believe me.

I am The warrior.

The dull red blood
Of men who opposed me
Adorns my face

The crushed bones of
The undead
Grinds beneath my heel.

When I welcome you
Inside my Nefreteri palace.

I want you

To wear your leathery skin
Or taste your salty lips

The needs of my kind
Are few

Red Bone

At night the world shivers
and shudders
with cold exhales
of uncertainty

Its skin ripples
and heaves
with tainted perfection

undeserving penance paid
for our existence.

we were young once
digging red earth
with our bare fingers

searching for stones and bones

what blissful oblivion
is youth–
when you don’t have
to know
and if you do know
its a tragedy of horrors.

Now we search the world over
trying to obtain
a mere semblance
of the peace
of the curiousity
of the freedom

we found in red bones.


the kiss

I almost forgot

on my way to bed.

I’d said goodnight and
given a light
quick kiss

the dog was weaving around me
between us and ready to
dash up the stairs.

I’d given a smile
and was on my way
tripping on the dogs paws

I thought of my hands.

“use your hands”

I walked back over to him
he was surprised.

I leaned down
gently placed both hands
on either side of
his face

his beard full and rough
against my hands
my fingerstips brushed his cheekbones

I dropped my lips against his
slowly increasing the pressure

it was a purposeful
intimacy I’d almost forgotten

how to create.

the rain

It was raining that morning.
But it started as a light drizzle,
basically just bits of water
kissing your skin
as they fell to the earth.

We decided to go for a walk
to brush off the sleepiness
that clung to us like a dream.

He was wearing his flannel shirt

before we reached our destination
the rain turned into a pour
and we were drenched

huddling under a tree

I was upset, and shaking off the wetness
saying we should run for cover.

He looked down at me.

“We are going to get wet either way,
we might as well walk in it.”

And that told me everything I needed to know
about him.

Neon City

Take my hand

ignore the dirt under the nails
and the blood dribbling down
down down
and dropping
from my pinky

Just take my hand

Follow me.

this maze of a city
is the labyrinth that protects my

scarred up heart
but if you trust me

I can lead you through.

don’t ignore the snares
or skip over the trap doors.

they hurt for a reason

wander into the dark with me
feel the stony uncertainty that permeates
damp air.

When you’ve reached the nadir

you’ve found my peak

and we can look together over my neon city

Cobain Flame

He drank 4 vodkas
with orange juice

and I drank a bottle of champagne

as our lips loosened
an entire city was constructed
theoretically with sturdy
wooden beams and
exposed brick surfaces

our architecture of conjecture
was imperfect
yet ideal

as you age
you reflect
on the future
and you collect poise
for whats to come
you regret your fate before its happened
by fearing the ruination of
what could

I could live a thousand tomorrows
stretching into the uncertain void
one solid day at a time

or I could snuff out
like a Cobain flame

paused in tragic infamy

But though my head aches
and roars with throbbing regularity
I will not regret
the impulse to
consume life
whatever the consequences


Let’s be Vampires..

I’ve never enjoyed the idea
of eternal life
of living forever
of extending the here and now
into the hereafter

It doesn’t appeal to me
it exhausts my soul
to think of the
miles to tread and
tread water

the beauty of the world
is it is infitine

and we are not

There are things we must leave unseen
and undone
and we must leave this world
as unfinished, incomplete
pieces of art and soul.

But love has weakened my resolve
and now
40 years is not
nearly enough to
capture all the bits of love
and give them away
Infinity wouldn’t be enough time to express
the depth and breadth of feeling
love has evoked in me.

Self- love made me strong and sure.
love makes me weak

and now I want to live forever with you.

let’s be vampires and feed of
the souls of others
to maintain our
boundless love.

Invisible Woman

I can either be the bitchy black woman
or the meek house girl.

For women of my complexion there is no middle safe ground.

I’ve tried.

I’ve studied the moves, the tone, the ideation of a non-threatening, yet self assured white woman and imitated it perfectly.

It doesn’t work.

It doesn’t work because I’m not the issue, my response isn’t the issue, my womanhood isn’t the issue.
The color of my skin is the issue, the kink in my hair is the issue.

Any man is entitled to me, based on the darkness of outer shell covering.

Imagine living in that.
Imagine living in a shell that gives people power over you. That entitles them to treat you in ways that confound even the most resilient human spirit.

We are at a bar.
A man approaches my white girlfriend. She is wary and uninterested, the conversation is tense and unwanted but ends abruptly and safely. We come out unscathed.
She is my shield.
Her whiteness saves me.

I’m at happy hour alone, lamenting a hard days work.
The first thing I feel is a hand on my ass, I feel a hot breath on my neck.
Telling me how sexy and appealing I am, commentary on my body, and assertions of what is to come.
I shift in my seat and the hand moves to my arm and hardens to a grip.

Or walking along the side of the road with my dog,
and a man stops his car near me, gets out and walks up behind me.
Asking my name, imploring me to stop moving, to come with him, to jump in his car and be with him. Objectionable characterizations of me are inserted ad hominem.
I have to run.

Every woman experiences these horrors on the reg.

But as a Black Woman I cannot win in any arena.
I cannot defend myself without becoming the very thing that invites such vitriol and I cannot hide or whimper and victimize myself.
I cannot seek help from my lighter sisters, because they don’t understand the effect of my dark skin on male behavior.
They don’t see it, they don’t feel it

and in turn




I want to ask you
why you said that,

Why were your eyes so desperately sad
as you recited the lines
written for you

I want to
sit down with you
walk through

graffiti alleyways
and grungy beach walks

follow your plot-line outside its
celluloid confines

make you real
help me feel

the lie between my reality

and yours.


Long, thin,
and pale fingers


dagger-ed icicles
towards me

one pricks the shallow

hollow of my neck and
draws a scarlet pearl of blood

my blood doesn’t run like a river
or flow like a stream
it doesn’t share properties with land, hearth


it isn’t



Gravel Gardens

Lu Terlikowski’s “Gravel Gardens” rocked my heart today. The simplicity of it, the building of tension and the heart rendering ending, all centered around a little tree. Lovely and poignant. I like to think of it as a survival story…

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