Not In Chains
I endure pains, all the bullets and bombs they gave, but not in chains. Her promise stains. She beats me until I behave. I endure pains. Locked, with remains of dead buffalo, in a cave, but not in chains. Fed poisoned grains, unhealthy food meant to deprave; I endure pains. He who detains, cuts my flesh with a bloody wave— but not in chains. Anger retains as life continues as a slave. I...
The next round in the endless battle Has begun. She rolls her tweets Of Aristotelian logic — ripped From the headlines of Kemetic scrolls — Like a newspaper. She then beats Her target over the head with it, As if her opponent is a dead horse Or a dog who had soiled her Persian rug. “See! See what you did?” she screams As she retweets the offending message As if she is...
Hearts are nice, but I can’t live In one. Inspiration might feed Your soul; my stomach still sings Epic ballads of the glory of past Meals eaten. At night. It is hard To sleep on a mattress on the floor. Cold air tumbles; my throat has Sprouted ice crystals. This 12x12 Lifestyle has kept me boxed in. I like to consider myself a lucky one. I have no mouth, and I must scream! If I had a mouth,...
Closed For Renovations
It’ll take a crowbar Or police battering ram In order to get it open. Feel free to wait In the vestibule, fantasizing About what lies on the other Side of the door. If you Do get inside, I hope you Brought a flashlight — One of those heavy duty Magnalights. It’s dark inside, And you might need to use it To bludgeon the bats that Have taken residence inside. Oh, and watch out for...
Angel Fire East
Half a world away, the rockets flared to life. Their tails ignited by centuries old hatred, and intolerance born decades ago. The aggressor served a series of missiles. Its opponent returned serve with dirty bombs. The volley continued back and forth; a per- verted round of tennis played on grass, clay, and asphalt. Burnt mushrooms could be seen rising as far away as the West. The chefs of war...
I fear it has gone astray. I let it go, I will not lie. It won’t be back another day. I let it out in the fields to play; Indoors, all it did was cry. I fear it has gone astray. This rage was too mobile to stay. I opened up and let it fly. It won’t be back another day. It went to find villains to slay. It is direct, and never sly. I fear it has gone astray. It’s colorblind,...
Rising Up Dreaming
Her rising tide lifted and carried Me to places I never imagined I’d visit again. Seeing myself On TV was a traumatic experience. I thought I had a twin trapped Behind the convex of the glass screen. She smiled, then wrapped her blanket, As thick as a dreadnought, around me. She explained that the person on the Screen was not my double, but a Recording of me from an earlier time. I had grown...
Monster In My Brain
There is a monster in my brain. It likes cookies and ice cream, But never together. It is screaming And clawing at the gray matter, Trying to escape to the outside world. The reason why it wants to Get out is not because there are More cookies and ice cream beyond The brain. It used to pass the time Playing spades or hearts with synapses And the occasional dopamine molecule. But they accused my...
Children In Trees
The children were born into trees. Not at the roots, where their Ancestors are buried, absorbing Nutrients from the soil. The children Are not at the trunk, where their Parents provide sturdy beams Of support. The children are not In the leaves either; the leaves Do not even exist. Buds haven’t Formed on the tips of the plant. The children grew into branches, The limbs of these great...
I listened as a headless troubadour Strummed a tune on an acoustic guitar. A poet, having neither hand, theorized In verse. She was a hoarse accompaniment To his twangy plucks, his somber melody. I was intimate with Universe—twice. Both times resulted with a child. One child was the color of salt; The other, the color of sugar cane. Universe loved each child equally. I preferred the sweeter...
You Keep It
He scrutinized the members of the Semi-circle. The dude directly To his left could pose a problem. He slapped down a wad Of twenties and waited. As the others considered to Pass or don’t pass, he readied his hand. He swore he was too slick for the youth On his left to notice the blur of his movements. Bets completed, he swept up the dice With the same hand in which he Palmed his loaded...
Before the world was shaded In black and white, there lived Emerald, Periwinkle, Vermilion, and Jonquil. The world knew them intimately; It donned their speckled robe Of saffron petals at dawn. The four formed a vibrant quartet; Early creation busied themselves With matching their rhythm. Various maize and river gods approved. We lost the beat sometime around When the last dodo bird died. There...
My voice can shatter A thousand windows, Sending flesh-slicing shards East, west, north, and south; Horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. It is not often that I dive deep Into this cyan ocean within me. The pressure, a thousand times Greater than on the surface, Can cause a man to go insane, To lose sight of his hands. Shurikens fly from my mouth, Embedding themselves in your breasts. I wish...
The Color In Poetry
Red is the color of aggression, Of intimidation. No wonder bulls Snort and charge when they see The matador’s crimson cloak. Wait, aren’t bulls colorblind? Blue is the color of sorrow, Of the intimidated. No wonder the sky Is blue; it hovers above creation, Untouched, never caressed by human hands. Wait, the sky is only blue because Of how molecules in the air scatter sunlight. To...
I study the gray ends of her locs. I am tempted to reach out and stroke Those faded tips, as if the color In my skin could be rubbed off and Transposed onto her hair. My mind says she is too young To have graying hair. She’s in Her mid-twenties and is childless. My heart reminds me that Youth and childlessness do not Equate to a stress-free life. I see her everywhere. Sometimes At several...
Howl At The Moon
Moondoggies bark just so They can hear their own voice. There was a time when their growls Would disrupt my bowels And put puncture holes in my bladder. Back then I was mute. Now I’m deaf. I can read lips; I know What is being said. Whether gumdrops or lemon heads. How will I explain that To my grandchildren? I saw their mouths move But I didn’t hear the warning. Copyright 2012 A. J....
The doctrine of Man will keep you shackled to this earth with titanium binds. God chuckles, and the ground cracks open, oozing black liquid. The lifeblood of fossils; the ancestor’s residue. I was once a fish. I swam backwards in the murky depths. It was a cesspool, but I endured. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. I always existed in some shape or form. My current state is as...
Six Words, Vol. 1
I Over worked, under appreciated; still thankful. II With bloody shovel, he digs deep. III Born in sun, nurtured by rain. IV Our world’s map — cut into squares. V My pen cries tears of ink. VI Cats in hats: cuteness with claws. Copyright 2012 A. J. Hayes Give a poet a pen
The Photographer Hates To Be Photographed
She takes amazing photos. Her light angles follow god’s Gaze, she captures a joke’s Residue and akimbo poses in film. When she photographs me, Her face resembles Poe’s House of Usher. When our roles are reversed, And she finds herself on the Other side of the lens, she hides Her face in hands, with giggles. She’ll look away, staring off at The distance with...