Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Real Cinderella

She knows
the elements of the Periodic table
the way other women know Prada

An avid reader of the literary classics
with an eclectic musical taste
she knows as much about
Moles and Avogadro’s number as
some women know about the salaries
of today’s NBA stars

She can seamlessly
integrate and differentiate
mathematical functions
while simultaneously using
the quadratic equation
to answer questions
about the projectile
of a ball flying across the room,

she can curl her
right hand around a wire
and tell you the direction
of the magnetic force
while using her
left hand to give
a power point presentation
on the conflict of the Gaza strip

she is an intellectual
with swag
a unique character in a society
where dumb is the norm

but growing up;
she was the uncoordinated
knock kneed girl
sitting in front of the class
with the coke bottle glasses

the one everyone lived to make fun of
because she didn’t wear trendy clothes
talked like a white girl
acted differently
didn’t wear makeup
kept her hair undone
and spent most
of her time reading
the schoolyard bullies
that made her existence
a living hell

she was the poster child
of who not to be
an outcast
burdened with the inflammatory
labels of
even believed by some
to have that dreaded disease,
the “Cooties”

her youth was the worst
her free time was spent
quietly fighting back the tears
as her peers threw their
successes in her face

Going to the Prom with their
soon to be baby daddy,
the future NBA star
they lost their virginity to
after the party for the in-crowd
the previous weekend;

they were expecting now
and their life would take on
fairy-tale like qualities

she secretly wished she
could be in their shoes
indulge in their carelessness
be included in their circle
but inside she
knew she was different

the misery of being an outsider
was nearly unbearable
but she stayed the course
investing her time into doing
what she does best
pouring her soul into
becoming a better person
from the inside

the years passed
as one by one the fairy-tales
of her peers came crashing back to reality
single parenthood
baby daddy issues
dried up deferred dreams
and failed delusions of a world
they thought owed them something
because they had potential
and were cool

but even as their lives
unraveled and crumbled
they talked down
to the nerdy girl with the cooties

she stayed the course
maintained her focus
kept studying
until she graduated
from high school
from college
with her Masters
with her Doctorate

no matter
what life threw at her
she kept studying and working
until she punched
through the glass ceiling
and grabbed her dreams
by the throat

while her former peers
spent their time lamenting
about the unfairness of the world
she was busy reconstructing
her future

In the end
wasn’t someone that got
saved from her dreadful
existence by a Prince sweeping
her off her feet

She was a sister
who made her fairy-tale happen
through her blood
through her sweat
through her tears
and with an understanding
God would never steer her wrong

if you’re looking for a wife
you may want to open your eyes
and see the nerdy knock kneed
sister sitting in the front of the class
with the coke bottle glasses…

I believe her name is

A Gift and a Curse (Skin Deep)

It was devastating
yet amazing
a miracle
that she even survived
pried from the battered vehicle
by the “Jaws of Life”
a fresh lease
a second chance
that she viewed
as a curse

it was the end of life
as she knew it
her definition of self worth
on top of the perception
of physical characteristics
by man-made products

her self-confidence
derived from the calculated compliments
of onlookers
she was a pretty young lady
a Queen

those eyes
those beautiful lips

every single detail
meticulously brought
closer to perfection
with a line
a pluck
a stroke of a brush
an accessory
carefully chosen
to accentuate

she was a head turner
could barely open her front door
without stopping traffic
necks whipping back
eyes bulging
mouths hanging open
followed by the smooth grins
and empty words

“Can I holla at you for a moment?”
squeezed in between
“Hey ma”

followed by a full array of
pick up lines


the constant advances
the mouth open gawking
the adventure of the chase
the game
the guys bearing gifts
stumbling over their words
seeking an opening
hoping for an opportunity
praying for a chance

In her mind
her beauty was her biggest asset;

the accident was devastating
yet amazing
a miracle
that she even survived
pried from the battered vehicle
by the “Jaws of Life”
a fresh lease
a second chance
that she viewed
as a curse

her skin deep perfection
replaced by lacerations
permanent deformities
from life saving surgery

her appearance
forever altered by
the deep scars
that pushed pain
all the way to her soul

her depression
more painful than the crash
she was a head turner
could barely open her front door
without stopping traffic
necks whipping back
eyes bulging
mouths hanging open


the uncomfortable stares
the mouth open gawking
the discreet finger pointing
the double takes
the partial looks of disgust
the guys feeling sorry her
her will to live
was on life support

In her mind
her beauty was her biggest asset;

In her mind
her beauty was her biggest curse

Another Everyday Occurrence

She wasn’t shot by cops, so you probably didn’t hear about this story. They won’t protest, won’t burn down the city, won’t be upset when the shooter gets released after a minimal amount of time. This is just another everyday occurrence.

There won’t be any video showing the shooting because this is not a story of a racist cop shooting an innocent woman in the back while she was trying to strap her child in the car. This ain’t a story of a cop slamming a black boy’s head into the trunk of a vehicle followed by a vicious uppercut to the jaw of his mother for trying to protect her baby. This is not the story of a man being beat senselessly with billy clubs, a murder of an innocent immigrant reaching for his wallet, a gas station epileptic attack leading to a barrage of bullets, or a young brother being tased, err, shot in the back while handcuffed. This is just another everyday occurrence.

The city won’t erupt with violence, the evidence will arrive slowly while we honor the code of no snitching, the apprehension will barely register a blip on the radar, the sentencing will be conducted only in front of the families of the perpetrators and the victims. Justice? Back page of the news; this is just another everyday occurrence.

There will be more people at the funeral for the “N” word than in the church for her going home. The community won’t cry, fight, nor go to jail protesting the senseless violence. There won’t be a nationwide call to raise money or awareness black on black crime; because let’s face it, there were no earthquakes or tsunamis here, there was no shooting of an unarmed man at the hands of the police, there were no innocent men with mistresses falling at the hands of Osama. No, there is nothing sensational about a mother being shot in the back by “one of her own” while trying to shield her baby from the horrors of our world. It will be chalked up to the hood, to pride, to boys being boys, to Niggers being Niggers, to keeping it real. This is just another everyday occurrence of inner city terrorism.

Beyond the initial shock, you won’t see much on the story, you won’t hear or remember her name, and you won’t be able to find her on Wikipedia. No one will care beyond a candlelight vigil and a $5 donation at a car wash to raise funds because this ain’t Amadou Diallo, this ain’t James Byrd Jr., this ain’t Tyisha Miller, this ain’t Oscar Grant, and this ain’t the racism of a boy getting arrested for sagging pants. This is just another everyday occurrence.

Even though we are a bigger threat to ourselves than the KKK, or the racist police, or the crooked judges and their crooked system led by their blind ho;

Jessie ain’t coming
Cornel ain’t coming
Obama ain’t coming
The Republicans and their system of traditional values ain’t coming
The Democrats and their array of social programs ain’t coming
The NAACP and their programs geared towards advancing Colored People is not coming

and Osama’s dead, so we can’t hire and train him to fight our black Russian demons

This story does not have a happy ending. There are no Hollywood “saviors” coming to rescue the little “Wildcats”, or to teach the children to become “Freedom Writers”, or to stop the little ghetto kids from being “Blindsided”. Madonna and Angelina aren’t coming to rescue of the third world American children from poverty. There are no more abolitionists or Underground railroads to save us from the vices of our horrors. For these problems, we’re all alone on the rooftop of hopelessness; think Bush – flying his whip overhead during Katrina, because this is just another everyday occurrence.

We are running out of veils to cover the ugliness. Running out of sagging pants stories to distract us from our troubles. Running out of shadows to blame for our worries. There are no more bogey-Bushes and Cheyneys, Sarah went from a presidential hopeful to a Saturday Night live skit, and the New World Order is bordering on becoming Paul Bunyan folklore. With each self inflicted act of self hatred, each unsolicited stroke of a Pastors hand up a skirt or on a boy’s privates, each innocent life that’s lost at our hands that we cover up, it becomes more apparent the racists aren’t the one’s pulling Pinocchio’s strings and our noses are growing from trying to cover up our imperfections. There are no more excuses for the kind of senseless acts that left Monique Nelson lying breathless in the door of her SUV, and her son motherless.

We are the only one’s left who can fix it; the only question that remains is where can we start to prevent these “Everyday Occurrences” from happening again and again?