four, five, eight

four, five, eight

FADE IN: Anne Ferney (18) and Jaquila Gilmore (16) drinking Dr. Pepper:

A: And that’s when her mom started rattin’ around Wilkinsburg going around to people’s houses, “Is my son here?” I am, like, oh my god, I don’t want ever for our family to experience that. You could see in her face that she was scared.

J: My dad. First, he’s the first one to call me. And then my mom called me. And then my best friend called me and, I didn’t know what happened.

A: The news keeps sayin’ they had an Automatic AK and I’m just thinking it couldn’t be an AK cuz they kept hearin’ the shots go off so you know he kept pulling the trigger.

J: How you actually know that, just blew my mind but OK.

A: It sounds like first person let their clip go and the second person let their clip go. They say eight people got shot. Cuz first on the news they say, “Ok, four people got shot.” The next thing you know five people comin’ up dead. I’m like, yo, they just changed from four people shot, five people shot dead, eight people shot, like. And then they brought the little baby out, like, there was kids in that house. And one of the girls was pregnant. Basically, it was six people that died. If you want to be technical.

J: I don’t know who she is, but she was pregnant and she was shot. I’m like, this is cray-zy. I gotta get out the hood, cuz this is too much.

A: My senior year, I’m tryin’ to go to Florida cuz you can graduate with a trade.

 

FADE OUT.

singing bowl of rage

singing bowl of rage  roman games

I’m furious
I feel like I can run 10 miles
And then eat a cake, straight out of the singing bowl of Rage
Blood pulsing
Mind spouting obscenities

How did it come to this?
Why am I shooting off the mouth like a loose canon
spiraling through the atmosphere?
Where’s grace, goddamnit?

It’s about not being listened to
It’s about not being taken into account
It’s about blame
Doing it wrong
You’re bad,
Back off.

Get off –
No
No
No.

Continue reading “singing bowl of rage”

the great unknown

Mohammed Ali

FADE IN: woman and man.

She: I was in a Uber car, well, really Lyft but you get what I mean. Jamal, my driver, asked me what I do. I said nothing. No really, I said, “Nothing,” all nonchalant and shit. He took a second to understand, much like me, really, I mean who says that?
I said nothing. Ugh. What kind of despicable human, am I?

A week later, I’m at this yoga retreat and someone asked me again. I was just about to answer Nothing, when I stopped myself and took a gulp of my piping hot apple cider, burning my mouth. And I pretended I didn’t hear him, or maybe I pretended to react like I was still thinking about what we just talked about. I looked stupid, is all. Well, if I’m not sure what your intentions are, I’m going to blow you off.

[beat]

I know damn well who I am. Why is it hard to say it, “Who me? Oh, sure, I’m an artist.” Or, “What do I do? I do greatness. I am greatness.”

Mohammed Ali would say “I’m the greatest,” so why can’t I?

[she laughs]

Continue reading “the great unknown”

mute but screaming

mute but screaming

FADE IN: two at lunch.

She: It’s like the texture of smoke.

He: Right.

She: You can see smoke even though it’s translucent.

He: K.

She: That’s how it felt. It’s there but not.

He: Dark but translucent.

She: Uh-huh. I guess that’s progress, right?

He: I would say. It was way worse before…

She: I know… I still feel the darkness, though.

He: I’m sure that doesn’t go away. I mean, not right away.

She: It can get scary.

He: So, why don’t you call me?

She: I wanted to but for some reason, I couldn’t.

She: Weird how that happens; we’re mute but screaming for help.

He: I get it.

FADE OUT.

third eye business

outta whack

FADE IN: friends over tea.

A: She said my chakras are outta whack.

B: All of them?

A: No, the one’s that count.

B: They all count.

A: The fuckin’ crown chakra and my third eye. My third eye, man! That’s the whole enchilada right there.

B: How bad?

A: Well, the crown is half closed and the third eye is completely shut.

A: Let me repeat myself: it’s fuckin’ shut.

B: Wow. That doesn’t sound like you.

A: You’re telling me! How the fuck do I open it?

B: Wait. Do you believe in that stuff?

A: Well, if you tell someone they’re shitty at something, it gets them going. Especially when you’re talking about the third eye business.

B: But what does that mean to you?

A: Fuckin’. I don’t know. Like God sits there or some shit. It’s serious business. God, I had a feeling, you know.

B: Come on.

A: I’m not fuckin’ playing. I had a feeling, it’s like I new it all along.

B: Okay, so what else did she say?

A: She told me to do this: [raising arms and speaking to the sky] “I SEE.”

B laughs.

A: [Laughing] Daily. Do it with me. [Arms stretched] “I SEE.”

B raises her arms.

A/B: I SEE.

 

FADE OUT.

 

a curse (not really)

a curse (not really)

Dreamy.
I love you oceans.
She says, not just to me.

It’s hard to hear from her.
It’s like the sting from rubbing alcohol.
Why didn’t I matter?
No return phone call.
No response
No reaction.

Silence.
The worst punishment.
Punishable by death.
And I’m in the chair.

Talented, skinny, sexy, confident, fun, adventurous, a killer IG account.
I know, superficial, but JesusChrist does that count in my brain.
Pride envelopes me.
Fuck you, on heated lips, on repeat.
Thick black ash in my heart.

A curse.

No!
Those things work.
Stop that.
Don’t be a child.

A curse.

I mean it!
God.
What is this, medieval times?

A curse?

Not really.
More like blessings beyond reach, an avalanche.
I do.
I wish you,
the best.
Cuz you’re fuckin’ talented and I love you.
I love you.