Yeah But, Who’s Listening?

Words —
We have enough words, but have we got enough people willing to listen. To really listen. It’s easy enough to write them, easy enough to put them out there, but are we even listening. I’m trying. I’m really trying to read your words as if they were mine. When you read do you read just to consume more? I do that too. When you read are you rushing? Same. Maybe we should go back to writing on stone tablets so we can realize how precious these words really are. I’m trying, I’m really trying. How many of us read with care? Read someone else’s poem as if it was your own. Everybody’s writing, but who’s listening. If not you, who?

On My Way To Work Princess Grace

When I walk out the door
in the morning on my way
to work and no one is around, I’m free.

At the idea that someone
might be out and about
pretenses begin to be formed.
Speaking of pretenses; I was
at the library the other day checking out
nearly a dozen children’s books
for my daughter when the librarian
uncovered a book my wife must’ve
thrown in, Princess Grace or something
like that, Grace is black. So too
is the librarian. See so we’re
good people, right. . .
right?
On my way to work
and I see a dead raccoon
on the side of the street,
mangled and stiff, teeth bared,
brushed to the curb with the piled leaves. And I think
what does that have to do
with my desire to be in print?
We’re putting our kids on display.
We always wanted to be on
the big screen, now we’re always
on the screen.
Why do we call it race anyway?
It matters, but
also, it doesn’t matter. Right?
I’m just waiting
for someone to tell me
it’s going to be OK.
I think maybe my daughter
saw the book and just
loved the picture and wanted it.
Her white privilege is showing.
‘Cause now I’m thinking that maybe
the librarian is thinking
that book is supposed to empower a
little black girl, or boy, ’cause
boys are princesses too. And now
I’m taking that opportunity away
from some ethnically diverse
young mind, who’ll only have little
Red Riding Hood, or Goldilocks to attain to.
Fuck my white privilege.
It should be spelled priviledge,
’cause I’m thinking about jumping
off a ledge. Where do we go from here?
She checks the book out anyway,
and smiles.
I tuck my tail
and run.

The Scene at Caffè Lieto (biscuit bitch)

travelers stand next to 9-5’ers who line the sidewalk, street-side no parking ’til 9 a.m. Music thunders out of the caffè. One couple chats while they wait, everyone else has noses in screens; trying not to be seen; the starlings flutter near the curb. One brave soul, tempted and cautious, hops under the two-person table to steal a crumb. The homeless man, with matted brown ribbons of hair shuffles down the line audaciously looking, or trying to look, the patrons in the eye. From somewhere inside a name is shouted over the music out onto the street, but no one lifts their head. And the homeless man keeps shuffling down the street, empty handed.