other people's poems

Maureen*

  

* emails from Erren, a participant in poetry group friday

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other people's poems, poetry

Bling Bling makes webster’s dictionary

She was surprised when I told her
I’d been to Europe
‘‘why’d you get so excited about
   going there?’’  she said
I told her
I wanted to be somewhere
Where I didn’t feel American
She claimed she listened to
Hip hop
But long skirts told me
She belonged to god
She screwed up her face
When I said money  and spirits
Weren’t my gods
It’s been three weeks since I’ve
Seen her at the coffeehouse
I shouldn’t have told her
I had a b.a.
I think she would’ve like me
If I were more street
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other people's poems, poetry

A White Man Cuts My Hair

he holds my head
as if it’s strange fruit
as if he’s not quite sure
how to approach it
the instructor beside him
tells him
go against the grain of the hair
and cut in sections
i just close my eyes and dream
the first time a white man cut my hair
i was in boston
on my way to portland,  maine

he starts out slowly
and then his nervousness
turns to swag
i pucker my lips
when he begins to shape up
my goatee
like i’m mad
but i’m not, really
you can’t complain about
something when it’s free

he thanks me constantly
for giving me the opportunity
to learn his trade

old school hip hop
comes on the radio
naughty by nature
he tells me how much he
liked onyx
a band from the early ’90’s
and i could care less that
whites buy more hip hop than blacks
or that they outnumber us at concerts
since i don’t buy rap anymore

we talk about talk shows
and agree a guy has to be pretty dense
to sleep with a woman for a year
and then find out the she’s a he

when i lived in ohio
my ex, maureen, always shaved my head
before a shower together
i sometimes imagine
what life would’ve been like
if i had married her

these days it’s easier to trust god
than to trust people
but i let the guy finish
he did a good job
but it’s hard to screw up
a bald head

i read somewhere
fidel castro’s barber once told
fidel he was fourtunate
to put a razor to his face

the barber dissapeared
and was never heard from
again

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other people's poems, poetry

What Can Brown Do For You?

I told a friend at the coffeehouse
that if  james brown didn’t make the
front page of
the newspapers
i’d give him a jazz cd
he scoffed at my bet
told me that when luther died
he didin’t make the front page
” so, why was james brown special ?”

i told  him
while luther vandross

 had the voice of an angel
james was the black elvis,
 he gave birth to funk and
summed up blackness in a 4 minute song
i picked up the paper this morning
sorry that i won

Erren Geraud Kelly/ December 26, 2006

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