Poem: Saliva

May 1, 2017

As Chuck D. once said, “I don’t freestyle much/but I write ’em like such.” A poem I wrote a while back about the written and spoken word. I read it at church for a poetry service on Sunday.


I wish I could spit.
I wish I could throw
Verses and verbs
Masses of words
Heavy hitting or honey soaked
Making their way from
Throat to mind
In slow trickles or flash floods
Cleansing thoughts
Eroding emotions
Clearing sediment and sentiment
Caught in its wake
Polishing rough ideas
Into smooth, oblong and rounded
I wish I could flow
A constant stream of
Running tributes and tributaries
Interconnecting rapids
And rapid fire monologues
Faster and faster
In waves of crashing consonants
Constantly streaming sentences
Flowing down streams of consciousness
Flooding the banks and barriers
And other internal censors
As a torrential downpour of ideas
Runs into the sea.
I wish off the top of my head
I could spew forth
Rhymes like Vesuvius
Stopping people and cities
Dead in their tracks
Or smack like Krakatoa
A pop heard ’round the world
Making my presence known
Metaphors harden when
They hit the water
Bedrock expanding outwards
From the sound of my voice.
But I don’t spit.
My words sink slowly
Into the sheet
Filling in the veins of
Pierced wounds on a page
Fangs put to parchment
Ink of mixed blood and venom
Deadly to the glance
Waiting to strike
And with a touch
Seeps into the skin
Disrupts the system
Coursing through your mind
One word at a time.


Day 4 of my positivity challenge. On Facebook, I spend five days listing five things you are grateful for each day and tag three people to do the same. I’m enjoying this though it can be daunting for some topics. Overall pretty good.

  1. Jolene C.: I am one of those rare people who is unlucky in cards and love. A lot of my relationships were with the wrong person—emotionally and psychologically—because that’s what I tend to attract, and get hurt big time. Those that were good people for me I wound up sabotaging or pushing them away because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I probably hurt them (and later on me). Other times I break my own heart thinking something might go somewhere but they don’t think of me in that way, which also hurts. Every time I think I’m destined to not be with anyone, I’m reminded that I did have one relationship that worked for a short while. I met Jolene online while in grad school and we dated for about a year. It was long distance but we did get together for a couple of weeks over he summer in her home state of Ohio. It came at a time when I was already wounded from a relationship from years before and it was one that did heal me. It was sweet, caring, communicative, honest, and something I can aspire to in a relationship. We broke up amicably but we lost touch years ago. I know she’s married now with three kids, and I hope she’s happy. I’m grateful for that time with her because it gives me some hope for the future; that I’m not completely hopeless and if I was able to manage a relationship once before, I can do it again.
  2. Classic rock music: I was born in ’69 and pretty much missed everything in terms of good rock music. When I found my dad’s vinyl copy of Meet The Beatles, I was pretty much hooked. I got my friends into them as well and that was pretty much the end for me musically. I got hooked on Jimi Hendrix listening to Third Stone From the Sun on WNEW radio in NYC sleep deprived and somewhere in between asleep and awake—probably the best way to experience Jimi. My cousin got me hooked on Skynard listening to his tape of Street Survivors—with the flames on the cover—down in my dad’s basement. My default music is anything 12-bar blues based rock from the ’60s and ’70s. The Who, Cream, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, The Clash, The Ramones, The Undertones, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Bad Brains, Joe Jackson and Carlos Santana are all on my playlists in one form or another. I’m completely out of touch with any pop songs from the ’80s on, and I’m really grateful for that musical education.
  3. I’m a Liberal: Yeah, I said it. Fuck you all who think it’s a bad thing. I’m on the side of the Minutemen (the 1776-78 guys, not the militia now), abolitionists, suffragettes, feminists, civil rights marchers, gay rights advocates, union workers, environmentalists, no-nukes advocates, free thinkers, progressives, forward thinkers, accepting, welcoming, and tolerant people. I have no problem being that and grateful that I can proudly stand up for those beliefs.
  4. Type II Diabetes: Actually I’m not grateful for this, but I am grateful that I don’t have Type I. I am grateful all I have to do for the time being is monitor my carbs and starches, exercise and take a pill. No daily insulin shots or constant monitoring right now. I need to step up what I need to do but I’m in a better position to do so than I was a year ago.
  5. Pinocchio’s Pizza: Growing up in New York City has taught me a lot, including how GOOD pizza is supposed to taste like. I’ve had gourmet pizza too, but I’m talking about the kind in a shop off of St. Marks Street or in Brooklyn Heights you get on the go. I also learned the greatness that is the Sicilian pizza: square, thick dough, lots of cheese and sauce. Growing up in New York has also made me realize other cities don’t do pizza very well; and VERY few actually make Sicilian slices at all. I am glad that I found a little gem around Harvard called Pinocchio’s Pizza & Subs. They almost specialize in Sicilian slices—they’re cheaper on the menu and come in more varieties than the regular slices—and they do them well. I still love Original Ray’s, but in Boston this is as good as pizza gets. I’m grateful I found where to get the good stuff up here.

And we are now officially grasping for straws…