Tuesday, April 17, 2012


is not  a test
you will pass

it’s the only
exam you get
a no-grade final

hate to be
the bearer of
bad reminders
nobody’s gonna make it
outta this class

you act like
you in control
runnin’ thangs
like you got time
to do it all later
like just know  you got
next week
thirty minutes
from now to
profess love
be  with who you love
lend a hand
work things out
act right
backtrack to git it right
enjoy what
and who
there is to enjoy
say and do
what’s in your heart

you spend
most of your
class time
livin’ for them
not for you
doin’ what
they  say you should
cuz hey
they  know what you need
better than you
cuz they think
they qualified
to run  
yo'  thang
like they got time
to do you  

but this class
is for learnin’
’bout who we are
what makes us tick
gittin’ the happy
we all deserve—  
our  way
for growin’ into our best
addin’ joy
not stress
to the lives of others
so that when class
is dismissed—
whatever time that is—
and we turn our life in
on the way out
we can say
we got all
the answers right
for ourselves

but don’t squander
away these minutes
kicked back in your chair
thinkin’ you can
make this test up



you act like
you got time

but you can’t


the clock

©2012 Charlene E. Green

Saturday, April 7, 2012


it’s not always time for
Basketball Wives
True Blood
Dancing with the Stars
or the 11 o’clock news
not always time
to click “Like”
become entrenched in a
72-comment conversation
on Facebook
to debate & protest
upload risqué
bathroom-mirror pics
or flood the News Feed
with virtual celebration
about Kobe’s 17th
3-pointer tonight

When’s the last time
you debated the deception
your head has you believing?
got you wedged in relentless
unsavory life patterns
questioning your sanity
spinning in a splintered cycle

it’s time to ask “why”
of your substandard conditions
protest your shortage of answers
ponder your own fate
lament less for others
not that they aren’t important
but if you deplete
your energy on them
what's left for you?

Or maybe that’s your point

it’s time to visit
with your shadow
find out how it feels
about trailing behind you
in your eternal state of flux
ask if it’s tired
of watching you stumble
and being dragged along
on your rutted journey
apologize for wild-goose chases
for not giving better directions
invite it to lead for a bit
so you can
rewire your GPS

it’s time to watch
your reality show
it’s on right now
all day
the real you
in need of your dominance
but you’re on mute
cuz you’re bored
confused about the plot
afraid of the conclusion

it’s time to “Like”
your own interests & opinions
comment on your behavior
upload mental pics
of your ambitions in fruition
unfriend your ego’s drivel
friend your higher self instead
star in your own life
out-perform yourself
make your shadow proud
to have you as its leader

it’s time
to update your profile


Copyright 2012
Charlene E. Green


I’m thinking about
the fact that I wanna do better
but who’s to say that better isn't
what I'm doing now?

I frequently want more from myself
without being thankful for all that
I accomplish
figure out
keep myself from doing

I could be telling this story
from a women's correctional facility
for smashing a head
thru a car window
during a wrangle
potentially deadly
for him
I was incensed

He won’t get out of my car
I need him out
our contempt is monstrous
so I let myself go there
let him take me there
make me snap like brittle bones
under pressure of seething
I'll make him get out
open the door for him
then he'll know
I mean business
get the fuck out of my car
where you’re spitting in my face
with all the disrespect your lungs
can hock up
bullet-filled verbal phlegm
you shoot
perforating me with enough holes
to spurt revulsion I only see in movies
not in my own life

and I accidentally brush
my arm against his chest
reaching for the door
blaze in his eyes
ireful black man
do you see him
losing control?

then he pushes my forearm
with both hands
before the door opens
and growls: “Don’t touch me!”
but since he's burly
and a 5-alarm fire
push feels like martial art
Chuck Norris on my extremity

then I transmute
into something lethal
now I belong in the wild
among beasts who kill to survive
not in my car
with this man
& four inches
separating our bodies
now we're here:
low-grade domestic violence
when all he had to do was get out
after the first request

now I'm ready
in ways I've never imagined
cuz titanic wrath
has gorged all the good in me
now I wanna kill him
with one thrust of his head
thru my passenger-side window

and I can do it
I'm consumed with yearning
adrenaline inebriated

now all bets are off
bets I don’t even know I’m in on
until now

you think you know yourself
your limits
until all your sensibilities
are drowned in odium

and in three seconds
I see my crime
my lunge
at his head
glass erupting
blood spattering
mutual gut-wrenching roars
his death
bedlam on avenue
in front of his father’s home

think ...
you can’t kill this man
a hundred feet from his father’s door
over heated words
and a push
it won't be self-defense
it'll be self-sabotage
gather your senses
the only killing that'll take place
is of my temper
there'll be no bloodshed
blood on my hands
out-for-blood relatives of his
gunning for me
my head
in courtrooms
or worse
in the streets
suppress your fury
see past this moment
and save two lives
you're not a murderer
you’re just mad


And finally he's out
and we're both safe
cuz I did better than I wanted to

And there's no next time
I make sure of it

There's no better that you can do
in this world
than to spare a life
when seconds from taking it

In hindsight
I’ve decided that
thus far
I’ve already done my best

Copyright 2012
Charlene E. Green