Friday, October 30, 2015


There's a special kind of
brazen condition
running haywire
among us

a many-faced
crazed delinquent
with no supervision
toting multiple personalities
stone-cold out of its mind
no watch guard
to shoot it down

this affliction
so potent
shrewdly influential
will have
those who should be guarding
the public
their fists

their excuses


on the public

no age limit
it consumes them
babies and all


some basic requirements are:
be walkin'
mindin' your business
with your tea and Skittles

be on a playground
with your BB gun
only 12-years
in your fingertips
caressing its frame

be changin' lanes
with no signal

be on the sidewalk
sellin' cigarettes

be a teen orphan
Judo-choppin' a tidal wave
of abandonment and rejection
your emotional wounds
a shrill operatic symphony
from the sting of its salt

be ambitious
be questionin' authority
be tryna state your case
be tryna stand up for your rights
be tryna enjoy life
be tryna do right

be tryna breathe

be tryna get home
to your little girl
on New Year's Day

somebody's black son or daughter
just tryna get through the day
hopin' to be greeted at your doorstep
by the moonlight
every night
instead of streamlights


tryna survive

And when they don't—
when they're blamed cuz they don't—
how are we
who watch our own
get obliterated
like battle-zone targets
from the sidelines of the media
supposed to
pretend we're okay
that our vision
isn't compromised
by fragments
of the unjust assaults and murders
puncturing our eyes

how are we supposed to
move through our days with ease
while treading the obstacle course
of war-torn bodies
and their mismanaged cases

keep the torch of hope
for their safety ablaze in our hearts
video footage
of their shrieks and pleas
extinguishing our flame

smile with the heaviness
of all their names
weighing our mouths down
syllables so cumbersome
they rupture our lips

swallow the air
from our jubilant bursts of laughter
and not vomit clumps of guilt

how are we supposed to
lasso this roaming hell
with so many
protective arms
and barbed-wire legal systems
surrounding it
that our hands
are disfigured
from every attempt
to pry them free  

how are they supposed to
have a chance at life
taste the sweetness of fulfillment
turn their sorrows into joys
make a difference in this world
and thrive in this abyss
where silence
and existence
are synonymous
with death?

©2015 Charlene E. Green

Friday, October 16, 2015


How wise we are
about people's demons

What experts we are
on the subject of morals
things people had no business doing
things they shouldn't have said
places they shouldn't have gone
when the monsoon struck
pulverized their generator of hope
and their world went dark

We're so well-versed
in their pain
how it should affect them
causes they should embrace
help they really  should have sought
should have been informed enough
to know about
wired "properly" enough
to be interested in
strong enough
to ask for
savvy enough
to pursue
worth-filled enough
to want
or even feel they deserved

People do the best they can
to deal with the boogeymen
hunting them
chasing them down the alleys
of their reality
with pitchforks
in the daylight
smothering them
in their dreams at night
crippling the half a heartbeat
they wake up with
pilfering their desire
to get out of bed
to wanna live
through the day

Their best
may not be a best
we approve of
but so what?
who are we
but disdainful bystanders
to speak on
how to confront
much less slaughter
the beasts
on people's streets

Already strugglin'
to win the battle
with the brutes on ours
but got all the know-how
about what it takes
to take out others' woes
repave the roads they travel

Got more
opinion than compassion
judgment than understanding
more arrogant answers
than heartfelt questions
so much
fuzzy memory
for how we've wrangled
with our past
in ways that weren't great
coulda been healthier
but we did what we could
with the emotional wherewithal
we had
and to someone who was watching us
it wasn't good enough
wasn't right  enough
yet here we are
spying and scrutinizing
people's sagas
all perfected and accomplished
in the art of dragon-slaying

Got hella PhDs
in the suffering of others
but truth be told
some of us still don't have
a degree of comprehension
about how to master
our own

©2015 Charlene E. Green  

Thursday, October 15, 2015


When your throat tightens
slams shut
like a malfunctioned revolving door
and your undeclared thoughts
are highjacked
by your voicebox
with quicksand might
shackled by its cords
held for ransom
by your fears

that will be the moment
when you'll successfully redefine
the term
"eating your words"

Because you believed
the box of courage
within you would fail
unconvinced of its stability
its ability
to bear the size of your truth
keep your sentiments
packed in the right order

because you imagined
the contents shifting
on the way out of your mouth
arriving jumbled
feared that upon receipt
you'd be misunderstood
returned "unappreciated"
rejected ...
now your message
has retracted
a caged bird
writhing beneath your tongue
and if you don't
find a way
to unhinge the door
deliver that ransom
let that bird sing
with no remorse
like it matters
like you deserve to be heard 
even if they don't like it
even if it tremors their comfort zone

if you don't prioritize

your emotions
will ravage you
take your innards hostage
terrorize you
with artillery and threats like 
psychological bedlam
systemic outcry 
inexplicable physical maladies
doctors won't be able to
will say it's stress related
"all in your head"

and they'll be right
it is in your head
where you left it
an army of fuse bombs
weapons of mass internal destruction
positioned to implode

©2015 Charlene E. Green

For more information on this important subject, please see Dangers of Holding in Your Emotions


Thursday, October 8, 2015



like excess mental weight
the pounds
of their cruelty
the way they glare
and you silently agree

from people
not wearin' your skin
but callin' foul
for the way you
look in it
carry it
behave in it

like dank clothes
the rubble
from your storms of persecution
the ominous pond
of disapproval
puddled at your feet

like burdensome debt
your subscriptions
to fear
of your life
your body

the you
you adopted
and grew
fed lies to
based on their view
their spew
the you 
you scorn
cuz you think
what they shout
is gospel
and now what you are
is pawn
lurching to their slanderous cadence
not champion
of your magnitude

how your arms
flit erratically
legs jerk
how you
beat and kick yourself to shame
with their commentary
parrot the script they write for you
to their delight

this isn't really  the role
you intend to keep playing
in your movie
is it?
you're the star
so get busy
start a health-phrase diet
double portions 
for your emaciated
gorge on them
get fat
on a superior assessment
of yourself
feast unapologetically
on mouthfuls
of your own delicious story
of a you
you look at proudly
smile at
celebrate and respect
can't get enough of
flaws and all
and say
"Damn, it's great to be me!"

then toss up
the middle-finger deuces
and shed
all the whole and partial
fucks you give
about the people
whose only desire
was to make sure
you never
gave a single fuck
about yourself

©2015 Charlene E. Green