A Journey of Rebirth Told in Seven Parts

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On Reading From Daáood: A Journey of Rebirth Told in Seven Parts

“i am caught between the roaches and the stars
in my right eye is beauty
in my left eye is pain
i look upon the world cross-eyed
sandwiched between the agony and the ecstasy”
-Kamau Daáood

walls seal air tight like tupperware
in this holding cell of life
where time is a jailer and there are no windows
only doors and locks with keyholes
that gape like hungry mouths.

and i wear a coat of a thousand pockets
each filled with unlabeled keys
that jangle in confusions concerto
while i walk the meditation circle
carved into the asphalt of indecision

i hold his face behind my eyelids
so that i can see no other
and my eyes are like two clams
that close around his grains of salt
until pearls drip from their corners
forming a noose around my neck.

and my heart is a whor(s)e
that gallops in every direction
but bitter knives
have left me drawn and quartered and
flung to the four corners
to the north was sent my dreams
while the south still grips my nightmares
the sun rises in the east to hold my hand
but at sunset the west possesses my body

on dark nights i improvise camel lights for caracoles
casting smoke from lips
to divine life’s answers
i dance in the light of Ixchel’s moon
and bathe in the sweet waters of Oshun’s river
Kali fills me with fury and strength
while Quan Yin wraps me in her calm.

there are lessons here
that gestate in my womb
but i give birth to still-born babies
in piss-stained alleyways
because Pavlov taught me of conditioned response
but i fell asleep in the lecture

i push flowers into my mouth at dawn
dew-soaked petals melting on my tongue
so i can taste the vibrance of their colors
and give voice to the songs they hold.

sometimes i am bulimic
vomiting up bloody leaves
because i can’t stomach the thorns
that leave insides torn and tattered.

other times i weep with the tears locked within their buds
til eyes rain waves that lap at ankles
and i slip, falling face first into puddles
but i still eat them
every morning
at sunrise

there are streets in this city of glass
filled with catatonic zombies
and i push no-doz on the corner
for a smile a gram.

i draft fallen angels
into my army of sinners
and together we seek the keys
to release the skeletons from their cages.

painting stories on each others foreheads
and pulling poems from deep in our bellies
we sing our secrets in the dark
in exchange for healing

i’ve written 10,000 poems
that i breathe into the ears of sleeping children
so they may dream in the colors of hope
and awaken with comets burning in their chests
to strike at the earth with a vengeance
and leave craters of beauty in their wake.

i press life
into the palms of their hands
closing small fingers around it
so they will always have something to hold on to
when the rains inevitably come
but there are so many children
and with time my shoulders have grown heavy

i have been blessed
with the wisdom of music and words
my teachers are many
and they speak to me in the language of trees
and i am remembering

the encouragement of the rainbow
produced after nights of rain
the potential energy
suspended in each mornings dew
the beauty of a bamboo kiss
blown on winds of truth
and the purity of laughter
echoing like a prayer through the canyons

my blistered feet
tread the last few steps of my
make-shift meditation circle
i am walking in the footsteps
of those that have come before me
and i
am remembering.

and the audio can be heared right here

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