Your Poem From Me

The Giving Cause

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.

Carl Sandburg via BrainyQuote

I feel moved . . . compelled to do this. I have had this idea dancing about in my mind for a few weeks now, and with the world still spinning away from where we need it to be, the timing feels right. Poetry has always been my way of communicating when I did not know how to say what needed to be said. It is a way of me being able to connect with this community and other writing communities–an expression of everything I can emote, but has trouble leaving my lips and making its way into the ether. I know I am not alone when I share this–writers, especially those of us more akin and in tune to poetry, rely on our words to heal, help, honor, and create happiness. We need poetry–it is our air.

I also know some people who love reading poetry and connecting with it who do not necessarily know how to write poetry or express themselves properly with the writing genre. There are things they cannot talk about for fear or any other obstacle standing in their way. This is where I come in to offer you a gift . . .

Let me write a poem for you. I can give it life.

Tremaine L. Loadholt

Every Sunday at 07:00 am, I will share a poem I have written for someone who has contacted me with their request. There is no subject matter too taboo; nothing I am not willing to handle and pen for you–on your behalf (except for a few intolerable subjects). Allow me to give the world what you want the world to read, but you just can’t find the words suitable enough to meet your specifications. Your poem will be pinned to the top of my blog page via A Cornered Gurl for one week (until the next requestor’s poem is published) for others to read and share the thoughts they may have about it. What you’re afraid to share, I can share for you, in my words, giving my understanding of your request. Who knows . . . It may touch someone who needs it–it may soothe someone who yearns for it.

I am in this with you–I can host your pain, your fear, your indecisiveness, your intolerance, and your “no more fucks to give” here in this space.

If you are interested, please send an email to apoem4ufromme[at]gmail[dot]com. In the subject area, please note, “Gift Poem Request”. Please do not place your request in the comments section of this post. I will respond to your email within two business days.

A few ground rules . . . I will not write about the following:

  • racist acts (you’ve committed or intend to commit) or hate speech (of anyone in any way, shape, or form)
  • child pornography or the acceptance of pedophilia
  • belittlement of someone who doesn’t accept your opinions or beliefs
  • and anything upon review that does not help promote our most humane selves

We are carrying so many loads these days, the weight of them can be crushing. Let poetry be your expressive path–I can help you along your way.

Welcome to “Your Poem From Me: The Giving Cause.” I await your requests. Peace and blessings.

Tom Misch featuring De La Soul It Runs Through Me

I Will Be the Bearer of Awkward News

Musical Selection: Alex Isley|Wait

I own it and I won’t ever deny it.

Photo by Liz Martin via ReShot

A friend of mine sent a text message on New Year’s Eve stating Betty White had died. Suddenly, it felt as though a galaxy found its way into my body and exploded. I was not prepared for something as heavy as Betty’s death to sit on my chest and pierce its way into me. Granted, I hadn’t been feeling my best — having had a booster shot pumped into my bloodstream earlier that day. No one tells you the autoimmune or invisible illness with which you’ve been saddled will shape your life in a way you never planned. They don’t tell you that an overgrown virus once thought to be efficiently combated by two doses of the vaccine of your choice is now one they could not have predicted and instead of just one booster to further ensure your health — you will also need another.

Now, with the news of four different mass-produced pharmaceutical marketed vaccine visits lumped together on my vaccination card, I can’t breathe. What an odd day to die, I thought . . . And at ninety-nine, too. When I am given information I find hard to dissect, I start reading about it — I start researching from where did it originate? You cannot pinpoint a person’s death before it occurs. And why do I think I should be able to do it?

There is the possibility that knowing a friend of mine who recently pulled up a seat to the table of my heart contracting the Coronavirus, COVID-19, is pressing me harder than I thought it would. The next day — found out her toddler and mother are both positive as well. The same week — a cousin, then another, then another, and I just . . . am so fucking tired of it all. I want to scream, but no one will hear me. I want to lash out, but at whom?

I promised myself 2022 would be different.

The week before all this insanity, I toyed with the idea of emailing a friend, not friend — a love, not love, to begin the process of us. This sounds like a business transaction — a potentially lucrative investment, doesn’t it? I’d been sitting on what I would say for years now and instead of every word being lodged deep in my throat, they were slowly creeping upward — daily; I feel nauseated. If I love this person as much as I feel I do, why is this so hard? I’ve made mistakes before — thought what I was feeling was validated, confirmed, but it was not. I have spent many years trying to understand emotions — feelings — the intensity of it all. And I am better at it than I was before, but I still worry about loss.

And loss keeps me from moving forward. However, I will be the bearer of awkward news. I own it. I won’t ever deny it. I have played paragraphs in my head, formed them without blinking, and now, all I have to do is push them from the inside out — all I have to do is load them up, review them, and send them off. And as sorted as this all may sound, there are things that can go wrong during the process. It is not a carefully constructed assembly line. There is no one to test the structure or its faults before I engage in putting my heart on the line . . . I’ll just be out there bare-assed, waiting . . . waiting for a response.

I can take it, I tell myself.

Whatever happens after I do this, I can take it, is what I am telling myself. I have been tested — I’m tried. I’m true. But I am not battery-operated, so I will feel the magnitude of this — whatever the outcome. It will be a part of me for years to come. Once you have lent your true feelings to the ether, there is no going back — no 360 turns you can take to lasso what you sent back to its birthplace. It will be. It is. And you will have to deal with it in whatever shape or form it takes.

The moment came, and I typed my feelings onto the screen. He’s aware. He knows. Just as I am aware of his — I know. One of us has to be less scared — less threatened by what could be and just jump into what might be. I pick up the weight — secure it to my shoulders — settle it evenly on my back, and type as fast as I have been taught to. I don’t miss a beat. I am mindful of the verbiage used — it’s carefully selected. I breathe. I pace myself.

You’re doing it, I say. Holy shit, you’re doing it! And as I see myself taking these steps — diving into the deep end, I notice the dog is stirring. She will need a walk soon, and I won’t be able to overlook this. It builds anxiety within me. I’m anxious to be done, but I also still want to be careful — cautious of what I say. Once I am done composing and I send it, there is no turning back.


And as I watch my words carry themselves into the depths of an ancient email account — obtained during Gmail’s beta period, I breathe a sigh of relief. I did it. I shared a burden — unpacked the heaviest pieces of my baggage, and tossed them into the waste bin of life.

All that’s left to do now is wait.


YouTube

Originally published in soliloque via Medium.

Because It’s Still the Little Things . . .

Homemade Gingerbread Cookies. One is me, the other is my sweet friend, Heejin. I love that she got the skin/cookie tones right. She’s Korean & Jewish.

I will always say, “It’s the simple things” in life to cause me to become my happiest. My beautiful and incredibly talented friend Heejin included homemade Gingerbread cookies in our care package this year, and I nearly teared up when I pulled them out of their bubble-wrapped packaging. I immediately sent her a text message to make sure they were indeed edible and not for decorative purposes only . . . I mean, I don’t want to eat them, they’re so perfectly crafted. She informed me that yes, I could eat them, and not only were they edible, but they were also made in our likeness. One is her, the other is me. I informed her again that I truly didn’t want to eat them even more now after learning this fact.

I am in awe almost daily of her undeniable talent. She never ceases to amaze me. I often think “What can I do to top Heejin? How can I give her the best gift?” But she continually tells me, our friendship is the best gift I could ever give her. Having her in my life is surely icing on the cake.

If you’re blessed enough to know true friendship, hang on to it–embrace it at every turn. I’d choose it over any monetary or tangible gift any day.

It’s truly the best.


Deidrick

Part II: Family Ties

Oh, so you’re back again, huh? Here to pick my brain some more? We’re one more week closer to the due date of my baby girl than we were before, and lemme tell you, I cannot contain my excitement! I told my girl, she better be glad we’re not having twins. Twins run in my family, you know. My mom’s a twin — her and my uncle Roderick . . . fraternal. She’s older by six minutes, and she loves to drill that home when my uncle Rick thinks he’s got a one-up on her in anything.

Because the two of them have always been close — naming me “Deidrick” was a no-brainer for my mom. She’s Deidra, her twin is Roderick . . . you see the breakdown, right? I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to correct people on the pronunciation of my name. It’s simple, really, but some folks make it so hard. “Dee-drick.” Two syllables. Not hard, right? You’d think my name had like fifteen syllables in it the way people butcher it.

Not only are my mom and my uncle Rick twins, but my grandaunt Maureen and granduncle Maurice are also twins — Mom’s aunt and uncle. Yo . . . they are the coolest old people I know! My uncle Reece is the owner of a supreme vinyl and more store called The Last Days. You can find everything in his record store from Fleetwood Mac to Prince to The Average White Band to Fantasia, and it doesn’t end there.

This cat is so smooth, he smokes a pipe and wears a different Fedora every time I see him. And, he speaks in this lull type of tone — sort of like someone who is about to kick game to his crush, but knows what he’s doing. Think Gordon Parks — yeah, similar to him. I love hanging out with that cat. I can’t wait for my baby girl to meet him.

Now, Aunt Maureen is the female version of him. She’s a seamstress — owns her own place, too. A spot not too far from where I’m moving to she’s named Lines-A-Plenty. She’s big on fashion too — doesn’t leave home without a cashmere throw for her shoulders and keeps the finest yet simple skirts and blouses in her closet. When she smiles, the sun steps back to give her room. Baby girl is gonna love her.

What’s funny is Moms is a lot like Aunt Maureen and my uncle Rick is a lot like Uncle Reece. They took on the qualities of their father’s siblings instead of being much more like him.

Well, that’s a good thing cuz that cat is all sorts of trash.

I ain’t tryna disrespect my grandpa, but you know . . . I calls ’em like I sees ’em. He stepped out on my grandma more times than Moms and Uncle Rick can count and eventually, he just left her with twins who were six years old and a two-year-old who looked just like him — my uncle Mason. He’s shaping up to be just like my grandpa. I haven’t seen Uncle Mase in about two years and my grandpa — who knows where that cat is. I mean . . . it is what it is, you know?

Yo! Remember the car I told you, my homeboy, Amar asked his uncle about? It came through just three days ago. His uncle Khalil wants $7,500.00 for it — said he knocked off two grand for me cuz I’m young and tryna make my own way for my family. He said he’s willing to work with me on monthly installments, too, until the car is paid off. I told him I want to put $1,300 on it to get it outta his possession — then, I’d pay just under $700.00 for 9 months. My uncle Rick is a mechanic, so he’s going to check the car out for me — make sure ole boy ain’t tryna sell me a dud.

I think things are going pretty smoothly for us. Iesha is gonna work until the last two weeks before her due date — that is, if our little precious doesn’t make her entrance sooner than that. I told her she can take a little more time off if she feels like she needs to, but she’s adamant about working as close to her due date as she can. I have learned my lesson about tryna talk Iesha outta something she’s got her mind set up to do.

Nah, I don’t want those arguments.

I’m looking forward to that phrase, “Happy wife, happy life” because I am going to ask Iesha to marry me — probably in the next two years.

I’m the oldest kid in my family — gotta younger sister and a younger brother. Those two are excited about my baby girl as well. My sis just turned sixteen and my kid brother just turned thirteen. Those two are always at each other’s throats. I’m surprised my parents haven’t lost their voices from all the yelling they do at those bugaboos. I’ve always been a peaceful, real chill kid, you know? Moms and Pops never had any issues with me, and if I have anything to do with it, they never will.

Can you believe it, man?! I’m gonna be a dad soon. Like, really soon. Listen, I gotta hit the store up and pick up a few things for my mom. She’s making fried pork chops tonight — she needs cornmeal, flour, seasoning salt, and a couple of other items too. Duty calls. You know where to find me to shoot the shit.

Stay safe out there, man.


Originally published in soliloque via Medium.

Part I

Ode to a Man Who Once Called Me a “Porcelain Doll”

Photo by Andrea Joseph via ReShot

years ago, when I was still
wading in closeted waters, a man
I loved wrote a poem for me.
he had always been kind–never
uttered a word of disrespect in
my direction and I swam in
every word of his as if they
were Heaven’s bath.
his poem, entitled, “porcelain doll,”
stuck to my bones and
hasn’t pulled its gluey residue
away from me, and I
hold on to his words–they
calm me when times shuck
the peacefulness from my mind.

we still communicate. I doubt
we’ll ever break free of each
other–friends, almost lovers,
back to friends, almost lovers . . .
it’s a cycle that has its own
tune and I can hum it in
seven different languages.
I’m still working on my
Swahili, but German and French
have made a solid return.
every time I see a text message
from him bubble to my
phone, a child of a different decade
ushers in her presence.
he still makes me feel like
living is the best gift from God.

and it is a Tango’d web which
I’ve found myself dancing on,
and these days–I do not wear
the best shoes for the job.
here is a man so far away from
me, so far away from my presence,
but near in others . . . what will
change? what can change?
he is someone for who I’d relocate–
shift life goals, and pack up
all my things once more.
yet, here we are . . .
afraid to take the plunge.

the years pile on, aging us
both in ways often hard to
discern–is today a good day
to broach the subject? will tomorrow be?
the dog doesn’t know his face,
hasn’t heard his voice, but
I recall every image of him
shared with me and still have to
beat his voice out of my ears
during the witching hours.
could sleep be better alongside
his body entwined with mine?

this man, for whom I carry
both pain and joy–settles in
the thickness of my breasts,
caresses my aura. the Chakras
of my body align with the presence
of the Holy Spirt, and I am
devout in this form of worship.
I won’t label myself . . .
I won’t mock my growth . . .
but long ago, years before, when
I was still wading in closeted waters,
he wrote a poem for me.
I was his “porcelain doll.”