Posts Tagged ‘Free Verse Fridays’

Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Friday! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.

Remember Self-Destruction?

Yeah.  That’s all I got on that.  It’s not really relevant to this post at all, other than the fact that rhymes are at the heart of this FVF.

Today is a second entry in the Sucker Free Sundays series my college roommate and I used to host.

What can I say about this series…?  We were corny — sometimes witty, sometimes clever, but usually corny.  And we loved it.  Were the rhymes a little self-indulgent?  Only if you think we took ourselves seriously; which we didn’t.  It might make a little more sense if I admit my “stage name” — which was also my AIM screen name (hardcore, kids, hardcore) — was “proksei.”  It was a play on “proxy,” because that made sense at the time.  It was like a more creative identity that I could use as a substitute… or something.  I honestly can’t remember the reason.

Happy Friday.  And thanks for stopping by this week.

Without further ado…


an introduction

eh yo, i’m fantastic,
supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but ya’ll already know this.
only been a year and i’m on top of the game,
like Miles Davis i can play this off the top of my brain.

i rhyme lovely. just sit back and focus;
i’m leading kids to glory like it’s Mr. Holland’s Opus.
and check “proksei,” call me “Roscoe”
’cause i’m servin lines like they’re chicken and waffles.

i’m so sick, no disease can ever test me.
it looks like Harlem shakin when i’m seized by epilepsy.
a Jersey kid, with candy-coated vernacular.
i run shows like they’re spectacles, so i guess i’m spectacular.

got a jones like Indiana, to write suburban anthems;
penning rhymes, operatic, like i was the phantom.
mid-Atlantic refugee, but you can call me “fabulous.”
fresh across the border, spitting rhymes like a catalyst

i, speed reactions, double as aspirin
and i read minds like they’re in closed captions.
it’s the, brainiest, the randomly spontaneous,
a virulent strain of streptococcus, yo, i be contage-ee-us.

but i’m, zestfully clean, that means i’m clean but full of zest.
my vibe’s electric relaxation from A Tribe Called Quest.
yeah i’m the pro-k-s-e-i on the mic:
the mic-guardian when dudes ain’t using it right.

¹For the record, I am not actually infected with streptococcus. Actually, I also am not epileptic. Just so we’re on the same page.


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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Friday! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.


It’s gorgeous out, at least in DC.  So let’s just get to the goods, shall we?

Today’s FVF is just a story about a breakup (see picture above).  There’s a guy, and there’s a girl.  Below the story, there are three videos completely unrelated to this post because I wanted to laugh.  The first?  I can’t be sure, but I think it’s the part of Coming to America that featured Adam Lambert from Idol on vocals.  The second is a pretty good example of how I’m going to leave the bar tonight.  And the third, well, just see for yourself.

Happy Friday.  Thanks for stopping by.


science fiction

she cries
from behind a smile to comfort me
as she says, “you know we’ve got no chemistry
it’s just science fiction
it’s just science fiction”

her hand
is warm but won’t stop shaking
and she stares
at the cup, the floor, just anything
to keep from falling in again,
a place there’s no escaping;
or so she promises
but here we are
as she starts vanishing

and this time
the only surprise waiting
is for her
she won’t find me begging
i’ve seen this play before
she treats us like we’re staging
and she honestly
don’t know i know she’s faking

so she smiles
like a smile right now could comfort me
as she says, “you know we’ve got no chemistry
it’s just science fiction
it’s just science fiction”

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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.

credit: gilles chiroleu

credit: gilles chiroleu

“I don’t even know what mine is.”

That’s what I think sometimes when people say, “You gotta go for yours,” or something that sounds differently but means the same.

I probably shouldn’t admit that, though, right?  Confessions are good for the soul but toxic for reputations.  But somedays I think we’re all a little less sure than we’ve been on days passed or will be on days to come.  Forgive the extended analogy, but I guess life is like a rocking chair.  Sometimes we’re leaning forward, other times we’re falling backward, but if we never move at all, why are we in a rocking chair in the first place when any old chair would do?

I feel like I’m writing around the point.

The point is that while I think I’m settling into a pretty good place, I swing back and forth.  It’s natural.  The day my impression of self becomes static is a day I fear.  I want to push myself to be better and pull back when I’ve gone too far.  And so today’s excerpt is from one of those swings.

It’s about waiting on change.  Actually, it’s not just about waiting on change.  It’s about gambling on change.  It’s about resting all of your forward progress on a happening rather than daring your own initiative to be the right guess.  Some of the hardest decisions we make involve luck, but none of the right ones are defined by it.

Anyway, as has become more frequent on FVF, there is a Door #2 below the song.

Thank god it’s Friday.  And thanks for stopping by.


if only you

you stand there
waiting on tomorrow
a someday that will never come

on the highway to nowhere
from the shoulder
your best laid plan’s to stick out your thumb

call it a breakthrough
but you let fate escape you
every time you ask it for chance

say you just want a world you can belong to
but fault lines run so deep on your hands

just once, just a minute, just a moment
if only you could live it
we’d see,
there’s so much under your surface
if you wanted
there’s nothing that you could not be.

i believe you
this place probably deceived you
it’s not the way god said it would be

good people die
their friends fight to survive
and the rest, well, seem immune to disease

but it’s not a secret:
you’ll waste time trying to keep it
they know you haven’t moved in a year

you’re marking time like it’s safer when in line
but there’s danger in the comfort of fear…

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Door #2: The title of the post/song, “if only you,”  reminded me of “Happy” by Surface because of the “only you” part.  Off on a tangent?  Uh huh.  But the song is classic.  Enjoy.

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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.



Mornings, mornings.

FVF started as just a venue for writings/lyrics that were collecting dust in journals on my window sill.  But there have been a few posts, like today’s, where I’ve ignored my inclination to hesitate and not share and instead done something that’s bolder than is typical of me.

With that, below is a recorded excerpt of a song I haven’t even finished yet.  It’s just a verse, the chorus, and a very stripped instrumental.  I’m not sure at all that it will sound like this once it’s all said and done.  And this means this blog is breaking one of my biggest rules: that I’d never let anyone — in real life or in htmlife — see anything I was writing before it was finished.

The words:

frosted rain,
white washed,
cleansed the sky.
it’s the funniest thing, this
Christmas in July.
TV says, “it’s a miracle,”
but i can’t see the grace.
i’m stranded inside
by the fireplace

desperate to find a place,
to make my home.
desperate to find a place,
to call my own.
wish i could find a place,
to make my home.
maybe i’ll find a place,
maybe i won’t.

The sounds:


And since I doubt that insert will work, there’s always here.


But there is more business, today.

Kim at Perfectly Cursed Life kindly gave this blog a Kreativ Blogger award:

kreativ_blogger_award_copyCreative?  Seriously: I want to be creative even more than I want to be 6’3″ or master a martial art.  So, thank you wildly.  And now to follow the rules.

1. Post the award on your blog, and link back: check!
2. List seven things you love: check!

a. K-Os – “The Rain.”
b. Marvin Gaye – “Trouble Man.”
c. My new glasses.
d. Rotini. I don’t know.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s not like it tastes different from farfalle or penne or whatever.  It just has an unspoken confidence about it.
e. A full Windsor knot beneath a crisp, cutaway collar.
f. Witty banter. See Mark Ronson feat. Daniel Merriweather – “She’s Got Me.”  They understand exactly what I mean.
g. The Day After Tomorrow. What?  I love disaster movies. Stuff goes *boom*; I go *yay*.

3. List seven blogs you love: che-  Well…

See this is where it gets tricky.  I think I’ve given awards to at least a few of you already.  So if it’s ok, just this once, I’m gonna make this “seven of the many bloggers I’ve just started to read lately.”  Check out:

a. Phampants.
b. The Definitive Dmbosstone.
c. [F]oxymoron.
d. gloryfades.org.
e. Candy Sandwich.
f. Repliderium.com.
g. The Wicked Witch of the Web.

4. E-mail or comment on those blogs to let the people know you’ve given them the award: asap.

Happy Friday!

And thanks to NaBloPoMo, I’ll be back tomorrow and the next day and the…

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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.


Mornings, mornings.

A few administrative items before we get started:

1. That good-for-nothing, scoundrel bird was back yesterday! It thinks my house is an aviary. Next time I catch it, there’s gonna be a misunderstanding. Whatever it’s running from outside this house has nothing on me. Me thinks it should pick its battles more wisely.
2. Yet a new phrase has brought someone to this blog. This one is worse than the last one I pointed out. So, again, follow this footnote at your own risk.¹

But we’ve got more important business…

It’s FVF.


Politics as Usual is my baby.  It’s something I wrote and performed as spoken word not too long after 9/11: long enough for the veil of politically convenient straw-Americanism to drop, but not long enough for enough people to notice.  It’s not specifically geared for our current political climate and I’d lose more credibility than I even have if I suggested nothing has changed since.

But with this era’s lifted veil being that which made Wall Street the Oz to the government’s wizard, I figured the words still apply.  Here’s some excerpts.

Happy Friday!

some of it’s betrayal.
i’ve never been very trusting;
quick to see promises as lies with good intentions.
so it should go without mention,
that to break the modicum of trust i lease
requires an acute sense of indecency.

nonetheless, i stand here in a web of deceit
i didn’t weave, but never broke;
like in a third-party supervisor role.
i didn’t start the fire
but as i saw the flames rise,
i never cried out, afraid to cry “fire”
in this over-crowded theatre
where stage right there’s water,
and a blanket stage left,
but i plant myself in the middle,
stagefront, immobile, inept.
trying to put Iraq, Iran, Korea and the Syrians,
Israelis, Palestinians, Somalians, Liberians,
Cubans, Afghanis, Indians and Pakistanis,
South African, Haitian and West European conflagration
into the background for now;
trying to focus on us;
trying to break this cycle.

it’s been 200 years
and still we haven’t changed.
instead of answering Cornell’s questions about race,
we write about how the big millennium move
is from the Land Rover to the Range.
nobody changes the rules,
so we’re playing the same old game.
nobody dares to move,
so we’re stuck in the same old place.
and while everyone knows the truth,
we tell the lies just to save face.

we create associations for advancement,
but never administrations;
throw Puerto Rican Day parades,
but try to Americanize their nation.
we push free trade with Asia
only to shrink-wrap its culture into novelty souvenirs.
we strive to correct those quick to synonymize
“Islam” with “terror,”
but legalize the “random” searching of young men
with olive complexions and beards.

because, as usual,
we’re quick to set parameters
and slow to understand
that the only things boundaries define,
are the cracks through which exceptions slip.

but we’re stuck in a groove:
one step forward, two steps back.
every generation hoping the next one picks up the slack.
every child blaming his or her future on the past.
every visionary wondering if they’ll be the last.

it’s crucial
that in these unusually familiar times
we do everything but politics as usual.

let’s write the history our ancestors dreamed.


¹Ready? “Handjob cum killing.” Not kidding. What kind of real-life Rocky Horror Picture Show madness is going on around here? I said the guy should’ve been a handjob; not that he should die from drowning in the result. For god’s sake, man.  Get a hold on your self interwebs.

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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.


It’s Friday which means I try a little harder than usual and share something from a notebook of mine, in an effort to remember I actually have notebooks and journals and stacks of loose-leaf paper filled with stuff.

My brother’s in town this week. He’s in town for work. The NPO he works for has sponsored a sightseeing/community service spring break for the students they advise. Most of that mentoring is school-related – not strictly academic, but school-based nonetheless. And, so, inspired by the conversations we’ve had about how hard non-profit educational work is and the fact that both of our parents were teachers at one point in their careers, this week’s FVF is excerpts from Classroom Ramblings. I actually wrote it in class, hence the name. The professor in front of the room of maybe 15 students was actually managing to make a class called “Religions Wage Peace” boring. It was written to be spoken word, something I miss doing and how I finally found my stride in college.

Even if you don’t read, though, skip to the bottom to watch the video. Classic, classic soul.

we’ve cried, “No child left behind!
but even I’ve been left behind
a bunch too many times.
and I didn’t even grow up with roaches and rats,
ant lines on walls, asbestos in cracks.
so imagine what it’s like when your textbooks are yellow –
not the binding, the pages have turned –
and the government detracts funds,
it won’t add sums,
’cause your standardized math sums
are half the highest ones.
professors spit doctrine with no true credentials
the only profession with so few professionals.
might-as-well teachers get long-term contracts
while real communicators get pink-slips in cutbacks.

at recess, brothers used to push sisters on swings
but now they push rocks to rock rocks that bling;
kindergartners rock kicks that kick rocks at kids
’cause Schoolhouse Rock don’t rock like it did.
kids think the Shot Heard ‘Round the World
is when 50 and Ja wound up verbs and hurled.

new kids on the block don’t learn the right stuff
all you hear from teens is “dude, life sucks.”
and what about the kid whose mind is dyslexic?
he just learns to rhyme so he can drive this Lexus.
no one gives a damn about the problems at hand.
we plan the future like the present has a chance.
we tell our youth to dream and dream big,
but if you can’t spell “dream”
how you gonna know what one is?

tell me why we violate basic scholastic rights;
why kids entitled to bike rides lie victim to gunfights.
we assign varsity letters for athletic efforts
to kids who can’t write one
but sure can serve a sentence…

This song by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes is what always pops into my head whenever I think about education and the imperative that it becomes progressive education. It’s called “Wake Up Everybody” and it’s timeless.*


*In the second half of the first verse, it should be “Wake up all you teachers, time to teach a new way, maybe then they’ll listen to what you have to say…”  Normally I wouldn’t correct an artist on his own song, but the difference is important.

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Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day!  ‘Cuz on Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.

Hey kids. Since I was up redonkulously late last night (prepping the no-bake cheesecake below, among other momentously important things), I didn’t get anything ready for today’s Free Verse Friday. But I’m staying true to the spirit of the pledge to be a little more creative on Friday’s posts. So below is the recipe for the cheesecake I made for tonight and a couple pieces of media I’ve been munching on lately.  Yes: there should be a picture of the cheesecake.  But between barely sleeping and running late for work, I forgot.  I’ll update with a picture a little later tonight.

Happy Friday.

Freckled Smoothie Cheesecake.

25 Oreos, de-creamed, crushed or ground
6 tbsp unsalted sweet cream butter, melted
Mix and press into a 9×13.  Refrigerate while you work until firm.

three 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese (I use Philly)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend until very smooth.

“Freckled Smoothie:”
8 oz. white chocolate (I prefer Godiva, though this time I used Ghirardelli)
16 oz. whole unsweetened strawberries, thawed
Chop the chocolate.  Purée the chocolate and strawberries (although leaving some strawberries and chocolate shavings for garnishing individual slices wouldn’t hurt).  You should have a rich strawberry smoothie with “freckles” of white chocolate.

Pour approx. 1.5 cup of the smoothie over the crust.  Stick in it the freezer for about 10 minutes to allow it to set.  When the layer of smoothie feels pretty solid, then add the filling and then the remaining smoothie.  Try to do this last part with some style, rather than glopping the smoothie in the middle.

You should have a layer of crushed Oreos, under a layer of white chocolate/strawberry smoothie, under a layer of cream cheese filling, topped with a layer of smoothie.  Then, using a knife, slice through the smoothie and the cream filling gently, without cutting the crust.  This will create a marbled effect that only gets prettier the more creative you become with how to pull the knife through the filling.  Straight and narrow type?  Make some tic-tac-toe-boxes.  Don’t believe in straight lines?  Curl that knife through in semi-circles and curves.  You can’t mess this part up.

Chill overnight, or for as long as you can.

As for a bit of the media I’m munching on…

1. Jazmine Sullivan.

2. And have you been watching Jimmy Fallon?  I’ve been DVR’ng his new show, and skipping through to watch The Roots – my favorite band, his house band.

Anyway, the show does a segment called Slow Jam the News.  And from the first episode of the show, it goes a little something like this:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Slow Jam the News“, posted with vodpod

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