Category Archives: Uncategorized

CHATTING OVER THE FENCE

He lives in a capital city, too
Larger than mine
On the same continent
But in a different country
Still that does make us neighbors
He’s the boy next door
We talk about photography
And vegetables
And going for walks
Not everyone living in a city
Settles for concrete

(c) 2010 Beth NoLastName

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CONDITIONAL LOVE

You’ve changed

He said

And no one knew better than I

The truth of his words

He did not like the change

But the change was me

Being me

Not just who he wanted me to be

He laughed at me

And when I told him that hurt

He laughed more

So now we don’t relate

Not because I changed

But  that he hated the change

And the change is me

(c) 2009 Beth NoLastName

PURPLE REIGN

She was so Black
Her skin looked purple
In the sun
I was lost
So she took me under her wing
And taught me how to live
She insisted we see Purple Rain
Together
But as I sat between her sister and her
I giggled
And she demanded to know why
There I sat watching an all Black cast
In a theater where I was the only
White woman
Her sister threw us a glare for whispering
“What’s so funny?”
She hissed
Taking my life in my hands
I blurted out
“I feel like the filling in an Oreo cookie!”
The three of us laughed so hard
We were thrown out of the theater
I never did get to see that movie
I’ll have to look it up
Purple Rain
Like my Queen Viola
And her Purple Reign

FIFTY-ELEVEN

When I turned fifty
I looked in the mirror and laughed
Seeing the child I hold inside
Shining out of my eyes

When I turned sixty
I thought
It’s time to be more serious now
I cut my long hair
Remembering what mother said
About older women not wearing long hair

By the time I turned sixty-one
My hair was growing back
My mother was wrong
When asked my age I paused always
Before adding the one to sixty

Finally, deciding I was happier
When in my fifties
I found a new way to tell the truth
Yet smile as I report my age
I am now fifty-eleven

(c) 2008 Beth NoLastName

OVERJOYED

Positive energy flows
Circulate all around me
Through me
From me
The electric charge
Causing me to blink back tears
Excess overflowing
But my heart cries out
Bring it on

(c) 2008 BethNoLastName

UPSIDE DOWN CLOWN

I roam downtown with my bag and my laptop

Tapping into wireless connections on the run

In businesses that don’t pay for hook up

Someone stole the router

From the public library

Where the connection is paid for

And meant to be a gift to the public

The humor of opposites continues to invade my life

Nothing what it appears to be

Very little functioning as intended

The fun in dysfunction

Saving my sanity

© 2008 Beth NoLastName

GANGSTA GRANDMA

White woman on Perry Street
Hey Auntie You straight
Straight longer than you’ve been alive
And your mama too
Hey Baby What’s up
My age that’s what
Old enough to be your grandma
Lady from the suburbs
Gives me a ride home
I tell her I live in the richest part of the city
Kids on my block carry rolls larger than their fists
Drug route a better profit than newspapers
Hop on your bike
Ride around the corner and hand the man in the car
A little bag
Beats carrying a sack full of shit that’s heavy
Kids on my block are the news
They don’t pedal papers
They fill their pages from front to obit
That ain’t no water pistol, Mister
Walk tall or don’t walk at all
At least not on Perry Street
Doing time means you got stupid
The next kid will take your spot
Leave the money in a safe
So it takes more time for someone to get it
‘Cuz you know in your gut
Ain’t no one can be trusted
It’s one for all and all for none
On Perry Street
Wanna’ be a hero
Get dead
They hang a sheet out with your name on it
And wear their colors
Mama dressed in black
Your friends in red
They talk about you for a day or two
Maybe even take down the guy that got you
And then it’s business as usual
On Perry Street

© 2006 Beth NoLastName

It took time for those who lived in the neighborhood to accept me as one of them, but it’s been five years now and I am “GG” to the young people here. They know I know. They know I care. It’s all they need to know. Racial differences and cultural differences don’t mean anything to young people. They only want to know if you are real and if you appreciate they are real. I am. I do. They know.