“Under the Street Lights”

“this poem was inspired by a poetry challenge by Dizz Flatline to write a poem about violence in our community”

release the safety
pull the trigger
the pin strikes primer
spits fire out the chamber
light shows
under street lights
remember a time
we used to fist fight
but them days is over with
young brothers
already victims by design
now must
field hands
they took away
the fathers
from their sons
gave up on god & passed out guns

release the safetyunder the street lights
pull the trigger
the pin strikes primer
spits fire out the chamber
light shows
under street lights
crew neck tees
with painted faces
erase an entire generation
mother’s losing sons
like wrong directions
in our sections
a trap
the real cage is in their minds
been trained
prepared to die

no lie

makes you
old school
these fools killing
over gym shoes
playing a game
like there is no rules
no schools
so private prisons
growing like oak trees
filling them with more fathers
so the cycle just continues
the solution
free their minds
learn that solidarity
is a defense
working together
can make us stronger
thrown in these conditions
forgot our thrones
gave up on our natural position
statistical data shows
more than these reality shows
we are losing
living wealthy and healthy
uncommon in these gutters
so much violence in these homes
“ain’t no motherfucking jobs”
at odds with each other

he beats her
she beats the kids
the kids can’t beat the odds

but we used to being property
they cuffed us when we left
the comfort of our native soil
brought us to these natives soil

living the American Scheme
put a brother in the highest office
fuck him and all that bullshit bout a dream
smiling faces don’t change situations
when you face to face with hard steel
release the safety
pull the trigger
the pin strikes primer
spits fire out the chamber
light shows
under street lights

they selling us
we settling for less
another brother with his eyes closed
funerals seem like the only time
we get together
taping teddy bears on fucking light poles
behind the eight ball
4 rails out this living hell
even the pool cue is up for sale

Cold way we play this game
they made up
turnt up
but wouldn’t pick a book up
fully loaded
but disengaged
despaired &  full of rage
till they release the safety
pull the trigger
the pin strikes primer
spits fire out the chamber
light shows
under street lights


Mario’s Poetry Challenge or Trash Please…

Yesterday, posted a challenge on FB that all my poet friends write a poem from the perspective of the object directly to the right of them. My object was a single shot of liquor bottle cap.


above me
he burns the midnight oil
gate keeper to his habitual rituals
resting here thinking
between the billows of cigar smoke
maybe this mad man will notice me
shivering& at least throw me
with the rest of the discarded

here useless
a silent witness to his torments
black as the words he thrusts on his keyboard
depressing the keys far too hard
with his melancholy overtures & finger tips

he has taken to shouting again
he would call it rehearsing
to me
it sounds
like screaming rants
from a clearly disturbed mind

my inability to move
to get up
like anything sensible would

the trash
must be more inviting
then his company
yet I lay here
two days now,
staring up at him typing
foolish man
with his animated rustling
I envy his motion
because then I could leave him
like he ought to be…

An Open Letter to the Wait Staff at Open Mics.

Dear Service Industry Personnel or Bar Mistress or Bartender
whichever you prefer
I would like to apologize
on behalf of the poets
attending “your” sets

though spending most of my time searching for god
trying to remain sane enough
not to swan dive into the cement ocean

your plight
has been brought to my attention
suffering & I have never been one to
ignore the impecunious
(poor, just trust me, that is what it means)

though most days
I am seconds away from a chainsaw mass shooting
organizing a group interested in firebombing city hall
or scratching enough blood from my flesh to feed my family
(as we all are)
I am not calloused enough
to not
the desperation of your situation

Please Poets
Lovers of Poetry
and Open Mic attendants
for whatever reason you
saunter into
these dimly lit roomsBartender
to hear words
from the mouth
of our foolish hearts


though their lack of purchases
has no reflection
on your watered down drinks
and over priced cocktails

Art ought make people thirsty
all I can express is shame
that I have not guided more people
into deeper liver disease and alcoholism sooner
(lord knows I love both so much)

What could have I been thinking?
with half of the brothers
unemployed in my city,
human trafficking
turning our daughters into online commodities
morality exchanged for capitalism
and all this time I never once mentioned your drink special…

What is it again?

God forbid
not every patron
leave here in a drunken stupor
Poets making money hand over fist
and it is time we share the wealth

the 9 year old mowed down like a dog
on the streets of our city
Lake Michigan as dirty as interstate rest stop toilet
the death of the black family
can all take a back seat
while the poets make sure everyone
buys a drink
we truly thank you for letting us use your space
Doing this at home is an option
but clearly we are starved enough
for attention and fame
selling a few drinks
shouldn’t be a hassle.

with my deepest condolences

Mario the Poet…

“over broken”

a failure of emotions
suffer me the aggravation
of the fight, slaughter, kill in my reflex
Learning & Growing
feeling remedial
after all these sunrises
but some lessons never get
“learned right”

pliers and snatched out teeth
split open forearm muscles
pouring salt into the gash
a white hot screwdriver
jammed into my stare
all these things
our love is…sometimes

the undignified suffering
of kinship
this shared blood agony


must I punish myself
internalizing your thoughtless vulgarity
your adept abuse
the pummeling
that would make the stoutest boxer punch drunk
I give up…count me out, already…I quit

What do I gain?

Love in short bursts
after miles of torture
you are a mistress of malcontent
a lover of self and the false pride of control
foolish heart
chasing you into locked doors
looking for answers
but I already know the solution
“Over Broken”
short of miracle
you will remain crippled
looking for others to dismember
just to tired to fight anymore
we lose
I lose my pride
you lose what you never had to begin with
and wonder why you are alone
ask me…I know.