“Pouring Out Some Liquor”

This is a “duet” poem that I was blessed to write, recite and perform with none other than Xero in Baton Rouge, LA.  The guy is master with words and it was truly a pleasure. –Ms.KeepingItReal

 

Pouring Out Some Liquor

by Ms.KeepingItReal and Xero

 

Both: We dedicate this poem to all the lost poems

Xero: To the imagistic lines that bent

and swirled around in my preoccupied noggin

and got soaked up into

rusted pipe dreams and magnetic memories

Ms.KeepingItReal: To magnets on the fridge two lines long

That were pushed around with letters missing

Both: Yearning to release and roam

From isolation to liberty

Xero: To the half-free verse, half-prose rants

that found their way

under the stove

to escape my cold fury

Ms.KeepingItReal: To the poem scribbled on homework

The teacher obliviously gave back

Both: Never saw us

Xero: To the seldom seen 1998 spoken word

crowd pleaser that only Jason or Keith

would ever request

Both: just to show how far back we go

Ms.KeepingItReal: Back to the poem that was to kill you softly

Eradicating your previous thoughts

Both: Beautiful had it not flown out of the window

 

Xero: To the sappy, cliché jumble

of doggerel that I handed to my ex-wife like…

Ms.KeepingItReal: To the words whispered in the dark

As he invaded my…

Xero: a barb-wire infection,

when neither of us were concerned

with line breaks or…

Ms.KeepingItReal: territory, made me an expert at freestyle

Words flowing like my love til it’s over

Xero: communication

Ms.KeepingItReal: To poems written in notebooks lost

Left on the seat of the bus

Xero: Left on a stool of the stage

Ms.KeepingItReal: Rushing to get off

Xero: To get out

Ms.KeepingItReal: and inside my house

Xero: my head

Ms.KeepingItReal: Took later to realize

Xero: To block it out

Ms.KeepingItReal: Hundreds of secret thoughts now gone

Xero: now murdered

Ms.KeepingItReal: I betrayed them

To the poems of only four lines

Both: Loitering on the pages

Ms.KeepingItReal: Incomplete due to my neglect

No urge to finish what was started

Xero: To that first poem I wrote

Ms.KeepingItReal: I wrestled with

Xero: inside the birthday card

Ms.KeepingItReal: love note

Xero: my fourth grade class gave to Mrs. Claverie

The one that made her say,

Ms.KeepingItReal: made her etch in marble

Xero: “Chancelier, never stop writing.

You have a gift.”

Ms.KeepingItReal: To answer present

Xero: To the lost inspiration

that I couldn’t have written

Both: better myself

Xero: that made me

Both: better myself

Ms.KeepingItReal: To the poems written on

scraps of paper, napkins, sticky notes

Both: long gone

Ms.KeepingItReal: Mixed with trash inside my purse

Never to grace my lips—your ears

Xero: Here’s to the poor poems that

never survived my hard drive

deleted from my laptop

Both: for my failure

Xero: to give them adequate electricity

Xero: To the poems that aren’t poems yet,

but will eventually be lost

because it’s taking me so long

to find a way to write them free

 

 

Ms.KeepingItReal: To the poems savagely

ripped from my journal

No words to tattoo minds

without permission

Xero: To the poems I printed out at work,

folded into thick rectangles,

Ms.KeepingItReal: slipped

Xero: into my back pocket,

Ms.KeepingItReal: carried

Xero: around all day,

Ms.KeepingItReal: placed

Xero: on my dresser, and

Ms.KeepingItReal: pushed

Xero: back behind the dresser

with other rectangular experiments

Ms.KeepingItReal: gone

Xero: awry

 

Ms.KeepingItReal: To the poems I rehearsed in my head

Desperately-over and over

No paper to record this

Pen pressed to my palm

Words staining my flesh

Carefree—I with errands to do

From here to and fro…where are you?

Smeared blue blur

Xero: I am here

attempting resurrections with recitation

over and over

no memories to remake you

palm pressed to paper

careful – I with errors to fix

from here, on and on…what are you?

Seared blue heart

Both: We are vessels of misplaced trust

learning only now

that waste is precious

and treasure can be stapled

to flesh

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Pearls of Wisdom—Words to My Younger Self #1


Dear Little Miss Missy,

 

Learn not to let people use you—family, friends, co-workers/bosses, or even a man.  Often times you get so caught up in being the person who knows everything or has her hand in everything that people begin to count on you to do everything.

It’s okay to offer your help now and then when the help is really and genuinely needed, but learn to be able to discern between the two—really needing the help and just being plain lazy.  You are a perfectionist and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that…well there is on caveat…but we’ll save that for a later time.

Family—learn that just because you are the oldest does not mean that you should shoulder everything. At some point, people will have to realize that they will need to accept responsibility for their own actions. You need to learn early that you cannot save everyone.  You’re not Catwoman or Wonder Woman.  You’re just plain ole [insert government name here].  Stop trying to the barrier between a person and whatever bed they made.  While it is okay to be there for your siblings and mother, etc, learn know that you cannot save everyone.  God gives us all an internal system that gives us an inkling of a feeling, if not more, when something is amiss.  You have to let people use their own wings…and if they fall learning to fly…well, that’s just a part of life. You get up and try to fly again.  The point is that eventually they will learn their way…as long as you remember to pray for them.

Unfortunately, I have some sad news. The world is going to become a crazy place to live and life will be short.  Learn how to develop an ear and a mind for God now.

Friends—everyone cannot be trusted.  Period.  Friends can sometimes be the ones that hurt you the most because you generally trust them and spend more time with them than you will your own family as you get older…especially during the teenage years.  You’re a smart girl and you have a way with words.  People will use that to ask you for help with homework or to actually do the work for them. Family and a man may try to pull this card too.  Learn to put your foot firmly down and flat-out tell them “no.”  While you like the praises they sing for the grades they get and to hear how wonderfully something was written, the fact remains that your name is not on it. You’re a ghost writer.  Why do that when you can put your own name out there?  Furthermore, you’re only enabling that person.  They will never learn to stand on their own two feet because you’re their crutch.  Get from under their arms already.

Co-workers/Bosses—thankfully, you won’t have a problem with bosses so much.  You’re pretty much able to set the tone during the interview process and you’re pretty much headstrong so when you decide you have had enough…you’ll move your feet. However, learn ahead of time that your boss may be great, but their boss may be a pain in the rear.  Learn not to let them use you by using a very powerful word. NO. N-O-.  Let them know that you will come in and do your job, but that you are not doing salary work on hourly pay…in your case, “Director/Manager” work.  Understand that your quality of life is more important than any job.  Unless it is your career, they can step off.  When you let employers use you, your unhappiness only leaks over into the parts of your life that are happy—the parts of your life where roses grew from concrete.  If you let that happen, your job and the associates become some pharmaceutical drug that was supposed to cure one thing and then has drastic, unwanted side effects on everything else. It’s so not worth it.

Man—eventually, there comes a time in every person’s life where the significant other attempts to use them.  Recognize the signs early.  A man should never expect something of you that he wouldn’t expect his mother to do for another man.  Men, as the world gets older, become what others refer to as “losers.”  They expect a woman to take care of them or in even more prevalent cases, be a ruse for the buffoonery that he really delights engaging in.  Either way…never let a man use you.  When you’re older, we’ll discuss this in more detail.

 

Until we write again,

 

–Ms. KeepingItReal

Winning Back My Life: One Step at a Time

I was doing some thinking…well reflecting…over my previous employer while in the middle of a conversation with a dear friend of mines. She was talking about her job and a promotion she had recently received. While congratulations were most definitely in order as always, that old crypt keeping job finds a way to rear its ugly head in the midst of our dialogue. However, this was for the last time.

During the talk though I began to discuss how I always gave more than I should have at my old job. I became some disrespectful, sub par image at best of my true self. I dedicated more hours to the success of a multi-million dollar corporation and did not even see anything close to a million dollars. The president of one section of the company knew my name. I was called upon to help train hundreds of new employees for the startup of a new department. I often times came in early in the morning and left late at night. I was the go-to-person for everything no matter what it was because everyone knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I, and I alone, could and would always get the job done.

Everything in my life began to take a back burner to my job…

Job—something that has to be done; a specific duty, role or function

Career—a field for or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life; a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling.

everything took a back burner to my job…a j-o-b. I began to avoid phone calls from family because I was too annoyed, too tired, maybe even too depressed to move my lips let alone use my ears. Lateness became synonymous with my government name. I was late showing for any engagement that I had committed myself to. I would stay inside my apartment all day and never come out and if I had anything to do for myself like grocery shopping, I was late for that too. I dragged ass with everything that I did. If anyone asked me to do something, I would take forever to get to it and it eventually the people who I cared about began to feel neglected. I had nothing positive or happy to say and I pretty much didn’t want to talk about anything. My responses became terse to say the least.

And yet…I still gave a damn about my job. I still felt the need to go above and beyond to prove what? I was taken advantage of for my failure to cut the head off of ugly Medusa and put my New Orleans street degree in taxidermy to use for the Devil. Point blank, I cared too much about what the people at my job thought about me. I felt like I had something to prove and had to do the right thing although I hated that. I always said that I wanted to do the right thing because I believed that it was the right thing to do, not because it is the right thing to do.

The New Year came with no positive, self-fulfilling changes and that was the beginning of me taking over my life. I began to let my unhappiness spill over into the workplace…barely clocking in on time…leaving my house at the last minute…arriving to meetings without a notebook or a pen to name a few.

And I say all that to say this…while I was on the phone with my friend I began explaining how we, as human beings, get so caught up in doing the right thing for a job, a family member, or even a friend that we forget to do the right thing in terms of how God may view us. In the end, His viewpoint of our life will be on the only one that matters. We spend our time going above and beyond to win someone’s affection or to keep them in our lives when we should be doing all that and more for God. We fail to treat our relationship with Him like it is a priority. In the end, He is the only person that we need to love us. He will never fail to love us and show us with affection and let us know that He cares about us and give us recognition for being a faithful believer. He is all-knowing and all-seeing. He never offers us a promotion and then fails to put us in the position. He never calls on us to take on more than we can handle and He will never judge us for the mistakes we make. I’m not ostracized because I have put my foot down and decided to live my life a different way.

This is my rambling for the night.

–Ms.KeepingItReal

The Avengers!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday I saw Marvel’s The Avengers movie with my cousins Étienne and Travis. We saw it in IMAX 3D and I must say…the movie was off the chain!!!!!!!! LIKED IT!!

I had been anticipating the opening of this movie for months and finally, I was able to see it. Woot woot. It was great to have all of my favorite superheroes in one film. Go Marvel Comics and Walt Disney Pictures!! Even though Edward Norton (I prefer him as the Hulk) was not in the movie, I almost didn’t miss him. The Hulk is one of those characters that always gets everyone hype when he transforms into the big green guy. My favorite part of the movie with him is when he gives Loki the business!!! Hulk angry!  He is one of my all time favorite characters.

Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark character always tickles my fancy. The guy is a complete jerk and some would stop nothing short of referring to him as an A-hole, but I take pleasure in watching this pompous genius play the role and do it extremely well. Shout out to Marvel for keeping Ms. Potts out of the movie when the world needed saving!!!! Real talk. I hate when I watch a movie and the guy that is supposed to save the world is having a moment with his love interest when the world is actually about to end in like 5 seconds—example…Armageddon. That is absolutely annoying! Thanks so much for not doing that…really….thank you.

Thor—I must say that I have never seen the movie that came out. I wanted to see it at first when it came out, but then I didn’t hear many rave reviews about it so it became less of a priority on the list of movies that I wanted to see. Now, I wish I had taken the time to watch it. Thor has made the list with Stark and Banner so yuuup, I will be watching Thor very soon. I enjoyed when he told the other Avengers that Loki is his brother when they were talking about him, but as soon as someone made mention of the 80 people that he killed, Thor said that Loki is adopted. Lmbo.

Captain America makes the list because he’s Captain America and the perfect gentleman…stark contrast to Mr. Stark himself. Gotta love it!!!

I think Rotten Tomatoes did a great job with the 96% rating that the movie received. The movie is action packed from start to finish and the innuendos are some of the most hilarious parts of the movie. It’s over 2 hours long, but it is well worth it. If you are going to see the movie be sure to stay until the very end…that means after ALL credits have rolled. This is definitely a must have in the DVD collection when it’s released.

#Impressive

—Ms. KeepingItReal

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