Daily Archives: November 10, 2011

UNhappy Birthday

this is a poem i had in my backpack for a year, but i ran into a wall and could never finish it. then two things happened: my homeboy, who lost three children, was expecting another child, but the mother got an abortion against his wishes.

two days later i came across a song “happy birthday”, by flipside, about abortion (excellent song btw). just the inspiration i needed to cap off my piece, and gave me the perfect title! Flipsyde, you da man!


we exist among the living loved

the unwanted

the dead

ill-timed arrivals send souls

sentenced to join the unworthy

plummeting down the endless canals

of our otherwise welcoming walls we



brutal finales

fatal finishes of long-awaited

happy birthdays

never to arrive

maybe you, but not me

i am the side effect of love gone awry

or conceived too young

or unsure parentage

sucking away at shallow pockets

of lifestyles that beg to be maintained


you can see me in the empty seats

in kindergarten classrooms

laughter not heard

smiles not seen

tender touches never felt

only in the dreams of the mothers

and fathers

who regret

my death

wondering thoughts of what i

might have been


though it may appear my name is

“not yet”

am i a boy or girl?

only God knows

was i to be a momma’s boy

or daddy’s princess?

have her eyes

or his nose?

i am the gleam in a grandmother’s eye

or the shame of an unwed teen’s cries

found in toilet bloodclots

ultrasound blots

i loved you.

my small hands and

pre-formed fingers

too underdeveloped

to defend myself in this warm

watery womb-world

that fed me

nourished me

gave me a glimmer of future

for 8 whole weeks

i would have been

a good son

faint, distant screams drowned in

placenta violated by instruments


cries of

let me live

i would have been

a good son.

but my ill-fated,

ill-timed arrival gave the false reassurance

of a “later time”, yet

i won’t be back

and we exist in the

profane presence of selfish minds—

a memory

fresh from God’s own hand

clumps of miry clay

left behind to dry

never the apple of your eye

never got the chance to breathe

or smile

or crawl

or walk

or talk

or jump

or climb

or run

or pray

or grow

or laugh

or play

and me?

i never even had a name


and because of “free choice”

i never

got the chance

to be.

happy birthday, babies…





“unhappy birthday”

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Filed under Poetry

Love It or Leave It: A Thanksgiving Poem

The only real Americans

this poem was inspired by a painting i saw in a 1973 issue of National Geographic. the artist’s name is Charlie M. Russell. unlike many of that day (1800s) he did not characterize the Native American as savage. he handwrote in place of his signature a note:  “they are the only REAL americans”. so, here goes:


love it, or leave it

they are the only real americans among us

skin as red as Sonora floors

he speaks the sound of clouds

and chants the thunderous

roar of a thousand horses

he is the door to the land

that birthed your patriotic pride and joy

closer to creation

than you may never know

with suicidal brotherly arms

they embraced the withering disintegration

of future generations

bondaged, brave, blind

bandaged, barbaric

tough and raw

with their bark still on

Iriquois ignorance

Judas justified

killing for keeps

left lying, dying on lifted lands

Muskogee, Comanche

molten manhood pooled in bands and

massacred mangled puddles of

sanguine sap that rosies the palms

of every hand

from the tears in eagle eyes

to the towers of Babel

they reach for skies

outstretched like arrows on a bow

for a God who has abandoned US

heard the lies about

the God they trust

trust us

bust us


just us

just see

just me

trust me

treat me



words not worth the paper

they defile

with worshipped stars

and stripes striking pre-emptively

while the birth of a new nation

blindfolds the death of another

our once fertile, found red ground

sprouts a poisonous sea of green

drops a crocodile tear for offspring unseen

nourishing the seed of wrath in repose

stomachs churn

turned up nose

at the thought of blood spilled in His name

concrete gravestones stain

sacred stolen soil

still, they live here in vain

flying the banner of entitlement

BPA reveals splashes of its DNA

Red men

White skin

Blue eyes

forensic folly hints at

original sin

border fences line long

and line high before purple mountains

seams to keep gates of hell

open to hatred

they justify darkened Manhattan skylines

terror has found its way home

the rooster is calling

Illinois, Sioux me

you are a 4WD Cherokee

stranded on fruited plains

with Blackfeet and bloodied hands

still wet with blame

they are the only real americans

but someone stole his name

chanting Cheyenne wishes

for a Mighty Wind

to blow the unforgiving Sun

across our weeping, spacious skies

cast us into infernal Cree summers

Relentless, consuming

Like the wrath of centuries-old debts untold

he is Eskimo

he is Navajo

he is Paiute
















descendants turned to dust in the womb

we will never know him

exiled onto desert tombs

with dehydrated tongues

and bleached histories tell

of killing blankets and crying trails

celebrated in the mockery

of drunken college punks in drag

rather than filling pride

birthmark badges

and federal IDs

savage aborigines

Godless and primitive

wild, like bitter berries

he is the sexy Masala in your good hair

the tan tint in Creole Rue

the safe haven for your forefathers

detours found Railroaded Underground

he is your ancestor’s brother

one-eighth on your grandmother’s

cousin side

mixed breed pride hide inside

erased so effectively

genealogies forgot him

overlooking a pasture of

bare Bison bones

when a word was whispered in the wind

from the past:


you are his worthless white wetbacks

thanks for Pilgrim-giving

shoulda let you starve on that rock

he prays for the strength of al Qaeda

the resilience of racism

and the swift, just hand of Noah’s Flood

911 was a joke in his town

for him, it was a Pow-Wow

twin teepee in the sky

made you realize

what it feels like to never die in spite of

eternal hunger

he wants his God-damned land back:

My people are broken

Like your promises

And it’s too late to atone

You’ve worn out your welcome,



Love it or leave it

© He Spit Fire



Filed under Poetry