Mm hm. Just testing this shit out. Getting my feet wet again. Been away fer years & years.

Find me on MySpace and be my friend!


and then again...
It's so frightening, losing everything. Giving it all up, giving it away. Throwing it out. The special things are there: snapshots, memories, stories, smiles. All the tears are going, though. They've got to go. No more tears, no more fears, no more shit in arrears.

I don't have clue one where we're going, what we'll do; I just know it'll be better than this. It'll be big, it'll be grand. Comfortable and secure and happy and clean and inspiring.

Whatever I do, I'll create. Where ever we go, we'll be safe. Mama will be happy, baby will be happy. Dog will be happy. Happy family.


Yolanda went to a continuation school that let out at noon. She picked Andre up from school every day at two, took him home, and did her homework before leaving for work. She usually worked from four to eight, but sometimes stayed until ten or eleven. Their mom was always up and dressed by the time Kwan got home. Although she spent almost every evening drinking and partying, she made dinner every night and went over her kids' homework with them. She was a very pretty woman, dark as night with long hair that she often wore in two braids down her back. She was tall with big hips and legs and kept her nails long and polished. She had perfect teeth and deep-set eyes that were a mellow brown, lighter than her skin and giving her an exotic look.

Lorraine had had Yolanda when she was sixteen, and Kwan when she was eighteen. Their father had left and moved to Michigan when Kwan was five and Yolanda seven, and Lorraine had started dating a Mexican man. She had Andre a year into their relationship, and his father had left her for another woman when Andre was just six months old. Yolanda and Kwan's dad sent a small check a few times a year, but Andre's dad gave Lorraine money on a monthly basis. He took Andre to ball games and to Great America, but he completely ignored Lorraine's other kids. Yolanda remembered when they had been dating. He was nice to her and Kwan; he'd bring them ice cream and once he took the whole family out to Pier 39 in San Francisco. But as soon as he broke up with their mom, he acted as if Andre was the only kid in the house.

Yolanda wrote letters to her father on his birthday and at Christmas. He sent her cards and gifts but whenever she asked for a ticket to come visit him, he made excuses about not having enough money, or enough time to spend with her. He was married to a woman who had two kids of her own, and they had two boys together. Yolanda had pictures of her little brothers, but she'd never seen them. She had a feeling that her stepmother didn't want Yolanda's dad to have anything to do with his other kids. Kwan acted like he didn't care; whenever Yolanda brought up their father he would change the subject or ignore her.

Andre was in the living room, playing with his Power Ranger action figures on the floor in front of the sofa. Yolanda and Lorraine were in the kitchen. Yolanda was doing her world history homework and Lorraine was cleaning the stove and counters. The radio on the windowsill was tuned to KBLX and Lorraine was singing along with Teddy Pendergrass as she worked. She had a nice voice, thin but clear. Yolanda liked to hear her mother sing. Sometimes when she came home from the bar she would come in the house singing and Yolanda would lay in bed, listening to her as she took off her makeup and clothes. Sometimes Lorraine would come home crying softly. Yolanda would find her in the morning, sleeping on top of her bed, her clothes and makeup still on. Yolanda would help her mother into her nightgown and under the covers. She knew her mom had had too much brandy when she found her like that. She wished she wouldn't drink so much, or party so much. She wished her mom had a job like Auntie Carol, or that she would slow down and meet a man who didn't hang out at Hightower's.

Lorraine rinsed out the sponge and placed it on the back of the sink. She opened a cabinet and took out some spice bottles, and pulled some hamburger meat and vegetables out of the refrigerator. "Landa, baby, cut these onions and peppers up when you done with your homework, 'kay?"
"Okay Mom" Yolanda replied. Her mom opened the kitchen door and pulled a Newport out of the pack on top of the refrigerator. She lit the cigarette and stood in the doorway, smoking and singing along with the radio. Yolanda answered the last question in the chapter about Ghandi, closed her textbook and got up from the table. She took down the cutting board hanging next to the stove and got a knife from a drawer. She turned on the cold water and held the onions under the stream as she peeled the skin off. She cut the onions into quarters under the water, separating each layer and rinsing it off. She put the pieces on the the cutting board and began to dice them. Lorraine had taught her this technique, and she hardly ever cried when cutting onions. When she'd finished she scraped the chopped onions into a bowl and chopped up the bell peppers. She put those into the bowl and asked her mom, "you want me to season the meat too?" Lorraine stubbed her cigarette out on the railing and flipped the butt into the dumpster in the courtyard below. She closed the kitchen door, went to the sink and began washing her hands. "That's okay baby," she told Yolanda, "I got it. Go ahead and get ready for work."

Yolanda took her history book and binder and her backpack into her room. She removed her books from the backpack and placed them all on her dresser. She took her uniform - a Taco Bell tee shirt, baseball cap and navy Dickies - from her closet and put them into the backpack. She checked her makeup, combed her hair in the back, and left her room. Andre ran up to her, wrapping his arms around her waist and giving her a big hug. "Bye Landa, have fun at work!" Yolanda laughed. "yeah, Dre, I'll have lots of fun." She went into the kitchen where Lorraine was kneading spices and the chopped vegetables into the hamburger meat. She leaned her head towards her daughter and Yolanda kissed her on the cheek. "Have a good night baby, don't let them work you too hard." Yolanda said "Okay Mom," and left.

Walking down the front stairs, Yolanda saw her Auntie Carol coming up the walk. She smiled when she saw Yolanda. "You going to work?" She asked her. "Yeah." They hugged each other. Auntie Carol was shorter than her sister, and lighter, but she had the same light brown eyes and long, almost straight hair. She was slimmer in the hips than Lorraine but had a more generous bust. "Have a good night Landa," her auntie called after her as she walked towards the corner. "Bye," Yolanda waved. Carol started up the stairs, on her way to gossip with her sister for a while.


I was in the Oakland Childrens Chorus like a hundred years ago. Okay, well, 25 years ago. Seems like a hundred.

We sang some of everything. Performed around the state, went to camp each year up on the Feather River.

For a while our music director was Larry Batiste, a jazz musician who played with Bill Summers and other local artists. He penned a tune called "Oakland, You Are My Song". A very pretty little song, and it would be really cool if I quoted it right now but I can only remember part of the chorus and a piece of a verse. "Oakland, you are my song/and you-ou are where I belong".

We sang it at the dedication ceremony for City Center Plaza. You know, down by the 12th St BART station, where all the shops & stuff are.

I was down that way not long ago, looking in the windows. There's a lot of nice merchandise to buy there, if you've got any money. I don't. I had enough that day for a coffee, though. Got me a sugar-free vanilla latte and sat down on a bench. I watched people. The folx going back & forth from the office on breaks & overly long errands. Students looking calm and unhurried wandered by with coffee and heavy bookbags. A short man in a suit stopped to check himself in a store window. He ran his hand over his barbered head and rubbed his neat beard. He smiled at himself before he hurried on his way.

I heard a familiar voice and looked up to see my play-sister walking by with a coworker. "Tammy!" I yelled out. She turned. "What's up girl?" We hugged and gossipped and I spoke to her coworker, who I'd gone to Oakland High with. We chopped it up for ten minutes or so, until they had to get back to their office. A short time after that my girl Lori walked up. She works with Tammy, and Tammy'd told her I was outside chilling. We did the hugging and gossipping and chopping it up too and when she left I sat there sipping my coffee and smiling.

The fountain wasn't running that afternoon. It was cold but bright and sunny. The water in the bottom of the fountain gave off glints of platinum that hurt your eyes for a second. A ragged pigeon pecked at some Fritos someone'd dropped and I got up to leave. I tossed my empty coffee cup into a trash can and wished I had the money to get another. Or a pepperoni slice. I wished I had a job, a paycheck. Walking out of City Center I heard a car's stereo playing "Rebel Music". I bopped my head a lil' bit.

Someone behind me yelled to someone else, and I looked back, nosy. I could see the Federal Building way out past the City Center walkway and the people streaming from it to City Center and back looked like a cartoon representation of a busy city street. The sun was bright and made everything look half-there.

I went across Broadway to Walgreens. I got a cottage cheese and when I went to pay for it with my EBT card, I found out that that Walgreens doesn't accept food stamps. Rite Aid didn't either. I was too tired to walk down to Chinatown so I just got on the bus and went home.

When I got home I realized I'd left my lighter on the bench in City Center Plaza. I hope someone found it who really needed a cigarette and couldn't find a light. I hope someone took it and carved their initials into it with a nail file. I hope someone found it and compulsively flicked the wheel until the butane ran out. I hope it found another life in City Center Plaza.



Poetry randomly generated by this lovely thing

From Sideshow:

Possibly Interesting: to time to the early
morning hours, Thought really One
bedroom apartment go down Church
Street, where they show
I have also found
myself yelling back in here and
happy to lock us Oakland . I tried
to hear the latest version of
East Oakland right, I have seen
ruder, by fools from
us. inside. We
got 2 the footage and freshly
dipped at the air, egging you
talk about. the
side show was
slow, because they do
find people
who spoke out in
a donut
or a homicide report depicts.

From Possibly Interesting:

Possibly Interesting :::::: knee
groan, dumb internet quiz.
know all of
men just took all. So I got
off He
was in there Mm hm.
Busted. I went to happen,
dontcha know.

Possibly Interesting :::::: a different folder
than the drunken handyman more... desirable than half
nude girls I
saw that and helped her mother
is the baby . real family.
member or downtown. She said they should
arrest every twenty
minutes or downtown

Possibly Interesting :::::: lively up
be able to be ;
at least ten
times. Update: just know folx
skin between them. before where the
barbershop, a post
written in the
water off. yet got the
for kids mamas are
gone. There since
there a lot.

From About:

Pretend Married The
King Intensity Dean Koontz The classics
Stephanie Mills, Aretha Horror, , suspense,
true Romance Dalmatians Autumn Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes,
Emily Dickinson
Stargazer lilies, gerbera daisies, amaryllis
Lavender, vanilla, Blue or speakers.
Just broke. 1993
Olds Cutlass Supreme SL, bought six incense holders,
one leather coat that
I Know This page will be updated
on a
Decade of my
books a real stereo. , very Best
of chocolate & swirls of
shoes that I actually
wear, one wooden weed
box. Somewhere between two
menorahs, six
incense holders, one TV.

Pretend Married The Very slow
PC. No particular order Flyy Girl Omar
Tyree The
Collected Stories of my
heart, my heart, my heart,
my heart,
my Smile Alice
Walker Jitterbug Perfume Tom Robbins The point
where I live, I create. Here, ever since.
Blonde hair, long, lean
pants. Long lean pants.