The New Neighbor

The New Neighbor by Too Tall Joanz©

Gentrification
has become a major situation
in my neighborhood
Some folks think it’s all good
with the new bistros
and other commercial
businesses popping up
like weeds
’cause see
they look like flowers
but their function is
to drain all the power
from the beauty of the real ones
sucking the life from us
until there’s none
Now the Lenox Lounge is done
If it were downtown
they would’ve never torn it down
another jewel plucked
from Harlem’s crown
As I look around
nowadays
seeing all the changes
around the way
my heart is filled with dismay
because the taste
of chocolate
on Harlem’s streets
is beginning to get weak
now the feet
that beat
these streets
are the police
trying to catch you slipping
new neighbors flipping
’cause your bbq
doesn’t respect their curfew
in addition to
turning your music down
yet they forget
this ain’t downtown
and though there’s snow
in Chocolate Town
Black culture still abounds
and I pray when summertime
comes around
We turn it up
all the way to the max
being Black
being Black
being Black
being Black
so much so that
the ignorance
is line-stepping niggerish
til the police
dismiss
their complaints
like it’s giberrish
because this here shit
is ridiculous
coming from downtown
to come here with
their own set of rules
disturbing the peace
of the last piece
of chocolate cake
Manhattan’s only soul-food
spot
and you will not
tell us how to rock
on our block
I hope our music pops
your eardrum
that’s in conjunction
to the beat of the African ones on
two-fifth
I hope you choke on the
smell of spliffs
rising
in the night wind
as cannabinoids
walk by
I hope pitbulls
swallow your carry-on dogs
I hope you get lost
in the fog
of smoke
from bbq grills
I hope you know
how it feels
to be denied
when habibi lies
saying he don’t sell no loosies
I hope all you see
is a mistake
when you look at your home address
and the only way to fix that mess
is to move the hell out and
say goodbye to your stress
’cause our Blackness
in our Black nest
ain’t gon’ side-step
’cause you the new neighbor, honey

Homelessness (On the Back and Forth)

Homelessness (On the Back and Forth) by Too Tall Joanz©

Back to the daily
with the back and forth
The here and there
caught in between
the middle of nowhere
the center of “not yours”
on that nomadic
systematic
’til it’s automatic
back and forth
Looking for home
looking for peace
looking to release
the not-knowing
desiring to remove it
like high-heeled shoes
feet bruised
from the daily struggle of
the back and forth
using exhaustion
as my source
to keep on shuffling
’cause I must sleep
to hell with the hustling
the busting
balls
of NYC’s walls
to hell with it all!
And once again I drift
this time into dreams
and accept the not-knowing
and surrender to peace
I hope God will release
some new secret
and bless me with the memory to keep it
when I awake
for my sake
with the wisdom to recreate
my fate
show me where to plant my stake
show me my designated place
’cause everywhere I go’s no space
Imprisoned
with no position
no chance
to advance
to complete the mission
that will reap the fruits
that will bring about the vision
of HOME
so I can finally abandon the need to roam
the need to wander
the trauma of being torn asunder
from every nest
apologize for every breath
because I have no way
to make a way
which means I’m in the way
is what they say
Well say no more
no back and forth
no to and from
just welcome home
just welcome me
Lord help me please!
And though I exhale
I cannot breathe
rejection’s
darkened my direction
and I can’t see
I need your guidance
I need your peace
and if at least
no home
then give me strength
as my source
for the back and forth
Yes Lord!

Separation

Separation by Too Tall Joanz©

I hate that it’s come to this
From having everything to say
to nothing at all
with minds overwrought
with thought
and hearts bursting
to be freed
from the weight of the burden
with hearts breaking
because words unsaid
leads to problems unresolved
There’s no cushion for the fall
The rug pulled from under our feet
leaves us choking from the dust
going up in smoke
like our relationship
because fear and pride
have nailed our lips
shut
Our rut
sits like rocks in our guts
and we can’t get around it
we’re just stuck
with not knowing
what to do
what to say
whose suppose to go first
or whether it’s even worth
it anymore
I’ve been here before
and I hate that feeling
that feeling
like it’s coming to an end
I vowed that this time it wouldn’t
happen again
but with change
life rearranges
things
to match the new energy
that changes bring
and with growth
comes pain
the sun is needed
but so is the rain
so is the dirt
so is the air
we started as one
and grew apart as a pair
Did I mention I hate that it’s come to this?

Hermit

Hermit by Too Tall Joanz©

I’ve turned into an army of one
with poetry as my gun
shooting off words unheard
with bullets of emotion felt
holes pelt
the glass
from blasts
of the past
living in a glass house
in a world of cat and mouse
dog-eat-dog
swimming in NYC fog
at times had me lost
feeling embossed
in tarnished silver
looking for something to deliver
me
to the brilliant shining of my being
searching in the eyes
of those I love
to recognize
myself
although
some of the advice
was nice
I had to cut the string
and do my own thing
Had to go back
to where I felt home at
on that white and black
canvas on my laptop
and clap back
make that gun cock
I think today
I’ll choose that glock
gotta spray off
let that pop, pop, pop
keep aiming for the target
till I hit it and don’t stop
gotta solve the unresolved
and unlock
the safe
to where I know it’s safe
down into the basement
in a warm dark place
let down my hair
take off my face
and marvel
at these bullets encased
with these words unheard
and these bullets of emotion felt
pelt
the glass
with tears
collected over the years
holes
seen
hearts broken
light shining
through
with a new hope
and now I know how to cope
fix the laser on my scope
cut the rope
on the noose
let myself loose
duck, duck, duck, GOOSE
I’m on the run
I got my gun
army of one
my words
my rhymes
my verbs
my lines
my sight
my mind
my life through time
my goal
my grind
is to redefine
myself
peeling off the mask
of “everybody else”
And just be me
letting self surface
finally discovering purpose

The Dumping Ground

The Dumping Ground by Too Tall Joanz©

I use this platform
because it is here that I can
say what is too difficult
for me to confess
I internalize stress
and I know
that’s no bueno
but with this platform
my stress
becomes functional
becomes therapy
becomes art
because it is here
that a blank canvas
sits waiting
for my painting
of life in hues
of blues
seeing red
through rose-colored glasses
on top of white
outfitted in black
It is here that
I get to see myself
to see my mind
in lines
that contrast
how my thoughts
seem to crash
and clash
and smash
into each other
It is here that
I take one
after another
and lay them down
and spread them out
face my confusion
face my doubt
turn myself all about
unravel my nerves
spill my guts
twiddle my fingers
into a story
capturing life
through poetry
and thus I milk it
for all it’s glory
I use this platform
because while I’d
like to break glass
scream outright
set the world ablaze
poetry becomes the stage
from whence I can release my rage
my sadness
my love
my happiness
my voice
and the words I write
have no other choice
but to conform
to the will of this platform
and for once
as life unfolds
into words
that speak
and emotions
that seek
a place
of rest
I finally get to release my stress
despite
the life that surrounds me
when I write
here’s where I win
here’s where I fight
here’s where my darkness
finds its light
and I don’t have to bite
my tongue
I rant and vent
until I’m done
And now I am…

I Don’t Give a Fuck Cuz I’m Plugging

Sidebar: So before you get into it ladies and gentleman, I just had to put this out here. You men-folks especially don’t know what it is or how but Joanz is going to shed some light for you. Turn the volume of your imagination all the way up. All these chicks that pass by, somebody’s uterus is giving them the business and yet still function through the day. Whoever that woman is, and there are a plenty, this poem is for you darling! Thank you for not hurting nobody. Ladies, you know what I mean! Now get into it—>

I Don’t Give a Fuck Cuz I’m Plugging   by Too Tall Joanz©

Let me tell y’all about this period shit
That shit
that no one wants to really talk about
cuz it’s NASTY!
cuz it’s a woman-thang
cuz nobody wants to hear that shit
but I don’t give a fuck
cuz I’m plugging

I ride off on that she’s bugging
shit
cuz it’s my time of the month
and I must vent
So you chose to sit
in front of me
which gives your consent
that you voluntarily
desire to hear me bitch

So listen up dammit!

Now seventeen percent
of a woman’s life
is spent
on her period
and that’s not all that comes with it
and I know you don’t wanna hear this shit
but you sat in front of me
so you gon’ hear me bitch

THE PAIN!
THE PAIN!
THE MUTHAFUCKING PAIN!

Women we good…
cuz there could
be a lot more dead bodies
cuz you know
when that bitch Flow
show up
That Queen of the Damned
on some GYN session
with Edward Scissorhands
kinda feel
Ya feel
like you can bend steel
run thru walls
and bite glass
when that pain is attacking yo’ ass
Yep, that’s that bitch Flow
Often messing your flow up
like on some night before shit
when it was the best sex you ever had
and now you mad
cuz you gotta do a 7-day bid
before the next time you get some dick
I mean that’s just me…
Some chicks don’t wait
but too much be going on
for me to get it on in that state
so I just do my time
For 3 weeks everything seems fine
and then here Flow come
ruining the fun

Belly all bloated
Titties all swollen
farting and shitting
and all day switching
up pads or tampons
while that bitch Flow
tap dances upon
your fucking uterus
with spiked cleats on
Insecure and bugging
thinking that people can see you plugging
trying to keep it cute
with the attitude
so as not
to be put in that box
labelled MENSTRUAL
trying your best not to be
like the monster
that’s shredding your insides
and not be a damsel in distress
at the same damn time
because women get a bad rep
for how we’re made
when we perform on the stage
of the day-to-day
None of these men know
that three hundred and thirty fo’
million of us are bleeding
when they pass us in the street
but so as not to appear weak
we keep
on that ‘frontin’ mask
but sometimes
that pain
will make you show yo’ ass
because ain’t nobody got time
to be sparing mofos
while your walls of Jericho
are tumbling down
Fuck that!
Ya can’t understand
then take ten steps back
hold up your crucifix
make yo’ ass twist
jump off a cliff
and be dismissed
how’s that?

35 to 45
years of a woman’s lifetime
we gotta put up with
this period shit
and instead of understanding
there’s reprimanding
when ya feel like backhanding
every fucking body standing
cuz it seems like
all the bullshit of the world is multiplied
when Flow comes to town
when that flow comes down
and the pain won’t let you front
and you don’t care to apologize
for acting like a cunt
because you bleeding
smelling blood
and you on the hunt
for any muthafucka dumb enough to test you
FUCK WITH ME IF YOU WANT
TO BOO!!!

Women we good…
cuz like I said
there could be a lot more dead bodies
We let a lot of you muthafuckas live
because you men-folks don’t know
how real this shit is
but I appreciate you lending an ear
while I bitch
I be bugging
while I’m plugging
sometimes
and I own that shit
won’t apologize
because it gets live
on the inside
my best advice
for a lot of you muthafuckas
is to hide
when you know a bitch plugging
and struggling
to keep it cute
make way
for the rage
the moods
and the attitude
and it may not seem right
but we gotta right
to be ill
cuz for 3 weeks
women front
on the way we really feel
and when Flow comes about
ya gotta let it all out
and there’s no apologies
for the purge that comes around
cuz ain’t no mercy
when that bitch Flow comes to town
cuz when that pain hits yo’ ass
when that bitch brings the wrath
when that quake hits yo’ path
EVERYTHING SHUTS DOWN!

Gimme a pill
so I can deal
ice cream
yogurt in a cup
or go about your business
and shut the fuck up
which would be more than enough
at this time
and I can pretend that everything’s fine
but sometimes
on the rewind
I DON’T GIVE A FUCK CUZ I’M PLUGGING!

Purpose

Purpose by Too Tall Joanz©

Go on!
Reach way down in there
elbows deep in it
I want you to
search two
parts
Your mind
and your heart
Come on!
Let’s go!
I know you can unearth it!
God put Easter eggs
in everybody’s head
Let me know
when you find it
that diamond
that shiny thang
that lights up
your eyeballs
like you’re in love
with what you’re doing
like you’re in love
with how it makes you feel
like you’re in love
with who you become
in the midst of all that fun
like if you’re down to one
penny
you wouldn’t need any
you’d give it your all
and you’d do it a-plenty
kinda inspiration
Now give it all of your dedication
squeeze perspiration
from all that hard work
put a hurting
on procrastination
Come face-to-face with
who you are
and why you’re here
Put fear
in a headlock
and drop
down on it
like a wrestling opponent
You are a component
of star dust
thrust
to Earth
to put in work
You are celestial baby!
You had light years to be lazy
up in the heavens
gazing down upon
this beautiful blue
wanting to pursue
life in these meat sacks
for a chance at
dreams come true
only to wish upon
what use to look
just like you
in space
Now your star
wears a face
and if you look in the mirror
you’ll see it
so believe it!