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
swimming in NYC fog
at times had me lost
feeling embossed
in tarnished silver
looking for something to deliver
to the brilliant shining of my being
searching in the eyes
of those I love
to recognize
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
the glass
with tears
collected over the years
hearts broken
light shining
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
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
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
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


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

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
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

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


Purpose by Too Tall Joanz©

Go on!
Reach way down in there
elbows deep in it
I want you to
search two
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
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
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!

Saving Myself

Saving Myself by Too Tall Joanz©

I can’t afford to be Rapunzel
To wait for someone to rescue me
using my own hair
attached to my own head
that houses my own brain
that’s unchained
I must take my own freedom
my own way
on my own time
and I decided that that time is now
I tied my wool
the thoughts that kept me bound
and crawled down
the side
of that tower
and reclaimed my power
Then I devoured
the witch
that told me
she stole me
and built that awful tower with no doors
to control me
Being couped up
all that time
done got me hungry
So Joanz
then spit out her bones
and ventured alone
away from the castles
and all the hassles
of the kingdom
and committed treason
against the rat race
walking at my own pace
staking out my own place
claiming my God-given space
in this world

Joanz Lamentation

Joanz Lamentation by Too Tall Joanz©

I made the rain come
I let loose the dam
behind the windows
of my eyes
and I cried, honey!
rumbling like thunder
in my throat
choked up
with had-enough
shoulders quake
and heave
heart pumps
and bleeds
I would
fall to my knees
in prayer
but I’m at a loss for air
Trying to remain standing
by placing my hand
on these walls
I’ve put around myself
so when the rain comes
I won’t drown anybody else

Waiting for the baptism…

to be submerged
and purged
at the same time
using these tears of mine
because holding them back
has become too much of a chore
that I haven’t the strength
to maintain anymore
so I opened the windows
and the doors
set the timer on the dam
took some tissue out the drawer
and cried ’til my tears dropped to the floor
and cried some more ’til my eyes were sore
and cried further still ’til my face was wore
and cried yet again ’til I couldn’t cry anymore
Honey, I cried all the water from the shore
I cried in a way that I had never cried before
I cried from Harlem down to Ecuador
’til all of the tissue was gone out the store
and once it was over…
once the white flag
from the bags
under my eyes was waved
I prayed
crawled out of that underwater grave
shut the windows
locked the door
replaced the dam with a fort
landmines upon my shores
in my forests and on my floors
mopped up the water
resurrected the martyr
suited back up
and prepared for war!


Artwork by: Olga Lolo

Looking For Someone To Relate To

Looking For Someone To Relate To by Too Tall Joanz©

I be looking for somebody to speak on it
to be real with it
to say that they lived it
this ill shit
the hood mama’s experience

but I have yet to read
about it
so I took a seed
and plowed
the dirt
in the Harlem
section of Earth

A Queen by design
who stood in welfare lines
and dined
in cafeterias
in the Big Apple’s
most rotten of shelters
Ran the hamster wheel
in the ‘Begin’ program
for a beginning they offer
with menial tasks like folding sweaters
or sweeping leaves
from co2 laced smoke
to receive the joke
that is cash assistance
the resistance
my moral fiber
and the almighty dollar
at each other
being branded
father and mother
in parenthood by your lover
and all you know
is you got kids to feed
so you can either sweep those leaves
fold them sweaters
eat that bullshit they serve in them shelters
try with all your might to get your shit together
and as always there’s a change in the weather
there are storms
in eviction forms
relatives kicking me out
my son running about
my daughters wanting their daddy
and all I want is just for everyone to be happy
just a home
of my own
and let me be the first to deny your loan
I wanna work for mine
and because I’m a Queen by design
I can’t let money define
how I get it
because despite how you think I’m living
there’s just some shit I won’t do
Wrestling with issues
tear-stained tissues
at some point you stop crying
you wanna stop trying
but there’s no denying
you got kids to feed
so you can leave them tears
in those tissues
and those issues
on the floor
and the bullshit at the door
and go at it once more
grab at it once more
that star
however far
it maybe
was made for me
made in me
made in my three
and we gon’ be
in flight
in our light
’cause Mama gon’ continue to fight
’til I get it
’til I live it
the dream
’til I give it
to my babies
in this crazy
tired of walking on eggshells
with my toes curled
It’s time to scoot ’em over!
Let ’em know I’m here!
Look fear
in the eyes
and demand rebirth
not restoration
but renewal
dust off my jewel
show ’em God’s glory
because my story
is far from over
flick doubt
like it’s a chip on my shoulder
and keep it moving
keep proving
to myself
that when I don’t think I got nobody else
God loves me
’cause when it gets ugly
He shows up so lovely
and sometimes I need that revelation
because there’s been many situations
where God is all I got
and knowing that I don’t stop
and knowing that there’s just some things I will NOT
and don’t have to!
Broke free from the shackles
of the system
let ’em tell it
I’m a victim
but I don’t dare listen
I can’t be the worm
when I’m fishing
can’t be the star
if I’m wishing
Only God knows my mission
and I believe I’m gon’ give Him
what He wants
hope that the yearning haunts me
hope that the desire taunts me
until I get it right
and it’s working ’cause it interrupts my sleep at night
’cause hood mama fights
hood mama’s a soldier
the average bitch ain’t built for the takeover
the only alteration I seek for the makeover
is a new residence
with the success of my children as evidence
for my flight
away from the stereotype
although they’d like me boxed
into a category
like that stops
the height of my ascension
like I said
Only God knows my mission
I can’t be the worm
if I’m fishing
can’t be the star
if I’m wishing
even if nobody listens
somebody out there can relate, dammit!


Artwork by: Helen Masacz