To Niche or Not to Niche



I have been giving this a lot of thought lately. This blog is almost 40 years after my first published piece – something written for a school newspaper. That writing experience started me on my way to majoring in journalism in college and working on the college newspaper. I also interned at Rural America working in the communications department. Being a city girl, I enjoyed writing about small-town news and happenings.

Unfortunately, for me, I had to think of work as providing a source of income. Growing up in a single parent household much time was spent thinking of how to get the bills paid. Writing and reporting was something I wanted to do but I was going to need to sustain myself and having lived in the crack of lower and middle class – middle looked better – it looked damn good and thus I sold my soul (don’t think that’s possible but – I like the cliché) and started a marketing career. I put together fancy presentations and won awards and trips and eventually relinquished my writing to marriage and children and middle class – secretly tucking my poems inside journals and drawers and photo boxes.

There is a lot to me and I’m not sure I have a niche in my writing. I have lived what I call seasons. I have been a child, an adolescent who had great freedom to explore the city and see things some young people should not. I am a daughter, a mother, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a good friend. I have been a girlfriend, a wife, a businesswoman, a divorcee. I have lived through bitter winter’s and balmy summer’s and I  have seen those that died happily and those that died sadly. This blog is simply me – all of me – all of my complexities and all of my poetry. Some of my poems are soft and some are hard. I am an advocate for those marginalized because I know there is not much space between us. So a niche? No. I don’t have one like the seasons’ things here will change.

Here’s a spoken word piece I have been reciting around town (imagine me standing in front of you and being choleric):

Somebody asked me why are you here?

Let me be clear. Im here for those who could not be here or should be here but are full of fear or lack of ear or dumb luck or getting fucked or riding high or ready to die. Anywaythey aint here.

I stand for the man or the woman who sits on the side of society’s lines or maybe hides or rides in the back of the Streetcar Named Desire because they couldn’t get hired or they got fired and thing’s got tough and they got roughed While getting older the streets got colder and now they got nowhere to lay their head until their dead.

And the city reclaims them... and puts them in a plot of land that they should have had all along before everything went wrong.

Their ancestors had to make the trip on the ship that was never to return to the beautiful land in which they left. Here they lay bound and deaf to the depths to which they would eventually creep and the beatings would get so deep, they could no longer sleep and the only thing that they could think of was death and the beautiful plot they had back home.

Maybe, things would be changed from the chains if they had that little plot or a dirt lot to call their own to make a home instead they remain homeless. While, we about the business of making business, making money keeping our mind on it and ignoring the bodies piling up around the streets that we drive and the parks that we sit.

But we hip. We got our mind on how to make money and all the sweet honey’s and the him’s and the Tim’s (Timberland’s). We got our “whip’s” and “rim’s” and them? They lay in the street dying and losing limbs. So, why am here? I’m here for those who can’t be here who are living with the fear of everyday life.

Not knowing whether they get beat down tonight and die in the glow of the street light. 

If there is one…

So let me ask you – Why are you here?


© 2018 little pi



History Month

20171116_121028I am feeling compelled to say something about Black History month and the fact that I hate it. Yep – I am a black american and yes – I HATE Black History month. There, I have said it. Why? you might ask because I feel like it limits our history and removes it from the vast history of this country. We are “American’s” after all and although not natives of this land my ancestors (literally) on their “backs” built this country. The infrastructure that we enjoy today came from the work of slaves in the south and free poor blacks of the north…either way you look at it – those that were marginalized had no choice but to do the very hard labor jobs of pushing dirt and stone. We – black and white and native American’s are intertwined. Stop the separatist madness.

Here’s something I am working on…haven’t got it quite right yet and it’s much longer but it goes along with what I am feeling about this month. I’m curious about your thought’s, please share.

Why my History got to be only one month long?

Like there ain’t a lot to tell from the 400 years of riding the Prairie alongside you.

Crispus – took the first bullet for our flag. So I’m confused when you tell me I’m not patriotic.

I think your psychotic because my ancestors bones are the sand that you sink your feet in at the beach.

They gaze across the water’s at their last loving memory, home is here in the land this country they built.

Why my History got to be only one month long?

Didn’t I fight next to you in all the wars? We were claiming territory that didn’t belong to neither one of us.

Yet – we took it together, who decided we would never give it back?

Is that what was decided with my history? Even though we pray to the same God.

How could he have given you privilege and turn his back on me? 

Was it when I was named niggra and hang from the poplar tree?

Or the day Brenda Jean was raped somebody stole her black girl magic.

Was it the week Tulsa burned down and made black wall street Subprime.

Or maybe the day we started school and your budget was three time’s mine.

Why my History got to be only one month long?

this is a work in progress…thoughts?


I need to write more…

stay tuned…💜 this journey is just beginning…

My brother’s kid’s are growing up
Not like we grew up

Two mothers superfluous drank from the same cup

He and I not growing together yet knowing the other exist

Dad telling lies on the stoop in hope the truths dismissed

We are connected that’s for sure but our voyage lands on different shores

He is he and I am I divergent streams we oar

Our kids don’t know their cousin’s the way we once knew ours

He is there and I am here as life moves through the hours

The moonlight glows and we are older – the stories fade once told

When a brother is sold from their mother what’s the cost of a family’s soul

MFA Blue’s

I had the opportunity to sit and talk with a master Poet somewhat a wordsmith beyond other’s. It was scary and tantalizing at the same time. I wanted to lean in and peel back the skin on his forehead and scoop the soft brain matter and put it in my purse to taste later when I was hungry and less afraid. I sat there in awe that this being would take time from life and share sweet secrets like lumps of sugar in my cup of coffee I was getting drunk on caffeine and it felt good.

We talked about my desire to pen books of poetry and his having done so. I am scared. I don’t have an MFA, the closest I have come to a literary activist or curator of such was that day and between the pages of the lit mags that cover my living room floor.

This icon reminded me that one of my favorite poet’s Leroi Jones or Amiri Baraka as he would always be known had commented the same – there seems to be this need to have an MFA to be declared “legitimate” in some circles. It makes me think of a bastard child – you look the same as your brother’s and sister’s but somehow you’re different, you won’t inherit anything from the estate. I suppose the proliferation of self publishing in some way is the fulfillment of Baraka’s idea of an alternative superstructure.

Another Sunday with something to think about.

close up photo of opened book
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Sunday Morn

Good morning world! It’s a cool morning out and the warmth of the sun feels good. I’m starting this blog today because it has been a hell of a week. Work really sucked all week and all I wanted to do was escape and create but other commitments got in the way (or did I let them) and so even though the day’s are mine. I keep giving them to someone else. I gotta stop that (maybe you do too).

Last week, I declared Sunday’s as Submission Sunday and promised myself to submit at least one piece of work (written or visual) each week. Of course that didn’t happen and I’ve been feeling like crap all week about it. I know it’s a fear factor. I just don’t know which one. (Any guesses)

Here’s what I’m thinking…

I promised myself yesterday

– today was gonna be my day.

I promised myself yesterday

– I would start fresh breakaway.

I promised myself yesterday

– I could do it no matter what.

I promised myself yesterday

– I wouldn’t fuck up.

I did.