Thoughts Back on Love


16. Don’t I remember/
Fumbling and caressing/
Young women’s bodies/

17. Innocent taboos/
Exploring each other’s flesh/
Living forever/

18. Fine biology/
Wearing immature clothing/
Explores sensation/

19. The unknowing youth/
Fumble for their orgasms/
(Some get exploited)/

20. Can’t cheat honest kids/
Though manipulators will/
Often be cheated/

21a. Pity the people/
Desp’rately trying to keep/
Adolescent sex/

21b. Pity the people/
Desp’rately maintaining youth/
Not living their lives/

21c. Pity the people/
Desp’rately trying to keep/
Their adolescence/

Cancer Caught Mom (November 28th, 2013)

 Image 38. My mom is dying/
As we all will do one day/
No words can explain/
39. I’m proud to hers/
Sharing eccentricities/
That I’ve learned to love/
40. My mom’s shortcomings/
Are paradoxically her/
Greatest life assets/
41. Our frugality/
Is an aesthetic impulse/
Be happy with less/
42. My lack of tact is/
From her honest directness/
& clear sightedness/
43. I love my mother/
Filled with salty opinions/
(She never judged me)/
44. This slow motion death/
Offers a chance to tell her/
If I haven’t yet/
45. Love is in doing/
The best that we can today/
In all our actions/
46. I’m my Mother’s Son/
Creative, stingy & shy/
Simply loving life/
47. I’m sad she’s dying/
But so glad that I knew her/
Proud to be her son/
48. She made a diff’rence/
In subtle and small events/
In so many lives/
49. Liabilities/
Every human carries/
Perfection’s just dull/
50. Knowing my mother/
Explains this America/
Accepting all life/

Lyn Gregoire


4. My mother just died/
A Quick and painless finish/
To a good long life/

5. Two days in hospice/
Her life slowly departed/
It was time to go/

6. Feel like a villain/
For not sobbing openly/
But that’s not my style/

7a. Her life, good & long/
Ended quietly without fuss/
Just as it should have/

7b. Her life, good & long/
Ended quietly without fuss/
As she’d have liked it/

8. Mom’s life was human/
Courageous & cowardly/
Just like everyone/

9. Showed me how to live/
When I was just a baby/
& ev’ry day since/

10. She always liked looms/
Weaving one thread at a time/
Making life’s fabric/

11. Didn’t take short cuts/
Enjoyed the road less travelled/
One thread at a time/

12. She took what she found/
Making her world out of it/
So creatively/

13. Not one for drama/
Or any ceremony/
Mom lived quietly/

14. Lived the life she found/
Accepting whatever came/
One day at a time/

15a. There’s something else/
My Mom always saw beauty/
In the worlds she saw/

15b. There’s something else/
My Mom always saw beauty/
In the worlds she made/

16. Each moment a thread/
To weave the broadcloth of life/
Slowly & surely/

17. Life’s fabric wasn’t/
Some mass produced perfection/
But a live matrix/

18. Life’s tangled matrix/
Looks diff’rently to each soul/
From their perspective/

19. My mom saw living/
As fortune’s strange privilege/
Bestowed randomly/


20. Mom finished her walk/
Among physical beings/
She walks with G_d now/

21. Eternity came/
To carry my Mom’s burdens/
Though they were quite light/

22a. How can I thank her/
For my entire existence/
She deserves much more/

22b. I can not thank her/
For my entire existence/
She deserves much more/

23. Those walks in the snow/
Down streets, lanes, paths & alleys:/
She showed me beauty/

24. I hope you can see/
The beauty of innocence/
My Mom always saw/

25. Talking to her friend/
I learned she was not naïve/
(Chose to see life’s best)/

26. I share her world view:/
Look for the best in people/
Life’s better that way/

27a. It’s better to be/
Naïve than cynical so/
You live in Hope’s world/

27b. It’s better to be/
Gullible than cynical/
You live in Hope’s world/

28. We make our own worlds/
Our attitudes create lives/
That we inhabit/

29. My Mother taught me/
To see all the world’s beauty/
From my own essence/

30. So my Mom is gone/
We will converse no longer/
But she’ll never leave/

31. Mom taught me enough:/
I can enjoy creation/
With her faithful eye/

32. Her goodness taught me:/
Enjoy this life we’re given/
There is nothing more/

Sonnet 2 Life (in progress)

I wrote a sonnet about everything/
Each lesson, ev’ry moment had taught me/
In my pique, I let inspiration sing/
My lesson, in rhyming words I set free/

I’d reached the age where my children had grown/
I wanted to share my experience/
All the pitfalls of youth that Life had thrown/
So they would not be fooled by appearance/

The fantastic world of accomplishment/
Public acceptance or celebrity/
(If it’s what they want their lives to amount)/
I wrote in fourteen lines of clarity/

I wrote all my fatherly sage advice/
Knowing that no one would read it twice/

I wrote a sonnet about everything/
Each lesson, ev’ry moment had taught me/
In a fit, I let inspiration sing/
These few measured rhyming words I set free/

I’d reached the age where my children had grown/
I wanted to share my experience/
All the pitfalls of youth that I had sewn/
So they’d stand on my shoulders, climb the fence/

The fantastic world of accomplishment/
Public acceptance or celebrity/
(If it’s what they want their lives to cement)/
I wrote fourteen lines of clarity/

On tissue paper I scribbled it down/
Threw it in the toilet and watched it swirl down/

[a]I like the changes, though the original idea for the sonnet, “a note on toilet paper” is now gone. I like the revisions of each of the first three stanzas, but I’m still not sure. I think the poem for the toilet will have to me longer, and will have to set up the toilet climax better.

[b]I wanted to give the idea that words and dreams can be sent heavenward, like a prayer, by writing on toilet paper and flushing it. As I type this in I am not happy with it. I think there’ll have to be a second and third draft.

which draft do you like more? Please let me know in the comments (this ain’t done!)

Black Comic Book Festival (2014)


I went to the Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center yesterday. That was pretty fun and interesting. I think I’d like to get the experimental self-published book by the author Keith Miller (Sigmund’s Friend) suggested. He recommended Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond but I want to read Koontown Killing Kaper, which the author described as a parodic look into hip-hop-risy ala Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada. If this is the new stripe of self-publication I think I want to note and celebrate it.

The comic that most interested me in theory was (H)afrocentric. I Saw Juliana “Jewels” Smith in the “Black Women in Comics” Panel at the Black Comic Festival at the Schomburg Center.  I had a really good time going there and I see in what Ms. Smith has done as something akin to what I want to do, which is create a student led, written and illustrated
 of a composition course. I read her book and I found it inspired and simultaneously hard to follow. I think that the problem is that her scripts were not complete. Perhaps Jewels could write a better script so that more of the inside insight (& jokes) were clearer. Of course the last thing I want to do is hit her with a critique, before I’ve established a good relationships.

(h)Afrocentric (in issue 3) raises all of the issues I have been thinking about vis-a-vis gentrification, race and education in the East Bay. It is a fine wish fulfilment book, not unlike the Mickey Rooney Judy Garland confections of old. (The protagonist Ally [allie?], an inveterate do-gooder wants to put on a show to save her neighbor from a rapacious clean-streets policy that will steal property for perceived blight.) It reminds me of a less developed IncogNegro. It is a progressive wish fulfilment centered on my old East Bay home (Before student housing in Albany I lived on 45th St between MLK and West St in Oakland).

I really like her cast of characters (well drawn by the artist Ronnie Nelson who brings them to (2D) life). The characters are like a smart group of friends I had while I was working on my Ph.D in the East Bay, with a quip a minute and a collective ADHD because of our lack of a leader like Ally.

The panels are full of witty asides like the Rosetta Stone Language system that the homeowner facing foreclosure is selling to keep the wolf from the door in an AmWay-like capitalist self help scheme that includes “Geraldo Rivera” and a cruel joke about his thin-masculinity. Ronald Reagan College was a perfect slice at Prop-13 California. I wish these were better developed in the script with more explanation about how they fit in with the meta-narrative that hints at “Winter in America.”

I look forward to more and more of this interesting title.


Perfect Imperfection

26. Beginning is hard/
Accepting imperfections/
& trying again/

27. I accept this life/
Celebrate the imperfect/
Accepting myself/

27b. I’m in awe of life/
Celebrate the imperfect/
Accepting myself/

28. I will feel no shame/
Because the imperfect self/
Is strangely perfect/

29. This imperfect life/
Is the warped gear that permits/
Perfection to move/

30. Gratefully chagrined/
By the mess I’ve made of life/
Knowing it’s perfect/

New Year’s (Eve) Haiku


7. Time never comes back/
Memories are like cobwebs/ Texturing right now/

8. Right now is golden/
Absorb all its perfection/
No matter how bland*/
#haiku *rough

9. If I time traveled/
I’d go back to that moment:/
Tell you “thanks” again/

10. Your greatness is lost/
In those endless uncounted/
Goodnesses unseen/

11. Your friends saw this good/
Bobbing on the cold surface/
Of our modern lives/

12. Those moments we shared/
Gentle friendship peeking up:/
An iceberg of good/

13. This life happens fast/
Undermining all our plans/
But still it’s perfect/

14. Please enjoy today/
For it’s all that we’re given/
Squander it with joy!/

15. YOU made a diff’rence/
In some unrecorded way/
In my life this year/

16. This moment of grace/
Lies in the vault of my soul/
For eternity/

17. Hope me & my words/
Have brightened your existence/
In some way this year/

18. Instagram, FaceBook/
Photography & Haiku/
Are distracting me/

19. I love seeing you/
Sprinkled in digital life/
But you are legion/

20. My Fifty Four Years/
Have given me so many/
Friends that I value/

21. I cannot keep up/
With all of your small triumphs/
& lead my own life/

22. The Digital noise/
Of Social Media needs/
Technology lent/

23. Maybe a “Ramadan”/
Dawn until dusk without/
Social media/