A Poor Man’s Dream - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

A Poor Man’s Dream

“ray light morning fire lynch, yester pain in dreams comes again”

opening like eyelids resistant to the existence of realities persistent gleam
and struggle seems to require an immunity to truth
just to swallow the late night placebos of poetry and faith
and survival often tastes like surrender setting on the tongue tips of forgotten battlefields
where creativity rises like fresh flowers in bloom
from the womb beneath lifeless cadavers

Babylon’s babies babbling beneath the whisper of a crumbling family structure
this city is an angry bitch who sits on dreams like prayers carved into porcelain
shitting out nightmares, cause poverty stinks
reeks of rotten children and steaming piles of decomposing regrets
decaying carcasses cradled too violently in the sobering embrace of madness
like the murdered bodies of dead possibilities feeding the trees like demented photosynthesis
like snapped photos of sins with a focused synthesis on death

dead flesh feeding the fertile soil of futures like fertilizer
for a city that endlessly imitates the imagery of cemeteries skyscrapers like tombstones
blades to veins bleeding out poetry
prophets praying while we write hoping that we might profit from her pain and save souls
eulogies encrypted in the concretes bones
cracks filled with crack where childhoods grow to spite
the odds of heroin laced legacies
squeezed in between the seams of devilish diversity
I have
personally witnessed
some of the best people
living in the worst conditions

like babies teething for nourishment seething squeezing onto severed umbilical cords with broken teeth
biting off the ear lobes of Edgar Allen Poe’s pedantic pedophilic memory
spitting revisionist history on a filthy fructose laced dinner plate

we are decayed sacs of water and notebook paper
walking through tunnels without light
dead poets trying to write ourselves back to life

and death often feels like muted dreams
but maybe our load ugly truth
is just the recipe for a diet of quit beautiful lies
disguised as opportunity
our frustration and hatred blooming beside orchards of budding hope

the wire in her chest
the birds feeding off her flesh
exploding from beneath the wrinkles in old black ladies faces

we live like dying orphans
tongues tattooed to our mother’s breast
swallowing poison milk until we choke on the neglect

from people who scowl like confused owls at each other’s pigment
as if our differences aren’t trapped under the same chain yoked into submission
so blessed in our shittiest conditions
fertilizing faith from a forgotten future on fire

cause the truth is simply urine disguised as orange juice
inside of a cracked shot glass
art dripping, poetry dripping, the dead bodies of poets and musicians dripping
from a hell soaked salvation that somehow serves
as the source of our greatest inspiration
because sometimes life is just the nightmare from which
we haven’t yet awakened
A poor man’s dream, forsaken

I watched a tired teary eyed mother gazing
At a skyline made of one act stage-plays and instruments
Meant to double in double time as the drug of life
Dripping from the heaven laced veins of an angel
disguised as a solar system
With permed hair, gentrification spreading like cancer across her epidermis
The ice queen of death and invisible purpose

But we call her
Baltimore

*   *   *   *   *

From the book,  Slanguage Arts & Griot Glimpses (Black Jesus Edition): Poems 2002 – 2017.  Slanguage Arts & Griot Glimpses… is available in Baltimore at Red Emma’s or at Amazon.


About the author

Slangston Hughes

Slangston Hughes is a National Slam Champion based out of Baltimore, Maryland. He’s a decorated performer winning many competitions and awards across the country. Hughes also gives back to the community as the Director of Youth Poetry at Dew More Baltimore and lead coach of the world champion Baltimore City Youth Poetry Team. Slangston Hughes was the first ever Word War grand slam champion in 2008 (Baltimore) and the 2010 Baltimore Crown Awards "Poet of the Year" recipient. His work has been published in the Poets ‘ America anthology via the Kratz Creative Writing Center. Slangston published his first collaborative literary work “Writers’ Alchemy" with prosaist Devlon E. Waddell as part of E.M.B.O.D.Y. In addition, Slangston is the founder of Speak Out: Slammageddon. Slangston was also a member of the Slammageddon Baltimore slam team that won the 2016 National Poetry Slam. Contact the author.
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