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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Adventure In JOY-Snatchin’

My iPod & I cruised in a slow throb around the brown side of town,
Where Lolitas in tube-tops & booty-shorts set flames inside
A papi's cartoon eyes.

Outside the local bodega, old men of espanol descent, style
Straw chapeaus & engage in dominoes while low-riders blast
High decibel Salsa as flashing ojos watch me on
The Sly.

I’m just a vacancy inside my own hotel of thought, too distracted
To care if I happen to wear that darker skin of suspicion.
In some dens, I realize, I am hated by proxy. See, I know
The lingo of assholes. I know how people can silently curse me,
And say fuck you(!)... with a shrug of their shoulder.

But I was casually shopping for JOY. I said, JOY! Damn it!

No, not the dish-washing detergent!

No! Not that shit most folks rent in cans of Bud or
Heineken! No! I don't need a six-pack of Corona, mi amigo!
Joy! Felice!

Umm… Can a brotha get an interpreter up in this piece?

Apparently, they were out of stock, again! I copped my usual
Newports, said gracias... &... I stubbornly tipped eastward.
I was seeking the simplicity of JOY in a cool summer's breeze,
In a smile from an aging stranger, in a sighting of swift
Black girl's feet jumping in double-dutch rhythms: yobaby,
Yobaby, yo!

I was seeking JOY, because sometimes I can't find it in the noise of
My thoughts, in my iPod, or in Jill Scott’s voice. I could not find it
In the arms that sometimes soothe my so-called savaged beast.
I could not see it in the blue-gold-burgundy flaming sunset, or in
Those denim-clad nymphettes & mascara-wearing Angels downtown, yo.

I could not taste it in that surreptitious Rasta’s product
After the sale goes down... could not find it in that slim joint
Of light that sometimes keeps me strangled in the scenery of
Empty laughter & coughing Cadillacs, low-riders, st. toughs, &
Nubile Lolitas in tube-tops & booty-shorts setting
Flames inside a papi's cartoon eyes.

The moral of this shit: Joy-snatching & Hell-catching
Are sometimes just concepts that collide like drunken
Planets out of orbit, out of time with this waltz of life, out
Of tune with the cosmic synchronicity, out of step with the
Routine universality, out of rhythm, the rhythm of the time
And space continuum.

JOY is a rare commodity. Maybe it's inherent in our chemistry
And maybe... it isn’t. But maybe only fools & dreamers believe
They can purchase it. And if you’re irrational enough to go
Looking for it, sometimes the whole damn world will shrug
And simply say, Fuck you! with its shoulders.

Me? I’m determined to snatch a little piece anyway, once
I can decipher its language, read it in a kind stranger’s eyes,
Figure out its handshake, discover its natural high, & simply
Learn to roll with it. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure it's embedded
Somewhere inside that street corner symphony of my soul.


copyright © 2010 by L.M. Ross