To Purchase My Book

CLICK to BUY Like Litter In The Wind, a Novel By L.M. Ross

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Endangered At 17: Poem For Trayvon Martin

I remember being 17, living on Lays
Potato chips, chili dogs and Wonder bread…
Would never be caught dead
Or seen without
My Swedish knits and
Chuck Taylors… with Stevie
Wonder blasting Superstition
In my head. I remember

Playing Spades, and scratching myself in
“Nasty” places, full of raging
Hormones, adrenaline and
Silent fear. I remember how it feels

To live in Black skin. Being told
By my mother, I was “beautiful.”
Being told by teachers, I was “Artistic”
And yes even “Gifted…” but
Never once told I was invincible. I remember this
As surely as I recall walking
Home from the movies, at night, and

Being stopped by local cops
Because I fit the descript
Of some hot-
Wired black boy who might just
Was up to some no good,
Criminally-minded shit,
When it was neither my behavior,
My nature,
Nor my actions but
The color of my skin which
Dictated this.

I remember feeling diminished, and
Embittered, enraged,
And endangered for the first time
At age 17... when I should have felt
Young and wild and free
And full of possibilities… Like you,

Angelic-faced manchild
Of a brown-skin hue. Almost
Brand new in the world,
Caught up inside that swirl of
Confusion... and yet
Another senseless
Victim to the paranoia of
Another racist fool.


Did you fit that tragic
Descript too, Trayvon?
Hoodie-clad and armed with
Skittles and iced tea? How dangerous!


How deadly
You must be. How deadly!
How..? Deadly?

How dead.



© 2012 by L.M.Ross moaningmanblues All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 19, 2012

A “Hero” Ain’t Just a Sandwich

Question: Has anything or anyone ever brought you down to your knees (and NOT in a good way!)? I mean has anything or anyone ever left you completely and utterly broken?


The other evening I spent some time breaking bread in the company of an old friend, or I should say, a former friend. We’d parted ways two decades ago when he’d began his extended and tripped-out odyssey into the world of heroin…


… and I’d suffered far too long from chronic bouts of compassion overload.

Drugs are so damned pervasive, insidious, and so powerful that the addict very soon ends up indulging in junkie behaviors: junking people... junking friends, family and relationships... junking truth and beauty and any expression of love... trading them in for the trip, that temporary euphoria of the all-mighty high.

To paraphrase the late Rick James whose bout was mainly with cocaine, one could just substitute the substance by stating: 'That heroin is a helluva drug!'

After so much personal tragedy, including a harrowing house fire which claimed the life of a beloved family member, his life then took a turn, and did a complete 180. And now things are diff. He’d made the decision to get clean... once and for all. It wasn't an easy thing to do. Some people either fail miserably, or they die trying.

But homeboy possessed the will of a panther and the heart of a lion. After several stints in rehab, at long last, he’s recently been released, having kicked a 20 year skag habit.

I applaud him.

I was and remain very proud of him; proud that he didn’t allow the drugs to defeat and completely destroy him. I realize that when some thing or some force takes over your life for such a long period of time, it, in affect, owns you. You become ITS slave. Sadly far too many of us never get those freedom papers back, so we never truly own our lives again.

But this cat somehow reached down deep, rose up, found the strength within to call out his demons and is currently living clean and sober, one day at a time.

While speaking with him, and experiencing this brand new clarity in his eyes, I was suddenly reminded that even when the world turns a cold and unfeeling shoulder to us, as long as we don’t give up on our selves, we remain these promising, do-or-die works in progress. Life will hande the rest. Life can perform a hat-trick and produce its own miracle on us… and that no matter what goes on in our lives, we must continue, like sharks at sea, to just keep it moving. This may sound deceptively easy, almost too simplistic... but there are some things, some issues, some everyday crisis situations that can derail, deconstruct and cripple us if we are not careful or strong in faith.

I must repeat the initial question:

Has anything or anyone ever brought you down to your knees(and NOT in a good way!)? I mean, has anything or anyone ever left you completely and utterly broken?

Toxic people, anxiety, frustration, and worry can easily seize, then bogart the mind and this affects our every action. We may find ourselves seeking false gods, turning the bottle up, sticking needles in our arms, snorting, smoking, acting out violently, smashing skins indiscriminately, doing whatever we can to appease and pacify this silent ache within us. Only Our Creator knows what we have endured, what we can endure, or are enduring and what can bring us to that point of no return. Some of us have been through and somehow survived abuses, addictions, illness, infidelities, divorces, sudden deaths, and known by heart the atrocities and acts of inhumanity shown by our fellow man. Many of us have ventured through or are currently going through the darkened tunnels of our own mistakes, troubles, misfortunes, and personal catastrophes. Some of us are living beneath the weight of lies, secrets and things we've never told others about the skidmarks and scars that have marred our lives, and some of these things have left us with the inability to communicate with anyone. But change is a real thing, an action, a verb. It is an entity that we can always embrace. That's our option.

When we parted, I embraced him tightly, and found myself telling him that he was now “my hero.”


Yes. I know. It sounded corny as hell, but I truly MEANT it.

Strange how we never know which people in this life will actually inspire us.

No matter what comes our way, no matter how deep or beastly that old rabid dig called Trouble might be, it will only defeat us, or get the best of us, or kill us, if WE allow it to destroy.

Just because something is broken within us doesn’t mean it can never be cured, fixed or readjusted. Sometimes all it requires is a change in perception, and in attitude. Sometimes what it requires is to surrender it; to give it all to a Higher Power

And always remember this:

"Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes..." -Anonymous

That’s it. That’s all.

Snatch JOY!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Say Goodbye To Hollywood, To Luiggi… And The Gang At P & D’s Pizzeria

Has this ever happened to you?

It’s a late afternoon that's swiftly turning into evening. You’ve been sticking to your diet like a champ in training, but damn it, the time for fun has come and you deserve a special treat! You’re in the mood for your favorite food. You begin to crave this food so much you can actually TASTE it on your tongue. You know its flavor by heart. It’s so mad-crazy-stoopid delicious, you’re actually salivating. It's sooo damned good, even your senses trip and begin hallucinating. This becomes your one and only preoccupation.


You just can’t WAIT to sink your teefus into this delectable meal. It’s… it’s even mo betta than great sloppy sex... on dough!


This object of desire could be most anything edible and mad luscious. In my case, it happens to be that once–a-month slice of mouth-watering NY-style pizza served up so spicy-hot with that tasty killa combo. Yes, that combo! It has become so familiar to the senses and to the people working within the establishment that it has earned its own shorthand nickname: “Pizza/ MOP.” M.O.P = Meatballs, Onions & Peppers. Oh my!


Luiggi knows how to do it up most righteously. It’s long ago become akin to witnessing fine performance art just to watch him flipping the dough and then making a spectacle of olive oil, tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and shredded feta cheeses. There’s so much love in this cat’s work. There’s a sense of pride in knowing that he’s creating these edible masterpieces for the masses, sometimes cranking out about a hundred of them a day.

This place, this joint, this spot, this boite has become such a usual and perhaps even vital part of your world, your sphere, your lifestyle and your steelo, that you begin to think of it as your own personal Cheers. Yes, everybody there KNOWS your name. Sometimes, they even shout it out in unison when you enter.


And afterwards, the more somber, buttoned-up waitress addresses you as "Leonardo."

This is love, right? It’s like your second-home. This is your Valhalla and your Mecca. It’s your sweet spot and your ambrosia!


The atmosphere is friendly and clean, but not too ornate or fancy. It suits you. It invites you inside to partake in a variety of Italian cuisine and culinary delights. You like it here. You can kick back and exhale here. Ahhh yes...

So you turn that familiar corner, hungry, beyond hungry… just so damned anxious to taste that nirvana on your tongue... And then... you notice how the place looks somehow different and strange and unusually darker. Hmmm… you wonder: Are they going for a newer, dimmer ambiance? Then you attempt to open the door, this entrance to your second home, expecting to be hit by the smells of all those delicious aromas wafting up your nostrils, and that patter of friendly banter caressing your ears, and the employees there to call out your name like they tend to do, which both embarrasses and welcomes you… ONLY... the door never opens... those aromas never arrive... and the banter never materializes.

That damn door is LOCKED!


It’s closed, yo. Closed? No. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Can't be. This is madness! Aiiight now… stop playin’ y’ all! I’m serious! Hey, its Lin, yo! Open up!

Only no one ever comes to the door, and no one is there to greet you.

This place, your second home; that dome of heavenly aromas is gone. Is no more.... is Poof! Is... ghost! Is... Out. Of. Business!

Pipe in that Esther Rolle as Florida Evans patented 1, 2, 3, 4 times with feeling:

"Damn! DAMN! DaMMMMN! Day-YUM!" Photobucket

No one told you. No one warned you. No one ever gave any clue that this day was coming.

You feel all at once: ravenous and foolish. This feeling soon morphs into chronic states of disbelief, disappointment and then... betrayal. This suddenly shifts into curiosity, grief, anger and something like a death within your immediate family.

How could this possibly happen? Where the HELL will you get your pasta fix, now?

More importantly: What will happen to the workers, the cooks, the waiters and waitresses? What will become of the ambitious bartender who wanted to be an actor, and had once appeared in a bit role on an episode of Law and Order, and who never failed to mention it once you indulged in conversation that lasted longer than a minute or two? What would become of these beautiful people with their humble plans and their dreams, their ambitions and their families?

Yes, the hunger pangs are physical and pressing, but it’s the Bigger Picture that is haunting and much more overwhelming.

This economy is a beast that gobbles up the dreams of little people in one fell swoop.

This economy is a bitch that gnaws at the arms and legs and the vital parts of this collective body we call America.

This economy is taking the (fast) food from my mouth, and squashing the souls of those who once served it up with a smile.

Yes. They’ve turned off all the ovens, shut off the lights, and bolted the door shut to my favorite pizzeria.

Never again will I imbibe in the utter lusciousness of a 'MOP' slice.


Never again will I hear my name shouted in some slightly Italian accent as I enter that small piece of urban paradise.

This isht hurts so much… and not just within that gnawing empty space inside of my belly.

Nah. It's so much BIGGER than that!

This time... it’s gotten personal!

"Damn! DAMN! DaMMMMN! Day-YUM!" Photobucket


Friday, March 2, 2012

for a friend who is seriously considering suicide...

Dear G:


I mean... seriously?

I’ve just finished reading your words. Now this crazy tear sits inside of me. It lingers here... blurring my vision... but I refuse to cry. Now this same tear is threatening to form a gray cloud over my right eye until it mimics some emotional cataract. Always hate it when that happens.

Your thinking is obviously misguided and splintered, and yet your words were clear. Your intentions sounded so decisive and methodical, as if you were standing at this last chance terminal, finalizing your flight plan.

G, trust me... final is a very, very long time, my friend.

I am so sorry that the trip you’d planned and all those arrangements you’d made didn’t pan out the way you’d imagined… especially after you’d hoped and written and prayed that it would. I am truly, deeply, seriously sorry that this person you profess to love, ignored your pleas, refused to even see you, or answer your emails or respond to your texts or take a single one of your desperate calls. I am sorry that you’ve allowed someone else the power to make you feel so meek and small and so damned unnecessary. I am sorry that your efforts were all for naught.

I could say that this is THEIR loss. But I fear that, being in the place you are, you won’t really process this reality or even hear me, now.

G… please know this: When it’s real, when it’s actual, alive and thriving and factual, Love is a Verb; an all-consuming verb. It doesn't play cruel games, ignore or abuse you, or kick you in your gut. Love doesn’t ridicule or crush your spirit. It doesn't hurt or fuck you in some deeply wounding way.

Love is supposed to support you, hold you…. and LIFT you up!


Love is supposed to produce a feeling in its hosts “so High…" your “shoes are scraping the sky”… remember?

But Love, The Real Deal Stuff, doesn’t truly exist if it isn’t reciprocated. Yes, that’s a rough and mad tough pill to swallow, my friend. Yes, it may hurt like all hell, but I swear, it’s true. So what you thought was Love, was, in fact, a joyful memory, a past-life experience, an illusion, or some beautiful dream you’ve retained in your heart.

It doesn’t mean you are not worthy of Love, because you most definitely are worthy. Please know, you ARE worthy of REAL LOVE! This episode simply means that *this thing* this experience, this one-sided emotionally fanatic thing you’ve somehow miscomputed and mislabeled as “love” was not destined to bloom, or flourish or endure for the entirety of your journey.

But... guess what? This Too Shall Pass.

I’m also very sorry that the reunion with your estranged father fell through. I am sorry that your dad chose to spend time with the “beloved” brother, instead of you. Sad. This too is HIS loss. If you have been made to feel as if you’re unloved or loveless, then that is deeply unfortunate. But it also happens to be a blatant untruth.


So now… what? You want to punish those people who’ve hurt you, ignored you; who've chosen not to honor you with their love?

The truth is, your demise might sting some, might hurt others, MIGHT cause a few to grieve you, for only a minute or two. And… then what? You’re gone, and their lives will continue to go on.


I fear you haven’t truly THOUGHT this thing through, my friend.

And what about your son, and his family? You want them to suffer, too? Do you really think leaving them a few things, articles and your precious computer will soothe them through your eternal absence?

What about the friends who’ve offered you help and guidance, Light and Laughter and Love through your consistent episodes of pain? Do you want to spit in our faces, too?

What about those times when the sun shines brightly, and a smile comes into your heart and it crosses your face, and for no reason, you experience what can only be described as a Good Moment? Do you want to destroy those Good Moments, too?

What about the Spirit in you, the one who believes in The Creator... what are you really saying to Him? Are you saying that He Made Some Tragic Mistake in Creating you? Life is rough. It isn't for sissies. Are you, by this foolish intention, stating that you’re not worthy of a full and authentic Life, lived with zest and JOY, heartache and pain?

Truthfully, G, regardless of the few Donny Hathaways and Don Cornelius’ of this world, I really don’t believe suicide to be a natural part of our DNA. We have known Real Tests of The Human Condition: centuries of indignities, kidnapping, and slavery, centuries of systemic emasculation, physically, mentally and spiritually, and still most of us somehow survived without the terminal crutch of suicide.

But *heartbreak* and heartbreak alone is enough to do YOU in?

How Deeply and Sadly and Tragically Un-resilient of You!

Your sensitivity sometimes enlightens me... but your weakness only frightens and defeats me.


I would like to Believe that you are so much STRONGER than this, G. You are a Spirit-filled, God-fearing Being. You are, and you have been, a Light and a Beacon of True and Luminous Inspiration. And so, should you choose to selfishly snuff out that light, everything you ever said, everything you ever stood for will forever ring of fraudulence and dishonesty.

Should you snuff out that beautiful Light, you will truly know Hell, and NOT some sacred peacefulness you only imagine that other plane will be.

You need to remember this: What Doesn’t Kill Us… does in effect Make Us Stronger!

You need to know that the Sun sets... but it does indeed rise again.

You need to realize that suicide is a foolish and permanent solution to a temporary problem.

You need to always remember that as long as you are breathing, life can change, do a 180, and you will bear witness that: This Too Shall Pass.

You need to know and to put into daily practice, this, my friend:

ALWAYS BELIEVE that something WONDERFUL is about to Happen. And then, from the jaws of human suffering, reach down deep within... and...

Snatch JOY!

That’s it. That’s all.

I Love You.

Choose Life!



P.S. Now I’ve all these crazy tears inside my eyes. Yo! Imagine that! Me. Crying over your tragic black ass! Guess I must be one of those people who actually feels that you matter in this world, G.

*Ponder* that, my friend.


One Love.