w.O.W – without Wonder

w.O.W – without Wonder

I have needed to write for some time.

I have needed to cleanse with a pen this pain that hangs around my neck like a golden-plated noose.

My toenails chip away from the concrete as I deplete my mental reserves.

Blended into monotony.

Scrapping the earth desperately wanting to be rooted.

My vision,

Planted on gigantic expectations.


I’ve been ripping my eyes out every time they rejuvenate themselves.

Missing my Mark.

Where is the poison maker when I need them to grab something that’s top shelf.

What good is me having wealth if everyone is deserving of the same tip.

I am promised nothing when I order drinks.


No need to water them down because it’s all lies now.

Alcohol free but now it’s my life that stings.

I sing better when I’m sober.

I cry more easily too.

Go figure.

I’m not the winner anymore.

I’ve been throwing hollow coffee cups at decaying doors.

Hoping she’ll unlock them and let me back in one day.


I’m not the winner no more.

Negating the need for double negatives.

Multiply my decisions in hopes they turn into positive additions.

Subtracted from the fact that I still overreact to every possible love interest.

Hand me a sedative and watch me vent all my opinions before I fade into oblivion.

I need you to hear me.

I need to be heard or else these words carry no meaning.

My lack of sleeping is from weeping.

I’m two-sided and my pillow is the only one that knows,

That both of them are cold.

Exodus of Mind

Exodus of Mind

There was a time when we as a people looked to those that were around us,
Instead of what we theorize may be above us.
This isn’t slander nor a way to push my agenda,
I only mention this as it as plagued my mind for some time ever since I started putting pen to parchment.

I am not here to prove or disprove divine intervention.
Or to explain the intermission between the onslaught of your bad days.
The words that I exhale are meant to be thought-provoking in the best way possible.
I am not knowledgeable on what it is that makes you wake up in the morning and press through to the end of the day.
Your sense of accomplishment may come from the acknowledgement of a greater power that moves you.
I am not here to derail your winning streak.
I do think it’s ironic that a slight exodus of people to escape the oppression of the clergy, used that same thing to oppress our ancestors.
Though it does bother me that our adoption of something that our former masters cling to has become what rest on our nightstand.
We read through the text and dissect the parts that align with our convenience and call it spiritual law.

Looking for ways to explain why we were ever slaves and how we ‘the chosen people’ could fall to that level.
The hurricanes aren’t following the slave ships from Africa, it’s just the way our planet works.
It’s hard to separate romanticism and realism in cases where things are not easily explainable.
You’ll have to excuse me at my inability to suspend all disbelief.
Is it the fear of death that causes us to drop our shield and submit to what is placed in front of us.
A precaution so that the gospel of damnation doesn’t get the chance to knock on our blood soaked doors made of wood.
I could put the Constitution and the Bible in the same glass case in a museum and call them artifacts from a different time.
Our version of Mythology, but everyone isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.
Maybe it’s all meant to be taken lightly and I analyze things too much.
I just think we could be greater if we only looked within ourselves for answers.

Kindred Stranger(spoken word)

Kindred Stranger(spoken word)


I have watched my kin argue over which sin is greater.

Is the greatest sin to not love the one that sits beside you in your calmest moments.

To those that think otherwise. Float on I say. Float on.

Why don’t we talk about which star is the brightest in the sky; Instead we contemplate whose status update deserves the most likes.

Yes this is another social media bashing recital.

Another speech about false idols.

We all heard what J. Cole said, now let’s match his effort.

I dare you to write down your goals in the morning for a week and tell me there’s no progress

We want the best and we deserve no less yet we regress to what’s familiar.

I feel like this is what my parents would have said to me if they feared like I wouldn’t reach my full potential.

They built a ladder for me so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

If anyone knows my dad, they know he likes to build things.

I have seen the rivers of time unwind before my mind’s eye in my dreams and I say only to the majority of you, because everyone isn’t ready to be shaken and reawakened into the beings they were born to be.

Wasted souls will fall to the wayside with looks of surprise apon their eyes.

When they realize that yes we can fly.

Higher than we ever thought possible.

Unstoppable is the word that is uttered throughout the halls of my ancestors.

People always ask me:

Joe, what is that you believe in?

I believe in family, my friends, my kin, and myself.

Above all else.

I know myself and I know my potential.

I want to cast fire from my fingertips to kindle and inspire those around me.

It took me a few years to realize that just because they surround you, doesn’t mean they won’t ground you.

I’m not saying that my loyalty has changed, but sometimes you have to step back out of the sunlight so a flower can grow.

The only neutrally good and infinite thing in this world is love and joy.

So why not just be cool?

And spread it to a kindred stranger and tell them to pay it forward.

A Great Way To Start A Novel

A Great Way To Start A Novel

Offering my heart like lemon drops at happy hour.
Years of it being thrown behind the shoulder.
I could be bitter. I could be sour, but that means I’ve let it get to me.
Instead we play cards at an obsidian table.
Exchange free compliments like after dinner mints.
Dinner was great by the way, no I’m not looking to come over to your place.
But if you really don’t mind sharing your space tell me.
What is it that you want to have accomplished by the time your forty.
Silence and a grin form before our lips lock.
Clock ticks slowly as we make more time for each other.
Finally you offer me a true answer to the question.
My heart vibrates like a pager with a low battery.
Warning me that the longer I listen your words mixed with morphine I may lose the feeling in the left side of my brain.
That’s how you get me.
It’s nice to have deep tissue massages under moonlight in my apartment, but where does that get me if you’re not there when I wake up.
A note with a heart and a smile doesn’t peak my interest.
Breakfast in the morning does.
Rub on my neck while I cook for you.
I promise I’m worth the wait just like these cheese grits and eggs I’m about to make.
You’re not getting bacon, you had meat last night.
I’ll feed you grapes instead.
Or some kind of melon.
I don’t mind going to the store for you.
Go shower up and consider how much I’m willing to do for you.
Let it brew like the coffee you drink before work.
Because after I get back from the store we’re going to your place so you can get your work clothes because you’re staying with me again tonight.
That is.. unless you had something else to do.
If that’s the case.
Let’s go ahead and do it one more time in the living room.

Your Friend

you’re friend’s with someone.
you consider them your sister, your brother.
you break bread together. you live together. and if the zombie apocalypse ever became a reality.

you’d kill together.

well not really because the living dead isn’t really living but you understand.
you sit there with your friend and you’d always have their back just like they would have yours. One day you and your friend go out for food. You hear your friend say something in a low tone.

“there are a lot of blacks here…”

good thing you’ve had one drink at this point, because maybe your sober mind would find issue with this. Your partially drunken mind thinks.

what an astute observation there my friend! There ARE more blacks here than usual. You sir.. you sir.. you are someone that pays attention to detail.

yet you say something a little bit less sarcastic. You say it in a low voice also.

“yeah. I suppose there are.”

you and your friend are sitting on the couch playing video games. fun times are being made. this will be a memory that you’ll upload to Instagram tomorrow. Your friend says something. In a normal voice; it’s just you two so there’s no reason to keep it ‘hush hush.’

“you know Miranda is dating some black guy now.”

you haven’t been drinking, but you’re pumped up on adrenaline from destroying your friend in Halo. Like you always do. So you respond.

“yeah well fuck her! Didn’t she cheat on you?”

you and your friend are having dinner with other mutual friends. Some of whom that are black. The conversation is like butter. Everyone’s tossing out hip ass lingo and the drinks are flowing. Everyone is getting along. That cute girl that you’ve been eyeing since everyone sat down seems to be eyeing you back. You plan on asking her out once it’s all said and done. Someone brings up race and what’s been happening in the news. Your friend sits there in silence as everyone else debates over ways to fix the problem with racism. Some suggest being more fair with handling cops who abuse their authority. Someone else says it’s deeper than the police force, there needs to be some kind of social taboo about being racist. Your friend finishes his drink and orders another, but still in silence.

you think nothing of it. The girl you wanted to ask out actually approaches you. You and her talk a bit about politics and you both agree to go out for coffee later in the week.

crushed it.

you and your friend are driving back to his place when he brings up the conversation.

“i don’t understand why it’s blacklivesmatter it should be alllivesmatter. everyone matters.”

you try to explain to him that true. All lives matter, but the reason for people getting behind black lives matter is because blacks have to go through hardships that other races don’t. You also try to explain that isn’t even about which phrase is more important.

your friend seems agitated. He shakes his head and responds.

“they need to respect themselves before anyone else will. They kill each other over and over; and then they want people to sympathize with them. They do it to themselves. they should just try and make things better for themselves.”

you sit in silence trying to think of another angle to try and explain to your friend that he isn’t seeing the entire picture. You sigh and decide to remain silent.

your friend is racist.

you remain friends and as the years go on. You just chalk your friend’s beliefs up to: well that’s how they are. ‘Being how you are’ is not an excuse for being racist; and until people stop befriending and making excuses for people who think like that. This country. This planet that we live on, will continue to foster that mindset. It will continue to make it OK to be racist. Being racist is a choice and it is a decision. You have a right to think however you want. Being accepting of someone’s racism is also a choice and decision. Those that do that, are too. A part of the problem. I am the person that believes racism needs to be considered a social taboo. and not just a product of our society.

stop being friends with racist.
treat them like scum.
a gestation of hate and loathing.
snarling abhorrent creatures.
that’s how they view me.
i think it’s only fair.


@ The Sentient Bean – Savannah, GA