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'Houseguests': A Poem
Lincoln University of Missouri's Poetry Writing Workshop
Writer’s note: I have not written poetry in over two decades. I used to be deeply into it during the “Love Jones” days. I interviewed countless poets and covered spoken word events*, including some “Def Poets” artists. And I put my college degree on the line for Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance. Still, I didn’t have much interest in even reading my old writing clips until my mother insisted on bringing over an old binder filled with essays and poetry I’d submitted for my Senior Portfolio at Lincoln University (Missouri) in 2003. As I flipped through the pages of writing from 1999 to 2003, some of those old poems I’d written came rushing back to me. I still remembered the words to the crowd pleaser “My Messenger” and the inspiration behind “Two Kisses In a Box.” However, this poem (below) was based written at 6:39 p.m. on April 9, 2002 and based on someone completely different. Interestingly, it still checks out for breakups over the years.
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Control gave me dap, then walked away.
Pride kissed my cheek, said, “I can’t stay.”
Respect paced around with nowhere to be.
Fear stopped Peace from Casper Slidin’** to me.
Compromise snuck in with a brief introduction, but
Frustration interrupted. I knew firsthand his function.
Tears caressed my cheek. I jerked from her grasp.
Defeat shook my hand, too rough and real fast.
Hope bumped into Respect, and they decided to chat.
Organization grabbed his coat and adjusted his hat.
Companionship wrapped his arms around my waist.
Love drank from my glass for that Shame Pain taste.
Pleasure yawned. Told me, “Yo, I need to get some sleep.”
Destiny shimmied in without wiping her feet.
All these guests overpowered my domicile.
When the relationship started, Freedom said, “After a while!”
Some guests crashed the party while others went home.
That’s why we broke up. So they’d all leave me alone.
** Rest in peace to DJ Casper, the creator of the world-famous "Cha Cha Slide," who died at the age of 58 on Monday, August 7, 2023.
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