Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Young Americans

Many say they are nuances as they study
their own adolescence with rebellion.
They masquerade in front of these storefronts
and on these busy sidewalk curbs
as challenged faces barely old enough to cry.

And as I walk,

a young Asian girl stands in my way
as I try to get by. She is smoking a thin cigarette,
slightly puffing from the side of her pieced lip.
Her left hand is covered by a black glove
as she ignores my presence
by rolling her eyes with her other hand.
The expression on her face gives me the middle finger
but the sadness in her stare
politely asks me to notice her.

She is there quietly singing with a loud
voice in style. Misunderstood by the nature
of her appearance is a girl searching for her place
in a world ignoring her,
telling her she’s no good.

And as I watch,
a skateboarder showcases his tattooed anger
by blindly shifting out into the open street
of passing strangers. He is risking his tomorrow
and they are risking his discovery
as they honk their horns to the glare of his eyes
shouting ‘fuck you’
as he pushes his board with worn down
Sketcher sneakers.

For the moment the stage is his
as his spiked Mohawk makes its way
to the other side of the street where a group
of Black and Latino kids battle back in fourth
in a lyrical game of rhyme.

Their words are fulfilled by their hardships
as their voices express the conflict
of human struggle. They speak the language
of adulthood from the bodies of children
hardened by the victories of poverty.

And as I listen,
I hear the breath of a generation wheezing
in the fields of definition. They are an asthma
as they seek to open new lungs in the dampened
air of expectations.

They are the young Americans -- a new age
of voices traveling through different languages
for growth
and for the freedom to be heard.

© 2010
Tarringo T. Vaughan

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Lyrics Of Her Song

She was a whistle sitting silently in front of corner store
with her home wrapped openly around her
exposing her life and the orchestra of her tears.
               But no one seemed to care
as she was stepped over and stepped past
             Like an object just in the way.

Everyone seemed to ignore what her eyes have to say.
I stood there at a cross walk
In the middle of June day with sweat
dripping rapidly down the back of my mind
as I caught the song of this woman who was sometimes there
and sometimes everywhere
but often nowhere. She had a stench that hummed
       for a nice bath filled with hope
because for years she has had to cope
       with the stares and coldness
of a world that pretends she is just an excuse.

Her pride has been kicked with abuse
as the slow tempo of her voice has asked for help.
      She wasn’t America’s favorite song
but the way she caught my attention
there was no doubt the singing of her presence
                    was a vision that did belong
as she sung to me.

She was homeless but her strength
stayed strong and in her lyrics was a woman
who had dreams that were battered
by the fist of a mental illness that kept her
unable to hold on to the definitions of herself.
She was hungry but her starvation
was the neglect from the hands that failed
       to reach back as she grabbed
for a recognition to be understood
and to just be seen as a human being.

She was angry but continued to smile
            because she knew she was a song
with lyrics that could change a life
if one just listened to the sight of her
sitting there covered in clothes that haven’t been
washed since the last time she was able to laugh
      which was the last time she felt she existed.

She sung to me that day a song
    with lyrics that has become the music
in my heart.

© 2010
Tarringo T. Vaughan

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Here And Now

These thoughts are dancing through the hollow
cylinder of my mind as translations of time


into the experience of being…a poet
and tomorrow has gone into extinction
as this moment has captured eternity’s glass eye
where I see reflections of no escape
peering through windows scraped

                               by the fingertips of yesterday.

And right here, right now I sit in the middle
of an empty room filled with crowds
                           of inspiration.

They don’t see me because they are absent
shadows of my surroundings.

A blind girl captures the fragrance of sight
as she feels her way through the aroma
        of distant stares.

She is amazed at their beauty
simplified in perfect fragments of…ignorance
as her description and movement is being
written by a stranger who knows her well
poetry is her brail and I read her brilliance
knowing her footprints will not fade
                       into tomorrow’s disappearance.

And right here, right now I study
the sands of time as they blow wildly
through visions I’ve never been introduced to

The blind girl surrounded the enigmas
who enhance their eye movement with every
step of her silence realize they are the blind ones
who are forgetting the importance
of the now as they look forward
to a memory that will be forgotten
in never promised winds of tomorrow

and I sit in a crowded room of emptied existence
                      with thoughts dancing through the hollow
cylinder of my mind frantically writing this all
                    into a poem

blind of time.

Tarringo T. Vaughan

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I am but one a man and I wonder if they even know my name
or care
and as I drive down this familiar street
with this asshole in front of me turning with no blinkers/no warning
like these thoughts that are texting my heart to wonder
if all that I give is worth it.

They don’t even know my name
but continue to judge my expression as egotistical
like the asshole I just talked to on the phone from sprint
who wouldn’t adjust my bill after his own mistake
turning it around to justify me as the bad guy.

I am preoccupied driving or is it this driving
that is preoccupying my thinking/these thoughts
are diving my mind because I love to believe in others
but as these tears have barely just dried from the loss
of my mother, I can only wonder if they believe in me
or am I being used in their game to define their own name;
I have to allow these emotions to tame
because I’m always the asshole who takes the blame
when my words shout louder than my dreams
( to be taken seriously).

I am but one man placed upon this pedestal
by those who don’t even know my name; they only know the image.
The asshole behind me just honked his horn,
perhaps I’m thinking too slow or maybe I’m just believing too much
in trust.
Maybe now I’m the asshole turning another corner
without knowing my way
or have I just been given the wrong direction
from those who don’t know my name.

© 2010
Tarringo T. Vaughan

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