the politeness of being

these bleeding generations what gave us
the intent to raise and be raised
forget our internet mother
we inherit the trauma
we race at the speed of
what we’ve been taught to fear
this is the color of captives
to not be invited home when
none exists the dirt we’ve tripped
up is enough of it to fill
our lungs
give us day give lesson
a plastic spoon
here we are in it this is
the sound
and I heard them say this
is a promised land if you promise
to cover your face less
trouble breathing yes
the politics of breath are
most real in this room
how can you
how do you
love your skin in a hooded sweater


three for phox

one /
the breathing shared we treat
each other to that familiar
air we send the clicking
of a gently closed door
that floating fearful whispers in
a tiny envelope tucked under your
arms to wish her into your arms
to pull a current like a bed sheet
the tide turned on by a switch and
who would you be in slow motion
who could you love and capture
without a net

two /
this simply won’t what I’d do
for you a circle withstanding
ancient ceremony
suppose I hold you to
a sixteen year old promise
suppose this isn’t true
if half laughter were our worry
this seating arrangement
a sacrifice to supplement
the slaughter
three /
our too blood is enough
to tough out although
we have hoped to
stitch what outlines us
the red wine running
that goldness that glitter
that gold mess is bitter
give me nothing in a paper bag
until you’re done with me
what have you done to me
up the slices of cake
let’s cut another because you
think we should


what is culture but a series of habits?
how do you reverse a 50 year legacy?
what do you wear to an executive pub?
how do you know they know your face and not your name?
how much longer do you wait?
how do you sound authoritative over the phone?
how do you negotiate a prize?
at what point are you just a party planner?
can they see beyond the appearances you can and can’t choose?
do you promote when there are no promotions?
can you leverage what’s already here?
how do you sustain the changes?
does your campaign have enough PR?
what can companies learn from political movements?
do you appoint a millennial in this case?
are we enjoying ourselves?
are you scared yet?
are you known for what you say or do?
are you getting enough return on investment?
have I increased my total addressable market?
and how are our numbers today?

Gratitude. Day 2.

1. I’m grateful for my job–that has opened up an unexpected career path for me. I’m grateful that every day poses a new challenge, or an opportunity for growth and learning. Since I’ve been at my job, I’ve gained the confidence to not only desire things I never dared–but to ask for them outright.

2. I’m grateful for books–lately books on the psychology of leadership, change, consumerism, and “neuromarketing”. I’m grateful that I have access to information to feed my learner/input (StrengthsQuest) cravings. Most recently, “The Power of Habit” and “Buyology” are the most interesting, thought-provoking books I’ve read the last couple weeks.

3. I’m grateful for women like Cheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, and Sophia Amoruso (they also have books…maybe you’ve heard of them)–who have not only climbed corporate ladders, but have reached out for the hands of other women by sharing their insights and experiences. It is our responsibility to propel others forward as we succeed, move upward, hustle, etc.