Happy Talk

A la recherche du bonheur

I want to find happiness that money can’t buy
That clothes can’t give
That babies talk about in their baby talk
That old folks smile about in a toothless grin
That lovers whisper into each other’s ears
That lifetime friends share around a warm cup of tea
That adventurers feel when they find the Holy Grail
That mothers feel when they hold their baby
That children know when they hear: I love you.

Happiness

That human element
That animal instinct
That perfect formula
Le parfait voyage
L’ingrédient vital
That timeless moment
That eternal desire

Le bonheur

A portée de main
Aussi proche que le lendemain
Its here and there
Invisible yet everywhere
Like the air you breathe
Just before you leave
For the no man’s land
where sadness knows no end
And happiness knows no friend
Tu acceptera le bonheur
Pour ce qu’il  donne a tes couleurs
Comme odeur, comme ardeur, et comme saveur.

The god that you seek…

The god that you seek in the lips you kiss

The god that you seek in the sheets you sleep

The god that you seek in the legs you beg

The god that you seek in these lines I write

The god that you seek in the words of William Carlos, web Dubois, Malcolm x, martin Luther king, AbSraham Lincoln, Obama, Gandhi, sister Teresa, Einstein, Mohamed, Leopold Sedhar Senghor, Jean Paul Sartre, Nietzsche, TD Jakes, Hitler, Moses, Isaiah, JESUS,

The god that you seek in the ball you shoot,

The god that you seek in the fufu you eat,

The god that you seek in the color of your skin,

The god that you seek in the whistling wind and in the cold Sun,

The god that you seek in the machete you use, in the limbs you cut,

The god that you seek in the guns you use and the bombs you drop,

The god that you seek in the open mouths and closed ears,

The god that you seek in the child you bear, the child you kill,

The god that you seek in the money you make and the fakes you take,

The god that you seek in the job you work and the books you burn

The god that I seek in the hugs that I seek

The god that I seek in this thing between my legs

the god that I seek in the screen I watch

The god that I seek in the nods of people

The god that I seek in female shapes and woman’s fate,

The god that I seek in the smile I give and anger I show,

I  saw his fire from afar: a fire burning without consuming!

I have been knocking at closed doors,

Begging at closed faces,

Screaming at the empty sky,

desperate to leave this corporal habitation

for the day I meet the god I seek.

You Got No Place To Go…

Short story: Patient Care Attendant.
Its 4:10 am when sleep is the sweetest and I’m at work at the end of my lunch break. I’m not ready to go back out; I have been dozing on and off while holding Jane Eyre in my hands for a class assignment. I gathered up my will and my cheerfulness while a nurse busts in the break room to say: Cecile, I can’t keep an eye anymore on your patient, the bed alarm has been going off way too many times.” While Cecile, the nurse, continues to sleep and answers by saying that it is ok. I do what I have learned to do best, I just sweep it under the file of “You Are Not Going To Believe What Happened At Work Today” knowing that I may never share the incident either because I will not remember it because far dramatic things would have occurred or because my unwilling listener will be too impatient to wait for me to get at the interesting part, and will move swiftly to a different topic.

For now I just been told that my patient in room 8 has been transferred to ICU and I should go to room 30. The expression on my face says: what? Then I remember I don’t like room 30, but I tell the nurse: ok as if she needed me to agree with her. First thing that hit me right on the nose is the smell of cigarettes that his clothes are filled with and the blank face that he gave me when I gave him a weak hello decorated with a forced smile. I took place at the edge of my seat knowing full well it was momentarily since patients in such situations were good at being unpredictable, but a half hour passed and his eyes were fixated on the window seeing what I couldn’t see. I feel a déjà vu moment where I am writing a short story about my experience with an alcohol withdrawing, smoke smelling, blank gazing patient, but my moment is interrupted as he gets up and says he’s ready to go to the bathroom and I give him a nod as if he needed my approval. He returned a few minutes later to his gazing position ignoring me. Few minutes later, we started our world scale confrontation about him leaving the hospital. Slowly but surely he grew firmer and firmer in his desire to leave and I grew less and less confident in my speech about him not being able to fend for himself and needing medical attention.

As my confidence level went down and my irritation went up, I started wondering who will be the first to break down. It wasn’t my first time taking care of an “unstable” patient, but you never know what to expect, each patient trying to keep you guessing where the line between sanity and insanity lies. Its then he decided to start telling me about this sweet and innocent girl who needs his protection and how they never been this long away from each other. “Get me out of this f…ing place! You have no f…ing right to keep me here!” The number of F-bombs he dropped was parallel to his irritation level. I didn’t know their relationship, but I thought about telling him that he was the one who needed to be taken care of. I knew he could easily get out and he did twice and with the nurse’s help we managed to return him to his room. Every time he stood up, it wasn’t his legs only that were wobbly; his mental map was blurred by the medication he had received to help him calm down. He kept thinking that the bathroom door was the exit door and that he was at the train station and if I was willing to let him out, he would be able to cross the street, hop on the bus and find his girlfriend. I tried to reason with him that he was at the hospital and there was no bus running at 5 in the morning on Sunday.  He was about to cry and I to run. We were two free men unable to find our way out of this place. Our insecurities have stopped us from finding the exit and we blame each other for it. I told him he could leave at 6:30: “the doctor is the only one who can sign off on your leave, wait till 6:30” he gave me a look that wasn’t nice at all, held tightly his plastic bags that contained his few belongings and started to count down the minutes. I was hoping by then to see the nurse come in even though I knew it was unlikely. I really wanted to see the denouement of this situation, I had come to appreciate his resolve and knew he would leave as he soon as I left the room, I also knew that his wobbly legs wouldn’t carry him to where he wanted since he didn’t even know where he was. Despite how frustrated he was with me, he never got physical, not that he stood a chance against me, but the hospital is the last place where I would think about defending myself physically against anyone. Experience had taught me that you had to keep your calm no matter what, but experience had also taught me to not hesitate to call for help. Which I did. The nurse Cecile finally came in at 6:50, just when I felt like we were about to start sumo wrestling, and she exercised her nursing powers over him by getting him to take off his shoes and his clothes, get in a gown and then in bed. I just stared, amazed at her power, and thought to myself that in another life, I would love to have that kind of power. We both exited the room, after reinforcing on the patient his need for care. It was 7:00 o’ clock, time for me to leave my pager and my patience behind and get back to my fast lane life where people were unreasonable, but I didn’t have to take care of them.

A Five Year old and a Samaritan

let me tell you a little secret:

the devil is not black, he is white

and you think this is going to be about race

you are probably…wrong?

because the world isn’t black and white

if you look in the middle, you will see gray

it’s the Bible truth, my friend

where else but in the Bible that a god died for the love of his creatures?

but here I am unable to donate blood to the Red Cross

and they say you are not fit to live if you are not ready to die

but I ask who decides whether you live or die?

For 9 months, my life depended on someone

now that I am out, I forget that someone

because all I want is to be my own god

no beginning and no end

deciding who lives and who dies

like an emperor of past ages

who shined a little and phased

like they never existed because they didn’t life insurance

to assure them a residency when they signed up for a vacation.

when they ask for your number, they want you to slumber

with your eyes wide open while they cut the umbilical cord

and they know that the best lie sounds like the truth

on my deathbed, all I want are a five years old and a Samaritan

One will know what to say and the other what to do

it’s the Bible truth, my friend.


My Home is in My Heart

Even when i don’t  have anything to say

I open my mouth and let nonsense run its course

because all I want is to be loved and admired.

I am short sighted

I only see what pleases me

I hate those who hate me

I love those who love me

sometimes I hate also those who love me.

Little Me is innocent and doesn’t come out to play

Big Me runs the shows and is the only one who gets to play.

No one cares about you

unless you have something to give

so they give us, poor people, their throwaway toys, guns, food and clothes

that they refuse to their dogs and cats

and we smile and say tank you, Massa.

New day, old ways

you better move and get out of my way!

Time is money and you are in my way!

I bow to the ground and let them have their way

whether I give it or they take it

there’s nothing new under the sun

just new suits and new toys

all I want is a little bit of sunshine

in this hell that you call life.

I know that the Man on the Cross

went to Hell then Paradise

and all I want is to be born again

but I don’t want to die

I am the gravedigger with no grave

the healer with no healthcare plan

the player with no team

and the speaker with no audience

while I follow the Man with no earthly dwelling

but welcome in every sinner’s heart.

I think that I know that I think I know What I want

We all have skeletons in the closet

but we put them under lock and key

otherwise they will come out of the closet

and reveal the face under the mask

so we pretend to know what we want

because that’s what we are asked to do

do or don’t, there’s no try

even though that’s all you want

just to try and see what happens

so for now I live like I will never die

I write like I shape worlds into being

I speak like life and death hanged on my words

but I been told to hurry up

because the line is long

and I’m taking too long

to decide on what I want

“Excuse me sir, do the right thing

and find somewhere else your meaning”

I apologize on behalf on all the merchants of Death

who hand child soldiers guns and take their souls,

I apologize on behalf on greedy and ballooned cheeks

that stuff full mouths and leaves others with skin on bones

I apologize for taking my car and ruining the entire climate

I apologize for forgetting that I am fragile

I apologize for refusing to accept that I am strong and beautiful

I apologize for removing the speck from your eye and forgetting the plank in mine

I apologize for developed nations supporting non development

I apologize for democracy supporting dictatorship

I apologize for us, coward parents, sending children to fight a war for grownups

“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”

Lord, before you bring this world to an end, save us from ourselves.