Code Black

Code Black (alias Shirley Stout)

The Books of Light and Love

She is a daughter of Sagittarius.  A mystery child who in this incarnation calls me Daddy. We have shared many lives together as friend, confidant and my prized but stubborn pupil at Thebes.  She came to me by way of a beautiful Gambian woman, who appeared in a dream by a river near Basse.  I impregnated a Ghost.  She talks to me about stars, dreams, spirits, art, music, poetry, life, death, dying, marriage, love, war and peace.  My world smiles.  It has been a long time since my soul has spoken to me.



A quick pm nap turned into a nocturnal sabbatical.   16 hours babysitting at the detox center coming up.  Got to snatch the punk money if it’s stress free and legal.   Decided to check the news when her name pops up.  As a rule I ignore her.   Empathy  has been wrecking my world recently.  Sure enough empathy answers the phone.  

She wants to come over and chill.   Usually someone with their own car,  popping up after midnight  knowing I’m gigging in the morning is the crème de la crème of booty calls.  Unfortunately she ain’t the usual chic.  

90 year old mofos have gps.  She the only one in country that don’t.  My spot is about 10 minutes off 91.  She wants to meet me at exit 45 in Connecticut.  Well that’s a 15 minute drive and I need her to make more of an effort tonight.  I get her to agree to exit 3 a couple of miles from the Mass/Connecticut border.  She stays on the phone the 15 minutes it takes to find her.  Several mishaps occur.   Now I remember there are two Sunoco’s near exit 3.  I went to the wrong one.   She’s piss when we finally link.  After arriving at my spot she rediscovers I live on the top floor.  She climbs 4 flights while mumbling profusely about her pussy was wet before my silly retarded ass  left her on 91.  She been drinking.  My first impulse is march her ass down stairs.  Then I get a chilling premonition about a 18 wheeler smashing her ass into two million pieces.  I realize where this night is heading.

 Its recall our life night.  She knows all the details too. Her main one the time I snuck that bitch in her apartment back in 1985.  Or how her ass appeared in my last book as some downtrodden, hopeless dope fiend.  And the Black woman favorite concerning me.  “You think you better than people.  As usual, I can’t comment on her insecurities.  Not that I want to.  I’m the psych nurse here.  Got to question my personal crazy.  Why do I keep attracting insecure sisters with lunatic stamped on their backs?   

Remembering my propensity for clean looks, she asks if how well the pharmacy is stocked preferably with klonopin.    I politely tell her I found the equivalent of  Jesus and abstain except for an occasional freak party.    I got some ginger wine.  She asks for a lighter.  I got matches hmm.  If she asking for a torch.  I know what comes next. Open flame equals crack.  She insists no  spiels tonight while reminding me she’s not one of my patients.  

 I decide not to lecture her.  Gearing up for work is a good look for me.  My thoughts forward themselves  to her current issues.  Mom caught a stroke, cancer woke her  up last week and a teenage son who lost his mind.  Doesn’t justify her actions, but we all got demons to be dealt with.   

I manage to scrape up a meal for her.  A fresh pot of rice and peas along with chicken burgers and broccoli.  Her ass got lucky. I don’t do food.  Within five minutes of the movie starting she sleeping.  The alcohol did it.  Against my better judgement I leave her in the cave.  She’s left my place as she found it.  Spacious and neat.  She remembers I can’t stand clutter.

I am not chasing God or looking for Tasmanians in the details.  I know why she came.  A familiar face, a good meal, some kind words and not to be judged.  Life is enough of a bitch already.

SuperGirl (The Books of Light and Love)

SuperGirl (From the books of Light and Love)


She practices isolation. An all encompassing world of books, letters and soul searching. Her life a weaving of magic and mystery. She found the mystic Kareem dropping wisdom like sky hooks. Amiri Baraka is having a mic battle with Kanye. Drake spitting some dope ass lyrics while Coltrane blows in the foreground. Goddess Isis forged a gold afro pic for Angela. I lit candles for the elders who sleep with the ancestors.
She snatched her chariot and sailed into the stars. I watched her rise into the night and a tear came to my eye. My baby girl is just like me.
#Candace Stout

1st Barrel

Packing my first barrel for my new business importing toiletries, clothing, medicines, batteries, flashlights and assorted dollar store items to West Africa. Could not help thinking that's how we got here stuffed on ships, complete with a cargo statement. Cargo owners had to worry about tariffs, damage goods, product arrival, lost or damage cargo. Gotta stuff as much product in this barrel. That's how we got here. We didn't come here on the Mayflower

In the Garden

One of the things I am most proud of is my ability to grow food. I can even grow from seed particularly corn. I am also extremely happy to be part of this community garden Holy Name Forest park community Gardens. A community of Muslims, Christians, Africans from Sudan, White Americans, Immigrants from Asia. More African Americans and Latino brothers and sisters need to get into farming. I give the President of Gambia Jammeh credit when he stated if u can't find a job go farm. My skills have gotten. So good I can feed a family of four 100 piece of land. 
What are the duties of a revolutionary? The duties of a revolutionary is to make revolution - Fidel Castro

Hartford 2016

Nearly 40 years ago Michael Manley came to Queens College and gave a speech..  One thing he mentioned and  I will never forget.  "Develop your capacity for analysis.". Hartford is becoming a two tier city. The well off will use downtown Hartford as a personal playground with restaurants, hotels, baseball stadium, museums and apartment buildings just for them.  Supporting this lifestyle will be construction projects, transportation networks, health care and hospital facilities, educational structures and the ever present police forces.  Surrounding the inner core where be low  wage workers, the unemployed, petty criminals who will prey on the inhabitants of the outer core and assorted small businesses and a merchant class dedicated to serving its inhabitants.  The surrounding towns and cities won't escape untouched.  The Inner Core will push itself out.  Example baseball stadium near North Main and Albany Ave.  Remnants of the outer core of the central city will find themselves in Bloomfield, Windsor, East Hartford and Manchester. For too many of us life is a constant emotional response.  Nobody really gives a fuck bout your emotional response.  But when you take your own life in your hands and give a fist pound to that mofo  gorilla staring at your ass in the mirror that's when life gonna roll.

Develop your capacity for analysis - Michael Manley





    This incarnation has been memorable.  I see the journey in increments such as laughing children, smiling faces and joy.   As I age gentleness becomes easier.  Along with the aching bones and fatigue.  I have been blessed to be a Black man.  A conscious thinking proud Black Male.  In a world of want I have lacked nothing.  Even here in America where poverty is just a missed paycheck away.  

    She brings joy to my world.  Her gritty smile conquer the world attitude has broken my peace.  She finds the voids in my world and fills them up.  Unacknowledged by me I have missed things.  The type of insignificance that mid fifties black males who live alone learn to do without.  You know like proper diet, sweeping  floors and her favorite getting the damn mode off the shower curtain.  Finally there is water.  I never get my 8 cups a day.  My daughters one in nursing school, the other a dietician have been after me about the water thing for years.  Most of the time I am spot on.   Unfortunately like most men who can see 60 standing over the toilet has become a favorite past time.   Water adds to this dilemma.  

    Despite the clamoring about our dying infrastructure, America's interstate highway system is the best on the planet.  As a nurse who does the travel thing I spend a ton of time on them.  Besides work there are the latest forays into Far Rockaway to see the love of my life.  A couple of weeks ago the burn to piss thing caught up to me at 1 am.  I got off the Belt Parkway and saw the welcome to Howard Beach sign.  Yep that infamous Howard Beach where a Black man caught in the wrong place got chased by a mob into the Belt parkway.  A car smashed him into pieces.



    Memory serves a Black man well in America.  I recall the names.  Yusef Hawkins, Emmitt Till, Trayvon Martin.  A few days ago a young brother was knocking on doors in my building.  He works for an electric company that promises senior citizens savings on their bills.  The super threatened him with police if she found him here again.  Amadou Diallo a vender assassinated by New York’s finest came to mind.  

    2016 looks like 1956 all over again.  When one trotted down the deep south roadways.  A family had to the know the locations of the color rest rooms and restaurants.  Most of the time when I am on my 8 cup water game on I 90 going towards Albany I got it figured out.  Exit 4 Blanford service plaza.  Next exit 25 miles up the turnpike exit 2 Lee, Mass. last stop on turnpike before New York State.  The route South to NYC along the Merrick and Hutchinson I got that down.  It gets a little tricky once I hit NYC particularly if traffic gets crazy and I am getting my 8 cups in a day as I drive.  Perhaps I should get a urinal.