There is nothing here. Only waves of memories folding over unrelenting experiences.

I will no longer question my thoughts, but instead, carve question marks into stones; and diamonds and gold. Carve them into clouds and raindrops and the wind.

My footprints will become question marks left behind as I crease the sands that endlessly wash away billions of forgotten lives; faces with no names; names with no faces, shadows of people without faces or names. Lives and thoughts never to be touched again live inside the footprints that lead back to un-yesterdays.

I am nothing here but a wisp of dust that dreamed it was once human. I am existing here, in the un-yesterday, a shadow cast upon myself.

I was once human.


iniquities of gods


I walk the dusty road of false time, seeking angels with broken wings. Only they know my sorrow and how unforgiving the gods can be. I don’t need their lives vicariously, my window is the same, yet I have no wings. I see through the dirt and grime that only rain can wash away, sometimes.

When the after-time comes, my sorrow will be complete. The gods will walk among us telling tall tales of how they were created. Yes, they too must answer to their gods. Their iniquities will be brought to judgement’s feet, then they will be asked, how did you nurture your creations? how did you help them to become gods?

© zaji, 2016

love and courage


In the space of love and courage, I breathed you in and exhaled the touches you left on my skin. Letting go brings pain and lucidity in equal measure. But I now know myself better than I needed to know you. At times, the self I’ve discovered is a stranger invading my life without mercy. I try to hide. But hiding does not shield me from the authentic self that sees through walls of wood and stone and soul. At other times, this self is a long lost friend I’ve needed, one who had tried to reach me inside the continuum but failed.

You became my blues even though songs in me were playing out of tune. I saw you then, inside yourself, being what could never satisfy my needs. It was then that I longed to become your savior. I would have nailed myself to your cross to die for your sins, particularly those against me. I would have sacrificed everything to gather up your wrongdoings and caste them into the sea or burn them to ash. But you did not see the palms of my hands nor the center of my feet. The blood pooled in the soil, it dripped for you and the love you rarely showed, except when beds were unmade and sheets almost tied in knots. Even then, you were not there. Not really. Your body sweat against mine in thrusts and moans, but the you that lived inside was gone, giving orgasms to someone else in your mind.

So I found the courage to climb down off the cross and return love to me. It was long overdue. The touches now dissipate into the air, leaving a fog of forgetting. I am here, alone. I listen to the blues now and again, in tune, because they no longer live inside in strange unearthly tones. The stranger in me tells me stories of who I once was. I listen and let the notes of history sing to me what will never be again.

© zaji, 2016

park benches

Photograph by zaji, April 19, 2016

the park benches wait for children.
lonely and longing for the weekend fraught with giggles and bruised knees,
they wait for light and dark to revolution less than six times.
that is all it will take to bring the children.
sneakered and bare feet trampling the sand.

the benches wait.
somewhere behind night the laughter awaits.
the children fold into innocence.
they brith a new future,
where race and identity merge.

the playground becomes the neutral zone.
colors are for the external world.

© zaji, 2016

the passionate journal

Brick red journal. Pleather string wrapped three times, tight, to seal the words inside. Gem stone glued to the middle, circled by a carved and braided sunshine design, a mandala. Spine pleather crossed holding together the many sentences that spill across pages unnumbered.

the journal laughs and weeps all at once. i am merely a vessel, here to give to the journal the sustenance it needs to birth worlds through words.

Photograph by zaji, April 19, 2016



Undulating within dark words reaching for dying stars.
Nubian night finds us inventing stories of our beginnings.
Ichor is there for drink, if you want, if you dare.
Venus is just up ahead, a little to the left and on ’til dusk.
Endings exist at the edge of a dark multiverse.
Remember your beginnings so you can live.
Souls don’t find rest, out there.
Ethers breathe the breath of life into entities seeking birth.

© zaji, 2016

inside dreams


i am the lost ghost in your gently fading dreams that hesitantly leave you to greet the sun. woolgathering won’t change the trajectory of a life not lived; except in small dark spaces, between cracks and crevices that hide from light and life seeking itself. there remains the remnants of the not-you, the un-person who gave in to the illusions of existence contrived by the false-bringers.

they make us forget our oceans and ancient waters. they make us forget our drink, the ichor that turned us into Earth gods who then began feeding ichor to our children. the fluid was the milk, pouring from our veins into the vat of our once-life. the god in me sleeps. she sleeps in the place where Morpheus leads me each moonrise. i go to her with childlike questions because they are all i believe i have. she tells me i do not need her. she says i am twin seeking twin and that mirrors are all i need so i can see myself answering my un-questions. but all my mirrors are broken, the million pieces praying at my feet.
i return as ghost seeking life in familiar places. but i am shattered and bruised by the not-me, too afraid to materialize worlds from  my womb–materialize gods from my womb. the false-bringers stir my insides, concocting potions that invade remembering. there is no history, only the now living or dying on the inside. the potion wants the death of memory. the potion wants amnesia to inhabit my DNA so my remembering is erased and all that lives and remains is the un-self, the substance-less woolgathering that chains me to the contrived. but the dreams also show the other world, the place where the remembering hides from the potion.
do not weep for my forgetting. you have your own tears to shed, for your un-self. you are here, too, with me, sharing dirt and sky with my un-self. your mirror waits for you and your un-questions. ask them if you dare.

galaxy luggage

Writing Prompt: Suitcase

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


galaxy luggage found travel stickers across the milky way.
my suitcase has seen Jupiter and Saturn.
winged feet prefer clouds doubling as stones
to take me across stars flowing like waters.
i skip across clouds white and emptiness.
planet hopping is free.
so i travel light.
one suitcase.
sticker embellished.
galaxy worn.
my suitcase tells stories
of solar flares
and black skies birthing stars.
stickers carry worlds and words.
galaxy luggage remembers milky ways.
my suitcase has seen Adromeda rising.

© zaji, 2016

fire in the caves


There is fire in the caves.

Defiant flames stretch across indocile walls.
The cold stones can bear the relentless heat.
But can they bear the stories?

There is fire in the caves.

Fire burned alien symbols into cave ceilings.
Their meaning has long been forgotten.
We are not alone.

There is fire in the caves.

The aliens were the ancient We.
The us that is far removed from the Now.
We were the other species.

There is fire in the caves.

Flames climb higher into cloudlessness.
Sunless black sky cries for light.
The flames answer and obey.

There is fire in the caves.

© zaji, 2016

dirty blues

This is an unedited excerpt from a work in progress.


Down by the jook joint is where the sweatin’ and grindin’ began. But it by no means ended there. It was a Sunday evening, just after church and before the end of the Sabbath for some. I was always there, bumpin’ and grindin’ with the best of ‘em. The cat calls that floated just above the smoke gave me a real high. It was like listening to a symphony. They were singin’ my song. They always did. Most’a the men were sweet on me. But they was afraid’a my daddy. He was the town pastor. My mama was the first lady and respected by everyone in our little town. Sonny would say, “Sissy, what you doin’ down here? Yo’ daddy gon’ whip you good if he find out.”
        “I’ll whip you good if you tell ‘im,” I holler’d back. I grinned on the inside, so he wouldn’t see. But sometimes he could see right through me.
        Sonny was something. He was always in my business. But he was my best friend; always tryin’ to look out for me. Couldn’t nobody do me nothin’ with Sonny around. Some ‘a the men, no matter how stinkin’ drunk they were, when they saw Sonny, they sobered up quick if they were near me. He’d bloodied enough noses and broken enough ribs for them to know not to touch me, Ms. Sissy Crawford, pastor’s daughter and the best dancer in town.

I wasn’t always as sassy as some say. But I was always alive and filled with fire. Mama said when I was born, it was like Christmas in heaven, minus the snow. I came out dancing…stompin’ on her back she’d say. It wasn’t so much the pain as the constant kickin’. I kicked as though there was a song playin’ in her womb. And when I popped out, I was smilin’. She said I smiled like there was nothin’ but joy in the world. Like love danced with me on the other side where I came from.
        “Lord! That girl was somethin’ else, wasn’t she, Joseph?”
        “Yes she was. She sure was full a somethin’ hot. Like coals were under her feet.”
        Those in listening distance would laugh.
        By the time I was twelve I started to laugh. Didn’t get it before then. Seemed like a bunch of grown folks actin’ silly and laughin’ at stuff that made no sense. It all started to make sense after a while. Plenty of grown folk stuff started to make sense. Curiosity about why mom and pop kissin’ and chucklin’ all the time soon disappeared. After Larry touched me between my legs, I understood. His hands were big, and they were hot. Felt like he held ‘em over a fire and then real fast like, put ‘em on me. He put it on me for sure. Larry was my first, but by no means my last. He usher’d me into womanhood on a starry night. He moved slow, drinking in every moment of our unity. I thought of how daddy loved mama. I wondered if he drank her in the way Larry did with me.
        Larry was gone after a few weeks of bumpin ‘ and grindin’. Said he had to serve his country. Said wasn’t nothin’ gonna stop him from going to ‘Nam. I loved him for his bravery. But hated him for his stupidity. That war was not one he shoulda been fightin’ in. Black men was always fightin’ for folks who didn’t care about them. Larry wanted to fight. He needed to fight. He said he’d be back for me though. Said he’d marry me and give me a bunch ‘a babies. Wasn’t no babies gonna be had with Larry though. He stopped writin’ after a while. No good-bye, nothin’. Just silence. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into tears that flowed like a waterfall during the rainy season. Larry faded away like a billow of smoke faded as it rose into the sky.
        I moved on. Decided that if I started seeing a bunch ‘a men, it would help take my mind off Larry. The men didn’t mind. They were more than happy to soothe my achin’ heart with their achin’ rod. And did they soothe? Yes, they did. For the moment at least. They took me away from my borin’ little town. They couldn’t erase memories of Larry though. I saw him in each one of they faces. His brown skin was like the trunk of a tall strong tree, a deep dark color filled with life. His soul was green like the leaves of those grand trees. Green an’ lush and filled with a vibrancy that creates new life an’ possibilities. No, they couldn’t erase him. But they filled in the spaces at times. They were the pockets o’ air inside a sinkin’ ship. I knew the time would come when the air would run out and I would drown, but I didn’t care. I had to feel good. I needed to feel good.

© zaji, 2014