beginning manifestation

beginning manifestation

must have been craving Love
when the story paper was passed out
the author drew with words occupying
the big empty space for the illustration
characters in the weekly reader needed more time
to figure out it was Love
get to know one another
go on their first adventure
pretend the pounding of their hearts didn’t exist
before the first kiss.
they were just kids
so was the author
who craved Love so passionately
she searched for it
then scribed it into existence
© michele mitchell, 2013

Poetry Prompt: Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us BEGINNING.
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What We Don’t Talk About-From Social Butterfly to Suicidal

What We Don’t Talk About-From Social Butterfly to Suicidal

My friend and former roommate, Kay, used to use me.
.Anytime Kay had a “work event” like a company picnic she would bring me along. I guess I was her “buffer”. Her coworkers found me funny, charming, intelligent and very social. (I’m actually blushing a little bit). I never thought much of it because I was just being me. Her coworkers like me so much they used to ask Kay if I was coming to the next picnic. I didn’t think it was a big deal then; I would kill to go to a “work event” now.
Shit as much as I disliked working two jobs to survive, I would love to go back to work now. But I can’t. I would love to be able to go to Nifty Fifties and get a milkshake, to my sisters’ house, to visit my brother who lives close to the beach, museums, to see my Uncle in New York. But alas.
I never “liked” to drive mainly because I am pretty bad at it. I also have a fear of driving over bridges stemming from childhood nightmares. But I overcame it and would almost drive weekly over the bridge into Philly to attend poetry venues. I would meet up with “friends” and/or coworkers and have a great time. These same people would invite me out to lunch (or vice versa) or visit me occasionally. On the weekends during the summer, you could find me on the beach in Atlantic City. Sometimes with a friend, but more often or not alone which was “okay” with me at the time because with my hectic schedule I “needed” alone time.
Be careful what you say you need.
Since my “annie” rupture in November of last year, I have so much alone time I am sick of myself. Honestly, I will say for the first six months, I didn’t like being out in public anyway. It was too chaotic for me. I lost my peripheral vision in my left eye and my hearing is still distorted, making me paranoid. Because I am tiny, I am very kidnappable. So to avoid ending up in someone’s trunk, I have to have someone or something on my left side at all times. I bump into people and shelves when I go shopping. It’s embarrassing when that happens and explaining it is even more embarrassing.
I also lost my “filter” which has been a blessing and a curse. In the beginning, I would say whatever was on my mind and didn’t care who heard it or how loud I was. After it was brought to my attention, I am so conscious of it that most times in social settings, I don’t say shit for fear I will sound like I have some sort of social Tourettes. Combine that with the medication I am on just to “keep me calm” doesn’t allow me to “get tipsy” to “loosen up”. I fear I look like a weirdo.
Remember my “friends”? Yeah I can count one hand who texts, calls, or comes to see me now, and I will have quite a few fingers left over.
My brother, KD, comes to get me every Tuesday to attend a poetry class. I get so excited to go, I feel like I talk him to death on the way there. This week we had a guest speaker and he gave the class tickets to attend a pretty dope poetry event, and since it was during KD’s class, it became a field trip. What is even better about that, is the show is the day before my birthday, I wanted to go anyway, but like I said I can’t drive so it was like I was given an early birthday gift.
When I got home, I cried.
Partially out of happiness, partially because I feel pathetic.
My birthday is November 6th and my rebirth day (the day my life was saved from the “annie”) is the 10th. I even posted it on Facebook that I was going to celebrate that whole week.
It’s kind of hard to celebrate anything when you don’t have many friends anymore. I Love my Mom, but she takes me to my doctors’ appointments and food shopping if needed, so I’m sure she needs a break from seeing me too. And if I hang out with my Mom on my birthday, I am going to need large quantities of rum, which I can’t have. (Well maybe, it “is” my birthday, I may have a little)
But on the flip side, I don’t want to be pitied either. Please don’t call me or come by because you “feel bad” come by because you “want” to.
As I was thinking about this blog on the walk back from renewing my lease (which was the highlight of my day), my BFF texted me and said she will be in town this week for work, and we can hang out in the evening.
Again, I got teary eyed. Shit, I am getting teary eyed typing this.
Social isolation can lead to depression. Then I feel guilty about being depressed because after all, I’m “alive” right? There are people who are “worse off” physically than me, right?
Yeah sorry, fuck off, that doesn’t make me feel better. It just makes me feel worse for complaining. Thank God for the meds to calm me down, cuz I would be a mess right now fighting to keep from executing my suicide plan. (Don’t worry; I won’t do it, because of my daughter, granddaughters and the whole going to hell thing)
So in summary, this is just one of the things “survivors” don’t talk about, mainly out of fear we are complaining or whining, but maybe y’all need to know this.
Also, be careful what you ask for.
Peace ShineOn


The Best Advice I Ever Received.

The Best Advice I Ever Received.

“But I Love him,” I said as I blew smoke out of my nose and flicked ashes into the ashtray.

“So I don’t understand the problem,” my sister said so matter of fact I didn’t think she was listening to me.

I sighed heavily, “Because on the outside looking in, I look ridiculous. He hasn’t made a commitment to me, we only see each other sporadically, and when I don’t hear from him I am miserable.”

“But you Love him,” again she said this matter of fact as well. The only difference was this time she lit her own cigarette.

I nodded through the tears that started to fall.

“My first piece of advice to you is this, stop telling the “outsiders looking in” your business. Some of them may be using your story as a sick form of entertainment. If they are on the outside looking in, they don’t know how you or he feels on the inside. You Love him and he Loves you and that’s all that matters.”

“How do you know he Loves me?” I asked if she held the secret to the universe in her hands.

“You do know you’re a handful right?” She chuckled.

I frowned, “So what does that mean?”

“It means that with all of the crap he has going on in his life, the fact that he even makes time for your over-emotional ass says a lot. So in summary:

*if you keep other people out of y’all business
*understand that he does Love you
*and you continue to Love him the way God intended…

both of you will be happy for a very long time.

Things aren’t always perfect between him and me, but what relationship is perfect? What I found out through this experience is Love is as Spiritual as it is natural.

So naturally, when things get rough for me, I ask God for a sign, and His turn around time has been instantaneous lately.

Then I thank God for putting my sister in my life.

© Michele Mitchell, 2013

Photo Credit: – 640 × 430 – Search by image
Page by Jason English


I Officially Renounce Being Caucasian

I Officially Renounce Being Caucasian

(excuse my language from here on out)

By now, I am sure you have heard about or saw the God awful picture of two ignorant ass motherfuckers (Greg Cimeno and William Feline) who dressed up like George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin for Halloween and then Caitlin Cimeno took the picture and posted it on her Facebook page.
I didn’t even want to write about this because I didn’t want to draw attention to the ignorant ass picture (and I WON’T post the picture, Google it), but I am so disgusted I needed to say something.
If the picture wasn’t disgusting enough, the comments from Caucasian people literally made me sick to my stomach.
Either I am very naïve, or I was raised right, or both, but I never realized the extent of racism that still exists in our country until the Zimmerman trial happened.
I will admit that I have one prejudice:

Ignorant and stupid people.
I just can’t tolerate it. Most racist people are either ignorant stupid or both. I had to stop reading about Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman because I would get really emotional about a teenager losing his life over a power hungry, racist asshole. I deleted people from my Facebook page who said ignorant things about the murder and the trial because I didn’t want ANYTHING to do with racists. I have two bi-racial children, so I just …can’t

I am so appalled by it that if I have to fill out anything that asks me about my race, I refuse to check the Caucasian box. I will check “Other” for now on.

Peace and Shine On “Star”


Love Until Death

Love Until Death

Love Until Death

I was handcuffed and led into the woods. There was a lot of commotion, yellow crime scene tape sectioned of several rectangular spaces. I saw the body-bags but didn’t make the connection. Surely, I didn’t kill all of them. I don’t remember killing all of them. But then again if it wasn’t for the fact I was handcuffed and led into the woods by policemen, I didn’t remember being arrested either.

They led me to a body bag deep in the center of the woods. I could still hear the police radios hissing on and off.
“We found another one.”
The grip on my arm became tighter. I didn’t understand why: with all of the cops around, it was obvious I couldn’t get away. They started to unzip the body bag, and I immediately turned my head.
I don’t want to see this.
I didn’t do this.
I couldn’t have done this.
Those were all of the thoughts I had in my mind as they pulled the zipper down further.
I saw myself.
I was dressed in my favorite orange sweater that I wore for my seventh grade picture with huge matching plastic orange earrings. Even with my eyes closed, my makeup was flawless, and I appeared to have been smiling.
But how could I be dead if I was standing right here looking at myself?

Then the officer who was holding my left arm whispered in my ear.
“That’s what happens when you give up.”
I could smell the sulfur on his breath.
“And all of these other women believed in Love too.”
Then I heard screaming and I didn’t think it was possible to become more petrified than I already was, so I shrugged the officers off me and I ran. I figured I saw my own corpse; so they couldn’t kill me twice. I ran to my grandmother’s house and entered through the back door. I didn’t think anyone was there until I smelled the aroma of banana bread in the air. Then I heard her little voice.
My daughter.
My world.
I didn’t understand how she was walking and talking. She was only two months old, but she was. After the horror I had just witnessed, this was the most beautiful sight ever.
“Mommy, the man told me to give this to you.”
She handed me a letter which was folded in quarters. When I opened it, I saw that it was written in the most perfect handwriting ever:
Believe in me, and wait.
I woke up with my heart pounding, and I was crying. Sure I was scared. I mean I had seen my own corpse in my dream. But that wasn’t the root of my emotions.
Only my “SF” knows my whole story, because most of it is still too painful or horrifying to talk about, and he is the only one I trust with it, because he Loves me anyway. It started off typical enough:
My mother and father divorced.
Because my father was angry, he didn’t want anything to do with me.
Which led to extremely bad choices in men.
I was constantly abused: mentally, physically and sexually.
I would have said Spiritually as well, but at the time I thought my Spirit had left me.
Now I am different.
Very recently, I was listening to my daughter who has been going through a tough time in her marriage while trying to give her the best emotional support I could. She interrupted me and said, “I gotta give it to you Mom, despite all that you have been through (and she only knows some of my story) you still Love. How do you do it?”
I thought a long time before I answered. I thought about my “SF” and all he went (and is still going through) in the name of Love. I wanted to tell her that I wanted to be an example to him, but for some unknown reason that sounded arrogant, so I didn’t.
I simply said:
I don’t know all the answers baby, but what I do know is if I give up on Love, I will die.
© michele mitchell, 2013
Photo credit:


Didn’t Understand the Handshake

Didn’t Understand the Handshake

In hindsight, I realized that the gesture was not a salutation but a business transaction. I stood there like an accessory without an introduction as they talked in broken lingo and chuckles that I didn’t comprehend.
My teeth were chattering, and I was visibly shuddering from the cold. He seemed disgusted with me because I was cold. I didn’t realize that made me appear childlike, so the man in the baseball cap asked me two questions that I, to this day, wished I would have answered differently.
“Are you cold cutie?”
I nodded.
“Do you want to come inside?”
I turned around to gain approval from he but his attention was no longer on me as he practically pushed me aside to shake the man in the baseball cap’s hand again.
“Go on, go with him. Get warm. I’ll go get us something to eat.”
The laughter from them echoed down the block.
But I went.
I didn’t know any better, and it wasn’t until we stepped inside the row home that I knew something was wrong.
“It’s colder in here than it is outside,” I said to the capped man who was tying a rope around the broken lock of the door.
Something was definitely wrong.
I heard a click that echoed through what I then realized was an empty living room.
Well empty except for a dirty mattress.
When I turned around, there was a small pistol that bumped me on my bottom lip which still trembling from cold.
Or was it fear?
“Don’t worry, you’ll be warm soon,” he said as he raised his hand and punched me in my temple.
I don’t know how long I was knocked out, but when I woke I was face down on the mattress, pants down to my ankles, and every part of me was in pain. The mattress smelled like piss, sweat and weed, and I threw up.
The man in the cap was not around as I was struggling to pull up my pants. I was still freezing, and because I was trembling getting my pants zipped was difficult. Because apparently the electric was off in the house, I didn’t see the man asleep on the stairs with an old quilt wrapped around him.
Where the fuck was I?
I saw the light coming from the hole in the door where the lock used to be and shuffled towards it as quickly as I could. As I was trying to loosen the rope so I could push the door open, I felt a hand grab my elbow. I turned around and winced because I was afraid of coming face to face with the man and the gun. Instead, there was a woman whom had her hair tied up in a scarf, wearing a tattered t-shirt, stretch pants with holes in the knees, and what could only be bedroom slippers. They were so dirty and it was so dark it was impossible to tell.
“Please help me get out. I’m in trouble. I was raped.” As I muttered those words tears streamed down my cheeks.
She kind of smirked and blew air out of her nose, “Your man bring you here cutie?”
The way she asked that made my blood freeze because it was already running cold.
I nodded, but couldn’t speak as I started sobbing.
The woman walked over to the lumpy blanket on the steps, reached under it, and grabbed the gun. She came towards me and I was ready to tackle her but all she did was pull the front door open.
“You weren’t raped; you didn’t understand the handshake.”
I darted out the door and ran towards the corner.
That’s when I heard two gunshots.
The next day in the hospital I was reading the paper and came across a blurb in the crime section that read, “Police are clueless about the apparent murder/suicide in an abandoned row home in the city.”
The morphine kicked in and I slept for a long time.
© michele mitchell, 2013
Photo credit :




gently pressed into my palm

sealed with a kiss from smiling lips

sipping light lime beer

between laughs

stories about our past

present promises

prayers for the future


came across them again on the bookshelf

sharing space with Love poems between book covers

similar to sonnets we scribe between sheets

eloquence embraces when you reach for my hand

gently press into my palm

tiny timeless treasured tokens

© michele mitchell, 2013

Poetry Prompt:
Identify something in your surroundings—a rusted hoe draped in spider webs, an unfashionable dress abandoned by time, a wine cork buried in a drawer of unpaid bills—and write a poem that appreciates these lonely items.

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now i completely embrace your creation of beauty

from shattered fragments of my past still wet like clay

still sticky on your fingers while you mold and mend me

i long to personify my essence through your eyes

spiraling rainbow, spinning kaleidoscope, classical music carousel,

this pinwheel princess became dizzy from your accolades and adoration

when you were appalled at the maligning of myself

by my self

just as i was horrified at your self crucifixion

hangin your hopes and dreams on the weak nails of weaker women

speaking sickening stereotypes and ridiculous roles at volumes so loud

you waking up singing the song you hate

for it’s stuck in your mind

time for change

here am i

bold and brave with scarves to swathe the crown

you donned me with when i was down

gloss my lips with glitter so my kisses create constellations on your collarbone

if a Star should fall your heart will catch it and caress it in your Spirit

sacral chakras shine seduced by the pulse of our purity

lovemaking becomes a mediation as meaningful as prayer

auras in awe of our afterglow for no one knows which is brighter
how to measure it

if i could paint your portrait

integrity would be your canvas

new hues would mute your pain cover past bruises

name it “MasterPeace”

frame it in forever

sign it with serenity

gift it to you as repayment for reviving me

as a reminder of how remarkable you truly are

© michele mitchell, 2013

Photo credit: Jean-Michel Basquiat “Self Portrait with Suzanne”


first goodnight forever recalled

first goodnight forever recalled

brown sugar lips

bequeathed peach cobbler kisses

enchanted by the anticipation of autumn

the season for love songs becoming lullabies

now our lips linger under a harvest moon

mine part to gasp at the realization

Stars in your eyes that i first saw

and now recall

were my reflection

© michele mitchell, 2013

prompt: write a poem that captures a specific memory about your first love


The Un-Birthday

The Un-Birthday

Tania found it rather strange that she received an invitation for Malachi’s birthday party considering she hadn’t seen him since Mama’s funeral. She didn’t stay in Chicago long because the memories were just too painful. First Micah, then Mama. She wasn’t planning on going back either, until her publisher called her early on Monday morning.

“Tania, I need your help.”

“Yes Aaron,” she said as she continued her typing while putting him on speakerphone.
“We have a manuscript we want you to look at.”

“Is it in my email?” Tania kept typing.

“No, we need you to meet with the author.”

“Okay, set up an appointment for me?”

“In Chicago.” Aaron said wincing because he knew about Tania’s past.

Tania took a deep breath and inquired, “When?”

Aaron gave her the details, and she began packing.

It was only for the weekend, and she was to arrive Thursday night; the trip would be quick.

At least that’s what she thought, until she checked her mail while waiting for the cab. That’s when the invitation fell out.

On the ride to the airport, she just kept tapping the invitation against her knee. Tania looked for an RSVP, and when she found it she began to dial the number. Then she hung up and decided to wait to call until she got to the hotel.

She loved the city. And she loved this particular hotel because her window faced the Sears Tower and she could walk to Navy Pier if it wasn’t too cold. Instead, she turned on the clock radio and Jaheim’s “Anything” was playing. Tania smiled softly and without realizing it, she was dialing Malachi’s number.

“Hello?” His deep baritone voice stunned her speechless. Physically, everything about him and Micah were identical. Their height, stature, complexion, eyes, and even their voices were the same. The only way anyone could tell them apart was Micah had dreads and a full beard, and Malachi was clean shaven for his job.

“Hello?!” Malachi barked his annoyed response into the phone, which snapped Tania out of her reminiscing.

“Yes, he said frowning and checking the number on the display in his cell, “Oh wow, is this Tania?”

Her bottom lip was shaking because he sounded so much like Micah. The shake traveled down to her hands as the phone trembled. But outwardly her conversation was steady.
“Unless someone else calls you Ky-Ky, who else would it be?” She said somewhat faking a giggle.

“Oh wow, how are you?” He seemed completely surprised.

“Well ironically, I am in town on business, and I got your invitation before I left so…”
“Invitation?” This time he not only sounded surprised but confused.

“Forrrr, your birthday party?” Tania asked becoming more uncomfortable by the moment.

“Tania, I am so sorry. I thought I got all of the invitations before they were mailed. I haven’t celebrated our…my…birthday since…” His voice trailed off and got caught in his throat.

Tania’s just came out in a long sigh, “Ky, I…”

He interrupted her, “No, no. You’re fine. Don’t worry about it. If you’re not too tired c’mon over, I have something to show you anyway.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’ll make us some dinner. It will be fun. You remember how to get to the house?”

There was an awkward silence.

“Of course you do,” He said nonchalantly. So I’ll see you in a half hour okay?”

Tania sighed, “Okay Ky, see you in a half.”

She grabbed the pass key to the room, the foil bag with the bottle of cognac, her purse, and headed to the lobby of the hotel to catch a cab.

Not only did she remember how to get to the house, she still had her key. She was fumbling for it on the stoop when Malachi came to the front door donning dreads and a beard.

Tania almost dropped the cognac.

Malachi grabbed the bag and her elbow, but she just stared at him with her eyes wide and mouth open. She was laboring to breathe as he helped her into the house then onto the couch. She was visibly shaken. He didn’t understand it until he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror.

With his hair and beard, he looked just like his twin brother.

He rubbed his head through his hair and said “Tania, I…”

She interrupted him by leaping at his throat, grabbing his hair, and punching him in his face over and over. He let her hit him until she got tired and sank to her knees on the floor.

Then she sobbed.
And he held her until she stopped.
Which took a while.

She didn’t even remember going back to the couch, but Ky must have put her there. He was standing over her now with two glasses of cognac with ice and limes.

“I remembered how you took it,” he said handing the glass to her.

“Fuck you Malachi.” She whispered as she took the glass from him and drank it in two gulps. She stood up and took his glass, gulped it down, then handed him both empty glasses. “Keep them coming, and don’t you dare try to apologize to me again. What is it that you want to show me so I can get the fuck back to my hotel?”


She held up one hand, “Save it Ky! You and I never got along; I was just being polite by coming to your little party. Just show me what you need to show me, and get me another drink.”

As he walked back into the kitchen he said over his shoulder, “If you still have the key to Micah’s room, it’s sitting on his bed.”

Beyond pissed and a little tipsy, Tania walked up the steps and sort of stumbled down the tiny hallway that led to Micah’s door. She lovingly put her hand on it, and it felt cold.

Cold like the day he was killed.
Cold like his lips were when she tried to give him CPR.
Cold like everyone thought she was when she left Chicago before his funeral and didn’t come back until Mama died.

Tania had an easier time unlocking this door and pushed it open while her left hand searched for the light switch on the wall. When she flicked the light on, she saw a Valentine’s Day bag sitting on Micah’s bed. She walked over to it and peeked inside. There was a black box and a card. She flipped the top of the black box back and saw the most amazing emerald cut diamond ring. Confused, she opened the envelope and saw a simple white card with a red heart upon it. Her heart was pounding out of her chest as she read the words:

Will you marry me Tania?

She looked up towards the door and Malachi was standing there with another drink for her while sipping his own.

“What the fuck is this Ky?! Not only did Micah die on Christmas Eve, but he and I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. We thought it was stupid.”

She walked over to him and grabbed the drink. This time she sipped it because she knew the effects were going to kick her in the ass. “Micah and I showed our Love for each other all year long. Valentine’s day? He would never do something so commercial and corny. So, I’ma ask you again, Ky, what the fuck is this?!” She sipped bigger gulp of her drink and glared at him.

“Lord knows I didn’t mean to upset you. It’s just that when…see… ever since you left, I couldn’t stop thinking about you…”

“Stop.” Tania said with tears beginning to stream down her cheeks again.

“…Then when you came back to help me bury Mama…I just couldn’t believe how beautiful you…”

“Didn’t you hear me?!? I SAID STOP?!?”

“And since Micah has been gone now for…”

The most blood curdling scream came from Tania as she hurled the glass at Malachi, and it broke over his head. Glass shattered everywhere as Tania headed towards the door and into the hall. Malachi grabbed her elbow, and Tania jerked away from him slipping on the broken glass and tumbling down the steps. Malachi ran down the steps only to see the black box in her open hand and the ring on the floor next to her.
© michele mitchell, 2013
Choose a set of three elements and write a story that contains all three of them!
Extreme challenge: combine three of the elements with one of the other short story ideas on this page:
1. A taxi, an old enemy, and Valentine’s Day.
2. Identical twins, a party invitation, and a locked closet. (I changed it to a door)