poetry quarterly

10th anniversary


j. scales


a "cliff-note" style memoir in 3 movements

(88bpm...to be played slowly, with intent,
as well as the crucial hiphop head-nod)

I. the kaffa house

beat tapes blessed the cipher and
cats wrote their rhymes in composition books but
memorized non-plagarized
…mad catchy and clever hooks

b4 the days of def poetry & floetry
there was we: toni b., origin, black indian, sub-z…
“we don’t keep it real; we just stay true.”
yeah…live, across for ben’s chili bowl on u.

II. state of the union

playin bass at state of the union wz like my holy communion
how many all-girl bands could a sistah BE in?!
.......cope ran sound for us
.......bali wz down for us
we got cash from the door & didn’t keep score
on petty trifling non-sense…NAW—we wz too intense
esoteric rhymes AND hips sublime—what??!!
tiye phoenix drove in weekly from b-more
just to arrange, rhyme… & write some more!

III. mocha hut

mocha hut…what what????!!!
that’s where we all blended…
truly a sad day when that too, had ended
imaginary rockin chairs & mason jars on “the front porch,”
we carried our flashlight & called it a torch

words wafted in… from various communities
hope & vision in the air, speakin truth2power… unity
…sip that sip…crunch that crunch
.......kuku’s in the window
..............w/his laptop, grabbin lunch…

j. scales is a self-proclaimed and self-ordained "healerartist" who works to empower marginalized communities. As a musician and vocalist, she has performed at the Kennedy Center, Nuyorican Cafe, House of Blues (New Orleans), and Serafemme Festival (West Hollywood). Her poetry has been published in two anthologies: Growing Up Girl and Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta (both from GirlChild Press). As a workshop facilitator, she has helped LGBTQ youth and adults recognize and use their inherent creative writing skills to affirm core values such as self-love, wholistic healing, and community activism. Her website: http://www.jscales.biz.


Published in Volume 11, Number 4, Fall 2010.