Poetry Blog by Paris Tate
I’m shelving books in a springtime
Blouse and high heels,
And life is okay when a patron
Walks towards me until she whispers
“You know, your shirt is on backwards.”
Then life rains on you for awhile.
Once, a guy wrote how he
Preferred women in their thirties:
“Something about life experiences
That gives them that extra sexiness,”
(As if we are seasoned breasts)...
Tuesday 19th February 2019 9:26 pm
Like every mamma, she had her own remedies,
like baking soda
on a canker sore. It doesn’t sound easy,
but it worked; besides, her own
mother (my grandmother, died before
I was born) tried this on her,
"And see? I survived." (Shrug).
Still, I wouldn’t do it by myself.
She had to bend before me
at the bathroom sink, tug
at my lip to expose the ulcer,
milk white ...
Friday 15th February 2019 4:07 pm
*From my poetry collection, All the Words in Between
The search party found her under
the crunch of autumn oak leaves. Rigor mortis
set in three weeks ago.
she was filed next to Bella in the Witch Elm—
and other mysteries. She’ll adjust to tight spaces
and purgatory silence.
After the autopsy,
even the anchor woman shrugged. Everyone
followed suit, except fo...
Wednesday 13th February 2019 10:14 pm
On my fathers side,
They ignored the elephant
On the living room couch
And called it toughness.
This was how they turned
Wife and kids
This was how my cousin
Turned a belt into a noose
In his closet.
This was how they called
my aunt the "bitter black woman"
stereotype and how they saw
her charge to dim...
Tuesday 12th February 2019 5:01 pm
Rumor has it, the story
went like this...
back in the '60s, baby Isaac
had just turned three,
waving the classified section
of a discarded newspaper
like a flag, but giggling
way too close to the heater.
That's all it takes
to turn ordinary days into tragedy.
Heater met paper;
paper, overheated, touched his shirt;
shirt mindlessly took in the flame...
Monday 11th February 2019 5:05 pm
When the DJ Played “Lovefool” on the First Night of Carnival Season in a New Orleans Nightclub, 2018
*Note: Originally published in 2018's Live Mag! Magazine.
On the 12th night, we shuffle
under the rotations of a disco ball,
old Halloween decorations,
balloons bobbing on the ceiling
to remind us that the year is only
six days old. I barely survived
the holidays, but the city can be
unforgiving to introverts, pushing us
out of our brick covered shells because...
Saturday 9th February 2019 3:22 pm
From my poetry collection, "All the Words in Between"
I’m molding into a storyteller with age,
but not without listening to how my mother
watched the world shift and write chapters.
She was working in an office for Bell South,
praying after the Challenger incident;
home, hearing what they found
under Gacy’s house; raising
me while I was too young to know what
Thursday 7th February 2019 7:05 pm
it was still controversial
to talk about panic attacks
So I didn’t tell my teacher
of my insecurities.
I just said, “I don’t know”
or “I forgot”
to escape the times
she called on me.
On Thanksgiving, I told
my husband about the time
She called me slow
and she probably forgot by now.
But these days,
I just want to tell her,
Wednesday 6th February 2019 2:13 pm
Twenty-nine is a strange year.
Some nights, I live my
sliding into a pair of
peep toe stilettos,
applying the right shade
of burgundy lipstick
the Merlot I'll order
in the mature calmness of a wine
bar in Uptown. I'll sip daintily
on a bar stool as jazz night
sings along with his fingers
on the piano on t...
Tuesday 5th February 2019 4:08 pm
I am about to speak,
Tap the roof of my mouth
Back of my teeth
With the tip of my tongue,
Every word inching closer
To screwing up
Your approval of me.
I was a people-pleaser
Until 25 made me learn
The hard way.
I wondered aloud about refilling
My Klonopin at CVS.
The cashier raised her eyebrow
As I c...
Monday 4th February 2019 4:46 pm
Take this. And this. All of this.
And the other half too,
until I’m finally empty
and have no one to blame but myself.
(But I’ll still point at you).
The sun will leave me blind
as a wake up call. I’ll race into work
in high heels and clock in before nine.
The apartment’s maintenance man will knock twice
then leave. A patron will forget her car keys
at the c...
Monday 4th February 2019 4:06 pm
My older sister, several other girls
met on the concrete square in our backyard
to test the sheet of ice that wouldn't melt
in rare moments of a "real" winter
in a New Orleans suburb. In 1994,
they were only in junior high
but seemed so grown up when I was five
and watched how easy it was for them to teach
me how to slide over the slipperiness
Friday 1st February 2019 4:42 pm
I packed a suitcase for just myself
then took a trip to winter months. Found
the key to the bedroom in a snow-crusted corner.
Flat-lined in a crowded room and had to shake
off the hangover in
So mood landed on carpet
and grew dim like a lamp when the flimsy blanket
drapes over the shade to welcome the latest
blast of ice in gray sunset.
Friday 1st February 2019 9:47 am
follow me into bed, leave me silent as
the afternoon I climbed a tree
before my grandfather's house, settled
on the strongest branch
to ignore the chaos of a hundred family
members with Black Beauty;
the pages and bright green leaves
around my head
are what I remember most
and also, how I felt,
how I feel years later
Friday 1st February 2019 4:59 am
It all happens quickly,
the way our bodies fold,
warm up to the concept
of a morning
rush. We forget sleep in the shower;
we contemplate coffee on the balcony,
then tie our shoelaces inside
keeps me from swearing
at the bad drivers in the concrete storm,
and that is the little difference
It’s day 28 of...
Thursday 31st January 2019 11:17 pm