An Introduction

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http://tlbanks.weebly.com20141109_125217-1[1]Whether it be fantasy or reality or something dirty in between~

It is a reflection of me

And you.


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Never Enough to be Pretty is all the change I have in my pocket- TL Banks



Urban Effigy Arousal

Until you realize-

You are worth a whole lot more-

Shave it up sugarmama
Tuck it in and then
Poke it out.
Maybe then he will notice that you know a few words
And you wrote a few books
Been a few places
If you crop it up, darlin’
stand it in the light
lean ’em forward
and wink your right eye
Maybe he will understand your thoughts on the climate
On the economy
On civil rights
On love, miss sexy body parts,
if you do the splits
in the photograph or
if you twerk your ass just right…


Tug of War

You’re betting that I’ma fool…
So I’m gambling on your lies
I swear that you’re transparent…
And you tell me that I’m blind
You’ll die for love’s affirmation…
But I’ll survive truths you’ve denied
Your stories are a roulette wheel
I play double zero every time…





Thoughts for my son 2 months before he turns 16

I wish that I could write a book of all of the things that I want to tell you about the world…
All of the good things to come and all of the bad things lurking in the shadows-
But if I did that you would be trapped in a room, reading about what life has to offer-
completely safe from pain but also from joy, just to prevent me from worrying every time that I close my eyes.

You’re growing up, sir.
I probably don’t say it often enough but I am extremely proud to know you. I am so amazed every time that I get to listen to how your mind works and understand more about what you like and who you hope to be. The reasons are selfish, granted, I can’t believe that someone like me, has been able to create such a smart talented young man and I can’t believe that I have been able to keep him alive this long, and strong. Thank you for letting me be your mom and for trusting me to tell you things that I know to be true and will help you on your journeys.

I cry at every one of your milestones but you know I won’t admit that out loud. When you learned to walk, to talk, to tie your shoes, to ride a bike, to go to school, to read, to use manners, and make friends and make wise decisions and study, and write and treat your body and mind with respect, I was somewhere in tears. So basically I cry all of the time when you aren’t looking. I worry about you a lot, not because I don’t think you are equipped to handle the world that is coming but because I know one day you will have to, and I wish some things I could keep from you.

I wish I could protect you from the people who will not like you before they even meet you because your skin is brown. I wish I could protect you from manipulators and liars and con artists and people hell bent on breaking your heart. I just hope that no matter how old you get you continue to follow mom’s two rules:

1) Don’t do anything that will hurt you.
2) Don’t do anything that will hurt anybody else.

Now that you will be 16 soon I feel like I should add onto those a little bit…

3) Do the things that you love and that make you happy.
This is mom’s third rule.
There are few things worse than a man who doesn’t know who he is or what he wants or what he is about.
Whether its a job, or college, or art, or acting, whatever it is that makes you feel good about being you, and being in your skin, do those things. Never let anybody tell you that its wrong to create or dream or be the very best version of yourself at all times.
You’re stuck with you, so like yourself and love yourself and appreciate yourself more than anything else. Real love, true love, will never make you feel badly about yourself. People who truly care about you that come along in your life will always want the best for you, even if that means not being around them.
If you want to try it and it doesn’t break the first two rules, try it.
If you want to go to that town, go.
If you want to sing, do it.
This ride seems so long for you right now but trust me, before you know it you will be my age. You don’t want to look back on your life and regret the things that you did not do that you wanted to. Always be grateful for opportunities that present themselves to you and take them. People will try to make you feel badly about not having your dad with you growing up, or not being rich, or not having a trust fund the size of Montana but I promise you, that is because they hate themselves, and not you. All you can do is feel sorry for them but you keep striving, you keep trying, you keep going for what you know that deep down in your heart keeps you healthy, and grateful and smiling. People will try to discourage you from being great because you are a black man. But that is only because they are afraid of your power. All you can do is continue to shine, take care of yourself and your loved ones and stand up for your right to exist how you choose to when you have to.
There is never a reason to start a fight, son, you only learn by listening. But if you are challenged for your rights to exist and live in peace then you better fight for them. Nothing is given to any of us. If we want it we have to work for it, reach for it, grind for it and take it. This is your movie. You’re the star. Be good to yourself and to others, that’s all I ask. And make sure that you are never too afraid to live the life that makes you feel the best.

I won’t always be around, to whisper in your ear that you are loved.
I won’t always be there to give you answers and honestly, I don’t know all of the answers.
But what I do know is that you can always start over as long as there is breath in your lungs.
You can always walk away if whatever it is isn’t serving your happiness anymore.
You don’t owe anybody anything but your very best, your truth and your kindness.

I tease you a lot but its because I don’t know how to show affection that well, but know that I love you very much and I hope that you love you as much as I do. And even if I move into an RV and travel the United States, or relocate someday to some obscure island with no WI FI, wherever I am if you need a place to be you can always come to Mom’s spot until you are ready to go out and face the monsters in the world again. I have never made a sacrifice for you in my life and even on those times when I didn’t eat so you could, it wasn’t a sad day, I was just doing my job. When the universe gave you to me to love and to raise, I was shocked and scared but not for one second have I ever regretted bringing you into this crazy world. For all I know you could be just the guy to change it for the better.
And my job doesn’t end when you grow up and leave.
It doesn’t end if you decide to have a family of your own.
I will always be the first lady you know who would give anything she has to make sure that you know that you are important, special, individual, brilliant, gifted and valuable.
Never forget that, okay?
My job doesn’t even end when I die because I hope that even then you remember whenever you are afraid, or sad, or alone, or tired, or worried or broke that I wanted absolutely nothing but the best that life has to offer you; you can choose your reactions and you can choose to hold your head up, regardless of the circumstances and thrive!
I know that you can do anything and I know that you will choose the right things for you.

Don’t be sad about people or things that you have to leave behind.
Don’t feel bad if you have to save to afford material possessions because in the end they don’t matter as much as the people you want to spend time with anyway.
Learning is critical, so always learn something from your mistakes, because that’s how humans grow.
Take your time. Enjoy sunrises and sunsets. Take calculated risks. Don’t cheat people or lie because it will haunt your every move. Remember to relax, and to wear a jacket. Get sleep. Pay your dues. Show respect to those who came before you. Black History happens every single time you achieve so do your best, always.
I always have your back.

Happy Early birthday, my son.
May you see many many more with love in your heart, happiness in your step and a smile on your face.


I’m gonna go cry now. :)


Too shy and too overbearing
Too loud and too menacing
Too wishful and too commanding
Too slutty and too prudent
Too weird and too common and too specific
Too frank and too outspoken and too timid
Too big and too small and too wide
I was everything she was
I was everything you wanted her to be
and the things she pretended to believe
I was everything that she assumed
Too free and too choicy
Too honest and too broken
Too fragile and too hard
Too forgiving and too bitter
Too much, too late and now
She’s as gone as you wanna be
She’s as over it as you refuse to see
At one time, the poor lil rich girl
The smart lil insecure girl
was too creative and too stupid
Too solid and too fluid
but never fear, she ain’t here
That girl was who I used to be
that girl was who you knew, but she is no longer me
All my cells changed 7 years ago
except my neurons in my cerebral cortex
too wild and too demure
Too common, too obscure
my body forgot her but her mind grew up
and moved on….

So gone


Glory Days

Before the mortgage
Before the vows
Before your name became a genetic job description
Before the drug tests and glaucoma tests and driving tests
Before budgeting
Before jury duty and tax evasion and tooth decay
Before you knew anyone could be the one
Before love
Before apologies, and regret and shame
Before lies and resentment
Before complacent inaction
Before reminders and memories and second guesses
Back then when innocence was our only commodity
Back when we were us and not them
Back before it mattered if we were wrong
Before we knew that our dreams
weren’t destined to come true…
Before anything was set in stone-


My tits

I know that as soon as you see them up close, covered or not,
your mind decides if you like them, and therefore, me.
You determine if they are too big to befriend
or too long to be seen with in public…
You decide in a split second how hard it would be to brush
past them instead of just asking me if they are fake
because if they are fake then so am I, according to you…
I know that as soon as I walk into the room
you judge them compared to my waist size and my height
regardless of how big they are, they are only fat after all and
if they fit my body, then I’m fat, so it’s fair to hate me and
if they don’t, I hated myself enough to buy them so I can’t be taken seriously… yet
You want them in your mouth, gay or not, because
that is what they are designed for and where you got your first meal from
so your lips make a micro pucker before you even say hello
and how you feel about all women has a lot to do with how you feel about them
and how round or perky or flat they are so you hope that they look like a porn star’s does
when they are set free
even if you hate porn.
I know that you are afraid of me, even if you don’t.

03 (2)


Mavis hated apples but she heard that they were good for hypertension which she didn’t have so she ate an apple every day.
She read that regular routine maintenance helped cars last longer and although she wasn’t mechanical she visited the doctor for check ups every three months.
Mavis only watched movies that won Best Picture, only listened to songs in the Billboard top 100, only went to restaurants with five star ratings, only stayed in hotels with celebrity endorsements
Until one day she spotted a penny on the sidewalk.
And staring at it she thought of a quote she read about picking it up for good luck.
But then she remembered what she heard about bacteria on foreign objects on the ground.
She couldn’t tell if it were a Flying Eagle penny which could be worth money without grabbing it,
But if someone was dropping them off the building, she could die if she didn’t move…
If she looked up to check, the sunlight in her eyes would blind her,
And carrying so many bags, if she bent down incorrectly, she could hurt her back…
Mavis did not move.


Scum disease

The first chip made you second guess a real break
it made you retell yourself fiction of how it could have come to this
you were nothing if not tense
until you looked for a way to numb the pain away
a temporary fix
a phone number a private text a kiss
and suddenly the cavity ceases to exist
until the second break , the scar making one, was your first chance
to start over fresh and brand new
you were nothing if not educated
until your morals were once again alleviated
an impromptu hello
a hotel room unseen from below
and immediately as the aching subsides
you notice that you have ruined three lives
and the heartbeat filling your mouth
is abscessed, again.



The absolute sound
of monogamy is nothing
and it’s piercing
and all encompassing
so blank it’s lack is vivid
and distressing and unnatural
all of your old heartbeats
are just memories
swallowed into a void
of yesterday
an echo sedation
now emptiness is everywhere
the absolute sound
of settling is dying
for the traditional
self denial kind
of love

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