The Inside of an Orange

The Inside of an Orange

by James B. Golden

Paperback

$12.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, October 16

Overview

The Inside of an Orange presents the third poetry project of NAACP Image Award Winner James B. Golden. This lively collection is filled with anecdotes about creating a happier life through spirituality and acceptance. His poetry reflects his experiences and responses to cultural events over the past year, including the passing of greats Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Donna Summer, Don Cornelius, and Nick Ashford.


Golden's newest work promotes themes of Blackness ("I Love You, Black Man"); self-acceptance ("A Better-Looking Me"); quirkiness ("Why Are You Forcing Me to Eat Vegetables"); and a variety of other provocative topics. It explores the ideas of healing and spiritual growth with a voice that is at times funny, reflective, inquisitive, and celebratory-and always genuine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475947656
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/26/2012
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Inside of an Orange


By James B. Golden

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 James B. Golden
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-4765-6


Chapter One

An Artist's Requiem

    A Better-Looking Me

    I've got my smile back.
    The skies have opened
    for me.

    No more darkness-covered soul
    feeding my mind
    sour tuna fish sandwiches and
    rotten mayonnaise.

    My smile is bigger than coke.
    It's higher than dope.

    I am up up up
    in the sky
    joyful as a dancing sun.

    I've become a finally
    better-looking me.


    I Love You, Black Man

    You are big
    and bold—
    and I love you,
    Black man.

    Your fists are bigger
    than the ocean,
    lips stick out
    like mama's
    butt.

    They speak the sounds of
    someone superbly saxophone
    by nature—
    soulful

    and I love you,
    Black man.

    I love you,
    Black man!

    I love you,
    Black man.


    Son Of Obama

    I'm a Son of Obama.
    We bump the same beats,
    hitting the dancefloor to Jay Z
    tune the tube to TV One,
    Centric, VH1 Soul, Planet Groove—
    those classic BET shows.

    We play basketball on
    Saturday mornings, before
    briefings begin on foreign affairs,
    spending just enough time before
    tea.

    I'm a Son of Obama.
    Brown skin liquid in the sun,
    dripping down the sides
    an ice cream cone.

    Our hair matches hues.
    We attend the same barbershop
    same Soul-Glo classic fade,
    razor trimmed edges.
    We gossip, cracking jokes
    only father and son
    discern.

    I'm a Son of Obama.
    Up tall in solidarity,
    especially when he believes
    everyone is an equal.

    He raised me up over
    his head to a thunderous applause,
    Leo presents cub.

    He anointed my head with oil.
    Shine, shine for the world
    to see.

    I'm a Son of Obama.
    He looks just like me.


    My Blues

    Let's keep all options open,
    while we sing our blues.

    A dash of alliteration
    pinch of salt
    cup of improvisation.

    The voice will beat beat beat
    across the staff,
    crying all over the keys.

    My blues will grow before us
    leaving flotsam along the
    seashore.


    Think Like A Writer

    Get your weekly dose
    enjoy the insanity
    spend time eating it.

    Upgrade your morning routine,
    think like a writer.

    Erase all the rules
    mark your territory on ledger
    always store away the drippings.

    Dare to be beautiful
    instantly
    walk with all gall
    have a pen,
    have a ball.


    An Erykah Badu Poem

    I am a lyric
    from the pages of history.

    Beyond witches and warlocks,
    nature and love.

    I'm from an Erykah Badu poem!

    I picked from apple trees
    forbidden and woke up
    to tell you the time.

    Carried your bags that
    they wouldn't weigh down
    so monstrously—
    you kissed me on my neck.

    I fell in love with
    a bumblebee and tasted
    her honey.

    Named a building
    after you,
    and spelled it correctly.
    Erykah's "ykah" threw
    some off, but not me.

    Lord knows I'm trying,
    to open
    penitentiary gates,
    set free the me's inside
    the shell.

    I sit often beneath
    orange moons,
    letting light
    tell the time.

    Many many many nights
    I listened to crickets
    underneath the snare
    and cymbals.

    They comfort me.

    The hi-hat made love to me.
    I said "how good it is".

    I am flow,
    phat beat—
    jammin'
    laughin'
    singin'
    talkin'
    speakin' from inside
    the speakerbox.

    I praised God in there
    and she loved me quickly.

    I was written and
    expressed in the voices of
    Chaka and Mayfield—
    half Diana, one part Stevie.
    Whitney was always in there
    and Billie orchestrated them all.

    Gil Scott baptized me
    Jill—my prayer partner.

    I'm brighter in you.
    I appear on a
    better looking type
    of paper.

    I smile with my words—
    take breath away.

    Store words in the
    hidden place of seed.

    I am boundless
    more honest than tea,
    better with side dishes—
    wholesome enough alone
    to eat.

    I am flow, song, lyric.

    I am he and she,
    and she's always
    in me.


    I Was There

    For Amy Winehouse

    I was there Amy,
    with you.

    My veins turned purple, black, blue
    stuck up with poisonous medicine
    healing that busted heart.

    I saw you pass out on stage
    those heated Brazilian
    nights when the heroin seeped
    through your pores dripping down
    a thunderous crash on the
    barren stage floor.

    I was there Amy,
    in the audience when
    we first heard that voice
    a magnificent overture of strings
    and woodwinds.

    You died under our skies
    and we let the rain
    pour.

    I was there,
    dropped tears
    into the soil of
    a tattered soul.


    Consumption Lifestyle

    Up and down sides
    people walk and
    stomp like they have
    places to go.

    Across and under
    bridges and overpasses
    common bums lie
    awake waiting for
    sleep to come.

    The homeless are
    absent of image, even
    the brassy trumpet sits
    in the distorted distance.


    The Song Donna Summer Never Sang

    oooooh....

    you're so good
    you're so good
    you're so good
    you're so good

    because you are.

    Dozens of hits
    crystal pipes
    beaming over techno beats
    you're so good.

    oooooh....
    I feel love
    I feel love
    I feel love
    I feel love

    When it rained the ceiling
    turned the color of licorice,
    red strobe lights piercing green eyes,
    trapped in your
    disco.

    My head twirls—
    little gyrating top.
    I can wait to
    come down,
    though.

    I can feel good
    with you.

    I feel love
    in you.

    I feel love.


    They Don't Have To

    I step foot in a
    gas station,
    the stares start.

    Side eyes open from the
    potato chip aisle,
    prying into my skin.

    I see them judge me.

    They don't have to
    say anything.


    Freedom's Gate

    For NAACP, SNCC, BPP, and the SCLC

    I wear bite marks well
    around my ankles and thighs.

    The water hoses couldn't
    wash away
    my fire
    burns steadily
    encased in cement blocks
    guarding my soul.

    Dogs punctured
    but did not break
    my bones.

    I called called called
    to the heavens
    relieve us below
    and God sent
    a ride-or-die ability
    to cause hell on earth
    for any who chose to
    stand between
    me and freedom's gate.

    I'll walk in one day,
    over the mountaintop.

    I'll jet ski down that
    beast—
    right into the light.


    How I Became A Feminist

    I believe Uncle Luke did it.

    Nelly helped.

    So did Ludacris.

    Somewhere around
    "big booty hos" and
    "splash waterfalls",
    my feminist water
    broke and flooded all those
    pens and papers.

    "We don't love dem hos"
    christened me and
    shook me down to my knees
    praying for God to free me
    from this everlasting exploitative
    emergency.

    Code Blue
    on my TV screen!
    Womanity's dying
    all around me.

    Domestic violence subsets
    the ghetto and
    mass Chris Brown-like crimes
    saturate the inner scope
    of my blatantly urgent
    need to
    rescue these beauties
    from the deadly crisis
    created by the hands of
    pacifists.

    I will no longer
    forward these striking
    male fists
    to those who populate
    our census lists,
    and this poem may
    put me on a blacklist
    but this opportunity will
    surely not be missed

    to call them queens
    our most sunny days
    gospel songs
    charming beautiful
    goddess unicorns
    our ladies
    are flagrantly all of this
    and most divinely,
    the shit—

    dismissed.


    The Day Michael Died

    No calls
    please.

    No emails
    internet's shut down.

    Three sleeping pills
    in the afternoon
    a glass of water
    "hope I'm out soon".

    Head touches pillow
    teardrops forming puddles
    water wells
    eye bags blow up.

    Irregular heartbeat
    beating a spoiled drum
    fade to darkness,
    no more sun.


    A Fine Composition
    For Nick Ashford

    I know these things happen
    and it must be true
    that artists come
    and they leave too.

    You were here yesterday
    and gone today
    took some of our
    Soul-session piano
    away.

    We'll miss those glassy haunting eyes
    long jet black frock
    towering genius
    standing on his tip tops.

    I'll play your songs often
    and speak of you to children
    about your love for art
    for Soul music.

    A fine chocolate masterpiece
    and dozens you've given
    to those simply starved by
    ultra-bland rhythms.

    You were here yesterday
    and gone today
    took some of our
    Soul-session piano
    away.

    Remember me as a sunny day
    remember me as he who played
    songs that rose a generation
    from the pits of hopelessness to
    unspeakable gladness.

    God, those Marvin and Diana
    dusties were classic.

    An ability to convey through lyrics
    love for aValerie Simpson
    who bore your children
    made us listen

    her all-inclusive range
    and Soul-laced pain
    love unconfined
    baptized in rhyme

    christened by your touch
    on those old craggy keys
    in a Hitsville basement
    with the rest of our Kings

    and Queens alike
    singing the greatest
    out-right defiant
    love-struck composition giants.

    I looked away for a minute
    stared too long at a sun ray
    lost a stone from my temple
    flattened out to clay.

    You were here yesterday
    and gone today
    took a bit of our gold
    retracted the bold
    moved forward from our
    pound the keys
    till they burn down the bridge
    and light the muthafucker
    on fire

    heyday

    took our Soul-session piano
    away.


    Rahsaan's Blues

    He begins with the bass line
    lyric then melody
    bluesing us all over
    instruments and musical spaces
    stretching his chords far
    across the sea
    changing seasons,
    fell in love too early
    with Rahsaan's Blues.

    Rhythm
    cultivated before any
    words slip from his lips
    greasing our skillets
    sautéing the meat,
    coloring our experiences blue,
    Soul crayons
    packaged in
    piano key boxes.

    He's been down in the pits
    with us,
    our blues sound the same—
    recalling Nina and Buddy,
    Etta, Solomon
    deep down at the bottom

    of the bayou,
    penetrating minds,
    baritone notes impregnating
    our ears.

    We didn't ask for
    commercialism

    he never gave it to us.

    It was always
    always
    from the gut.

    Rahsaan has been blue
    for time spaces
    beyond comprehension
    the deeper his soul grows
    the richer his blues get.


    Frozen Me In Time

    Me, oh, my
    woke up in fright
    opened up eyes
    looked to the night
    you said goodbye.

    Your absence has
    frozen me in time
    like melting ice sculptures
    on wedding nights.

    3 years I've seen you here
    now I've gone blind
    looked to the sky
    you said goodbye.

    Excuses, excuses
    have blown me dry
    paper towels soaking grease
    from fries,
    stopped breathing tonight.

    Son absent from my eyes
    spent hour-glassed time
    you said goodbye.


    An Artist's Requiem

    You were a butterfly
    in most spaces.
    I didn't allow your
    colors to flourish vividly
    in the sun.

    Sorry for that.

    You were foxier
    than them,
    but life
    makes a fool of an artist
    sometimes.

    I'll paint another,
    but it won't be you.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Inside of an Orange by James B. Golden Copyright © 2012 by James B. Golden. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction....................xv
A Better-Looking Me....................1
I Love You, Black Man....................2
Son Of Obama....................3
My Blues....................5
Think Like A Writer....................6
An Erykah Badu Poem....................7
I Was There....................10
Consumption Lifestyle....................12
The Song Donna Summer Never Sang....................13
They Don't Have To....................15
Freedom's Gate....................16
How I Became A Feminist....................18
The Day Michael Died....................20
A Fine Composition....................21
Rahsaan's Blues....................24
Frozen Me In Time....................26
An Artist's Requiem....................27
The Whitney Houston Suite:....................28
Wonder If You Can Hear Me From Heaven....................28
The Last Song: A Whitney Houston Original....................30
Getting Old Isn't For Sissies....................35
Sun All Over Me....................36
On The Occasion Of Frank Ocean Coming Out....................37
Why Are You Forcing Me To Eat Vegetables?....................38
Stinky Fart....................40
Clutter....................42
Pesto Sauce....................43
Smell You Coming....................44
Live Supernaturally....................45
Groomzilla....................47
What To Do With Cows....................48
Appendix....................49
How A Victim Convinces Himself The World Did Him Wrong At An NA Meeting....................50
The Boy Who Lost His Grandma....................52
What I Do About Bill Collectors....................54
Pieces....................57
I Need A Poem....................58
The Problem With Perfectionism....................59
Son Of The Night....................61
The Pen Sits Still....................62
Granny's Sick....................64
I'll Wash Dishes....................65
Clarity....................67
My Mommy Taught Me....................69
When A Granddaughter Loves Her Poppy....................70
Just A Lamp....................71
Jared....................72
The Love Suite:....................74
Make You Fall In Love....................74
Sex, Growing Inside Of Me....................75
Raw....................76
Poison....................78
Puke On My Love....................80
Heartbeat....................81
What Am I Supposed To Do Without You?....................82
I Am King....................83
What's Next....................85
Can't Take That Away....................86
What I Know For Sure....................87
The Artist Poem....................89
Notes....................93
Acknowledgements....................95
Dedication....................97
About The Author....................101

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews