I am a poet/writer with 25 years of experience. If you prefer academic credentials, I have a master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition, but I’m prouder of the poems, songs, letters, novels, and even a military cadence I’ve written.
I was in fourth grade the first time I wrote a poem. It was a Thanksgiving poem (school project) and it was terrible, but I was hooked. I still remember how it went:
The Thanksgiving turkey ran away
We tried to catch him every day
Up and down left and right
When we caught him he would fight
We finally got him and now it’s through
Now I can make my Thanksgiving stew
Adorable, I know. That was in the fall of 1996 and I’ve been writing and rhyming since. When I made it to high school, being a poet wasn’t considered cool, so I hid it but I found a loophole because Hip Hop was the epitome of cool. I couldn’t understand how nobody seemed to notice that Hip Hop IS poetry, but whatever, I saw an opportunity to do what I love and get cool points. I became a rapper.
Again, I was hooked. The freedom of Hip Hop was exhilarating. Being an oral art form, the words didn’t have to perfectly rhyme to still sound like rhyming. I could rhyme “orange” with “door hinge” or even “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with “the future got me mad ballistic, expect me as a flow-smith” which doesn’t make sense out of context, but trust me, minds were blown.
Similes and metaphors became my default method of relating to the world. I developed a sort of sickness where after hearing a word that caught my attention, my mind would immediately go on a rhyming frenzy. Having conversations became a nightmare because I couldn’t give my full attention if you were talking and happened to say an interesting word like “phonetic.” At that point, I’m no longer listening to you, my head is going “phonetic, kinetic, eugenics, forget it, I said it and meant it you better never forget it…” this goes on and on.
Eventually, I walked away from rapping when I joined the US Navy. I needed a different direction in life. I did use rhyming as a way to remember things and pass tests in boot camp. We had to study Navy history and I’d write rhymes to help me remember ship names and dates. “I don’t want to cause confusion/ but we won the battle on the USS Constitution…” “It may-be hell/ the war of 1812…” I aced every test.
During boot camp we had a contest against other divisions to see who can come up with the best cadence. I wrote one that I am extremely proud of and could picture in a Navy commercial. It was full of Navy pride. My division (937 – an all male division of about 80 young men) loved it and I won the popular vote. Our RDCs (Navy version of Drill Instructors) however, said it would never win because it has to be funny…we ended up going with some ridiculous cadence to the tune of Kesha’s TikTok. It was embarrassing and we didn’t win, but I digress.
After the Navy, I went to college for English Composition and kept at it until I received my master’s. During which, I wrote my first novel, a memoir. I had written short stories since elementary school, the first one being in that same fourth grade class in 1996. I don’t remember how it went but it was titled “A Snowman In Summer.” It was about…a snowman in the summer. Pretty on the nose. Either way, writing a full length novel opened the doors of possibility to me and I wrote another one, a romance novel called “A Rose For Isabel” which I published and is available on Amazon.
My latest project combines my two passions, poetry and storytelling. I wrote a children’s book titled “The Story of Angry James,” (title may change) which is about bullying. Don’t worry, he changes his ways by the end =] My artist friend is in the process of illustrating and I will pursue publication after.
I created this website as a place to house my work. Welcome to my page and I hope you enjoy your stay!