Category Archives: iWRITE

Writing samples / excerpts, anything non-poetic that’s non-topic driven.

“YKWIA” – Ch. 18 (excerpt)

You Know Who I Am (YKWIA) is a novel, that tells the story of Donte Allen, a former pro basketball player turned marketing & branding superstar. It’s an in-depth look at the day to day crazy life of a man of the people, and the individuals who make it easy, worthwhile, frustrating and at times dangerous.

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Sitting in the den on the left side of his sofa, Raymond takes in the information resting on his lap.  The one good thing that comes with being a successful power attorney is, you make just as many friends as you do enemies.  And through the friend of a friend, he was able to have the cell that he lifted hacked.  That was the hard part, everything else was cake afterwards.

     Jillian Frazier, he said aloud, reading over the information he was able to uncover on the woman.  Former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.  Three time finalist for a Pulitzer.  Impressive.  All-State volleyball player, nice.  Walked on at Long Beach State.  Injury derailed her playing career.  Damn, that sucks.

He continued to read, and turn pages in the file he was able to put together on the woman, however was unable to find anything remotely close to what he was looking for.

“FUCK!” he exclaimed, slamming the file shut.

Grabbing one of the remotes on the coffee table in front of him, he hit the power button and then another button on his blu-ray shuffle.  The announcers voices were heard before the video was viewable on the screen, leading him to reach down and turn on his TV irritably with a second remote.

The play-by-play men had just finished with their telling of the fierce back and forth battle all season long between LSU’s fearsome foursome of a relay team and the upstart squad from Florida, anchored by Raymond Jefferies.  The boys from the Bayou had exhibited a form of dominance on the sport not seen since the 90s Arkansas teams.  With all of their top runners being from the talent rich SEC country.

Florida on the other hand, had only returned to respectability in the past two years.  Led by the cocky but talented Guatemalan from New York, Jefferies.  He seemed to toil away in what was a so-so program his first two years, until they were able to land the talent necessary for the school to once again compete on the highest level.

As the race began, the network all but broke its neck to split the screen and cut away to an interview from the prior season, where Jefferies guaranteed a win at the Men’s Track & Field Championships in his senior year.  The bold statement almost started a fight at the following race from his junior season, as the LSU team sought to embarrass the field.  As their anchor leg pulled away from the competition, stopped a few feet short of the finish line, placed the baton on the ground, bent over to pick it up… and walked backwards across the line.

The move was frowned upon by the NCAA and was the talk of every sports show that aired for the next couple of months.  And it was that gesture that indirectly caused a fight involving Jefferies.  Not with the LSU runners however, but with his coach, who insisted on running Raymond on the first leg.  A not so idle threat from the young star once they returned to Gainesville, led Raymond to run anchor leg the remainder of his senior season.  Not so coincidentally, the Gators squad finished strong throughout their remaining meets.

As the third leg in the Gators squad neared the halfway mark, he trailed the Bayou Bengals runner by about one hundred yards before the LSU runner pulled up lame.  The gap was closed to fifty yards as the purple and gold clad runner neared the hand off point.  Just before their anchor began to start his jog and reach back, he caught Jefferies eye.

“Here it comes,” Raymond said to the TV with both hands on his hips.

“Did you see that?!?” one of the announcers said excitedly.  “Jefferies just grinned at the LSU runner and mockingly throat slashed him.”

The LSU runner stumbled as he took the pass but regained his composure briefly as he exploded around the bend.  Raymond already jogging in place, took off, grabbing his half of a heart pendant around his neck and kissing it.  With his hand reached back he accepted his pass and with his head moving from back to front launched himself into the bend of the track.  His first few strides to this day are viewed as the stuff of legend.

A good majority of American runners from the south are athletes who are built as such with next level speed.  Raymond Jefferies was the epitome of a throwback track star.  Tall and lean, deceptively strong in his legs and core.  And every inch of his fibers fired off on that anchor leg.  With two hundred yards to go in the four by eight hundred final leg, the LSU runner began to feel the pressure caused by his burning out too fast.  Once he glanced up at the big screen to see how big his lead was, the race was over.

The image the big screen captured was the cover of the following months’ Sports Illustrated, with the header… “THE INEVITABLE!”

Raymond, eventually walked right up the LSU runners back and beat him by seventy five yards easy.  The picture that ended up winning an ESPY for sports moment of the year, was a picture of a grimacing LSU runner and a winking brash New Yorker who was making his move to cement his place in track & field history.  Following thru on his guarantee just one year prior, delivering the four by eight hundred trophy to UF.

His celebrity seemed to explode overnight.  As a shining star whose popularity bubbled at a holding pattern for two and a half years, turned white hot instantly.  He hit the pause button as his teammates were taking their championship photo with their coach.  Then zoomed in on his half heart pendant against his own better judgement.

“Got dammit Jo-Elle,” he said quietly before turning off the system.

Picking up his glass of Ron Zacapa Centenario and coke, he sipped and walked over to the wall switch in the corner to turn off the lights before heading to his bedroom.  When he reached the switch, his hand subconsciously went to his neck where that pendant used to lay…

“Jo-Elle…”

He picked up the file on the reporter from California and thumbed thru it.  Looking at her high school years.  Trying to figure out how an All-State player from the state of California would have to walk-on at Long Beach State.  Yes it was a perennial power in women’s volleyball, but a player of her pedigree and physical make up should have been afforded a scholarship.

Freshman year, nothing.  Sophomore year, nothing.  Junior year, noth—… an extra news clip not of the Sports section variety was listed in very fine print, with a reference point.  The file was not listed on the page of the paper listed.  But he did find something in the concealed information portion of her file, his friend dug up.

All-State volleyball player, only known survivor in camping incident.  Three teens on a camping trip near Malibu Lagoon, were involved in an accidental drowning near Santa Monica Bay.  Only one of the three youths survived.  No alcohol or foul play was found to be evident upon conclusion of the police departments’ investigation.

As he looked over information on Malibu Lagoon and Santa Monica Bay, a red flag went off in the counselor’s head.

“With no alcohol or drugs having been found in her system, there’s no way in hell those two kids could have drowned accidentally.  I mean I guess there’s a chance that they couldn’t swim and went too far away from land.  But this is California, those odds aren’t that great.”

As he read on, he saw that her senior year was just as productive as her prior three.  And yet all of her scholarship offers were from smaller D-II schools.  Then he came across a report from several high school talent evaluators, all of which looked identical. Once in a generation talent, major issues & concerns over her temperament.

“The bitch is nuts!  All of this is way too coincidental.  Her popping up, this drama in DC.  What the fuck is Diam’s number?”

Realizing that he was on to something, what he had no clue, he decided to call Donte in the morning.  He needed to get in contact with Diam like yesterday.  Why, he didn’t even know the answer to that.  But he seemed like the person to pass this information on to.  And Donte was the only one he knew who had his contact info.  Hell Rachel might.

Looking over at the clock that blinked 3:47 am, he decided now wasn’t the time though.  Wait, what time is it in France he wondered.  Chante should definitely have her brothers info.  Deciding that he was entirely too tired and filled full of his favorite Guatemalan rum to compute the change over in time, he opted for bed.

“In the morning, we’ll get to the bottom of this.”

“Office Furniture” (excerpt)

“Office Furniture” is one of the stories to be found in my latest literary venture, Stranger Things, hopefully to be completed this year.

=============

I’m sure I’m being called all kinds of bitches right now, she thought to herself. Good thing I don’t care. Responding to new emails that were making their way in, she continued moving numbers all over the screen, as she went back to reaffirming why she’s widely considered the most irreplaceable employee in the company.

As she continued to work, her vibrating cellphone caught her attention for a second, before she chose to ignore the call once she saw it was her almost sister-in-law. No doubt griping about something stupid as usual. Less than thirty seconds later her office line began ringing.

“Good afternoon. The Metronome Corp., North Region. Alison speaking, how may I help you?”

“Baby, it’s me.”

“Samuel?” she asked incredulously, while looking over at the caller ID. “Why are you calling me from Cece’s house?”

“You wouldn’t take my calls any other way. Never mind that though…”

As she sat on the phone shaking her head and looking down at the desk, the elevator door at the end of the hall opened and she was completely oblivious to the individual who stepped off, approaching. The gentleman stopped short of introducing himself once he saw she was on the phone. Just as Alison began to tap on her forehead with her left hand, she noticed a presence out of the corner of her eye. Looking up she saw a very unfamiliar face, looking back at her with a friendly grin.

“Ummm, Mr. Falls, can I call you back?” she hung up without a single fuck in the world to give to his opinion on the question. Curiosity had fully gotten the best of her, thanks to the visitor.

“Ms…Tryst?” he asked looking at her name tag. “I’m here to see Ms. Ngozi. She said you all had some furniture that needed to be moved.”

“Ummm, just a second.” Alison picked up her phone and called Christine. Looking at the nametag sewn into the man’s shirt. “Yes Christine, there’s a Mr. Keith here to see you about some furniture you needed moved…uh huh sure, no problem.”

Hanging up the phone she looked over at the young man and relayed the message from her boss that she would be right out. He nodded and sat down on a leather bench in the receiving area. The now completely distracted employee looked over at her screen and maximized Patricia’s messenger screen.

Alison (that’s me): what happened to Butch?
Patricia Arthur: I don’t know. Ate his self to death. Why?
Alison (that’s me): there’s a guy that just came up here that’s looking at these old desks we need moved. Let’s just say he does NOT look like Butch.
Patricia Arthur: I’m on the way.

Christine came out of her office and was met by the “Keith”, who stood to his feet extending his hand towards her as they exchanged pleasantries. Alison’s direct supervisor turned and led the unknown gentleman to the back corner office. At first glimpse Alison couldn’t tell if the man was large or if her vision was thrown off by the small stature of her boss, as they walked. But whatever the state of affairs, his back stole all of her attention. He was like an upside down triangle, but not in the overly muscular, steroid sense. He was solidly put together, with a young but not adolescent face. Bald, with the slightest bit of ink trying to peak out of the top of his collar on the left hand side. And his hands.

While they were in the office discussing the furniture, Alison’s cellphone started vibrating again, showing Cece’s number once more. She ignored it with more disdain than before, because she knew it was her ex. He had been attempting to contact her for months, ever since she got fed up with his lazy and complacent attitude. That plus the one time he messed over her money, was the last time. That relationship was beyond dead and she had no interest of revisiting it.

Turning back to her newfound curiosity, she looked into the company database at the engineer department, she did notice that the aforementioned “Butch” was no longer on the roster. And there was a vacancy listed there.

“Where’s anti-Butch?” Patricia said as she stepped off the elevator.
“Shhhh! You’re loud. They’re back there in the vacant office.” She replied, pointing in their direction.

“So give me the run down. Did I come up here for nothing or what? What’s he look like?”

Alison held her head down, exhaled and looked over her glasses. Then gestured in the direction of the office. Patricia, pulled a pink Starburst out of the candy dish, unwrapped it and slowly turned in that direction as Christine came out of the office with the young man behind her. She placed it in her mouth, smiled in their direction innocently then turned back to her girl.

“SHIT!” she mouthed slowly…

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“The Life that Songs Unlocked” Project

Music is a necessary evil for me.

In fact, right after a need to write/create, music is something that sustains and satiates like nothing else can. It provides the only time in my life where I can totally let go, and not think, just be.

I…NEED…MUSIC.

I’ve been a writer since forever and have grown to incorporate all different types of the form, into my comfort zone. Writing is so much of my life in fact, that I can almost pinpoint when I met groupings of friends and associates–by what type of writing they best know me for.

Over the past three to four years, I’ve moved away from poetry, and on to more prose. But even with one huge undertaking that I’m currently working on, I always think back to poetry. It’s like a craving that I can’t quite squelch.

I…NEED…to WRITE.

In the creative process, I’m a huge proponent of not forcing things. So in my attempt to reconnect with poetry, I revisited a project that I’ve been thinking of doing for over ten years.

MUSIC x WRITING

My idea was to take an album, that I was a huge fan of, and break it down track by track. Using each song as a topic for a poem. The original album all those years ago was going to be Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. But of course I wasn’t satisfied with that idea. I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted something outside of my usual.

Enter, Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”. Widely revered as one of the most complete pieces of work in the history of music. Now I’m not the biggest Stevie Wonder aficionado by any stretch. But I’m more than understanding of the man’s genius. And I’ve heard “Songs in the Key of Life”, countless times. Yet I never really LISTENED to it. Which made it the perfect choice.

Not being the poet I used to be, I decided to break the double album down into it’s 4 Disc cd form. Will I ever complete the full monty of this work? Who knows. But this is at the least my best shot at a start. So without further adieu, I present…

“The Life that Songs Unlocked” Project | part One (click below)

Love’s in Need of Love Today
Have a Talk With God
Village Ghetto Land
Contusion
Sir Duke

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“The Life that Songs Unlocked” Project | part One

As inspired by Stevie Wonder’s iconic, “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976), contains quoted material that is the sole intellectual property of Stevie Wonder. All rights reserved.

:: contusion ::

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

superficial wounds
are not meant to hinder us
but to teach lessons

 
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Copyright ©2014 by J.S. Atkins for Running Likwid Works

“The Life that Songs Unlocked” Project | part One
As inspired by Stevie Wonder’s iconic, “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976), contains quoted material that is the sole intellectual property of Stevie Wonder. All rights reserved.

:: have a talk with God ::

the present day

contrary to popular belief,
is not as different as some feel
just different in how it is presented,
the difference, are those dealing in the present

our way has been lost,
you can pick and choose why
but somewhere along the line we…
simply forgot the means to which they got by

regardless of race
gender, sexual preference
or socio-economic status, they
those that came before us, persevered

times have always been hard
and today’s struggle pales to the passed past,
but somehow some way, we are here through their efforts
and it does not take a scholar to determine, how

you come from indentured servitude,
you come from the sacrifice of life
for the mere opportunity of the promise for a better future,
you come from a lineage of people who accomplished more, with far less

yet you, I, we, all are at fault for empty complaints of nothingness

a lack of appreciation for what we have versus the alternative

accepting fear while shunning their passed on undying faith

rewriting a fate co-authored by the opposite of giving up

“there are people who have let the problems of today
lead them to conclude that for them life is not the way
but every problem has an answer and if yours you cannot find
you should talk it over to Him
he’ll give you peace of mind
when you feel your life’s too hard
just go have a talk with God”

 

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Copyright ©2014 by J.S. Atkins for Running Likwid Works

“The Life that Songs Unlocked” Project | part One
As inspired by Stevie Wonder’s iconic, “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976), contains quoted material that is the sole intellectual property of Stevie Wonder. All rights reserved.

:: village ghetto land ::

this land is your land
it was never my land,
from the Watts towers
to vacant Barry Farms land

the chilled ran
amuck,
birthed from homes
of fatherless woes man

leaving the children to run amuck,
birthed from homes absent of, a man

re-threading the spinning wheel
weaving a cycle of thicker fabric,
penetrating hopes of positivity
with unprotected hardened symbols, phallic

causing excuses to become reality,
hiding the hands of those responsible
while the victims embrace misgivings,
rendering any good favor, disabled

and the affluenza infected affluent
fauxly feign ignorance, viewing them, us, we but never they…incorrigible

well walk a mile in their over priced re-released J’s
shun their children and consume your own poison,
that which decades later still originates in your labs
before finding it’s way into those society’s persons

for it is your media and your mainstream proliferation of your money
that strengthens the power you wield in your hands,
and sadly I have to applaud your cleverly disguised actions
for it’s good business, to  happily supply what everyone demands

“now some folks say that we should be, glad for what we have
tell me, would you be happy…in Village Ghetto Land”

 

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Copyright ©2013 by J.S. Atkins for Running Likwid Works

“The Life that Songs Unlocked” Project | part One
As inspired by Stevie Wonder’s iconic, “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976), contains quoted material that is the sole intellectual property of Stevie Wonder. All rights reserved.

:: sir duke ::

it’s
like
love

unexplainable
indescribable
an entity all it’s own

it’s
like
life

for some
there’s no existence
without it

it’s
like
laughter

essential
in it’s healing
and mood altering ability

it’s
like
links

between here and now
the present and the future
the backdrop for all we are and ever will be

it’s
like
links to the laughter found while enjoying a life of love

it
is,
music

“you can feel it all over, you can feel it all over people
you can feel it all over, you can feel it all over people”

 

=============
Copyright ©2013 by J.S. Atkins for Running Likwid Works

“The Life that Songs Unlocked” Project | part One
As inspired by Stevie Wonder’s iconic, “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976), contains quoted material that is the sole intellectual property of Stevie Wonder. All rights reserved.

YKWIA – Ch. 20 [excerpt]

“Babe!  Baby?”

“Yeah?”

“You got a package.”

“From who?  Did you sign for it?”

“No.  It was just laying on the front step.  No return address.”

Frustrated, the big lineman pushed himself up off the custom built chaise lounge in front of the large, floor to ceiling window in his master bedroom.  When he made his way to his grape room, the woman was sitting at the bar, adjacent to the room, staring at the package.  “Is it heavy,” he asked.

“Yeah, a little bit.  You might even need some help moving it,” she said with a nervous laugh.

Everything that immediately followed was a blur.  The fist that fired off into the face of the man that jumped out from beside the massive bookcase, almost put him through it.  Before the man’s head had time to bounce off the third shelf, Tahriq had engulfed the man’s throat with his other hand.

The scream from the woman at the bar had not even begun to fully form, before Tah caught the arm of the second man that tried to choke him out from behind.  Pulling him over his shoulder, he stood to his feet and rammed the man back first into the large four sided column beside where the woman was sitting.  With both men barely breathing, he turned his head in her direction, looking at the three fingers she was holding up.  Pantomiming a gun, she pointed to the large walk in pantry.

Reaching under a piece of wood that had fallen from the now busted up bookcase, Tahriq pulled out a small black object.  Mouthing for her to move away from the counter he walked over and grabbed the doorknob.

“How in the hell did they get in here,” he asked in a loud and highly agitated tone.  Barely seconds later he flicked his wrist out quickly.  Turning and pulling open the door with his left hand, he violently swung his right arm upward.  The man dropped his gun, involuntarily grabbing his chin as he fell backwards from the blow.  The blackjack Tah used to hit the man, found a new home parallel to the ground, against the poor bastard’s windpipe.

“This what the fuck you wanted?” he roared at the man.  Only letting go of his grip on the device when he noticed the man had started shaking.   Even in this heightened irate state, he had enough control over himself to realize he did not need a murder charge.  Not even an involuntary one.  There’s no way that type of restraint would have existed 18 months ago.  When the man’s feet found the floor, he was introduced to the same violent left hand as the first man.

“What the fuck!” he yelled in an exasperated tone.  Glaring at the woman as he snatched the box off the counter.  His gaze softened once he saw the look of unbridled fear in her eyes.  “Look, I’m sorry.  None of this is your fault.  Are you okay?”  She nodded in his direction, and moved to the couch where her leg began to bounce uncontrollably.

Running his hand through his dreads, out of frustration, he moved towards the phone to call the police.  Lifting the receiver off the base, Tahriq pressed nine on his phone while looking at the first poor bastard he knocked unconscious.  After looking from him to the other two men he turned towards the nervous wreck on his couch.

“Katrina, you’re from Houston right?  Do any of these bammas look familiar to you?”

“After seeing what you did to those three, do you really think I would be dumb enough to set myself up like that?”  Noticing her voice has raised about ten notches too high, she clasped both hands over her mouth, hoping she didn’t piss off the big man more.

“My bad, do they look like they’re from around here?  You know what I mean?”  Realizing what he was asking, she shook her head no.  “Nah, they aren’t.  Look at how they’re dressed.”

Already ahead of her response, he was working on finishing up a text to Donte and Raymond.  Less than a minute later, he had the reponse from his lawyer, that he was expecting.  Satisfied with it, he called Donte and left a very brief message, “Ey D, Ray said he would fill you in, but look.  If shit don’t even out with whatever the fuck is going on, I don’t know how much longer I can play this company man role.”

After clicking his phone off, he helped the woman up off of the couch and pulled her close to him.  Almost instantly, the woman’s jumpiness subsided.  He dialed 911 as he was told, while walking the woman to his library.  After he hung up, he walked back to the front of the house to wait for the police.  The first man who attacked Tah, began to moan and stir slightly.  The vase that was then dropped on the top of his head from six feet up, ended all of that however.

“Mr. Alexander, are you alright?” asked the lead officer five minutes later, slowly stepping into the house gun barrel first.

With his hands raised, Tah replied, “I’m good.  My hand may need to be looked at, but I’ve been in worse shape.”

“Is there anyone else in the home?”

“Yeah a friend of mines.  She’s in the library down the hall,” one of the six officers that responded to the call started walking in that direction.

 

2:16

I have cried
been pissed off
laughed uncontrollably,
been worried to no end
and felt pride unbeknownst to me,
chastized and lectured
tickled and joked endlessly
helped and reassured
protected that which is a part of me,
I am amazed everyday
at the young man that you are,
born into a world of confusion
yet destined to be a star
or at least so I hope,
so I guide but never push
allow you to find your way
but show exits to lifes pending ambush,
my expectations are high
and at times I know I’m hard
my intent is never malicious
and you’ve navigated me well thus far,
you are my promise unfulfilled
reflecting all that I could be
seven years ago on this day

you resurrected all that is good in me

(thank you)

 

 

Copyright ©2012 by J.S. Atkins for Running Likwid Works

:: bohemians & jacuzzis ::

wild like sockets disturbed by unaware fingers

your mane rests pon your head
like an au natural crown,
as the rest of you is covered laughingly
in less fabric than the mesh wrapped around me
I’ve died for the third time, while thinking of the possibilities
that lie at the root of your womanhood, between those thighs and that seat
attached to that ass
which is bait
to all of whom pass
yet at this moment
is off duty, resting
at the bottom of
this jaccuzzi

bubbles bounce all around me or better yet that of we

as blood boils inside to match the heat of that out,
visions of raised voices
yours
shout through my cognitions,
igniting mental emissions of kissing lips that pout
pucker in flushed anticipation
choking off all conversation from tasting that sweetness
that doesn’t come from your mouth,
making those thick tresses dutty wine all about
as I dive face first pon de river down south,
swimming up stream
against your current conjuring steam
until I sustain most of my urges at the precipice of eve’s seem

my bohemian queen, thou that graces me with your presence

this setting is nothing short of an invitation into your presents… please allow me to, unwrap you in the present

to be cont’d

Copyright ©2012 by J.S. Atkins for Running Likwid Works