No Choice But College


If you don’t

My brother said

You better learn

To swallow aspirin

‘Cause I’m gonna

Tug on your dreads.

–        Rewrite of Martin Espada’s

Why I Went to College



© 2011 by Charles Banks, Jr.


I Think I’ll Stay Inside Tonight


And listen to the late-night news,

let the tale of tsunamis lull me into a nightmare.

I think I’ll stay inside tonight

and snack on last night’s pizza,

stack up on some unflattering calories.

I think I’ll stay inside tonight

and write in my dusty journal—

haven’t written anything since I started my Excedrin binge.

I think I’ll stay inside tonight

and run a marathon through a pack of Newport’s.

Maybe I’ll catch cancer like Mom and Dad.

I think I’ll stay inside tonight

and watch old home videos of the family,

remind myself that there were some good times.

I think I’ll stay inside tonight

and rummage through childhood photos,

try to make sense of who I’ve become in life.

I think I’ll stay inside tonight

and stargaze out my bedroom window.

I wonder why Sophia has deserted me.

I think I’ll stay inside tonight

and sleep in bed with my bottle of Vodka,

cuddle underneath the sheets with my new cheap lover.

© 2011 by Charles Banks, Jr.

Written as Black Angel

Excerpt from the upcoming chapbook “Open Window”

Game of Cat and Mouse

Game of Cat and Mouse

Fighting the cravings

Seeds of a grown man’s dirty intentions

Like a volcano on the verge of eruption.

The cat wants the mouse.

He can no longer resist the pungent

Sensation of his temptation… to touch her.

He needs her, to travel deep inside her build.

He wants to stroke her, seize her, and to kiss her.

He needs to feel her—her warmth, and her erotic embrace.

He wants his parched lips to meet with hers.

The craving to be close

Pelvis to pelvis

Grows steadily inside.

Invasion of spaces.

He wants to gain her trust,

And assault her body with his undying elation.

The mouse toys with the overly aggressive cat.

She plays the game extremely well…

For a rookie to this chess match.

She wants to feel his emitted heat.

But she eases away with hesitation.

She wants to feel his love inside her.

But she builds a fence around her longing.

She constantly denies her instincts,

Refuting his willingness…

His readiness to become one with her pains.

She wants to dance with him for hours

Pelvis to pelvis

As the moon shines—

Serenading the moment.

© 2011 by Charles Banks, Jr.

Written as Curiosity

Excerpt from the upcoming chapbook “Open Window”

The Good Doctor’s Prescription


A young woman enters the doctor’s office

With an inquiry dangling from her tongue.

How do I have sex without getting pregnant?

The good doctor pauses. “Well, it’s real simple, darling!

Just spin this wheel, consume the Wednesday pill,

and come to this address at 7:00 PM.

© 2011 by Charles Banks, Jr.




The Flower That Wasn’t Meant To Blossom:

Charles Banks, Jr. writing as Curiosity

“This book will touch one’s soul whether one is fourteen years old or seventy-four years old. Emotions of falling in and out of love and the trials and tribulations of growing up and a motherless environment haunt the pages of this book. The piece: Take Me Away: “ Take me away from pain and let love in its place…” just cries out with agony and uncertainty of missing love. Then in contrast there is In My Dreams:”…in my dreams you hold me tight…in my dreams I’m with you” that just tugs at the innocence and the quest of love. This is a collection of poetry that is sure to win the hearts of all who encounter this book. This is an honest read about love and how Charles Banks, Jr. empathizes and sees the world around him.”

Ladyaslan of Victorian Days and Punk Rock Nights

Indie Goth Author


Ladyaslan presents CHARLES BANKS, JR Exclusive Interview~

Welcome to Ladyaslan’s interview of a Poet, Aspiring Novelist and Screenwriter, Charles Banks Jr. Writing since the age of nine, Charles has found great pleasure in expressing himself through gentle and often times bone-chilling poetry. “I am definitely on two sides of the spectrum,” says Banks Jr. on his diverse writing tones. “There is a tender side I reveal, one that is hopeful and endlessly romantic and sensual,” he says with a smile. “But there is THAT other side. You know, the one where I can conspire to kill my own mother on the paper, and then actually write the murder scene,” he concludes with a serious tone and the arch of his brow.
Beginning his writing career officially in 2008, at the age of 19, he self-published his first collection of poetry A Rose in the Name of Love, featuring Poet/Songwriter Jocelyn Him. Eight months later Charles followed with his second collection, Angel’s Passion, writing as Black Angel, a candid, more outspoken side of himself. “If there is one distinction between Curiosity and Black Angel, that is it. As Black Angel, I force myself to say exactly what is on my mind. I never bite my tongue. As Curiosity, I tend to be a tad reserved, with the exception of ‘The Inevitable.’ That piece is really more of a Black Angel piece. It certainly has the elements I utilize as Black Angel.”
Just after Christmas of last year (2009) PublishAmerica published Charles’ third collection of poetry, The Flower That Wasn’t Meant to Blossom, essentially an ode to his adolescence. Revealing his first encounter with love and becoming an adult, Charles paints wonderful images of admiration and optimism for the future. “It took three years to officially write that book. But unofficially, it took seven, as the material in that collection ranges from when I was 13, until I graduated high school.” The book was set to release in the fall of 2007 but creative differences with the publishing agency doomed the project. Then, released as a Lulu.com project in 2008, Charles pulled the book off the shelves in just two weeks, citing that it was hastily put together and hurried. “I definitely learned a lot during that whole phase. I have to take my time when writing. Also, I had many more choices creatively to choose from. The first two books, I left myself with little wiggle room to create. But with T.F.T.W.M.T.B I had many directions to go in, as I had 120 pieces of material to choose from.”
Now Charles is back officially, with his fourth collection of poetry, Room for Improvement. “This picks off where A Rose in the Name of Love left off. I am writing as Curiosity and Black Angel. There are two parts to this book with two very different tones but they compliment each other extremely well. Addiction is the catalyst for this collection.”

Ladyaslan Presents Charles Banks, Jr:

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Do you think Duran Duran deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Charles Banks, Jr:  I think the Hall of Fame is biased to begin with. I mean, what does it really mean to be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Is it a moment of validation? I don’t know. Duran Duran definitely deserves recognition for their body of work. Anytime someone sells over 100 million records worldwide, the impression is strong.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Tell the fans why you decided poetry to be the way you express your soul? Tell us about yourself and your writing?

Charles Banks, Jr:

Well, I began writing when I was nine, but I started writing poetry when I was thirteen. I had my first girlfriend when I was thirteen and she actually inspired a lot of my poetry early on. Most poets would say that poetry is therapeutic, and I’d concur with that. I write some of my best work when I’m angered or saddened. I’m just a normal guy, really. I like reading and watching movies on the weekends. My television is always stuck to Lifetime. Nothing like a good Lifetime movie, right? I’m a huge baseball fan, college football, and basketball. Though I don’t have much time to go out and get into many endeavors. I’m always working on a project.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What is your favorite Duran Duran song and video?

Charles Banks, Jr: Night Versions: The Essential Duran Duran. The whole album I can play. It’s one of the few albums I can stand playing through.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: What contributions do you feel Duran Duran has made to the world of music and fashion and their philanthropist efforts in the past 30 yrs?

Charles Banks, Jr: They have encouraged raciness. They seem not to be afraid to hold back in their art, which is something inspirational to all artists. It coincides with my philosophy. I believe that if an artist is holding back then the artist is not, and should not be called an artist. An artist to me is someone who has total command over his or her art—meaning, they aren’t afraid of challenging one’s “comfortability.”

LadyaslanDDTTRH: How would you describe your style of writing to new fans who have never heard your poems before?

Charles Banks, Jr:

Honest. I try as best I can to be honest. I draw so much from my personal life, that it becomes a bit unnerving at times. I’ve tried, on occasion, to distance myself from each poem. But it never works quite the way I expect. So now, I’ve learned to just accept who I am as an artist and navigate my progression through that wide hallway. There is a wide spectrum of themes and tones in my poetry: from romance poems to more candid, some would say spiteful, literary assaults on those who are on my “shit list.” Yes, I can kill my own mother on the paper and have no conscious about it. But there’s a purpose to my literary madness.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Could you briefly describe your writing process….How long have you been writing? What did you all do prior to being a word artist?

Charles Banks, Jr:

That’s a tough one. With each book I’ve written, the process changes. I remember when I was writing my first book a few years ago, I would write a poem a day. I would come to class two hours prior and I’d scribble on the blackboard. During the writing of my second book, I found myself going to a nearby park, sitting at a picnic table, and I’d admire the small pond and the ducks swimming. One of my favorite poems I wrote there, “The Ducks at the Lake.” I’d also find myself writing lines on my forearm because I didn’t have any paper nearby. I’d have Sharpie scribbles up and down my forearm. I do remember getting a couple of perplexed glances on the bus trips home. Good times, though.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: If you could have a sit down with any member of Duran Duran today who would it be and what would be topic of discussion?

Charles Banks, Jr: I’d probably have a sit down with Warren Cuccurullo. Just because I really like the guitar! I’d probably inquire about some of his inspirations.

LadyaslanDDTTRH: If you could have your pick of artists to collaborate with who would you all pick to write with?

Charles Banks, Jr: I’m not sure. For now, I’d like to explore myself as an artist. But I am certainly open to the idea of doing collaboration. I mean, James Patterson always does it!

LadyaslanDDTTRH: Anything you would like to share with the fans?

Charles Banks, Jr: Not too much. My ultimate goal in life is to place a relatable book in the hands of every reader. A good book can do wonders to the reader—it can be orgasmic! It’s really a beautiful thing, ART! I hope people can embrace mine.