October 6, 2014

Hello, Poets and Poetry Lovers! I am excited to announce the release of my seventh book of poems and fourth poetry chapbook on October 6, 2014. It will initially be available on Lulu.com, and starting in November, on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. From now until the book’s release, I will be posting poem excerpts on this blog!

Here is the synopsis to the book, written by fellow poet Sonia Di Placido:

“Classic poetic forms combined with the modern confessional of free verse, these poems inhabit a succinctly woven rhymes, verses and stanzas while professing the profoundest faith in romantic love–entanglement, desire, erotic sharing and compulsion. This is a “hopeless confession” filled with the irony of hope in love. Soft, gentle, fearless and shameless admonitions of losing oneself in the other are no threat. The delusion and sacrifice towards the profession of love remain an insignificant pleasure. The confessions here return to Neruda’s erotic–loss of self parallels and postulates entirety. Love resonates as the opposite of self gratification and self preservation. There are no boundaries. A poet speaks in tandem with the ancient scribes of Egyptian Love Poems–sharing an exotic papyrus of altruistic love.”

*As written by Poet Sonia Di Placido.

 

© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr. Writing as Curiosity ISBN: 978-1-312-46796-5 Published by Lulu.com and Spilt Ink Poetry.

© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
ISBN: 978-1-312-46796-5
Published by Lulu.com and Spilt Ink Poetry.

My Guardian Angel (for Simone)

thPhoto taken from the WEB

My Guardian Angel

I remember taking that dreadful one-mile walk thirty-seven times. Most of those mornings were sunny. Though, in my mind, they were the gloomiest, murkiest, and haziest of my life. I remember the building, modern in its outward appearance, and the uninviting smell once I entered. I remember the patients that sat in the lobby who greeted me with cheerful smiles. But I quickly learned that behind those forced, almost customary gestures of kindness, lingered specks of doubt that could never fully wane. I remember the array of colored candy in the glass jar on the counter next to the magazines about all things cancer. I remember the nurse calling my name and taking that long walk down the bright hallway filled with medical certificates and degrees and pictures of former patients on display. I wondered if all the plaques and certificates were supposed to somehow ease my anxiety, and if the pictures of former patients who had come back to offer thanks to the doctors were supposed to give me hope that this moment in time would eventually cease to exist, someday. I remember the darkened room where a large machine sat in the center, and the chill of the slab that was attached to the large machine, and that god-awful mask, perfectly molded for my face.

Every day that I endured radiation treatment, I clenched the side of the slab with my left hand. Somehow, this ritual brought me closer to my guardian angel, Simone. She lost her battle with cancer a year and a half prior to my diagnosis, and in witnessing her rapid deterioration, a part of me died with her. The other part endured a similar fight seventeen months later. Simone did not have many material possessions in this life, and the few she had were kept in a black backpack as she traveled from residence to residence. She did not have a ‘home’ in the typical sense. Sure, she had children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews and sisters and brothers, and a host of friends and others she affectionately referred to as family. Simone and I connected when I was thirteen over a similar passion for books and tastes in music. I enjoyed how our casual conversations about the most mundane of things always turned into deep-rooted debates about life in general. She never judged me, just listened, and offered her suggestions. There were no proverbial walls, constructed by my utter distrust of people.

Simone was a cook at a small café in downtown Long Beach. And though she loved cooking at the café, she loved cooking for her friends and family even more. She cooked for her family on most every holiday. She had a gift for arts and crafts, always making homemade Easter baskets for her grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She made the best homemade cheesecakes of all-time, too! Every year on my birthday, I sat and watched as she beautifully crafted a special one just for me. Her main ingredient was love, always love. No ulterior motives, no hidden agendas. Just love!
She taught me many lessons before and after she died. But the one that will sustain the tests of time, “You are not your condition!” She always said that. She never made excuses for herself, or allowed anyone to feel sorry for her condition. Simone was many things in her life: a mother, a grandmother, a sister, an aunt, a friend. But she was my guardian angel. I held her hand thirty-seven times on that cold slab, donning that mask, that uncomfortable mask. And I always whispered to myself, “I am not my condition!”

by Charles Banks, Jr. (Poet/Writer)

Between Dusk and Dawn (Writing as Curiosity)

Photo taken from the WEB

Photo taken from the WEB

 

 

BETWEEN DUSK AND DAWN
 
If I should die
In the hours between
Dusk and dawn when
The silence of howling sea breezes
And melancholy of chirping crickets
Prevail—
I will sing a song of contentment
While sipping from a hot cup of tea
In my grandpa’s old rocking chair
By the open window.
 
© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity

Silent Mirror (Writing as Black Angel)

 
shattered-reflections
SILENT MIRROR

Why are you so judgmental?
Always smiling your little sunshine grin.
Why can’t you just mind your own damn business?

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall
why do you reveal the worst
images of them all?

In the graceful peaks of dawn,
you disclose a private side of me,
a side that no one should know
lingers in the pit of my existence.

Why do you judge me so harshly, Mirror?
Someone is going to railroad you one of these days.
When you least expect it, someone you know well
will strike and shatter you into a thousand
prickly pieces of pathetic sadness.

Your judgmental brow is always arched at me!
But why?
Oh, unfair Mirror!
Why?
You remain silent.

© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Black Angel
Excerpt from “Burdens”
Published by Spilt Ink Poetry

The Pits (Writing as Black Angel)

 
Art by © 2014 by Fernando Gallegos

Art by © 2014 by Fernando Gallegos

THE PITS
 
I sink deep
into the nothing
into the meaningless.
 
Drenched…
in the bottomless wells
the unknown universes
the untamed jungles.
 
Trapped…
I deteriorate
into loathing of self
into torture of self.
 
Coerced…
into obvious depression
into blatant denial
I submerge myself.
 
Deeper…
I steer the sinking ship
into the treacherous waters
into submission.
 
I sink deeper
into isolation
into comfort
I immerse myself.
 
© 2014 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Black Angel
Excerpt from Burdens
Published by Spilt Ink Poetry

Concrete Promises (Valentine’s Day Discount!)

Good news, followers! Concrete Promises is available on eBay and PayPal for a Valentine’s Day discount! ($7.00) Head on over and pick up a signed copy for a significant other! It will make for a wonderful gift! PayPal payments send to spiltinkpoetry@hotmail.com.

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/ConcretePromises-Writing-as-Curiosity-/121244318324?pt=US_Fiction_Books&hash=item1c3ab97a74

Here’s an excerpt from Concrete Promises:
 
CAPTAIN SAVIOR
He beats her with emotional jabs,
Sets her up with the charming left,
Then the dashing right comes promptly after.
He punctures her gentle soul with splinters,
Slowing sucking away her grace.
She is blinded by youthful love,
Unable to register the truth.
Time after time again
She is made out to be the fool,
Oblivious to all his goddamn lies.
His infidelities tear her to shreds,
Crumbling a once pure-hearted woman
To her freshly scabbed knees.
It is my job
To restore faith upon her soul.
It is my job
To give life to her waning trust.
My job is to pull the wool from her eyes
And force her to accept the truth.
My job is to wipe away the salty tears
And blow hope upon the scars left behind
From the emotional jabs of past love.
© 2013 by Charles Banks, Jr.
Writing as Curiosity
Excerpt from Concrete Promises
Published by Spilt Ink Poetry
All Rights Reserved.
 
Concrete Promises (Cover)

The Fireplace (Writing as Black Angel) Excerpt from “Burdens”

fireplace
THE FIREPLACE
A reflection of scolding hot truths
fallen ungracefully
from burning almond wood.
Sordid ashes
a once pure soul
now damned to be one
with the brick floor.
© 2014 by Charles banks, Jr.
Writing as Black Angel
Excerpt from “Burdens”
Published by Spilt Ink Poetry
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Burdens-By-Charles-Banks-Jr-Writing-as-Black-Angel-/121255777643?pt=US_Fiction_Books&hash=item1c3b68556b