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I am a mommy, scribe, and middle-school English teacher. I am trying to cope with being separated from my beloved. DoUWantMore? email me: theprisonerswife@gmail.com

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this is not my life anymore
by Wanda Coleman

it belongs to the two moreno tots with starcrossed eyes
feet like mine and wavy brown hair

it belongs to the widow who lives alone behind bars black
enough to resist crack addicts and petty larcenists

it belongs to the woman in Chicago whose cacography reveals
fear of white doctors and whiter walls

it belongs to the mulatto guitarist who dreams of being
knighted by the queen in his next sleep

it belongs to the manchild who wears my frown


Wanda Coleman's poem always makes me ask myself, "Am I really living? Or just getting by?"

It's easy to get caught into a cycle of just putting one foot in front of the other. Familial responsibilities, financial concerns, life...all manage to get in the way of striving to do what you REALLY want to do in life. As women we tend to mother everyone before we stop to take care of ourselves. Until recently, I've been too tired to do many of the things I really enjoy. For one, I haven't been writing as much as I'd like. I've just been too tired to allow the ideas to flow. Soon the tiredness numbs my want to write, and nothing gets written. Sad.

Lately, I've sort of snapped out of it. Perhaps it's because the end of the school year is in sight (8 weeks!), and I'm not AS tired at the end of each day. My classes are sort of on autopilot, working on projects and presentations, and much of my energy is not spent on directly teaching, but rather facilitating the process. It's a nice switch and it's presented me with more energy and more time to think about other things beside work. And I don't plan on squandering it.

This weekend, instead of falling into the comforting lull of procrastination, I actually worked on a few creative project I've been neglecting. It felt good to actually be in motion on something that relates to ME and what I want to do, not just tending to others. Of course, life will not allow me to be completely selfish, I am somebody's mommy after all. But I've definitely gotten my second wind.

Blog fam,
Are you living your life or just getting by?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 12:00 AM 0 comments

What About Your Friends?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I was late to the game, but I have become aware of the power of Twitter and other social networking sites. I am very fickle when it comes to the internet (can't you tell?). Sometimes I blog like a maniac, and others, I disappear for a while. Lately I've been on twitter hardcore (sorta), and it's produced some promising benefits.

Many of you know that I received a pink slip from my school district. From time to time I bring it up on twitter. Friday, I received a message from a woman asking if I was looking for a teaching position. Innocent enough, right? Well, she's a principal at a local charter school and we began talking, and she's agreed to forward my resume to several of her colleagues. Score.

Another opportunity has presented itself through one of my blog friends. I've been toying with the idea of starting another project (a website) that would highlight the works of people I dig. In my heart of hearts, I want to write. I love to write, but I'm lazy. But I've come to realize that being lazy doesn't yield any sort of results I'm cool with, so I must move. Anyway, the fabulous LoveBabz, connected me to one of her sista-friends, author & Yale history Professor, Jennifer Baszile. Hopefully I will be able to catch up with her at the LA Times Festival of Books and ask her a few questions about her new book, writing, compare notes on growing up in Southern California (stay tuned).

We all know that networking is one of the keys to accomplishing your goals, but until recently, I wasn't making the most of the entirety of my network. In these uncertain economical times, it's gonna take the largest network possible to stay afloat. And I'm just happy I've got some great people in mine.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 8:45 AM 5 comments

Keep Your Enemies Close

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Newt is angry,                     so
what else is new? Obama
plays nice with others

just a quick note.

you can catch me blogging today over at MyBrownBaby. i am discussing the GOP "outrage" over the niceties President Obama extended to Hugo Chavez, and how my 3 year old son can teach the GOP a few things about manners.

check it out & please comment.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 12:00 AM 1 comments

Feeling Needy

Monday, April 20, 2009

i am tired and oh so hot. the temp was nearly 100 degrees today and my classroom doesn't have A/C. yes, it was torture. but we made it. by 6th period all the kids were tired and cranky, and i really couldn't blame them.

i have been slacking on putting up some of the poems for National Poetry Month. Forgive me. I am posting a new poem (just wrote it lol) as well as a poem from LoveBabz. please stop by her blog, listen to her radio show, and show her some love. she's a great woman.



i need a glass of shiraz
merlot and a margarita
i need a massage
an ice cream cone
a glass of ice
water washing over my skin

i need a beach
secluded and gleaming sand
free of hurt
or reminders of

i need a hug
or cool hand
brushing against smooth skin
and lips

i need to feel
bliss and reckless abandon
to do
i choose

(c) 2009, me.

by LoveBabz

A Porsche…

Easy to handle he says…
And yet they are constantly:
        Sleek...high maintenance…shallow…unreliable….

He longs for substance…

Something that can handle his driving style:

      Size matters…

Rolls Royce is never the obvious choice….

Classic lines… understated elegance….stability... a real pleasure to handle…
      Sure 0-60 in 5 sec is fast…

But when you slip behind the wheel of real luxury…hand crafted…butter soft interior
You no longer remember why fast was ever any good….

Grown women do not convince men that fast cars are …well, just fast…

Grown men have to want:
        Built for comfort…not for speed.

* want to submit your poem to be featured on this blog? email me. theprisonerswife at gmail dot com. peace.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 4:53 PM 2 comments

The Itch

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the break-up muse

words strewn
lying heavily on your tongue

i don’t understand
your needs

love in the trenches

(c) me, 2003

last week i spent three days with beloved. we hadn't seen each other since we rang in the new year and he was itching to see me. truth be told, i was ok with not making the trip, but i knew that our visitings are already few and far between.

before our trip i was feeling kinda uninspired by our relationship. we slipped into the dangerous lull of taking each other for granted. afterall, we live totally separate, but connected, lives. he is constantly on alert, dealing with the harsh realities of being locked up, unable to really be free. and i am just dealing with the day-to-day mundaneness of raising a child, working, and trying to keep my head above water. it has been so easy for me to detach myself from OUR life together. not that my love for him had been diminished, but it has certainly been forced to take a back seat to other parts of life.

but last week...good lord, the air was still damp with new snow, the sun somehow broke through, and once again i was greeted by love, my love. we talked, we shared meals, and we breathed in the solace of each other. it was like a reunion that helped to put our relationship into perspective again, to light the fire again.

and now i miss him.

i haven't really ached in a while. i haven't really, really missed him in a while. i've learned to control the missing. learned to put my feelings on the back burner just to make it through each day. but after seeing him, breathing him, i'm once again left feeling...everything.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 8:41 PM 5 comments


Sunday, April 12, 2009

blessing the boats
by Lucille Clifton

(at St. Mary's)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that


Happy Easter y'all.

*Want your poetry featured on this blog for National Poetry Month? Email me. Theprisonerswife at gmail dot com.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:06 AM 0 comments

Celebrating Self

Sunday, April 05, 2009

by Susan

We are lovely shades of raisins and hazelnut
and coffee-milk brown. We belong
to different decades but we share the same span-
same hands and the same fingers connect us.
Sometimes we clench our fists and boil inside.
Other times flushed palms reach out,
enfolding us one to the other.

last week i asked you to send me your poems so that we can share them for National Poetry Month. Susan, of the blog Black-Eyed Susan, was kind enough to share some of her words with me. the poem, "Hands" was inspired by her daughter who just celebrated her birthday.

if you'd like to participate, please email me your poem(s) with a link back to your site (or short bio if you don't have a blog). peace & enjoy.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 6:48 PM 4 comments

Michelle Obama & the Black Female Body

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Homage to My Hips
by Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

Michelle Obama has forced America (and the world) to openly pay tribute to the beauty and style of a (dark-skinned) Black woman. Yes, there have been several black women held up as "sexy" or beautiful, but typically those women are entertainers or professional athletes, and have not garnered half as much admiration as the new first lady. Mrs. Obama is neither entertainer nor athlete. She is a mom, wife, ivy-league educated attorney, and fierce.

As the world celebrates a new view of of American beauty, the rest of us are left to grapple with what Mrs. O means in relation to the historical view of Black women. For years we were seen as mere chattel, commodities, or as exotics. Will the adoration Michelle Obama is receiving change the way Black women are portrayed in the American media? Will we finally be seen as more than just a "big butt and smile"?

I was invited to take part in an interesting podcast hosted by my girl, M.Dot and tomorrow we will be discussing the dynamics of Michelle Obama and the Black Female Body . Please listen & call in to share your thoughts.


Listen Live on BlogTalkRadio tomorrow at 6pm Est (3pm PST)
Call in (347) 843-4723

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 3:57 PM 4 comments

give me your word

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

last year i did a series of posts about National Poetry Month & had fun waxing poetic about words. it's that time of year again, and this year i'm looking forward to not only sharing more of my poems, but also highlighting the works of others.

i have always wanted to run my own literary mag/press, but have continuously slacked off on this goal. i've had a few shots, been involved with a few defunct literary projects and collectives, but never quite got my own ideas off the ground. well, this month, i will be making my dreams come true (sorta). for this year's National Poetry Month i'm asking you, yes YOU (the reader) to share some of your poems with me, so that i can share them on this blog. my goal is to post a few poems (either my own, yours, or more notable poets) each week, lending this blog over to one of my loves...words.

so get your pens & PCs ready and email your words along with a short bio & link to your site (if you have one) to theprisonerswife at gmail dot com.

i look forward to reading your words.

note: check out the homie Stephen Bess' blog. he's just released his first collection of poetry, Liquid Lunch. check it out.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 5:48 PM 7 comments