All I Needed

I asked the universe for guidance on what to do

as I head into new phases of this life
and the only reply I received

was the feeling of my own lips, smiling. – RSM

Seven Years Later

It all worked out, despite the odds.

It’s on me to keep the good going.

A setback or two has no place in my mind

cuz I crush those with one hand now, without even trying.

The strength gained from it all isn’t seen on the physical,

Rather a strong mind, soul, my ‘guns’ are metaphysical –

I love the love that I have, it’s a skill

that’s built through the storms of life, even still,

I know our lives are a painting or a novel unfinished

as we look back on our bad times when we felt diminished;

But trust me, my guy, my ‘rock bottom’ is a flex

Cuz I know the grit and grime it took to manifest

The present, past, future that rises each morning,

Seven years later I’m not just flying, I’m soaring. – RSM

Life is Funny

How many mountains so we have to climb

to finally feel worthy of a little bit of time to unwind?

How many victories require a tax?

How many little breaks ended up bringing us back?

How often does a good life moment have some heavy fine print?

How do the happiest times turn to shit?

How does a celebration end up a challenge?

How do emo songs at midnight once again become valid?

How does paradise come with a catch?

How are we to face this? How are we to act?

How many little tricks does life like to play, and what do we make of it all, anyway?

– RSM

Looking Forward

I look forward to being a morning person, reminding you of the time, and making breakfast,
while you sleep through your alarm clock.

I can’t wait to cook with you, clean with you, run errands, watch our shows, go on walks, have long talks over dinner, and make more routines with you.

I can see ahead, we’ll be pushing each other to be our best selves, having tough conversations, taking on new adventures to new places, both close by and far away, packing our love for each other wherever we go.

Every time the moon rises I look forward to our next day, because when the sun rises I get to be a morning person again, and be your sunshine when you wipe the sleep from your eyes.

Each day together has been a gift, and with every sunrise I look forward to being blessed again with your love. – RSM

Keyboard Rapper Vol. 8

Sometimes I kinda wish planes had a dancefloor
In the back near the bathrooms and the backdoor
But until then, I just make my feet tap more, four beats at a time on the sad, plaid floor-

My words get so aerial in transit, see,
That they dance around the cabin from my mind to your screen
And it’s worth the long waits and the Airplane Modes
cuz my creative nodes still spark like lightning bolts

I just key it all in like a morse code specialist
Just a written rhymer dropping thought bombs – heavy shit
Punch lines hitting like some wild dank Cali shit
Headphones on, so the pilot can’t tell me shit
-RSM

All Along The Bronxwood Tower

The hill slopes down from Bussing Ave to the east-
There’s no view more true than the sunset hue
shining over the tall buildings of Edenwald over yonder,
Go upstairs, look north, and you can see way beyond Yonkers,
The west has the trains and the river and the cemetery, and highways that swerve across 233rd.

Looking downtown, of course, you can see as far deep
as Manhattan, and even parts of Brooklyn and Queens,
planes landing at LaGuardia; from the Long Island Sound to parts of New Jersey, and every bridge in between.

In the city that never sleeps I grew up looking out into a dreamscape – but the real heart and soul are all the people I know
from the time I was a toddler ’til ‘today-years- old.’

We played baseball with neighborhood kids until dark,
It was a long, steep trek up East 233rd Street
but our feet would never tire
as we beat the pavement along the hum of the glide of other cars’ tires
and when we got home, ‘home’ meant the whole building,
A small town stretching toward the sky, all sharing the same high ceiling.

Our backyard was the playground on the side, we reimagined the space into a baseball diamond,
A basketball and/or dodgeball court, a football field, our collective mind was real.
Every single day in the summer was ‘We outside!!’

Family, friends and neighbors, we’ve always been the same – all intertwined;
All along the Bronxwood Tower, a vertical village with a view so grand –
A tristate panorama that makes Manhattan skyscraper perspectives look pretty damn bland.

I come back at least once a year to see my family,
a pilgrimage I make no matter where else I plan to be.
Seeing my folk from across all 12 floors, it makes me glad to have the cards that life handed me. – RSM

The Corners That We’ve Turned

We don’t often realize how sharp, nor round
were the corners that we’ve turned,
such feats, so unfound.

It’s only when we glance in the rearview mirror
that we see the long road behind us – then it becomes clearer.

The beaten pavement, faded, lined with trees
weave a long, winding set of all of our memories
that we forget to recall, like when friends became enemies
or that scene in Finding Nemo where he can’t say ‘anemone.’

We’re caught up in the present, racing against some kind of clock,
hugging that highway divider wall, but it’ll bring you to a stop
when you look back at the journey that brought you to this moment –
our lives have been our own path to create
as we find our true selves in each curve of the road, and
we don’t know much more about the way going forward,
but, slowing down, and looking back, provides a renewed focus.

You don’t often realize how sharp, nor round
were the corners that you’ve turned,
until you look back
at the map that you’ve crafted, so detailed, hand-drawn,
a trajectory travelled from our first few notes until the end of our very last song.

We’re so busy trying to hit the right notes that we forget to sing our own praises,
so smile back at the road behind you, no matter how beaten, no matter how faded. – RSM

Keyboard Rapper Vol. 7

I’m so complete, I flip things around and make the drums march to the sound of my own beat,

Never discreet, I bring heat to the mind, my thoughts are alive
as they flow out from my crown and vibrate toward the sky.
It’s science, guys! Like hot air, my rhymes rise – the literary paintings I craft
are the kinda masterpieces that canvas can’t grasp.
I’m a key-er, not a rapper, I just type in my writin’s
that take y’all’s minds on wild rides, like psilocybin – pardon me, I’m vibing.
Lyrical bread, thrown out to the masses,
like emboldened Romans from times, olden,

I’m the Emperor of this whole-thing, I roll in with the royal guard chanting my slogans
and rain these brain-baguettes on the people, just knowing
that they’ll be back next week for the word circus, and more bread,

“My coliseum bars will shine throughout time, long after I’m dead,” – The Emporer said. – RSM

Chicago Weather – Without Using the Word ‘Cold’

Coffee cools a little quicker in the Windy City –
petty arctic air for-ces people indoors, it’s,
my park-ing spot I-called-dibs-it’s-not-yours, since,
I-dug-the-whole-thing-out early this morn-ing,
I coulda sworn only the poles would have these snows,
Sub-zero ice collects on my windows
as double-digit temps in the negative show
on the local weather reports, I’m mad out-of-sorts,
I’m daydreaming of the times I hung out in sunny-weathered resorts
and when people ask me “How bad is the weather out there?”
I kinda wish I had a more-better retort.
Icicles on my eyelashes, double-sweatered, for sure,
but you’ll still see at least one white guy jogging around in little blue shorts.
But apart from that one, brave soul, defiant of the day’s low,
everyone’s glad to shelter in place, and just stay home. -RSM

The S On My Chest

Something so soldered, spraypainted so sharply,
Spiraling, snaking, set squarely, centered near my heartbeat,
It’s a hot brand, scarred so deep,
a neverending feeling that I’m somehow letting someone down, even in my sleep.
Be it me, or the world, or the people in between, that one unchecked box on my to-do list locks me in.
Perfection is a religion with no salvation, and an infinite way to feel guilt and commit sins.
It’s a lose-lose when the bar is so high
that I inexplicably expect to take off and fly
to reach goals so lofty, grandiosely ambitious,
and when I fall short I blame my lack of wings
instead of realizing I may be taking on too many things.
We praise hard work and precision
to a point where a day without ‘being productive’ is regarded as a bad decision,
A lazy waste of time that lacks drive and vision.
So on my chest shines the red ‘S’ that the ubermensch-turned-comic book hero has long worn,
adorned, on my skin,
indoctrinated since childhood
to overachieve or die trying, either master the universe or regret being born.
The only kryptonite I have is my own scorn. -RSM