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

Visions, Vol. 2

Lava lamp liquid levitates between the two orbs
of a prism-colored galaxy, floating through the void.
A rainbow-metallic satellite shakes with heavy bass, like a pastel, neon equalizer, coasting through outerspace.

It’s a space brother dance party, the best club on Orion’s belt,
The Pleiades’ #1 DJ making their impression felt,
the oxygenless sky is filled with good vibes,
acrobatic pop-and-lockers battle with their minds-

headspinning on the ceiling,
telekenetic routines give the crowds good feelings,
Mute-spitters send punchlines through telepathic double meanings,
Party goers smell the music, get caught in a daze,
The drums make the floor shake, shots of flavored gases put a gloss on the third eyes’ gaze.

Funky humanoids floating ’round the dance-mosphere,
Shapes shifters do their best ‘human,’ end on a b-boy pose, ‘Word to Earth!’ becomes the telepathic anthem to cheer,

It’s a welcome-back shindig for the travelers who risked it all in hopes to win big,
Hitting up the best parties on the grooviest planets,
and come back to tell their folk about the natives’ good times, and bad habits.

Adidas-clad humanoids glide down from the ships,
Throwing Earthentic gold ropes to the most telekenetic chicks,
Boomboxes on shoulders drop jaws, open third eyes wide,
The Pleaides’ Mindset Crew stretch their ‘new’ 3 striped track pants after several light years of a ride. – RSM

Under 2020’s Last Moon.

Under the last full moon of a sad tune
I look over the cold night amongst the bland sand dunes
and wish things were different, but hope for a happy spring, instead of another sad June.

It’s been a collective transformation, any soul from a year ago
Couldn’t even begin
to guess what this year has been.
The vaccine *should* help, but won’t repair all the loss
of jobs, money, housing, loved ones – people hurting, all across.

It was a bootcamp year, but we’ll be so much stronger after,
A disaster as the aftermath fades into the past,
we’ll figure out how to pick ourselves up along the path,
I’ve been feeling sad, but glad for what I have.

Bad times start and stop, but they never really finish,
2021 is what we make it, don’t fall for the gimmick,
it could get better or worse, or could be similar,
hopeful but doubtful is the yin / yang I’m feeling, but,

it’s all left up to us, with the hand we were dealt
to have the best health, and to try and be our best selves,

History does not repeat repeat, but it rhymes;
and when the ball drops tonight, I’ll be trying my best to smile. – RSM

Chaotic Alignment(s)

Thick, dry ropes, with strong flames, burning,
running parallel, at different speeds, converging,
The flames race on, hiss and move along, swerving,
so much uncurling to do, it’s unnerving –

A full, blue moon hovers over big changes,
that shape and carry on the flames to their next stages,
The coming days, weeks, years, you’ll feel the full force
of where these winds of change blow the flames’ embers to-wárds.

Some of the ropes run a straight, narrow line,

keeping their flames the same – a slow, steady grind,
others slither-and-wind, flames wither-and-die,
Ultimately they all spiral together and combine.

This fire is all we have – the present is the blaze,

The past are the charred ropes, smoke rising in a haze
and future are the ropes ahead, yet to be burned – unfazed
by the warmth of the moment that we feel day to day.

So many of the burning strings entangle at angles
that show a grim picture – the near future looks mangled,

the present feels pretty unpleasant, we’re not fine;
headed toward uncertainty, as crooked timelines intertwine.- RSM

Through the Abnormal

As I wake up to grey skies shrouding the muted, orange sun,
I react with a subtle shrug; things have changed.

“What’s normal anymore, anyway?” Something I think to myself – an open-ended question with no answer coming soon.
We only have left a handful of hope, hanging onto ‘the usual,’ the baseline we all knew.

This year has been ripe with things that make me cringe,
On the fringe of science fiction, dystopia, and humanity paying for it’s environmental sins.

Common sense has followers, but nonsense has #believers;
disciples of convenience – masks, they can’t wear it, swearing they don’t need it.

The virus spreads on, even though we all know what’s best,
And fires rage out west – a bad combo for your chest –

2020’s been a bad year for the lungs, the eyes, the heart, the mind; life has shifted.
We carry on with heavy burdens, hoping the weight will be lifted,

we’re all tired souls, but love has persisted.

We fight for the ones we love through it all, we claw forward if we have to, so our little ones can crawl.
We still find ways to laugh, to make light of our collective plight,

we hold our friends and family tight, we mourn deaths and celebrate life.

Whatever ‘normal’ might mean next year, we’ll see,
But in 2020 – ‘normal’ is vulnerability.
Confusion is normal, fatigue, sadness,
numbness, exhaustion, hysteria, anguish,

new hobbies, revisited talents,
Zoom calls with your technology-inept parents,
Career changes, new dangers, politics vs. science –
And love is present in all of the above, and through the abnormal, love will guide us.– RSM