Lucky Labels

(Here’s a poem by my friend David Belmont)

back in one of
the last years
of the last century
people walked around
with paper bags
that said
“bag” on them

good to know
i thought

nice piece of

what if the bags
said “drag”
on them

would folks have said
that bag’s a drag?

or if they
were labeled

would people
be going up to
and sticking
their hands
in the bags
hoping to get

The Saga Of The 1988 Two Roads Are Better Than One Showdown At Atlanta GA

(A wonderful and militant new poem by my friend Alvaader Frazier)


We are told young and old

The beautiful Phoenix bird

Rises from the ashes and the ruins…


So_again in history and life_

full bloom_she slowly_slowly

began her rise to focus our eyes…


legions of ordinary people_

came out marching_walking…

within their ranks of many colors_



homeless not helpless_

back from Vietnam…

back from Black Power…

back from burn baby burn_

back from university and privilege…

back from “the res” reservation_

ghetto_ el barrio


outside the great hall_

chanting_singing in the parking lot…

loud_proud_taking plight and fight_

crying out day and night…

for direction_decision_showdown


calling out_two roads_

are better than one…

when the status quo says no


will the brother take _

the Independent road..

or will the sister_

keep leading the way…


as our saga ends_

our beautiful Phoenix bird_

rises to flight_transforming…

ashes and ruins_ clearing…


an independent road for_

the sister leading the way!!!



Alvaader Frazier



For Abe

I met Abe Simon,

A retired Jewish boxer,

When I was eleven.


At my father’s request

Abe agreed to teach me how to box

So I wouldn’t be bullied.


Abe was a cinderblock of a man,

His arms and the back of his giant hands         

Covered with dark hair.


A time and place was set

For Abe and me in the basement of our house,

Ringed by a washing machine, a freezer

And a ping pong table.


Word had gotten out,

And the neighborhood kids

Lined up outside the basement windows

To watch me flail at Abe’s hands


Abe was matter of fact.

I was mortified and determined.

A little nervous at what would happen

When Abe was gone.


Abe lost two championship fights

With Joe Louis in the forties.

He weighed in at 255, Louis at 207.


On film it was clear that Louis was faster and more skilled.

But Abe, looking as large and strong as I remember,

Didn’t back down, not for a second.


October, 2018