Color lines created
Along the character scale

generated & guided
By desires that are shrouded in ornaments of
A false sense of security

Bi-weekly paychecks
Sunroof tops
3 pieces special
The first
The third
And the fifteenth

Fake friends
And unfaithful wives
All sautéed in a wok of broken promises

Father on the 9th floor flipping out
He must have missed that line
“Don’t cast your pearls to swine”
While our young eyes welled up
Poor poppa
Sacrificed sanity for Socratic ethics and principles
They could never fathom the depths of your commitment to
The oath
These fruits are self evident of reasonable doubts
Codes of conduct
Governed on a moral compass that was designed
And its measurements defined
By late night
Street corner
That went higher
And, ever higher

Last night’s topic
Virtues that we now Inner-stand

Opening doors
Be the rod and staff when they lack strength
Breathe life into those who are short of breath
Pour water for the forgotten
Prepare tables
Stir pots
Respect moments of Silence
Educate your Inner tyrant
So on
So forth

On Friday nights
Saturday night specials ragged out
Shots fired & echoed from Damen to Cottage Grove
We are living in an era where classics are not produced
The cool have been swapped for krazy
Lies become truth if you can pay enough
My heart is broken
And this prose should be relabeled a rant

Maybe I’m the father on the 9th floor
Flipping out
While I jot these broken thoughts
Coded in random utterance

At a time when individuality was the basic material to freedom
And all the above:
Concentric & pure
The perfect one
To the East
Journey to the right side of his mind was Mecca
Socratic ethics & Kemtic spirituality gave him the strength to
Endure insults
Sugar for salt
He stood by
In sickness & in health
Soul and more soul for the sole purpose to gain sole proprietorship
To claim his Name
his work
And a moment to reflect on what it means to be…
But to be what?
Long-lasting? Long-standing? Eternal? Upright? Or unforgettable?
To be a Black classic by definition of Black classifications?

To be authentic, to surpass the scale, make your measurements
In the name of lady wisdom
Compliment those who withhold good nature
that is complementary and
Prerequisite of the full course

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶

Reginald J. Rice is a emerging poet and filmmaker from the South Side of Chicago. His writings are heavily influenced by life in the city, metaphysics, and the interaction between the guru and the pupil. During the time when hip-hop lyrics were printed inside of CD and cassette covers, Reginald would spend hours reading and comparing verses. Since that time, Reginald has been writing poetry and short stories that reflect his reality.

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