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CLETIS T. STUMP: POET LAUREATE - ARTIST
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ELLE! ARTIST - POET
CARNEGIE HALL
A GAY GANGSTERS' LIFE
REMEMBERING RAY BRADBURY





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ELLE!



     I began writing poetry on Twitter about four years ago. I had been charmed by the writings of Cletis Stump, one of the first people I followed. I showed him something I had written, and he edited it for me. Cletis encouraged me to continue writing. Since then, I have written hundreds of poems and have recently begun writing longer poems and song lyrics. Painting is also a passion of mine. I choose the colors and generally have no idea what the painting will be until I finish 80 or 90% of it. I let my mind wander and am always surprised. At times I don't like the direction of the painting and paint over it. Some “mistakes” end up being some of my better work. Painting relaxes me. There is much joy for me in a simple blank canvas and brightly colored paints.

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he sits holding lottery tickets
in nicotine stained hands
spending his afternoons at the OTB..
he read The Secret once
wrote himself a check for 500 grand
hasn’t seen any manifestations
his jacket ripped and worn..

there’s a lonely woman
on the first floor
she’s getting older and afraid
so she calls herself a healer
buying crystals..casting spells
self promoting 24/7 behind
a Psychic neon sign
unable to heal herself..

the old woman in the park
has liquor on her breath
people say she’s crazy
talking to someone only
she can see..
but she’s praying to
her baby girl who died
she was only three..

the busy people walk
past the people on the edge
looking down at their phones
never a kind word for
the ones who dreamed
the wrong dreams...

             ~~~~~

you took me to see my mother
because you knew what you
did was wrong
it was almost worth what
you did to me
to see her again..

sitting in my old home
where remnants of me
were long gone
you sat close to me
so I wouldn’t tell on you..

black and blue
down to you
I don’t do what you say
too ashamed to tell on you
so afraid of what you’ll do..

my old dog is dying on my mother’s bed
it broke my heart to leave her behind
she walks out to me on trembling legs
to kiss me goodbye
I look into eyes that have always loved me
and I start to cry
I left you baby for such a horrible guy..

I wish I could show you Momma
how he hurt me so
black and blue bruises
from my neck to my toes
but I will spare you Momma
I’m not worth anything any more..


       ~~~~~~~~~~

I sit drunk parked at the bottom of the stairs
he waits for me but sorry Slim not tonight
I feel bad enough about myself..

drinking to forget is never easy and tonight
was just another exercise in futility
though the diner was great and the two eggs
over medium with hash browns and coffee
really hit the spot..

I take a deep breath close one eye
because I’m seeing double
put the car in reverse..back out
put it in drive and see Slim running
and waving his arms
I yell bye baby and head for home..

I have to drive six blocks with one eye closed
but the roads are empty at 3am on Saturday
I pray to God that there are no cops or drivers
and I make promises not to drink again
I pass my old high school
things were so simple two husbands
and several bad choices ago..

I pull into the apartment complex
and fumble with my keys
I open the door start the climb up the stairs
bouncing off the walls with each step
I find my room and collapse on the bed
the room is spinning and I hear my mother’s voice
“Why do you keep doing this to yourself”





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LINK TO THE ELLE WEBSITE

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