- throwing in your towels -


you’re leaving today,

flying away, as

we stand behind.


the price you will pay,

senses astray, for

quitting the line?


Whatever tales that’ll tail you next… 

I wish you well.

Will rhymes be rightly read and set?

You just can’t tell, but

can you tell me this: did you

truly give all your strength?

In times of youthful folly and foul, is

sense kept away at length?



D.J. Whisenant

I, too, Am America


Thank you to Ana Maria Caballero for this post. Hughes is definitely one of the greats.

Originally posted on The Drugstore Notebook:

Langston Hughes poetry writing

“Langston Hughes, although only twenty-four years old, is already conspicuous in the group of Negro intellectuals who are dignifying Harlem with a genuine art life. . . .”wrote author Du Bose Heyward in the New York Herald Tribune in 1926. Despite such praise, Hughes was derided by his fellow black writers of the time for allowing race to be a main character in many of his works.

The Poetry Foundation’s site has a terrific summary of Hughes’s historical relevance. In closing, the article quotes from Donald B. Gibson’ s book, Modern Black Poets: A Collection of Critical Essay“During the twenties when most American poets were turning inward, writing obscure and esoteric poetry to an ever decreasing audience of readers, Hughes was turning outward, using language and themes, attitudes and ideas familiar to anyone who had the ability simply to read.”

It seems, then, that anyone writing poetry today…

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- oops! -

The red-haired monster came out of hiding.

Anger fired out of its nostrils,

as most of the A frame took on

the brunt of its ire,

most of the A frame…


except for yours truly.


When I make significant errors,

I love to believe I can call myself a man,

take ownership of my mistakes,

and refuse to make them once more.

I took on the red-haired monster myself,

expressing my significant role in the screw-up.

While its breath was not as hot upon me

as it was earlier among my peers,

it did express its displeasure in my carelessness

with the product.


Monster tamed… lesson learned.



D.J. Whisenant

Here Up High


This piece by Swiss-Ami-Mom? Quite amazing…

Originally posted on The Starting End:


Perched high up above,
Your house bought with a view
Outside of these walls,
There’s nothing to do

So you sit and you look
As the day turns to night,
This 24 hour view of your life

There are no city lights
To go out under to stroll,
A café for a coffee
With a friend who would call

To greet you with energy,
A smile, a glance
Anything to not
Give this loneliness a chance

All you see, all you have,
Are the seasons that change
Here the Summer turns Winter,
In between, crying rain

The only thing passing
Are your days up here high,
Caged in a home
As your time slips on by

And a world that you know,
That you’ve lived does exist,
So why do you let
This monotony persist

As the Queen of a Castle,
Midst of no man’s land
Sitting with so

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- the age of vista -

I was asked,

“how long do you see yourself


As with most questions,

my response was not

healthy in the specific moment.


Until my student loans are paid off?

Until I have enough saved to leave the Midwest?

Until I purposely smash a window out of anxiety and anguish?


I simply stated that I’d

“give it a year.”



D.J. Whisenant

- preparation -

Can I ever be truly in control,

ready and willing to go into

the Friday flames?

Early to bed and early to rise….

shit will hit the fan sooner or later.

Be wise I should,

urgent, but calm.

Doing what I am paid to do,

the prep work has to come in handy

somewhere, somehow.

Early to bed and early to rise….

let the shit hit the fan.



D.J. Whisenant