Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Perhaps someone out in the blogger world will help me. I need to make a choice for a book cover. Here are the choices. What is your opinion? Please comment back.

As Always
Coming Home Tomorrow

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Bluest Eye ,,, by Toni Morrison

If this book doesn't make you want to be a writer, I don't know what will.


Nuns go by as quiet as lust, and drunken men and sober eyes sing in the lobby of the Greek hotel. Rosemary Villanucci, our next-door friend who lives above her father's cafe, sits in a 1939 Buick eating bread and butter. She rolls down the window to tell my sister Frieda and me that we can't come in. We stare at her, wanting her bread, but more than that wanting to poke the arrogance out of her eyes and smash the pride of ownership that curls her chewing mouth. When she comes out of the car we will beat her up, make red marks on her white skin, and she will cry and ask us do we want her to pull her pants down. We will say no. We don't know what we should feel or do if she does, but whenever she asks us, we know she is offering us something precious and that our own pride must be asserted by refusing to accept.
School has started, and Frieda and I get new brown stockings and cod-liver oil. Grown-ups talk in tired, edgy voices about Zick's Coal Company and take us along in the evening to the railroad tracks where we fill burlap sacks with the tiny pieces of coal lying about. Later we walk home, glancing back to see the great carloads of slag being dumped, red hot and smoking, into the ravine that skirts the steel mill. The dying fire lights the sky with a dull orange glow. Frieda and I lag behind, staring at the patch of color surrounded by black. It is impossible not to feel a shiver when our feet leave the gravel path and sink into the dead grass in the field.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Blue Train to Heaven

Charles Harvey
(An Excerpt)

Ha! I have seen more things than I’ve not seen in this Ghana, in this place Accra.  I’ve seen rats chase lions. I’ve seen the sun at midnight. I’ve seen empty coffins fall out of the sky. I was here the year the Volta turned orange, but I’d never seen a train coffin until Ashong decided to die. Ha!  Yes. Ashong is such a rich and powerful man, himself decided when he was ready to go. God had little to do with it.
Now when I die, a Volkswagen is enough for me.  Been in the world seventy-three years, all I own fits into a suitcase—a big suitcase, hear me, but a suitcase.  I’ll be wearing my only suit I own that I bought in France—that bad time in France chasing after that ex wife of mine.  I got a hat the wind and rain shaped to look like a bundle a woman carries on her head, two pick axes from my days in the mines, a paper sack of my mot’dears’s glass beads and a signed photograph of the Queen that my last employer gived me instead of all my salary.  My Brother Ashong owns—owned  a farm and two wives.
“Elijah, you are a mole on the planet’s ass. I am the fists,” Ashong said to me when we were young roosters.

The Blue Train to Heaven

Monday, March 21, 2011


New Stories, new Poems, New look coming soon!
WHEN DOGS BARK...the original

Or maybe this cover

As always
Coming Home Tomorrow

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Everything But People...from the Anthology MIGHTY REAL




Everything but People

Just you Larry and me walkin down these diamond streets
Don’t know what town this is.  Don’t know the name of no place
just know we sixty years old and smellin like a hundred days
of bathin in piss and MD2020...
Look at us Larry, pants open
dick all out swingin and swingin
white girl clutch her purse as we pass
I say “sistah don’t you think you ought to be
clutching your pusseeeeeeeeee....? Can’t you see
we in no condition to snatch anything from you?”
She say she goin to call a cop.
I say I got Bull Conner’s phone number
etched in my head by one hundred billy clubs one summer in ‘63
I take off my hat in deference to her.  She screams
at the hills and valleys of knots in my skull.
Shit, man, after Bull Conner, I couldn’t even remember
the address of NYU ...wonder if Dizzy still comin to play for the BSU?
Better shake my head before I remember too much
And look a here, Larry, look a here, niggas dressin up store window dummies.
One got on an NYU sweat-shirt.  Niggas gettin good jobs these days.
I remember when no niggas was allowed to dress a white dummy
or sit on a park bench.  Other day I sat
on a bench in front of the Big Baptist Church
and the elder said the bench was for decoration only.
I asked could I sit there if I put on my red Christmas sweater?
Now I like Bus Stations. This old grip I carry is always packed
so I fit right in until the police begin to suspect
the Number Nine I’m waitin on ain’t never comin in.
What bus did we catch, Larry, to go to Birmingham?  A Scenic Cruiser?
Larry you was so silly cryin cause you couldn’t
sit in the upper deck with the white girls like me.  Well I was light
in them days.  I’m mud and blood colored now.
You know Larry, you should have lived instead of giving in
to their billy clubs.  Yeah, it’s true we didn’t give in to some stuff
we didn’t shake our dicks at each other
like they wanted,  didn’t sign our names as Mr. Niggers
but I only left  teeth and one kidney at their altar.  But you Larry
gave them bastards your life.  Your Mother fuckin life!
You! Going back to Poughkepsie where you was from,
 in the baggage belly of a Greyhound Scenic Cruiser--
Your dead eyes staring straight up into white girl’s twats
Larry, Larry, Larry, Lord I ought to burn down this Bus Station.
Make me wanna holla, the way they use my... Alabama God damn!
I wish they would let us back in Sears
but ever since that time with me and the claw hammer attackin
cans of Sears Best paint I ain’t been allowed nowhere but
bus stations, jail, and Ben Taub.
Larry did you know that Ben Taub used to be a man
and he turned himself into a hospital?
I wish I could do that, be Eddie Jefferson the man
then be Eddie Jefferson the Hardware store or Eddie Jefferson the planet.
Yeah that’s it I ain’t gonna stop at being no hardware store.
everything can live on my planet too
dogs, elephants, ants, cats, the duckbill platypus,
everything but people.  Look what people did to us Larry,
so everything but people.

c. Harvey
MIGHTY REAL ... Check it out
Coming Home Tomorrow ... Enjoy 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hippy Hollow--Austin

Austin Hippy Hollow 1996

Nothing brown here

But me and the scrubbery shrubs.

Nothing rhythm here

But the water’s watery tongue

Singing… lap lappity lap

To the jagged rocks

Wooing the sun.

c. Harvey

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mahalia Jackson--How I got over LIVE

How I got Over
Charles Harvey

. . . Getting up at 6 to watch you sing at 7--
You and your white-robed cohorts shimmer
And sway across the gray video screen—

"How I got o-over,
My soul looks back and wonders,
How I got o-over."

The night before, you fooled me to an arena.
Next to watery glass doors, i stood like Lot's wife.
With Rockets's tickets in my hand,
I watched schools of people swim by me.
Through my glazed eyes, I counted heads.
But not one belonged to you.  Not one was your smug mask.
The next day you smiled through bone-white teeth and said,
"Baby, don't you remember?
I said I couldn't make it.
Are you crazy or what?
I would never have stood there all night."
 But i loved you, man and pretended i was forgetful.

Getting up at 6 to watch you sing at 7—
You and your choir weave left and right
Like a forest of red trees under the spell of an easy wind.
Two weeks ago i gave you money
So you could ride to that place,
St. Pious Holy Baptist Church--"Built to the Glory of God!"--
In your new crimson robes, in your ice blue thunderbird.
There you prayed the sinner's prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I am unworthy to walk this earth,
 And I know it. But rain down salvation anyway
On my burning flesh--on my rotting corpse.
No man knew your disease,
But it was I, woman, who saved you from your minor hell.
The repo man was at your thin heels
Ready to hook his hook to the underbelly
Of your shiny metal ego.
You held him off with my lucre.
The next day, you called me an idiot and hung up in my ringing ears.
i    had asked you for a dollar
So i could ride the bus to my gig
Deep in the soft belly of EXXON Company, USA.
i    use a typewriter.  You use me.

"How I got o-over.
My soul looks back and wonders,
 How I got o-over.

My Mother is ill.  Cancer is slowly eating her eggs.
But she said i was sicker than her for fooling with you.
i said, "But Momma, i love his brown eyes."
 She said those wet slanted eyes belong to a fox,
A hen eater, a tail-between-the-legs dog.
i looked down at my feet and saw them chewed and bleeding.
When you called my momma a bloated cow to my face,
i told myself it was because your mother had tried to abort you.
But the coat hanger caught your twin sister instead,
And you had to live in the dark shadows of that woman's disappointment.
That is why you hate me, my momma, all women.

"How I got o-over,
My soul looks back and wonders,
How I got o-over."

Standing before you naked, you laughed at my breasts.
Said they were nothing more than peanuts,
And i was cheap, my ass was too big,
My thighs too long,
i had hair like a dog's, and smelled like one--How
Could i expect you to get it up for somebody as ugly as me?
You spat those words in my face so softly.
And i stood shivering in front of your limp cock—
Shivering in your room walled with blond Playboy centerfolds,
Shivering under your burning gaze--my mind asking me
if i dyed my hair, would that make a difference?

Getting up at 6 to watch you sing at 7,
"How I got o-over,
 My soul looks back and wonders,
How I got o-over

Baby, i bought you that cherry-red suit
And alligator slippers to match, last Christmas.
You gave me a $1.98 box of candy
And a card with a black Santa Claus exposing himself.
  It said, "Merry Xmas. Have a peppermint, Baby."
i just laughed and said, "Oh how clever."
While you ate my momma's turkey breast under her watchful eye.
Her eye that asked me, "Fool, when you gonna wake up?"

i tipped into your unlocked 3rd floor honey-comb,
And smelled love, heard it growling in your bedroom.
There you were in bed with a young boy--Tongue to tongue, pelvis to pelvis.
In the hazed mirror i saw your ass twitching
Like the jaws of a nervous old man.
You said, stroking this baby's soft curls,
That he was so much finer than i.
And then you kissed him on his forehead.

For people weak as water, as I am,
We leave revenge up to God.
They told me as you lay dying from AIDS, scalding sores
Erupted on your ass and chest, like little volcanoes.
You jerked like a monkey full of pepper
And cried for me and God to rub ointment on your wounds,
But I was in God's house, singing.

When I get through singing on Sunday mornings,
I leave Stone Church
And wait for the robe of darkness to cover the sky.
In the graveyard, with evergreens as my witnesses,
I lift my dress and wash your mouth—
Your ugly mouth locked in a death grin--
­I wash it until my bladder collapses dry and dusty as my heart.

"How I got o-over.
My soul looks back and wonders,
How I got o-over."


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Miss Pearl's Chicago



Chicago sleeps on Sunday
Gaped mouth and ugly,
Saliva dribbles on the clean white concrete.
Breath reeks fishy with dead semen.
Chicago sleeps on Sunday.

The city goes to work on Monday
Grumpy and long faced it greets gray time clocks.
Giant yellow caterpillars dig into earth.
Clicking typewriters write Bullshit
In sixty-nine languages.
The city goes to work on Monday.

Chicago grooves on Tuesday.
Alert after two days of black coffee,
It makes conversation. Everyone
Has taped the "Dancing Siamese Twins" on Geraldo.
This diversion makes the city laugh sweetly and
Chicago grooves on Tuesday.

The city humps on Wednesday.
The clicking typewriters thump out contracts.
Fat Polish bosses sign them in blue ink.
The caterpillars chew out a hole large
Enough to bury two pyramids and a Sears Tower.
The grocery stores announce
"Hams--ten cents a pound"
'Cause cholera is killing
South American hogs and Strongmen.
The city shrugs its shoulders.

Thursday blows in from Lake Michigan.
State Street prisoners are anxious.
Got one more day to go,
One more contract to chew.
It rains at noon.
The city has just busted a blood vessel.
There are hog guts all over the Loop.
Miss Pearl, head of Data Entry
Has just caught Chicago's third error.
She yells, "There's a tub of
Cow shit difference between 100
And 1000--Do you want the market to crash,
The world to end, to lose your job?"
"Hell yes," the City screams.
It goes home and beats its wife.
Blows echo like jack hammers.

Chicago is a perky as a young breeze on Friday.
The eagle has flown.
Miss Pearl gets a sweet kiss from
one of her blond “girls.”
Wives recovering from Thursdays are
Invited to lunch. Blood roses
Match swollen cheeks. Promises are made
To buy "Beloved" a tiger coat.
On Friday Night, love is naked,
Bellies glide together.
The city makes its babies.

Chicago sleeps late on Saturday,
Yawns, fondles its privates,
Goes to breakfast at 11 a.m.,
Remembers ham is ten cents a pound,
Vomits, goes to the cleaners,
Retrieves  the shiny night clothes of
Red satin and brass buttons.

Saturday night, State Street bathes in blood.
Liquor flows down hot bellies,
Miss Pearl's mouth earns her a toe tag,
Brains dissolve on sidewalks.
Rage rains in the city's heart.
Blood fills lonesome stockyards.
A barking dog causes a riot.
"Niggers" in Cicero incite Armageddon.
Skins are tender and heads thick,
Sirens wail and cry like mourners.

Chicago buries Miss Pearl on Sunday
 On top of old hog carcasses.

Note: A poem I wrote long ago inspired by my Grandmother Pearl Wasson

Monday, March 7, 2011


I applaud Brother Darius Omar for giving us Akhona, an audacious in your face collection. These are not just collected poems in a book. This is collected life. There are many truths here. They say the truth shall set you free. I say after reading Akhona, the truth will make you present. Open wide and get ready to digest some life.
                                                            Charles W Harvey,  Author
                                                            When Dogs Bark

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Coming Home Tomorrow....an Excerpt

Evans glanced at the small red sign on the thick steel door it read: DEPT. OF PATHOLOGY AND MORTALITY.
“Where are we going?”
“This is the morgue.”
“The morgue?”
“Yes the morgue.  You don’t expect us to make out in the Baby Nursery with its large picture window do you?”
The arousal that was slumbering in Evans’s sub-conscious came into full bloom.  He looked into Isaac’s eyes.  His sex became rigid.
“What if someone sees us,” Evans asked between kisses.
“Silly, who in here will see us?”
Evans glanced at the lumps of humans reposing on gurneys under stark white sheets.  “A staff  member might come in.”
“That young buck attendant is upstairs trying to talk some Nurse out of her panties.  He won’t return until close to eleven o’clock shift change.”

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