A Note from Mel

Make the connection…

Be Real Black September 5, 2009

Be Real Black

(after Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway)


Let the brief cool of fall,

pour like milk from the mouth

of a hand-made antique,

grow pretty as a lily

worthy of your pauses.

Let all that is black, continuous,

unchanged, magical,

sprinkle like a hush,

surrender to dizziness

whenever your lips part crookedly

casting my back’s arch,

setting me straight like teeth

perfecting organs for speech.


– Melanie Henderson


Salim Hylton September 4, 2009



This crowd of mourners

doesn’t make it real,

your Fleetwood will bounce

at the curb any minute now,

black, polished, monumental

1996, chrome grill, chrome lady

leaning from the hood

like leaping breathless

from the Titanic;


You will be here,

you should be here

any minute now.


– Melanie Henderson


Travel to the Next Literary Convention September 1, 2009

Filed under: Art - The Process,Relating with an Artist — anotefrommel @ 6:42 pm
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Travel to the Next Literary Convention


I don’t care to remember you from up there,




This low memory is closer

                                   than the next the train out of here,


Some place less written on tracks

under the dye of code or colored lines,


Speech pretense, tunneled performance

(when bellies tell a better story)

Stomach of a dark station, down here,


A corporeal informant, the snitch

all the riders watch sideways, voyeurs,

necks too frozen to prism into good sense.


– Melanie Henderson


How Ironic, Her Angel Tattoo July 27, 2009

Filed under: Relating with an Artist — anotefrommel @ 3:42 am
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How Ironic, Her Angel Tattoo


My sister again, briefly,

not distrusted or distanced,

just loved.  I missed her,

wondered how the mauve

cotton candy stuck still in an almost

midnight sky, the midtones low,

early bonds in high contrast,

our present, unreal, more of a liar

than memory. Her cherub smile,

only some hours high in my mind again,

how she mended her wings.


– Melanie Henderson


DCee Love (in Photos) July 20, 2009




Go Go Nate & the Ms.

Go Go Nate & the Ms.



Sandals July 17, 2009

Filed under: Relating with an Artist — anotefrommel @ 9:44 am
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for Sister, A.


Down a hot hill

with bumblebee Deere trucks,

a 4 year old cockroach, smashed

right wing partly detached,

yellow red blinks at every corner.


Our morning full,

mine with love-making, unruly hair

and coveted sleep,

yours with surrender — duende,

the edge of something

loved, our angles, sharpie-thick lines,

zigged, crucified lane markers.


                            I want to be where you are

(Instead of here)

Near the false crown of your wig,

            To hover the bellies

            of my fingertips over your face

            which begs no mercy.


– Melanie Henderson


Integers Only July 15, 2009

Integers Only


To handle a raindrop,

What you asked for

& what God gave you,

The skin which faced you yesterday

Is plied somehow differently this dawn,


What you asked for

& what precipitated

Is uncomfortable for most of an hour,

When the minutes fade, zeros are in reach,

So many zeros, beautiful planets.


– Melanie Henderson


Cornflower Blue July 13, 2009

Filed under: Art for Art's Sake,Relating with an Artist — anotefrommel @ 12:23 pm

Cornflower Blue


Study a morning

          In our city

           With no sky

A notion of pretty wings

Mouthing you, a song of licked chimes

I repeat the sounds lowly

Until your melody’s integral

enough to belt someday,

to make a summer’s memory

imbue the wind’s helixes.

 All previous breezes observe briefly,

 Lashes low,

 Then walk on by.


 Melanie Henderson


Cut Off My Arm Why Don’t You August 22, 2008

A few months back, I erased both my facebook and myspace accounts. I have to admit, it was hard for me…a person of my generation…a generation that has known computers all its life and has owned cell phones for all the years its social life has mattered. Nevertheless, my generation has also mourned the disappearance of payphones and impromptu visits from friends who just happened to be in the neighborhood.

Something is going awry. Digital social networks like those I’ve mentioned above are not supplementing or supporting relationships; they are seemingly breaking down the human component. The component that allows you, for instance, to embrace with fervor someone you haven’t seen in some time.

Human contact, human touch: oh man I missed your voice, how have you been, oh we have to catch up over lunch sometime. Isn’t this still important? Isn’t this still a vital part of being humans with emotions, traits, souls? Apparently, the creators of such networks would answer affirmatively. They have made it possible for you not only to hug your friend, but also kick them in the ass if necessary. So, all the actions of real human interactions and relationships are “seemingly” possible via these networks. But, honestly, I’d rather any friend of mine to touch my shoulder, embrace me, kiss my cheek (or lips) so that my body can actually sense it. Isn’t that still a critical part of the human experience?

It’s no wonder that many in and after my generation are seriously lacking in social skills, in building real relationships. It’s as if these digital social networks allow anyone you list as a friend not have to deal with, relate with, be confronted with the actual person. Someone who hasn’t seen you in years (and who might not care two pennies about you) can learn you got married, had 3 kids, earned a dual degree, joined a fraternity, went to the club last night, broke your arm, read a good book, and even be updated on how you claim to feel that day all by just reviewing your page. If they can do all that by just looking at your page online, what’s their motivation in calling you, stopping by, even sending you a nice email or letter just to say what’s up? Are we losing the x factor, the human factor?

I’m not exactly the most social of butterflies, but damn! Come talk to me, ring my phone, damn, ring my bell! Connect, connect, and connect some more. There is so much that is gained by relating with someone face to face, in the flesh, hearing someone’s voice rise in excitement, sing in laughter or tremble in nervousness, even in some hardship. So, yeah, I deleted my pages. I figure anyone who genuinely wants to deal with Mel has the means (i.e. telephone, email address, home address, etc.) and will happily use them. I haven’t regretted it thus far. 

So, I challenge you to rage against the machine. Call somebody you call a friend today. I challenge you to really connect like a human should.