“You’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built and the only way it’s going to be built is with extreme methods. And I for one will join in with anyone, I don’t care what color you are, as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth. Thank you.” Bookmark and Share Bookmark and Share



9.24.2006

the song

So I’m walking from work and a distant sense of guilt arises from my chest. The object of this feeling is a love that was lost, a irreconcilable relationship. How she adored me so? And how I gave her so much of myself. It stings to remember that I couldn’t give her me. The me that she wanted more than Africa, Jeff and the late night prayer walks. I could have. We sat in that restaurant and I told her of the fear that kept us apart. She told me she’d never leave. But even heroines grow weary and lose sight. She lost me when her impatience took reign. My fear and her frustration: separation, distance and ultimately relocation. Where have you gone, you with hair like the sea. I rode there in the canoe we created. It was costly.

What did it cost you -----? Do you ever consider my condition? I reflect on yours often. If you could have run to mind, I would have found you. But your back, it gave way. It couldn’t bear the toils and shit of false confession.

Under that tree I found you, sinking, sliding, sitting at the base of my ‘fro. You called it yours when you knew it was Ghandi’s. You called it yours when you knew I was far. You asked me if I liked her. I liked you. I liked you. I liked you.

Do you recall that snowy night when I gave you that pill? I placed it deep. Who could have found it but her? Did you vomit it out when I fell asleep? Go back to that apartment and find it and look at it. Tell me if it still makes you melt when I sang to you: my off key-no-high-note-hitting behind. I let you hear me moan like a dying child. I cried before you like a broken widow. I gave it to you. So find that pill.

We drove in my car listening to Jewel. You put your hand on my knee and reminded me of God. I looked over at you with your legs crossed and saw us in a cloud. We traveled far that day.

I would have walked, walked off that cliff for you. Could you see me over the edge of vulnerability? Sinking, soaring down in a fit of ecstasy and reason—for you. Find that pill and call it home. Put it under your left armpit and do the chicken until it dissolves back into your skin. I took a picture of you nude in my mind of minds. I loved you. I showed you the veil and removed it—why not wait -----?

At the edge of remorse and dimples I find you searching. Where have you gone? I told Missy to tell you I care. But that caring hurts like mothers who love too much. I am your mom, so get the fuck out of the house and go back to college! Two and a half years is not enough. And when you come back you’d better have a husband or a degree, preferably both. –Mom

I took a picture of you when you were on our hardwood floor, barely smiling. You looked like a woman, like a graduate. I had a hard on, not for you, just because. Your hair looked like a stormy wave on my floor. I told you not to move, because “you look(ed) beautiful.” You lied still but your eyes wandered. I thought I was your husband: Your Dwanye. Am I the one who should have run toward you, with arms flailing like you would have done? You caught me off guard. I was there, we were there, in Harlem and suddenly, the pill. Visible to me. How could it be? I should have told you not to be afraid, that I was a man who made manly decisions, but I wasn’t. No I need someone to make me forget, make me forget, make make me forget. I don’t want to see African under my eyelids, I don’t want to see a brunette and Nikons give me flashbacks to strong to live under. I know you are whole, healed: sanctified, delivered, but I’m not that holy yet. I still love.

The prospect of moving seems fatal but feasible. Ascertainable. Questionable. Will someone hold my hand and bring me to forget about that pill and all it contains? Else I will be mad, roving, ranting, craving. Craving cannolis, craving short cotton t-shirts, craving more. Realistically, more than I can take. More than I care to admit. That fucking pill. You saw it first! Why?

What does your mind do when it sees me? Does it recoil like a fatigued penis or does it dart like shadows under fluorescents? I needed you there. I needed to hear you call my name; to face your shoulders toward me and mash your head between my chest. I needed to call you mine. Is my love unrequited still? Like a solitary jellyfish washed ashore, am I that sullen?

You should have waited for me to take you away.

9.17.2006

On Writing


In an essay, Joyce Carol Oates mentions how she feels about her life as a writer. The immensely successful author expressed that she never claimed herself as a writer in a “pretentious” sense of the craft. I, on the other hand, find a struggle not to shout from the rooftops of my innate art. I don’t feel this way out of pride, but for the sheer excitement of living out a dream of my youth. Through my subjective lens being a writer is one of the most fabulous things to be.

I grew up reading the classics: Moby Dick, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Poe, and the like. I wasn’t as much so concerned with the author’s lifestyle or plight, but the stories they had to tell. I recall being drawn into Poe’s morbid depictions with “The Raven.” Particularly, with Edgar Allen, I thought as if I were reading an extension of myself. That the text was a part of my experience. Something I would inevitably lay hold of. I remember being force feed novels, and then seeking them on my own. I traveled thousands of miles away while sitting in my house in Jamaica Queens. What I experienced as a young reader was the author’s ability to draw in a person; allowing them to fall in love with the characters and their lives.

At the age of nine, my grandfather, who raised me, passed away. My grandmother knew I would have a difficult time dealing with it, so she bought me a journal. She thought it could assist me in getting my thoughts down. When I first saw, it I immediately compared it to a diary, something I imagined a young white girl would write in. Seeing its wide, dark shape I knew it was nothing of that sort. I opened it, and observed its thick lined pages. I thought of the possibilities. As my grandmother left my corner room, I picked up a pencil and began to write. It was there that my love affair with writing was birthed.

Throughout the years writing as taken me into places I would have never imagined. I found myself in ciphers, whereby hip hop lyrics came alive off the pad I scribbled them on. After applying to college with a weak HS grade point average, I wrote my way into an undergraduate program. And while there, I wrote feverishly in and out of relationships. I have written the heart of God, so that others may hear it, and by hearing, believe.

An element of writing that deeply woos me is its’ internal quality. Being an introvert, I find it natural to live in my head and stay there, until something or someone draws me out. With writing, I don’t have to leave. If I did, my work wouldn’t be the same. It’d be detached, forced. People would know it. In a sense, my design/personality lends to my life as a writer. My agent/editor always says, the writers who are extremely extroverted don’t write much and the contrary have trouble promoting their work. I don’t particularly foresee that as an issue, as I love being to myself and “in my cave.” Yet simultaneously, enjoy and require interaction with others. Balance, in any lifestyle is crucial: it is that, which I seek.

As a writer I have faced some interesting experiences. Specifically, in my contact with the opposite sex; the writer and the lover have met at a “shady” intersection. When in love, or in crush for that matter, one often does impulsive, spur-of-the moment things. In my case, I may be walking to a destination, and become inspired to share my thoughts with the pad. After doing so, I feel it my duty to express this, new inspiration, with the source thereof. Mmmph. Always not a good idea. Especially, when this inspiration has occurred once, or twice or thrice before with other muses. Even worse, with other muses in nearby proximity. The young writer learns to write and store, as I’ve had to.

Speaking of the idea of a muse. I find some of my favorite work has come as a result of it. The thought is, find someone (usually), or something that leaves its imprint on you and create from there. Poetry flows naturally from my bosom when its Spring and I’m in love. Not just in love with being in love, but truly experiencing something unique with someone who is or isn’t transcendent.

Some of my most heartfelt work was stemmed from my interaction with a female. Whether it be because of my design or for the fact that she is the pinnacle of creation, I know not. For example, “A Thousand Poems:”

_________

I want to write you a thousand poems that bellow deep from who I have become.

I want to write you 1000 poems that take writers their entire lifetime to write. Only to complete them on their death beds; finishing their last sentences with closed eyes and open hearts.

I would like to see you as you are, again and again and again until I understand ----- -------- --------- (someone’s full name you don’t want to see) comprehensively without varying weights of equivocation.

I would like to write you a thousand poems that sat tattooed on the backs of a thousand cattle on hills of bliss.

I would like to show you, while in my white long johns and have you tell me to “put some clothes on,” smiling with an affection that emanated your true being.

I want to you see what’s subject to a thousand closings of the shutter of my mind.

It is my plausible regret that these desires have become subject to time and experience, however real they may be.
_________


Looking back over this expression, I am overwhelmed by the moments I see with such clarity. Inwardly, I regret that the majority of times my muse as been a woman and not a man. I’m speaking of that man who loves me without end, a place of which I’ve pushed. It is by him that I have love, existence and holy matrimony with the trinity I’ve yet to fully comprehend. I think I’ve come to one of the realest reasons why I do this; because I’ve sought for him through women. As this has changed (and changes) my work has become a reflection of that.