Thursday, February 25, 2010

does my red black and green liberation jumpsuit make me look fat?

the activist in me (if only in mind) has been on mute waaaay too long for my liking.

crystal once told me about a brother back in the day who walked into a crowded restaurant
raised his fist in black power salute and shouted "AFRICA, MOTHERFUCKER!"
then left.

i so wish that had been me.

there was a time that would have been... but i've since allowed the cultural malaise that seriously
affects the region i live in to become my excuse for surrendering 'the cause' for hermitage,
seclusion and isolation. i accepted the fact that the people i create art and word for no longer
exist in this modern era... at least, not on the streets where we can share anger, joy or secrets

i live in a vacuum, i understand that... but why have i allowed a vacuum to live within me?

i used to joke that i had several split personalities living inside me: a prankster, but conscious.
a romanticist, but conscious. an elitist, but conscious. a villain, but conscious. a preacher, but
conscious. a politician, but conscious. a patriot, but conscious... a hustler, but conscious...

but somewhere along the way, i grew sick and tired of those who had become sick and tired of
being culturally responsible. folks who i thought would sing the blues with me forever began to
snap their fingers and dance a jig to showtunes i knew nothing about (metaphors for 'providing
a better roof over their heads than what previously been allotted to them) - - - i firmly undersood
that "PROGRESS" happens, i get that and deeply accept it... i expect it!
but how progressive is it if the action of doing so takes you away (against your will or by agreement)
from the philosophical positions on live and liberty you once so thoroughly delivered to anyone
who would listen?

if the progress that feeds your belly also purchases the hunger within your soul, then shouldnt the
reward for such also be of benefit to your mind and spirit?  if a pound of steak feeds your conscious
questionings better than the rice and ramens did, then your questions about who you were as a person
wasnt about shit to begin with...

forgive me... ive been walking around my soapbox for so long, that i'd forgotten that it DOES actually
support my weight... at what age did fear of falling become inbred?

sigh... anyway... i'm not going to address all of my inner-issues all at once at this exact time. instead,
i'm going to post a link to the blog that got me riled up again, plus my reply to it below the link.
it's a good site... i'm adding the sister's link to my blogroll...

acts of faith

there are many facets to this issue, a major one being our focus on 'how we've progressed since slavery' - but 'progression' isnt the issue, it's 'power'. those who controlled power 100 years ago still control power today, it isnt as much about race as it is about society, wealth and privilege (issues which once included doctrines of racial superiority, but but now focus on primarily on class - where issues of race are embedded, but are easily side-stepped by those controlling media, business and education)

america has decided that its okay for its 'minorities' to openly protest, but what it prohibits is ORGANIZING because knowledge with a physical mass is a threat to structured power.
the poor, black and disfranchised can blog and post videos to their hearts' content while tangible knowledge is removed from our communities: black bookstores, black laundromats, black newspapers, black schools and any other independently owned black business or agency has vanished from our neighborhoods reducing the influence they could have on our younger (and older!) generations.

african americans today have more access to education and financial ability than we have at any other time in our past... as a whole, we are the wealthiest segment of black people on earth - even our poverty levels far exceed the annual incomes of black folks anywhere else on the planet. we have freedom, but we no longer have cultural independence - an aspect lost as we assimilated into 'the melting pot'.

the system that once shunned us now controls how we view and celebrate black history; there are no longer any newspapers thrust into our hands detailing our status in america, we must now stumble upon it online to be linked to and debated about but STILL online. where do we go to meet outside of our homes to discuss who we are and what we want? the huffington post can write an online editorial and then have someone physically address someone else face-to-face for comment or rebuttal
while those who are disenfranchised take their outrage to facebook or blogger.

avatars have replaced activists, which suits the holders of power (white or black) just fine.

in this day and age of black presidents and oscar winners, million dollar athletes and talk-show hosts, we have PROGRESSED about as far as being powerless will allow us.

now, its up to some of us to take a few steps back,
see what worked and what hasnt and then formulate a way to put knowledge into action.

this wont alleviate all our social ills, but it will definitely give us a better landing place to start from when discussions of who we are as a people rage out of control only to be worked out in resolution centers we do not own or operate.

Friday, February 19, 2010

lucille clifton...

of the 3 poets who have shaped my approach to writing,
alongside ishmael reed and haki madhubuti, mother lucille clifton
has always been the one to best balance message, emotion and craft: the 3
strongest elements, to me, defining 'black poetry' - an artform that has
recently shifted away from those core strengths in favor of
mainstream poetry's predominant aesthetic... ((clears th'oat))

i've never been one to to say the right things at the right time...
i usually cut straight to the point during the times when pointlessness
is the most expected sought after type of literary foreplay (when i do talk
too much i ramble/painfully obvious right about now)...

this is the poorest damn eulogizing ever!!!!!

i never met ms. clifton, but she remains an entity that i will carry forever within.
the act of pouring libations and setting up ancestral altars is for the remembrance and
continued acknowledgment of those most venerable to who we are and how we choose
to live - a recognition of those we deem the most worthy of being so-honored...

ms. clifton will always be welcomed in our home.

this is my favorite of her poems, and perhaps my most favorite of all poems:

"if i stand in my window"

if i stand in my window
naked in my own house
and press my breasts
against the windowpane
like black birds pushing against glass
because i am somebody
in a New Thing

and if the man come to stop me
in my own house
naked in my own window
saying i have offended him
i have offended his


let him watch my black body
push against my own glass
let him discover self
let him run naked through the streets
praying in tongues

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

this week on the bbc

king tut had malaria, a bone disorder, a cleft lip and a club foot.

lady gaga wins big on brit music awards.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a kentucky haint thinks of haiti

im not a witch
nor the son of one
but i want to be

so instead, i write
to shore up the lack,
every written word

thrown head first
into the ohio river
more than once

to sink or to float
whichever fits
the thick lipped

for this self-anointed
poet building towers



audre lorde is my lady of the lake
ghost hands parting this southern mouth
housing a kentucky pond/each word a frond
every stem a magic wand/the tongue a baton
wagging in yemoja's general direction,
all of her reflection upon this body of water


anyway, the coffee kept on ancestral altars
has crumbled into dirt; prayers dehydrate
into dust fertilizing the eggs of this diaspora

i can await the answers to prayer, im patient
and i meditate. besides, all of my ancestors are
out on loan... tho shorn from kentucky i am kin
to haiti. my not-so-distant cousins needing more
angels than i because love is an immediate action


and speaking of punching pat robertson
in the mouth, he and rush limbaugh can call
my ancestors retarded or niggers and me
a retarded nigger for crafting faith from where
the hate of blacks was created. pyre respects
pyre and i am sunflower-supreme. i do not
shrink shrieking into shadows reeking with
shame or fear or of the fear-of-flame... there
is switchblade in my sepals. and just ike all
of my gods, i too speak from my mouth. dont
require prophet-mongers to translate what god's
written on my cheek, so let's not escalate this
renunciation to your ignorance. push me too
hard and i shall no longer pray for you

not that
for you
is ever
a first

every amen
must begin and
end somewhere

and the brackets of this body and
soul do not embrace everybody.


but if i was a witch
or the son of one,
how wonderful...

from such
a blessing
would come the
of beauty and
the undertaking
to use it.

(god damn the prevention
of this american polyglot
spoiling a black man's
asymmetrical patois)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

finna follow in crystal's footsteps and get my shortstoryfiction thang in action...

working title, "rapunzel beatbox, bookstore clerk"

- the hell if i know what that means right now, but sounds damn fresh to me.

i got the book cover done tho!

crissy's been talknabout her novel almost being done for 3 years, but at least in her case she actually HAS 43,000 words down on paper... i've just got half a opening sentence written on a 3" grocery receipt currently going through the spin cycle in the wash machine...


such is the life of a writer-in-his-own-mind™