Saturday, June 26, 2010

daddy issues part one

my father is a hard, unaffectionate man (unless you are a friend or a cb buddy, then he is warm, exchanging blue-colored languages joyfully with them - i am so jealous!)

as a child i would side up to him while he was under the hood of the family car (motor oil was a body fluid for him) - but he would always push me back, very gruff, saying i was getting in his way; would tell me to go play somewhere else... it's sublime at first, but after awhile you look out into the garage and wonder how long it would take you to go get help if the jack slipped, trapping him beneath the pontiac he was working on. not "run off in a panic" for help... i'm talking about "IF i ran off..." would i go to the candy lady first, get a bag of pop-rocks and a pickle before returning home to tell mama "mama, i think daddy is stuck under the car."

this is bitterness. i wasnt an evil child. this is one of the many negative emotions that will eventually surface when you instill ... what's the word? ... "detachment" ... when you instill detachment in children. which still isnt the most correct term, because the bitterness you feel is most definitely attached to the person who helped nurture it!

but you grow up. i understood that daddy didnt not love me, he just didnt show it in socially recognizable terms. so, i didnt not love him in the exact same way the he didnt not love me...

i also swore blood vows to the heavens that i would NEVER love my wife and children in such a manner once i was old enough to indulge in the arrangements of adulthood! my children still might not like me, but dammit, they will sure as shit know that i love them above all else!
(let me smoother my loved ones with love... or else, let me smoother them in their sleep. their choice.)

this lovelessness-as-an-act-of-love i was shown as a child would not be permitted in my home as an adult. it has shaped the way i am now emotionally connected to the friends and family willing to fully express their love respectfully and openly. al green said, "love and happiness" -  that man was a goddamn genius. i have no time in my life for loveless, unhappy people - not just because they are a drain, but also because their very existence trudges up the emotionless-void stuck in orbit between resentment and bitterness (metaphor for the relationship between a father and his son).
at times, i have hated daddy. deeply. not the angst-ridden "i wish you was dead/i had never been born" overly dramatic, cinematically dysfunctional type of hate. just a good ol' fashioned clean, angry hate.
("if you wasnt so much taller than me, i'd fuckn kick your ass!")

 i guess this is normal for many folks. but what happens to you, as an adult, when the ancestral link begins to claim you and you find yourself FEELING, ACTING AND BEHAVING in the same exact vein as the person you abhorred?!?! - - - in my mid-20's began the realization that i was becoming my father!

not in temperament. but... well, yeah... in temperment! some damn genetic switch was thrown and the traits in my father had begun to metastasize in me!
NOT HIS HABITS! not the way he expressed himself (not entirely, anyway) but a deeper understanding, appreciation and acceptance of why he was the way he was.  temperamentally i was wired the exact same way as he was... the switch had been thrown. or maybe it had always been there and i was just becoming aware of it. but at any point, it took being in a successfully joyless relationship for me to understand my connection to my father:

acts of lovelessness was a self-defense mechanism to hide the pain and failure of not having/living the life you wanted deeply for yourself. you love your family to no ends, but you accept the stifled confines of an unhappy relationship and simply make the best of it. i can see how having a loving, happy child running his hot wheels collection around your feet while you hide  your head inside an engine block can ruin the spa-effect of your powertool-based escapisms... once i'd understood this about daddy (though maybe not completely accurate in my own unlettered analysis) the love i had been stifling for him came rushing back into me. and in doing so, i was able to fully love the parts of me that reminded me of him; insight and perspective had freed me from that foolishness... i became calm. began talking to my gods again. understood not just what 'a good love' was, but understood how to avoid the actions in a relationship that can lead or push you away from that same 'good love'...

al green wasnt just a genius, al green is my jesus! in love and happiness i am saved.

hallelujah, aché, show you right!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

fresh! for twenty-ten...

after four years of work, my Tangerine Tubman poem is 99.99013745% finished...
this has been one of the longest ongoing literary projects i've undertaken in the 20+ years
i've been writing... i am thoroughly pleased with this final result!

now to cut the cord, smack it on the ass and send it out into the world to fend for itself.
initially, i was gonna make it available as pdf file and sell it for $3 online (plus $10 for a poster
of its cover)... but most magazines consider pdf files (as well as blog posts!) the equivalent to
an electronic chapbook/self-publishing.

im wanting to avoid any unnecessary hassles, at least until (and 'if') the poem is sufficiently
rejected by the publishers im sending it to. if that happens, then i'll make the pdf available for
purchasing via my paypal account.

below is 'the cover' and also a piece of collage incorporating a couple of lines from it;
surely thats okay with any panel of judges, right?

Monday, June 14, 2010

legba walks into a bucket of blood

its my nature to swallow seeds
to have them ferment in the soils within my skull
to birth themselves from daydream/their daylight bursting
from the inseams of forehead/my whole head a calabash
uncollapsing... the daylight strands a dreadlock each,
potential breaching virtue. new gods from a nappy gourd.
the guardian at the gate of dreams draped in gonesh

and gunsmoke... his guitar smoking/his black hand
stroking the 'nations sack under his suit coat.
ask him to tell you your and see
if he dont sing/maybe he will swallow you; the seed
in my head shorn from thunder/born under a bad blues,
a Conqueroo, becoming/how how how how ------- whoa!,

upfromsumdirt, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

nigerian oil spills

the nigeria delta region has had the equivalent of 1 exxon valdez oil spill A YEAR for the last 50 years!

Anene Ejikeme has written a very informative opinion page letter to the New York Times concerning this seriously under-publicized ecological disaster....

follow the above link back to African Literature News and Review blog or
click here to go to the NYT article.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


african poetry blog to check out next time i get some time...

this one too!

recent inspirations

1. african short stories, edited by chinua achebe and cl innes
2. flight to canada, ishmael reed
3. anthills of the savannah, chinua achebe
4. kiss my black ads blogspot
5. the jazz baroness, a documentary detailing the relationship of thelonious monk and pannonica rothschild.