it's been two weeks now. and i ain't even give the rundown of london.
after it was brought to my attention - here is my attempt of righting the wrong.
yea. i get in. my hostess and great friend is not home. booo. but the big door is open, so i lug my bags upstairs. leave them and half of the layer of clothing (it was cold last time i was here - so i came back overprepared) then head down to make a call and grab a coffee. being on a plane can take the wind outta any superhero's wings. call mz lady, she assures me she's on her way back to spring me and i get in touch with sammy. laugh for awhile before some cat asks to use the phone. i'm too new york. "What? When my money run out, son!" he backs up. i keep laughing to sammy. and then feel a twinge of regret. it ain't my fault the other joint is broke! but whateva. we schedule some chat'n time and relinquish the corded coil of communication. after coffee and laughter, my hostess and i return to her house for my set of keys and so i can rest a bit. after more talking - she returns to work. i count cd's and get ready to make moves. the show was cool. not as long as i thought, but im sure that has to do with all the women there in skimpy-ness ready to boogie. sammy and leo and dominic show up, which is a delight, and even my manz n dem DAVID J. i havent performed with this Britan favorite in over 3 years, so we catch up. after knocking down the walls during the ill reggae then soul set. i feel jetlag teasing my eyelids. and besides, one can only say "no thanks" for so long. back to the crib-o, thanks to me atlanta native Kamou and a legit cabbie and i get home in time to put on lock stock n barrel and fall asleep listening to jason steathman.
monday sept 31st
i aint trynna do nothing. fa real. and you can tell because i kept my pj's on all day. sammy calls me. tells me to come over after me sitting around for 6 hours. i do. she hooks up some hot ass chicken, and i mean hot in taste not temperature. but the rice is the absolute best that i've had in london. i tell her. dominic and elaine come thru and i finally get to see da baby! he's adorable. so i take pictures like a damn maniac. forgive me. i am baby hungry!!! we kick it well into the night before leo (aka duvet) comes back to the crib with a yellow belt for his martial arts participation. im like that's dope...! - but you can't whoop MY ASS. LOL
tuesday nov 1st
so i've kept contact with my people's dike in manchester for a bit, and hear he has a spot jumping off. because i have a workshop in blackburn with a group home (that actually came to see me perform in manchester @ the Contact Theatre) i figure i can kill two birds and come thru a bit early, perform at Dike's spot then make my way to the workshop the following morning. somehow - i am up early enough. head over to the coach station with little to no effort. purchase my ticket an hour before it's time to depart with mad time to spare. grab a sandwich and wait in front of the coach station. i don't know what happened. i mean, i know i didnt really feel like going to manchester that early anymore, the fatigue and homesickness had taken over my body, but i was there. and ready. no matter. mahogany sat around like a dips**t. sat right thru the coach call to manchester. the next one wouldnt arrive for another 2 hours, and also make me miss the show that i was rushing (a day early) to get to. so == i head home dammit. take a bus to kings cross, buy my train ticket for the following morning, and call it a day. i walk home from kings cross cause Jive told me it was close. i forgot - he likes to walk. so i end up limping towards the end, even though - it isn't as far as i expected. i have a sandwich left over from my wait in the coach station and i pull the bed out and crash. i sleep for atleast 4 hours before i realize my hostess hasn't returned home. waking up at midnight is freaky like that. you never know if it's night time or crazy early! but she gets home. and we talk for a couple of hours. working out book issues and the like. i love agnes. she's cooler than the average woman. but then that's the thing - she's a grown ass woman. life be different after a certain age, which also changes the way i interact with them. but i digress.
wed nov 2nd
now i had to leave at 7am. i make it to the coach station just in time to catch the bus to manchester. i am then to run a couple of blocks to the train station and take a 45 minute ride to blackburn. not a problem, ive had worse situations. then - my coach is late. makes two unexpected stops and i get in 10 minutes after my train has departed. im PISSED. i tell the driver so. have a good day he says "YOU ARE LATE" i reply. not very nice, eh? whateva. i'm able to catch the next train - but it makes me 40 minutes late to my class. i call my contact person leona, but she is soothing and assures me it's ok. with the rainy day - it will be light and the late start is a blessing. word? aight. so i get there. and leona and her cousin keely are standing in the rain with bags of groceries. i'm like damn. no umbrella, but atleast my hair is wrapped up under the hat. good enough. we walk in the rain, as fast as possible and make it into the homeless shelter for the first workshop.
the room is filled with about 12 people and the energy is crazy. we start after the manager (i think her name is amanda) hooks me up with the ill coffee. our workshop is fly and the kids are crazy interactive. all the workers that participated and made the class even betta. we end a bit late, because the topics of choice and the questions are in abundance. leona, keely and i head to the group home, which is a bit of a walk. im still understanding that cats in england walk like WHOA. it helps the ankle. even if i dont know it yet. lol we get there. and there is a beautiful sign saying welcome mahogany and there are pics everywhere of the last show i did in manchester. i'm flattered. but more so - im touched because its a rarity that people understand the affect they might have on someone's life. after getting ready and waiting for a couple of kids from manchester to get in, we start the workshop. i have about 20 people and the director even sits in. she's dope. and so are the kids. before long, we are cracking jokes and writing like wildfire.
after 2 hours, im spent and so are they. leona offers dinner and im ready to throwdown. we eat some really good kebabs then head to a pub across town to meet her sis. we sit at the pub for a couple of hours and i am introduced to apple cider for the first time in my life. he can definitely knock one off their ass. we crack jokes for hours and i learn the words: jelly bungle (stomach fat after you have a baby). but its too fun to end. so we get a ride to the crib with liqour in tow. i'm cool on the drinking. the warm house and company is intoxicating in itself. all the women are adorable and welcoming - it's so needed. and that's when i felt it. the lift of my previous funk. beside the fact the house is IMMACULATE. they call it the house behind classic cunt on foreskin road. LMAO yea. don't ask. by 2am, i bow out to have a personal conversation with the massage shower system and the goose down bed.
im back headed to london via train. much easier on the blood pressure. unfortunately - i still get in late. this time, i have tuggs waiting for me in brixton and i have yet to get on the stinking tube. i make it there. and there is alot going on - which is about right when speaking of brixton tube station. tuggs and i get up when he tells me the unfortunate news. see, we are to have an interview for his magazine. but he left his recorder. i punish him. well not really. but i act like i might. instead of tripping too hard - we head to shortman's spot at the college INHERITANCE. but before making our way into another poetry show, which im a bit nervous about at this point, we grab some food from the peri peri chicken joint. it's hot ass chicken (as in taste) and im feelin like a punk. tuggs takes half of my burden and we converse about the politics of poetry and the fascade that usually falls after time. he's dealing with the same thing Jive and I felt after hitting the ceiling on performance poetry in our area. you dont feel appreciated. people coming for you like you owe them something. it gets tiring. after the release session over coca cola's we head to shortman's gig. it's packed. and inspirational. shortz always looks out for me and in a circuit where kindness is not always common - it's a breath of freshness.
friday, nov 4th
last performance in england. i feel better. i head to the battersea area to check into my hotel room. it is near the theatre and i want to talk nasty to my shower. pun intended. i miss showers when i visit england. so after two showers. i order a chicken, prawn, mushroom and spinach pizza and fall asleep watching tv. i have soundcheck at 8pm and also an interview with Tuggs before that. i have a hard time sleeping because there is no clock in the room! i finally make myself get up when the news comes on just to see i have 2hours sleep to go. before i know it. im getting dressed and tuggs rings the front desk. after the interview, we head to the bus stop, late - because i can be quite long winded. and after a short bus ride and a LONG walk i realize, i have split my favorite (4 year old) pants. im infuriated! these are my butt is perfect size pants. so i get into the theatre and sit with john paul oneill (london slammaster), and ebele before agnes walks in and we congregate loudly like only poets will. the show will start soon, but after i explain my dilemma to agnes she suggests "electrical tape". aaaah. the black tape! hell yea. i can patch my pants up now! so i grab a tech and she hooks me up with a whole roll of tape. i make my way to the bathroom and laugh at myself in the stall. after only minutes of tape measuring and application -- i am done. my skin is no longer flushed from cold england air and i feel like i can perform my ass off - no pun intended.
the show is nuts. the house is on fire and i would rank it as my top 5 performances in my CAREER. i catch inua on the way out and he has brought 4 friends with him just to see me (or so he says) and they are sweet. and i sell my new copies of UN-Lady-Like (a uk experiment). and all is well in the world. i meet a systa from New York, named Kandy. and she is an upcoming performer. we go for drinks at the local pub where we discuss getting over the fear of stage and love. she's adorable. and we catch a cab, new york style, afterwards - by bypassing the que and just jumping in a cab turning the corner. i return to my hotel room to get ready for my shopping date with agnes. she has made me promise to buy new pants - though im sure these can be fixed with a little needle and thread, minus the electric tape.
sat, nov 5th
jive has banned me from shopping on tour. even though he bought me the best pair of leather boot wedges that i will not be able to wear for another year. but agnes has started this mess. and we try on clothes at dorothy perkins for HOURS. i find a pair of pants and she MAKES me toss my favorite's in the BIN. right there. in the store. i am hurt. but not too hurt, because i have found another pair of eskimo boots (samantha helped me with my first pair) and i even walk away with a cute bolero (half off) and some brown mary jane wedges... i know -- no shopping on tour. but, i can't help it once i get started. afterwards we make our way to eat a restaurant chain and i spring for dinner. agnes has taken such good care of me - how could i not? upon exiting, i fall victim again. and buy 4 scarves. 3 for me - 1 for agnes... im sickening. i know. but she also tells me there is a slam i can go to at the cafe with niall. so i do. hoping to win the pot and exstinguish some of these shopping costs. no such luck. i come in second to graham - a hilarious old school dude. but make it out in time to meet duvet, sammy and elaine at the african house party. inua walks me to the station and i make my way to walthamstow. i finally get there around 11pm and now, with the assistance from my new boots, am in foot HELL. i take off my show while waiting for my escort to meet me in front of the station and am happily surprised to see oneness as well. we ride in her sis' ride to the spot - which is a crazy walk from the station and we walk in just in time to see floetic lara leaving. the word is she killed it. and i am sorry i missed it. i like her work and havent seen her perform in 2 years already. after parking the car we are notified that the party is over. i missed the performance spot. no problem. its good just to kick it with my london peeps, or so i thought. duvet runs up and makes the owner of the spot bring everybody back together. i feel like the police that just broke up the party. so i try to talk them out of the impromptu performance. not happening. after everyone is seated in chairs then cross legged on the floor in front of me - i start scraps of soul (food). they go nuts! i laugh because the turtleneck i thought i would need is not helping this newly founded suffocationa and they ask for another poem. so i rock two more pieces. and say -- thanks ya'll! duvet interrupts. MORE. they agree in loud unison. so i do ONE more piece. sure this is it. give it all of my vocal ability and say. "ight - thanks for listening."
MORE. but i dont fall for it. i offer the cd and then surprise oneness and bring her up to rip it. success. afterwards we head to a club. which has a dude with a fuzzy visor at the door causing beef. we decide to make our way to the hackney crib. talk until 6 in the morning. before they drop me off at home in time to prepare for my plane which leaves in less than 4 hours.