Thursday, March 31, 2005
do you remember how simple dating was when you were young? a boy saved you a seat in the lunch room -- that meant ya'll was boyfriend and girlfriend!
if a girl let you play with her hair -- she was digging you something crazy.
that's how my life has been lately. simple. perfect fit at times, squeezing at other times -- but real simple. my happiness is filled by donuts in the morning, personal sized orange juice that he picked up just for us and laughing at the radio 7am in the morning. it ain't fancy -- and when we have fancy - it can become costly. but mainly, the small stuff - like conversing about becoming better people -- or seeing God in him for the umpteenth time or watching videos, sharing poems and prose and laughter - is so simple and yet, so right. so when he gave me his chocolate milk - it was just enough.
live from brooklyn
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
with all the trauma going on -- i thought i would never find a space that we could live happily with a dog. then i get an email from a woman warrior poet -- and when we met, it was like sis, i feel you. all you saw was my afro and her blond hair nodding in agreement. so different with so many similarities. hard life. single mother turned poet. survivor - word. she's bouncing to miami and needs someone to look out for her house. say NO MO, ma!
funny how the world works this out, eh? the things that bother you the most, are just small pieces of a bigger puzzle. and those things that might not even think twice about -- become the biggest turning point in your life.
tomorrow, our kids are having their school assembly showcasing the poems that we worked on for the past month. 120 kids ya'll.. serious! J will be dj'n so it should be nice. friday we are both in the new jersey finals for the team pick for national poetry slam and saturday i have tickets to see Shang at Caroline's on Broadway (poet and comedian...better comedian than poet). so its a busy weekend.
gotta go exercise this atrophic ankle of mine...
live from brooklyn,
mahogany l. browne
love the gwen stafani remake... me and amari act up when the video comes on! my and my one cast does the chair dance (how many of ya'll remember claire on the huxtables with the jacked up foot - chair dancing? holla!)
can i tell you how im in love with my entire writing class? they are so incredible! we have so much fun in our sessions, talkin about the drawbacks of having a 6th finger and arguing the usage of vagina (please poets - dont USE this word. as J says, we are writers -- here to say the words without actually SAYING the words!)
all the riches won't mean anything
and i think i have the most socially conscious youth in the world! they are so fabulous they inspire me to make music change for our future. they actually broke down the importance of lil kim and the drawbacks! crazy... i will share our assignment sometime next week. write to your inner chicken head.
wont bring what your love can bring
johnnie cochran died. he was well known for OJ (oh boy) but should be known for so much more. like representing a Haitian immigrant tortured by New York police
a 19-year-old black woman who was shot a dozen times by police as she sat in a locked car
Reginald Denny, a white trucker who was beaten by a mob during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Tupac Shakur on a weapons charge
and rapper Snoop Dogg on a murder charge
just to name a few.
there aint no other baby whose loving is better than yours
going to the physical therapist right now. j brought some banging donuts home -- so im bout to aCk up!
in a minute...
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
speaking of chickens. that's what my Women In Hip Hop Class is working on for their first assignment. "write a letter to your inner chickenhead". it was inspired by Joan Morgan (when chickenheads come home to roost). basically its about being honest about the stereotypes that we actually perpetuate (i.e., girl, look at his shoes! or - he gotta hooptie, he betta not come and try to talk to me!). hell, we love listening to Destiny's Child talk about Pay My Bills, etc... so when we deal with songs and rap lyrics from men saying "fuk dez money hungry bitches" we take off our hoochie mama skirts and put on the dashiki talkin bout "feminism!" yea, we have a choice -- but how effective are our choices when were aren't consistent?
so -- tonite is my class with P. Smith and the cave canem group...nice!
did the slam last nite -- i won by .1 -- my manz PETER from BRISTOL rep'd! his last poem was actually him moving his eyebrows up and down (as if he were reading outloud) and he scored a crazy 29.6! nuts
looking forward to the upcoming months. my bday is april 20th (hollllllllllllla) imma be twenty-something! lol imma be none of ya damn business! lmao but we leave for austin on april 13 - 18, then im in VA for the WORD UP Festival in MAYhen we have an all female squad (aka femme fatale) rep'n at the souther fried regionals in JUNE! as my students in UK might say standard
so -- back tot he drawing board ya'll. i gotta go work on this assignment. i've been hiding from it for a minute! like jive says - im going to have a shootout on writer's block
Monday, March 28, 2005
Pulls of change
He played me wicked
I crossed ankles prepared to make a wish
Change his mind
Remind him that there were more flavors
Curving the curves of my curvage
Letters couldn’t spell out my truth
He said I tasted like taboo
Pulled me deep
Climbed inside my self
kicked off his shoes
Licked the rounds of my round
Walls shook like Los Angeles earthquakes
smirked at edges
dimples swam dark brown
as he tasted me
for the first time on the top of the second hour
he had a knack for making me feel like a snack
had me ready to lace up my boots for change
and social stance
challenging the injustices of man and woman
he seduced my lips
with his own
planted ideas of want
with exclamation points
and I couldn’t feel my toes
as he licked
and loved my strawberry filing
he murmured my punany tasted like revolution
like child soldiers
and fair wages
and family unity
and now when he kissed me
sticky with pleasure
I could taste it too
etta jones - don't go to strangers 1960's remade by etta james 1990's
Build your dreams to the stars above
But when you need someone to love
Don't go to strangers, darling, come to me
Play with fire till your fingers burn
And when there's no place for you to turn
Don't go to strangers, darling, come to me
For, when you hear a call to follow your heart
You'll follow your heart I know
I've been through it all, for I'm an old hand
And I'll understand if you go
Make your mark for your friends to see
But when you need more than company
Don't go to strangers, darling, come to me
Sunday, March 27, 2005
cornelia was cool
taunting my crutches
new black owned business in brooklyn
with really good chicken parmigiana
and wine tasting
no thanks on the wine
i enjoy chillin with fisiwe
noshawn the streets
j and amari
made it home to eat honey bbq chips and politic
about the next movement...
laugh ourselves to sleep
awaken at 3am courtetsy of a paralyzing pain
in my ankle and heel
decide to write
and listen to cats
chase each other through dark hallways
browse cable channels
rub oil on my leg, ankle and heels
watch some of these movies we ordered on netflix
anacondas for me
fat albert cartoons for him
i want some cereal
and a chance to think
without stanza's breathing
Saturday, March 26, 2005
last nite was inspiring. i performed at columbia for the women's benefit. and its such an incredible group. they allow you to support a woman in africa, iraq and other places. help through monthly payments of 20 bucks or so to support her training, schooling, etc. you can become her pen pal in a way, check on her progress until she transfers out of the program and then you can then sponsor another woman. really fly idea check it out: www.womenforwomeninternational.com
besides, i love performing with celena. she is one of the most incredible poets and performers ever. i hate when people give me the title - she's one of the hottest FEMALE poets. like, if i wasn't a woman, i wouldn't be hot? no categories please. that's like saying "she's smart - for a girl". or the one i've heard all my life "she's pretty -- to be darkskinned!" lol but i digress
her work as a writer always astounds me. and her "originality" is refreshing. you know, people with original ideas and concepts -- hell, give me an original perception - are incredible to me. and sharing a stage with her (and akua) was dope. word.
today is wierd. i can feel it in the air... maybe that's just the radiator hissing. or j spinning records in the background. days like these are cool. we ain't ate and i'm starving -- but it feels filling. this feeling. taste like accomplishment. maybe because i just talked to my newest london connection. im excited about my travels back across the pond. i wasn't at first. but now -- i can see the potential in this opportunity.
can you smell what the MO is cooking? lol
so im looking up rental lists throughout nyc. hard times ya'll... they want 1100 for a 2bdrm... nyc is a bunch of crooks! yea, i see you mr. tow man... you heard me. i said it. fuk da police!
sorry for the rant. it's definitely the creative energy bursting around this damn place! i have an assignment to complete for class on tuesday. i have a lesson plan to finish putting together for my women in hip hop series on monday (come join me! urban word @ teachers and writers 5 union sq west) and a show tonite (Cornelia Street Cafe, NYC 6pm ).
words n verbs rolled tight like a dutch - "kovas & delasoul"
Friday, March 25, 2005
i asked her if she ever thought about offering these services via internet. you don't know how much money you would make! (lu - you gotta take this to the masses and what better way than internet?)
she told me about my career, my love, my future and my haters. which was real interesting. she told me about my upcoming trips and the people i would travel with. i was too spooked by the information because she started talking real life ish pretty quickly... and not the what do you think type of ish. she just asked me my sign and went to work... nice
afterwards, i went to sleep with a smile. word.
"even in school i was private. it kept my name out of people's mouths. not because i was ashamed of anything or because i wasn't passionate about who i was dating, but because it seemed more PURE when i treated it like it was sacred" -beyonce
Thursday, March 24, 2005
what im listening to: faith evans "again" - why is that the joint right now? im still feeling amerie "1 thing" - i have this secret obsession with go go music. i went online to find who was really killing it, cause my friends are either from balitmore (well known adversary of dc music) or like kenji - mr. dc hisself - too busy for my cripple ass!
we ate some bangin' ass soulfood from the soulfood kitchen over on kingston. why am i so excited to find out they deliver now! what? nuts -- its over. i better eat while i can, once i start that damn physical therapy on monday - im working it out all ova! das right ya'll - beyonceville, here i come... early !
watching BET and they have a segment called Q&A on Dating...
today's topic: how do you ask someone out?
answer: never do it through email. always in person.
cute. i wonder if people really practice this etiquette. lol i can't front - j and i were talking about why some women continue sweating a dude. and we agreed -- its because women rarely have to seek company. so when they go for something they want, they aren't accoustmed to hearing the word "no". we won't even get into all the confusion that the chasing can cause. how desparate she looks and how its a turnoff. let's keep it strictly surface.
me, being the woman advocate that i am, argued for a minute. ok - an hour. but after deep thought and intensive analysis on women's behavior - agreed. have we taken for granted the assertiveness of male callers? are we so USED to men stepping to us that our ego bubble is burst when we make it so easy for them?
as women, we have been taught to think "boys want your stuff". and when you become and adult, men are attracted to said "stuff" - so you think you have the upper hand. J says most women do (have the upper hand). i don't agree. i believe we dress how we think we need to for attention (before we get a clue), we style ourselves (around women that these men fawn over via tv, magazines). we try to think like men so we can deal with them without getting our heart broken (ex: Imma sleep with whoever i want? men can do it why can't i?) - and he says WE have the upper hand? ok granted. men get all these superficial things to attract women (if you wanna date a chick like beyonce you gotta be rich like jay-z, get it?) -- but that's a whole 'nother bag of sea salt and black pepper chips.
i've seen women hang out with girlfriends and NO ONE talk to them. i've watched women sit alone her friends date and mate frequently... he says women choose this. says thats an extreme case. and all men have been turned down before which is why they don't take the "stop" sign so hard. women however, are spoiled - used to having men go out of their way. and when they show interest and the idea of this man getting their "stuff" not be enough - they blow a fuse.
now i don't know why women lose their cool upon the "no thank you" notice. don't know what light comes on (or doesn't) don't know what they are thinking. i have girlfriends that think they wait it out. and when nothing happens -- he's a bag of dogs! they think if they throw it REAL hard - he will come to his senses. i don't know. i'm sure there are couples that exist because she persisted. but i know MORE couples that don't exist simply because "he's not that interested."
so when it doesn't work out. when her begging and pleading doesn't crack the penis lock. she questions everything from her looks "is it because i'm ugly?" to her sense of self "is it because i'm needy?"
i say "you aren't ugly. just desparate and that is never attractive."
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
so keep perusing these pages. i love your comments and emails for those unable to post. it's good to know people are listening and i look forward to sharing with you soon...
myself when i am real,
mahogany l. browne
oh yea -- other news!
got the ok this morning, my poem SPOON (below for those with terrible memories) has been included in the love poems manifesto moderated and created by alexander c. the project is called Rebel I Love You... good ish!
funny thing about life is you can always relive the good moments thru ya writing. and the bad moments -- you can blog them and wait for them to pass. just like annoying people. enjoy
spoon - by mahogany l. browne
face to face
promising our limbs
after early touch n tag
that mornings like these
would be plentiful
i leaped at the chance for this course because i need a soundboard. i am trying different things with my writing and wanted different ears to listen. besides the facilitator is out of this world!
so when the session started. i volunteered to read over mine first. i wanted to get that ish out the way. and it was funny. how it started off first, slowly. this was nice. this was good. this made me feel like aight... -- then it hit! it was so painful - it reminded me of the first time an editor massacred, ahem, i mean edited my profile piece for XXL. i was a mere intern and was so proud to have an assignment within a couple of weeks on the job. after i got back the piece - i didn't even remember writing that shyt! i was like -- i said that? i don't even talk like that --this was a close second. they didn't rewrite my poem -- the ideas were cool, its good to hear what your readers perspective. but that don't make the cuts less painful, just easier to mend.
the two experiences were parallel. except this time i didn't roll my head like an Oakland chick -- instead i took notes. said thank you after the slaughter, and went to the rest room to assure no scars were visible. art be like that though. no one wants to hear they have an ugly baby -- and my writing is my child. i wanna hear it has my eyes. and is smart and funny... i don't wanna hear -- "wow. it looks just like you!"
back to the drawing board...word
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
so now they want us to believe paris hilton coined the phrase "that's hot!" VH1 gave dis chick an award for Big Catchphrase of 2004.
im so not hearing that shyt. paris coined "that's hot" if vivica fox didn't get her groove back with 50 Cent!
the fact that Baby Mama Drama, Booty Call, Shiznet, Bling Bling and other Hip Hop phrases have made headlines (and have been added to the webster's dictionary) like wildfire is an even bigger reason to question the heiress as creator of a term that has been used in Hip Hop since Krs One "That's Not Hot", Cash Money - their entire catalogue is based on hot. and even a group is named the HOT BOYZ (the term derives from the south for cats that sale corner pharmaceuticals) and so many more. now. i'm not mad at the shine homegirl is getting. i watch her show (when J lets me - he's so stuck up! lol). but im not falling for da okey doke.
pot pies? i hate pot pies. do not like them. they remind me of sheperds pie. and that so reminds me of london. i was looking at pictures the other day. i like london. alot. i dont like some things about it -- but overall. i think that's the place where i could change my literary direction. they have an appreciation for the arts and it aint about the dance. that's so real. cause we dancing in america. but i took off my dancing shoes awhile back. only get my groove on to soul classics with my man. leave the words to dance on my tongue while on stage.
rolling of the eyes. yes. this is something many of us woman and some men mastered during grade school. one thing we knew -- within several butt whoopings -- was that you DO NOT roll your eyes at your parents. this act will be followed by "who you think you iz!?" well, as a parent. i had my first experience with this crap. yea me!? amari was upset because i wouldn't let her keep my fax box in her room for her simulated "karate" classes (dont ask) and decided she was gonna let me have it eyeball style. and it was sooooo perfect. i was like, whoa. she mastered that shyt so soon? but then it hit me. she just dissed me!? so after i threatened her, like only a mother knows how. i made her sit in the living room with no tv and no talking. this pissed her off. then after she ate dinner in the same place i sent her to her room to write an entire page on why she wouldn't do this anymore. this is what she wrote and exactly HOW she wrote it (excerpt):
i will never roll my eyes anymore because it will hurt people's fillings and they roll their eyes at you because you did it to them. you got to be nice to people or else they will be mean to you and your eyes will roll over and you wont be able to see or go to school. just see your own brain. you will have to go to the hospital so they can get some new eyeballs for you to see agin. you should not do it to an adult or an teacher because you will be in trouble and get a wopein from your moms and dads. dont roll your eye because it is not polite to be a big brat who would be mean to everybody you wouldnt have no friends to help you.
damn. this girl keeps me on my toes...
shows n sh*t!
im amped. finally back on the gravy train. i have a doctor's appointment today & my writing class with the incredible p. smith. but even betta -- i have shows all weekend!
friday - Columbia University (this is a benefit supporting women 4 women. a group focused on helping women in africa) 6pm
sat - Cornelia Street Cafe -- feature at a cool spot in lower manhattan...i'm looking forward to the weekend. 6pm
mon - Urban Word Women in Hip Hop series. 430pm
my assistant/teen mentor is one of my best students (ever) ms. sarah lawrence herself AJA! she is fierce ya'll. very inspirational and sooo adorable! she loves the word. and one of my few students that performed for my teen mom's group. which is a hard feat considering they are pregnant and dont wanna hear SHYT! lol
countdown fam. we have 3 weeks and 4 days to go. check out my ova blog if you wanna see how the scars look. ick. but its cool - cause he still rubs my toes. and life can't get much better than that.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Daddy’s first born
Bursting with life and questions
She was early
Too soon from mama’s womb
They didn’t think she would make it
Words spoken too soon
Repeat after me “walk fast before I beat yo ass”
Daddy shoved shoulders
And mommy slumped forward
I hummed to the tune in my head
Pretended I was a ballerina instead
Didn’t want to focus on the swollen tissue
Too bright for lipstick to disguise
Her eyes nursed a pain I’ve never seen before
Police officers shouted while steel barrels echoed their warnings
this was when i stopped humming
forgot what it was like to hear daddy’s laugh
mama’s tears were replaced
with opaque rocks
smoked under fire
burning embers and bridges
like nickel candies with closed fists
and quick feet
I crawled under bed spaces
Past the dust bunnies
Searching for mama’s tongue
she loves the rhythm of my song
shadows that crowd 3X5 paper
remind me I’m not alone
first love left
just like daddy
history ain’t no sucka
wish I paid closer attention
as lover’s reflection became daddy
how didn’t I recognize the resemblance
pretended I was a ballerina again
no one ever forgets how to kick ball change
prayers keep me sane
I lost both daddy’s and discovered my song
She was sipping my soul on a beach
Watching sun sets
Offered me my sanity like a toke
Instead I scribed the medicine on a postcard
Giving her the will to reclaim her song
i am addicted to CAP N CRUNCH cereal. i open my feature sets (or i used to) talking about how much i love capn crunch. for my people overseas -- if you haven't had any, send me your addy. i feel its my duty to let you taste a piece of heaven! and i was so into it -- a high school boyfriend HAD to meet me with a box of said item just because it was that serious. i've even had the pleasure of an audience member bringing a box of said item, to the side of the stage as i said i was willing to marry (ok, i went too far with this one) but it was a good laugh *and i kept the cereal* nonetheless.
i also have a crazy attraction to men that wear baseball caps, have NY accents and vast knowledge of hip-hop... and after peeping my significant you'd understand! i cry everytime i watch the color purple. i cry when i think of my grandmother. i cry when i talk to his mom. i cry when i think of my relationship with my mom. i buy books like crack. i watch reality tv (moreso because of the cast) but i can't front -- i liked them before the injury. and i love shoes.
however, i have a huge downfall, something that i'm working on: forgiveness. i never forgive easily. and i can endure a lot of things once you are in my heart - but once you are out -- it's a wrap. my sister says i need to trust people more. she doesn't understand my life. she thinks i should've married twice already. i don't think she believes in love but opportunity. she beleives i wait for people to mess up so i can toss them aside without remorse. says im just noose tying in the interim. says im never really open to anyone.
i love my sister. dearly. but she is the LAST person to speak about these things! i have watched her play cats out without even a smirk on her face. this is the same woman that used my ID to open up faulty accounts and get traffic violations. she is the woman that showed me how to watch the slither of woman lusting for a taken man. that was the building of a foundation! just the beginning! maybe she could've proven to me that woman can co-exist before i had to relearn the truth in my mid-twenties. maybe she could have shown me thru example how to deal with these things -- rather than resorting to violence. something i'm too good at for my own good. i write because of these things. she laughs at my poems sometimes. says im still not opening up on stage. says i could be married. says i shouldnt settle. she says this as a single mother of my neice and nephew. her load is just as heavy as mine -- if not worse. she remains the anchor of our family. or plays like it on occassion. and i want to learn how to be the woman she says i need to be. but the things that she questions the most -- are the things that make me ... ME. make me complex and sexy and crazy...not SQUIRRILY but flyy and unique. and real. and honest.
and i know she means well. though sometimes its hard to tell beneath the tough exterior. nevertheless, she reminds me of what i need to work on. even when she pisses me off the most.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Saturday, March 19, 2005
i dont even KNOW what goofy is, but his son is enamored by a beatnik poet drowned in a black beret and black turtleneck. she uses bongos, coins and spotlights for props. the crowd showers her with fingersnaps.
damn me to hell now.
Friday, March 18, 2005
life really be like WHOA!
when something terrible happens in my life i be like whoa
then something incredible balances my ish out! so i be like whoa
im in the trenches so you know im like whoa!
damn. no wonder i aint get signed to bad boy... still, the writing workshops are hot -- my family is crazy -- my apartment issue is nutso -- my ideas are blazing! new projects in the right wing/drama queens in the left (exit)! -- hey, that sorta rhymed??
mic check -- cats in this biz are so hemmorhodish! (ya know, irritating & expendable) however, my ankle is feeling spectacular. though my knee has been feeling the pain courtesy of this damn paper weight around my foot. started looking up gym memberships so i can get this physical therapy thang going.
gotta get ready for the summer. that means plenty of cocoa butter and vitamin e oil (for the ankle scars). and while amari (mis thang in the pic!) is in cali and i will be traveling. this is a promise i made myself. im skipping thru airports in london for a conference, dominican republic for an even deeper tan and new orleans for a doom concert. who say you can't live? haters, i see you. thanks for the inspiration! supporters, i love you & without you -- none of this could happen. j, amari -- i couldnt think straight without you two. thank you for reminding me of the important things in life.
if i could sell this happiness in a bottle -- id be dead. ya know, they kill the rich, smart and history changing black folk!
i asked her "why did you do that?"
she said "Jamal is my friend. i had to help him. i had to protect him."
i said nothing. i understand her position completely.
the moral is: if you mess with minez -- i will have to kick you in the chest. end of story.
the beautiful and violent onez
Thursday, March 17, 2005
ledisi, a bay area native *you know we stay wit the talent* ; gravediggaz - his call; prince paul's prince of thieves (one of the most incredibly insane and innovative themed hip hop albums of our time) our favorite & the streets: original pirate jumpoff - my call but OUR pleasure. good stuff! i received my olu dara's in the mail. that was real groovy... and i borrowed J's Doom collection and fell in love with SUPA offa the MM...Food album.
Tweet is dropping a new album: IT'S ME AGAIN on March 22nd... i love her work. if you have the first album, i know you feelin' SMOKIN CIGARETTES... i don't even smoke, matter of fact - can't stand the smell... but this joint is about feening so much you hurt yourself -- it's what blues' songs are built on. check the hook:
Newport's, Winston's, Salem's, Marlboro Lights
Don't matter what the kind is
Cause you got me smoking out on you
Got me puffin' 'bout a pack a night
And I know it ain't healthy
Nervous and tremblin'
Smoking cigarettes at night
Wondering where you been
Smoking cigarettes at night
I can't cope with this
Smoking cigarettes at night
Your the one to help me quit
Smoking cigarettes at night
still don't believe me then go listen to the clip at www.amazon.com ... anyway -- we have a class to teach in the morning and those damn 8th graders can smell the lack of sleep. they thrive offa the chance to dance on ya last nerves. but worth it. definitely. i start teaching the "women in hip hop" poetry class... that's gonna be fun... just have to figure out how to manuever with the cast -- just 4 weeks and 4 days to go! nah nah nah na nah naaaaa!
i also have a women's outreach session with the poet's grant of nyc and things have picked up quite smoothly. i have my very first couture sponsor for tours with urban earth ( http://www.urbanearth.net ) where the designer Basheba Earth has created some of the flyest ish i have ever seen. and because i'm not usually the girly type, i was a bit skeptical. until she wrapped some fabric around me that slid on like butta and worked well with my adidas in the process! mind you -- this is the same systa that sold pieces to Angie Stone & Beyonce! (i told ya i was on my way to beyonce-ville, didn't i? LOL)
ms deb and the clan said i was doing too much -- i guess they were right. now that i have slowed down and taken inventory -- i have a lot of things in perspective. i guess that's what happens when you stop, sit back and stand the rain...
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
this is how it begins
they're not worth it
know his words will be the end of things
watch his attention turn off
like light switches
wish i could find mine
we laugh at their expense
i almost forget it's a game
no one knows the truth
just the players
squeezed between time and tight spaces
we work diligently
forget how to love ourselves
practice on weekends and days off
he brings me sunlight when i least expect it
my smile is enough gratitude
i offer him the world and my heart
he ties bows around my finger
as a reminder to remember this feeling
i know his eyes
watched them undress me
we couldn't wait
let danger tongue kiss us during intermission
nothing compares to the sound of a man
whispering your name
ask me how i know
i'll ask you why you care?
and we will continue
to sleep with the door locked
...as it should be
Who Is He & What Is He To You: Bill Withers -- this is a classic! bill is talking to his woman about peeping the lil' secretive crap that was going on with her and the next man in the room. he is so smooth that he has these guitar riffs that make your spine quake. very flyy, very flyy indeed.
Fool Of Me: Meshell Ndegecello -- c'mon. this was and is a break up song for dat ass! anyone who has ever been played feels this song. men and women alike! God! i love this joint.
Inside Me: Meshell Ndegecello -- ok, this is the freak nasty song. and very very good to ahem, admire your loved one/significant other to. it is long, seductive and so sexxxxxy you might forget where you are. so beware your location when listening to this joint!
Black Gold Of The Sun: Nuyorican Soul -- ok, J turned me on to this one. actually most of my 70's and earlier joints (minus the soul jump off's) are because of him. his collection is impressive and so addictive. this joint makes me want to dance - thank goodness the cast doesn't get in our way!
All Cried Out: Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam -- cmon! i know you know all about this! i just bought it on amazon. this is the must have for the break up and getting over it mode. it's strong, it's inspirational -- it's freekin' electric bugaloo meets Lisa Lisa and Full Force HELLO??!
Little Girl Blue: Nina Simone -- my favorite. i read her autobiography long after i fell in love with her. fell back in love with her after playing one song. this is so true. women living life and wearing the bruises after the fact. very deep... so is The Other Woman. but that's another story.
As We Lay: Shirley Murdock -- now you know! ya momma was playing this joint on Saturday clean up's! this is the most provocative cheater song in history. im sure of it. and as much as i hate cheaters -- i understood this song and sang it like i lived it.
Darling Nikki: Prince -- whoa. i met this chick. im sure of it. ya know that freaky don't give a damn type of woman? lol her saving grace is Prince & The Revolution...
Use Me: Bill Withers -- another withers classic. GAWD! this is my life. so into the person that they can play you out but they love you soooo good, it don't matter! lol well, maybe not my life -- but i know the intensity my man is crooning.
Try A Little Tenderness: Otis Redding -- all a man has to do is listen to this song. and he will forever have a woman. have mercy
I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know: Donny Hathaway -- if you have no clue what this song is. you probably ain't felt love this hard. it's raw. so raw, it cuts when he sings "if i ever hurt you -- you know i hurt myself as well!" ummm. this is something i listened to every morning for a month before leaving a really bad relationship. i don't know -- i guess it gave me the strength.
At Last: Etta James -- we love her. this song is the all time favorite. i think it was voted the most used song in American movies. if you haven't heard it -- download it. this is what romantic songs were made from. the purity, the faith, the belief...it's what keeps me here...
tomorrow: i will put out the must have Hip Hop joints. if im missing something... holla
people who are:
i think i rambled on for a good minute before he laughed and said, "damn, you must not like nobody!" lol -- i guess not.
a brief summary over the last day...
tues: missed appointment with doctor for this damn cast. we were too tired to get up on time. got breakfast in bed. we went back to sleep until the afternoon sun kissed us...again LOL sammy made it back to the city. i have to retract a statement! i said "WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO LIVE IN NYC" and as my 2nd day in Manhattan, i was incredibly happy to be alive! so because sammy was in the city and wanted to shop i suggested SOHO. and with prices as they are in LONDON, she would make a killing! we caught up over coffee. laughed too long, shook our heads even longer. and found out how everything, one way or another, is relative... don't you love those moments...? when you say "OHHHH -- that's what THAT! MEANT!" as J says, hindsight is always 20/20... (anyway, i'm sorry sammy. didn't know the wackness was like dat!) afterwards, went to class. it was exceptional. i love Patricia Smith. she is too fly for the world! had an incredible assignment. will work on it more before i post it. but i will post it.
that evening, we wanted manna's but agreed on jamaican food. caught a cab to brooklyn. then my people's john cab'd us from the crown heights to bed-stuy (all for that damn movie? BLAH) we ate dinner. consumed too much Pepsi, i'll save that story for later *LMAO* watched south park until we fell asleep...sorta. i couldn't sleep. dammit Sammy and that STARBUCKS!
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
didn't realize how much i missed manhattan until we got out of the cab and i smelled the city life. damn! went to bar 13 -- we slammed. did pretty good. i went to breath again. j did well, killed the second poem. my first poem was a kicker! sammy and court were in the house. sammy and i went to republic which was fun. and so informative! lol she refused to use the chopsticks -- said "i'm african we use our fingers". salmon was banging though - and it was great to see rac and her new haircut, celena and her new haircut, mikey, roger, rich, OB, fish, lynne, marty and my favorite blogger matthew! had a lot of fun. i have a class tonite with the great P. Smith... wish me luck
got some new quotes -- throw em at you lata.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Sunday, March 13, 2005
but here is the great news! she's here in NYC! YEA!! im ready to paint the town. this systa deserves to see the scene! damn this cast, slowing me down! but it's cool -- imma hobble if i have too...word up
if its true
phantom limbs puslate
thru space and shadows
of blue black lovers
and sometimes its not
any color in particular
snug between butterscotch candie wrappers
strawberry kiwi flavorful tongue
and his taste from her thoughts
memories stink so bad they
seep in your skin and stretch out your soul
leaving marks and bruises
rips and now its too big
holding tight to your sorrow
out of shape and misplaced
your happiness soon follows
like singles during winter
grabbing tight the abscene
in hopes of feeling connected
to one soul
Saturday, March 12, 2005
reading sister's souljah's novel, again. The Coldest Winter Ever. that book was the beginning of all those urban novels that are out now... yup -- the really, really bad ones with terrible grammar and crazy typos! but its an original ghetto story. i always enjoy reading it. thinking bout what im getting into soon. the ankle is getting better. the toes are swollen again, but its ok. i know i got another month to go -- i know what ya thinking, is she counting down?? HELL YEA! i sure am! lol
im looking forward to april. i will be free of these plaster blues. we are featured in austin, tx! i love it there. it is the absolute best poetry/literary festival in the US. hell, in the world. there are a couple of cool ones in the UK -- but this one is sooo homey. and positive. and the whole city recognizes the importance of poetry and its just real flyy. this is our 4th year going, our 3rd year being invited. a couple of UK artists will be there, which is cool. and honestly. if it wasnt for Reggie one of the most involved board members - we probably wouldnt go this year. he has been instrumental in the process and his family is just adorable.
so -- im waiting for tues to come. the incredibles will be on DVD and J promised to get it for me. or i made him promise -- i dont remember. lol that movie was entirely too cute and the first animated film i have looked forward to since lion king. i think i wanna go see a show on broadway. i need some inspiration. think i will start reading my people's from the UK book next "where you're at". thanks again for the care package mr. neate... as usually, a classy guy -- no matter how late! lol
thinking about this creative life. and all that it entails. its truly bewildering. the characters you meet on the road can be the most incredible people you will ever meet in your entire life -- and you walk away feeling blessed to have met them. and then there are the other ones. the ones that act like bloodsuckers. poking you for information, for guidance, for a life that they themselves may be afraid to seek. its like some single black female ish! and you are left with a lifetime of questioning and reconsidering and its not healthy. part of the world -- but really unhealthy. and that's life. in all its guts and glory and it can be beautiful. the wrong turns, the dead ends, the misjudgement of character - sure it can be a let down. but if i let the bad people get in the way of meeting some incredibly beautiful souls, i would miss out the most. besides, the scenery is so exquisite, i just keep it moving and ignore the vultures circling the wagon.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Charred like your soul
How you gonna face the mirror?
Whispering secrets with devilish grins
To the shadows
Instead of facing the demons
It must be warm
Dancing among hell’s embers
Believing if you pluck butterfly wings
Your deeds are undone
But how you goin’ feel
After the third time around your psyche
Leads you back to the origin of your pain?
Pursuing silver lined clouds failing to see the beauty
In spring showers
Where lovers walk like they got a secret
Sharing answers between kisses
Your jealousy is contagious
Spread fire like breathe exhaled
I see you struggling – saw you hi tail’n
On that last lap
Trynna catch karma slipping
Fell in love with her over poems and prose
She tasted your naivete and feasted for hours
Left a note instead of her number promising
You reap what you sow
Thursday, March 10, 2005
i said "you forget they exist".
amari asked "but why? "
i said "because they aren't worth your time. people that you don't like will make you mad alot. and that takes away from you being happy and having fun with your friends and family."
amari said "so did you beat up the people you didn't like?"
i said "i used to. but i stopped -- because fighting isn't the answer. but i don't want you letting people pick on you either."
amari said "so if a boy hits me on my butt --"
i said "what! aww naw. you can't let ANYBODY hit you on your butt! and you aren't anybody's punching bag. if they bother you -- defend yourself."
amari said "i know! and if a boy hits me, i will kick him in the nuts!"
aww -- sweet innocence.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Fishy Fishy take a bath
Fishy Fishy dry off
Fishy Fishy go to bed
Fishy Fishy goodnight
im smiling so hard! kids are the bomb!
otherwise, im ok. i think?? no. im definite. rough patches be...rough?? i've been on the net constantly. surfing, purchasing albums that i don't need. lol but "das ok! cause afta another qualo -- i love him in the morning" (cmon now -- scarface, stay wit me). we trynna go to new orleans... some impromptu ish... hope the weather will be nice. i love new orleans. the shrimp etoufee, catifsh poboy's at 3am and the crazy clubs -- free and pouring onto bourbon street on any given friday evening turned saturday morning. the big easy is easy to fall in love with. except when you meet a 12-year old smack addict dancing for spare change so he can get his fix. that shyt is a crazy awakening...
that said, hopefully the positive will outweigh the negative... besides, it will be a good change from inside these brooklyn building walls.
until the cast is removed,
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
and Akil Dasan -- the cat jilted on Missy's crappy show: road to stardom... will let you know how they sound.
today my workshop at Cave Canem starts. wish me luck
the last convo is still brewing and i don't want to stop that. i will post other ish later... let's keep this conversation going.
Monday, March 07, 2005
now, the brown paper bag conditioning was something that played a huge role in my life even if i didn't realize it. my maternal grandfather had a serious color complex that my grandmother called him on. my mother tried to tell me often that i was as pretty as my cousins who had long beautiful hair and fair skin -- but tv and everything around me told me otherwise. besides, my mother and her fair complexioned freckled face couldn't tell me nothing when i watched men fall over her redbone beauty. i listened to my aunts compliment my caramel complexioned cousins calling them pretty and little black girls like me received compliments like funny or smart.
that being said. i was very aware of my place in the dating pool chain. i attended a high school with the majority population consisting of asians, then white, then black and mexicans. the athletes were usually black men who then dated asian girls. some of them dated black and mexicans, few of them dated white. it was considered taboo -- and if they did admit to dating different races, but only under the circrumstances that they were easier to deal with and didn't talk back like black girls.
this would be my first negative experience with interracial dating. i myself thought white guys were cute -- but none of them ever showed interest in me, so i kept my appreciation for white men limited to luke perry, richard grieco and mark walhberg (yo -- don't HATE!) as far as dating white men. i tried, several times. i thought, if they were nice, why not? however, i kept running into white boys who wanted to be black boys so much that they had the hip hop act down to a tee. one white boy refused to date white girls, saying he needed a BLACK QUEEN in his life. and the other one who supposedly had a crush on me -- then hollered at one of my good friends teneisha. before dumping her and getting with her older sister. this would be my second negative experience with interracial dating.
that said. i've had my encounters. so obviously, i didn't think it totally wrong. but as i grew older and went to college and watched the black athletes refuse black women strictly because they deemed black girls as "gold diggers", "mouthy & with too much attitude" and "sexually inhibited", i began to form an opinion. i began listening to the concerns of black women who were alone and feeling desperate to an extent and felt their pain. the same pain that i nursed during grammar school and middle school. i watched women dye their hair blond, lose weight until they were on the brink of an eating disorder and compromise themselves for a chance at someone who didn't want them. someone who seemed enamored by everything that they weren't. and it hurt. while i never fell into the trap of trying to become what Vogue, Vanity Fair & Cosmo deemed as beautiful, i beat myself up mentally for it. soon, a black dude with a white girl would pass me and i would start to pinpoint the differences between her and i. what she had that i didnt -- i didn't even have to be attracted to him! and afterwards i would always feel less than.
now, after i turned 21 and came into my womanness (so to speak) i became very brash and comfortable with my body. my new body, since i just had a daughter. and i attracted a different type of man. and since i was newly single (as i just found out about the other woman) i became more intune with men and the dating pool. it was during this time, that i felt the most secure. i would see interracial couples and not have a breakdown mentally. i didn't feel like i was less than the white girl on a black man's arm -- i just felt different. but when i heard comments from charles barkley and dennis rodham bad mouthing black women -- i felt betrayed. but quickly categorized them as stupid (taking note they had an uncanny resemblance to the ball players at my alumi mater Kennedy High). and i took my newfound love for poetry as a voice for these concerns.
i would talk to men who dated outside of the race and try to understand. i wanted to understand why there were more black men that dated outside of their race than woman. i wanted to know what was the difference, or if there was one. i wanted to know what black women did wrong. in many cases -- they would say the same thing: "they are easier, dont talk back. give me money, buy me things". and after awhile, i believed it. now, i dont think all interracial couples have this foundation. i think the unhealthy ones (like any other relationship) do. when i moved to NYC, i was like damn -- its high school all over again. i was in creative meetings listening to men talk about puerto rican woman like they were hot food. i've heard men say she's hot -- but her accent is too thick, she can't talk during sex! that disgusts me on sooo many levels, i can't begin to tell you.
in NYC, Latinas were hypersexualized and soon i would have to write a review about Black Eyed Peas for a hip hop publication and ripped into them for a song they had about Spanish Women. limiting their attraction to these women by using adjectives used when describing mexican food.
and it was here, in NYC, that i would have my first bout with this uneasy attraction. i dated a spanish cat. upon introduction i thought he was Black and later found out he was Dominican. no problem. i learned from dating a Puerto Rican model during my first months in NYC that it was considered disrespect if you mistook the two - so i thought i was in the clear when i told my new friend "oh, i thought you were black when i first met you". homeboy flipped out -- told me
he wasn't BLACK he was DOMINCAN. i asked him about the slave trade and the boats and the background of domincans -- i mean, i thought it was cool. he made sure i understood it wasn't and went so far as to tell me, if anything "I call myself a SPANISH NIGGA, but i AINT BLACK and i don't care what the history books say." ughhh, ok??? i tried not to sweat it -- if anything, i understood being a bit tight about certain ancestral things (ahem, my lightskin/darkskin complex) -- so we continued to hang out. it was soon after this incident when he would reveal his interest in me was simply because i was so soulful... i was soulful with an afro and just SO black. i was shell shocked.
and it was here, in NYC that i met my good friend and ex-roomate (by default, lol) Vic. she is a fair skinned beautiful and intelligent sista who with both Black and White parents. she admitted to me the inner battles a multi-cultural woman has to deal with:
1)black people who hate her cause she thinks she is better than them/treated better
2)white people who hate her cause she's not ALL white
3)people who are attracted to her because she is exotic
she admitted she always wanted to have dark skin. she envied my afro and said their was no denying i belonged. she was challenged daily about her birthrite. i never EVER thought of it from her perspective. and was totally and utterly ashamed of ever passing judgement. i guess the grass is always greener...
all that said let me make this sparkling clear: i believe in love.
if that means homosexual partners or interracial couples. i do not agree with people who refuse to date someone that may be the same race as they are -- i think thats a whole 'nother level of self hate (like a dude telling me white girls ain't got flava -- and he's white?!)...
now i don't have a problem expressing the pain that black women may/have feel. this being the catalyst for many conversations between J and I. i mean, if we don't talk about it -- black men will continue thinking "aw she's just jealous" -- instead of "damn, we have some deep psychological ish in our background. she may feel this way because this"...that's a giant leap in understanding the sexes!
and through these conversations, i have learned that there is nothing wrong with people having preferences (i.e., tall, short, voluptous, petite) -- though i'm sure there is a fine line treaded.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Friday, March 04, 2005
DESTROY YOUR ENEMIES. don't listen to them plea bargain and talk about a truce when they SEEM down and out, because once they stand, they will ALWAYS strike again.
not exactly sun tzu - but damn close. lesson learned.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
i want it cause you got it
what it look like in the bed?
sound like during sex?
be like when it's cool ...when it's warm... when it's real ...?
i wanna know cause i really
feeling outta control
like drama is all i know
like this life is all i got and i want mo
like i know betta
but i dont know NO good
like i dont care
like i wanna share
like let's play pin the blame
like i don't like me
or anything reminding me of who i ain't
i said what dat
i just wanna understand
want to understand
"want to understand"
what it is ?
cause i aint got the like
or even the love
to figure out
what it isn't
unfortunately, i lost half my damn pics in the process. but not our pics from the trip to mexico... i will definitely get J to help me put them up - damn, what can i say, im a lil tech un-saavy!
now back to the real world... so -- im feelin' betta. you know it takes time. i got to get some air. and had dinner and we laughed and talked about hip hop and reality tv and the destination of poetry and performance poets currently in the circuit. and it was good. real good.
to smell something other than the occasional hissing of this heater next to my bed and my depressing attitude. i have 1 month and 3 weeks to go. watching a documentary on the rock -- don't get me started on mr. dwayne johnson... he's fly -- but not as fly as minez iz... lol
still working on the intteracial thesis, b back in 2 and 2 (lil love connection for ya'll old heads!).
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
coffee breaks with a good book
internet conversations with friends
the ability to walk without grunting or wincing
the airport (suprisingly)
sleeping without pain
driving to conneticut
hotel late check out
shopping for shoes (oh no - i think im hypervenilating!)
bar 13 (even more suprising!)
brunch on sundays, just because
reading (i can't get into anything these days)
the j train subway ride to manhattan