Tuesday, November 29, 2011

7:03

By 7:15 all three loads will be finished washing
The laundrymat is one of my favorite my time places to me
In line with the 99 cents store
The thrift store
Hardware store
Art supply store

I use a lot of towels
Wash cloths, dish rags
Somewhere along my joruney
I developed a thing about reusing wet cloths
Oddly when I go on a cruise I only pack one swimsuit
And swim everyday

This laundrymat is new to me
So far it hasn't proven itsself
The machines the parking the blah blah blah

Mostly I miss the black faces at my
Real laundrymat
I should have gone there tonight
But I didn't
Next time though
Next time

7:15

Exhale (from journal entry 11-28-11)

There is always much happening
Am I paying attention is a better question
I am a poet and so am given to needing time alone
To be
To breathe
To write
To create
To seperate real life from bullshit

Alone can be anywhere I choose
My favorite alone is outside in a crowd
Like tonight
Where I can see colors
Spinning tires
Where I can make up stories
About the lady with the long pink skirt inside of
Catalanos Pizza

Where I can wonder if Hair Workz & Nails is losing business
Since Star Nails opened up just two stores over

I don't really care about that though
But you know that
I am just sitting here in front of Ralph's
In my car near the pharmacy department
Letting go of my day

A mother is walking into the market with her son
He is five maybe six
He reminds me of Uraeus at that age except slower
Uraeus liked to run and jump
Everywhere

I have other things to think about you know
I'm getting married
Yes, this is my way of telling you

There will be other poems
About love
About him
Though he is much more private than I
And didn't sign up to have his life
Replayed in my blogs my poems my stages

I'm going home now
Just had to run into the 99 cents store to get a new
Notebook
Because something happens to me with no
Notebook

There is a woman in a white Ford Explorer three rows away
Doing nothing it seems
But taking a moment to breathe
Like me

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another just because freewrite just because

just because words are all in my head and im ready for them to come out because im getting sleepy now and i love when im sleepy this early because it means im going to sleep so good so good even though ive been sleeping good for the past like month and thats good news and if this post is driving you mad because there are no periods and the thoughts just go on and on and then flip into something strange then you should read the next post because maybe this one isnt for you its for me and i have some great news but im not going to tell you right now so there. see, there is a period.

New art

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy birthday Uraeus!

I love you so much and you have grown and are still growing into such an awesome spirit! Always proud of you!

Mom

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My new art for sale

Only $50.00 / 22 x 28 acrylic on poster board / paypal to jahazainabuphotography@yahoo.com or if you know me and live in Los Angeles call me at 404-957-5967 and come and pick it up

People vs. Ms. Glory Bell Dean

Everybody’s got a particular way of seein’ a thing and judging it to be right or wrong or wrong or right according to what they know to be the truth. How they mama raised them, where they was brought up, they struggles and they own particular blessings and lessons. Aint just no one way to do it right. Lotta people caint see through a thing the way I can. I always did have extra wisdom more than what most come with. I guess it’s a blessing and a curse at the very same time.

I was born and brought up right here in The Village. She wasn’t, but I was. Right here. Now I just moved into this house about a year ago, but I came up just two blocks over. My mama schooled me on cookin’ and book learnin’ everyday right in that kitchen. She passed away oh fifteen years ago. It been that long? I guess it have. Me and her would shol have a real good laugh at what’s goin’ on if she was here. I will tell you that.

Little Miss Ann come callin’ me one morning. I calls her Fassy Annie ‘cause she got kinda a little priss about herself. She aint from here. I’m from here, but she aint. She got a lotta proper in her speakin’ and she always wearin’ them suit kinda clothes with her shirt tucked in and pulled out just a little and gotta little cuff in her pants. Oh she thank she is the cutest thang goin’ on! Always around here click click clickin’ in her heels. Who wear heels alla time that mean any good to anybody? Nobody that’s who.

“Excuse me, Ms. Dean, I was wondering if I could meet with you tomorrow at noon so that we could discuss a few things?” What do she thank I wanna discuss with her? Here she is tryin’ to kick me and my kids out onto the street and she wanna discuss with me? I tell her she can come over at noon, two, three, fo five six, don’t make no difference to me ‘cause I done said all I have to say. “Well ok, I’ll see you at noon sharp. You have a blessed day.” Have a blessed day. What do she know about havin’ a blessed day and how can she tell it to me when she is tryin’ to put me out? I guess I just don’t know about peoples. And she is supposed to be a preacher. My mama always did tell me to watch out for womens who was preachers. It aint the way God meant for it to be. Don’t ask me, just read yo Bible all the way through. It’s shol in there.

Well she come over the next morning clickin’ up my walkway with them prissy clothes on switchin’ her tail. Oh I will tell you. “Good morning, Ms. Dean. How are you doing today?” Yes she did ask me that.

“Well I guess I’m doing just fine for an old lady with nine children who is about to be kicked out her house onto the cold streets by a young preacher gal who got herself a husband and only two kids and a house to live in. Yeah, just fine.”

“That’s what I need to discuss with you Ms. Dean. May I sit please? ”I didn’t say yes and I didn’t say no but she don’t know ‘cause she shol didn’t wait around for no answer. Just sat right on down there. Come to think of it, I think she even dusted off the chair ‘fore she sit in it. “Ms. Dean, I’m not out to do you or your children any harm. I really want the best for you, but I would like for you to clearly see my side of this. I rented this house to my Uncle Topper and he invited you to move in.”

“Thas right, Topper, God rest his beloved, righteous soul invited me to move in. Invited! You and yo family ack like I forced my way in like a thief in the night.”

“Well, ma’am when he passed away six months ago what did you expect? Did you think that you could just stay in my house rent free?”

“Would you just stop it with all that rent free?! I told you that I would start payin’ you some money soon as I could. I looked you right in your face and told you.”

“But you never completed the application I sent you, and you never paid me any money.”

“Because I told you that’s just too much money to be askin’ from somebody that got nine kids. I don’t know what kinda mother you think I am, but I gotta think about my kids, don’t I? They did teach you about that at preachin’ school didn’t they?”

“Let’s just stay focused here, please? I certainly understand that you have children, but I’m asking you to understand that getting money from my properties that I rent out is how I take care of my children. This is just business for me."

Now when she said that I felt my pressure risin’. I sure did. She could tell it too ‘cause she started getting up right then and headin’ to the door. She know better. She shol aint completely crazy.

“Ma’am I have already filed the papers to have you officially evicted. I’m sorry that it had to be this way”

“Yeah right, you sorry about kickin’ me and my nine kids out."

She was good and out the door by the time I told her where she could go with her papers. I don’t care nothin’ about no papers. I only care about what’s gon happen to me and my kids and now here it is almost November and ‘bout to be rainin’ real good. Lady preachers, I’ll tell you. Just then she stop clickin’ on the walkway and turn around. “You know, Ms. Dean, I wasn’t going to say anything but since you insist on being really nasty with me throughout this whole process, I will give you some words of advice.” Words of advice? For me? I know this young gal aint talkin’ to me. “Perhaps you should be more concerned with yourself than with your children who are all grown except for you sixteen years old twins. They are all living here with you. Don’t you think they should be on their own or at least working so that they can help you out?”

“Looka here Missy Fassy Annie, you don’t know what it is to be me. My son Marvin done broke his two legs in a car accident. I’m his mother and I gotta take care of him. Who else gon do it? You gon do it?"

“Well couldn’t he go and get some kind of public assistance?”

“Public assistance? Them people don’t be helpin’ nobody. The only thing they tryin’ to offer him is some funky ole two hundred fifty dollars. What he gon do with two hundred fifty dollars? Then he gotta go down there every month and get it. How he supposed to do that, huh? Then William and Barry both been to jail and it aint they faults that folks don’t hire folks that’s been to jail. Alla my children got situations to be figured around. You think you got my whole life worked out don’t you? But you don’t really know nothin’. Every time I turn around seem like the good Lord just testing me. Seem like He just don’t want me to have nothin’ and nobody. He took my mama when I wasn’t nowhere near ready for her to go. Took my youngest baby Pearl when she wasn’t doin’ nothin’ to nobody , and what somebody wanna come run up behind her stealin’ her pocketbook and stabbin’ her in the heart for I just don’ know? Every time I look up and then down He takin’ one and another of my boys to jail for no good reason except they just tryin’ to make it in this world. He even took away Topper. And I know Topper wasn’t noways mines but he took one look at me and shol gave me and my kids someplace to live and now look what happen once again, he got tooken from me. And now you.”

Now I shol didn’t mean for Miss Fassy to see me breakin’ down like but sometimes life just gets real hard and the stuff that’s been building up in yo chest come out. You don’t’ never know when it’s gon happen it just do is all.

Everybody always wanna see something fixed and all worked out but it don’t be sometimes. It just be what it is.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Art Show at Dysonna City Art Gallery in Los Angeles

I had an art opening at the Dysonna City Art Gallery last Saturday. The show consists of me and two other fabulous artist. The exhibit will be up until November 30. If you are in the area please go by and check it out and buy some great art!

Dysonna City Art Gallery 5373 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Sugar's Baby (in loving memory of Baby Mary)

Finally! Seem like I been waitin’ forever and a day just to tell my story. I got a story to tell too. I guess you say this better be a good one huh? Well, it ain nothin’ that’s what it is. Iss a story about my nothin’. I couldn’ ax for nothin’ better than nothin’ with every and all the things I been through.

This is a picture of my Mercy. She sure was one pretty one wasn’ she? I didn’ have a camera so I just drew a picture of her. It ain all the way right on because I’m not a professional artist or nothin’ like that, but you can still tell how preddy she was right? I know it. She was only three days when she went on and left. I had her right here in this house. Right here. My sister helped me deliver her. We were in my own room on my own bed. Buford was fightin’ overseas and couldn’ be here. But he was here. In his own quiet way. All my brothers and sisters came and waited in the livinroom for the baby to come. All of them, and me of course, and Mama. Daddy wasn’ here because it was Sunday and he had to preach night service. It wasn’ nothin’ that was ever gon keep him from night service. He didn’ even miss it the Sunday after he passed. He said the Lord told him he was gon take him away and to get the service together. So he wrote it down on a piece of paper and had my oldest living brother Theodore read it to the crowd while his body was layin’ right there.

I laid down on the bed after my water broke and Happy came in and took over. I juss did everything she say. She said push and I pushed. She said breathe and thass what I did too. I guess it took about ten hours, but after it was over I didn’ even remember the time. What time? I just held her in my arms rockin' back and forth. Rockin’ and singin’ to her. I knew she was gon be a girl because Happy been dreamin’ ‘bout spiders . Happy even knew what the girl was gon look like and what she had come here to do. New babies always come to see Happy. They always do. Happy even tole me what to name her. Mercy. I pretty much do whadever Happy tell me and it so happen that I like that name too. Mercy.

After Mercy came through, everybody came into the room with us and took turns holdin’ her and kissin' all over her. Everybody except Rufus. Rufus didn’ touch babies. Ever since his own boy Booty passed on in his arms he stayed away from babies. It wasn’ his fault or nothin’ like that. The angels got ready for Booty to come home thass all. He came in the room though. Sat over in the corner wantin’ to smile. Rufus never did smile much either. He wanted to though. So there was Marvin, JuniorBoy, Theodore, Rufus, Happy, BabyGirl, Sister, Brother, Ruth, Amos, Paul, Simon, Ezra, Joseph and David. Esther, Nehemiah, and Leviticus had passed on by then. I was the baby.

I guess that was the happiest day of my whole life. Holdin’ Mercy in my arms all night. I didn’ even want to go to sleep. Happy told me to sleep when the baby was sleep so I could be well rested for her feedin’. I loved feedin’ my baby. Seem like she knew just how to do it. Even better than I did. Mercy would wrap her little biddy lips around my nipple and juss go at it. All the way till she was full all the way up. Seem like she would drink all the milk from one breast and move herself over to the next.

Happy tole me to go out Tuesday evening to get some fresh air. I didn’t want no fresh air, I just wanted to stay inside and kiss over mercy. I did what she told me to do though. I went in the backyard and sat on the swing Amos had built. That was my dream place. I could stay out there all day and never know what time it was. I would swing on that swing and dream up some good ole dreams. That day I dreamed that Buford could be with us and see Mercy. He wasn’ gon be able to come until the end of the week. Seem like that was takin’ forever. I stopped daydreamin’ long enough to hear Mama and Daddy in my room singin’. They didn’ never sing together. They was barely in the same room together. Daddy was always in the backroom workin’ on his sermon for the next Sunday. Thass what babies do though. They bring folks together. After while I was tired of swingin’ and dreamin’ and I wanted to feed my baby.

I went in the house and Daddy walked out as I was comin’ in. He didn’ say nothin’. But then he barely did say nothin'. I picked up Mercy and there she was just as beautiful as ever. It just wasn’t no baby born in this world as beautiful as mines. Mama heard me say that one time and she tole me don’ never say that again ‘cause it was a disrespect to Baby Jesus. I guess so.

Happy tole me to go on and lay down and take a nap. I tole her I didn’ feel like takin’ no nap. I wanted to hold Mercy. Even if Mercy was sleepin' I just wanted to hold her and look at her while she slept. I could tell Happy didn’t want me to hold my own baby but she really couldn’t say nothin’. She was my baby, not hers. She and Mama left the room not sayin’ nothin' and I did what I wanted to do. I kinda started thinkin’ that maybe Happy was just a little bit jealous of me havin' my very own baby ‘cause she was the only one of us that didn’ never have one yet.

I held Mercy for a real long time and she never did cry or fidget or nothin'. She just laid there. After awhile Rufus walk in and just took Mercy right out of my arms. Didn’t say nothin’, just took her and held her. I didn’t say nothin’ ‘cause it ain like Rufus to even hold a baby. I started to think about all the miracles Mercy was bringin’ to the family already. Mama and Daddy singin' together. Bein’ in the same room. Rufus pickin' up and holdin’ a baby. He put his lips to her cheeks and started to cry. I did too. I guess he was rememberin' Booty.

It look like Happy was right after all about me layin’ down ‘cause I shol did get real real sleepy after that. I laid on down and took a nap. Guess I was even more tired than I thought I was because it was early the next mornin’ when I woke up. I didn’ see Mercy so I went to see who was huggin’ and kissin’ all over her. Seem like I couldn’ find nobody. Then I heard that old piano playin' in the livinroom and I couldn’ race in there fast enough? Didn’ nobody play that piano and make it sound like that except for Buford. I stood there watchin' and listenin' to him. There he really was. So handsome. He looked at me and tole me to come over and sit on the bench with him while he play.

“Where everybody at?” I don’ know why I axed him like he should know.

“They out back getting ready. You gotta go get ready too.”

“Get ready for what? I ain goin’ nowhere. Come on Baby I got to show you yo very own baby girl. She the most beautiful baby ever been born in the world except for Baby Jesus. Where she at?” Then I went in Mama and Daddy 's room and there she was. Sleepin’ like an angel. Somebody had got her all dressed for me. She had on all white with a little bonnet. I picked her up like I always do but she felt…heavy. The kinda heavy that just a few days caint to do nobody. But what did I really know about babies? I kissed her and her skin felt like a doll skin. “She so soft. Buford, aint she just pretty?”

Buford looked at her but he didn’ wanna hold her. Then Rufus came in and took her from me again. “Mercy gon on, Sugar. Get dressed and come on out back with us.“

“Gon on? What you talkin’?” I knew. But I didn’ know. Because I didn’ want to know. Then I heard Mama and Daddy and all my livin’ brothers and sisters in the far end of the backyard singin’ and knew for sure. Mercy had her white dress on so I put my white dress on too. Buford had on his uniform and we walked out together. My Mercy didn’ have no shoes on so I didn’t put none on either.

“And we will all be together on that great gettin’ up mornin’…” They were all there finishin’ up the song. Daddy was holdin’ her over the hole about to pray. I didn’ wanna pray. I didn’ close my or nothin’ neither. I just looked at my Mercy one more time.

Morning Clear

I told Jermaine not to go to that party in The Jungle. The brothas in The Jungle and the brothas in The Village have been feudin’ over two years now. About what? About nothin’. They don’t have nothin’ else to do I guess. It’s all so silly to me. The clothes, the guns, the colors. Jermaine said nothin’ was gon happen but the way I had been scratchin’ on my elbows three days in a row, I knew what I was talkin’ about. Jermaine always told me to stop with all that nonsense. But I know what I know. Had it been just two days itchin’ or went well into four or some other even number, then maybe not, but three? I know what I know.

Here everything is goin’ on so good and Jermaine is goin’ off to play football in college and then some professional team and make us a whole lotta mon ey…then this. He was drivin’ home from the party and Cedric and Bishop and MarcusRufus were all in the car with him. A car pulled up beside them and shot at Jermaine’s car then somebody from Jermaine’s car shot back. They say it was Jermaine but it wasn’t Jermaine at all. Jermaine doesn’t even have a gun and he wouldn’t do anything like that if he did. Ask me, it was MarcusRufus but he’s too scared to say anything and so are the other ones that were in the car. The boy in the other car died right there even before the amalamce got to him.

So now Maine’s in jail. After all the good he’s been don’ all these years. You can’t find one person that will say one bad thing about Jermaine and now they’re talkin’ about not letting him out of that jail. He didn’t do it though. He didn’t. The tops of my toes started itchin’ just three and a half hours after I went down to see him in that place. I looked at him right between his eyes. That’s where you hafta look when you wanna know of the real whole truth is comin’ out or not. I looked at him and that little spot didn’t twitch or nothn’. I didn’t blink. I just looked . It didn’t! Not one single time! Even if I was blind I would have known he wasn’t lyin’ to me because I just know Jermaine. But now this. His trial is due two weeks from now so we just gotta wait. Wait and see how long my toes gon itch.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our issues, your issues (just journal entry 11-4-11)

I was talking to a very good friend this morning who is going through it. I know going through it. The sadness, the sinking that comes from seemingly nowhere. I know that feeling so well. When we were young young ladies just starting our menstral cycles the world understood. As best as the world could understand. And by world I mean men. There was something tangible they could see and be grossed out or not by. There was blood. There was an explaination. Our periods were how we all got here. Right? When the big people in our lives felt that we were ready we graduated from stork stories to where babies really came from.

Then we grew up. Whatever crazy girlishness existed was often excused because however crazy or silly or whatever we were, we were also filling out. Breasts got rounder, butts got thicker and perfectly poked, thighs filled in, stomachs stayed tight and waistlines stayed in. Add to that we were still naive in so many ways to the world and to relationships and to the power of the ...well, P ower. So given all of this on our poor little plates to deal with, what's a little craziness?

Now fast forward twenty, thirty years and we are in our forties now. Still beautiful. Smarter, wiser to the world. More aware, in love with and protecting of ourselves. But suddenly we are starting new periods. Without blood. Periods that don't seem to forward the progression of the world. We are older, wider and by the "world's" standards not as attractive as a nineteen year old woman.

"We have become disposable." This is a phrase a dear sisterfriend used. It floored me. I denied it at first. But think about it. All the jokes on us, yo mama this, yo mama that. But what's also going on during this time is that our minds and bodies are changing in ways we are caught off guard by. We had our mothers and teachers to prepare us for the emotional and physical changes that would take place when we started our periods. But we are the mothers now and no one is around to explain the hormonal shifts. The cravings and often the lows that come out of the blue. Not only are we not prepared for it but no one wants to hear about it. Shut up already, old lady!

It hurt me to hear my friend crying. It hurt me to know that her situation, my situation is not rare. I'm not a doctor and don't know if it's depression or not. Whatever it's called it's real. It's real and we are treated like we are stupid for carrying it as if we choose it. We don't. And for record, dear preachers, they are not pity parties that we give to and take back from Jesus. If we had high blood pressure or a broken leg or cancer then no one would think we were crazy or test our faith for seeking help. If there was a boil on our knees of course we would take the medication or whatever healing methods to cure the boil. Somehow God is ok with that but not mental and hormonal changes within us that we cannot control? Sisters, your medication, your therapists, your healing is not against God.

I am an ocean away and could only listen to my friend on the phone spin in her swirl. I know that the swirl doesn't last always but I also know that it sure feels like it does. I am richly blessed and have everything to live for and still there have been nights I have thought too long about my death and just could not see my way through the fog. And nothing had happened to make me feel sad. I. Just. Was. For me it takes great prayer and meditation and serious relationship with God and self and love to keep the fog away. But if I'm ever at a place where I need medication best believe I'll be down there (with my insured or uninsured self).

So my friend was spinning and spinning and I could only listen and pray. I asked her not to go to work today and she told me that she had obligations at her job. I understand that but my commitment is to her and not her job that will be there if she is not. "But you are at 10 right now! How are you even going to function at work?" I asked. "But I have a meeting." Again, I really understand. I remember being in that space and ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING outside of me became more important than me. I remember bleeding and bleeding and bleeding and cramping and telling my friend about it. When she told me not to go to work but to go to the doctor. She was on the phone but I still know what she looked like when I told her that I had to take care ofClara (the woman I was caring for when I worked for the home health agency) and that she was a very difficult client and that they wouldn't be able to get a replacement if I called in. Of course if I dropped dead someone would be there within the hour. Thank God for the bleeding because I did go to the doctor and there are issues in my body that need my attention that I would not have dealt with had I not gone. I didn't make myself a priority. I didn't. I am now though. So there.

Here's the thing. If she was in an accident and broke her legs of course she would take off and go to the doctor. Well, her mental health is important too. Besides, if she snapped at work she will be fired anyway. This, as you have guess by now is not just about her. See yourselves in this story. See me, see your daughters, mothers, sisters in this. Let's take care of ourselves. I'm talking to me too. Dear God, I'm soooooooo talking to me! Our health issues may never be a priority to the world. But our health issues are important.

We are not disposable. We are valuable. We are necessary. Let's love ourselves like we are!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Friday

Good morning friends and family. It's 2:53 and by now you know about my 3:00 wake up thing. No matter where I am in the world I am awake at 3 in the morning. It's my prayer time, write time, blog time, paint time, me time. Time. Today is Friday and I have posted my "Friday morning inspiration by Jaha Zainabu" for Help Somebody Ministry already and posted the ad for my art exhibit on Facebook and did some light reading.

I like this time. I complain about it, sometimes I fight it but really, after I know it's 3am and I know I'm not going back to sleep until 6 I accept it and get on up and do what there is to do. Really, there is no other time in the day that I get this kind of me time in.

Right now I am reflecting on part of what I posted in the Friday morning inspiration post. I wrote a short poem years ago that simply goes Why is it that we pray to get across the street then when we get there we pray to cross another without ever stopping to be thankful that we didn't get stuck in traffic?

I look back on my life at times I didn't know how I was going to make it through and I did. I am taking the time to appreciate where I am and the prayers of my life that have been answered. I am so thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for love in my life. So thankful for my life. So thankful for love brightening my days.

I am also taking time during this me time to be easy with myself. One thing about being about being up at 3:10 is that there is nowhere I need to be soon. Right now, I'm going to catch up on some other blog groups and enjoy Chelsea Handler on Jay Leno. Easy.

Enjoy your day today.

Just saying hi / art show

It's been a few days since I posted and you know I like to keep in touch as often as I can. What's new is my art collection is going to be featured at the Dysonna Gallery for a month starting Saturday, November 4 that's like tomorrow. Yeah. So there's a party for the opening night but the address and everything is in the car so I'll let you know about it later today but really if you're in Los Angeles it's on Wilshire and LaBrea just west of LaBrea on the north side of the street. It's at 7p so come out and have some free wine and cheese and buy my art. That's the main part, BUY MY ART and have some free wine and cheese.