Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dear Jaha,

Fire on the stove

Good night everyone. That's good night as in I hope that you are having a good night, not good night like I'm going to bed, yet. Got in about a half an hour ago and there is so much I want to write about. I won't yet. But it's there.

Brewing:
*My son and how much I love him and how proud of him I am and the emotions I have with him growing up.

I want to write a story called The Real Story of Stepmothers. I had a great conversation with Tse and V Kali tonight in front of The World Stage about the book THE REAL STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE BEARS. If you haven't read it, please please do. Love love love it! It's told from the wolf's perspective. He starts "Ok, this has gone on long enough and it's time for me to set the record straight." Well, I mentioned Nikki Giovianni's talk about how stepmothers have such a bad rap and how she said that that wicked stepmother was not us. We fed all the children in the house. I dunno, I had a long drive and have been thinking of all kinds of stories and that one floated to the top. It touches me because while I didn't grow up with a step mother, my son has one whom he loves and she loves him and because of who she is to my son, she has all of my respect. Also, growing up there were folks who from time to time needed a place to stay and stayed with us and I saw how loving my mother was with other folks' children. Again, I dunno, a story brewing.

*I need to work on further drafts of the poem I wrote a couple of days ago about the mother scrubbing her son's blood out of the concrete while others walked by. It's very surfacy right now. But I have ideas for it. Good ones.

*Gonna write a story or poem or prose, something about Love (Love, because I am keeping his name out of my blog. Not really about him but about how I have grown to love and respect myself more and so love on a much higher level has shown up in my life. A love that I imagined but had given up on until it showed up.) I'm challenging myself to write it from a not such an intellectual perspective but to allow myself the freedom to be mushy. I get mushy but not really about my own love life. Mushy? Yeah, like personal things about where I am now that really make me glow. See, glow is mushy for me. Except the challenge is to use words heavier than glow and mushy and love.

*A letter to In-Q

*There are other ideas. Ones I won't talk about yet. Maybe you think I tell you everything. I don't, you know.

Happy leap year

Just that, just happy leap year! It's not really a holiday or anything like that, but is a day more than we had last year. And that's gotta mean something, right? Well it does to me. I'm taking on choosing happiness for no reason today. Been driving for most of the day and I've noticed myself smiling when I see little things that make me kinda happy. Like the Goodwill in this town I'm driving through and maybe I'll stop in to buy a tarnished bracelet for a dollar. The light traffic. The shapes the clouds make. Whatever. Sometimes happiness has to be a game. I'm happy to have the energy to create it and play it today.

I love you. I do.

Viola. Go 'head!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I saw this on Facebook - Parents please read

ALL PARENTS PLEEEASE BE AWARE!! ...There is a drug going around the schools ...Its known as Strawberry Quick ...or strawberry meth ...it looks like pop rocks kids eat & also smells like strawberries & also comes in other flavours like chocolate ect ... Pleeease tell your children not to take candy from anyone even a class mate because this drug that looks like pop rocks is actually crystal meth rocked up with strawberry flavour & can kill them :'( ...PLEASE REPOST!!! so all parents are aware of this ...Thank You! This is happening all over the country

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rest time

Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. And if they do, hit 'em with a shoe. And they'll turn black and blue...

Me with Brooke Rose part 2

She's been talking to me. Not out loud but in my mind Brooke has been talking to me. Going on and on too. The first time I was in the bathroom and I felt her wanting to say something. She hadn't yet, but I could feel it. You ever feel like that?

Me: What?

B: You scared of me?

Me: No I'm not scared.

B: That's what you wrote. You wrote that you were scared of my ghost.

Me: I'm not scared scared. I mean, I don't want to see you or hear you out loud or really dream about you or anything like that. And when I don't want to hear you in my head then I want you to go away.

B: So those are the rules?

Me: For now yes. And I don't want to feel you. And if I feel like you're driving me crazy then you gotta go away forever.

B: Tell my story ok?

Me: How did you die?

B: Not now.

Me: That's your story though. How you died? Where are you? Are you stuck here? Did you see a light and just didn't go into it because you have to find out how you died and you found out and now you want me to tell people how you died?

B: That's not it. I won't work like that.

Me: We're not working. You paying me for this? How did you find out about me anyway? Why me?

B: You write about dead children a lot, why?

Me: How did you know about that?

B: I know a lot of things. I don't know how I know them. This world is different. It doesn't have to be that much different but it is.

Me: What do you mean "it doesn't have to be that much different?"

B: Well, now when I need something I know that if I really need it then it will show up and it does everytime. It's like, remember in The Matrix when the lady needed to know how to ride a motocycle and then it all came to her. Or was it the man riding the bike? But you know what I mean right? Well, it's like that.

You can do that too. You don't know it. But you can.

Me: How do you know about The Martix? You died in the eigth grade.

B: I told you. I know a lot of things.

Me: Are you going to tell me how you died?

B: Stop saying died.

Me: I don't know why I keep saying that. I don't usually. Usually I say passed away or something like that.

B: I haven't passed anywhere. I'm right here.

Me: Yeah but you different. You know that.

B: I know you have to get ready but I got it, you don't want to see me, feel me, hear me out loud.

Me: And don't drive me crazy.

B: And don't drive you crazy. And you'll tell my story. I have my own pace. Don't drive me crazy.

Me: And don't drive you crazy.

Virgo horoscope for tomorrow

An intense passion has been released within you, Virgo. You find it hard to resist the urge to take your loved one and run away to some deserted island. You could use a break from civilization. But if you can't quite make it to that island, how about creating an oasis right in your own home? Order some food from your favorite restaurant, bring it home, and enjoy an intimate evening with your partner.

xxxxxxx

Yeah, I don't know about how I'll feel tomorrow but this describes the mood today. Minus the desire to go to a deserted island. This island right here is fine. I love the rain, especially when I don't have to be out in it. Home. Food. Love. Write. Law and Order. Listen to rain. Repeat.

OMG memories

About sixteen years ago my father was walking at night downtown Long Beach and two twenty something year old guys came up behind him and told him to give up his wallet. He did. Then one of the guys jumped in front of him with a knife to his stomach. "Man you got my wallet don't cut me." My dad said. "Man cut that nigga cuz." The man behind my father demanded. So the guy did. He cut him. Deeply. Then turned the knife in his stomach. My father survived. Thankfully.

But seriously? This how we do?

My submission to For Harriet

Today I submitted this short story to the online magazine For Harriet. We will see. I've posted this story on this blog before but decided that since I submitted it, it was worth the repost. Hope you enjoy it again.

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.

The today - draft 1

We were at Rochelle's
Sisterfriends sharing stories about our hoods
Because everybody's got a story about theirs
We are all storytellers

Little girl around the corner from Blue
Named Melody can sing better than Lauren Hill
Since she was three

Tara's neighbor's cousin had twins named
Remi and Martin who grew up to be
Drug and alcohol rehab counselors
They say Remi had a girl she named Moet
But I don't believe that
We just can't let a story be good enough
You know

But Michelle
Michelle was too quiet
She aint never quiet

Rocky
The woman upstairs from her
Had a ten year old boy who played basketball
Around the block
Comin' home about to jog up the steps to her house
Somebody shot him

We've all heard stories about kids
Shot on the way home
Mothers crying
Daddies falling to their knees

This time
With Michelle
We got quiet with her
Took a moment to breathe
To be that boy's mother

What it was like to fill a red bucket
With pinesol with ammonia with Ajax with bleach
Scrub the cement walk with brush and tears
While others walk by
Like this common
Like this is her duty

This is no mother's duty

We breathed in the fumes
Halfway hoping that they might kill us too
This is the rainbow Ntozake called enuf

Too many colors
And we go from red to blue to green
Back to black and red so fast
We can't keep track

Of our bills
Of our lives

It is everything to put on lipstick
Skirt and shoes
Stockings are a joke a memory a luxury

There are no songs to hum as we scrub
We take turns
Scrubbing our stories
About life
About when we used to laugh
How we used to love

We hold each other
Because our collective energy might just
Make up almost enough for
The next woman to breathe and make it till morning

We will get her through tomorrow
Tomorrow
Today we keep scrubbing

We keep making up songs to sing
About mornings yet to come

Jaha Zainabu-Love Rant & Other Things

Quotes for the day

"I'm hot cuz I'm fly. You aint cuz you not." Some rapper

"They start to hate and rearrange they face." Same rapper as above

"Sippin' on a Henny askin' where the weed at." Some other rapper

"Bound together by muthafuckas that's known to break 'em off somethin'." I. Cube

"I'm a leader and y'all on some followin' shit." L. Kim

"I don't mean no harm it's the hood in me." E. 40

"It's not where you from but where you pay rent." Andre B.

KDAY

Nenya Coleman's poetry

Nenya was a wonderful woman with such a bright and perfect smile. Fancy as all get out. You know those women always dressed? Always looking good. Nenya. I knew her brother in L.A. and when I moved to Atlanta he introduced us 'cause "yall should just know each other." He was right.

Nenya used to come over my house and read me her poetry because she wouldn't read it anywhere else. I'm honored that she did. Honored that she chose me.

Nenya was there for me. Everytime I performed in Atlanta if she could be there she was, with her crew. Always my favorite group in the crowd.

I got a call early one morning. That call. Nenya passed away. I sat there at her service with her friends and family and couldn't believe it. Her body was not there. Instead there was a big picture of her with that perfect smile. Those eyes and high cheek bones.

The following is a message she sent to me along with a poem. After that one there are others of Nenya's poetry.
xxxxxxx

Here is a poem I wrote wanted to know what you thought is it ok to read in front of men and women?

THE FUNERAL

I wore my red dress, with my black heels, got my nails, feet and hair done
You’d be proud of me I folded all your things neat and precise the way you would have liked

I am still scrubbing the aroma of your scent away but it won’t be long till I don’t even smell a whiff of you.

A procession of tears cascade down my cheek for the last time, but I am a big girl I will be fine

I even cooked something; I rarely if ever did for you, invited folks over even put on some Jazz you know that just wasn’t like me

Threw away all my black clothes, holey panties, even decided to buy me some plus size lingerie and expensive perfume. You know how cheap I was

In reality, I know you still live on the other side of town at some unknown zip code but I had your funeral today.

2/19/07 By Nenya Coleman
xxxxxxx

SWEET VENOM

I am slowly dying! How could that be?

All I received from you was love’s sweet kiss!

The kiss made my body turn 360 just to land me right back on my feet.

Your chocolate palate melted me like wax

Your eyes left impressions on my soul

The nectar of your venom was too tempting to resist

I have succumbed to your lethal love….how can I escape?

It is too late for me…but not for others to learn

If you except loves sweet kiss it may come with a price!

Your Life!

By: Nenya Coleman
xxxxxxx

THE RIGHT ONE

The joy and headaches that love can bring, sometimes makes you wonder if you did the right thing

An unkind word or slip of the tongue makes you feel hurt for the wrong you’ve said or done

When there is no meeting of heart and mind the love you have may diminish over time

Yet, when loves gentle had comes in to referee all else is forgotten all bad thoughts flee

All you remember is the hand, that comforts you when times are bad, the kiss that makes you quiver like none you’ve ever had

The eyes that say I love you need no words

Kisses gently down your spine

A relationship that clearly states to others hands off he/she is mine!

Embracing love as life goes on makes you self-assured you’ve

PICKED THE RIGHT ONE!
xxxxxxx

THE LOVE AFFAIR

Silence can be your best friend or your worse enemy

Silence can console you, for when it speaks only you will hear

Silence allows you into its bosom and doesn’t get upset when you have nothing to say

Silence has been my friend but once I have spoken quickly turns away!

It’s time that silence and I stop this love affair for spoken words have seduced me taking me to higher plains

I will let silence slip out of my clutch like a freed cageling

Spoken word has now become my new love affair
xxxxxxx

ONLY HUMAN

I use to be radiant and ignorant as regards my value. Yet, now that beauty, value and worth are gone I seem to have NOTHING!

How I yearn for the times when I could omit a smile and know that the stares I received were those of admiration.

When I sit and ponder am I actually more vain now, with all my afflictions since through the suffering I don’t take the opportunity to appreciate that I still have the privilege to enjoy;

The sight of the morning sun? To feel even though pain is what I am welcomed with? To hear the foul and delightful expressions of the planet?

Though sadness is my friend and time is my enemy who has robbed me of delight

I will forgive both since neither can feel my rage against them and I will forgive myself for I am only human.
xxxxxxx

THE DANCE

Resentment understands me giving me reason to feel just in hating you

It says keep that chip on your shoulder don’t let forgiveness knock it off

Whispering in my ear, it tells me all the reasons to hate you making me forget why I ever loved you

Resentment and I do a tango until I get tired letting it take the lead

Hidden in the dark are all the qualities that use to mean so much to me

As we complete this dance of conflict I will take the lead back to

Forgiveness
xxxxxxx

BARREN

Leaves of silence have fallen all around me

I can’t detect sound no matter how loud it omits

My only consolance is my inner voice reassuring me I am not alone in this desolate place

I faintly remember your nurturing touch and soft caresses

A barren land is what I now amount too I have become one who’s life source is depleted

I wish the dew of love would return to shower me with affection and warmth

I have pleaded with GOD to start the midst within you, which would produce rain?

Yet, I guess my prayers are in vain because I am still parched
xxxxxxx

WHERE ARE YOU?

As summer turns to fall and autumns leaves are shed I seem to remember that phrase you once said

I will be there summer; winter or fall I will be here through it all

These words once of comfort bring nothing but pathetic lamenting on my part

Summer has come and gone winter is knocking on its door but where are you?

The seasons in their entire splendor have more consistency than I have been able to observe in you

As the leaves of fall cascade I still momentarily remember your words that use to console me

I will be there summer, winter or fall I will be here through it all

Where are you?
xxxxxxx

WHEN YOU’RE READY

You say I am infatuated with you? Dismissing the fact that I could actually love you?

Yes, You! Do you think you are not worthy of my precious words…words I reluctantly let drip out of my mouth without fear of the consequences! Entrusting you with my innermost feelings

Are you the only one capable of being hurt? Every time I utter these words I am letting vulnerability show and giving you so much power over me

You say I am infatuated with you? I know your flaws I see them clearly I don’t have the luxury or the time for rose colored glasses!

Maybe, being naïve and lost for words I do not know how to fully express how someone can make you feel alive and complete by merely just communicating with them

You said I am infatuated with you? If saying this eases the responsibility of you relinquishing your feelings to me I will accept that I will take the weight of love and carry it alone on my shoulders until

You Are Ready For Love
xxxxxxx

SINCE YOU COULD NEVER BE MINE

Since you could never be mine, I hold you at arms length not letting you get to close to see my flaws.

Since you could never be mine, your voice has to stroke my heart and ego from a distance.

Since you could never be mine, we have to remember that life has played a funny trick knowing that if we had met in a different time

You could have been mine
xxxxxxx

IN YOUR EYES

I look into your eyes for strength and I feel protection

I look into your eyes for answers and I am shown the truth

I look into your eyes for understanding and I am shown forgiveness

I look into your eyes for reassurance and I see

Love
xxxxxxx

A DISTANCE

You say nothing

No contact with me is made

Spoken words you have not uttered, nor would I be capable of hearing them

Giving no outward impressions

Eyes tell your secret

You love me from a distance
xxxxxxx

INFATUATION

I am infatuated with your youth

The dew of adolescence is omitting an enticing odor I attempt to taste some of it on my palate just enough to moisten it, not enough to intoxicate me.

What good would it be to lament? I am past the bloom of youth and I can’t live vicariously through you.

I am infatuated with your youth

The twinkle in your eye, the way you have no strings attaching you to life.

Pursue your dreams attach yourself to life so you don’t wake up

Infatuated
xxxxxxx

MY ADDICTION

You have become my addiction I have acquired a sweet tooth for the taste of your tongue in my mouth. You are my drug of choice, minutes, hours and days go by and I am feigning for a hit of you!

The needle marks of your love are clearly visible I try and deny I have come to depend on your body as my warmth, your arms as my support and your secret places to quench my desire.

As I attempt to break this addiction I asks myself am I a fool for allowing you to awaken desires that might lead to an overdose of you?

I think about this only for a moment as I proceed to get my next hit of you!
xxxxxxx

THE STRUGGLE

I can smell the scent of similac on your palate

Your are age appropriate to be a man. Yet, you have a daily struggle to leave old baggage behind.

It saddens you to take in solid food; your mouth is still salivating for Gerber

At times the temptation of youth get it’s clutches on you, making you revert to infantile ways and attitudes

As you continue to swell in knowledge always know the struggle was well worth

Becoming a man
xxxxxxx

IMPRESSIONS

You were young and naïve

You thought he’d bring you happiness, nights of tenderness to fill your bed. All of those dreams were just in your head.

Instead of a loving embrace, he slammed his fist into your face!

He then apologized even dropping to his knees, letting out a pitiful tear.

Taking him back, you quickly forgot the impression he left on you. The painful gift his love brought!

Of all the impressions he made, he left one for all of us who loved you to remember

HE KILLED YOU!
xxxxxxx

STUPIDITY

Counting the hours before I see you again, I recall the aroma of stale beer, old burnt cigarettes and other seedy paraphernalia omitting from your palate. Relishing each scent as if it is the last time I will smell your essence there is a souring in the pit of my stomach.

Never knowing when your departure will be, I wish I would have the satisfaction of knowing I was not just being stupid! Dueling with myself in desperation blinded by the fact you don’t love me

Honesty lets me know you were only playing a game with me, a cruel game where I would never come out the winner. Stupidity has allowed me to risk my health, mental well being all to be there for you and it’s stupidity that still tells me

I LOVE YOU
xxxxxxx

MY MOLESTER

Calling my name even in the quiet lazy part of the afternoon when things are still and serene. Tapping on my shoulder reminding me of its existence even if I momentarily rest thinking he has decided to vacation from molesting me.

Letting my guard down I relax especially when I have confidence in my abilities, strengths and physical awareness he leaves me for a short time. Not for one moment though do I forget he is around the corner.

His return is swift picking up all the deposits left in my memory bank of hurt, mistrust and abandonment. I personally, welcome him in when I allow self doubt to visit. He creeps up swiftly like the wind just subtle enough to know his existence is presence but not enough to be aware of his power.

Making it my resolve not to let him conquer me, I will fight tooth and nail. If I let him win he will silence me leaving all who love me remembering his name

SUICIDE
xxxxxxx

THE VOICES

Convincing myself that I can fix what ails you I have pretended to possess a PHD, a doctorate in knowing the intricate details of your mind. Bending, reaching and stretching to try and accommodate the nature of your being I have become schizophrenic in my behavior.

Voices tell me you love me, need me and depend on me to help you reach your potential. Losing the ability to judge realism I have allowed these voices to misguide me making me think of only YOU, YOU and more YOU!

I have become a mirage I don’t exist anymore. Who am I? Did I ever really know myself? Again, I polish off the PHD that I don’t possess and repeat the cycle 1) he needs 1 cc of love 2) all my effort and attention 3) a bandage to heal his hurt.

Voices again stir in my head these voices though a little louder, stronger and indignant telling me to WAKE UP! They tell me heal me, accommodate me, bandage me and above all else

LOVE ME
xxxxxxx

THE ACCUSER

Pointing the finger I boldly accuse you of using me. I count and recount the ways of your indiscretions reminding you of the burden it’s been to know you. Tears streaming down my face I blame you for a life full of problems, even though I have only known you for six months I am sure you are the culprit of my heartache!

Pummeling your manhood reducing you to a child I chastise you “YOU USED ME!” Like a catholic repeating the rosary making sure every bead is touched with precision. I make sure you feel every sting of my version of truth I can spit out!

Quietly, I whisper not even loud enough for you to hear and let the truth seep out. Knowing if I am brutally honest, I have used you! I have made you my constant crutch, the culprit of my murdered spirit and my personal self esteem robber. Knowing full well that once I was able to walk on my own I would …………….

LEAVE YOU
xxxxxxx

MY COMPETETION

I can’t compete with her for your affections she is at your beck and call. Endearing names you have for her, not me, she is your; boo, amour, Cherie and your constant lover. I am consumed with jealousy you have caressed every inch of her brown slim body.

Knowing the intricate detail of your mouth each curve and venture she has explored. Allowing her to kiss and caress you and I am not allowed to even touch you! A day doesn’t go by that you don’t go get her, visit with her, and on occasion you may see her more than once in the day.

How can I compete? Where are my affections and my attention?
xxxxxxx

An Invitation

I invite you to see my history!

From the continent of Africa where my struggles began with blood, sweat and tears of my families torn apart. Passages through waters of lost souls.

I invite you to see my history!

I invite you to hear my melodic utterances from the kettledrums, to ragtime of New Orleans or maybe even Harlem. To the churches down south or even Carnegie Hall. Follow my melody from lips of Mahalia, to the whine of Billie or to the soul of Aretha.

You have an invitation to come with me on journeys from back of the bus to State Capital.

I invite you to peer into the contributors of present Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Mae Jemison and Dr. Maya Angelou

Your invitation is always open so that WE can close the gap that separates my history from being…………

AMERICA’S HISTORY
xxxxxxx

WHEN LOVED

Loving oneself means, not measuring yourself by anyone else’s standards waiting for approval that you are acceptable

Loving oneself means, finding life’s rainbow and riding it until it disappears

Loving oneself means, looking at your reflection and falling in love, not with superficial beauty but your internal corpus

Loving oneself means, letting those who truly love us into our little space we call our world, making no apologizes for being you

Loving oneself, merely means loving a unique being who can only be nurtured when

LOVED
xxxxxxx

Why Are Poets So Sad

Psychologists say they it’s because they have identity, isolation and connection issues.
All I know is my muses are gone they have taken their own lives. Channeling out to Plath, Sexton and Berryman beckoning them to bestow on me creativity I take my pen.
Did we not notice their discontented spirit in there writing was everyone blind to there plight?
Were the first-person singular self-references such as "I," "me" and "my" ignored as references to their suicidal intent.
Poets are not normally a bubbly, chipper group they use words associated with death.
Why are poets so sad?

Ask Me
xxxxxxx

I, APOLOGIZE

I apologize if you thought this poem was for you. This poem is not to entertain you, tickle your ears or the podium where you should be my critic. These words are for the little girl who felt tangled up in verses, terms and vocabulary she was too apprehensive to utter.

Selfishly, I keep these expressions for the soul that has wailed Niagara Falls and still prevails. I release these emotions for the woman that still struggles with insecurity, loneliness and the fear of not being good enough.

If my words happen to find a home in your bosom then I welcome you to let them linger. Before, I go I will be taking back each verse, emotion and maybe by sharing my poem with you…… I can tell the little girl who was tangled up and too apprehensive to utter.

I MADE THIS POEM FOR HER

By: Nenya C. Coleman 12-8-06

I know why I saved this message

Hey beautiful it's Azikiwe.
I just wanted to talk to you for a minute, and
tell you that you are going to
be missed tremendously. Your feature a few weeks
ago was amazing, I really
was moved. I am bllessed to have met you, and
experience your words, your art,
and your knowledge.
Things happen for a reason and I guess God is
moving you to Atlanta. Change is
good. Well you have inspired me, and I hate to see
you go.
My art is keeping me alive. I'm selling prints
which is good. I have to get into the
galleries next year, that's my goal.
Anyway I will see you on the other side of the
moon, and share colors with you.
I wish you the best. I have a gift for you, so
don't leave without getting at me.

I was looking for a manuscript that I saved in my hotmail account and found this wonderful message from Azikewe from December 2005. Missing you Azikiewe.

Another school shooting

(I found this article online this morning)

Chardon High School Shooting Left 'Friends Laying All Over the Place'
By CHRISTINA NG and BARBARA LOWE

One student has died and four were wounded in a fusillade of bullets at Chardon High School Ohio this morning in an attack that left "friends laying all over the place" in puddles of blood.

The gunman was identified as a student at the school by survivors of the shooting.

Nate Mueller, a junior at the school, was having breakfast with three friends when he heard a loud pop like a firecracker about 7:45 .am., he told ABC News.

A friend yelled, "Duck!" and Mueller turned to see the shooter standing by his table. Mueller said he saw the gunman take his second shot.

Mueller said he saw one friend get hit. "He was over the table in a pool of blood," he said. Another pal "was on the floor in a puddle of blood next to him," Mueller said.

A third friend "had not been hit yet as I jumped over him," Mueller said.

Mueller got on the floor and was trying to crawl away when a shot rang out and he felt a bullet graze his ear. He was not badly injured, he said, with just a small red mark left on his ear.

"It was terror. Everything had just gone tunnel vision, like, I need to get out of here," Mueller said. "You see glances of your friends laying all over the place. There's blood, there's people screaming, everybody's just running in different directions and you're just trying to get out. That's all you can do, get out of the school and not look back even though your friends are back there."

Two students were taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Hospital and three were taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Hospital, according to WEWS.

One student later died from the wounds.

"There is one deceased student," Chardon Police Chief Tim McKenna said at a news conference. "That's the sad news for all of us today."

Police have not officially identified the gunman, saying only that he has not yet been charged and that he is a juvenile.

Mueller described the suspect as "a quiet kid. Freshman year he got into a 'Goth' phase and didn't talk to that many people anymore. He never egged anybody on. He just went about his business."

The gunman opened fire with a handgun just before 8 a.m. in the school cafeteria where students were eating breakfast, authorities and witnesses said.

The shooter was chased out of the building by a teacher and later turned himself in to a passerby, authorities said.

The suspect is in custody at Geauga County Safety Center, according to ABC News' Cleveland affiliate WEWS.

"Our prayers go out to the five victims and their families," a choked up School Superintendent Joseph Bergant said at news conference. "It's a horrible tragedy."

Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland praised the reaction to the shooting.

"A prompt entry was made into the school. They went into the school and located the victims. It became readily apparent that the shooter had fled already," McClelland said. "The individual was apprehended some distance from the school and had fled on foot."

The officer said police created a security perimeter to make sure the gunman could not return and a search, including a K-9 unit, was launched for the suspect.


Ohio High School Student Arrested in School Shooting

Parent Teresa Hunt told WEWS that she was texting with her daughter during the lockdown and her daughter said she heard five shots fired in the cafeteria about 7:30a.m. Her daughter texted that students were scared and that four people had been shot.

Chardon student Evan Erasmus told WEWS that a student had tweeted that he was going to bring a gun to school, but that no one took him seriously.

The Chardon Fire Department was called to the school at about 7:45 a.m. in response to a report of "several people shot," according to Inspector William Crowley of the Chardon Fire Department.

Multiple law enforcement agencies, including a SWAT team, rushed to the school.

The superintendent immediately canceled classes at all schools in the district. Students who were still on school buses were being dropped back off at their homes and parents were called to pick up their children that were already at school.

The Chardon School District sent a voicemail to parents that schools are closed and high school students are being moved to the middle school, according to WEWS.

Parents received the following message:

"As of 9:00 AM the alleged sole CHS gunman is in custody and Chardon High School students are being moved by safety forces to Maple Elementary. Parents or legal guardians can pick up their students up any time. Chardon Middle School students are also being released to parents."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted around 9:30 a.m., "Pls pray for wounded Chardon HS students, their families, and their community; appears things under control now."

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has eight agents on their way to the scene and they are expected to trace the firearm.

Chardon is a village in Geauga County, about 35 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio.

Twin's Facebook post - Sad free write - The what the why

MY HEART. MY PRAYERS. MY TEARS!! GO OUT TO THE FAMILY. TO THE FRIENDS & TO THE PARENTS OF THOSE LATINO TEEN AGERS SHOT & MURDERED IN WILMINGTON LAST NIGHT & THE PRECIOUS 10YR OLD LIL BABY GIRL WHO DIED FROM A FIGHT WITH ANOTHER LIL GIRL @SCHOOL IN LONG BEACH. WE MUST STOP GLORIFIENG THIS TOUGH STREET THUG IMAGE THAT IS INFLUENCING OUR BABIES TO KILL THEM SELVES & IS VICtIMIZING & DESTROYING OUR YOUTH OUR FUTURE!!~TWIN~

I woke up and read this post today. This hurts. I haven't seen the news yet and didn't know anything about any of in incidents mentioned. I am sorry for all of us. There is so much work to be done.

Teenagers shot and killed in Wilmington.
A ten year old killed in a fight.
What?

A fight about what
Shot and killed for what

And while the what is relevant
What difference is the what
Because our babies are dead
For nothing

Mothers and fathers
Friends and families
Are grieving and wailing
Stuck tears and stained tissues
For what

Because somebody said...
Somebody had to prove...
Because nobody walked away

Because we weren't there

THE NIKEL chapter 28

Malik was at the radio station where he worked. Behind him there were posters of him advertising his books, MY BROTHER and MONEY, POWER, RESPECT. While he was on the air, Obrey walked in slowly and stared at him. She closed the door to the studio entrance. Malik turned around in the recording booth and saw her. He motioned for her to hold on for a moment and turned around and leaned in to the microphone. Suddenly the door slammed and the posters hanging behind him were on fire on the floor. Malik got off the microphone and hurried to put the fire out.

Obrey went to visit Amad in jail. "I know it's too late, but I'm sorry for everything, Obrey. I'm sorry I listened to Malik before you. This whole thing was his idea and I was stupid enough to be a part of it. Everything was in my name because he supposedly had too many tax problems. Things stopped adding up a long time ago with Malik, but I didn't want to believe my boy woud do that to me. Obrey, I may be in here for a long time. There's no one else I trust with Jewel. Please Obrey." Obrey slowly slumped down in her seat as she put the phone down.

Virgo horoscope today

Prosperity is just around the corner, Virgo, if it isn't here already. All your efforts are about to pay off and in a big way. It may be that a big proposal gets accepted at work, or perhaps a manuscript that you've penned lands you a publisher. Your innate talent and good fortune combine to bring wonderful things your way. Enjoy this welcome change of events!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Me with Brooke Rose part 1

When I was in the eighth grade Brooke died and nobody told us what happened. Nobody. No. Fucking. Body. thought we were ready to know what happened. Just one day she didn't get on the bus. And Brooke is not her real name. I want to mention her real name but I won't. I am afraid. I am afraid of her ghost. Afraid her ghost will come to me when I am alone at home or while I am alone on a long drive and say "Hey Robin" because she knew me as Robin. "Hey Robin, leave me alone. Let me be dead. Why are you bothering me? Am I bothering you? No."

But I can't. I can't leave it alone and I don't want her to come to me. But I can't get things off of me unless I have a good cry about them or talk about them or write about them or paint a picture of them. The thing tells me how it wants to be released. Believe me or don't, it's true. This thing wants to be written about. Really in long hand in a dollar store notebook. The black and white composition books with the wide lines. Written about in cursive. In the language of my youth. But not now. Not now. Now I am watching some Russian movie with my...with my...I don't like the word fiance. My man sounds possessive. We are too old for him to be my boyfriend. With Love. I am watching a Russian movie with Love and the lights are off and he is on one couch and I am on another but we are together in the living room watching this movie. Not that I care about the movie. But it's nice to sit together in the same room you know.

I am caught in a bucket of wonderings. Wondering why I am even thinking about Brooke so much. I mean we knew each other. We sat next to each other on the bus. Shared stories and complimented each others courdaroys, but we weren't friends friends like that. You know. We didn't call each other on Saturdays or have sleep overs or anything like that. We were school friends. School friends. Bus buddies. We both thought Mrs. Mullen was a bitch. Mrs. Mullen is not her real name either. I am afraid to mention her real name for a different reason. Inside of all of us we are still eighth grade girls (even the boys) who live our lives like we might get in trouble if "Mrs. Mullen" finds out we called her a bitch. Even though she was. Fat bad breath racist bitch who think she cute.

Love leaves at five on weekday mornings. This morning when he left I was afraid of Brooke. I got up and went to my favorite couch in the living room and tried to go back to sleep but I couldn't. Brooke was there. I fucking scare myself. I fucking do. When I say fucking it makes me not so afraid so fucking stop judging me. I'm like the fucking ghost whisperer or something. Seriously, I remember when I was writing WOMEN IN THE VILLAGE the women kept coming to me like, tell my story next. Me next. Me. Then me. And I was all like, Fuck! But I did it and those were the best stories I have ever written. Now Brooke.

But how much of this is Brooke and how much of this is me just suddenly curious about what happened? How did she die? Why? Sidne was her friend. No, Sidne is not her real name either. Fuck it. No one mentioned will be mentioned by real name so I don't have to keep telling you that. As if it mattered anyway. Brooke and Sidne were always together. They played on Saturdays. They had sleep overs. Sidne got on the bus one Tuesday and sat down in her seat with her long shiny hair and barrettes and matching clothes and delivered the news. "Brooke dead. She dead and she not never comin' back."

We all wanted to ask. Some of us did but Sidne didn't answer. Just, "she just dead that's all. Why everybody gotta be nosy. Shit. Can't nobody just go to school and they bessfrien be dead? Damn." Then her eyes watered and that was enough to everyone to leave her alone. The next day Junior, Brooke's little brother got on the bus and no one asked. We just looked. He didn't talk. To anybody. He stared out of the window from his stop in Long Beach to Lakewood where we went to school.

Everyday when we got to Signal Hill there were these white boys who were always at the bus stop calling us "black monkeys", "African niggers", "cotton pickers", stuff like that. Till one day, a few days after Brooke was just dead and aint never comin' back no more, Sam our bus driver pulled the bus over and opened the door right in front of the white boys and said "Who want 'em?" Then Junior, Melvin and JohnJames got off and whooped those white boys asses! Junior went a little too far and Sam had to get off the bus and pull him off one white boy. We all understood. I mean, his only sister was dead and wasn't never comin' back no more. He had to take it out on someone. Did Junior know what happened? Did Sidne? Maybe she wasn't really dead. I mean, when people died then people knew why. People knew how.

Sis. Lanny at the church died and it was because she got too old to be livin' anymore. Bro. Wilkes died and it was because his heart had attacked him. That's what they told us at choir rehearsal. Bro. Johns died because his very own son shot him in the butt. It took him a whole week to die and that was because nobody called the police or nothin'. He was just in his house bleeding and crying that whole time. That was the saddest I ever heard of a way someone could die. But sad or not there was always a reason why somebody was dead. Not just, they dead and they aint never comin' back no more and mind yo own business before I kick yo butt. But that's how Brooke died. Till she or somebody tell me something else. That's how she died.

After Rain's show


Oh my goodness. Sigh. Deep breath. Exhale. Three words, Rain Denise Wilson. My my. Her show was absolutely awesome. She came out as a character called Lisa and was speaking to an audience of reporters who came to interview a much older Rain. A writer who had become possessed by words and stories and so does not write anymore. Oh the way she told this story. I so related to it. She talked about how the words don't ask permission to come to you. How they just come whether or not you have had ample sleep or not. I understand sista, I so understand.

It was lovely seeing Rain tonight. We were on the poetry scene together in Los Angeles about ten eleven years ago. She looks great.

Her character in the show collected obituaries and wrote about the murdered boys and girls on our streets. She wrote about, no channeled the feelings of the mothers who had to see their children dying on the street. The neighbors that saw. The man standing over the body with the gun. The stories keep coming, they do. I know that so well.

Thank you, Rain. Blessings sister. Big blessings and safe trip back to Chicago.

Rain Wilson at Vibrations tonight

I'm back at Vibrations tonight to see my good friend, Rain Wilson, perform her one-woman show, The Last Torn Page. I'm so looking forward to this because I haven't seen Rain in almost five years. Way too long. She doesn't know I'm here yet. Oh thank God for the wonderful people in my life.

The show starts at 7 and it's 6:24 now. Folks are coming in. I love it. I've heard so much about her show, but each time she brought it here I was out of town or working or something. I'm giddy now, like. Little kid.

Quote for the day

"In a relationship, you gotta make a decision to be all in or not in." Socks

THE NIKEL chapter 27

"Hello." Obrey answered.

"Where you at?"

"Comin' off Market Street picking up some fabric. What's up?" Obrey asked.

"What's up is I'm your best friend and we need to talk. I'm in LaDera. Meet me at Solomon's in twenty minutes."

"Alright."

Obrey pulled up into Solomon's and was surprised to see that Willow was already there. She pulled into the spot next to hers and went inside. "Hey girl. Look, before you read me the riot act I know I was trippin' and I'm sorry."

"Obrey, you're not gon' play me like you do Amad with the smoke and mirrors."

"What are you talkin' about?"

"And you're not gon' manipulate this conversation with that confused routine that you've mastered. I'm done playin' Obrey's game of start a fight about one thing when something way more serious is going on that she doesn't want to talk about." Willow was getting too close and Obrey knew she couldn't hide much longer.

"Oh, here's the salad and herbal tea I ordered for you. You want some diapers to go with that?"

"Fuck you, Willow."

"You the only one been gettin' some obviously. Did you think you could fool me? I know you. It's true, isn't it?"

Obrey just looked at her.

"I knew it. The biggest part of me is so happy for you. Then there's that other part that wants to kick your ass for dealing with all the stress you're dealing with and not sharing the biggest news of your life with me. And now for the twenty million dollar question. Whose is it?"

Again, Obrey just looked at her.

"Does he know?"

"I'm gonna tell him...soon."

They finished eating, got into their cars and drove separate ways. Obrey rolled her window down and blew the horn to get her attention. "You know I love you?"

"Of course you do." Willow put her shades on, blew her a kiss and drove off.

"Damn diva."

That night after Jewel had gone to bed, Davis and Obrey were in the den watching television. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you. Before today I hadn't said anything to Willow either. I know it's crazy, the two people I'm closest to I've been avoiding because I was scared. To tell you the truth, I still am."

"I know I don't have to say it but I will. You know I'm here for you."

Before the television show resumed, there was an announcement from the news. The reporter said, "This afternoon the police arrested a man by the name of Amad Jenkins for setting up a fictitous charity and allegedly receiving over three hundred thousand dollars. The name of the charity was The Marissa Cunningham Home For Austic Children Foundation. He was arrested inside of this Bank of America in Los Angeles. Please stand by for more details."

Red Stories last night

Last night was Red Stories. Yes, we are still at it and loving the moments of it. The good ones when promotion is easy and effective and folks are on time and the crazy ones when I don't know who's showing up. I am thankful for every moment of Red Stories. Thankfully the crowd has been a consistant group of awesome participants. Listeners and lovers of stories. The features have been ready and willing to let it out. Thank you thank you.

Last night I let Urban Voodoo host because I want to be able to move about and shoot and record the show. I have no photos up of Red Stories at Vibrations because I'm on stage too much of the time. And when I'm not I'm paying attention to the features. Last night I was able to get some shots, which I'll post soon, and really listen to the artists. Reverdia wasn't scheduled to feature but she was there and I needed her energy on that stage and she was gracious enough to get up and give it up. I love love love Reverdia. Paul Mabon was the first scheduled feature to go up. Paul, let me just say is always amazing. Seriously. And so humble. He answered questions and shared emotions he pulled from way inside. Thank you, Paul for being so open with us. I love his art so much. How interactive he is with the crowd, how he keeps us all there with him. Love you love you love you, Paul. After Paul, Cayenne went up. Oh my goodness. First because because she is so wonderfully gorgeous. And because she gave a show I've never seen from her. Now, don't get me wrong, she's always a good performer but I've never seen a feature from her where she has shared so much poetry and shared so much of her personal story at the same time.

Cayenne shared some erotic poetry and Brother Umar was there from The Last Poets. The two of them began an interesting conversation about What is erotic poetry? The conversation got good. Yes, good.

Urban Voodoo shared poetry and stories while hosting and I so loved him there taking a lot of responsibility off of me. Thanks brother. Rodzilla is in town! Yay! He's been on the road for forever and last night came in from San Diego and greatly blessed us. Really, this young man is rediculous with his talent. Talk about telling a story.

Over all the night was sweetly beautiful. Oh my goodness, how did I not mention Socks. Socks and Food are the owners of Vibrations. Socks also shared her wonderful energy on the stage last night. Wow, we did have a busy night. After the show we went to Piccolo's Book Store in Culver City. Ok, get this, remember Boarders in the Howard Hughes Center? Well it's now Piccolo's and that huge space holds a crazy amount of books and all of the books are only $1.00 (except for the mystery books which are $2.00)! They have a new spoken word night every Saturday night and we were there to celebrate them and the work they are doing. Thanks Piccolo. Umar shared poetry there too.

It's been awesome hanging with such a legend. Get back safely Umar. We love and miss you already.

So, Red Stories happens the last Saturday of every month. I do hope you can make it next month. The show is at Vibrations at 2435 Manchester Ave., Inglewood, CA 90305.

Love yall. I do.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

THE NIKEL chapter 26

Amad was at the bank teller's window. The teller asked him to have a seat for a moment. Meanwhile in the parking lot, Malik was talking to the security guard he knew. The teller made a phone call and Amad looked at his watch. He saw a couple that seemed to be very much in love. They were in the bank line hugging and kissing. The woman was pregnant and the man held their son's hand. The young boy looked to be about Jewel's age. Amad imagined that they were him and Obrey and that Obrey was pregnant.

Just outside, the police quietly raced down the street. Amad didn't see the guard coming toward him. When he did see the officers Amad tried to leave unnoticed but they grabbed him. He was escorted in handcuffs out of the bank. As the police put him in the back of the police car he saw Malik drive off.

About last night - Watts Prophets, Last Poets, Groovin'


Good morning beautiful people. I had a wonderful night last night. A wonderful long night that is. I picked up Umar from the hotel and took him to the event. Except it didn't go as smoothly as that sentence. I left off the part about me not being able to find the spot. It was at The Event Center on LaBrea and Plymouth in Inglewood. I know that area very well so I thought I was fine with just the cross streets and address. I easily talked myself out of going to the spot before I picked him up. What? That would be, as my mom used to say "just too easy."

Umar was cool with it though. He enjoyed riding with me and listening to Anita Baker. So did I. So we found the place. We were right in front of it as we were looking for it. I didn't know that it was sooo well hidden and tucked nicely behind a car lot. Who would think to look there. Apparantly no one knew this gem existed right in our own backyard. The Event Center is so beautiful. Large, I'm not good at estimating square feet, but trust me when I say large and just roll with me. Very clean. Please trust me when I say that because I don't give that away. Beautiful.

It was a classy event. Food and Socks hosted and if you know them you already know what a wonderful couple they are. They were beautiful together on stage. They presented awards to a few people. Ojenke was one. He founded and led the Watts' Writers Workshop back in the day and is a very influencial man among the poets and in his community.

Umar was the first feature to perform. He was one cool cat. Yeah, I meant to say that. Poems flowed from his head and landed on all of us. Poems in the rhythm of the 60's and the flow of anti war and education and messages to the black boys on the streets, and ooooooohhhh take me back poetry. And yes, I hoped he would do it and the audience did too and he did it. "Niggas are scared of revolution." He started that line and we knew the ride we were in for. "Niggas change clothes, change...but niggas are scared of revolution." We cheered. Thank you dear brother Umar. Thank you.

Then we watched a short video of the Watts Prophets and listened to people's responses to hearing their work and the impact they had and have on the community. Loved it. Loved watching the three men, fathers in city, healers of our energy, walk onto the stage and take it over with their drama, poetry, prose. Brothers Amde Hamilton, Otis O'Solomon and Richard Dedeaux.

We needed last night. We came out dressed in our gear, looked and smelled good. Hugged and kissed and ooohhhed and aaahhhed. We needed last night. Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the program last night. Thank you so much to Food and Socks who put it together and worked like crazy to pack the house. And the house, by the way, was packed.

After it was over, folks stuck around and drank, ate, took pictures, talked and vibed. At 12:30 Umar was like, "What's up? Where we goin?" Tuesday (an amazing poet and woman who runs Poet's Jazz House at Vibrations on Thursdays)told us that her high school reunion was poppin' at a hotel nearby so we crashed the Dorsey High reunion and danced and continued the great time. Yeah, it was a trip hanging out with Brotha Umar. At the. Dorsey. High. Reunion. Dancing. Grovin' really. Then after that he was like, "I'm hongry, what's up?" So a bunch of us went to Denny's to eat (and I broke my diet and had a French slam. Judge yourself 'cause I'm back on it today.)

A good time was had by all. It was a night I will never forget. Thank You, Mother/Father God for blessing me with all You've blessed me with. Thank You for the times. All of the times.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Watts Prophets and The Last Poets tonight in Inglewood!

I'm at Vibrations right now. Love the energy here. Food and Socks, the proprietors of Vibrations and founders of Still Waters are holding Still Waters at The Event Center in Inglewood. The features for tonight are The Watts Prophets and The Last Poets! It's going to be a great show. The workers here are packing products, taking ticket orders and gettin' it together before we head over to The Event Center.

It's 5:46p now and my job is to pick up Umar of The Last Poets from his hotel and take him to the event by 7:15. Easy. I need to close my eyes for a minute before I do anything else. I hope you all are enjoying your day. I'll let you know later how the show goes tonight. Also, I'm the new poetry curator for Inglewoodland, an online magazine you can find at www.inglewoodland.net. I'll be covering the event tonight for that magazine. Of course I'll keep you posted.

Hug yourselves right now.

THE NIKEL chapter 25

Before the cruise, Obrey and Life went for a walk in Kenneth Hahn Park. "You called me. Are we here for the exercise?" Life asked sarcastically.

"We broke up."

"Figured that. What happened?"

"I was as honest with him as I could be about everything. Not just about us, our probelms started long before us. I told him I wasn't ready to get married. That even if I was, I don't think it would be to him. There's just no real trust with us. These days, everything I want from him I'm getting from you."

"Everything?"

She ignored the question. "With Amad, sometimes I feel so second to everything and everyone."

"What did he say?"

"He got angry. And in the end he said that he never wants to see me again."

"He didn't meant it. That's just the anger talking. It sounds like you still love him though."

"I do. I don't think I realized how much until the other day."

"What happened?"

"Willow and I had a fight."

"What? Everything ok?"

"It will be. We haven't talked since then and I feel strange about that. She was right though. She said that I've been spending so much time focusing on what Amad was doing to me and playing the victim. The more I thought about how unfair I felt he was, the more he would do. She said I wanted to be able to say 'look what he did to me' and now owning my part of the drama."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What my Yogi tea bag said today

To know others is smart. To know yourself is wise.

Me with me part 10

Me: So you got off at 2:30 and you have to go back at 5:15.

J: And?

Me: Wanna go for another walk?

J: But I walked this morning before work and then walked again with my client.

Me: And do you wanna lose the weight or not?

J: Let's do it.

Is your life set up to receive what you want?

Mine isn't. I want people to read and enjoy the stories I post in my blog. But truthfully, if Oprah Winfrey went on national television tonight and said, "Hey world, Jaha Zainabu's blog is so interesting! I don't leave the house before I read a post. I would love it if you all read her work." Then what would happen is that a million folks would go to my blog and find what? Some good stories and poems yes, but also a lot of entries that need to be edited and misspelled words. Is that something I would want a million people to see? Of course not. 

Obviously hope isn't lost. The fix is easy. But I need to recognize what I want, acknowledge it, see what's missing in the space of what I have and what I want and get busy filling that space with what it needs. 

Look in your life. What do you want? Are you a singer? You wanna go on tour? Do you have a passport? You will need one. Are you an actor? If someone called you in for an audition tomorrow what monologue would you recite? You get where I'm going. Let's get busy cleaning our own homes and creating space for our dreams to show up. Ready?

Quote for the day

"There's nothing like helping the little guy kick some bully's ass." Michael Westen

THE NIKEL chapter 24

Life and Saundra were having drinks on the floor in front of the fireplace. "Something's going on with you and before we go on an eight day cruise together, I wanna get it cleared up, or I'm staying here." Life knew it was time to come clean about everything. "Is is somebody else?"

He knew she would ask that. "No."

"But...?"

"Ok, well, there is no way to say this straight without looking like a jerk or hurting anyone. Saundra, I really love you."

"Then answer my question."

"I will answer your question, I just need you to let me say what I have to say at my own pace, baby. Please?"

"Go ahead."

"Well, you are the woman that I love. I've just had a lot of on my mind lately and I know I'm not the best at talking things out and sometimes I just don't wanna worry you." Life rambled on long enough and he must have read that on her face. "I have met someone. It's not what you think. I'm just able to talk to her. Not that I can't talk to you. I think it's just easy because I'm not as close to her as I am to you. I'm not as close to anyone as I am to you. You know, as a performer people always have these misconceptions about me that I just pull people into me and make friends easily and that I'm really confident. I'm not. You know me. You know I'm not. I'm just telling you that because I don't want you to think that I'm just all out there like that. I'm not. I just needed someone I could talk to like that and that's what we have."

"Do you love her?"

"Not like that. I mean, I love her like who she is but I don't think I'm in love with her?"

"You don't think so, Life? Then who should I ask? Should I call her and ask her if you love her? Huh?"

"It's not so much love as it is what she represents in my life right now."

"Which is what?"

"Just someone helping me get to the next level. Someone I can talk to. I know that this isn't the easiest thing for you to hear...but I can't lie to you. None of this takes away from what I feel for you. I'm so confused. I want you to know that this isn't about her. It's just, I'm not so overly careful about her...feelings. Because she's not my woman I feel free to just...talk. I need to get back on whatever path I'm supposed to be on. Saundra, I know how soap opera crazy all of this sounds to you, but I was just walking around with all of this and it's too heavy now. I do love you." He leaned in to kiss her but she backed away crying.

"I love you too. But you know what? I love me more. And you're right; whatever baggage you're walking around with is your baggage. Not mine. And I dont deserve the way you've been treating me. I can't believe you. I was walking around feeling all guilty like I had done something or that I wasn't supportive enough. I thought you were stressing because of your family and the label. I feel like a fool now, knowing that you've been cheating. I knew. I just didn't want to see it."

"This isn't about sex...I..."

"There are many kinds of intimacy and many forms of cheating. What we share is more than sex. There are certain areas of my life that I reserve for you. You. The fact that you felt that you had to sneak and give what was ours to someone else meant that you knew you were cheating."

"It's not like that, baby..."

"Stop! If you're going to stop lying to me, then stop lying to yourself first. I know that this isn't just about her. But excuse me for harping on it. It's the first time we've talked about her. However long it's been going on, you've had that long until now to deal with it." She paused and began to cry again. He took her hand for a moment then pulled it away. "At first I thought it was some kind of phase you were going through and I would hang in there to show you how good I could be for you. You think I don't know what your friends think about me? That I'm some gold digger only after you because of who you are. But you know what? They're right. I did see gold in you and I was after that. But good in you, Life. You. Having nothing to do with what you have. You know, I would love to see us work out, and who knows, maybe when you get Life straightened out, we can do this. But there is no guarentte that I'll be here. Goodbye, Life." She got up and walked out.

She didnt know where she was going when she left, she just knew she had to get out of there. In a hurry! Now she was feeling worse about not telling him. That was the perfect oportunity and she blew it again. It was just too much to hear him say that he met someone he could talk to. That hurt. It would have been easier to hear that it didn't mean any thing and it was just sex. No it would't have.

The next morning she surprised Life and herself and showed up at the port in Long Beach. She didn't really know what she was doing there. She was angry with him, with herself. She needed to be able to talk to him. She didnt want to talk but she needed to be able to. Eight days without being able to do that would have been bad for both of them. She showed up. Bag in hand.

"Is that all you have?"

"I'm here ok."

"Where did you stay last night?"

She just looked at him.

"I was just worried that's all. Look, I'm glad you're here. I know you're upset and you have every right to be, but can we get through this without you punishing me the whole trip? This is still business for me and it's hard enough already."

"I'm cool, Alfred. Let's just do this."

(Don't) Gimme some suga!

Good morning family and friends,

My new diet has me very energized. I am up excited about walking again. I have really been excited about it in quite a while. I've been doing more and more of it and I'm feeling better and better. Eliminating sugar was great for me. I see and feel such a difference in my mind. I think it was my reaction to sugar that had my mind going up and down so frequently. And I can see the difference on my body.

It's a beautiful day. I'm going to enjoy it and I hope you will too.

The Mama Grata

I read a story many years ago by a journalist who visited Africa. I don't remember where in Africa but South Africa keeps coming to mind when I think of the story. He said when he was there an elder instructed him to pay the Mama Grata before he began his daily journey. The Mama Grata, according to the elder, was the hungry, thristy, person or people on the road asking for money.

I don't know for sure if that was the exact title or if that was the meaning. But that's what it means to me now. And I do. I pay the Mama Grata on my journey in the day. The woman outside McDonald's, the man outside the bank. I do what I can. Of course not to every one who comes up and asks but someone everyday. I try to anyway.

We act like we know so much about what they are going through and how they got there. We don't. I remember once I was having lunch with a group of people and as we were walking out of the restaurant a man came up to me and asked me for money. I gave him two dollars and one of the guys from my group told me that I shoudn't have given him money because he had just saw that same guy a couple of nights ago arond the corner and he gave him three dollars. I wasn't sure what my associate's point was. What? So you gave him three dollars nights ago and that should what, last him a month? Fuck outta here. I can't even make my paycheck last from week to week and I have a place to live and food already stocked up.

It's also crazy when I hear people say that they don't want to give money because that person might go out and buy a drink. Take that dolla straight to the likka sto! (In my best old school church lady voice.) Well, helloooo. Seriously if I had to spend the night outside in the cold I would much rather a bottle of rum that will help me sleep over a double cheeseburger that will make me sick. My point is that we don't know what someone else has to go through to make it until the next day. We don't know. We judge, but we don't know.

Get in your car tomorrow and on your journey, say a prayer, give a smile, speak a kind word, give shoes, hand over a jacket, pay the MAMA GRATA!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Adding vitamin blog

Yesterday I told Korlah that I took bread, sweets and wine out of my diet and she asked what I'm doing instead of snacking on those things. I don't think I realized it but I guess the truth is that I'm blogging. I am posting like a crazy woman. I've never posted this much before. Of course it would be better to be jogging, but what the hey.

honoring the greatness in me - free write

because at the end of the day
its about me
and the love i have for
myself
its the knowing how much
the great mother/father
holds my head
in his hand
across her breasts

its letting the air
fill my chest
then releasing it slowly

its being still
remembering peace
accepting love
honoring my own greatness
appreciating the good times
learning lessons from all the bumpy roads

being in the now

free writing
releasing the language
tangled inside
freeing paragraphs
and stanzas
i cant hold

creating a new today
better tomorrow
loving the now

Quote for the day

"People shouldn't be forgotten. They matter." What'shername from Cold Case

On watch

Today I was sitting with my client in her living room. We were talking about the weather in Chicago, pets and nothing really when a man and woman walked past the house arguing. I knew they were arguing before I heard the words clearly because I am particularly sensitive to men and women fighting and when it's about to jump off. I said my silent prayer and stared at them as they walked down the street. Please oh please don't hit her. Please don't hit her. Don't you fucking hit her. That moment, you know, feeling helpless. Feeling like you have nothing but your voice. But when you have nothing but your voice and your prayer, you better damn well use them.

Lol (without the o and the l)

Watching The Simpson's and Bart is writing standards on the board, "Daylight Savings is not a failed bank."

The things that make me smile.

Hold on

I never noticed before how many people
Walk the streets alone at night
How scary they all look
This brotha here
Yellin' cursin' kickin'
Is that blood

Where are they going
Her with no clothes sweatin' so hard
Sista marchin' the midnight knife in her hand
No one ever said life was all bliss
What could have led her to this
Why won't they just go home
I can rest in peace

I met a thirteen year old girl on the street
Renting her body so she could eat
A part of me is ashamed to say
If I were only half the woman as she
I might do the same

Did you know that Denny's stays open
24 hours to everyone
Except those who have been evicted
Have no where to sleep
Can't even affort to buy tea

I never noticed before how long and dark
The night is
Can't even see the steering wheel
Front of my face
Someone tried to break into my ride
Now my back door will not lock

What did he want
Toothbrush I keep in the glove compartment
Blankets in the backseat
Dirty clothes in my trunk

I'll never know
I'll only close one eye
Sleep with my key under my thigh
No one will be tempted to
Drive off with my stuff

Did you know that Kinko's stays open
24 hours to everyone
Except to those who have no flyers to make
They have nothing to say
No where to lay
I think about the very low parts of the lives of
People with fame and wonder
One day when everyone knows my name
If I'll be courageous enough to
Tell them all of this

The world should never know
There have been times
I couldn't afford to eat
Had no where to sleep
My insides are so congested I keep
Attracting the madness that I am in
Had even justified sucide
The world will never know that I skated so thin

A dear friend of mine told me years ago when
My head was too hard to hear
When times appear the worst of all
To be of good cheer because
The lesson is near
But where
Come lesson let me learn you quick
So that I can move on from this mess

I never noticed before how many restrictions
There are to park on so many streets
I'll have to find somewhere soon
If I stop to get gas
I'll have nothing to eat
And where is the moon

Why do they call this a thrift store
When a demin jacket costs 24
Dollars are so few
This night is so cold
My sanity won't last long

These tears will only give me a headache
Put me to sleep
In my dreams I'll remember when
I was beautiful

I could stand tall and hold my head real high
But then that dream will turn to nightmare
Because I won't remember
When where why it all went wrong

Is this all a part of some great plan
I guess even Jesus cried too
How to I get back on my feet
When I pray does God hear me

I park the car
Reflect upon
Pieces of my life this puzzle
Somehow I will jigsaw my way through this maze
Now in the back of my mind
My Big Mama is singing
Amazing Grace will always be
My song of praise
I understand

If His eye is on the sparrow
He got to know me as well
I once was lost now I'm found
Was blind now I see

Now I'm lost again don't know
Where I'm supposed to be
I want this part of me to be that piece
I look back upon
Tell a crowd of youngsters at me feet
Hold on
When life appears
Most bleak
It will get better again
I remember when

THE NIKEL chapter 23

Obrey was ill in Amad's apartment in the bedroom trying to get some sleep. Jewel was in her room with the television turned up really loudly as she sang and danced. She chanted a little girl's jump rope song over and over. The room was a mess with Jewel's toys and clothes all over the place. She screamed as she raced to the living room to greet Amad.

"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!"

"Hello, angel." He entered the room carrying Jewel. "Party over here, what's up over there!"

Amad noticed how sick Obrey was and put Jewel down. Jewel skipped out of the room with her doll.

"Ohhh, you still sick?"

"I've been calling you all day. Why didn't you call back?"

"The battery in my pager was dead."

"Your pager is dead and I'm stupid, Amad."

"What's up?"

"What do you think? I'm sick as a dog and Jewel is driving me crazy. I have a meeting tomorrow that I'm still not prepared for. I need to get some rest. Amad, I'm too sick to add pissed off with you to that. You're here now. Would you please just turn off the TV so I can sleep?"

Amad turned off the TV and Obrey started to fall asleep when he came back in the room.

"Whew! Jewel is in the bed, so she should be fine. What did you give her to eat to make her so hyper in the first place?" She lifted her head from the covers. "I have to leave for just a few to take care of some business with Malik, but I'll be back soon." He bent to kiss her. When his lips got to her head, she turned around to face him. She put her hands in his face and pushed him away.

"What do you mean you're leaving? Look at me! Look at this place! Jewel isn't even almost asleep and I haven't had any rest all day!"

"I have to take care of this. I won't be gone long I promise."

"Your promises don't mean anything to me. I don't know what all the secret meetings are between you two, but I now it's not right. What's going on? And I don't wanna hear again about what you can't tell me! It does concern me. If it doesn't now it will later."

Amad sighed hard.

"You know Amad, I'm getting real sick of you taking me for granted. Just go and be with your man!"

"Everything I do I do for you and Jewel! But you't stop complaining long enough to see that!"

"You're being very insensitive. I'm sick and you knew I was sick when you left. What is it that is so important that you have to leave right now?"

The front door slammed and Jewel yelled from her room screaming for juice.

The next day at Obrey's house, Willow was there as Obrey dressed and gathered materials in her portfolio and briefcase to go to her meeting. "No! You knew that you were sick when you let him leave! Stop blaming him for everything and start taking some responsibiity for you part in the drama. Did it ever occur to you to just say no, get your keys and go home?"

"Not today, Willow!"

"I'm not being your friend by letting you do this to yourself. Let's calm down for a minute and not let this get out of hand. Obrey, this is me, Willow, your best friend since forever. Give me some credit. You think I don't know you? Look, let me share something with you. You're not going to like it, but listen anyway. Every relationship is fifty fifty or it wouldn't exist. You are geting exactly what you are giving. And you're getting what you're getting because it's what you want."

"Willow Winfrey1 I can't take it, ok?"

"Just look at it. Amad is really possessive and needs to have everything his way and he gets that in this relationship. And for some reason, something inside of you wants to be the victim. So you get to say, 'look what he did to me. Look at everything I do. Look at all the sacrifices I make and look at what I get. Poor me."

Obrey was really angry with her. She stopped gathering materials and closed her briefcase loudly and told her to get out.

"I'll leave. But as your friend it's my job to let you know what's really going on."

"GET OUT RIGHT NOW, WILLOW!" She threw a spool of thread at her as she walked out.

"I'm trying not to take any of your drama personal, but you're pushing it." Willow walked out and Obrey sat alone at her design table upset. She pushed everything off of the table.

Obrey sat in a long comfortable cotton dress at her mother's grave. "I don't know Ma, everything is so confusing these days. I wish you were here to tell me what to do. Funny I should be saying that when I used to hate for you to tell me what to do. I thought I knew everything. Now I know that I don't know nothin'." Pause. "That I don't know anything." She ran her fingers across the headstone.

THE NIKEL chapter 22

There was a costume party at The Nikel and the club was even more crowded than usual. There were ghosts and goblins, pimps and prostitutes, men dressed as babies and women as men. Inside of The Say, Essence was a sexy Mrs. Claus and was on stage keeping the crowd rolling with laughter. People were having a good time on all floors of The Nikel.

On the third floor there was a large balcony that overlooked the city and Life stood outside when Hannibal walked up behind him. "Row row row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily merrily merrily merrily Life is but a dream."

Life reached to shake Hannibal's hand. "What's up, Ball?"

Hannibal smiled and made a large circle in the air with his cane very slowly. They stared off the balcony onto the city lights. "Life is exactly how you see it. You focus on the stress and pressures and that's what you pull to you."

"Well, I think I need to do some refocusing and work on my vision."

"Come ride with me, young blood." They walked down the stairs into the back parking lot where Hannibal's limo was parked. When they got to the car a tall bald Asian woman with an eye patch got out to open the door for them. "Young blood, this is Saba. Saba meet Life."

Saba turned around slowly and gave Life a hard, cold stare. She said a chant slowly in Chinese and locked the doors. He looked at the lock and was scared. He looked again at Saba as she turned back around and began to drive off. Hannibal looked at Life holding the door handle. "She likes you." Hannibal said.

The limo's back plates read 5 cents. Hannibal poured two glasses of champagne and gave life one and held the other for himself. Life began to drink as Hannibal spoke. "I came out here from Mississippi when I was nineteen years old. I've always been a smart man even though I couldn't read or write very well. I was staying with this woman, Gloria. Things went bad for us and I found myself without a place to stay so I was on the street for a while. One day I was begging for change in front of a burger stand and I walked up to a man and asked if he could spare a dime or a nickel. That was such a low period of my life. I never thought I would stoop to begging for money, but there I was. He reached in his pockets and handed me a nickel and just stared at me. I said 'thank you' but he just kept staring.

'Young blood, what you gon do with that nickel?' He asked me. 'You can't get a place to stay. You can't buy anything to eat. What are you going to do?' I just stood there ashamed of myself. Then he asked me something I'll never forget. He asked if I was ready to let it all go and live the life I came to live.'

"That's heavy."

"A lot heavier than the nickel I was asking for."

"What was his name?"

"Maub McClintox. He was into real estate and owned a bunch of property downtown. At that time not many black folks owned property in areas that he did and I didn't know any black folks that had the kind of money that he did. But it wasn't just the money. There was something special about him from the inside. He took me in. I did odd handymen jobs for him. I collected rent from some of his tenants. He also owned an art gallery. I spent a lot of time down there. After hours it was a hang out for the local artists, actors, dancers, poets and comedians. They were some of the most incredible folks I'd ever met. I was amazed at their determination to their crafts, and none of them were really makiing much mney. But I always felt that they could have if they had enough of the right oportunities."

"Wow! What happened to him?"

"I came home from the gallery one night and he was sitting in his chair in the living room. Almost as if he was waiting for me. He had such a peaceful expression on his face. He called me over to him and handed me a nickel. This one." Hannibal pulled out a nickel on his chain around his neck in his shirt and showed it to Life. "He told me to pass it on. And then he closed his eyes and left. He was like an angel sent by God to guide me."

Saba pulled the limo in the driveway of hannibal's house. She got out and opened the door for Hannibal. Life moved over to get out on the same side but when he got out she placed a long sword across his chest and put her face very close to his and repeated the same Chinese chant. He pushed passed her. "Crazy voo doo chick!" He noticed that Hannibal was already in the house and ran after him. When he got in he noticed that there were many beautiful women in the house. He followed Hannibal up the stairs to a room.

Hannibal pulled open the door and a very beutiful black womman in her late 50's was there. She looked like a dancer. She had long gray locks and sat on the floor on the window dressed in a flowing cotton white dress. She smiled when she saw Hannibal.

"Beloved." She said peacefully.

"Beloved." Hannibal responded in the same tone. Hannibal helped her stand and he bent to his knees and kissed her forehead and stepped into the bathroom adjacent to the room. He qucikly returned with a large bolwl of water and placed it on the floor. As she sat he stared at Hannibal as he washed and kissed her feet. Life had never seen him like that.

"Please meet Life." Hannibal said.

Olivia stareda t Life for a long moment silently with a speaceful expression on her face. She took her hand and closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. After she exhaled, she looked at his palm. "Life." Olivia said.

"Young blood, this is my wife."

"Pleased to met you, ma'am."

"And pleased to meet you, Life." Olivia folded her rug that she sat on and left the room. Hannibal lovingly watched her as she closed teh door behind her.

"You two must share something really special."

Hannibal smiled.

"How long have you known each other?"

"We've always known each other." Hannibal said.

"Ok?"

Hannibal sat behiind his desk and pulled a cigar from teh box and put it in his mouth. Life pulled a lighter from his pocket and attempted to light the cigar. hannibal hild his hand up and refused the light. "Sit down." He sat on the chair in front of the desk. "What's going on, young blood?"

"Just trying to make some sense of my life right now."

"What's so confusing about it?"

"I'm in a space where I feel like everything I thought I knew., I'm finding out that I don't. The things and people I thought would make me happy...aren't. I'm questioning my motives and the motives of the people just yesteray I would have shared everything with. I'm unsure about where my career is headed or if it will even exist for me in a year or two. There is a void in my life and I keep trying to fill it with who and what I have. Of course the more I try, the stronger the pain gets. It's like I'm missing the most essential vitamin from my diet and I'm sick because of it. I would take it, only I don't know what it is or where to get it. But if I don't take it soon, I know I'm not going to survive."

Hannibal looked at him for a moment and then spoke. "A young man was walking along a path and approached an older man. The youngster asked for food. The older man led him to the river and instructed him to follow him into the water. He put the youngsters head under the water and held it there. Of course he began to struggle for air. He fought and fought until he could free himself from bondage. See?"

"See what?" Life asked.

"The youngster freed himself from bondage and was able to breathe. But he freed himself because he wanted to live. That's how much you have to want to live. To be freed from what is holding you back you have to want it sas if your life depended on it. Because it does. See?"

Life sat in the chair and stared off into space. Olivia tapped on the door then entered whith a platter of fruit and tea. She served them tea and Hannibal invited her to sit with them. She sat next to Hannibal and they looked lovingly at him as he stared out of the window.

What brings me peace

01. prayer
02. hanging with my son
03. watching my son sleep
04. hearing my son laugh
05. talking about my son
06. playing with my niece
07. hanging with my nephew
08. watching movies with my mother
09. hanging with love
10. going to the movies alone
11. dancing
12. blogging
13. painting
14. sex
15. decorating my home
16. cleaning my home
17. laundry
18. creating a new story
19. performing poetry
20. being on the beach
21. collecting shells on the beach
22. taking pictures
23. scrabble on my ipad
24. hanging with my family
25. reading
26. eating
27. being in love
28. swimming
29. stretching
30. riding a bike
31. taking a shower
32. being naked
33. dressing up
34. going out for sushi
35. skating
36. watching law and order alone
37. watching law and order with laura
38. buying books
39. taking care of my plants
40. sleeping
41. taking long drives
42. reading
43. gettin' cute and goin' out (kinda wherever)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grade school fun (seriously, this game rocked)

Children in a circle: Look who's here, punchinella 47! Look who's here punchinella 48! (points to one child) Now what can you do punchinella 47?! What can you do punchinella 48?!

Child shakes booty or does some other stupid dance badly.

Children: Now who do you choose lunchtime 47?! Who do you choose punchinella 48?!

Child points to next bad dancing kid.

Repeat.

Like I said, this game rocked!

Oh I love you Criminal Minds

Therapist: Noooo. Carl? But he seems like such a good guy??

Morgan: That's what everyone says until they find a body in the basement.

DNA or jewelry?

I went to the Pan African Film Festival on Sunday with my son. When we walked out of the theatre a man approached me and said, "Hey sista! I love that haircut. If you had on some earrings you would be South African."

Oh? Um, thank...you?

Dear Folks

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm sitting outside of my client's home loving the moment. I just went for a quick mile walk to get my heart and mind going good before work. I am appreciating myself, my life, family, friends, my journey today. I hope you are too. 

To Whitney

Dear Whitney Houston

I waited before writing to you. Waited for the surprise to dissipate. For my mouth to close and to believe again. But it's true. Your body has been laid to rest. I do hope your spirit is now free. 

You have heard enough by now, I'm sure, about how we miss and love you. And we do. I was amazed by you. There is a way human beings sound and you were outside of that...that...that mortal sound we have. Your voice was water. Clear, cleansing. We wanted you to be that way forever. We are that way, you know. Wanting you to fit into the box we put you in. We didn't want you to make your mistakes because then where would that leave us? Without the clear and cleansing you provided. You said that you would always love us and we took it personal. We needed to. 
I celebrate you, Whitney. I celebrate that that was human and not human about you. I am thankful for the air that came in and went out of your lungs. Thank you, Whitney for sharing your sound and beauty with the world. 

I saw you before the whole wide world did. I will always have that. I went to see your mother in concert and she brought out her baby to sing a song. You were not a baby. You were maybe nineteen or twenty then. But you know how mothers are. I knew then, Whitney. I knew that I would see you shine. 

You rest now. You did what you came to do. Thank you dear sister. Thank you plenty.

Jaha