Friday, May 31, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 151 - On the day

I went to a funeral today
Heard all these kind words
And wondered about my own memorial
With my finite self
Wondered what words
What tales
What lies
What truths
What secrets
What stories

If you say anything
Please say I cared
Say I loved
Say your name was important in my mouth
Call out the names of babies missing
Killed
Abused
Women torn
Broken
Men beaten
Lost
Please remember me in your search
For justice
For healing
For connecting

Say a poem
About fingers feeding the hungry
Bring shoes for some stranger's feet
Throw my ashes in the wind
And dance
Hug a neck you never knew
Call your mother
Visit your father
Spoil your children
Kiss your brother
Rub your sister's back

Remember me with your feet
Your food
Your water down an old woman's throat
Your balm dripping wet and cold and sting
Down a man's back
Like storm

Remember me with your be
Your am
Your moments
Still and small and precious


7:54am. Starbucks.

Therapy day. Thankfully.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 150 - Roller coaster. Roller coaster.

I am always questioning my emotions
Wondering if the tears mean the elevator is dropping
Again
If the loud fast speech is the beginning of a balloon ride
Too high
While balloons are fun
Who doesn't want a balloon ride
High in the sky every now and then
But sometimes it's just time to go home
And eat soup
Drink tea
Sleep

Happy birthday, Roshann

Sending birthday love to my sister, Dr. Roshann Williams. I love you!
I keep my living quarters pretty neat to a fault. And by fault I mean I can be pretty fucking irritating about it. My brain starts screaming when things in my room are out of place. Then there are the other days. Days like today when I cannot fold the laundry. I cannot make up my bed. I cannot line my shoes. I just cannot. And my brain is still screaming for impeccable order. But my body cannot deliver. I did well getting dressed, brushing my teeth and getting to work five minutes late.

Please note

If I share news with you that I am excited about and the first and / or only thing you have to say is something negative, then I'm going to stop sharing my news with you. I'm very funny like that.

Here, dear


Facebook break

3:33am. Home.

Of course I'm up at this time. Had a few rough moments last night. More than a few, but I was and am determined not to sink into the mud. I did not go out. I came home and went to bed. Not to sleep. Sleep took a while. I needed quiet. And food. And water.

Still didn't finish the writing assignment due tomorrow but hey, there's still today, right?

I made the decision to get off of Facebook for a period. I don't know how long. But for now for sure. I keep getting so triggered by super depressing articles and even more depressing comments. I saw an article yesterday about two black teens in Chicago who were killed, strangled by four white teenagers who invited them to a party. The invitation was a joke. They just wanted them there to kill them. Why? Well because two of the white teens had a fetish for having sex with a corpse. Sooo.... The article goes into how the teens had sex on top of the bodies of these boys. These black boys. Our babies. Our growing men. I. Just. Couldn't. That was too much. I'm just one of those people who feel everything. I just do.

I couldn't and can't even imagine what the parents, friends and families are going through right now. The loved ones on both sides, the victims and the abusers. It's too easy to just say, as the comments have said, that they, the abusers, are just "possessed by the devil." Possessed by the devil means that there are not people in the world who choose this kind of wickedness. And there are!

The shit never fucking ends! The stories get worse and worse. I write a poem and say cute little words and call out names of the dead. And in the end they are still dead and I can't get their voices and faces and stories out of my head. I have become a cemetery. Holding all these bodies. Sinking lower and lower with the bodies I write about. Bodies and unjustly imprisoned men and women and the abuse and misunderstanding of the mentally abused. And dot dot dot. I had to tap out at sex on top of strangled black teens.

I'm still posting my poems every day but I'll just be posting them here on this blog. If anyone wants to read them, they will be here. I'm not even posting my photos on FB right now. I just can't even log on to it. Maybe I'll post advertisements for Red Stories near the end of the month, but that's about it. At least for now. There is good in the world and good on Facebook too. Just...I need a break. That's all.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 149 - Sigh

There are no words 
For the ice I am 
After reading about
Four white teens
(Two boys two girls)
Luring two black male teens
To a party
To strangle them
To death
And have sex
Over their dead bodies
Because two white teens
Had a fetish 
Maybe tomorrow
I will breathe
Not today though
Not today
2:12pm. Work.

Had a bit of running around to do this morning. Dropped off photos in Long Beach at my sister's school. Dropped off other photos from the prom party I shot on Saturday in Long Beach. In traffic back to Los Angeles. Stopped home for a minute to eat two cups of yogurt then headed to work. I'm sleepy. Not from the day really, just because.

I have a writing project I've known about for three weeks due Friday and I need to get it cleaned up tonight. As much as I want to A. Go to the opening of Donny's one man show and / or B. Go to see Joshua feature at The World Stage, I need to finish this assignment so I can get paid. And I need to get paid.

Side note. These hot flashes are kicking my ass. They are.

I'm looking forward to spending time with my son who will complete his sophomore year of high school tomorrow. So proud of him.

Shooting a funeral on Friday in Los Angeles, family portraits in Long Beach Saturday morning and a show in Malibu Saturday night. Cool.

I'm staying in the moment. I get pretty overwhelmed when I get too far ahead of myself. And I feel myself headed there. ***Calming down now***

No big news. Just free writing. Just checking in.

P.S. The funeral I'm shooting Friday is V. Kali's mother. Rest in love and peace Ms. Connie.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm not even halfway through my project A poem a day for 2013. I'm sticking with it. I haven't missed one day. I like that.
11:46pm. Home.

I have nothing I want to say in this free write tonight. Not really. Just felt like watching my fingers move and form words that might be trapped in my head before going to bed. I'm a bit tired. Work was pleasant for the most part. Still trying to generate more photography clients and thankfully it is building. The best part about being a photographer is reminding people how beautiful they are. Reminding myself how wonderful nature and my surroundings are. Beauty in the simple simple things. Hands clapping. Grass minding its own business. Trees thinking and standing tall. Water being water. All of it.

The room is quiet now. I need quiet. It's almost quiet in my head even. That's not always.

I have a full day tomorrow. Night to all of you. Whoever you are.

A poem a day for 2013 - day 148 - When



I remember ponytails and the red Tupperware container 
That held rubber bands and barrettes
I remember hating to be dressed like my little sister who is four years my junior

I wore a frown cross my forehead so much 
Ms. Magee, my kindergarten teacher told me it would become a permanent part of my face
I remember inquisitive was my first favorite word

I remember being afraid
Afraid of dogs
Afraid of men
Afraid of being skinny and girl

I remember Marcus pulled a gun on Tara and me when we were walking home from school
We were all sixth grade babies
I remember wondering how he got a gun
I remember being too afraid to tell
I was too afraid to tell too many things

I remember my mother picking her Afro in the bathroom
My pretty mother
I remember my father washing his car on the front lawn
I remember him sending me to the corner store with a note
Instructing the cashier to give me a pound of hog head cheese and zig zags
I remember coming home with hog head cheese and zig zags

I remember Ms. Marquez, my fifth grade teacher was always mean to Joney C.
I remember when Joney's mother died
I didn't understand how mothers could die with children still in school 
In seventh grade my friend Alicia died 
And no one told us why
Alicia, with her brown eyes and puffy ponytails
I remember going with my grandmother to so many funerals at the church
To this day I hate chicken
I hate soggy cereal and wet hair in the sink
I love how freely I can use the word hate
I remember when I felt guilty about not loving everything
I hate things
I love things
I choose

I remember not being able to choose
I remember all the times I didn't choose myself
I remember when I finally did
Choose
Me




Monday, May 27, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 147 - For Arria Wright

I witch my words like prayer
And spell you home
You are not a missing
Not you
Not you
You are a found
You are a home
You are a safe
We see you well
The we in your world is bigger than you know
We are your mother's we
Your father's
We are the we of your aunts cousins friends
We pray you home
Your worries lifted
Your fears away
Breathe, baby
Baby, breathe

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 146 - Ohh be bop

Remember when I wrote that poem about the way you drum me to sleep
Then we woke up and I grits and eggs with you so Mississippi
And afterward we moonshine so sloppy
Doo wap so shoo be doo
Who could ever sing so free again

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 145 - Goodnight

I am thankful
And tired
And feet and body worn
From loving my life whole
Today

Friday, May 24, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 144 - Dear Uraeus

Your love
Your hello
Your I love you
All of your words
Steady my pulse
Rest my head
Through night

Pheona Glenann from Burn Notice

"People get hurt and things get complicated no matter what you do."

My horoscope today

Your Horoscope for May 24, 2013
First Name: jahaEdit birth information
Sun Sign: Virgo
Date of Birth: September 3, 1969
E-mail Address: jahasart@yahoo.com
Today • Tomorrow • This Week • This Month
Virgo, you don't have to be at everyone's beck and call all the time. This is exhausting, and you lose contact with yourself. You should try to take some time out today. Take a good look at your life to see where you're going. Go for a walk or take a long bubble bath. Things will be much clearer after a relaxing day of reflection.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 143 - Gratitude

I am thankful today for life
For all of the ways it is complicated
I am thankful for the anteneas that grow from my head
And wrap round sky water fire valley
I am thankful for feeling it all
For being live to tell about it
I am thankful for the holes I fall into
So deep
Then the morning come and I am thankful again
For touch
For one more day
Even if one more day
Friends
I am thankful for love ones who
Stretch praying fingers toward my way
When I will not fold my own
For my mother
For her fight for my smile
My air
My son
For his be
My sister
Aunts uncles
Cousins
For hugs I rest my head in so easy
Pocket for my tears
I am thankful for happy
For simple
For song
Butter
Fly
For nothing
For all of my nothing
God give me every
Day

9:29am. Home.

Thankful for the few hours of sleep I had this morning. Really thankful. Loving the sun shining through my window. Looking forward to my feature tonight in the valley at The Bakery Lounge. Going to work today. This is a good day. It is. It is.
4:07am. Home.

I had a dream night before last that I was on the twenty-second floor in an elevator. I pushed the button and the elevator fell. Fast. I haven't come out of that dream yet. I'm falling. Fast. Emotionally I'm all over the place and still trying to maintain some sense of normalcy. I know I'm off though. Again. It's part of the cycle. I'm so tired of it. Been trying to control thi thing with diet and exercise. I think it's helping in the sense that I don't seem to have episodes as often or as severely. They come though. They do. The inability to sleep. The depression. The paranoia. The stuff. It's been a coup,e of days and I'm not expecting it to last long. Despite this junk, I'm such an optimist. Kinda. Mostly I can't function properly with this heavy and I'm determined to function properly. And by properly I mean with a clear head. This moment is not easy though. Yesterday was not easy. Today will be better. Today will be better. It just will be.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 142 - Soundtrack to my together



I find breath
Long drives
Full tank
Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu
Easy traffic
Breeze
Roots
Rakim
Guru
Lyte
Latifah
La Havas
Badu

My shoulders fall
Inhale deepens
Long walks
Sand
Water
Shells
Adele
Winehouse
Mvula
Hathaway

Nikon
Red sky
Blue
Gray
Birds
Old churches
Tall buildings
Stairs
Sunflower lined pathways
Alleys
Sade
Green
Aretha
Wonder

Kissing couples
Strangers on bus stops
Art on walls
Poetry on sidewalks
Windows
Stop signs
Initials carved in bark

Alone
I need alone
With my whole self

Trees
I need trees
Willow
Palm 
Whispering leaves
Wiping 'way
Clouds

I need water
Wet running over my head
Heat on my back
Moon
I need moon
Rub my cheek my chin
Till I sleep
Mahalia 
Clarence Carter
Johnnie Guitar

Chamomile
Peppermint
Jasmine
Nina
Gil
Gregory Porter
Sleep
I need sleep
Please
Please sleep
All the way through sleep
Anita
Winans
Cleveland

Poetry
Prayer
Drum
Bass

Covers to my nose
Pillows under my neck
Lilies
Tangerines
Soup

I need soup
And song
And words
Words so touch
Reach
So forgive
Grab
Melodies so wrap 'round my gut
Well me to the 
Day

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 141 - Dear Uraeus



I believe in you
I believe you will find your way
To articulate the questions of your heart
You will find the answers
The answers will be more questions
And you will walk down roads
In search of whys and wheres

You will build bridges
You will separate yourself 
And find your way back again
You will follow the stars
You
I believe you will head in cloud
You will feet on ground

You will conquer and lose
You will give away and fly over 
You will win and forgive
You will forget and accept

You will live
You will love
You will art
You will laugh

Journey
Travel
Fly
Believe
Read

You will know
You will cherish the ways you are different 
You will know that you are the same
You will show us that we are all one
We are only one

You will path
You will forward
You will remember

Dance
I hope you dance
I wish you dance
I wish you free and kick and spin
Happy
I wish you happy
You will happy
I speak you happy

You will moment
You will know the precious of minutes
Seconds
Time
I wish you time

You will time
You will health
You will wealth

You will books
You will water
Land 
Dirt

See
You will see 
You will see through
Beyond
Before

You will action
You will hero
You will kind

Create
I wish you create
You will hold
I wish you hold
Hold knowing
I am always with you
Hold knowing 
I am proud of you
Hold knowing my love
Hold getting that you are known
By me

From the brilliant mind of Wil Gafney

The lessons of Job, recently a question on my final exam, are not academic. Why did Job's children die in a collapsed house during a storm? Where was God and what was he doing? The horrifying answer is that God was playing games with Job's life and the lives of his children. But Job has this crazy faith, that there is more to God than he can see or understand. And he wants to understand. So he goes looking for God to give him a piece of his mind and to get some answers. Job sues God. (Lots of technical, legal terminology in Hebrew.) God responds to the summons and blows Job's mind in another storm. And this is where things get tricky. God never explains himself leaving me and many other readers frustrated with the text. But something happens between God and Job. God yields to Job. God admits that Job is right. What has happened to him was not fair. God acceptance of Job's charges invite us to rage against God, to God as well. And that sappy happy clappy happy-ever-after-ending misses the point: New children can't replace lost children and money doesn't erase or comfort grief. But having a God who hears, listens and responds - even if he is inscrutable and his ways arbitrary is a comfort in the Iron Age and perhaps even now.