Monday, December 1, 2014

White America Does Not Want to See a Zombie Apocalypse (Video)

You all have Mahogany L. Browne to thank for the fact that this video exists. I wrote the poem and was just going to be done with it. But she told me to record it to be a part of an incredible collection of poems and a movement known as "Black Poets Speak Out". I respect my elders and try to be obedient when I can, so the next day, I recorded  this hours old poem. Shout out to my husband, who wanted to do a two camera set up and take on the task of editing the footage. Shout out to my 14 month old Rosie, who proceeded to act like a certified lunatic the moment we began filming and therefore thwarted those plans. Shout out to the pair of them, for taking a quick neighborhood walk in the rain so that I may present this poem to you without a 30 lbs human perched atop my head, shrieking. Here it is: White America Does Not Want to See a Zombie Apocalypse.

Friday, November 28, 2014

My Daughter is Going to Change Everything

My daughter is going to change everything.

Everyday, I read this "To Everything There is a Season" book to her. At her request. It's literally just the scriptures in Ecclesiastes, verbatim -- A time to be born, a time to die... A time to plant, a time to pluck up that which has been planted... A time to mourn, a time to dance... A time to keep silence and a time to speak... Etc. Nothing really mind blowing, no new information. However, this is her favorite book and she's always transfixed.

The illustrations are, for me, what make it great [and allow me to be able to read the same book over and over again, several times a day, without losing my entire mind]. It features art from various time periods, cultures, and countries for each passage. So, for instance, there's a depiction of Egyptian murals done in acrylic paint on three-ply Bristol board, or ink and watercolor on paper depicting Japanese woodblock prints. There's the art of Mexico, Greece, Ethiopia, India, Thailand -- it goes on and on and it's phenomenal. I feel like I'm walking through a museum when I read it. And I love museums.

Anyway, the second to last bit of the book says, "a time of war and a time of peace." The other day, we stopped for a long time on that page and I pointed to everything that was happening on the "war" side and everything that was happening on the "peace side" and I said, "war is bad. Look, they're hurting each other and killing each other. That's not the way it should be. Peace is good. Peace is what we want. See, this is how we should live."

This morning, I read this book to her, perhaps for the thousandth time. When I got to the war and peace page, she sat and stared for a long time. I followed her eyes as she took in every detail, particularly of the "peace" side. The animals, the people, the blue sky, the flowers and trees. She looked and looked and looked. I could see her, thinking. A 14-month-old. In deep concentration. About peace. Then she looked at the "war" side, and though she did take a moment with it, she gave it considerably less attention than "peace".

Then she turned to the final page, which is a big picture of planet Earth with the words, "One generation passes away and another generation comes: but the earth abides forever," underneath. She admired it for a long time. Then she flipped back to the previous page. More attention to "peace". I sat there, observing, careful not to interfere, allowing her to be in the moment. Seriously, this went on for a long time.

Then, finally, she started "reading aloud". My daughter babbled to herself, pointing at and focusing on different details in the "peace" picture. She read, and read, and pontificated, and theorized, and perhaps even prayed. In that moment, I was clear: The greatest honor and blessing that I will ever have is to be her mother. God is with this child. Her ancestors are with her. She gets it all. She understands. She has a purpose. She's here to change everything.

May we all live to see it.

Friday, June 6, 2014

I'm a Part of This Year's Highway's Poetry Festival

It's my first feature since freedom [insert scarily excited face here]. I promise to do new poems. Plus the fact that I'm performing on the same stage as other artists that I have an immense amount of love and respect for is going to make me put on my good clothes.

The Highways Poetry Festival is a yearly event that consists of 2 nights of dynamic poetry and music. This year, there's a team poetry slam on Friday, 6/13 at 8 pm, hosted by birthday girl and slam monster, Simply Kat. If you want to have a poem of your own workshopped, or get some performance critiques and pointers, come early (5:30 pm, to be exact) on Saturday 6/14 and Chas Jackson and I will give you a sexy literary makeover. After that, we will perform the poems that make the whole world sing. Word to your mom.

In closing: Come enjoy some incredible art in an awesome performance space. You deserve it.

6/13 8PM
Hosted by Simply Kat

6/14 5:30 PM

6/14 8 PM
Hosted by Judy Holiday

Highways Performance Space
1651 18th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hey, How Ya'll Doin'?

Soooooo... I had a baby. How ya'll been doin'? What ya'll been up to? You've been in my thoughts. I've been meaning to reach out. It's just that... Well... did I mention that I had a baby? A whole, entire person came out of my body. In real life. That's not science fiction! And yo, that shit was cray. Eight months later, and it's STILL cray. I wake up everyday, look at her and say, "You're real. You really happened. I didn't imagine you. You came out of my body. I'm somebody's mama." I really say those things aloud. So far, she hasn't responded because, she's only 8 months old and doesn't yet have the ability to speak well.

Mother's Day 2014, Getty Museum

So, yeah. That's what I've been doing. Having one sided conversations with an infant. I haven't written a poem in who knows how long. And I haven't memorized a poem in longer than that. I'm doing good to get a shower and eat everyday. It's getting better, though. I'm getting the hang of being somebody's mama and so, as the weeks go on, eating and bathing are more regular to me.

Because of that, I had a crazy idea. You wanna hear it? Come closer. Okay, so I was thinking that I'll dust the cobwebs off of this blog. I know, right!?! Insane. But, true insanity is having a person come out of your body and I figure that if I can pull that off, I can pretty much do any ol' thing. But don't worry. I won't fill this blog up with talk of poopy diapers and wonder weeks and convertible car seats. You want to know why? Because I'm starting a mama blog for that. No, this is gonna be my haven for adult things like the reappearance of crazy fools, turned stalkers and Solange Knowles' ass beating skills. So, keep coming back! It works if you work it.