January 26, 2019: “Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?”

i wish this were just a lecture…

i’m always questioning my place in the world as a writer. i remain inspired by the canonical poets from the days of the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Era, the Black Arts Movement Era, and the Conscious Rap Movement during hip-hop’s Golden Era. these are the ghosts living rent-free within my head. they have all (or nearly all) earned the right to put their feets up on my couch. anytime. i write for the approval of these apparitions, these shadows, these beacons. i once described myself on my old myspace page as the love-child of Pedro Bell and Eunice Waymon and that still holds true for me. and since then i now claim Sun Ra, Black Herman, and Lucille Clifton as the God-Parents i’ve chosen to adopt – in African culture / at least in African American culture / the spirits of the unborn pick their people. pretty sure i read that somewhere. fact check it if you like but it’s not gwan change anything…. who are you to tell me what my traditions are? (fortunately for me my birth mama don’t internet!)

mostly, i just lecture myself. with 600 facebook friends, 1100 twitter followers, 500 followers on my upfromsumdirt tumblr page, 15,000 followers on my abstrack africana lifestyle tumblr page – i’m lucky if a dozen folks total actually “follow” (or hover around) any of the things i say on any given day.

but i’ve always been an outsider. that one guy firmly inserted between the popular and the unpopular folks. the black, militant nerd who always saw INVISIBILITY as the greatest tool of black liberation in America. “Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?”*  …maybe not “invisibility”, but camouflage, perhaps? i came of age during a time when spooks sitting by the door seemed a romanticized necessity. whether i write about love, politics, or nature my poems testify to that strategizing narrative.

we obviously still retain a need for freedom… every day bombards us with physical, mental, and cultural assaults in the media from elected officials, from institutes of learning, and from enforcers of a one-sided legal system. i don’t know how to NOT speak about such subjects in my work. every poem, in some way, calls for an uprising. an uprising submerged in the language of flowers / a faux naiveté / songs of a flora that remains a non-native species / beautiful and invasive.

simultaneously seen & unseen.

our experiences here are not diasporic, they are dystopic. aliens conquered our world 400 years ago and we’ve been in survival mode ever since. so for me, poetry is not just the confessing of my various moods for the sake of publications required for tenure where my creative colleagues guard the gates… i’m trying to create prophecies; proverbs that enhance the societal advancements of equality for black babies.

and where’s the fan base for that?

* from the closing dialogue of the unnamed narrator in Invisible Man.

January 15, 2019: the orchard in my ‘nations sack

sometimes, i think to revise a poem is to reverse its bloom, returning to its kernel… the pit… its seed. we do this for the sake of ‘crafting’… and often it’s most necessary for us to do this, but i’ve read the poems of others in their original drafts and often the melody of them is pitch perfect; as a reader you feel comfortable snuggled within it. though not always lyrically sound, our rough drafts are often the most poetically clear or insightful. the rough draft is the hand of our mind sketching illusion towards reality. the draft often containing fruit-laden branches… in revision, we consider erasure an advancement / whittling away the most astounding emotional context for the sake of the best intellectual punch. we pare back each branch, down to its stub and say “see, here we strike at sap and it is the center of the truth.”

but sometimes, nothing is more truthful than our teeth sinking into flesh, breaking the surface of a ripened skin.

then again, perhaps another truth: i’m just putting off revising these dozen poems i promised to have finished by the end of the month.

January 15, 2019: accessibility….

i wish that was something i aimed for as a writer. it’s hoped for, we all secretly long to be understood / to have an audience / to be known as that person when specific creative aspects are discussed (in a positive manner!)

aspirations.

from the time we pick up a pen until we lay it down and all times in between. we have them / it’s okay for us to admit.

but when you know in your heart that you are meant to make heavy, laborious words float as lubraciously as possible / knowing full well that a kink for the densely populated poem is not a favored classroom subject / then you equally avow yourself to invisibility. to anonymity / full eclipse. you worship hermitage – so buck up, it comes with the territory.

yet still, you study the works of others who write of similar themes / a popular others / you see the accessibility in their approach, their skill. you see both the formula and the craft desired by peers (if not “the people”)… and yet…

maybe it’s because you come from a stubborn people / your penchant for a certain amount of hardheadedness / you blame it on Ali being the patron saint of your city… going against the grain with your dance / hoping, at last, for the grain to yield.

to float like a bee.

to sting like / a butterfly in flames.

and this is how i lose you.

well, shit. we all can’t fit in the parade. someone, afterwards, must always sweep the streets / keeping track of the precious remnants found in trash / be the apparition for an imperfect memory.

i was charged, once, to write of snow;

i wrote of winter / on the surface of the sun / of drinking rum from a glamorous woman’s boot (and replacing it to heel before she awoke) / (or was she clamorous?) / (( i can’t recall )) … whichever, i’m forever in my own head / forever dawn of the dead in dialogue

but these brains are sour. dear zombie.

okay, that’s weird… poet goes for introspection and a writing prompt shows up. what was i to expect, this deprived of sleep? that’s what brought me here…

but what is your excuse? well… we can wallow as one if you like, just please keep your hands to yourself. and don’t watch me. and don’t you dare utter a single solitary word. unless you hum.

blink to me in morse code a shared song.

January 13, 2019: welcome, friends, to my blog

the idea is to not twiddle my thumbs. but writing is daunting. and writing about one’s self is nerveracking… plus, i’m boring af. on second thought, twiddling my thumbs may be the most adventurous these posts get.

but i welcome yall… except for you Joe Johnston. i mean, you’re welcome… i guess… of course… but you’ve already been here once before in what i’m calling in hindsight “my beta testing”… so this appearing on your timeline again orsumshit might just be a little redundant. my bad.

goddammitfuckthisblog… writing is intimidating.

next time around: yall bring a little bourbon, i bring a little bourbon, we snuggle up to our device screens of choice, we let the finely distilled lubricants work their magic aaaaannnd… maybe / jus’ maybe – things might go a little smoother our second (or third!) time around… ?

stay up yall,

brothadirt.