Thursday, July 30, 2009

Share a poem: sorta

The Second Sex (excerpt)
By Simone de Beauvoir

Men have vied with one another in proclaiming that love is a woman’s supreme accomplishment. “A woman who loves as a woman becomes only the more feminine,” says Nietzsche, and Balzac: “Among the first-rate, man’s life is fame, woman’s life is love. Woman is man’s equal only when she makes her life a perpetual offering, as that of man is perpetual action.” But therein, again, is a cruel deception, since what she offers, men are in no wise anxious to accept. Man has no need of unconditional devotion he claims, nor of the idolatrous love that flatters his vanity; he accepts them only on condition that he need not satisfy the reciprocal demands these attitudes imply. He preaches to woman that she should give---and her gifts bore him to distraction; she is left in embarrassment with her useless offerings, her empty life. On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself---on that day love will become for her, as for man, a source of life and not of mortal danger.

"may all beings be happy"

for those of you wondering about the random posts of "O.I. Poems," I have been away upstate at Omega Institute, a center for Holistic studies, teaching and experiencing self in the most complex of ways. While away, secluded and focused, I have been trying to journal everyday consistently and have been writing a series of poems while I have been here. They have no theme, no thread. None of them have been edited or looked at for more than a few minutes, they're copied directly from my journal onto my blog (with corrected typos of course) and I guess its a pretty vulnerable thing because I am trying to get myself to write concise and articulate poems in a matter of minutes. This is why I have so many of them. I have been here a little less than a week and it feels almost like a month with all that I have been experiencing here. Its like I've been living lifetimes while away. With that being said I've written a little under thirty poems in a matter of five or so days that aren't all quite finished pieces, mostly the ones I've posted I think can be worked on in many ways but share them mostly cause they're the shorter ones. And also many of them are extremely personal and I havent the courage to yet share. But I am trying to get a bit more comfortable sharing written work via internet. I'm a bit intimidated by all that is out there and even still I am working through many things internally, while also battling a whole host of elitist writers in my head that believe form and writing should be dealt with in a certain way. I am aware of a very subtle form of discrimination within the literary world, see it with performance poets i particularly find far more outstanding than those with published books. But I digress, I would like people to experience my words more than read them and I've been trying to take the written form into a different place. Mostly, I write with words I like and put them in order as I think they should sound coming off my tongue. I enjoy not quite making sense to anyone but perhaps expressing some image in my head. While up here at Omega, we've been discussing in my workshop this "anguish with language" the difficulty in trying to use words that essentially stand as symbols and boxes for ideas, feelings, thoughts, emotions etc--had a lovely discussion with a man named Arthur today, we played around with different words and the sounds that exist within those words, it almost seems that "anguish" is in the word "language." The English language is a coded language and when attentively dealt with there are many hidden meanings within single words and their sounds. I've also been challenging myself to write about things most little brown girls from East NY, Brooklyn would never be expected to write about. I have had a wide range of experiences and it is important to me that I know how to write a verse over a beat and yet and still have studied language and its written capabilities...blah blah blah..Any way, maybe I will decide to continue posting up some of those "O.I. poems" But for now, I plan to enjoy a fudge brownie, the first sweet thing ive essentially had up here at an all vegetarian, healthy so excited!!

O.I. poem #8

the screen door could not hush itself from squealing,
the rain snaps against the wood,
mosquitoes decorate the lantern
while night sits outside like a porch swing, humming.
the trees are hissing against the windows
and tear ducts press their faces to us
as we finish penning the grandiosity of nature.
This is a natural phenomenon, to be a bystander of earth
transforming, summoning the chorus of its worship
in the wind.

the city does not learn to love the land like this,
does not teach the foot how to kiss the ground gentle
and steady. We feel our way home through forest
and train our eyes on how to listen to darkness.

O.I. poem #7

who ever said god wants to save the world
and what if the world needs no saving, thank you very much.
maybe god doesn’t want to be your witness,
doesn’t really like your prayers, didn't really trouble the water.

what if god is writing a book
and we are his childhood, some Freudian past he can’t escape
maybe he tries to write his trauma away,
into a really great novel, and maybe
we’re all metaphor and prose.
who ever said god was a great writer anyway,
maybe he just uses fancy words.
maybe god wishes we’d get out of his head
like an embarrassing moment.

what if he had Alzheimer's and forgot all our names,
misplaced our memories,
maybe he just forgot.

And god doesn’t have to love us.
what if he wants to grow toothless
and die of old age, forgotten, just a name.

O.I. poem #6

Carol is a middle-aged white woman,
a wounded conch shell weeping
come ashore from the sea.
Her heart was a cliff where she jumped,
her soul was a valley where she washed her feet.

We will not focus on Carol’s shortcomings or why
I chose to write about her
but I have watched her vague as the breeze,
frail as the leaves. I have taken a liking to conversation with her
about life, and universe, and spirit, and healing
and I have understood that pain is all-relative.
Carol has come here searching for an answer
for a priceless cure to her consciousness, for her existence.

I have learned to cry with those most different from me,
have even practiced how to hug such persons.
In America, I have learned the art of privilege
and have empathized with it’s ease.

Dear Carol,
thank you for your passerby concern.
I am grateful for the power in your conviction,
the seemingly colorless, classless laughter you share.
However, I must return to a middle-aged brown mother
who knows better.

O.I. poem #5

I want to destroy all “supposed to bes” ever said
you either are or you aren’t and even then, you are.
there is no “I was supposed to be”, “you are supposed to be”
its like the shoulds of our language: shoulda, woulda, couldas
I can do with out these american trickery words.
suppose you simply exist in the way you are to exist
and that is all fine and well with the rest of us,
you do what you say, you will what you may.
I am not a fan of hypotheticals but understand,
I am a poet born in america,
and hypothetically speaking, I always mean what I say.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

O.I. poem #4

note to self:

you are not alone and


O.I. poem #3

He is a Mandala inside me somewhere
there is sage burning in my abdomen,
a small child dreaming on a branched vein
my body is a city of indigo children born in his eyes
my nerves wear feathers in their hair and dance around the campfire of passion
they are chanting for rain, for storm, for thunder blooded waterfall.
the mind wakes every morning, kneels and prays south to the heart.
the mouth gives thanks, says thank you, gives blessings, says bless you.
the eyes sacrifice light, the arms sacrifice warmth
the hands are altars, is where the fingers worship
the thighs are scripture, are law, are holy
the legs are divine language, is written.
and heaven, that strange realm is my unbuttoning, is deep in me
is where a medicine woman rattles and drums,
a Santera is there, cleaning a soul,
a high priestess preparing an offering,
a goddess making love,
heaven is where we meet,
is where we lay to rest and are reborn
inside of me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

O.I. poem #2

there is a woman whose spirit is paper thin on this phone
the plum of her lips is hugged dry, chapped
death is inching at her god and the "i cant do this anymore"s
linger in the air like an awkward silence gathered humid thick
she is a novel beauty struggle story living where life is an absent-minded gift
a miracle is fucking wild in her blood,
torturous insane magic murmuring in her needle plucked veins
and she should die the way life dealt with her
like this, like some victim.

Where the hell are these angels
conjuring these mornings she lives to see,
who are these cosmic forces pinching at her skin?

Her heart is yelling at me a deep shade of blueberry blows
and i feel the confusion stretching in her shoulders
window broken self-esteem,
can hear the deriving tear yawning on her cheek
her hands are gutter, drain spouts
I wish I knew how to hold a home this broken, together.

This woman is where I curb my face, the only coiling power person
that can bend my shape, so backward, so straight.
I am sudden struck affected at the soft sheer peel of her words
and it will always be so, no matter the lift or draft.

This woman on the phone is my mystery flaw, my compliment beauty mark.
I know the tender “I will do whatever it takes for you” love of her being,
still staring into the brown of my no good father’s shaped eyes.

A woman that owns her heartbreak and raises its child,
Is an all too strong spine of a life
I wish there were words I could offer this woman
beautifully disastrous as her love
in these splitting fragile moments,
each billow of her pain hovering in my chest like a celestial ohm.

O.I. poem #1

i am made, lightening
fire-cracker sharp, crackling
in a mushroomed clouded sky
the colors are chakra bright tonight
and i am made here, in this break of sound
the morning is my lover and he is waiting
i keep him waiting
love him waiting, patience
all bodies arise
in the wake of us.
i am made honeydew
awe tasting sweet smeared lips licked sun rise smiling sweet tooth wide.
let me show you magic, look.
in here this here body i am made endless flesh and land and earth
and water is my bedroom, is where i sleep, is where i make love
am born each day, i am made.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The SOUNDCHECK @ Santos--AUGUST 7th, 2009

Hey Yall,

So I haven't performed in the NYC in a minute and was contacted by a dope musician that I am a huge fan of, John West, to perform with him this summer at SANTOS here in NYC. Later found out that my homies, Oveous Maximus and Shanelle Gabriel were added to the list of performers and am glad to be a part of this show. Hopefully, those of you in town can make it!! Check out John West's dope music video for "Loved you tonight"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Share a Poem

I met an intelligent and introspective man at Da Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles, CA around a year and a half ago. His name is Donny Jackson. His support and appreciation for my work and other poets alike is flattering and often I am grateful for his insightful comments and interesting conversation. over recent months we've had a series of existential type conversations and my curiosity for certain therapeutic approaches has inspired further engaging conversations being that he has a PHD in Psychology. Donny has also shared poems, some inspired by conversations and others purely brought about through experience but I've always admired his sense of humility and the keen observations of relation that he shares. We are always sure to ask each other of our writing process and in recent months it seems he's been sharing more than i have, I enjoyed this poem he sent me a couple of days ago and after asking him for permission was moved to share it with fellow bloggers. I hope that it speaks to some of the women and men that read this blog and over all that the poem resonates to a specific kind of relationship, one that is aware of surrendering to moments, to the gentle and precious sanction of time and detail, before it is too late and we have forgotten what it is all truly and really worth...The poem is beautiful because of its use of dialogue and imagery. It resonates with some woman reserved in me and empathizes so well with the voice of a woman. I've had many of these conversations with members from Omega Institute that have taken my workshop "Surrendering to the Metaphor," to my best friends Meghann Plunkett and Nelson Caban...we continue to practice in the moment of now, the art of being, to be aware of every thing we mean to each other simply in the carelessness of living and laughing and loving, because we won't be young forever and we most definitely are not guaranteed tomorrow let alone the next minute or hour... This is definitely a love poem, a type of love poem that is not typical nor unoriginal and I appreciate its romanctic yet realistic approach. with that being said, I am certain I will have more blogs about this idea and related conversation at some point but for now, thanks to Donny for sharing. May you all read and enjoy a poem by him:

Sittin’ in a tree
(July 2009)
by Donny Jackson

sometimes we think we have forever
to find what we want
but maybe God made you gifted
so you would have more to share
for longer.

(this isn’t because if you don’t
someone else will
this is because no one will

she has already told you:
if i magic a party for you
i won’t care who shows up
if you don’t.

you may be a chameleon instrument
she’ll say
but your singular scent
makes my blood
iridescent: i know you.

pressed further
she will confess:
i love you
not because you are not a mirror
but because you are an echo:
you entice me to shout because
i hear my scared voice shaped back to me into breezes by the
solid of you.

if you can just
find her smile
in the mural of your day

i am sure she will say
i can tame my porcupine mouth
to your rice paper hush
while you merlin in the dark
cuz that’s what faith loves like.

and she’ll continue:
since we’re talking about talk
maybe and if only for our children
we will gently pull ‘nigga’ from our language
like stitches from a wound that is finally healing on its own
cuz there is future in how we history.

and she will savor
how you art your way into self
as long as you want to remember to say:
let me kiss you until it explains the origin of kiss
and that feline ink
lifts from your hip
just so it can watch us
sabretoothed and stalking in envy
as we become hunger.

and if she giggles out of the moment
be magnetic and divinely opposite and pull her back
and say
twist while i let these
chocolate fingers
freestyle your caramel
undoing your sweet
until you melt me in.
you didn’t know we were dessert?
we are the only reason belly-full angels dine.

so this is when you say:
i’ll forget that we ever snickered at
schoolyard fuck yous
at the moment we are
sculpted from midnight
and your heat disconnects my will
and i say
fuuuuck: youuuuu…

and with this
she will admit
that you were always
the only one
and behave accordingly at last
she will say
i want the inkling of the thought of the wish
of your dynamite grip to
big bang scatter new worlds
into my pores
until i swirl like the blue Jupiter sees in Earth.

and this is when you tell her:

on our first time
the first sound you make
i will snatch from the air
and peel the note open
like tangerine
and taste the wet of you for me.
tell her
i am just getting started
i am about to become
no matter how you put it
she will hear it as a whisper when you say:

i will lick you like my tongue is turning the pages of your life.

you have her attention.
and she may not recall when you said it
but tell her:
while you sleep
i clang swords
with the gods of lust and reason
just to create sparks that will compete to be
the light in your eyes
when you wake to me.

but in spite of all this
know that
she doesn’t need a poem from you.
just your presence when you are present.
we have no awareness of bone until we are broken.
no sense of lost unless we’ve been home.
she is not waiting
she is b e i n g.
as you approach
hope that she will say
it is very possible that
i am the missing ingredient in your potions
just to make sure:

Wednesday, July 01, 2009