Tuesday, March 18, 2008

god's in the poetry

i wanna share this sonnet by Gwendolyn Brooks, 'cause it's been a favorite of mine for years. funny thing is that i didn't really understand it 'til now. i didn't really know why it was a favorite, why the heart of the poem spoke to me, you know? there's god in poetry ... my heart could feel god speaking to me, warning me, teaching me between the lines, though my head had no clue of what journey i would embark upon. now, i stand at the final line of the sonnet, getting it, you know? feeling it with intimate connection. and it's good to have gone there and made it out to the final line ... with a resolute truth ... hell's done, 'cause i say so.

anyway, i wanna share this wit ya' in an attempt to share my heart and where it's come back from. plus, it's just dope. and before i type the lines, i also wanna let you know that on the day Ms. Brooks died, I held a shoe in my hand at the front door of my house while bacon fried slow in a pan and my children giggled through some episode of sesame street. i was waiting for my man to place his foot inside the house. i was sober. i was clear. the shoe was meant for his dome-piece.

here it goes ...

my dream, my works, must wait till after hell

I hold my honey and I store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.
I am very hungry. I am incomplete.
And none can tell when I may dine again.
No man can give me any word but Wait,
The puny light. I keep my eyes pointed in;
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
Drag out to their last dregs and I resume
On such legs as are left me, in such heart
As I can manage, remember to go home,
My taste will not have turned insensitive
To home and bread old purity could love.

-Gwendolyn Brooks

Monday, March 10, 2008

why my blog left the building (of my heart)/why it walked back in

i've been stingy with my writing lately. that's why i haven't been blogging. after months of a seeming fruitless hunt for new inspiration, beyond the usual blog rant, i've stumbled upon what was already there ... the scattered notes between journal entries and lists, the random gems found through internet searches, the writing on the wall (literally ... i riff on my wall space in washable marker. proof of my youth's transgressions: nina aka sweet nee in black marker on the bus) ... and i have finally discovered the pieces of my puzzled heart, a beautiful mess, of course, and still ... the beginnings of a world meant for the stage. and to make matters worse (or better), it's coming out in that wild experimental aesthetic i've come to love ... jazz riffs and blues songs, some ill boom bap in time straddling a praise song in a sticky southern drawl... and so, i've little to blog about. none of this love affair is meant for this space. it's too fresh ... too brazenly virginal and raunchy as a tongue licking a lover's favorite secret 'yes' spot. it's personal ... making its way to public consumption. in time.

but i will blog this ... yesterday, i waited at the crossway on 12 avenue at pier 94. i was going to see my cousin's interior design work at a showcase. and when the traffic light went red, and it was my turn to walk, i looked in my periphery as i took a step off the concrete, and some crazed, tunnel vision white chic was zooming my way ... there was this one breath between me falling through the natural step of my feet and into her death trap. less than minute's worth of breathing. and somehow, i managed to pause, and watched her fly through the red light past me. i said to no one, "that could have been my ass right there." and this chic who witnessed it but stood further back from the traffic lane agreed, "yep. it could've been. clearly someone is watching over you." and i responded, laughing, "clearly. someone more than human."

we crossed the street. and i made it to the interior design showcase ... i really loved the chandeliers constructed out of what looked like deer antlers with crystal tear drop-shaped prisms hanging from them.

and i really love this gift. life.