Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Things First

I've been gone forever.
I know.

...but I have to get back to my job (my breaks about over), just had to say Happy Birthday to my favorite youngest sister ever: Nia Pearl.

She's 5 today.
Love her to pieces.

And I'm officially late for work BUT

I'll Be Back (Promise),

Friday, April 17, 2009

How My Night Went...

If you look past me rushing to the event from class, because I have a night class on another Temple Campus (Center City from 530 to 830) and the event started at 7, and the people in the set I was in went on at 845.. I was pressing it. Got there hella close to 845, if not 845 exactly. Lucky for me, they had taken a 10min. break.

Whatever the case, I was pleased with my performance overall (even if my voice gave out at the end and ruined my last line), the people performing had wonderful energy, everyone from BABEL that performed killed it, and I was glad to finally meet Ms. Mayda del Valle (who was hella cool)... I so glad, in fact, that I actually let her sign the book I write my poems in. Here's a video of my performance and a couple other pics from the night:

I Just Might Die Happy,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tomorrow I'm on the Lineup With...

Mayda del Valle!

Yes, one of my favorite poets will be sharing the stage/mic with me tomorrow... or maybe I'll be sharing the stage with her. Whatever the case, we're in a line-up together. I'm hype. The one poem I'm surely doing is Wilted Women. Any suggestions on the second?

Did I ever mention that she was the reason I decided to go natural/cut my hair off? I saw the poem I have below and was like "Wow. She chopped her hair off. That's bold." Then, it crossed my mind to do the same, I messaged her on Myspace, she got back to me months later like "Do it. It's liberating"... and here I am now. Anywho, check her out.

Here's a clip or two of her:

...and another performance of hers is on the post To All The Boys I've Loved Before. That's actually the name of her poem.

Uber Excited,

Breakdancing 101 [and another poem]

So, yesterday I was leaving the SAC (for Non-Temple students- that's the area for students to eat), and there were these dudes break dancing downstairs. There were two groups dancing beside each other and I was with Hannah , she's a part of Babel (the poetry collective I'm in).. the girl who I inspired to write a poem. She used to dance til' she had a knee injury, and I'm just saying this to say that she was as impressed as I was with what they were doing.

The result? I stood/sat around for about 2hrs and some change watching them bug out. I even got the nerve to try and learn a thing or two. They tried, but their effort wasn't well invested, because I didn't get much. Hey, that's why I write poems. It is what it is. They even had the audacity to invite me to their practice tonight... silly rabbit. They said I was "down", but their practices are closed so don't bring no clowns. Whatever the case, here's a clip I shot of what they were doing-mind you, the dude in the white shirt really starts going off when I stop recording. My timing is horrible:

After a while, I was worn out as if I had actually done some real work, and Hannah just couldn't stop dancing. Meanwhile, I just wanted to write and I started seeing all their moves in a metaphor. Well, it's not really much of a metaphor because breakdancing is one of the 4 elements of hip-hop (if you don't know, the 4 elements are emcee'ing, DJ'ing, graffiti, and break dancing). Either way, I was so caught up in their movements, and I think I just felt at home with hip-hop, if that makes any sense. Like, I haven't been really in tune with the music like I used to be... yeah, she's been losing me. But seeing them dance allowed me to experience and appreciate it (hip-hop) in a different form.

With all that being said, I wrote a poem about it. I've been writing my life away lately... wish I could write some other things away, but whatever. I think I may try and do a poem a day for the next.. ugh.. month? I'm not saying they'll be great, but they'll be poems. It'll be a challenge for me, similar to the one Hannah did in February. Without further adieu, here's the poem (I think it's called A Different Element):
He breakdanced
And to me it just looked like poetry
Hip-hop at its finest
Instead of saying "yo"
He just did fancy footwork
And the punchlines came to form when he froze
I was watching him make hip-hop

I was watching him make hip-hop
Had been a while since I made her acquaintance
Guess she realized her words were no longer moving
So she took a stab at break dancing
And I was captivated
Sat there watching her for hours

See, she lead me to this poetry shit
But now she had me messing up my wrist
Trying to get into her element
Hip-hop, I just wanna be with you
And if I can't find you in words
I'm willing to meet you half way in body movements

Or maybe I should start tagging walls
Granted, I've already began to make my mark
I want the kind of poetry that bleeds
Whatever it takes to be a dope MC
A master of compassion

And in the same manner poets can get on the mic and lie
I'd never be the kind of dancer who faked the funk
So hip-hop
Maybe you could teach me how to move like you
Cause you've said more than enough
And I think it's about time we took this to another level
Still a Poet,

Talent Recognize Talent

So, once again, Earl is the cause of me stumbling upon something. Before saying much, just look at the picture. And yes, he is talented in every instrument you see in his surroundings.

Behold: Colin Munroe. Impressive, much? Whatever the case, I'm on. Want a sample? I'm sure you're familiar with Kanye's-Flashing Lights. Here's the remixed edition. It's an oldie, but I should have explored a bit further after hearing this:

Here's his mixtape from December if your interest is even a lil' bit peaked. Just click the picture, duh:

Thanks (again) Earl,

Home Should be Where God Is

They say that home is where the heart is
I say that home should be where God is
Since that is the muscle that pumps the hardest
-Talaam Acey

Going home is always a wonderful experience. I wonder how this experience works out for military brats. Like, what area do they feel most connected to and for what reason? Personally, I was born/raised in Virginia Beach until I was 13. Then, I moved to Charlotte, NC... spent 5 consistent years there, and now I "visit" (at least, they feel like visits) between my breaks from school in Philadelphia, PA.

I'm saying all this to say that I spent Easter Weekend in Virginia, at HOME. In most cases, when I'm referencing home I'm referring to North Carolina, but Virginia is really the root of it all. I hadn't been since November, and I found such comfort in the smallest things. It's like, there are certain things that are just understood as a part of home. For some people, it's having to pull the bathroom door hard for it to close or knowing that the light in your hallway goes our randomly.

For me, home means I expect my brothers room to be a mess, I also expect the living room to be a mess because my brother thinks it's his room, I don't think twice about the small hole in the wall at the top of the steps, there will always be my favorite snacks (that my home in NC doesn't have) in the pantry, a bunch of guys will always be in my living room (compliments of my brother), and playing Scrabble is a must.

For example, as soon as I got off the plane in Virginia I had pulled out a copy of certain letters in the Scrabble dictionary that my gram had sent to me. Her sister (my great aunt) was also going to be there for the weekend and one of the things on my Bucket List is to beat her (the undefeated champ) in Scrabble. I must do this before I die. This is me trying to study various list of words all at once:

Clearly, this wasn't helpful.

Here's my crappy selection of letters. Blah.

Needless to say (or maybe it's not needless to say because you have faith in me, but whatever the case) I never beat her. I haven't played that game in ages so I was a tad rusty, but I'd openly challenge anyone else in the game... just not her. I was beating her for like.. ugh.. a whole 4minutes, and she even told me "Great job" twice. Yes, these were clearly the highlights of my weekend, but in the end- she's still the reigning champ, and I'm still the ::gasp:: loser. Hey, such is life.

The point of this all though, is no matter what I identify as home, it brings me the most awkward comfort. Lately I have been so overwhelmed by random things and apathetic about them all at the same time. Like, things are bothering me but they aren't bothering me enough to where I'm compelled to do something about them. Does that mean that I'm not really bothered at all? Whatever it means, I had been feeling a vacation was much needed. Home was just the cure. It was such a relief, and my grandma is such a delightful blessing to be around. I couldn't even begin to explain it.

I know this isn't much, but I just thought I'd share. Really, I just wanted to open the door for Scrabble challenges, because I definitely need the practice. Yup, I think that was the point of this. Hmph.

Lay Down,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wilted Women [latest poem]

Babel's latest assignment was to write a poem about female genital mutilaton. I didn't think I would be able to come up with anything since I still don't have a poem written for out last assignment (what, not who, would you die for?), but this worked out pretty well. Here you have it:

Uprooted from her homeland
And replanted in foreign soil
She was a flower
Robbed of her most precious parts
He had picked away at her petals
And left her with nothing but thorns
This prick
Was the reason she sat in a field of carnations
Trying to justify his actions

He loves me
I am an African woman
This is tradition
He loves me not
We rejected this way of life when we became American citizens
He loves me
Circumcised women are viewed as holy, clean, and pure
He loves me not
This may lead to infections I won't receive medications for
He loves me
My role as his wife is one of submission
He loves me not
Gender stratification is prevalent regardless of female circumcision

He loves me
He loves me
He loves me

And she kept saying this to herself
Hoping she'd soon believe it
But the last petal she landed on was the one she heeded
He loved her not
And suddenly, it all added up
Cause numbers don't lie
And there were 6,000 women a day
Dealing with a pain that felt just like hers

Give or take a few
Cause some bled to death in the process
Baby girls and grown women alike
Fondled with the same care as inanimate objects
...all for the sake of male ego
Though they'll tell you it decreases premarital sex and a woman's libido
It's oppression at it's finest

There is no shame in claiming the very thing that makes you feminine
Cause a rose called by any other name smells just as sweet
But a woman with nothing but thorns is considered scorned
And if she could, I'm sure she'd heal herself
But there is no hope in reviving wilted flowers

So I beg you
Stop picking at her petals
For they are, in fact, the very thing that makes her beautiful 

It's My First Kinda Metaphoric Poem,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

O, How Could I Forget How Much I Love You?

.. this one's for you, for getting me through this long night of notes, studying and writing papers. I'll never forget you. I mean, really... we have history. How could I?

Make a Cloud Ya Pillow-
Come Fly With Me,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thought for the Day

A man who cant sleep, should never be slept on.

Dreams breed ideas that make millions to rest on.

I Don't Know the Source BUT It's Dope,

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Overwhelmed, Much?

Can I kick it?
I mean, it' my blog, right?

So... twice this week, and for no (apparent) reason, I found myself crying. One episode occurred after meeting with Babel. It was the day I wrote the poem about when God made it hail outside. Who knows what caused it? The second episode occurred during class. Yes. Embarrassing. I know.

I was sitting in my Creative Spirit class. We were sitting in a half circle and presenting our 1min. performances (or what we had of them) to the class. My turn was soon approaching, and to be honest-I hadn't put much thought into what I would do for my final performance. The only thing I knew for sure is that I'd be performing a poem. So, I was thinking I'd do this "I Poet" piece, and just spit what I had of it for now. I mean, this was only practice. Then I thought about reciting the poem of apologies to myself, because the point of this performance is to open up and give people a chance to know you... then, I thought about performing one of the letters I wrote to my (deceased) mother.

So, during this thought process and while people are performing, I'm getting all choked up. And I could blame the letter to my mom, because I usually don't get through it BUT I can read the first half with no problems. Well, I used to be able to up until this day. I really don't think this letter had anything to do with it. In short, I stand in front of the class... start rambling about other things I consider doing, feel myself about to cry, begin the poem, and start crying. I try and pull it together, but it doesn't work. I apologize and sit down. At this time, I'm crying full out. And I mean, I have mixed emotions. I know the little piece of poem I got out spoke to a few in the class, because a girl came up to me telling me that she takes her parents for granted and think others should hear it. Another girl also has a deceased mother, and she wanted to know if writing letters really helped.

When heading to my seat, my teacher says, "Thanks for being brave." I get titled as 'brave', often. The funny thing is that I don't feel brave. I forgot to mention, that I've been having dreams that someone is trying to kill me. Sometimes it's a reoccurring dream, sometimes the killer is different, but I'm always running. A friend of mine told me that if I'm running from death in all my dreams (and I wake up right before I'm about to die) it means that I'm actually running from something in real life and it will be major once I confront it... hence, the reason I wake up. In some aspects, this makes sense, but (much like the dream)-I'm not ready to decipher what (or how many things) I'm running from... so, I'll let my subconscious work that one out.

Lastly- juggling two jobs, school work, and extracurriculars that I actually enjoy being a part of has proven to be a bit much. Not to mention, I'm hunting for a summer internship, and the location seems to be a major problem right now. I don't know where the hell I'm going to be.

Wait, one more "lastly"-I think I'm giving up on a friend here. And, if you pay attention to my blog or know me well, my heart hangs off my sleeve. Womp. Whatever the case, I'm sad that I feel the need to let them go. I love them to death, like-really. However, I feel like we've been pretending for sometime now that things are better than they are or trying to avoid it, and I'm over it. It's not the same. Yes, a poem will come from this. Actually, the poem will be my goodbye. I have that much figured out.

Go Tar Heels,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

You Deserve

Whatever You Tolerate.

Sounds simple, right? I read it on *someone's* Facebook status (yes, someone- in the event that you read this... consider the astrics your special shoutout and my silent apology for tagging you last). Whatever the case, after reading it-I felt like I was hit over the head with a ton of bricks.

Like, why didn't I think of that? It's so easy to let someone walk all over you in the name of love, but what about self-respect? When does that fall into play? In a way, I guess I'm looking at "you deserve whatever you tolerate" and thinking "you're worth whatever you tolerate", but it's only because putting up with someone says that you consider it worth your time or you worth its' time. Am I talking in circles?

Really though. It definitely has me questioning the way I handle things or allow things to happen knowing that I, as a woman, set the tone in a relationship. It's amazing how easily females (myself included) screw ourselves over but can so easily judge another female when she's tolerating something that's below her, yet when you put us in the same situation- we seldom manage to do any better.

Understanding the statement in full is easier than enacting it. On a lighter note, I'm working on a poem. Well, I'm working on a bunch of poems actually, but as it relates to this post-all I have right now is:

You deserve whatever you tolerate
So if you turn the other cheek
When you know that he cheats
I guess that's what you deserve
And if you know that he's creeping
But still lay up with him on weekends
I'm sorry you feel that's what you're worth

That's All I Got so Far,