Category Archives: actualization

Re-Establishing my Journey

Years ago I decided I would not never become a teacher. I envisioned it as confinement. I am a creature of routine BUT I do not want one imposed on me. I always saw being an educator as someone who was doomed with routine and rewarded with low pay. That was not the life I wanted to live.

As time and the ancestors would have it, my poetry created a platform for me to engage my art at colleges and universities. Not just as the “entertainment” but additionally as an educator to young writers on the importance of preserving the black vernacular. My art eventually evolved to focusing on the feminine narrative. Encouraging the black feminine voice expressed and written from a holistic perspective and not just as a presence to move a plot forward. These discussions exposed two things, (1) I had more questions than answers and needed to do more research to educate myself (2) I was pretty good at this teaching thing.

My community knows me primarily as a performance poet and from the theatre. Both of these creative platforms allowed me to express undivided and intellectually intact. I had the company to be beautiful and the security to laugh at myself and others. As I immersed myself more with the writing community, plays and novels, I felt absent- invisible even. I was stifled with this feeling once before when I studied film at Howard University for my M.A. In screenplay writing, I didn’t have the company of voice, meaning the character written or represented on film, was not a bridged visualization of my existence as a woman. A black woman, a woman of color living in this country. My questions about the presence or the acceptance of what was represented as the black feminine narrative, now became a plaque of concerns. That was until I got my hands on Toni Morrison’s “Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination”.

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A Week Late, Dollars Saved

I am re-posting this for those who have goals of leaving their full time jobs going into the New Year. I did it…

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Just like in the movie, “Donnie Brasco”, Al Pacino’s character knew what “get sent for” meant.  He had dinner with his wife, put his jewelry and money in a box and told her not to wait up for him tonight.  I knew my last day of employment was coming.  I could feel it.  I could sense the detached nature from the next level of management.  The comments of “I’ll call you right back” turned into “I’ll contact you in a few days.”

It had happened.  Just like the laws of nature said it would!  “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”  Six months earlier I had lunch with two of my colleagues and showed them copies of my poetry and short story book.  They were floored!  I went on to tell them that prior to me moving to Atlanta to take on my sisters children, I lived my life as an artist.  I felt relief as I confessed to them that I am a writer of many facets.  Now caring for a family, a ‘sure bet’ check is what I needed to settle into my new role as a parent.  During our lunch together I shared with them that I would be leaving our employer before the hectic holiday season arrived to once again pursue my life as an artist.  I showed them a countdown widget I downloaded on my cellphone that festively displayed how many more days I had left.  They were shocked but very happy for me.  I now had support from two women whom I admired and trusted.

I owed this same conversation with one of my managers who I’ve worked with since my first day with the company.  A brilliant talent and inspiring leader,  she worked her way through several positions in the company and excelled at them all.  I brought her copies of my book and shared with her that was the “real me”.  She was not surprised!  She told me she could tell I had something else to me because of my colorful emails I would send out to the team about contests, etc.  Since she had been with me from day one I wanted to let her know of my plans of leaving so she wouldn’t be blind sighted.  To my surprise, she had plans of leaving too!  As a matter of fact, I had to almost beg her not to leave before me and ask if we could agree to leave the same month.  Wheesh!  She agreed.

Continue reading A Week Late, Dollars Saved

A Poem

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It’s a poem if the words can live without you.

If the allegory can make blinding light shine from tombs
awaken memories
breathe them back to – reality.

It’s a poem if,
there are possibilities for similies linking people
universally
from fallen walls to picket signs
drawing scents of lemons
shake hands of farm girls to vegetarians
likening poetry to biblical days
with your comrades
logging different chapters
forcing the community for just one night
to look
directly into the sun
That’s a poem.

from the poetry book, Pocket Honey, Wind & Hips

she’s called Phoenix

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Many people will read this and immediately begin to think from a religious perspective and ignore the transformation that can be experienced from this mantra.

The politics of religion is about mind and crowd control, not freedom or spiritual growth.  And perhaps this is where the frustration begins.  Instead of viewing the glass as half empty people will view it as constantly starting over.

Those hard times are where you are burning to rise.  Where you should allow yourself to come undone.  Only to give birth to yourself again.  Think differently… think spiritually.

Has It Really Been 10 Years? Ok, especially for today…

Ten years ago today I released my first book, “Mississippi Window Cracks”.  Wow!

Mississippi Window Crack

I literally drafted the book after spending a few days visiting a friend in Jackson, Mississippi.  From the energy of the historical places to the scent of the zesty magnolia trees to the delicious southern cuisine… I had a lot to write about!

“Mississippi Window Cracks” is a collection of six short stories and three prose pieces.  Here is a breakdown of the book:

The Untimely Flight – A story of two women with a chance meeting in the airport traveling to different locations.  One is on a business trip and the other reuniting with her family after abandoning them to follow her dreams some ten years prior.  Their meeting is purposeful yet brief. Just as life would have it.

The Auction – “For Mothers of wombs that drum life and dance the promise of tomorrow, I pour this libation.  For the victories of liberation and paths of freedom you laid before me, I walk today for you.”  As a child, one of Angel’s childhood stories told by her grandmother was that of Hathor and Tehuti.  An ancient Egyptian story told about the Goddess of beauty and the messenger of wisdom.  It has been whispered that the legendary Odu family in Mississippi carries the spirit of these deities, Angel and her brother Country.  She is here to persuade her brother to come home to his god-like self and maintain the balance in the world.

Return to Ruins – A prose piece in reference to the slave plantation called, The Windsor Ruins.

Summer Love – A steamy love story about a young woman working as an intern in Yazoo City, Mississippi.  She falls hard for a local radio DJ who spins more for her than the hottest tunes.

A Prose for Medgar and Myrlie – “Her bladder was full of miles like her mother’s.  She watered the ground with chocolate auburn.  The spices enticed the clouds to cry and capture the streets. She met him where the sun sat in the fire pit.  Her kissed her hand to summons a feather so she wouldn’t doubt his words.  His eyes were complete like the turn of an owl’s head.  Her fears poured from her spine like pureed apples.  The preacher announced their commitment where roads met corners with mirrors.  He hung their picture in a birdcage to catch time.  He told them not to be afraid.”

The Grass is Simply Green – Nia and LaDonna are best friends who have ventured lessons in life together.  Now, together they face reproductive injustice as one yearns to start a family.  Together they stand as long as one of them holds a secret from the other.

A Prose for Fannie Lou Hamer – “If you see her.  Tell her you remember.  Her protected skin that matched night.  Unafraid.  Sleep patterned to that of bats.  Called upon.  Like Nut and Shu.  To uphold the heavens.  Keep young mouths breathing.  When tempted to swallow swollen faith.  She followed the dust and escaped through vents.”

Southern Betrayal – The  story  of a woman scorned by love.  She travels to a voodoo/root shop to see if the potions really work as she seeks revenge on her ex-love.

When Chris Met Katrina – Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and parts of Mississippi.  Like thousands of people who stayed to “wait this one out”, Chris does not evacuate his childhood home.  The storm passed as he suspected but the waters began to rise from the storm drains and flood the streets.  This is the day Chris met Katrina.

I suppose authors do something special when their books have anniversaries and what not :- /  so I am offering  autographed books  with FREE shipping of “Mississippi Window Cracks”. I only have a few sitting around my house.  I hope you enjoy it!