Category Archives: art careers

Gifts for Mother Maya by Reverdia da’ River Woman

 

 

1) Although Angelou writes almost exclusively for African Americans, she has a huge following from other races.  Why do you think this is?

The Honorable Mother Maya writes from her experience as a human being first.  Yes, I know that sounds cliche’-ish… “same-ing”, if you will, the initiation of a struggling explanation, but if one listened to ‘Mother-Sister’, you can sense what was an insistent appetency to set right and at the same time comfort in her addressing us… all of us. Although her literary gifts to us were addressed from a woman’s eyes, simply because she was one, she was the glowing and towering, vibrant, flowing seductive and insistent, yet sweetly confident member of this human race first and wanted us all to feel that same sublime rendering of naked and free’d expression of self.

Little girls, givers of life- [where her story and destiny begins] come in all colors and influences and each deserves love and encouraging and protecting.  If the opposite is present, the difference dissipates and only the commonality of pain and tragedy, joy and ascending, remain- none of which is specific to any particular race, opinion, or culture.  Her living is / was certainly on common ground with the human spirit set in each of us regardless of  our location or station or not; as well as her truths. That kind of naked, bold, unencumbered, raw, vivid, biting and sometimes seducing caressing, and loving truth in her writing, sets us all on common playing ground.

How would you characterize Angelou’s style – her language, her tone, her choice of metaphors, and so on?
Continue reading Gifts for Mother Maya by Reverdia da’ River Woman

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renewed / not new – a Brown Girls Privilege

here is some of my privilege.

I believe they were thinking of me

wearing myrrh and adorned in silver

and that is not selfish

we share the same sun

– the kiss on our skin

we share a love of puzzles

– arrangements of letters

we turn into poems – plays – books – speeches

and laughs.

literary legends

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…

womanonbuslookingoutwindow

 

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

Black Folks Don’t Like Clowns

I won’t smile just because /
I’m not a clown.
We know better than walking with the flow of traffic
or to love without love
Demand a song for your shadow
garlic for your shoes / protect your trail
but saltwater the pattern
that only the shake of bones can re-assemble
this isn’t magic
but the perfect mixture of spirits
to parch abandoned trains traveling
and quench prayers pressed in family bibles.
 
There is no big top coming / No elephant tricks
 
So, from which rain do you belong?
who organized this parade?
with borrowed drum beats
something isn’t right…
we don’t play piccolo’s where I come from
 
And some will need to pay
especially if we don’t see the receipt or
experience you as a whole person
with a moon eclipsed hip
and patched spare tire
 
You want to stop crying?
Stop smiling for no reason.
besides
 
Black folks don’t like clowns
anyway. –
 
“Black Folks Don’t Like Clowns” from the book “yardwork

a Higher Re-Education Program (Writer’s Edition)

“The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.” -Toni Morrison

womanreading

As a young girl, my mother had to chose what utilities she would keep on and which ones she would let go to keep my sister, brother and I fed and clothed.  Phone service NEVER made the “stay on” list and gas service was optional during summer months.  Cable television was not discussed in my home because we only had two televisions and they were black and white. (yes, color televisions were available and no I won’t tell the year or my age).  My escape was reading.  The easiest series of books to find in sequential collections at thrift stores at the time were the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.  And I read them all!  Continue reading a Higher Re-Education Program (Writer’s Edition)