Tag Archives: writing

When We Arrived presents: broke is a fixed state a poem by Brad Walrond

i am broken reborn
broke is a fixed state

they tell me my wounds are lessons in healing

i cry because
it sure does not feel like it
i cry because
i am ever a wound in progress
a wound with a past tense
a slim jagged future in sight

this scar is a ruse
and i cry in ink because my tattoos
are all i have left to prove
i was here

bradbiopic

BIO

“The voice is where the magic begins. It is with this sound that the spell is spoken and sent across the universe.” ~ Brad Walrond

Poet, writer, performer and activist Brad Walrond was born in Brooklyn New York to first generation Caribbean parents from Barbados. Brad began writing and performing at the age of 24 when he was asked to participate in a theatrical production curated by the legendary entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte.

Shortly thereafter Brad discovered a thriving community of artists, writers and performers at the Sunday Tea Party at Frank’s Lounge in Brooklyn. The Tea Party was an instrumental incubator as Brad honed his craft soon becoming one of the foremost writers and performers of the Black Arts Movement of ‘90s. It was at the Tea Party and other venues like the Brooklyn Moon Café, the Nuyorican Poets Café and numerous venues in and around NYC that Brad had the pleasure of sharing the stage with renowned writers, poets and artists including Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets, legendary actress/writer Ruby Dee, Erykah Badu, Saul Williams, Jessica Care Moore, Mos Def, Liza Jesse Peterson, Universes (Then: Mildred Ruiz, Stephen Sapp, Flaco Navaja and Lemon Anderson) and Craig “muMs” Grant.

Brad’s creative voice is rooted in an activist tradition. While pursuing his creative path Brad also served as Assistant to the National Program Director of Pathways to Teaching Careers and as Director of Education at FACES—the historic non-profit in Harlem New York first to respond to the HIV pandemic targeting at-risk populations of color.

Brad received his BA at the City College of New York and received a full scholarship to pursue is doctoral studies in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. Brad’s battle with major depression upended his studies and he chose to pursue an alternate career in the culinary arts. Brad has had the privilege to cook at some of the finest world-class kitchens in New York City.

For nearly a decade, due to a demanding work schedule, and a persistent depression Brad became disconnected from his creative voice. Fortunately with what he attributes to much prayer, perseverance and professional medical care Brad has found his way back to the rich echoes of his creative voice.

The voice is to a poet what point of view is to a visual artist. It is your signature footprint on the creative landscape. Brad has returned with fervor to his prodigious creative terrain and is claiming his rightful place in it. He has been missed. He is more then just a poet or a speaker of words; he is a weaver of spells and bringer of passion and light.

www.bradwalrond.com

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22:30 A.D.

If you could talk to one person from the past/present for one hour, who would it be?

benchbywater

I would take just one hour with you, Dad.

.03 minutes
and memorize your knuckles
and count the pace between your jokes
look at the stance of your earlobes

.18 minutes
allow the electricity to race through my veins as we touch hands
and allow my eyes to connect your pores that capture your
favorite after shave
attach the scent of your breath

.32 minutes
have you explain.
ask you the really tough questions
in this softly short period of time
tell you why I chose this place. next to this tree. I love silver dollar trees.

.45 minutes
answer more. give me more detail. this is when you’ll see yourself. and know I am so much of your explosive hustle.

.58 minutes
and then I’d let you see me cry for the first time ever. for two straight minutes. until your eyes that are mine meet again.

 

13:30 A.D.

Blame it on the trees if you thought
I’d continue to campaign for his dreams
and live off his land of fear verbed chatter.

Cause he’s not what he should be after all these seasons
of corn
and collards
and courvoisier
point the finger at the sidewalk leaves
and stormed cracked branches
that allow me to conceive a
Soloman like thirst for honesty.

bare trees

Blame it on the trees
the bare December influenced branches that carries
everybody’s voiceless intentions
to a generation searching for a
Messiah.

 

no rhyming tonite

hands holding

The rally in his mouth no longer
moves me
His ante dotes no longer describe / how I feel
the flavor in his analogies offend me
cause he’s naked and happy,
I’m fully clothed and ready for another love war

I no longer desire the rhythm of his walk,
the gutsy bass of his laughter.
Our relationship is no longer melodic.

No more poetry.
We need to talk.

from the book, “Pocket Honey, Wind & Hips” – nikki skies

Missing Rifle / Missing Woman (for Harriet Tubman)

quilt2

sky readers / moon believers
before the sunrise prayers
Wisdom Born Mamas sew star, sun, earth, heart shaped
patterns on
quilts to warm babies
and free souls
hearing from the wind when to hang ’em
high on the clothes line
Before rooster crow / before master know
patterns on quilts mapped out which way to go
to wade in the water
Missing Rifle / Missing Woman.

**Dedicated to the courage of Harriet Tubman and the slaves and quakers that made quilts and hung them to slyly map the way to freedom**

quilt
quilt3
harriette tubman

from the poetry book, Pocket Honey, Wind & Hips

 

waking up

image

“I can’t be a writer as a career.”
-then you won’t

“No one will understand my words.”
-then we won’t

“What the world doesn’t need is another writer!”
-then you won’t be one

Everyone doesn’t wake up with the notion to be a writer. A poet. A playwright. A novelist. But if you did,  follow that feeling with a sincere belief there is reasoning behind it and seek it.

Where ever you go, there you are so you might as well be happy.

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

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)

fear wrestling

The merlot on my tongue
won’t allow me to speak.

I stain my pillow with attached prayers of something
better
betwixt the Ghana of my mane.

Afraid,
I walk with a cane looped to my belt to beat a fall
design distance from cerebral lessons

fear wrestling.
I wear tight shoes to ensure carefully calculated steps
abandon spontaneity
and disavow chances and dances with love.

taken from the book:

PocketHoneyWindHips

Get your autographed copy here

 

a Note on Time (meeting me2)

She left this morning.
conveniently smooth like tap water /
Promises taped to her right palm for her to befriend the wild with food

She just wanted to be great.
Capsize time and defend her sister and brother
Look her father in the eye with familiar
Write down her Grandmother’s genius words
Learn the earth at the expense of her Grandfather’s back

She came. / throttled tone with soprano cheeks
shy girl
social as corners
barely

Intimately speaking is how she preferred things
but stories pierced her earlobes
diamonds to shine / hoops to dangle
pages to escape poverty

Like you / she survived through chances
stand offs against never and silence
She left this morning
after a cup of coffee
but prepared these words for you.