Thursday, November 19, 2009

"As Soon As There Is Life . . .

There is Danger." Cowboy up kiddies. The acts of cowards are not canonized, but condemned.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who's Gonna Save My Soul Now ?

passive agressive contentiousness

did you ever stop to wonder?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Forte is Free

As you all probably know, the illustrious and incredibly talented John Forte has been free from federal prison for a little over two months. What has he been doing with his time you ask? Well, if you watched the video then you already know. He's been performing and recording BANGERS.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

La Ritournelle

i wanna be the blanket draped around your huddled shoulders
and the pillow propping up your weary head.
i wanna be the cushions of the couch you rest on:
all of the stuffing, the fabric, and connecting thread.
i wanna be the lines and shades leaping off the screen
you watch, and the sounds that surround you and your breath.
as you dream, I want to be your unclean imaginings
and the recurring images of greater depth.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What an Inagural Poem SHOULD Look and Sound Like

I know President Obama was inaugurated about a month ago but I’m still reeling from the Inaugural poem. Elizabeth Alexander’s Inaugural poem was an utter disappointment. On a day of historic change, I expected words that would inspire and bolster a people. I expected a poem that was artistic yet accessible and I got neither. The language was dull, the theme: hackneyed, the delivery: poor and robotic (and that’s putting it lightly). I do not desire to dwell on it any further (but I will include a link below so you can read a scathing review). Below I’ve posted an example of what an Inaugural poem should look like. On The Pulse of The Morning, was written and delivered by Maya Angelou for President Clinton’s 1993 Inauguration.

On The Pulse Of Morning

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.
The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,
Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.
The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.
Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers--desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours--your Passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning
link to Alexander's Poem:
link to a Review of Alexander's Poem:
link to analysis of Angelous's Masterpiece:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Taken is epic. You would do well to see it. You would also do well to see it at Cinema Village. It's an old timey theatre with ornate gold molding, thick velvet curtains, balconies...the works.

Ms. White

I remember when every strand of her hair was entangled in a thick lock that hung down her back. She didn’t just throw away the bras that lifted her breasts and the stains that made her lips shine and her eyes “pop”. Along with the crop tops and the curve accentuating denim, she had denounced basic hygiene like washing and conditioning her hair. She said it was so that she’d garner respect for her intellect and because she wanted people to gravitate toward her for her winning character, impeccable musical taste, well thought out advice, blah, blah, blah. I remember gravely setting about the task of emancipating the strands from their dense and dirty prison. Equipped with rat tail combs and safety scissors, we gently pried pieces from the whole. As we did so, as that singular entity was separated into so many dark, twisting lines, my mind wandered off and the tools in our hands shifted shape

I held a mirror while she swept a whiskered brush across her cheek- adding coral coloring to her already flushed face. I held it while she lined her lips with gloss and sprayed strands of her hair until they lost all will to fly away. I helped close the jeans she insisted on squeezing into and I helped lace the shoes she couldn’t walk in. And when her face was put on and her body sufficiently costumed, we walked to the house.

A gaudy chandelier hung in the sitting room, centered above a plush couch, so white and pristine it was sinful to sit on. But after a few drinks, we did. The couch was flanked on both sides by wooden tables housing books of photography and soft leather coasters. While I joked and laughed and requested songs, she admired those inanimate objects. Commenting first on the elegant binding of the books and then on the suppleness of the coasters’ leather, holding her glass out of reverence for the latter. I didn’t notice her leave initially. She was so un-engaging, so taciturn. But when she returned from the basement she was talkative. Riddles, indecent proposals, anecdotes, song lyrics, all streamed forth. She left again and came back energetic. Twirling and gyrating as if possessed. On her third return, blood burst forth from her nostrils and a bit leaked from the left ear and I took her to the hospital. At the hospital that night, the doctor informed her she’d damaged her ear drum. The next day, she didn’t wash her hair and she didn’t wash it the day after that or the day after that or the day after that…

I also remember yesterday. I remember that we found a well worn bench. I remember that the curve of the wood fit the angle of our bodies comfortably. I remember the overbearing branch, extending nosily from a near by tree, that shaded us from the hot white sun. The wood was oddly discolored and we spent several minutes thinking about the stains previous visitors had left. I remember her telling me about researching the habits of auks in the arctic, about the farming co-op she was going to live on. I remember her telling me about hefting books and judging them for their apparent page weight and literary worth. I remember how short her hair was, but how healthy it looked. I let her sing to me:

down at headquarters, there’s a big database
with black and white photos of the side of your beautiful face
and your library record, and all your test scores
and an invitation to party like it’s 1984

I reveled in the fact that she wasn’t trying so hard, and I was happy she wasn’t deliberately wearing a symbol of her refusal to try any longer. And I remember that I said, “Lettie, I see you, now and I am confident that you are living your life under conditions that you have chosen.” And yesterday is all I will choose to remember.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Title: I'll Be in the Sky
Artist: B.o.B.
Album: The Adventures of B.o.B.

Title: Fans Are Cool
Artist: Charles Hamilton
Mixtape: Sonic the Hamilton

Title: Sing Swan Song
Artist: CAN
Album: Ege Bamyasi (1972)

(sound familiar? *cough* 'ye *cough* drunk and hot girls *cough*)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States today. He is the first Black man to hold this position of power and due to that fact, the conflicts our nation is currently embroiled in, the precarious position of our economy, etc. etc. etc. – his actions will be scrutinized. As excited as I am that he’s been elected, I’m more excited to see how he will govern. If his speech is any indication, we’re in good hands. But before we get to that, I’d just like to share some words from Reverend Joseph Lawry who delivered the Benediction. It was riddled with poignant prose, but this was my fave, “In the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man -- and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.”


And now for Obama’s excerpts (drum roll please):

On Americans maintaining hope despite the current climate, “Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights. Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.”

On creating better relations between our and other nations, “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

On becoming the change we wish to see and dedicating our energies to betterment, “…they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.”

On overcoming the obstacles before us, “With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”


Black and Ugly as Ever

Christopher Wallace b.k.a. Biggie Smalls or Notorious B.I.G. was a lyricist of unparalleled talent. To listen to his music is to step into someone else’s shoes and experience life from a different perspective. It is to trade in your book bag for a scale and a gat, to doubt your worth and ability. It is to raise children with no personal experience of what fatherhood is. To listen to Biggie’s music is to succumb to negative influences and pull your self from them. It is to degrade women while promoting a positive self image for your daughter. It is to grow from a money worshipping youth, infecting your community, into a gifted MC uplifting people through your storytelling and artistry.

The movie Notorious chronicles key points in Biggie’s life. It gives you an understanding of his inspiration and rise to fame, while documenting turning points in his career and personal philosophies. Beautifully acted, the relationships between characters rings true and if you are a fan of Biggie you will obviously appreciate the soundtrack. Notorious is an unflinching portrait of the man: a chauvinist, an absentee parent, a drug dealer, a son, a loyal friend, an innovator, a talent. I strongly suggest you dole out the dough and watch Christopher Wallace transform from unknown to NOTORIOUS.

Serene Serenity

Pictured above is a version of the Serenity Prayer. It originated in the 1940's and is accredited (perhaps falsely) to a theologian by the name of Reinhold Niebuhr. Most versions have the words "grace" or “God” somewhere in them. There is an extended version ending in "his will, not mine, be done". The creators of the 12 Step Program adopted the Serenity Prayer and published the following version in their handbook.

"Please grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference."

If it’s good enough to provide drug users and alcohol abusers with strength and solace, I’m sure others can benefit from it as well. If you believe in God, appeal to him/her. If you don’t, use the “prayer” to appeal to the divinity within yourself or to petition the universe for spiritual support…or don’t. But, I, for one, LOVE it.

Anger Mongers

Have you ever watched someone in the throes of indignation? Seen their complexion change as their blood boiled? Heard the deluded excitement of their rage-full rants? For some Anger is a perverted happiness. They revel in their malcontent. These people coddle minor irritations, fanning their flame when they threaten to dissipate, thrusting them forth when they inhabit only the dimly lit corners of their mind. They do this to divert attention from things of actual importance. Instead of finding the solution to a problem, these people prefer to rest on the laurels of the problem itself. The concept of forgiveness is as alien to them as a blossoming plant is to arid land. They don’t realize that forgiveness is more for oneself than for whomever it is that has committed the violation. So, they allow anger to put down roots and entwine itself with their being. They nurture this negativity, unwittingly at first, but eventually it delights and defines them.

The Wrestler


Mickey Rourke and a soundtrack dominated by ‘80s Hair Bands were the highlights of this film. The cinematography was true to life and integral to setting the scene, wonderfully choreographed wrestling routines had me captivated, despite the graphic violence and bloodshed, and Rourke became his character’s passion, pain and perseverance. But, despite the excellent choices made by Darren Aronofsky (who directed the film) and Mickey Rourke (who played the lead role of professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson); I am NOT a fan of The Wrestler.

The truth I felt watching Randy in the ring and by himself was not there when watching him interact with his estranged daughter. I found it wholly ridiculous that a young woman, who harbors strong resentment for the father who neglected her, will push away those feelings of abandonment in a few hours time. Going from having no contact to sharing intimate moments and smiles and walking arm in arm on boardwalks is not a logical progression.

And the whole relationship with Cassidy (stripper played by Marisa Tomei and the object of Randy’s desire) I don't get either. At no point in the film did I see her show any real affection for Randy, no reciprocation of his feelings whatsoever. She only ever looked to him because other people ignored her and she could count on his infatuation with her to lift her spirits. But then at the end she's all profoundly upset by Randy knowingly putting his life in danger. I'm glad Randy “The Ram” died doing what he loved, in front of people who appreciated his talent, instead of holding on for a woman who may or may not have provided him a smidgen of the happiness he felt in the ring.

Much respect to Mickey Rourke
for embodying his character and delivering a riveting performance and much respect for those in charge of the musical accompaniment. The Wrestler is worth seeing, but I wouldn’t spend movie ticket money to do so.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Soooo Pretty (Sooo Old)

R.I.P J. Dilla

"I Can Never Be too Big For My Britches..."

"...I am GIFTED. Merry Christmas."

Bad Girls Pop Off

The new season of Bad Girl's Club is ATROCIOUS.
I miss Tanisha and her never ending quotables so I've compiled the following list:

On promoting physical violence over verbal resolutions "Pop- off."

On muscles soreness after aerobics class "I’m feeling muscles I never knew existed…it’s like the whole of Brooklyn jumped me."

On sweating intensely during aerobics class "I smell like dead people."

On visiting a ranch "Does it look like I’ve ever been to a ranch before? I’ve had ranch dressing."

On Andrea talking shit behind people’s backs through her myspace blog "You can’t play a playa, playa. And I’m a playa!"

On Andrea leaving the house "She’s weak, (to Cordelia) look how many times we ganged up on you."

On Hanna and Neveen throwing liquor on some haters "These girls pop-off for all the wrong reasons."

On her roommates involvement in her false arrest "I blame all of them. Hanna threw a drink on a girl’s face. Neveen wanted to keep on dancing and Darlene jumped in the air like a Mexican princess."

On promoting physical violence over verbal resolutions "Pop- off!!" (i know its already on here...but it's CLASSIC)

On the injustice of food being ordered and people not notifying her "When did ya’ll order pizza? How’d ya’ll order food when I was sleeping? That’s foul yo, I love Pizza."


Monday, January 12, 2009

"Truth Is Beautiful, Without Doubt; But So Are Lies. "

I lie because I’m in flux. I lie because my indecision shames me. I lie because there is no good reason for my failure and the lies render me inculpable. I lie so that I am not a disappointment. Because I need people to believe in my ability, so my potential can manifest itself. I lie because I am loyal to others and at times it is the honorable thing to do. I lie because the implications of reality can be disabling. Because I believe in the power of hope, even where none truly exists, I lie.

I lie because it affords me the freedom to do what I want and not what I should. I lie to protect myself from the consequences of my actions or more often lack of action. I lie to insulate myself from the wrath of others, to deflect responsibility. I lie to divert anger from its rightful target. I lie so people will side with me and rally against the object of my spite. Because it strengthens my arguments and makes any opposition appear ineffectual, I lie.

I form my tales of deceit for the simple pleasure of creation. Lies are at times more profitable than the truth. I lie because I want and it helps me to get. Because I like to whine and it gives me something to grumble about. Because I prefer my company to that of others and lack valid excuses to spend time with myself, I lie.

I lie because I’m angry and don’t feel people deserve unadulterated honesty. I lie because it’s a learned behavior. Because I’ve been lied to and know the effect that it has. I lie to encapsulate myself in mystery. I lie to make myself look more appealing or worthy of admiration and affection. I am never at fault, I’m always right. I lie to convince myself that my feelings are valid and that I’m not misguided or unstable. Because I’m fearful of the truth, I lie.

“All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it.
I myself deny it.” – H.L. Mencken

Terrible Twitter

If you don't know how Twitter works, watching the above will be helpful before reading my impassioned prose/rant.

Twitter is creepy and although I have no affiliation with Facebook, other than that I use it and the creator and I went to the same high school, I find statements saying “Facebook status updates are analogous to tweets,” (really people… “tweets”?!) a little offensive. I mean it’s true, they are quite similar…but there’s so much to Facebook, whereas Twitter is simply CREEPY.

As a networking tool, Facebook kills. It allows you to share all manner of videos, pictures, articles, rants, links, games, etc. with people across the globe. It enables you to keep in better touch and maintain connections with people you do not interact with daily as well as the people you do. While you certainly have the option of updating your current status, keeping people informed about what their friends, family, co-workers, associates, cyber acquaintances, neighbors, and grocers are doing is NOT Facebook’s only reason for existence.

In my experience, most status updates aren't even necessarily indications of what a person is doing at any given time. More often than not, they are song lyrics, pithy quotes, links to YouTube videos, gibberish, or blank. And even if Mrs. Fields DOES write in her status box that she’s baking warm and nourishing homemade cookies and she actually IS baking warm and nourishing homemade cookies, Facebook is a good way to stay connected; Twitter is a stalker’s dream.

All Twitter does is provide a forum for you to update your every move and the ability for people to be kept abreast of what those moves are. Why, might I ask, does that information need to be readily available? Must people know that:

at 8:37am you ate wheaties for breakfast
at 9:12am you are back in bed despite your goal of going for a morning run
at 11:30am you've decided to start your day and are in the shower
at 1:29pm you're en route to your local bookstore to find art history books
at 1:58pm you've abandoned your search and are going to peruse instead (better prices)
at 2:14pm you stopped in Duane Reade to buy sprite
at 2:46pm you had an awkward encounter with your ex and are now crying unabashedly on a street corner while updating your status and ruminating over a love lost
at 2:53pm you're on your way back to Duane Reade, because now you need ice cream to soothe your mental anguish
at 2:59pm you are contemplating moving to Vermont because Duane Reade has no ice cream and the Ben and Jerry's headquarters is some where in New believe Vermont but maybe it's Maine....yeah...maybe you're moving to main or why not Alaska? It’s cold there.


First off, why does anyone think that anyone really cares to know all of this information? And if they do care to know, why do they care to know? And why do you want them to know? Is your life any less fulfilling if people aren't interested in knowing what's going on in it at every turn? I think not. The only practical purpose Twitter could serve is if you’re interrogated by the police and can’t remember what you were doing on Friday, January 9th at 7:09pm, (debating whether or not to have brussel sprouts or cabbage with my fried whiting) you can just consult twitter…your handy e-alibi. I guess it’s not really an alibi so much as a log that will refresh your memory in the event that you do actually have an alibi, but you get my drift.
Twitter- I don’t like it.

Below are hilarious videos that illustrate perfectly why Twitter is a problem!
Watch them in succession.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wall and Piece

I've always admired Banksy's prowess as a grafitti artist. But his prowess with poetry is what's cemented my admiration/adoration.

And for those of you who can't read the text in the above picture:

Beyond watching eyes
With sweet and tender kisses
Our souls reached out to eachother
In breathless wonder

And when I awoke
From a vast and smiling peace
I found you bathed in morning light
Quietly studying
All the messages in my phone


Thursday, January 8, 2009

"The Touch and Feeling of Free..."

"One foot in front of the next. This is the start of a JOURNEY."

Sanctioned Savagery

A friend of mine recently posted a link to an article about a young man who was gunned down by police on New Year’s Day. In addition to the link was the following comment:
“What happened in Oakland was way worse than what happened to Rodney King”.

What Happened in Oakland:
A Bay Area Rapid Transit officer shot 22 year old Oscar Grant in the back. He was unarmed and laying prone on the ground with an officer’s knee in his back when he was fatally wounded. Grant had been pulled off of the train, along with a few other gentlemen, following an altercation in one of the cars.

What Happened to Rodney King:
Four Los Angeles Police officers viciously beat 25 year old Rodney King. He was unarmed and had been tasered multiple times before the beating commenced. King had been pulled over for driving recklessly and for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. King did not immediately pull over when he was instructed to and he also resisted arrest initially.

There is absolutely no need to compare two instances of excessive violence. I understand a life was lost in the shooting of an unarmed man who was face down and visibly subdued by officers, BUT four officers beating one man over 50 times with heavy duty weaponry AFTER said man has been tasered isn't anything to sniff at either. Excessive force by the police is reprehensible and obviously has not been dealt with strongly enough in the past and I am of the opinion that you belittle the experiences of others with statements like the one my friend posted. Police brutality is sickening period point blank.

to read a more detailed report about Grant's murder go here:

Friday, January 2, 2009


1.) "Everybody and their mama are trying to get out of Africa."

Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson is of the opinion that because Africa is plagued by various conflicts, people are trying to leave en masse. People may very well flee Africa for a life of greater mobility/stability. But what is the root of the conflicts that leave their nations war torn and in abject poverty? A large part of the difficulties facing African nations can be traced back to colonialism. Colonizers educated Africans with basic skills that benefited the colonizers and did not afford Africans the chance to develop their intellect or skills that would be useful in building and maintaing their own communities, independent of colonial influence. In addition to being poorly educated, demoralized and debased, colonizers divided Africa amongst themselves and paid no attention to language, cultural boundaries, or the religious affiliations of the people whom these arbitrary borders grouped together. They forced people with different beliefs and methods of communication to co-exist under one banner. Bishop Desmond Tutu summed up one of the many tolls of colonialism when he said:

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said,“Let us pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land."

2.) "The white man came and brought us to the greatest country in the world."

Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson is thankful slavery bought blacks to a nation better off than most in Africa. BUT...It wasn't great until slave labor made it so. Should not this "great nation" be thankful for the African labor that tilled the land and bought great wealth and opportunity to its European settlers? Or maybe it should be grateful for the rich cultural influence of slaves and their descendants? Or for the myriad inventions and technological advancements brought into existence by Blacks? The answer is vehemenently YES to all questions posed above!!!

3.) "The ride over was tough...but no worse than riding on a crowded airplane when you're not in first class."

Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson believes that not having adequate space to stretch one's limbs, not having fresh air to breathe or water to drink, being whipped mercilessly, living in immensely hot quarters with an unbearable stench and being exposed to all manner of disease and human rights violations is no worse than dealing with a poor selection of in-flight beverages and the poor attitudes of surly flight attendants.

4.) "Thank God for the Arabs who sold us and the white folks that bought us."

5.) "The pain for freedom was tough...the pain was all for the sake of freedom."

I don't have the strength to adequately address those last two gems but I will leave you with this: The negative effects of slavery on blacks are innumerable and thus greatly overshadow any supposed benefits. Reverend Peterson should think about the toll slavery took on the African continent and the psyche of Blacks both deceased and unborn before making any other abominable comments.