Look Alive

24 March 2012

Broken, We Go Hard

Sanford, our suns, structure...
weathered and marked, indefinitely left

in rot or retinue
When necessary, the soul of me disagrees

.: visual persistence of memory at http://tinyurl.com/DC4Trayvon-PMLLC :.

"This is [a] black hoodie rap"
Lemme rap to you about some Blacks who die
They may appear as another from behind
or exactly for who they are
then sexually violated, shot or subject to bars
spit on, with shame
And when the soul and body part ways 
unity often waits for mourning
even if rumor had it the night prior
How rich that is—not
Even "nothing" can be sacred
if equal to evils often concealed
No covering within, no hood without?
Just when you thought
you new the rules
Oh boy...
The Red Line approached empty and helped me
thanks to my Silver Spring
Our Union is stationed in a hopeful place
beside a Judiciary, not judgmental, square
Move on
There is something else to see, hear

20 March 2012

Cherish the Species

"I have considered the days of old, the ancient days, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search."
- Psalm 77:5-6

Before our meeting, a former classmate specialized in entomology, meaning he studied insects. Etymology-loving me was surprised that I had to look the simple-looking word up when he first mentioned his early goals. Having done so, it made perfect sense when group discussions about human nutrition, organ systems or body types and temperaments somehow drew comparisons to some worm, long-legged creature or another. Where most people would hum a ditty, cringe or talk crap about 'la cucaracha', he would probably notice beauty or revere their persistence. Moving quickly from that, it was cool to learn that each member of the small world we tend to acknowledge more in this Spring and the coming Summer season have millions more faces than the few we commonly recognize.

Covering the journey from coarse kingdoms to fine specimen and back, there are seven primary strata. And without doubt there Is God. What comes to mind for me in that regard is popular culture's depiction of Heaven's levels or the whole tones in a Western scale. With the great differences of human beings (snowflakes too), the whole world can agree that music has the power to consistently highlight and harmonize our similarities. Ok. I admit it! Like my friend, it seems I find a way to include what I love in almost every conversation too. 

That being said, Esperanza Spalding's "Radio Music Society" was one of the albums released today. Arriving almost a month after The Robert Glasper Experiment's "Black Radio", the 'ready, yo' theme informs some great moments in the artform. With the exception of a boombox image on the lady's cover art and the now common feature of a third-party on almost all of the group's songs, however, both albums are beautiful snapshots in what should continue forward as high-quality catalogs but don't quite represent what radio looks like for now.  

For instance, if popular broadcasts didn't seek to dull the senses with repetition of *@&%! and instead graced us with the 'hope' to "Always Shine" or more Stokley (of beloved Mint Condition fame), "Ah Yeah"... our days might be "Crowned & Kissed" with the gentle wisdom inherent to simply sitting and sipping the aural tea of a "Cinnamon Tree" or pretty luxuries like those first experienced in '91. No need to look to the left, though. A mellow and effective Nirvana awaits in the midst of the albums' 12/24 selections, due only in part yet dually to another long-time favorite singer, Lalah Hathaway. Wait - I just envisioned an "In Living Color"-era Tommy Davidson. Somebody say Christmas comin'? Wrap it up!

Ms. Hathaway, like the mother she shares her birth name with, exemplifies good speech when the root eu- puts a positive spin on the la tone connected with certain singing or repetitive movements of the tongue as with ululation. Phonetically, the daughter's proximity to "Leila" links the name to blackness. As Ms. Spalding's "Vague Suspicions" and "Land of the Free" did in light of injustices including that which claimed the life of Trayvon Martin, Hathaway's music could easily offer very soothing and centering vibrations during a dark time.

For me, the "silence is the sweetest sound" lyric of 1994's "So They Say" in particular made bearable the doctor's orders to shut up for a couple weeks after a minor throat surgery if I intended to continue as a soprano or just heal properly. The gift of Lalah's captivating contralto provided me with frequent company and then encouragement in the procedure's two-year radius. Grateful to express myself when necessary since being that stubborn microphone fiend, her talent continues to bless my space 'hear' and now as well as the "Endangered Species" and "Cherish the Day" covered on the respective releases. The two albums are otherwise linked by Spalding's farewell-in-stereo "Let Her" about a she who fronted on tampering with a brother's phone at the very least and the Experiment's endearing cover, "Letter...", later in the grand sequence.  

In the opening scripture here, the Psalmist king meditated on Divine inspiration like a song in the night to weather illusory storms. Like a single cell, thought or music note for that matter, the essence of what makes Life special on any given day often goes unseen when generated into this plane of existence until it multiplies like family, is arranged in a unique order, enhanced by a sense of class or the name(s) signifying its actual or desired qualities and honors the established rank & file regarding division. This can be applied well or wrong. Such is the case with healthy or cancerous bodies; plans that build bridges or yield the breakdown of war; symphonies or finally, sad excuses for songs—which none of the above titles are. Over ALL, the Most High has Kingdom Dominion. Understanding this, whether or not an utterance is made, every day can bring a perspective of peace with which to look at and maybe show (tough) Love for the little things, just as the unified Infinite does to infinitesimal us.

18 March 2012

Where I'm From

* I mean, who reaches out to a childhood connection "as a woman", heartbroken and dressed like a turn-off with no plan or action to ever cross the line although 
They just had to...
  • A bored husband
  • A teacher with illicit lessons on his mind
  • Domination by a drug habit demon combined with refusal of a divorce request
  • Youth and would-be business persons with something other than their own merit to show & prove the third-to-last straw of her boyfriend's "she's just a friend" threatens her back; heard another gentleman
It is a sad truth of nature that weak or otherwise dis-eased beings are likely to perish and, in doing so, may contribute to the same in another. Put another way, steps and mindsets inclined to trip or make then take a 'joke' too far threaten the tribe-at-large. The inability or decision not to discern that line of demarcation is a sign of grave immaturity if not youth, although it was written that childlike innocence is indeed a leadership quality. On Friday, an adolescent male in the infamous Rutgers University cyberbullying case was convicted for his part in an arguably malicious prank that led to the harm and suicide of his former roommate. Not knowing "how to deal" with the now deceased victim's lifestyle (or, more likely, his own confusion and craving for attention) is one motive of the culprit's defense. suitor mention being a father uninvolved with the child's mother who approvingly knew of our relationship but listened to herself when walking to 
Given the digital extent to which the misery of his unknown weaknesses went for company in viewing and chiding the deceased, who knows what other forms of entrapment he tried? In a song by Rachelle Ferrell, she described her father as one who often consciously "[preened] his pride and [pruned hers]". Young Mr. Ravi made the choice to gamble deceptively with people's lives, namely via attempts to wield judgment as if a perfect God alone. While attempting to destroy a reputation with collegiate gay humiliation, he was successful in creating one for himself as a green card hooligan. Blemishes to immigration rights seldom sit well with a first-generation daughter like me. Be that as it may, a jury found Ravi adult enough for a bias crime conviction, which could carry a $10,000 fine and deportation to his native India.
the woman's door to peacefully introduce herself and make sure all was indeed well, offering an on-the-spot end with no sweat to any of us; or subdues her own 
On demand, I followed the impulse to watch the aptly titled HBO short film, "Saving Face". The italicized scenarios above allegedly justified rampant acts of acid abuse against Pakistani women and disgusted me even moreso than the New Jersey case's manipulations. In one instance, after a woman's husband attacked her with the caustic substance, her sister-in-law then chose to add gasoline to the deadly cocktail; the fact that she could just as easily have suffered such an injustice on the mere grounds of being born her gender notwithstanding.

The interviewed male assailants and their supporters saw no wrong in their actions, if they owned those actions at all. Allegations of female infidelity followed by answers of "what happened, happened" when asked about their own indiscretions were the closest any came to culpability in a sea of unimaginative blame. All the women were said to have "high blood pressure", getting confused and emotional before dousing themselves with gas near an open flame. The women worth their positive opinion were reported as being "out there doing the good work" of "[cutting] the nose off the world". That statement's advocacy of either eliminating the sensual nature of humanity or the cultural surgery of those who once visited the Sphinx and other African structures in upset struck me.

Sadly enough, I guess the latter portion was as natural coming from a brown man as any woman who would consciously and unduly help a man abuse another woman. To a degree, every aberration is. And the menstrual cycle is lunacy. And a woman's best friends are lipstick and shoes whereas materialism, overconfidence, bickering and scheming are to be expected. And every man deserves to have as many cliteridectomized, sutured 'pure' women at his disposal as he can afford. And yes, this paragraph is sarcastic, so clarified as to highlight to absurdity of some of our ways and to quell unwarranted judgment. My darlings, let's reset plans. You don't have to shove me into any water, either. I am grateful for the facility to take a refreshing shower once I post this and the subject matter's been deep since time immemorial.
sadness to tell the new strange woman her man has disappeared with to enjoy playing with the boys? About a decade ago, I did. 
Earlier in the week, a good friend engaged me in a conversation that started on the topic of our respective flaws. Although our romantic involvement has long since passed, our friendship for years now continues to transcend relationships and convention. By request, I reflected with him on what was his power-loving sense of entitlement, veiled by a composed nature that moved into a manner that could be considered too bold without notice. His protective side told me what to watch out for next and we laughingly recalled the selective but searing temper and icy male distrust of my younger years. Having known my share of abused women or dysfunction of some sort first-hand even prior to my first kiss ever, disappointment and fear dictated that it would never be me. Surely that portion of my story is much like many other women's. By no means did I rush into relationships and sex or hurt and "play" men as a result nor do I believe doing so makes a woman strong. However, considering with disdain women who got handled or saw to the improper handling of another has its own reflux-prone pathology in need of healing where it lives.

Before and after Steve Harvey's blockbuster, I have been a lady who often thought of, if not like, a lifetime of men in my family, church, community and those who would eventually touch my heart. Ages prior still, philosopher Lao Tzu was credited with teaching the importance of 'knowing the male but keeping the female'. Certainly neither of them were the first to embody and share that sentiment. If giving my everything or what I could to an individual was met with the second, maybe third, sign of foolishness, any tears were deeply felt then effortlessly followed by a sometimes self-preserving chuckle, having fully owned or apologized for whatever good or bad was mine* and realized the time to move in a new direction from 'then'.  Funny thing is, like the one pregnant acid victim in "Saving Face" who wished she was bearing a boy unlikely to suffer the same injustices, receiving the dude-cool banner was supposed to be an improvement on the female form God saw fit to give me. The more wisdom and grace I was given over time, the less of compliment that was.
Sure, the door lady's "ok" proved short-lived when she saw us too happy. Also, I guess it served me right right for trying to make it stress-free for someone who 
Whether beating boys in races, dancing on undergrad stages, spraining a finger playing football (not my best game), grooming loved ones, twisting limbs out of socket attempting some acrobatic feat of solo mischief in the narthex when I should have been seated in the main sanctuary or climbing fences forward, I've embraced every nuance of my own femininity and appreciated that which is complementary. Any egoic reach beyond one's rightful portion, the underlying cause of all the would-be benefits and schtick, is no laughing matter as they lead to a deeply rooted self-hatred designed to bear the fruit of hating another in turn. Branching out from such a place is the Iscariot's lot. On a higher octave, there is yet Love for Judas.

So long as they continue to heed the whisper of the Most High, the sun and moon will all-ways know how, when to rise and set. Neither tries to play some extra role. As such, this woman continues to believe wholeheartedly in a respectful flow between Divine>male>female beings and both genders' respective strengths that don't require the other's detriment or excess. The chat with my friend covered many bases as usual, but the initial encouragement to revisit some of the old territory was therapeutic in reminding me exactly where I need not return and why I champion what causes I do. 
  • A brilliant, successful father who was somehow blinded to the fact that beating your eight-month pregnant wife bloody might not be a good idea, especially for the baby
  • In an age when most food & drink is treated for longer shelf lives and its appeal to the eye, the words "hysterectomy" and "treatment" should seldom be used affirmatively in the same sentence regarding the common side effects of overgrowth primarily in the female body. This is especially true for our younger ladies who have yet to even think about becoming mothers.
  • Some (NOT all) men of any age believe that their equal accountability or sexual fidelity is an option the slightest upset can revoke; one or all paid bills might constitute or replace that upset and serve as license to engage in simultaneous (emotional) relations with anyone else he chooses. He and/or the wo/man whose flame burns hot for him might try to scandalize you in the process whether or not you have taken the high road past such behavior. His, probably their, perception and projection is everythingto him.
  • Only a man can keep that man with you; not a falsified or actual child, the dirt you do with or for him nor the impervious exterior that insists it's ok when he hints, much less clearly states, that you can't be his lady. Matching his work and begging/deceiving/fighting/playing victim or evil witch for it are completely different things. The second half is not an option.
  • Love as depicted in some movies or books (where true peace, devotion, forgiveness, communication and pleasure eliminate the need for cover-ups and the like) plus the all-weather work that two hours of film or pages can't fulfill is real.
For the justice of innocence, the heart & soul of good women, the honor of good men, the wellness that is everyone's birthright ~ I just have to.
didn't care enough about either of us or do her due diligence to prevent being a jump-off from my relationship; later thinking I owed her an apology for being me, 
I suggested that a 10-year-old mentee watch the short film before we met to attend the Cherry Blossom festival. It was a pleasure to explore some art and facts of our people and then watch her paint and put her hands to a weaving loom and origami as soothing music played. Her work came out beautifully. She was a natural! If not for the lines of little people clamoring for seats at the craft tables and tea ceremony, I would have taken a turn. God sparing Life, I will make my own opportunities for more of the same at a later date.trying oddly and too hard (with help no less) past the freshness date to never get it. Wow ~ the 20s were roaring in my and the country's histories! For anyone 
Afterwards, we had a chance to discuss the day and the film over lunch. Her desire for a pink stuffed baby lion evoked a flash of mixed feelings, a mild joy primarily. What would those days be like when she puts such toys aside for more visceral interests? Between learning more of what life feels like for a girl and a woman's worth, what songs would be her soundtrack? Where will I be at that time and how could or should I help? The present was with us and we with it, so I paid no further mind to those what if's and appreciated her clarity regarding the specific injustices without taking an overall negative stance against men or a world that challenges a walk that follows Christ, in or out of Louboutins. I sipped jasmine tea without sugar or honey as this was the sweetness of Life. Next I've gotta convince her and her parents that there's more to life than chicken nuggets, fries and soda. It'll take as long as it needs to but, God willing, I'll get it done ~ well.who can and will honestly agree that we've come a long way, baby, let us truly thank God for deliverance now & ever.