did u think it would be that simple?
that u could walk presently in the past and it be the same
u came at a time when u were no longer valid
no longer a thought
and expected to be more
did u think you could reminisce and i'd share in your vision
a vision better suited for puppy dog eyes and similac-sweet breath
a vision so distorted u lay fetal position stung by rejection
i would dare open more than my mouth to utter no to u
i'd walk a block away just to have you in hindsight
i'd kneel each second if it would allow reality to knock some sense into u
but i don't hate that u still care
i enjoy that i've marked ur past with something so irresistible, it's hard release
yet i live in now
and u don't belong here with me
judging by ur reaction, i wonder what great Freudian theory pertains to u
i'm sure it exists
but we don't
so get over it....
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
In light of losing a man who's meant so much to so many people, it's been hard to find the inspiration to write. But each time I listen to this song, I feel something amazingly liberating. We all have that one track that makes us stop what we're doing and pay attention by singing along. This track has always been that push I needed to accept things I didn't want to, believe better things were coming, and understand everything is flawed.
By the Way...
This is John Mayer on guitar at the MJ Memorial...I dig this and I still feel Michael there
Saturday, April 25, 2009
You're my queen-to-be
Silky black hair
soon sprouted pearly white chiclets
I memorized every plump bump on your body
Fell asleep with Johnson & Johnson’s aroma molesting my nostrils
Hostile midnight cries invaded color-coded dreams as you communicated this newness to me
Nourished your body and your comfort simultaneously
Exhaled relief when you fell back to sleep
Hush little baby
Don’t say a word
Momma’s gonna buy you a mocking bird
And if that mocking bird don’t sing…
One turned to two
Two turned to six
Six to fifteen
The mocking bird never sang, you said
caught in tangled branches with leaves plugging your ears
my guess is you didn’t hear it
The hum of abstinence never relayed
The buzz of danger couldn’t filter through the thickets of peer pressure where you chose to rest, relate, and release
Momma’s gonna buy you a diamond ring
If that diamond ring turns brass…
I glanced over your shoulders every 50 seconds
Watched demon’s magnetic pull suck you in
Made you see rosy paths, BLING, and [misperceived] love
I watched your glow dim as you walked backwards toward supposed paradise
Tightened reigns made of rubber bands
Stood before you, alone
The perfect clone
Though you saw old school-don’t understand-over protective-preacher woman
I still saw Queen-to-be
That nursery rhyme told of persistence
Of try until it works
Of moving forward
Somewhere between curiosity and old habits die hard
When making your own mistakes became settled upon
Ending with knowing you’re the prettiest baby in town
Which is certainly not happily-ever-after and certainly no where to leave you
Hooker tops and apple bottoms won’t do a thing except make you sing this song
To your pretty little problem asleep in the baby swing
Amid chocolate brown arms feeling something like daddy’s love
But you’re not quite sure ‘cause you never felt it
The more I try, you digress
Blessing me with eye rolls and puffs of the same baby fresh breath that warmed my heart
Ignoring constant pleas to secure your future by practicing Queen-to-be patience
Diva was never the route I secured for you
Lil Wayne has you in the grips of celebrity but he smokes crack and possibly licks lolli-pops
Yet you’re immune to the truth spewing from his lips
Just like the way he makes you drop it
Again, from the old school-don’t understand-over protective preacher woman
I can’t make you dance to India, Jill, or Erykah
Still, I spin tunes hoping you’ll recollect their significance…one day
I fed you with Maya, Saul, Paul, Langston, Genesis, grandma, grandpa, aunties, and church
But your belly’s too full of BET, MTV, and 107.9 to feast on what can make you stronger
Pac symbolically spoke of you before you were born
My unconvinced ears couldn’t understand how his musicality could become my reality
Now I see
And I breathe deeply
You’re beyond the prettiest baby, you’re much more than a big butt and a smile
I just need you to realize this
You’re caught in a cycle that mommy can’t break
For your sake
I hope you learn your lesson
© 2009 Genesis
Friday, April 17, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Being a parent is hard. Really hard. But one of the most challenging lessons I've learned in this role is that you HAVE to listen to your babies. Most parents, me included, grew up in the tradition of children are to be seen; not heard. But today, that is more of a cliche than a value or tradition. The kids today are demanding to be heard. And if you don't listen to them, you surely will when you are speaking with them across the table at the juvenile detention center. Or you'll listen to them when they are screaming across the room "you don't care about me."
I work with families who have teens with varying issues. But I've noticed the link that binds them together is the no-one's-listening factor. And when I speak of listening, I'm not talking about the adult-type of listening. I'm speaking of listening...for solutions. For instance, I know a teen who wants to be a journalist. But when I questioned her about her career choice, her answer was "cause everybody says I write good." So I asked her if SHE thought she wrote well. Her response: "Yeah, but I just like the way it looks."
Calligraphy classes maybe?
That's the type of listening I'm talking about. If she likes the way her writing looks, then she should have the opportunity to learn more about that. Maybe she'll stay out of trouble because she's involved in something SHE likes.
When we talk to our kids, we have to ask questions about what they are saying. Don't take anything at face value because most kids don't truly know how to verbalize their feelings. Most kids know that they are hurting, but don't understand this is regular kid-stuff.
We (parents) have got to step-up to the plate. Remember when our teachers told us to put on our listening ears? This is just a small lesson that they understood would be a valuable trait.
Why such an odd post? I'm working on a Cleveland-based project that will have parents, teachers, and communities finally listening to the generation that we will ultimately pass our problems on to. And while jotting down notes for the proposal, body of work, and possible funding sources, I became upset that something so simple is so disregarded.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I can't talk about her side part wrap
wore my hair that way for many years
and I can't talk about the way she changed the subject
when her neck became hot
it bothered her too much to speak
I've been accustomed to talking about her for years
how the color never changes
and she's always carrying around a faded handkerchief
dabbing at the moisture that tells her truth
And the way she dresses old-school
really didn't bother me
'til I found out I'm not easy to accept change
rather wear something clean
and out of character
The cling-clank of the bangles bothered me
how she seemed to move them around
and emphasized her pointless-points
never knowing it was music to her ears
a distraction from what was happening around her
and comforted her
when i realized it was a mirror image
i suddenly began wheezing
though no asthma consumed my body
it hurt a little
i'd taunted her
disregarded her feelings
cruised on auto-pilot
while others captured their far-away dreams
and I sat
minding her business
For some reason, Monday nights seem to be nights for reflection. I don't intend to make it so and don't know how long it will last. But I notice, Mondays speak to me in a way no other day does. I feel renewed, new, and inspired. Don't ask me where the inspiration comes from; I can't tell you. It just is. Like God; who just is. I had a client tell me she makes her day. And I guess every Monday, I'm just making mine... even if it is in the evening.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Patience is a virtue, tolerance is not. So how much can one tolerate before saying "this is it?" When saying that, does it mean the individual has given up? Or does it simply mean they've done all they could do? Ran out of options? Or realized it was a storm they could not surpass?
Monday, February 16, 2009
I've spent a few good hours combing the net for 2009 writing contests to enter and want to share what I've found with you.
Annual Writing Competition
For 78 years, the Annual Writer’s Digest Competition has rewarded writers just like you for their finest work. We continue the tradition by giving away more than $30,000 in cash and prizes!
Win a trip to New York City !
GRAND PRIZE: $3,000 cash and a trip to New York City to meet with editors or agents.Writer's Digest will fly you and a guest to The Big Apple, where you'll spend three days and two nights in the publishing capital of the world. While you're there, a Writer's Digest editor will escort you to meet and share your work with four editors or agents! Plus, you'll receive a free Diamond Publishing Package from Outskirts Press.
Entry Deadline: May 15, 2009.
For more info, click the ling ---> http://www.writersdigest.com/annual
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers is proud to announce the
Delacorte Yearling Contest for
a First Middle-Grade Novel*
The prize of a book contract (on the Publisher’s standard form) for a hardcover and a paperback edition, including an advance and royalties, will be awarded annually to encourage the writing of contemporary or historical fiction set in North
America, for readers age 9–12. The award consists of $1,500 in cash and a $7,500 advance against royalties.
All federal, state and local taxes, if any, are the winners sole responsibility. Prizes are not transferrable and cannot be assigned. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO WIN.
1. The contest is open to U.S. and Canadian writers who have not previously published a novel for middle-grade readers. Employees of Random House, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates, and members of their families and households are not eligible.
2. Foreign-language manuscripts and translations are not eligible.
3. Manuscripts submitted to a previous Delacorte Press contest are not eligible.
FORMAT FOR SUBMISSIONS
1. Manuscripts should be no shorter than 96 typewritten pages and no longer than 160 typewritten pages. Include a brief plot summary with your covering letter.
2. Each manuscript should have a cover page listing the title of the work and the author’s name, address, and telephone number. The title should also appear on each manuscript page.
3. Manuscripts should be typed doublespaced on 8 1/2" by 11" good quality white paper, and pages should be numbered consecutively.The type should be easy to read, preferably 12 point.The author should retain a copy of any manuscript submitted.
4. Photocopies are acceptable if readily legible and printed on good quality white (not gray) paper. Partial or illegible entries will not be acceptable.
5. Photocopies are acceptable if readily legible and printed on good quality white (not gray) paper.
6. Do not submit manuscripts in boxes. A padded envelope will do. Please do not enclose checks for postage. The publisher is not responsible for late, lost, misdelivered, or misplaced submissions.
7. Please enclose a business-size stamped, self-addressed envelope for notification only. Please do not enclose checks for postage. Due to new postal regulations, the publisher cannot return any manuscripts. All submissions will be recycled by Random House after they are read.
1. Manuscripts sent to Delacorte Press may not be submitted to other publishers or literary agents while under consideration for the prize.
2. Authors may not submit more than two manuscripts to the Delacorte Yearling competition; each must meet all eligibility requirements.
DATES FOR SUBMISSION
1. Manuscripts must be postmarked after April 1, 2009, but no later than June 30, 2009.
2. Send manuscripts to:
Delacorte Yearling Contest
Random House, Inc.
1745 Broadway, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10019
1. The Judges are the editors of Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers.
2. The judges reserve the right not to award a prize.
3. The judges’ decision will be final.
4. The editors of Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers will not be able to offer critiques of manuscripts or enter into correspondence about the manuscripts other than with the winning author.
5. Writers will be notified between July and October as submissions are evaluated by the editors. Final contest results will be announced on our Web site on or around October 31, 2009.
Click here for website ---->http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/writingcontests/
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Creative Writing Contest
Money, Money, Money? - The Challenge
NEW PRIZES!!!! Read more.....
Juniors and seniors…these last years of high school are exciting—college visits and applications, prom, graduation—but they can also be expensive. How will you pay for it all?
A budget is one tool you can use. Even if your only income is an allowance from your parents, you can still get in the habit of making smart budget decisions and stretching your dollars further.
Budgeting money may be easy for some, but it takes real effort for most of us. Tell us, in a creatively written composition of your choice, how you will take charge of budgeting for additional expenses in your junior and senior years. Discuss the various expenses that you anticipate and how you plan to pay for them. How will you prioritize your expenses and handle unanticipated ones? What trade-offs are you willing to make to get what you want most? What mistakes do you hope to avoid? Be sure to include economic concepts in your composition.
Whatever you do after high school, taking control of how you handle money today will give you more choices in the future. Good luck!
Acceptable written compositions for this contest include essays, short stories, poems, and plays.
Submission Deadline: March 20, 2009
Examples of economic concepts include:
Budget a written plan for spending and saving money.
Financial Goals the desired results of one’s efforts to achieve personal economic satisfaction.
Incentive a factor that encourages people to do something; often a monetary reward or the prospect of obtaining one.
Opportunity Cost the value of possible alternatives that a person gives up when making one choice instead of another; also known as a trade-off.
Standard of Living the overall degree of comfort of an individual, household, or population, as measured by the amount of goods and services its members consume.
There are many more, but I'm going to work on my chapbook now. Had some thoughts cross my cerebellum...u know how it is...
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It's February and there are two things in the air: love and blackness. And to combine the two is like whoa!
Black love is so complex. I hear the sighs and see the head-shakes...the whispers challenging that ALL love is complex, and that may be true. But that isn't my truth.
I only know of Black love.
Love as in memories of being seated between my mommy's thighs while she greased my scalp, of being held by my father after a whipping and being told, "I'm doing this because I love you. It hurts me just as much as it hurts you."
I'm speaking of a love that makes my man grab my hand, intertwining our fingers, while being followed in the store...Black love.
The kind of love that knows struggle to the point it makes us emotionally bound even though we are strangers...Black love.
A love that makes our hips ride bass lines because we have jungle in our blood...Black love.
Through our kinks, relaxers, press and curls, we gather together gossiping about this Black love and that Black love; getting gorgeous for the Black love at home.
Waiting for bald fades, line-ups, ceasers, and goatee trims, Black love floats through the air in the form of jokes, jives, and high fives.
As we waltz through February, I look forward to being more aware of the complexity of Black love. How about you?
Monday, February 2, 2009
To Be Continued
It isn't the way I move my hips
slightly out of tune
as if my momma wasn't black
that makes my rhythm unique
It isn't the way my hair kinks and curls
with no destination
as if my roots have a mind of their own
that makes my style 'ethnic'
It isn't the way I love my man
through hills and valleys
as if our chemistry is magnetic
that makes me a greater woman
It isn't the way I hold my children
through night terrors and soiled diapers and teen angst
as if they are appendages of my soul
that makes me mother of the year
It's the way that I smile
It's the heartiness of my laughter
It's the birthmark in the white of my eye
the smirk defining my sarcastic nature
the way I love my double D's
the power of my voice
the reason in the depth of my decisions
the empathy I carry on my sleeve
the tears I refuse to shed
the violence I do not partake in
the adoration of my melanin
the thirst for knowledge I have
the hunger for equality burning righteously within me
the way I purse my lips before I bless someone
the tumbles and turns of life that I refuse to let hold me back
that defines me
all that I am
and in this moment
I realize I am all that
So no, it isn't my penchant for vintage clothing that makes me a throwback girl
And it isn't my disdain for designer labels that makes me frugal
It's my reality of me
And it could be that I'm just cheap
haven't dug that deep
I am to be continued