Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
I have a tingling thing.
I have a winding thing, I have a wind-ing thing.
Cause I'm here you know. I'm here you know.
I've been trying to stay in touch with people
and at the same time I am reaching my hand back into the past,
dipping back my hand into that mellow land that reaches back unequivocably..
who lives there? who resides there and who calls my name?
and whose hand is in mine.
I've been bouncing around for pretty much the last two weeks.
Whoa bouncing around. We made it back up to NY again last night. I just left a couple of days ago and now I'm here again looking out this same window, the wind blowing
through this threadbare deadbare tree with grayed and tattered unrecognizable
plastic bags waving. some twisted angels or their remnants. And
I'm sitting up here listening to Anthony Hamilton..
yes Anthony Hamilton.. this dude's voice just rubs me.. like that gritty
nitty, that real down, stomp down, not really gonna lie to you bout how i feel,
if i'm singing like I'm crying or something.
And RIGHT HERE I wanna give a shout out to my Isa Nakazawa, birthday just past, for reals. (Remembering that first year in La Casa.. yes yes..that was a little while ago)
UMM, but yes.. I am trying to ground myself.. rolling rolling.. I know that at different points I've been talking about the weight and the balance you need to fly, and the control, and the resilience, as well as the belief, and the freedom.
I have been talking about these things.
I have been saying these words.
I have been trying to make them real and felt.. like powder and a silt or something
rubbing in my palms or something.
But I want to get back to this quality of Anthony Hamilton that I love.
Like its just so hard and wonderful.
But I was thinking the other day
about historians and the people who are there to catalog and write and fortify the present as it is happening, for the people
for the people who are coming to remember
and the people who are there to remember
i was thinking about historians
and their place..
when i think of historians and the word historian
I think of a deep brown or a tan brown color like leather
or suede or the binding of books like forest greens
and deep blacks and certain kinds of stripes, maybe straps,
yes straps that hold bags and books and writings
and emotion maybe, what keeps these people moving, what keeps them
searching after and searching inward?
What keeps them? What keeps them? What thing keeps these people.
I think it is in the belly.
I think it's in the belly.
And then I was thinking about the people who keep the future.
The People who are continually shuttling themselves forth into
the next moment, the People who have one eye peeked open seeing forth
seering forth themselves like a shine
like a broken glass bottle glinting off the street corner
you notice it as you
are we these people?
who are these people?
AND tHEN there is my name. And then there is me. Sometimes I think about myself you know.
And I have to say my name aloud to myself to remember. Or I have to say my name.
So that I do not lose myself or something. I do not to get lost too much..
I mean sometimes I like to wander around, meander around, and see what is before and behind and upside of me.. but I do not like to get lost,
so that I do not remember my names
and all the people who gave them to me sort of.
Like I was thinking of my grandfather whose name was Benjamin Franklin Turner.
And I was thinking about that last night like.. this name that I think of and
associate with this person.. he did not choose that name for himself..
i mean he didn't really.. those people that were before him did.. so maybe that name was as much indicative or maybe more indicative of his parents, who I did not know, than it was initially at least of him.. and that is some kind of perspective a little.
WHen he would write me letters after I wrote him a letter, he'd always sign his name at the end.. and it'd kind of be scratchy as I believe his hand control changed some as he got older. Nevertheless I still loved it, and still loved getting those letters.
I still have a couple that I look over nowadays when I need to remember things.
But yes. Sometimes I like to reach my hand back into the past, like into the swirling pot.. I imagine the substance to be thick and maybe churned a litlle, I imagine it to be brown and somewhat honey like, but not sticky.. a consistency between the stickiness of honey and the slick of an oil. such that if i pulled my hand in any one or such direction i would feel a slight pull and a viscosity that stayed around..
because these things remember or the substance remembers
and pulls on you..
but the pot though. the pot is a pot that reaches back not down, like laterally and maybe it is not even a pot, but a walking into and out of..
but I am still here I think, in this present time.. even as I close my eyes upon other places and sometimes appear there..
but this flying thing.. for me it is a consequence of and it is a thing of
looking around.. i have to look around and i have to feel around and i have to know around,
not always with my hand and not always strictly with my mind, and always with an awareness
with something that I can't explain..
Like what makes you think you can fly.. what makes you think you can get there.. what makes you think and know you have to get there..
AND I always have to come back to this place that is myself.. i always have to come back here.. without it I'd probably lose myself.. in all the possible contexts and all the possible probabilities that might be possible
if i was to let go..
of this reality,
wind it tight round my hand
and pull it up out of the depths.. out of that murk of time
backwards really or forwards
from the first or the beginning or the last?
from the children or the forebears and the switching
the dilation, the pendulum
and my name
i wonder if your children can name you too?
i wonder if they name you before you are born too?
what do they call?
what is your name to them?
Like maybe I AM writing someone's name now.. someone's name.. someone's name
who lapses like these ellipses or waves back or unward or toward..
wow i don't know
mY Name is though..
When my other grandmother passed away.. my mother's grandmother..
when she was in the hospital.. before she passed away and was losing
some of her reality in this world, she told my mom to write her name and her phone number on her leg.. i can't remember if it was her own name or my mother's name..
so she wouldn't get lost.. so she wouldn't get lost..
My name is pretty long..
and when I think about my name and how it has changed over the years
the name I had before I had my calling name
and the name I had after that
and the name I have now.. and it awakens me sometimes.. it'll bring me back reverberating to myself or distant parts. like a wave or a thing coming into focus, like a swiftly gelatine substance
wobbling swiftly and lightly kind of into place
and i focus myself into being
i focus myself into being then
and into place
And I am still young you know.
I am still young here. It was not so long ago that I was born.. and that with a lightness and that with a hardness and then with a pit in the belly.
I am deciding what I want to be sort of, not just like first grade what you want to be, but what I want to be and what I want to focus into being in the world.
I remember that someday I will be gone, even as it seems I won't be, but I remember that someday I will be gone, and then I can remember that I'm here to live sort of,
and then.. and then.. and then.. I am free kind of.. and gone.. perhaps I am not too tied to this living thing, such that I must scrunch and scrounge and live too close to the belly of it ( though sometimes I do like to be by the belly).. such that I do not allow myself to climb or something.. such that I do not live like I am dying already.Dying into a life, like leaves.. then i will rise and be rancid first and then wonderful and
prune myself and shine and glimmer
shout raucous sounds and sometimes croon into a ear with a honey.
with a piece of honey
and then youwill all fall
and then maybe we'll keep falling and rising again
I am reading this book called Awakening Imagination by this man named Neville and he quotes a lot of William Blake, and I shall quote of his quote this..
"There is nothing like death, Death is the best thing that can happen in life; but most people die so late and take such an unmerciful time in dying. God knows, their neighbors never see them rise from the dead."
"William Blake- one who is very much delighted with being in good company. Born 28 November 1757 in London and has died several times since."
Perhaps this does not talk exactly about what I am talking about, but it kind of does..
Maybe I was dead before I was born.. who knows.. at least in a certain sense.. maybe not in all senses..
but that not knowing is kind of beautiful you know.. like i can go many places because i do not know.. and no one can tell me affirmatively how or where or when though i can glean and listen..
I particularly like to listen.. sometimes without talking and sometimes whilst talking.. but just the notes that ride on the air about the past and the present we be here and the future.. what is lilting and crashing,
what is coming round the bend, what will rub my cheek with a plush hairy or carpeted hand, what will i turn towards
sometimes i mean do you feel the future crashing, even though you can't see it..
like a heavy footed crashing glass and metal croaking monster, on the sidewalk and blasting towards you, coming down the next avenue over, it likes to eat,
you can hear but not see all the way..
thats next week
it'll eat me prolly though
i will tell you personally that i do not know what is going to happen next week..
i don't know.. maybe i should decide or something.. and i likely will.. but i'm on this kind of walking and i guess flying trek of sorts, but i don't know what is going to happen next week or who i will see or what kind of thing i will try to make happen
with some kind of ferocious being i will call up from myself.. some beast of a thing that will wrap and wrop and wribble.
What is my name next week? Will it have changed? Will I have stumbled upon the next best thing. Will something else quake me? Will I wrap this feathered mind tightening around the next best wish? I mean hooray, i mean yay, i mean ok there. let's go, let's hop on the bus, let's get in, take a quill, and write scratching the next best script, the next best thing that will seem to and may and might take me higher, let's really now, let's really now
craft another dream
i mean you write i sing
you dance i'll scream
and something will
i'll be here
i won't die i don't guess
i won't die
i won't die
whatever happens i am not gonna
so right now i feel like grabbing something really
hard and yanking
and it is the yoke of life,
i will beat it till it pulses
maybe red and yellow lights
i don't know
i die.. what is death
of sorts.. i mean i'm really tripping off of this sudden thought
that next week i will still be here, whatever happens
whatevr kind of seeming highs and lows and whether i care or not
or whether i hit the hump or the bump or fall to the lowlands or sleep
in the valleys,
i guess i will still be here singing a song that is my name
and the names of the many people who have named me and
those voices that come down from and to the future.
Whoa it's me.. though it's me though.
and so suddenly i am listening to that slum village with j legend,
and maybe yes!
i'd like to be selfish.
I'd like to be selfish, selfish enough to live and yell and shout and
say out loud with no burden i want this and this and this and take it by the
hand.. stick my hand in the muck, be imbibed of sorts,
or at least swallowed
you know though, sometimes i really just like to stretch the muscles and the tendons
like lengthen the fibers till they are singing such
and thus able to be felt
do you think the body sings?
whoa that's crazy, do you think the body sings?
that the body has a song or a motion, that it can ring of sorts?
do you think that as we move and the state or the place from which we move can strike out some kind of sound.
Are we orchestras? Do we have accompaniments? That would be beautiful though wouldn't it.
Last night I was thinking about stretching.. And preparing yourself for the dance, whatever kind of dance it is, and its kind of like tuning the instrument, to get the physical elements vibrating, and stretched, and then you can play some kind of music.
WHoa then you can play sound, you have encountered the range and what not, hit all the scales and such..
I mean these are thoughts really. Like I said sometimes I need to write things to get me in a moving place.
umm sand paper
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
without pondering too hard on the beginning
and questioning questing too hard about the end.
Here we are.
Its 4:09 pm on a central standard time, Memphis, TN.
i AM back from a crazy sojourn to Connecticut and belows.
I think I have less words than I usually do these days
feeling pretty good
had a cold last week in the middle of the week.
I was posted up on Miles Ave, Middletown CT
much longer than expected, but perhaps and precisely
for the right amount of time you know.
Hadn't been back to Wes in 5 months, 5 months dontchaknow?
so i came into hartford like a dragon and left out through
the belly of the beast of it, the crust of the meat of it,
nycmaybe this past tuesday morning
and whoa i was dead on the plane
just dead you know
i had some good strange strange quakey kind of dreams..
i think all the movement got me finally you know,
caught up with me you know..
and came back home and hit the bed
hitting the bed..
do you like hitting the bed?
when you're away from home
do you ever think about your bed at home
your room at home.. like what's happening
to it and if i was there, and oh its so far away
particularly as you are sleeping in so many different
beds and places and seeing all these faces
and you have your suitcaSE and your bags
and your clean underwear and the shirts you want to
match up in the varying ways with the pants you bring
and the shoes and the layers all of which match your
layer of being
and the hellos and the goodbyes and the shining faces.
its just juice
cranberry or apple or
or maybe like that fresh squeezed
that fresh squeezed that fresh squeezed face
so a track or a elevator or a moped and we are moving
like a staircase or a stepping stair
maybe staircase to heaven
or maybe just experience
umm i don't really need to answer any questions though
not too hard
not hard like it chokes me or anything
just easy like it rubs me
with a little friction
just easy or enough to get me moving or something
sometimes you are talking around what you are talking about
cause you don't know what you're talking about
or you are coming close
or maybe you just want to say
hey or something.
just say hello.
maybe you just want to say
i see you
whoa and who'm i talking to? really
like i am talking to myself and everyone maybe..
i think i just really felt it was time to put some more words on here..
i've been doing the photo thing for a minute
maybe i should just say i feel pretty good and get on with it
i feel pretty good.
and we're still
moving rounds here
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Some people said that when a Negro died he went back to Africa,
but this is a lie. How could a dead man go to Africa? It was living
men who flew there, from a tribe the Spanish stopped importing
as slaves because so many of them flew away that it was bad for business.
--Esteban Montejo, The Autobiography of a Runaway Slave
The African don't eat salt, they say they come like a witch... those
Africans who don't eat salt--and they interpret all things. And why
you hear they say they fly away, they couldn't stand the work when
the taskmaster them flog them; and they get up and they just sing
their language, and they clapping their hands--so--and they just
stretch out, and them gone--so--right back. And they never come back.
--Ishmael Webster, qtd. in Alas, Alas, Kongo
The legend of the Flying Africans is a canonical tale which resonates throughout the expressive traditions of that part of the African diaspora which has known slavery in the New World.(1) The three examples above, from, respectively, an African American, a Cuban, and a Jamaican, demonstrate the wide geographic currency of the legend within Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean communities as well as in the U.S., the latter being the geographic area where the legend is most commonly located by researchers. In fact, all the shores touched by the Atlantic slave trade produce a collective mythology. The fact of this legend's appearance and resonance in this widespread physical area demands both a pan-American and a pan-African analytic perspective, a theoretical framework which encompasses Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin geographic and cultural areas, in addition to looking at the perhaps more commonly cited North American examples.
"One of dese mornings, bright and fair,/ take my wings and cleave de air":
the legend of the flying Africans and diasporic consciousness -
folklore as a foundation for literature
MELUS, Fall, 1997
This is from the beginning of the aforementioned,
afore-linked piece which has quite a lot of references
for the folktale of the flying Africans.
I also wanna give a shout out to
Sheree Renee Thomas, writer, anthologist, and fellow Memphian
for letting us know about the connections between this folktale and
that of the Ibo Landing of the Gullah Islands in South Carolina.
Check her out at
Saturday, November 10, 2007
We posted ourselves up at the RiverArts Fest
October the 28th
courtesy of Safaris World Tapas Bar..
talking to the pEOPLE
and selling wares to support the project
make a little money
some of these photos were taken by artist
Friday, November 9, 2007
WHERE RUNAWAY PEOPLE WOULD HIDE.
AND I NEVER WENT DOWN THERE THOUGH
NOBODY TOOK ME DOWN THERE
MAYBE I WAS TOO AFRAID OR SOMETHING
I DONT KNOW
SO I THOUGHT THAT DOWN THERE\
THERE WAS LIKE A TRAIN TRACK \
RIDING DOWN THROUGH THE DARKNESS
TO OTHER PLACES AND
OTHER STOPS ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
LIKE A SUBWAY THAT
HAD JUST STOPPED WORKING
THAT WAS WHAT I IMAGINED
WHEN I LOOKED AT THAT HOLE IN THE FLOOR
Thursday, November 1, 2007
in the magazine section of the Memphis Public Library.
ArounD tHE woRLD
and the man speaking on a youtube excerpt...
...and the NPR if you're really into it
A Black South African's Solo Sailing Journey
Yes. Yup. Umhmm