Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Writing Progress: Mythology

Today, I  strayed from my dialectical form of poetry and ventured into storytelling. I wrote the first draft of a short story that has been on my mind. It also deals with myth. I taught an Introduction to Mythology course this spring and it inspired my sense of storytelling. I can tell you that it deals with matters of the heart. By the way, initially I was ambitious with my wanting to give daily updates. I will, rather, give periodic updates. I will give at least one weekly update. Enjoy your evening.

Art by Cathy Delaleu

Friday, May 20, 2016

Day 2 and 3 of Poetry Collection

Poetry Collection Progress: Researching African American Vernacular English  (AVE)

Over the past two days, I have been researching language in the black community. I find it at its purest in the music. It is a source of inspiration in my poetry.  In listening to soul/r&b, and the blues, I can hear the history of African American English in the United States. Some disregard it as poor English or "Ebonics", but I find it as rich and beautiful as those who first recognized its value and importance. Enjoy your weekend. I'll talk to you soon. Peace~

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Poetry and Me

Poem/Line count: Two poems

Hello. I've been on blogger since 2005. When I first started, I posted many blog journals that 
expressed my interest as well as my hopes and dreams in this journey we call life.  A great deal has happened since then.  For example, in the past 10 years, I've been married; I've published one book of Blues-Inspired poetry (Liquid Lunch); and I have secured a full-time job teaching college English.
Well, today I have started writing again. I am putting together another collection of Blues-inspired poetry and I want readers of MC to be involved. I think that this will encourage me and also keep  MC readers informed about my progress. So, each day I will post even if I write only one line. The progress will be at the top of the post. Thank you and enjoy your day.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Jack Johnson -vs- Jim Jeffries (July 4th, 1910)

In a fight held at Reno, Nevada, on July 4, 1910, Jack Johnson became the first boxer to knock down Jim Jeffries, and in the 15th round Jeffries’ corner threw in the towel. The white public was outraged. Their "Great White Hope" was defeated. he was supposed to restore the crown and make America great again! In the end, there was racial violence and rioting across the United States. Johnson's victory became tragically pyrrhic for the African American public. The racial violence would continue throughout the first decade of the 20th Century and beyond.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Def Poetry - Oscar Brown Jr. - I Apologize

Oscar Brown Jr. is one of my all-time favorite entertainers / poets. This is just a taste of his work. May his soul rest in poetry.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Max Roach 5tet wt Abbey Lincoln Freedom Day 1964 HD

...a little mood music from Ms. Abbey.

Scroll Down and Click on Love

This morning, I was scrolling the different stories on Facebook and Twitter and just as the title says, I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don't worry, I won't get into Clint Eastwood and his past antics, but the title fits. Anyway,  to no surprise, most of the post were about the presidential race and many were about Donald Trump and his latest comments. As I began to look at the different post, I was also led to other Facebook users who were not "friends." I went to their pages that were based in places like North Carolina, Virginia, and other parts of the south. Many of them had anti-Obama post and other post promoting "Southern Pride" replete with images surrounding the Confederate flag and the "southern way of life."

On the other hand, I went to pages that were anti-Trump. These pages either expressed wanting to do physical harm to Trump and his supporters or post making fun of the presidential candidate. There were other post making fun of southern whites - showing them toothless and smiling about their next president, Donald Trump who "don't use all them fancy words." Honestly, It all left me puzzled.

Then, there are people like me - an American citizen but just looking at all of this and shaking my head in despair. Since all of this mess began, I haven't been writing any post endorsing a candidate, and I have no desire to make fun of the other side. I certainly do not with to physically harm anyone. Up until this post, I've been mostly silent and to tell the truth, I'll remain mostly silent because I don't know what to say.

I mean, what can I say to make sense of all this negativity? All I know for sure is that this negativity has always been around. It was always there settled like sludge at the bottom of this big so called melting pot. The events over the past few years along with the current presidential election has stired up this nasty stew. But, I have not completely lost hope. We will just have to continue pressing forward. The solution? The solution is simple. In the end, all this stew it needs is a little salt and plenty of love. YES - LOVE. Pray for this country. ~Peace

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Marvin Gaye "What's Going On What's Happening Brother".

When you find out "What's Going on" please let me know. I love soul music. This is Washington, D.C.'s native son, the late Mr. Marvin Gaye.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cam and Huey: The Year of the Panther

First, let me just say that I am not associating the Carolina Panthers football organization with the revolutionary Black Panther Party for Defense. OK. Done. However, I couldn't help but notice that 2016 is the 50th Anniversary of the The Black Panther Party, an Oakland, California based organization founded by Dr. Huey P. Newton and Mr. Bobby Seale in 1966. Now, Cam Newton, an African American man who bears the last name of the aforementioned revolutionary will be a starting quarterback in the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl! That is so ironic - don't you think?

Plus, Cam Newton, along with the Carolina Panthers fan base, and Cam supporters have been trying to "defend" the fact that Cam Newton is a superior quarterback in the National Football League (NFL). Meanwhile, Mr. Cam Newton has had to endure intense scrutiny and criticism for not only being an NFL quarterback, but for being just a human being. Crazy, right?

Therefore, I will declare 2016 The Year of the Panther. I will also predict that the Carolina Panthers will be victorious in Superbowl 50. They will be victorious not only for the vindication of a superior NFL quarterback in Cam Newton, but for the defense of everyone who has had to endure unfair criticism and scrutiny simply due to the color of their skin. This is not to say that Cam Newton is definitely being criticized because of his skin color, but...  I will let readers draw their own conclusions. 

Side note: I wish you the best Mr. Newton. I wish you victory in Super Bowl 50. Prove to the world that you are not only one of the best quarterbacks to play this game, but one of the best human beings to play the game of football and life. Go get em'! God bless you. Peace~

Photo Source: "Cam Newton and His Girlfriend Had a Baby, So the Letters to the Editor Are Rolling In." The Big Lead. 2016. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday evening memories: Najee's Theme

I'm sitting at home this evening listening to some CDs from the 80s and 90s. As I am typing, I'm listening to Jazz saxophonist, Najee. I used to play this CD as new and hip music when I was a DJ at my college station, WHCJ - Savannah State University (90-94). Back then, guys would come up to me and ask for me to make a tape - you know - cassette tape. It was the 90s. Anyway, back then, I could put together a very romantic mix of Contemporary Jazz. Today, it offers me some comfort to listen to it. It's as if I am conjuring some memories from that time in my life. It's all good - all good feelings and memories of my youthful days in the late 80s. Anyway, play it Najee!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Thoughts On Writing

Photograph: Erhan Dayi / Alamy/Alamy

Note: This is a post that I wrote 10 years ago on writing. When I read it again, I realized that the same feelings are true 10 years later. I wouldn't change a thing. There is still power in the pen!

It is a peculiar thing… this desire to pick up the pen.

Perhaps, it is born out of the desire to interpret or create life through the people that we’ve met or people that we’ve imagined. Franz Kafka spoke of his torment in writing and how difficult it was to produce a story at times. Ralph Ellison would write for years just to produce one American classic, Invisible Man. Zora Neale Hurston continued to write long after her celebrity had faded; there were dozens of manuscripts found in her personal trunk after her death.

This congenital impulse in me was conceived through the Black oral tradition. My grandmother, Eunice, was the family griot. I would listen intently to the stories that she would tell me as a child. These were stories passed down to her by her elders and she was more than willing to pass them on to me. I was an inquisitive, bright-eyed little boy with dozens of questions about who we were and who we are. She sometimes marveled at the seriousness of my questions that involved the existence of God and the purpose of man. She would usually share these stories while cooking or while she relaxed in her favorite chair. The images that she painted on my imagination were wonderful. I could see all of the characters vividly in my mind. I imagined how they looked. I imagined their lives. I imagined their hearts. These were my people, and I loved them through the stories that I heard about them.

Eventually, I picked up the pen in college and soon realized its power to communicate. I’ve always imagined that a pen is to a writer what a paint brush is to a painter. The words represent color. Honorable mention: Toni Morrison can paint the most beautiful images that I’ve ever seen on paper. These words can evoke emotion and stir the soul to take action for change. There’s power in the pen!

It is a peculiar thing…this desire to pick up the pen.