We gon’ be alright

October 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

What you want, a house or a car
40 acres and a mule, a piano a guitar
Anything, see my name is Lucy, I’m your dog
Motherfucker you can live at the mall
I can see the evil, I can tell it I know when it’s illegal
I don’t think about it, I deposit every other zero
Thinkin’ of my partner put the candy, paint it on the regal
Diggin’ in my pocket ain’t a profit, big enough to feed you
Everyday my logic, get another dollar just to keep you
In the presence of your chico ah!
I don’t talk about it, be about it, everyday I see cool
If I got it then you know you got it, Heaven, I can reach you
Pet dog, pet dog, pet dog, my dog that’s all
Pick back and chat I shut the back for y’all
I rap, I’m black, on track and rest assured
My rights, my wrongs are right till I’m right with God

When you know, we been hurt, been down before, nigga
When my pride was low, lookin’ at the world like, “where do we go, nigga?”
And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, nigga
I’m at the preacher’s door
My knees gettin’ weak and my gun might blow but we gon’ be alright

Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
We gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Huh? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

I don’t read autobiographies

July 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

Barack Obama in Americanah: A Novel. A chapter of it is a dedication, like to a lover in the middle of a serious novel. I wasn’t really a part of that campaign trail his first run for the presidency in 2008. But I lapped it up nonetheless. I couldn’t stop the tears welling up inside and dripping down my face. It was a sting, a familiar and dangerous ache. I pictured my campaign headquarter where an army of true believers like Ifem and Blaine and all his friends holding their breaths: their eyes glued to the TV screen showing an impossible race of reds and blues; their personal smartphones ablaze with Tweets and Instagram and Facebook status updates; their headsets for phone-banking still on or maybe quietly set aside, markers and butcher papers and Post Its everywhere, half drunk coffee and stale chips and leftover snacks also everywhere. I could picture it all, the horrors and the sense of belonging in any campaign. I craved it in my bones and I knew all too well that I couldn’t have it, at least not in my foreseeable future. I gave that life up.

And maybe that was part of the tears, mourning for what could’ve been. But there was something else: the person of Barack, the man to whom I had not paid close attention until the trail became hot, to be honest. It came back to me, the conversation I had with my parents the first time I gave them a proper tour of the UC Berkeley campus. It would be a different thing altogether, my dad said, for Barack to win because I do want to be able to say that America is not just for a white man.

How could we know, Korean immigrants–only exposed to the sins of racism in the context of Rodney King beating, the ’92 Los Angeles riot–the fullness of what a black president could mean in 2008? But he did win, and the passage describing the main character’s wonder at what America could be was also my wonder: the possibility of hope, of change, of somehow this one man who should never have made it were it any other time in history, carrying the hopes of a continent, a people group, a history owing lives that cannot be given back for four hundred plus years. We were both wondering, Ifem and I, in that moment of jubilee and elation and an abandon to celebrate what none of us would dare to speak of, even though everyone knew–all of us knew–that it would not last. Of course it couldn’t last. Things could not become that easy that soon.

I sat reading and aching and praying for this last year of the man’s presidency. I ached for his two terms of heavy debt fiscally and historically–the debt of human brokenness multiplied a million times that America cannot afford but has been borrowing forever–how this weight must have aged him, crushed him, made him less human maybe. I prayed that at the end of it all he would walk away with something. I was, and am, thankful that he was not assassinated on the job. Hurl your insults at how calculating and political he’s become, the policies and stances he adopted, the way he spoke or didn’t speak for Black & Brown people. I would not be so quick to be cynical this time though.

I can’t get over the image of this man, this skinny and tired looking and much aged man after eight years of the weight of the world on his shoulder, not trying to start another world war, not trying to let down the hopes of his people–I know he thinks about that, his people. How can you not? When your skin is black? I can’t get over how much a person like me who has nothing in common with him physiologically speaking, has benefited. I have been touched; I have been made to feel connected to this land because of his life. There’s a sense of gratefulness still there. I can’t quite name it. There is not a United League of the Oppressed, though maybe there ought to be one. I can’t get over it, as I now sit here feeling the ache of all the Black lives lost, as we witness the election day drawing ever closer. And I wonder.

Do you believe still?

 

to baltimore, a love poem

May 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

after reading this

pulsing
indicates fight
or flight

a monster!
out of the way!
inhumane hands have tried for so long
to keep you tamed inside.
but today,
jailbreak.

and here i watch,
thinking–
if the universe is kind enough
to grace our puny existence
with you,
we’ve never laid our eyes upon the likes.
couldn’t have dreamt of
you, if you want to fly,
fly! free! who cares who gets hurt?

your heart beating inside,
frantic running, away
from the laboratory
the inhumane hands; that unquenchable desire
to live,
also mine.

suddenly you realize,
spread the wings; they carry you
above the wind, upwards,
taking off from us pitiful
humans and our crafts our fears. i’m in tears,
finally fit
the freedom so elusive from the beginning
into a hole that’s remained empty
for so long! the thing
that has not been named.
only do we realize
how much we were missing it
until the object of our full satiation
materializes; i would never have known
what satisfy could mean
had you not wings. thank you.

you will not go back in the cage.
and by the depth of that desire do i know
that i too have wings with a purpose
other than to slow me down
in our flight. stop running child.
fly.

January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

not gonna edit this — it aint that kind of a post

only been a little less than a wk of work since coming back from so cal vaca. la was only a wk long too. feels like i skipped christmas and new yr altogether bc there wasnt anything festive about the last two wks. not because im going through the usual end of yr depression (i just learned that there exists such a thing. look it up on wiki), maybe because of a shitty situation involving crashing a friends car and having to pay for it all out of pocket and no insurance and somewhat estranged friendship. yeah not fun

im not here to complain though. it took a while for me to own that im a whiner, and i just made a commitment to myself, a new years resolution if you will, to stop being a child and grow up already. it took a while to realize that i actually decided to stay a kid because i was afraid. maybe unconsciously, but that doesnt excuse anybody. and fear is no good. its never good

i had a long caffeine induced talk w Jesus about the nature of this fear, how and why i came to believe that growing up had everything to do with losing the seldom shared seldom cherished seldom enjoyed parts of hatty all the way from the mother continent. somehow that translated in my mind that i couldnt commit to anything, or anyone, because i didnt have to strength to see things through. why should i give up myself when those objects of devotion and sacrifice only led to more loss and slow suffocation of the free spirited wild child silly girl crazy hatty? and who should protect her and fight for her if not myself? im my own master, im my own god. see? fear makes you ugly

so i did it. i took back my words. i said, look God i made a mistake, i dont want to be a child no more. make me a grown up. the last time i did that i received the Holy Spirit. i wonder what awaits me this time

 

growing pain

November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

actually, more appropriate is growth spurt

when youre in that prime age of cells going through mitosis — bones and sinews and muscles growing growing growing — mothers repeat that old saying, growing hurts. i dont recall really if ive ever went through much of that pain, perhaps obvious in my five feet and an inch or two stature. the concept is so very prophetic to me though, birth pain. its a physical and visible sign of something unseen yet to come. but it sure will happen; you feel the pain to prove it!

im that kid again, twelve years old. this time i feel the multiplications in my mind, explosions of ideas mingling with other ideas giving birth to new ideas five billion times more complicated and beautiful. its the moment of reckoning that something awe-some is coming. i cant quite picture the fullness of this monster or genius or both. but i see the subtle and tiny points of no return. who can say at what point the blob of cells is a living creature (lets not get into the mississippi ballot measure now)? during which specific lecture have i realized my revolutionary potential? by what non fiction reading for pleasure have i begun to see the lies in capitalism? in whose voices have i heard the voice of God that this world and the life as we know it are sick and dying, evil? that they are so not necessarily by a conscious choice but by compliance? the very opposite of a conscious choice to fight and struggle and go against the stream, the powers that be, the principalities of heavenly realms?

answer or no answer, i am growing. my mind is growing. just as the journey on a motorcycle through latin america has changed ernesto to che, what has begun seven years ago as a casual read of a book with nothing casual about it continues to change me into someone i dont recognize yet. soon the mitosis will stop, a full blown monster/genius, and we will know on which rock we stand

how the hell did i ever forget

October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

that im an intercessor? that unless i cry out the burdens of the world around me that i carry, i will not be able to sleep? remember those nights when you stayed up to light a candle and watch the flame speak to you about the pains and injustices of this life? you made a point to never let the Spirit settle down while the mysteries and divine things from before time had yet to be revealed. what makes you think you can go to bed without having uttered the groanings too deep for words in the bones of the homeless and the drug addicts and the hos and the disabled on the streets of the tenderloin tonight? how the hell did you forget?

i literally just recalled the days, not so long ago, when i waged war in the spirit against hopelessness and lies about my yet unsaved friends, out loud, in my studio with no one around to hear my yelling, because this battle not against flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. its a hard fight, this standing in the gap and being a watchperson, metaphorically. physically it looks like beating the air. calling things that we cant see. hollering and crying unintelligible crazy blasphemous things that hardly make sense to those who only live in the here and now.

but the truth is that intercession is a bridge, between the here and now and the otherworld. its the rabbit hole you go down in order to see what alice sees. its the holy of holies where only the high priest enters in once a year after rituals and rituals of cleansing to meet YHWH face to face. i can only imagine what the altar boys and the oracles may have encountered in the temples filled with glory and smoke. the duality of that calling, to walk fully in the body and to interpret only by the spirit. ive written about this before.

so whats new? not much. i just needed to remind myself again that i was made an intercessor. jeremiahs bones on fire are mine. Jesus praying till his sweat turn into blood is also my story. when He calls you to pour out words that have been sitting in your belly, you better do it. or damn you miserable until those prayers get prayed

missing l.a. like crazy

October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

swinging in the backyard
pull up in your fast car
whistling my name

open up a beer
and you say get over here
and play a video game

im in his favorite sun dress
watching me get undressed
take that body downtown

i say you the bestest
lean in for a big kiss
put his favorite perfume on

go play a video game

its you, its you, its all for you
everything I do
i tell you all the time
heaven is a place on earth with you
tell me all the things you want to do
i heard that you like the bad girls
honey, is that true?
its better than i ever even knew
they say that the world was built for two
only worth living if somebody is loving you
baby now you do

singing in the old bars
swinging with the old stars
living for the fame

kissing in the blue dark
playing pool and wild darts
video games

he holds me in his big arms
drunk and i am seeing stars
this is all i think of

watching all our friends fall
in and out of old pauls
this is my idea of fun
playing video games

its you, its you, its all for you
everything i do
i tell you all the time
heaven is a place on earth with you
tell me all the things you want to do
i heard that you like the bad girls
honey, is that true?
its better than i ever even knew
they say that the world was built for two
only worth living if somebody is loving you
baby now you do

its you, its you, its all for you
everything i do
i tell you all the time
heaven is a place on earth with you
tell me all the things you want to do
i heard that you like the bad girls
honey, is that true?
its better than i ever even knew
they say that the world was built for two
only worth living if somebody is loving you
baby now you do

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