one year closes, another opens…

what’s happening, folks?

on the last day of the year, i wanted
to take some time out to do things that
sustain me, things that make me who i
am. because this year, more so than in
recent years, has been one to really
savor and contemplate in those terms.
this year was the year i reclaimed a
few things. confronted a few. and made
peace with a couple parts of myself.

the year began in a tenuous fashion to
say the least. i’ve alluded to it here
and there, but i encountered a serious
health issue. one i thought wouldn’t
happen to me, in all honesty. even though
i knew i was purposely daring, on that
edge. to sum it up, i had an acute rise in
my blood pressure. brought on by the
combination of stress from work, the
holiday season and its partying air,
getting a cold and trying to fight it
off with cough medicine and herbal tea
mixed together. one night i couldn’t
sleep, and thought it was gas. when i
got my pressure reading, i was floored.
my doctor put me on meds, and a week of
bed rest. during that time, my family
was scared. hell, i was scared. as the
month went on, i got determined to lose
weight – physically and emotionally. i
was close to death and never knew it. in
truth, we all are, as much as we will
either acknowledge it or cast it aside.
but that scare led me to something better.
something on the other side of fear. a
place that was familiar. a place that
is where my spirit could rise as it should.

getting back to that place, reaffirming
who and what i am has been the mode for
this year. in the process, i’ve had to
ask myself tough questions. all of this was
necessary in order to do what Yaasin Bey
says on ‘Worker’s Comp’, ‘tell the tough
guys we’re tougher than tough times.’ if
you’ve followed along with this blog, you
know i’ve had my share. but i have made
the choice to push through. and in that,
i’ve had to be less stern with myself. i
have had to firmly ask for better from the
folks who i want in my circle. i have had
to accept that there are some folks who
won’t regard me in a way i need to keep
them around. i’ve had to admit that i’ve
been an asshole, and to also admit that
there were times where it was warranted.
i’ve gotten used to not being a ‘bigger’
person, but a better person for myself at
least. and most importantly, i’ve learned
to enjoy the benefits of my own silence
and what it brings me.

i mean, i’ve gotten more freelance writing
work(though i could always use more, so i’ve
been putting that intention out there in
addition to grinding). i put out another
book of poetry with the help of some fine
people out there. i’ve gotten myself in
shape enough to do that 5K walk.i got a lot of
support and acclaim and notice from some
well-regarded people and institutions. i’ve
gained a lot of insight from people. i’ve
been blessed to see love in the eyes of
newborns turned toddlers. i’ve made donations,
been there for friends in need. i’ve gotten
to understand my parents more. i’ve had the
opportunity to add my voice to important
discussions from the state of hip-hop to
tech developments to the continuing struggle
for rights and justice for Black/Brown people
in this nation and abroad. the blessings
have made the year’s journey that much
easier and sweeter.

i won’t focus on those that won’t read any
of these words. if one person reads this
and gets some of the black gold of the sun
from it, i’m happy. i know there’s still a
ways to go on this road. but i’m striding
on it, i’m less fretful even though there
are more gray hairs in my goatee than before.
as this year closes and another one opens,
i want to keep working at growing goodwill.
i don’t want to necessarily label myself in
order to do good work. i want my spirit, my
presence to be a good one in the eyes of those
i care about and those i have yet to meet.
i want next year to explode with even more
blessings and pride. and i do hope that you
will be around to see it. more writing, more
art, more celebration, and less frustration
and dissatisfaction.

in closing, may you all have a safe and
blessed New Year, however you choose to ring
it in if you already haven’t. thank you for
all of your support. see you on the other
side of 2014. one love to all!

walk good, good people!

body cams for brutes

they will say you are mad
when you cry out
at the vivisection of your experience.

they will look askance
when you resist the pornography
of your black body
of your brown body
of your womanly body
of your child’s body
ripped asunder by bullets
strangled and hung like so much salt beef,
because you
remember that they deal in death for business
and record it for fun
take a look in any museum for starters.

they will say you are mad
because you refuse to be mowed down
like those herds of buffalo
because before your trails of tears and anguish ends
you will make them choke on it

and that
is when
you find that sanity begins
and you realize
that body cams for brutes
are nothing but toys
for the brutes and voyuers