Archive | December, 2012

This Is Nina Simone

27 Dec

I love this lady more than I had ever realized. A few years ago she was reintroduced to the forefront of my thinking by something and I for the life of me can’t remember what that something was.  I do however remember going to see her when I was very young in the park in D.C. one summer, Rock Creek Park I think. Me perched on my father’s shoulders and I sea of Afros bouncing like cotton balls from the Planet Mo’ Better Makes It Mo Better. We were a family under one groove and though I really don’t remember much from that day, those Afros I remember and that movement and that feeling and those people. We all came to see our Sista Ms. Nina Simone.

Not a lot of people know this or at least I don’t think that they do. Ms. Simone suffered from mental illness and I might add the most beautiful overbite I have ever seen. She was a gorgeously handsome woman. You’ll forgive my scattered thoughts on her, but there’s so much I would like to say about her I’ll never get a clear thought.

Anyway, yes, she is said to have suffered from bipolar disorder and/or borderline personality disorder. I really don’t know what borderline personality disorder is, but I’m sure I got some. It comes with the all the other baggage of being wrapped in this dark skin of mine that I have come to love over the years. For this post I’ll just speak of the mental illness and let you discover the lady more deeply if you feel moved to.

I firmly believe that some of the most creative and genius people of ours have suffered from some form of outwardly evident mental illness. One would have to, if one ever saw clearly, our reality makes us crazy. I can see where some of her illness was evident in her personality and please, this is my own assessment as I see these same things in myself. She didn’t have much patience for foolishness and once in mid-chord she stopped and chastised talkative audience members. She didn’t mind speaking for her mind off stage either. The song Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood was written for her, but The Animals recorded it (I love both versions) and had hit with it. Ms. Nina confronted the front man and in Nina form said to him; So you the honky that stole my song and got a hit with it? I recognize these acts as something that would come from me.

She however (it is said) had been taken over by schizophrenia. With that came some delusions of being a reincarnation of an Egyptian queen.   When a friend took Ms. Nina to a musical revue in Washington, she began speaking to the onstage performers from her seat. Now, let’s sit back and think for a second about these two incidences, don’t they sound really familiar? Black people are always talking about how we are kings and queens and have you been to a movie with a mostly Black audience? So we are all  trapped by schizophrenia.

Serious, our Ms. Nina had gone far down the mental illness road and it ended our sisters mind from which that voice came. We have to take look at how mental illness has run roughshod through us and give ourselves a break ever now again. My heart remains broken for how this world has chewed on our very essence like doublemint and spit us out when the flavor was gone. I get murderous at the thought of the incredible people we are and how we are stepped on by us and them. We are in need of healing, we are in need of that sea of Afros bouncing together to the Ms. Nina beat.

Sadly Ms. Nina left us and this hell in 2003 from what was called a stroke, but to me it was exhaustion. This world makes one really tired, really early in life and the results of the fatigue can be seen all over Black faces and Black places.

Here comes the sun and we should heal.

Like I stated earlier, these are “reimagined” and may not appeal to the purest, but I really like them.


This Is What We Do……..Don’t Like It? SO!

24 Dec



My Heart Went Out.

20 Dec


I sometimes smell smoke. The sweet smoke of lives and livelihoods as they dissipate down the stark and tired hallways of history. Something like the smokes of Rosewood Florida, where 6 or more Black people were murdered in 1923.

I sometimes see fires burning and the ghosts of lives not realized emerge from these fires. The ghost of daddy’s little girls and dolls not played with scream at me to not let them forget. My ears ring from the reverb of bombs not seen, but louder still are the voices of four little girls, in a church, in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.
I sometimes feel the pain of families that have vanished for no reason other than for the fact that they were families. The pride of lives built from the ashy, dryness of hate and spite sprout to meet the heavens and the heavens they met. Noontime clocks rang tea time and Black hands held tea cups on a Black street called Wall. Not to be outdone white hands held weapons and the power of privilege could not look into Black eyes as equal. Tulsa, Oklahoma 68 Black people killed.     
I sometimes hear doors slamming and see iron bars that trap Black souls that are only suspects. In this land of the free, freedom is relative and no kin me. I am a Black man and I am guilty until proven more guilty. This new slavery hasn’t caught me yet, but I grow tired and my stride grows weak. In Amerika, they have locked up right now more than two million people and most look like me. 
I feel sorry for the people of Columbine and the people of Virginia Tech. I want to hurt for the people of Aurora and the children of Sandy Hook will be okay. 
I would send my heart out to all the people who have lost in this time, but my heart already went out and it never returned.  

My dawn won’t break until….

13 Dec

I just love this song and maybe you’ll enjoy it as well.


A good man without a good woman is like a vase with no flowers. My dawn won’t break until my vase is full.

I want to feel her brown skin on my brown skin and watch our brown skin in candle light. And my dawn won’t break until skin is one and my suit becomes her suit and we mix down to molecules.

The hunter in me is a patience one, my bait is confidence, I am a sportsman and well seasoned. But my dawn won’t break until my prize is place. On my arm and I show the world and I beam.

I will walk slowly and steadily, my eyes fixed, the wind behind me, determination has encased me. My dawn won’t break until the empress is on her throne. I become her subject.

The rain thunders in and rinses away the sticky grime of failed relationships and the sour after taste of rejection. But my dawn won’t break until that same storm chases away the silence that is my heart. It makes me whole with firm grip to hold on to my new future.

With her now here I can see the faint light of dawn breaking. The beat of nature slows and let’s us in, I can feel life running through me. My pessimistic self sees promise. I grab her hand and we watch the sunset.


Market for niggas.

6 Dec

I’m really not into “slam” poetry, but this brotha hit me with this one. I hope it hits you as well.