1. DJ Lt. Dan The King of What's Poppin (Kana's classic party tribute) 2. Bob Marley & the Wailers Rastaman Vibration 3. Jeru The Damaja Wrath Of The Math 4. John Coltrane Giant Steps 5. Dead Prez Let's Get Free 6. Funkytown Pros Reachin A Level Of Assasination 7.Gang Starr The Ownerz 8.Charles Mingus Let My Children Hear Music 9.GZA/Genius Beneath the Surface 10.Tony Toni Tone Sons Of Soul 11. D'Angelo Voodoo 12. Anita Baker Songstress
Not until you witness those who have helped you define your life pass on, do you wholly realize how temporary this journey. Over the past two years, 4 members of my extended-immediate family have returned to the essence. Two of them key players in my personal experience; the other two fairly distant, but mad influential nonetheless. At times eye find my inner self conflicted by the overwhelming grief that often pervades with no warning. Mix those emotions with the other devastating situations that have taken place over the last 13 months, & it is my guess that even as an outsider, you can understand how confused eye must feel at times.
It was this day in 2003 that my closest cousin slipped away with her dreams. This - the day before my birth/earth day. It was only the day before that she & eye were laughing, joking & planning for the next encounter. Only 2 months prior (almost to the date) eye phoned her with the shocking news of my uncle's passing. Who could have ever predicted that she would be next to transition?
When you talk to me, deal with me, read my writings, please understand that no matter how dressed up, you are looking at hurt in the flesh. Much of Something To Cope documents this raw pain. Something To Cope is all about learning to deal with it all. At least trying to - one step at a time. Please pray for my family.
Peace be upon you Cousin Joyce. Read "Young New Moon" in the gallery in honor of my dearest cousin. She taught me about living to the fullest. What a novel concept!!!
HEY! "What's the deal? What's the deally-o?"- (Eye was so glad that she won.)
This has been the first season that the whole fam has come together to share in the network reality show craze. We watch ALL of the entertainment-related, i.e. American Idol, Road To Stardom, America's Next Top Model. We have been great fans of Extreme Makeover Home Edition & How'd They Do That?Even the children know the days & times of the Nanny shows & the family-centered exchanges. We have also watched Survivor, The Swan, and many others, at random. Whether or not we gain much from the content of the shows is debatable, but the fact that we come together at all anymore is remarkable. Unlike most families, we are ALL together -ALL DAY, EVERYDAY. So an hour of TV each night (occasionally 2), watched collectively, serves an all together different purpose than for those who spend their only hour together in front of the tube (that's no judgement, just an observation). Before we had children we swore that they would hardly know what a TV was capable of showing. Well, that was a short lived goal. Fortunately, we have been able to manage their viewing. For the majority of our parenting years we have only had one television in the whole house - in the living room. There will be no sitting up in each room watching individual shows. No way, no how...
Please email if you need to catch me this next few days. You already know the deally-o. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Yesterday was Shakespeare's birthday. It completely slipped my mind until eye read it in a message this morning. The mailing included his "Sonnet 144" - which eye have always enjoyed reading. Oddly enough, last night eye wrote a piece that is sonnetish. "A Birthday Present Poem". It has shaped up to be a nice piece of work. When it is edited you will be able to read it in the gallery (1).
IN THE KNOW RETURNS! Monday, May 16 will be the publication date of Volume II. Thanks you all for hanging in there in the lean times! Welcome the new listing editor/reporter, Michelle Whyte!
Eye love the commercial for the Amazing candy bars where the girl does unbelievable computer acrobatics in order to open the wrapper. That would really be some amazing feat if she could accomplish that with those contortions. Eye am amazing that way, but not as it pertains to candy wrappers - just real ones. As a child, eye never imagined that a rapper would actually be my mate for life. It never occurred to me that a rapper would father the children. What a bugged out lives we lead?!?!
Happy earth/birth day Ekundayo! You are truly joy along this journey. Thank you for your wisdom! 4 is cool!
Tauri...now cipher!! Congratulations on being granted another run! It makes me bubble over to know that this is my season. Expect big things!!!
Happy National Poetry Month! The month is near it's end & still no reading. " Was that a real goal?" Eye ask. Eye plan to spit some shit at Basante's on April 29th...the day after. My born day is a place in space & time. Saddam Hussein shares the same spot (1937). Jay Leno, too (1950). Penelope Cruz is all up in my area.
It is no secret that your friendly neighborhood writer, Oriana, has never mastered typing. Not only do eye dislike the process, but eye must reaffirm just how tedious the task. In all fairness, it does make my work a lot easier, but it has yet to replace "The List", postcards, & handwritten lyric - in my world at least. Eye feel the same way about e-books. The same regarding vinyl. Drum machines. Some mediums are just sacred in a way that computers lack - for me at least.
...Now e-mail messaging on the other hand accounts for more than half of my correspondence, which traditionally would have consisted of phone calls & snail-mail letters. For many reasons, eye rely heavily on text/ IM/ e-mail messages. This habit started back in '95 when AOL first became accessible. Chatrooms were the gateway format which have lead to a decade-long technical dependency. Is there a such thing as e-anon??
It would be nice to reach out & touch every one of you. Like back in the day. But the society that we have allowed our government to set up means that we have to work are fingers to the core accomplishing a week's work in each 24 hour period. Feel me? More money, more problems.
HUG A MOM TODAY! Pray for HER everyday. Make sure that your Mama knows that your love is genuine when you next speak. She has seen & done a lot of living. Those miles wear on HER. Forgive HER when she takes you for granted. She always has good intentions in mind, even if she neglects to see you clearly.
On another note, has anyone peeped the new M.O.P. documentary. It is "realer than real deal Holyfield." Lil' Fame makes a lot of these rappers transparent. It trips me out that those cats had the strength to venture past Brownsville. Word up!
It is an amazing occurence to be able to acknowledge they you have everything that you need. Cn you admit that you do? Eye cn! & eye do! It is not an easy admission.
We spen so many of our momnts lving in the past or the future. Once you finally realize that your presen(se)t is the essence, you consciously claim THIS space. THIS place! Let us face the Tao!!! Kowtow (Koutou) now... while here to bow.
How now, brown cow? My grandfather (Papa) always parted with those words at bedtime when eye was a youth. My daughter & eye indulge in the same exchange every night.
BACK ON THE BLOCK H-town had mad love for the collective this weekend. Good show. Good times. Good drinks. Good herbals. Good eats. All in all, things went well. Shouts to the promoter, Kris, The Are, and the whole gang of supporters who turned out. Eye can't wait to return later this year to read from Something To Cope. Houston is ready. We will likely also do another Count show this summer, along with Austin, Dallas & San Antonio. Eye will keep you posted as details unfold.
PEACE PEOPLE How's everybody? Know that eye truly appreciate your devotion to my blog/site/weblog. It is refreshing to have an intimate group of patners with whom eye can share this wild ride. C'mon...ride with me now...
The old addage is that "misery loves company". We all have seen manifestations of that in our lives, as well as the lives of others. It's really frustrating when you give your whole self to helping someone see their way out of the mirk, yet their energy is pervaded with the funk to the point of no return. It takes all of the creator's power to love in spite of negativity. Unconditional love is what it's called. Because someone has loved me in such a manner, it is my duty to love in return. Even when the one(s) that you love seem to fight it with all of the power that they have. When those persons are supposed to be the ones to guide you in life, it seems even more difficult to deal with. Something To Cope was born out of the need for such love & also the obligation to give much. God bless my mother!!!
We are headed to Houston this weekend. Looking forward to the journey. We are just getting things set up to get on the road this summer. Hopefully, the process will only get smoother from here. It's frustrating when you have hopes that don't have a clear path. In my adventures, most paths are full of brush.
Hey, Monica! It was great to laugh with you this evening.
Today marks the beginning of my new blog series, "Eavesdropping". It seems that every so often the good vibrations find favor in me & afford me the opportunity to participate in some interesting life experiences. In those instances eye find myself indulging in the moment. Sometimes eye pay close enough attention to take something away that will represent that blessed moment forever. The following is a gift - from me to you!
YOUNG GIRL: "That boy don't look mixed like you. I mean, you look REALLY mixed." ADOLESCENT BOY: "I'm mixed with a whole bunch of stuff ... polish ... irish ... indian ... german ... black ... ghetto ... project ..."
At that point the listening stopped & my mind drifted off onto a past journey. My husband says that Boy's description of himself sounds like a line fit for Friday.
LITTLE GIRL #1- " I be glad when it stops raining. I want to go outside." LITTLE GIRL # 2-"Don't you know GOD is cryin'! His chuldren are dyin'! We are his chuldren." ADOLESCENT GIRL- "People in Africa are dying." LITTLE GIRL #2-"It's beautiful in Africa. They got cheetahs, giraffes..."
And again, my mind ran away so it is unbeknowst to me where the conversation went from there. Eye was joyful at having been able to share in the exchange of children - from a distant. They are so pure in their thoughts. Their ideas are so clear - to them. Children are such blessings. Let us remember to not mistreat them.
Having sister-gyrls that are genuine is a blessing, too. Having brotherly love in one's life is a such a blessing. - "Too blessed to be stressed!"
PEACE 2 MY SISTER-GYRLS:Kana, Michelle, Monica, Cheresse, Judith, Aida, Shyria, Aleemah, Menah, Erika (Na), Markia, Bolanle', Ahdeenaw, Elizabeth (*red indicates nickname). THANX 4 HOLDING ME DOWN!!! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
A LIL SOMETHIN' SOMETHIN' This day to day journey that we refer to as life tends to present us challenges that we are unable to readily overcome. In those times eye rely on Something To Cope. Eye know eye need Something To Cope & it is my belief that you do too. Something To Cope is well within reach. FINALLY!!! Coming down the home stretch, Something To Copeis a piece on which you can hang your cap after a long workday. Something To Cope is a collection of medicinals that will cure any ailment. Any heartache. If you find yourself in search of copables that will aid you on your walk, then Something To Cope will help that walk. In 2001, eye found myself longing for Something To Copeduring the lean times. Months after eye began seeking, the creator placed Something To Cope in my life. It is my pleasure to prepare Something To Cope for you! Believe the hype! What eye have is that fie!!!
WHY POETRY? Happy National Poetry Month! Today marks the first day of the 10th annual celebration of the poetic structure in the U.S. Eye am so excited to be a contributor to the diverse make-up of writers that this country has to offer. Hats off to my friends, peers & colleagues! Great reading will be in effect this month so stay tuned in for prospective dates...
Not only is April an important month for me professionally, but it is also the month in which my birth is recognized. April 28th to be exact.And with these two incidents in mind, it is clear to me why it is so important to pay close attention to the name that we choose for our children. Eye doubt that when my grandmother gifted me the name lee (homage to my grandfather), did she realize that she was naming me "poet". But oddly enough, that is exactly where the spirit of life has lead me. It trips me out everytime eye turn it over. Oriana means "golden one" & "joy". Just recently eye found a few references to it as meaning "dawn". That's new to me though. My granny choose the name because of the first two meanings. Eye would like to think that my earthly walk has embellished my nomenclature. Lord knows eye try. Life has certainly had her way with me at times causing me to struggle to sustain the joy, but somehow victory always ultimately dominates the hardships. Thankful am eye!!!
To commemorate April, eye am reading the new Alice Walker biography (thanks to my husband) by Evelyn C. White. Alice Walker's writing have been such an inspiration to me ever since my teen years. So many things about her reflect my own sentiments...my own thinking. Activism in art. That's my style fo' sho'. That is probably the only thing about my writing that has been consistent since my youth. My technique has blossomed over the years, but the political nature of my work remains the same.
Eye spent my college years searching for my role in the struggle. Onlythrough having a family did eye learn that my immediate place is not on the frontline with an AK, but on the frontpage in i-n-k. Through my written work, eye have been able to reach people that eye never would have in the streets. While eye undoubtedly miss the intimacy of the human contact & the energy shared when you actually get to physically & actively touch the people, it is clear to me that my purpose is being fulfilled.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share myself with you! Thank you for reading. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing in my world.
eye rip raps; on same microphones poetry.
eye balance formality with artistic integrity.
eye close deals, book shows, then pen prose.
eye cook meals before heading to post bills .
eye read to the youth; record to the beat.
eye flow, consult, lecture, teach & speak.
eye blog & tweet; send messages to senders.
eye fool to the internet; slave to lender.
eye write for the love.
eye fight for the write.
eye am a writer.