Lady Serenity

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When Lady Serenity
saw me, she swerved.

Her detour a reminder not to dwell on anxiety.

I want to absorb the tempo of my female hero.

Go with her on a journey. We’ll decide.

Fill a syrup-colored packing case with maps loosely packed.

Plan our getaway on the backs of envelopes.  Take me with you.

“Live and love as if there’s no tomorrow.” I wish she’d said to me.

“Die to tomorrow.”

Add as a P.S.

 

Tall and Medium Tales

Where was I before the mercury rose?

Flamenco for Fragrance91g

The day so dry all I can do is get naked on wet sheets and dive
into a book of fairytales called Floating Down The Sea of Ears.

Tall and medium tales about proteans (shapeshifters) like Leonardo
Da Vinci whose career took many shapes such as he was said to have
a ‘protean career’, and a fairytale within a fairytale about a fraternity

of surrealist poets living in exile on the Island of Writers. Each scribe
has cut off one ear to protest the watering down of freedom of speech.

On the Island of Writers, they argue and rant long into the night. Talking
over each other, their hearing impaired and their thinking short-sighted.

I make several pathetic attempts to shift my attention back from island.
Altered by what I’ve witnessed, it’s too late for my brain. The fixtures
and fittings in my apartment — the sofabed, piano, cable TV, candles,

kitchen table, bathroom scales, door frame, window blinds, security
alarm system and my sheets have become part of me; as my habitat
pulls me under the floorboards and this reader connects to the umbilical
cord of the fraternity.

We argue and rant long into the night.
My blood orange eyes look puzzled beneath
my purple shaded eyelids. Half-open and half-sealed.

I weigh their arguments on my bathroom scales. The scales
crack, snap and pop as the debates rage at arm’s length.

How does this fairytale end? Will I flash upon The End?
My first impression is of a monotone snake coiled inside
a M.C. Escher drawing.

Is that black and white snake, Gaia contemplating us? Are
we mirror cells? Mirroring each other’s cells, or are we not?

Asymmetry?
A symmetry?
A thinner tree?

Are the colors in Escher’s field (of vision) under review?
Who was it that said: “Silence is so accurate, the mind’s imagination can also paralyze.”

In my alternative state I have a theory that the Island of Writers
is the mole people living in the tunnels under New York City.

Our Earth is their stars.

Head In The Clouds

When I was growing up my mother would say to me: “Child of mine you have your head in the clouds.”

When I grew older I discovered that folks who write poetry are in the minority.

Flamenco for Fragrance91h

I’m half afraid to write poetry
for you who never read it much

and I’m left laboring
with the secrets and the silence

In plain language.

— Adrienne Rich

Anti-Drawing

The stranger dreamed that he was in the center of a circular amphitheater which was more or less the burnt temple; clouds of taciturn students filled the tiers of seats; the faces of the farthest ones hung at a distance of many centuries and as high as the stars, but their features were completely precise.

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The man lectured his pupils on anatomy, cosmography, and magic: the faces listened anxiously and tried to answer understandingly, as if they guessed the importance of that examination which would redeem one of them from his condition of empty illusion and interpolate him into the real world.

1_Anti-drawing

Asleep or awake, the man thought over the answers of his phantoms, did not allow himself to be deceived by imposters, and in certain perplexities he sensed a growing intelligence. He was seeking a soul worthy of participating in the universe.  — “The Circular Ruins”  by Jorge Luis Borges.

3Anti-drawing

What is anti-drawing? Is it: “the importance of that examination which would redeem one of them from his condition of empty illusion and interpolate him into the real world.”

Or is it as French philosopher Gilles Deleuze explains: “Those systems in which different relates to different by means of difference itself. What is essential is that we find in these systems no prior identity, no internal resemblance.”

The Nomad Commentaries

Commentary No. 1

“Anguish and grief, like darkness and rain, may be depicted; but gladness and joy, like the rainbow, defy the skill of pen or pencil. – Frederick Douglass. 

Commentary No. 2

I wander away from the screen

Tear holes in the routine.

For a brief moment, I have time on my hands.

Where do I begin?

I will hold your eyes, see me.

You watch as I read the songlines on your palms, caress your forks in the road.

You can breathe in, but not out again

If you so choose.

Where is your heart’s compass? Where’s your heart’s Due North?

Hold2

It can take time for messages to come ashore.

It can take time for the vowels to sail forth past the ego:

The consonants seem to take even longer. God knows

Why…

It takes injury for this mesmerist to rein in her consciousness:

To peel the old paint on her story.

Only through art can I languish and pretend not to exist.

Hold 1

Commentary No. 3

Writing brought by abstract painting to the paper.

Commentary No. 4

With a slow burning heart 
I drive to the pharmacy with my guitar all the hours of the 24.

Fame is a drug on prescription all the hours of the 24.

After a lifetime of searching I found my biological father on Facebook. My shadow self is battling to hold onto me. She’s cutting my clothes to smithereens.

immortality

Commentary No. 5

One day I will write about inner peace.

Growing in seedpods.

Nurtured in short bursts of poetry.

Seagulls hover over me

Waiting for yesterday’s bread.

Let the NOW be of use to you angel, seer, believer,

Friend, ally, I love you.

Iroquoi Nation

How do we reconcile our unconscious desires?

Our labyrinth.

How do we fly above ourselves to

highlight, to minimize, to free

ourselves from the loop of assumptions,

groove of greed.

Juice of injustice.

Commentary No. 6

doors

An Englishman rolls down his car window to shout the word nigger at me.

A white colleague calls me a cross between a dog and a slave.

How do I reconcile this information?

Do I laugh it off? Do I take myself less seriously?

Transcend my pride

Ego

Injury

Humiliation

My feeling of total wipeout.

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With unconditional love…

“I love you, please forgive me, I’m sorry, thank you.”

Commentary No. 7

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Here I write in the house I was conceived in. If I am mistaken, I go about it quietly, fastidious as I am in matters of delicacy. My great great grand-mother Alice (the ancestor with the long tail) never tired of telling me that forgetfulness is for the mind with pinhole capacity.

“How are you my darling apparition?” I say giving Alice an impromptu kiss. A line coruscates her forehead. She waits. She frowns. She tumbles into the other world.

After an interval, Alice re-appears as a shimmering blur. Her blurred outline manifests a balance beam and she hops up onto the four-inch wide platform and strikes a pose in the dark recess of our wooden house: empowering the occupants to set sail to the New World.

Whether our family reaches its destination depends upon the wellbeing of our slaves.

This man has polio

Commentary No. 8

In Sierra Leone, West Africa, everything is broken 
in pieces strewn apart.

My ancestors’ medals 
that were pinned to their chests
 are now buried in the family archives.

Today in our Freetown neighborhood, it’s aching with rain. I’m waiting for my sister to finish up her meeting 
with the Director of Reparations.

In the ether her words comingle,

bare her soul like an abstract painting.

I wish I had the perfect umbrella for her; but I don’t.

In Sierra Leone we’re all in the waiting room.

The Peace

Commentary No. 9

Limbo only meant to be temporary, not held in this position, in this way for all my life.

Commentary No. 10

The Nomad Commentaries — Artist’s Statement.

In attempting to document my personal experience, I found myself in an autobiographical dilemma. I was yet to become socially aware and still had to become politically conscious of the black diaspora which informed my artistic roots. But when I came to articulate this journey, I realized the Eurocentric linear narrative formula could never adequately explain what I was feeling, and I searched for an art form to combine the diaphanous threads of my lost indigenous peoples, my Eurocentric scholastic disciplines and my vivid childhood as a child of the punk era: a child of The Clash and The Sex Pistols and the clash of cultures.

My early training as a dancer gave me the courage to investigate and discover that it is vital to find a common universality, a non-linear language. The following years were immersed in transcribing what I felt to be messages from my ancient past: layers of identity blurring boundaries and stirring my cellular memory. It took several years before my instincts led to me to produce documentaries as a catalyst for positive social change.

Furthermore, by employing text, video and mixed media and floating together photographic, painted and digital images, I discovered how to connect the fragments of my mixed African-European identity and begin the journey of reaching outside of myself to communicate messages of faith, healing, oneness and love.