Enjoy these especially shiny sonic gems.
Maxwell (is Back!!!!) - Pretty Wings
Maxwell x Pretty Wings from Kvein on Vimeo.
MURS- The Science
Jesse Boykins III - Sunstar
Jesse Boykins III- SunStar(Official Video) from Jesse Boykins III on Vimeo.
Thx OKP for the intel.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Enjoy these especially shiny sonic gems.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thankyou Sistar Lesley.
I'd like to bestow the Lemonade Stand award upon:
Here are the award process guidelines for reward recipients:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude and/or gratitude.
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Nominate your favorites, and link to this post.
(note: I may take a minute with the comment notification as the week is a bit full)
It bears repeating, as the the number of police brutality incidents seems to be rising. Unchecked, one has to wonder how far police brutality will go? How safe are we as civilians? As a child I was always directed to wave to officers, and feel safe with them in the community. I'm aware there are plenty of good officers who are dedicated to protecting and serving the community, but what of the renegades who endanger innocent civilians through various forms of bullying that on too many occasions have resulted in severe injury and death?
The recent Day of blogging for justice focused on putting a stop to pre-trial electrocution, and measures are being taken by the NAACP to see that police brutality is taken seriously. It lends hope that through the raising of our voices, awareness, and the insistence of our actions we can ensure our communities are served by those who are able to restrain individuals when necessary, without the danger of death becoming a factor, due to negligence or plain malice.
Please raise your voice in this stand for the safety of our communities. Blog your views. Share links to blogs focusing on raising awareness about police brutality. Spread the word persistently.
Was Oscar Grant not human? Was the 16 year male tasered to death recently after a routine traffic stop not human? Was the elderly wheelchair bound woman tased to death (10 times) not human?
There must be a stronger regard for human life, and a respect for the force continuum put in place to ensure tasers are used by law enforcement correctly and safely. Severe consequences need to be a factor put in place to dissuade renegade behavior, and ensure safety for innocent civilians.
Please sign this petition requesting Congressional investigation into brutal police-inflicted Taser torture: http://www.petition2congress.com/2/1822/taser-torture-in-america-call-congressional-hearings/
Thankyou to everyone participating in the Am I Not Human campaign. Your voices are appreciated. I applaud you stand.
Friday, April 24, 2009
This Spring, despite plenny glitches, in an effort to plant good seeds, Purple Mag's issue #7 brings you several Modern Myth short lit/excerpts, Vegan Soulfood options, intel for living more easily offgrid than you might have imagined available to you, and an overall celebration of the Green imagination and indie consciousness in general.
Enjoy the writs of Cailloux Williams, Valjeanne Jeffers, Bassa Bassa Girl, C'BS Alife Allah, Inspired.Sis, Dazjae Zoem *_^ and more.
Click the cover image to download a complimentary .pdf copy.
The print issue is slated to be available via the new publisher within 2 weeks.
Check purplemag.com or the sidebar to see when the order link becomes available.
Shine bright Greenies * _ *
The issue's Green Icecream recipe had a typo that has been adjusted . The new download has been added as the cover image link.
There is no dairy additional ice cream in the recipe ingredients. Part of the title wasn't edited from the ingredients list, which could have caused some confusion for some. Our apologies for the mistake, Greenies *_^
The increase of death by pre-trial electrocution has become an increasing concern in society, and especially so for communities of color. With a recent officer caught on tape making a joke of shooting a citizen, the taser murder of a 16 year old boy, and the taser murder of a son in front of his parents not to mention countless other cases of murder by taser and police brutality the need for appropriate regulation and severe consequences for renegade officers persists to be a matter of utmost importance to citizen safety.
In order for that need to be fulfilled, we need to call for it, en masse. We need to voice our opinions, engage each other in productive dialogue, and brainstorm solutions and ways to attain those solutions. You may know something I need to know. I may know something you need to know, and so forth. It's easy to shake our heads and say 'Such a shame', or offer a similar useless sentiment, but it's not enough. If our ancestors had merely shaken their heads with a mood of futility, we would not have the freedoms we know today in a society that is still showing itself to be a place of hate, despite seeming changes for the better.
Taser use has been deemed a form of torture by the UN.
Why is it the seeming first action officers take to de-escalate a situation? Where is the sense in it? The use of force continuum is essential to appropriate taser use, but it seems to be easefully ignored by renegade officers.
The more voices raised, the more attention these matters will be paid. Please take a moment to blog, tweet, and spread the word about this campaign to raise awareness and seek solutions to police brutality and pre-trial electrocution.
I agree with a voice in the Afrospear that considered officers should be required to wear cameras. I think this should be mandatory, or that there should at the least be a mandatory requirement for monitored/feed-storing audio recording devices. I add to that sentiment the need for extremely severe consequences for renegade behavior. One who takes such a high oath should pay at least double the price of the average citizen for a crime, especially the crime of murder.
Please add your signature to this petition in solidarity with the community:
Thankyou Roc and Villager for this important campaign:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
This Earthday we'd like to celebrate the growing arm of green consciousness, which has surprised many with its infectious reach, and the successful reintroduction of natural consciousness to a world society in dire need of reconnection with roots.
For valuable Earthday activities consider the value of seed bombing (mud and heirloom/organic/Non-GMO seed balls made for throwing in vacant lots), reducing your plastic usage (cloth totes are much less expensive- Shampoo bars are fun and environmentally ethical, etc), and taking steps to ease oneself a bit more off-grid (Window gardens and Compost toilets make it easier).
Ultraviolet Underground hopes you'll enjoy the following links below, and additional intel in Purple Magazine's Issue 7, currently en route (available Friday).
Shine bright greenies *_^
Not so into digging into soil with a window garden?
Aerogarden.com's hydroponic indoor garden grows fresh veggies
and items of your choice at home, with ease.
Make the most of offgrid efforts with a composting toilet.
Whether you choose a waterless or water-based model,
the energy saved, and value to nature/gardens is incredible.
They're also much less expensive than you might think.
Visit www.compostingtoilet.org for more information.
Shampoo bars are fun, get the job done in an environmentally ethical fashion,
and aren't nearly as expensive as you might think. Visit etsy's selection of vegan soapers for options currently available to you.
Meat and dairy production contribute to much pollution of the ground water we and our animal friends need to survive, because the meat/dairy industry over-produces animals that wouldn't be here in those numbers otherwise whose waste is a problem for the environment, and whose methane contributes to off the charts carbon emissions (more than all of our cars combined).
Most importantly though, the cruel practices used in the meat and dairy --- industry that most don't know about--- are soulless, and shouldn't receive support from anyone. More information at Goveg.com (watch the video, but not with extra little ones in the room, it's that bad).
Monday, April 20, 2009
ways of the world as you know it...,”
Simon’s cocoa-moss irises locked intently with the book, his
fingers leaving smudges of dirt from the forest ground, on the yellowed
Mial pouted to herself, and rested her head on her palm.
“I think this will be more work than we’re going to like. He won’t
even eat or sleep. All he does is sit and stare out the window.”
She stopped to see if Simon was paying attention. It felt like she
was talking to herself again. Judging by his expression, she was.
“And there’s glitter everywhere... My parents aren’t buying the
excuse that I‘m making crafts. They can tell when I’m lying.”
Exasperation escaped her with a low groan.
“You’re just tired. If you follow the book to the letter, this’ll be a
cinch. It can be important to the balance, like you hoped. You just have
to hang in there.”
Simon offered a brief sympathetic glance, and returned his
attention to the book.
“This is why he wouldn't eat! You didn’t fill out what he eats...
But you did fill out that he’s supposed to be available all the time...
Everything needs rest Mial. You should fix that.”
Mial's expression fell, and a corkscrew curl waterfall fell to her
face, in synchronous drama. How could she forget such a crucial detail?
Simon was right. Everything needs rest. She’d go back to the drawing
board and make sure she was being fair to Sumoon, when she could
think more clearly.
“We’ve got school in an hour, and I don’t know about you, but my
parents’ll be knocking on my door in like ten minutes.”
Simon pushed the silver spectacles that exaggerated the size of his
eyes, farther up the bridge of his nose, and rose from the hard wood
floor, with audible relief.
“Yeah... We’ll call it a night. I don’t know how I’m getting
through school today.”
Mial rose from her Eastern-style crouch on the floor, reaching to
take the book from Simon’s hands.
“I’ll do some more reading in study hall.”
Simon tensed releasing the book, visibly forcing himself to relax.
“Be careful with this Mial. This isn’t information that should ever
fall into the wrong hands.”
Mial’s eyes narrowed, and she frowned.
“I know Simon. I forgot a few details. It doesn’t make me a
They made their way from the Green house then, beyond the
thicket that separated fantasy from reality, creeping stealthily back to
their rooms. Mial by climbing a tree quietly as she could manage,
leading up to her window. Simon by gingerly opening the basement
door, and creeping to his room wall by wall, until the coast was
certainly clear, and he could slip into his room, unseen.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
According to an article on Publetariat, yes:
"Why Google Book Search Is A GOOD Thing For Indies
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Google Book Search lately. Mainstream publishers and authors are variously confused, angry or nervous about GBS, but for indie authors and small imprints, it’s all good.
What’s This All About, Then?
Google Book Search is a tool from Google that searches the full text of books that Google scans, converts to text using optical character recognition, and stores in its digital database. The service was formerly known as Google Print when it was introduced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2004. When relevant to a user's keyword search, up to three results from the Google Book Search index are displayed above search results in the Google Web Search service (google.com).
A user may also search just for books at the dedicated Google Book Search service. Clicking a result from Google Book Search opens an interface in which the user may view pages from the book as well as content-related advertisements and links to the publisher's website and booksellers. Through a variety of access limitations and security measures, some based on user-tracking, Google limits the number of viewable pages and attempts to prevent page printing and text copying of material under copyright."
2009, the year POD went mainstream
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Still readying Issue 7. Pardon the sparse posting. Your regularly scheduled programming will return relatively shortly.
Mos Def - Flowers
Mos Def - Flowers - The Ecstatic avail 6/9/09
Zion-I- Geek to the beat
Zion I "Geek To The Beat" from Okayplayer on Vimeo.
Current.com interviews Aloe Blacc
BDK 'A Big Daddy Kane Documentary
Friday, April 10, 2009
Inspired Sis' innerverse is a beautiful one.
In the meantime check her offerings in issue#7,
due to arrive via. pdf on 4/24
(We've found a new printer, so the print issue will be following shortly after that).
Japanese Cartoon- Army
Jesse Boykins III- Pantyhose
I don't know how I missed this one, but I did.
Enjoy the ether splendor.
Otto Fischer- Lilac
Find more videos like this on URB ALT
Candy Acid Reign- Life's a beach on a gloomy day
We'll be sharing a Q&A with Miss Ladessa Sullivan in a moment. For now enjoy her mesmerizing speed painting.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Earlier on twitter:
*screams!* The Maji Omnibus is book of the month at BlackScienceFictionSociety!!! http://is.gd/rGgC Couldn't be more humbled.
I hope all is bliss in your dimensions. A sistah in overjoyed on this end.
The Books of Zambarau Maji Omnibus has received the honor of being featured as Book of the month for The Black Science Fiction Society. I can't tell you how humbled and surprised I am. Had to make sure to share the joy with you. Blessings 'pon your works. Don't worry over glitches. There's always a silvery lining, and a purpose to what we do when it emerges from the heart.
Click the image above to visit the Black Science Fiction Society.
Shine your light.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Dr Mercola offers:
Want assurances from your pediatrician about vaccines? Here’s a form you can give them to fill out -- although there is no physician anywhere on earth who will sign it.
PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the form below, there is a web site VacLib.Org that has compiled information on Vaccine Exemption Forms and Information
Here are Links to Their Information
[AK] [AL] [AR] [AZ] [Australia] [Canada] [CA] [CO] [CT] [DC] [DE] [FL] [GA] [GUAM] [HI] [IA] [ID] [IL] [IN] [KS] [KY] [LA] [Maine] [MD] [Mass] [MI] [MN] [MO] [MS] [MT] [NC] [ND] [NE] [NH] [NJ] [NM] [NV] [NY] [New Zealand] [OH] [OK] [OR] [PA] [PUERTO_RICO] [RI] [SC] [SD] [TN] [TX] [UT] [VA] [VT] [WA] [WI] [WV] [WY]
Dr. Mercola offers the following form for your presentation to your physician:
Physician's Warranty of Vaccine Safety
I (Physician's name, degree)_________________________, _____ am a physician licensed to practice medicine in the State of ________________. My State license number is _______________ , and my DEA number is _______________. My medical specialty is ________________________
I have a thorough understanding of the risks and benefits of all the medications that I prescribe for or administer to my patients. In the case of (Patient"s name) ___________________________ , age _________ , whom I have examined, I find that certain risk factors exist that justify the recommended vaccinations. The following is a list of said risk factors and the vaccinations that will protect against them:
Risk Factor ____________________________________________
Risk Factor ____________________________________________
Risk Factor ____________________________________________
Risk Factor ____________________________________________
Risk Factor ____________________________________________
Risk Factor ____________________________________________
I am aware that vaccines typically contain many of the following fillers:
* aluminum hydroxide
* aluminum phosphate
* ammonium sulfate
* amphotericin B
* animal tissues: pig blood, horse blood, rabbit brain,
* dog kidney, monkey kidney,
* chick embryo, chicken egg, duck egg
* calf (bovine) serum
* fetal bovine serum
* human diploid cells (originating from human aborted fetal tissue)
* hydrolized gelatin
* mercury thimerosol (thimerosal, Merthiolate(r))
* monosodium glutamate (MSG)
* neomycin sulfate
* phenol red indicator
* phenoxyethanol (antifreeze)
* potassium diphosphate
* potassium monophosphate
* polymyxin B
* polysorbate 20
* polysorbate 80
* porcine (pig) pancreatic hydrolysate of casein
* residual MRC5 proteins
* VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells, and
* washed sheep red blood
and, hereby, warrant that these ingredients are safe for injection into the body of my patient. I have researched reports to the contrary, such as reports that mercury thimerosol causes severe neurological and immunological damage, and find that they are not credible.
I am aware that some vaccines have been found to have been contaminated with Simian Virus 40 (SV 40) and that SV 40 is causally linked by some researchers to non-Hodgkin"s lymphoma and mesotheliomas in humans as well as in experimental animals. I hereby warrant that the vaccines I employ in my practice do not contain SV 40 or any other live viruses. (Alternately, I hereby warrant that said SV-40 virus or other viruses pose no substantive risk to my patient.)
I hereby warrant that the vaccines I am recommending for the care of (Patient"s name) _______________ _______________________ do not contain any tissue from aborted human babies (also known as "fetuses").
In order to protect my patient"s well being, I have taken the following steps to guarantee that the vaccines I will use will contain no damaging contaminants.
STEPS TAKEN: ______________________________________________________
I have personally investigated the reports made to the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) and state that it is my professional opinion that the vaccines I am recommending are safe for administration to a child under the age of 5 years.
The bases for my opinion are itemized on Exhibit A , attached hereto, -- "Physician"s Bases for Professional Opinion of Vaccine Safety." (Please itemize each recommended vaccine separately along with the bases for arriving at the conclusion that the vaccine is safe for administration to a child under the age of 5 years.)
The professional journal articles I have relied upon in the issuance of this Physician"s Warranty of Vaccine Safety are itemized on Exhibit B , attached hereto, -- "Scientific Articles in Support of Physician"s Warranty of Vaccine Safety."
The professional journal articles that I have read which contain opinions adverse to my opinion are itemized on Exhibit C , attached hereto, -- "Scientific Articles Contrary to Physician"s Opinion of Vaccine Safety."
The reasons for my determining that the articles in Exhibit C were invalid are delineated in Attachment D , attached hereto, -- "Physician"s Reasons for Determining the Invalidity of Adverse Scientific Opinions."
I understand that 60 percent of patients who are vaccinated for Hepatitis B will lose detectable antibodies to Hepatitis B within 12 years. I understand that in 1996 only 54 cases of Hepatitis B were reported to the CDC in the 0-1 year age group. I understand that in the VAERS, there were 1,080 total reports of adverse reactions from Hepatitis B vaccine in 1996 in the 0-1 year age group, with 47 deaths reported.
I understand that 50 percent of patients who contract Hepatitis B develop no symptoms after exposure. I understand that 30 percent will develop only flu-like symptoms and will have lifetime immunity. I understand that 20 percent will develop the symptoms of the disease, but that 95 percent will fully recover and have lifetime immunity.
I understand that 5 percent of the patients who are exposed to Hepatitis B will become chronic carriers of the disease. I understand that 75 percent of the chronic carriers will live with an asymptomatic infection and that only 25 percent of the chronic carriers will develop chronic liver disease or liver cancer, 10-30 years after the acute infection.
The following scientific studies have been performed to demonstrate the safety of the Hepatitis B vaccine in children under the age of 5 years.
In addition to the recommended vaccinations as protections against the above cited risk factors, I have recommended other non-vaccine measures to protect the health of my patient and have enumerated said non-vaccine measures on Exhibit D , attached hereto, "Non-vaccine Measures to Protect Against Risk Factors."
I am issuing this Physician"s Warranty of Vaccine Safety in my professional capacity as the attending physician to (Patient"s name) ________________________________.
Regardless of the legal entity under which I normally practice medicine, I am issuing this statement in both my business and individual capacities and hereby waive any statutory, Common Law, Constitutional, UCC, international treaty, and any other legal immunities from liability lawsuits in the instant case.
I issue this document of my own free will after consultation with competent legal counsel whose name is _____________________________, an attorney admitted to the Bar in the State of __________________ .
__________________________________ (Name of Attending Physician)
__________________________________ L.S. (Signature of Attending Physician)
Signed on this _______ day of ______________ A.D. ________
Witness: _______________________________ Date: ______________________Notary Public: ___________________________ Date: ______________________
Thankyou Dr.Mercola for the intel.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The fantastical handling of the issues presented in Bayou have been so adeptly ethersmithed, the horror and beauty become one in a way that makes us look at our perceptions of the post-reconstruction era, and how the non-healing of the post traumatic stress/slave syndrome has effected the children of our community, who have often been children of PTSD sufferers
on down the line. Bayou is a breathtaking journey into the psyche of a child living the horrors of oppression in New Orleans.
Receiving much due acclaim, Zuda comics is releasing Bayou in
print, slating the release for June of this year. I'd sleep on a sidewalk at the bookstore waiting for this one.
I was alerted that her name doesn't come up in NCMEC: http://bit.ly/OvX
And apparently only two or three blogs (incl. UU) have posted this alert.
If this is a hoax it is a cruel one. Keep your eyes open for new alerts and details, and definitely feel free to drop info in the comments.
Found on RavenEye blog.
A worried father writes (4/6):
WILL YOU PLEASE HELP ME TO FIND MY DAUGHTER BY PASSING THIS ALONG TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. MY DAUGHTER, MARI’KEYANA H. FERRELL, HAS BEEN MISSING FOR THE PAST THREE, ALMOST FOUR DAYS. WE HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL CLUES, LEADS AND POSSIBILITIES - YOU MAY BE OUR ONLY HOPE. ATTACHED IS A PICTURE AND CONTACT INFO IF SHE IS SEEN. MY FAMILY IS BELIEVING GOD THAT SHE IS SAFE; HOWEVER, WE MAY ONLY BE ABLE TO REALIZE OUR BELIEF WITH THE HELP OF ONE OF YOU. IF YOU KNOW HER AND YOU SEE HER OR KNOW OF SOMEONE WHO HAS SPOKEN TO HER PLEASE TELL HER TO CALL HOME. IF SHE DOES NOT WANT TO COME HOME, THAT’S FINE, WE JUST NEED TO KNOW THAT OUR BABY GIRL IS SAFE AND SOUND. WE IMPLORE YOU ALL TO, IN ADDITION TO CALLING THE CONTACT NUMBERS LISTED ON THE FLYERS TO ENCOURAGE HER TO CALL 1 800 RUN AWAY, WHICH WILL GIVE HER ANY ASSISTANCE THAT SHE MAY NEED WITH SHELTER, CLOTHING AND FOOD AND THEY WILL ALSO ALLOW HER TO LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR US SO THAT WE KNOW THAT SHE IS SAFE. ALONG WITH ANY OTHER HELP THAT YOU MAY BE WILLING AND ABLE TO OFFER, WE ARE ESPECIALLY ACCEPTING OF YOUR PRAYERS. THANKING YOU ALL IN ADVANCE . . . . . . . . .
WORRIED FATHER, Raymond H. Tyner Jr
What you can do:
If see this child anywhere or are located in California, please contact the authorities with descriptions, cell phone pictures if possible, license plates, and as much information as you can give in general.
Please repost on your blogs.
If you have more information please share it in the comments.
Someone made reference to the Lakeesha Alert previously, not understanding the purpose of it. The Lakeesha alert was created in the Afrospear for children of color, not given the attention or even courtesy of Amber alerts, and national attention. You can click the Lakesha Alert image to download a .pdf organized by the Lakeesha alert creator. Spread the word.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Bassa Bassa girl is a bright star in the heavens of black consciousness. Emoting, and analyzing, pouring ethereal libation for the ancestors, dancing the carnaval rhythms of the mighty pen's dance against tree skin, she spins a world of vivid texture for us, helps us to remember to celebrate our beingness amidst its glory and the traps of despair hungering for the life that flows through our original roots. She graced our questions with answers recently in a Q&A. You can eavesdrop on the record of it, below *_^
‘Revolutionary Picture Book’ is the title of a pulp poem I created years ago. I posted an excerpt from it a few months ago on my blog, called ‘The Spirit of Betsy Gladness..’ It is essentially about an unexpectedly dangerous woman who should have never been f***** with. The style is loosely evocative of the pulp fictions of the 1940’s and 50’s.
Besides bearing an extraordinarily dope title, your blog opens a door into a very bright and magical place. Will there be chapbooks (fingers crossed), and other delights we can purchase to support your manifesting?
My first, self produced, hand bound book, ‘Revolutionary Picture Book’ is now available for sale on ETSY. It introduces the worlds and characters that populate my imagination. I have also put up some of my artwork for sale. Some images you will recognize from the blog, others I haven’t posted anywhere. You can check my store out here: http://bassabassaartstore.
Your art manages to brightly enchant while hiding none of the darkness in the history of the African-American experience. What are your strongest influeces in life and art? What inspires you most?
The mystery, beauty and legacy of my mother inspires me the most. When I reflect on the life she left behind and the things I’ve known about her and since her death have learned, I realize she is as much my muse, now, as she is my ‘Grain of Sand’ as William Blake described when he wrote, in his poem, “Auguries of Innocence,” –
‘to see the world in a grain of sand
and a heaven in a wild flower
hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour.’
Through examining my mother’s life and death, I examine the life and death of the world. What I mean is, she, as all of us, was/is connected to everyone and everything. With this perspective, I can illuminate, and excavate the ghosts of her colonial history and mine, the psychic fallout from the transatlantic slave trade, understand my woman-ness from an African, European, Native and American perspective – ancient and otherwise, etc. Consequently, I can understand people much better as I learn to understand her as a reflection of myself. To find everything contained in what appears to be a separate thing, or even a marginalized thing is what inspires me. This way, I never run out of ideas and the world truly feels like my family.
The Surrealist Movement in Art and literature also inspires me a great deal. It is the movement exemplified by Andre Breton in 1920’s. It emphasizes drawing on our most subtle faculties to create, or more aptly, allow art to happen. So instead of forcing the flow, we catch it, allow it, then transcribe it. What I appreciate the most about this movement is that it celebrates, through the organization of these ideas, the dream life we largely ignore . A surrealist approach opens wide the portal into other worlds, other insights, other realities if we surrender to them. Through it, we learn to sidestep and overwhelm the intellect, and give up censoring ourselves which is instrumental in reclaiming and exercising our unfettered imaginations.
I love the work of Jean Toomer, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Zora Neale Hurston, Gayl Jones, Bruno Schulz, Romare Bearden, Kara Walker, Aime Cesaire, Jean Rhys, Dave Mckean, Chris Ofili and many others.
Do the characters and places you birth urge you from within to have their stories told, or is your process something you consider reinterpretive?
Many of the characters and places I birth do urge me from within. I always venture inside myself, first, to see what wants to gain outward form and then I work in conjunction with the spirit of the story, poem, and characters to develop something fresh and new. Most of the work I create comes from collaborations with my deepest self. I never intended to work this way or even thought it was a way to be creative, but it works for me.
Your poetry is as luxuriously visual, mightily messaged and revolutionary as your images. Would you grace us with one of your favorite pieces?
With pleasure. I wrote this piece several years ago.
in the early nineties there was a jungle in our heads
you were like a negro
when you brought me with my marooned cheeks
and plantation eyes
to Dominicans in Spanish Harlem to straighten my hair.
You were like my family
beautiful, a broken, broken spirit
ripped apart in the jungles of Guyana
by the predatory hunger of human beasts.
I could never remember clearly when or where I had been broken
but when you told me,
I recalled being broken in two
and frequently haunted by the memory of their being another me.
We, the descendants of unhappy Caribbean expatriates,
grew restless, nomadic and masked,
inheriting nostalgia for nothing.
You got pregnant early when your skirt blew over your head
and I was going to be the world famous movie star,
pregnant with nothing really tangible
except when my fingers tried on many occasions
to pull out my hair-
believing that what was in and on my head was a mess.
In the otherworld of that salon we found uncertain sanctuary
in the language barrier,
because they always laughed in cryptic Spanish, of course
like that last time when I tipped my flimsy tostón cap to you and them
on my way out the door to find a language I could understand
inside the mystery of every shade of man
devastated enough to sink into the lovely poison they will always say is me.
I am not over myself.
Marilyn, there will be many other Midnight Marilyns
who never speak to each other
preferring to hide in a language
that they don’t have to understand,
straightening out kinks in their heads
to live lives filled with continuous dyeing,
straightening, coiling up, coming apart.
We are still in the jungle, Marilyn
decked out in tostón hats,
tipping them to each other
speaking in broken hearted English
the language native to lying, deceiving and decadent tongues.
You were my Midnight Norma Jean
as invisibly gorgeous,
regal and dead inside as you were,
we were, we are,
we would be world famous for our invisibility.
Spanish Harlem became our middle ground and we hid there
amongst other victims of cultural thieves
safe, as long as we straightened our hair
and swallowed the stiff, uncomfortable language in our mouths.
Have we really come a long way?
I’ve never disentangled my hair,
I’ve only sat in front of you
on dusty curbs and steps,
You a little older and bigger
behind you a big jar of grease
and not knowing that we don’t know how not to get caught up
in the jungles that we run from
and try to tame
with your big sister hands
inside the confusion of my hair.
What can we expect to emerge from your mindgarden moving into the future? Is there anything we haven't covered that you'd like to share?
I am currently at work on my first novel, which merges the poverty, creativity and desperation of a young woman growing up in the Bronx in the 1980’s with the dreams, decadence and deceit of actors and performers of the silent film era. It’s Hip-Hop meets Expressionism. ‘The Violent Beauty of Urda Louise,’ is the first Book of this novel. The hand bound version will contain several full page illustrations. In addition to this, I will continue to develop work and post it on my blog, and make words and images available for sale in hard copy form, through ETSY, independent art/bookstores and on the street.
A few of my favorite poems from Bassa Bassa girl's pen are The dignity of statues, The memory of clown soldiers, Headdress and crown for the daughter of the dead immigrant.