The Story of Brooklyn


Yesterday evening while sitting at my dinette table doing some article editing and journal reading, my 18 year old daughter walked in the door with tears in her eyes. There was nothing unusual about her timing, so I initially didn’t look up from my computer. My chic Dior reading glasses sat at the top of my head and the wine glass of Riesling was collecting condensation around the circular bottom. She walked in quietly at first but when the sound of her multiple key chains slammed against the cherry wood, I rose my head in an angered frenzy, only to see the first of six more tears that would follow. I counted them. Whenever she cries in front of me, oddly enough, as much as I can, I count the tears that fall. It becomes my mission to create a world where each time she has a sad cry, it contains less and less of her pain. By the sixth, my eyes had filled with large droplets and I lost track of the extent of her hurt. Before I could ask what was wrong, she had sat down, veered off into space, blinked and said “he got me pregnant on purpose.”

The crackle in the creation of the that statement stunned my soul to a point where my body naturally reached out to the wine glass nearby, but my frozen stance never allowed my head to turn. The glass of course was knocked over. My laptop was spared but wine spread across the infinite possibilities of the table and dove off over its edge. I didn’t move to wipe it. The emergency logic inside of me kicked in and transferred the laptop to a footstool nearby. Only moments before she walked in had I moved it to the side of my chair for what seemed like absolutely no reason.

I cleared my throat.

She turned and looked at me like she was disappointed in me for not being able to prevent this. My beautiful Brooklyn. I had named her that because of a prior conversation about baby names with friends who had deemed it a “white people’s” name. I laughed at it and vowed to name my first born Brooklyn. She was born shortly after my sixteenth birthday and when they first put her in my arms, she looked at me and tried to smile. She knew me. And I was terrified of her. I spent the rest of my school years determined to beat the odds. I took college classes in the evening, but dropped out due to funding and sitter issues. Eventually I went back and earned a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. I’ve worked as a probation officer for the last six years and have become the one everyone wants to get but no one wants to assign. I’m hard on the kids in a good way. I make them write their feelings as part of probation. They must keep journals and they have assignments based on their situations that are as required as a clean drop. I make them aware of the possibilities of change. I also run a small column in a free paper. As we sat at the dining table with space and silence between us, my next tear fell hard and fast on a stack of papers that had my newest work on it. This was real life. This wasn’t writing or a probation hearing. I had less to time to come up with a response and anything I said couldn’t be deleted. I could tell she wanted me to say something. I mean, shouldn’t I know what to say. I had two pregnant teens younger than her on my count and besides that, I am known for having good answers. But in this moment..i had nothing.

As determined as I was to be successful, I meant the same thing for Brooklyn. I pushed her in school, enrolled her in arts programs and created an outlet to speak within the confines of our relationship. We sort of grew up together by accident but I was still the authority. I played it well. She was a great honor roll student and as she neared the ending of her high school career, she being scouted by a few colleges that wanted her artistic drawing skills. Yes, she was a drawer and a painter. She had an eye that could capture the slightest wrinkle in ones cheek down to a missing hair on a mouse’s tail. It was an unbelievable but undeniable talent. She was planning for school in New York. She said she loved that city and blamed me because I named her Brooklyn. It was amazing how drawn she was to a place that she’d never been but I counted it as teenage lust for emancipation and supported her desire to seek schooling there, although the city scared me. I had been once for a newspaper writing seminar and hated it.

It was too much bustle and loud noise for me. And how does one sleep there or think there or keep themselves safe? I’m no one’s prude and still love a good time but New York is just scary. I’m much more of a tropical, calming, quiet gal myself.

All these thoughts started scattering thru my head at once. What about school? Why did he do it on purpose? Who is it ?????!!!!! The last I knew, she wasn’t dating anyone anymore. Her most recent boyfriend of the two I had given my blessing on was terminated for breach of contract nearly 6 months ago. His name was Terrance and his faithful gene was still growing.

The other moved to California with his parents as they were both in the military. I had never had much of a problem out of her with boys even though her father was a lost cause. The last I heard from him, he was on his way over with a sack of diapers and a new car seat when she was six months old. I’ve actually seen him on Facebook but I’ve never reached out. For what? She knows all about him and I’ve never talked bad about him to her. She has seen his Facebook as well and consciously decided she was in no interest to meet him now. But for me, in this moment, I was suddenly angered at the fact that he wasn’t here to conjure up the words that were still formulating one slow letter at a time in my head.

While it seemed like an hour had passed between us, it had probably only been two minutes before I snapped out of my trance. Standing to grab napkins and clean my wood table before it stained permanently, I couldn’t help but pour me another glass and take a sip before I’d be willing to back whatever else came out next.

I mustered up,“First of all, who is he and why would he have done it on purpose”?

By this time her face was buried in her hands like she used to do when she was a kid. I smiled thru my tears at the memory while she wasn’t looking.

“Momma, I started sleeping with Terrance”, she said thru her fingers.

“We started talking a few months back and I knew you wouldn’t be happy because of how we had broken up. I was tutoring his sister and that’s how it started.”

I didn’t say anything. I just let her talk and sipped my wine slowly, savoring each flavor as if pieces of my sanity were going with them down the hatch.

“I know you are thinking why didn’t we use condoms, but ma, we both went to the clinic and got tested together and were both clean.”

Great! Now teenagers just go on clinic dates to determine raw sexual encounters. Somehow I felt like I should feel lucky but I couldn’t get past the numbness.

“I told him I got accepted at the Arts Institute of NY.”

Hmm, more info she neglected to tell me. Sip six kills the glass and another is poured.

He kept telling me he was gonna get me pregnant so I wouldn’t go to NY, but I thought he was just joking. He knows how bad I want to go to THAT school!, she yelled.”

She slammed her wet fists down on the table hard enough to make her keys bounce upwards and yelled “Momma, he got me pregnant on purpose!!! This nigga did it on purpose and I know it !”

The next question was the one I knew was coming. The question I knew she was sure I’d have the perfect answer to, just like I do with my probation kids. I was hoping thru my lightweight Riesling buzz that she would not ask me, at least not right now. But I knew in my gut that she would. I would if I were her.

Hell I did. And just like my mom, back when Brooklyn was nothing more than multiplying cells, I was clueless as to the answer.

“What am I supposed to do now”, she asked softly?

She looked at me and threw the tears off her face in a hand-rage. We stared at each other, eye to eye in silence and equally confused.

She waited for the answer.
I waited for its appearance. But all I could do was lean over, grab the bottle and drink straight from it. Tears hit the neck right above where my grip. When I sat it down on the table I looked up and she was still staring at me. Her eyes told me that she was ok with my initial response but that she was muted until I had some concrete input.

My brain did a quick-scan of a multitude of events. The election and how women’s rights are being challenged. I thought of how I grew up and what little I knew about loving myself, my body and especially my choices. Most of all, I thought of the women I am today and the young women I had spent the last 18 years raising. Then I took another sip and said, “Brooklyn, in life we have regrets. Many of them are avoidable if we simply take time to think our actions thru. What is happening in your life right now is out of my control, but not out of yours. Take some real time, alone time, and weigh all of your options AND their potential repercussions. What can you make work and how? What do you want and why? Ask yourself real questions and give yourself real answers. When you figure it out something, even if its multiple choices, come back and talk to me about what you think. But in this raw emotion of it all, do not do anything except breathe and search within.”

Her shoulders fell back and she slumped in the chair like I said just what she needed to hear. Still in silence, she got up and pushed the chair in.

“I’m gonna take a shower and lay down mom. I have to study for midterms before bed.”

She walked off. I picked up my laptop and went back to work as the showerhead turned on full blast. The topic of my story: Women Who Have Abortions & The Children They Never Stop Thinking About.


When Love Hurts: The Neck Pain Edition


This morning (and all thru the night), I awoke to THE WORST pain in my neck….ever!!!!! It ventures from the entire right side of my neck, down into my back and spread across my right shoulder…..it’s a heavy pain….

the type of pain that makes me want to just throw my head over and look down all day…I am about to set sail on a venture of meetings and grab a heating pad in the process, but when I say I am in pain, I mean I am in PAIN!  I can’t hardly turn…I was supposed to go sledding today Sad smile  Which really pisses me off…it woke me up several times all night, so I lightweight expected it this morning, but this pain is such that it hurts to sit up from laying down. My bed is too soft….its still brand new, but its too soft….and last night, Houston we hit a plateau …. geeez…..

when I tried to reason with myself on whether or not I have ever felt such a hefty dosage of intrusion on one’s ability to keep their head up and even swallow, it reminded me of 7th Grade….

Her name was Leona Love…..and my life was settling into the movie script it has been known to be. 

The stuff that happens to me should never happen outside of a movie…my life has been known to take cues from the 80’s movie “Better Off Dead”. ….stuff that makes me say “why is this even happening or better yet, HOW did this come to happen??” 

Back to seventh grade and Leona Love….I still remember her name….she a very dark skinned girl with short hair that wasn’t considered “cute" or “good”. ….she was picked on and bullied about her looks.  …..we started off cool….I think she was either in a foster home or adopted….I can’t remember much about her full situation…..my recollection, inspired by the pain in my neck/back that I am suffering from as I type, is about that day in the lunchroom…

Shortridge Junior High…..we were probably 12/13 years old….

….The movie that this will begin to parallel (and ultimately drift off into its own) is called “3 O'clock High” …..another 80’s movie (I think…maybe 90’s)….

it was about a bully and a “wimpy” guy that almost accidentally ended up fighting him…..with the whole school waiting for 3 (the time of the fight) to watch….it was one of my favorite movies…..back to that day in the cafeteria….

Leona wasn’t a “big” girl, but she was not small and she was a couple sizes bigger than me and taller than me as well…I don’t remember how our argument started….I just remember us being at our circular tables in the lunchroom, cussing and it getting louder and louder…..

I think I may have said something about her and she heard me…and challenged me to say it again…..I remember yelling at her about having roaches…..I remember the whole side of the cafeteria listening and egging us on, until someone suggested we fight…..I don’t think either of us were prepared for that…..on her end, I think she was tired of being bullied and that day wasn’t the day to fuck with her…..on my end, I think I was talking because other people were and was the only person she heard….I had to stand my ground, but I wasn’t prepared to fight…..I had never even been in one….

Both of our pre-teen brains probably were thinking nooooo, not a fight, as remember, we were once cool….only days prior….but the peer pressure was in effect…..too many witnesses were around and whoever backed off first would look like the punk…..we were both in seventh grade, trying not to feel like the small fish in a big pond to the eighth grade know-it-alls…..

and just like that, a fight was scheduled……3 O'clock (just like the movie) and in the empty parking lot across the street from the school so that, as suggested by others nearby, we wouldn’t get suspended because we wouldn’t be on school property…….

and just like the movie, the hours zoomed by….before I knew it, the school bell was ringing and I was needing to make a decision about whether to get on the bus or go to the lot…..that lot was full of broken glass and gravel (now it houses an apt bldg) …..I didn’t want to fight her…..as time drew near, I wanted to call a truce but I cant remember what techniques I tried and failed at…..as the ending result reminds of how I feel right now…..

I went to the lot….I grabbed big rocks, small rocks…..all kinds of rocks to throw at her….I put together a blueprint in my mind that if I hit her with a rock, I could knock her down and stomp on her…..then run…..what I didn’t put in my head was how many people were coming to watch this fight…..the movie is in full force at this point….it was like the entire school was there…..in my head, I can see them all marching from Shortridge over to that middle sized rock where I stood awaiting my fate….some of my friends came over there and urged me to walk away….but it was tooooo many people standing around……finally, she showed up…..it was us in the circle……

yelling and cussing at each other endlessly as the crowd circling us got more and more rowdy…..someone said fight already…..we pushed each other around for a bit, clearly not wanting to fight each other but both too far in middle to turn back…..eventually, someone put sticks on our shoulder…..

then people started pushing us into each other…..

this went on for awhile and eventually, the pushing from other people worked and we started fighting…..we slung fists and grabbed hair while the crowd yelled and screamed….

and then

I fell……bad bad baaaaad thing….I would have much rather have knocked her out with the rocks that I ultimately tossed out of my pocket….while I was down, about to stand back up, instead of jumping on me and taking advantage of the situation…

she used her weight advantage to her gain…..

and she grabbed me and sat on me.


She sat, her entire body and weight, on my neck.

there I was, defeated, embarrassed and crying….in pain…..the ultimate loser of the fight but worst than that, I had no one helping to get this heifa off of me…..I couldn’t push her off me….

she was simply too heavy….I sat, bent over, for what seemed like forever, while the crowd watched until someone finally got her off of me

or maybe she  got tired of sitting and got up on her own….

my memories of Leona Love pretty much end after that….

I walked home, with my best friend at the time, Shakira, crying and in pain….my neck felt like all it could do was slump forward….I didn’t think it would ever get right

I didn’t ever expect to get over this fight…..or the embarrassment….I dreaded going back to school…..this isn't how the movie ended….in the movie, the wimpy person wins…I lost….

and I was hurt…..

and my neck today

feels like that day…..I have not felt this pain since then, but instantly was reminded of it when I gauged the levels of pain…..this is that LeonaPain……that NeckSit Shit…When Love Hurts Pain…..it HURTS……a lot….and it did that day…..

when I was a 7th grader at Shortridge….and accidentally wound up fighting Leona in the parking lot across the street….and….got sat on …

but soon

just like then

I’ll stand again. 





“They Say All Poets Must Have Unrequited Love”


imagesI have always had a problem with letting go.  I’m like an “emotional hoarder”, so to speak.  Without going into my psycho-analysis as to why in almost 34 years, I have not completely mastered letting go of people and things until recently, I will say my learned trait was to hold on. 

To sink together until there was nothing left to bridge.

To ride it until the wheels fall off and crumble like broken Flintstone tires…..

letting go has never been something I was a master at. Then there was us.

We met when I was 12.  I spoke briefly of him in my last blog….his name is Devon.  From 12 until 17, we had a love/hate relationship.  He used me for sex (a lil after 12 tho) and I used him for the those brief moments of “he really likes me’’ that only existed as long as our trip to the alley did.  Ironically, we had sex in his car, in the garage that is in my backyard.  Yes…..I now live in the house that we used to mess around in back of.  Interesting concept.

Moving along quickly, we got into a relationship that was no better than our “faulty friendship” but I learned just how far I was willing to go for love and just how much I wouldn’t let go…..the things that happened between us built the foundation for my life right now….so much happened that I could never just discuss in a blog.  If that part of my life is meant to be shared, either another poem will come along to give it reason or perhaps it will make it to the book.  Either way, I won’t bother going thru all the things we went thru.  A lie I told him when I was 17, in hopes of making him believe that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE REALLY liked me and wanted to be with me, would come back to haunt me in our relationship and go on to create some life changing decisions that I would not find out about until many years later.  I told a lie that became the reason why today I am not a mother.  And that is a hard pill to swallow.  It has been a bitter pill to swallow.

Our relationship ended after we moved in together and created a baby.  He was not willing to give me the love I needed from him.  It was that same damn love I searched for in his 16 year old eyes when I was 14 and behind the house with him.  No matter how much we laughed and played house with each other, I couldn’t get him to open up to me….to share with me…..to BE with me…..so for once, I broke it off.. ….it will go down in history as one of the few times I knew how to let go.  Or did it……

I never really did let go.  For the next eight years, we would be off and on with each other, with him now in pursuit of reciprocity of affection.  But I couldn’t give it to him…..I was scarred, scorned, hurt and just shy of disfigured (not from fighting….we didn’t do that)……he had left me out in the cold one too many times for me to be able to access the love I still had for him deep within my heart.  But I give him credit…..he kept trying.  Our child together didn’t last.

And he was crushed.  One night, he begged me to come over….at the time, I was refusing to see him…..he offered me 1400 dollars to come over and listen to him vent to me and  then I could leave. No strings attached.  I fell for it.  Went over, sat on his couch and listened to him crying and hurting across the couch from me.  It hurt me back.  But I pushed those feelings deep down and didn’t let so much as an eyelash fall.  After he was done, I left….1400 richer, in the car he bought for me prior to.  I took that money and bought two of the baddest couches in VCF.  When I first saw them, I fell in love with them instantly.  They were large, plush, comfy and rich looking….the design on them was beautiful, the color was neutral and I just kept coming back to them no matter what other aisle I went to in the store. 

Those couches became my refuge.  Ironically, they would go on to host Devon’s sitting ass many many times afterwards.  No matter what relationship I was in or he was in, somehow we made it back to each other, in attempts to hold onto a friendship that had somehow blossomed over the years….but our friendship always drifted into sexual advances or “love” advances, the latter I was not interested in.  Our friendship didn’t work.  These couches also hosted Randy’s ass.  A detrimental relationship that almost led to the death of me.  His friend Paul, who I still see, sat on them.  So did my ex-roommate (who would go on to sleeping with randy).  The couches survived a shitload of people who absolutely meant me no good.

But Devon was the silent purchaser.  These couches were purchased on the grave of my unborn.  They stayed thru the demise, rise and the final burial of my relationship and any possible friendship with Devon.  We do not speak to each other and haven’t for almost 3 years now. This is the longest it has ever been.  He finally got over me.  He finally stopped pursuing me.  He got married, he started his own family.  Our unborn is not even a memory anymore, which I can’t say much. I don’t sit around thinking about it and I’m not gonna answer the burning question a potential reader of this blog may have (what happened to the baby). Draw your own conclusion. * shrug * But these couches are still here.

Still connecting me to a portion of my life I don’t want to live in anymore. Finally. The last of the ghosts of ex-boyfriends past is being thrown out without so much as a chair replacement. 

These couches, purchased with a mixture of emotions of hurt, hate, disappointment and love, have finally met the end of the road.  I had high hopes to get them out quickly and painlessly.  I contacted ppl who for one reason or another were not able to assist me.  Its like I woke up, looked at them and made a split second decision that I no longer wanted Devon (or randy or the roommate) living with me.  I no longer wanted to live with the child that did not make it here. I no longer wanted to leave these pillows in here.  I just want to let go.  Almost a resurrection of me and destroying of my prior world.  Devon has moved on.  Though we live across the street from each other and tend to come outside at the same time often, we don’t speak or acknowledge each other.  I see his wife every morning when she takes their five year old to school. But when I walk in and see these couches, sometimes, not always, but sometimes, I am nauseated by it. 

By the memory of it all.

Plus they are old.  They are dirty. The dogs have chewed them.  In every possible way, God has directed me to let go of them.  And still I have maintained the love for their comfort.  How great it is to sleep on them. And it used to be.  But its over.  Time is up. The sleep is no longer peaceful and they aren’t rich and comfy looking any more.  The springs make noise and the pillows don’t sit right anymore.  When I lived in what used to be called The Summit, a high rise on Meridian, I stayed on the 15th floor.  The only way to get moved in is to use the freight elevator.  My couches were so big, that I was only able to fit the loveseat in my apt for 2 years (until I moved out).  You would have just had to see the tears in my eyes when we realized there was nothing we could do to get that couch on that freight elevator and no one was willing to walk fifteen flights plus one of stairs with a heavy ass LARGE couch.  The couch spent the next two years in my mothers garage.  Our reunion was a simple day of blessings.  That was five years ago.

Today, the couch that once would not fit on the freight, is now sitting on my porch looking pathetic.  It feels like a circus.  The couch has been there for a lil over 2 weeks…I initially moved it to the porch on the first day I thought I had some help getting  rid of it.  At this point, it has been snowed on and probably rained on.  There is absolutely no chance for recovery at this point.  The couch is not salvageable.  Its over for it.  Its sad.  I hate coming home and seeing it still sitting there….partly because of how ghetto it looks and partly because of all the memories associated with it. It’s a sad final end to what a plethora of love, pain and strange things. 

I don’t know when I will get it moved.  The snow makes it inconvenient to get it to the curb and hope the trashman will take it with him and its like finding a man with a truck in Indianapolis is the one thing I don’t qualify for…..if I was still stripping, I bet I could find some help, quick and easy.   Lol but its all good.  Looking at my porch, there is not just a couch sitting there.

There is a lifetime there.  The pillows are wet and about to mildewed and funky smelling and the cost to get someone to come pick it up is $200 0_o   Idk how this couch will get moved or why its so difficult to get rid of it, but when the loveseat goes, I pray to God that I don’t have this same problem.  Either way, at the end of it all, I am moving beyond this couch.

I don’t know when I will replace them.  I don’t know if I even will.  I’m no longer hosting parties and shit as I have realized a lot about myself, people and my need for whole acceptance.  The result doesn’t include a lot of company ! LOL…..but the one thing I DO know ……is when this couch is carried away to where ever dead couches go, I will not miss it.

I will not mourn it.  For the mourning is in effect every fucking time I pull up outside and its sitting on my porch looking ridiculous.  But the letting go…..

The letting go, which I have done a bit of this year, is abundant.

I am letting go ……

…..of more than a couch.  I am letting go of a child…..a first love…..a friendship…..a relationship……a decision….a thought…..a memory…..a moment in time….

I am letting go of all of us….I am the only one likely still stuck in this strange twilight zone of emotional contempt.

but I’m finally, at nearly 34, becoming more of ME.  As I sit here listening to one of my favorite songs, Terrance Trent D’arby’s “Holding on to You”, I am challenged by this line in the song….

“ they say all poets must have an unrequited love” ……

these couches are the product of unrequited love….from them to me and from me to them…..no one is blameless here. But its time to bury the remains of the death of alluhdis. Winking smile

Thank you Devon………thank you Randy…..thanks Frenchy….and any/all in between….and thank you to whom ever is the person designed to take this couch out of my life for the last time.


to the child who’s death would inadvertently become the reason I had brand new furniture…

…I hope you know my name, if I see you heaven.


Turning Tables, Kicked Chairs & Love in 2012



My oh my

how the table has changed

chairs once thought to be permanently occupied have made a bee line to not only being kicked away, but tossed out with the rest of Wednesday’s garbage….

oh what tangled webs we weave……………..

my mom recently told me “all my friends leave me”……now, I am not quite sure what she meant by saying this, but I know how I interpreted….and in addition to that, I know for a fact, better than anyone, how many quote/unquote “friends”, have come and gone….

…as well as who’s decision it has been…..

in my life, people have consistently come and gone….I’ve always searched for something…..something in someone and I’ve never really been sure, until this year, what it was I was searching for inside of people…..but it was something that I was missing….and needing….and yearning….deeply…..so inherently that I couldn’t even see that the desire was as strong as it really was……

it turned out to be as simple as “love”….

I’ve been looking for love….and not in any pre-determined fashion….not in a certain type of relationship; just love….just unadulterated and pure love….respectful love….and in search of it, I have gone thru quite a few relationships, some failures and lessons learned, some regretful and some beautiful…..all have become the genetics that make up the woman that I am on this day….

33 years ago today, I was a fetus preparing for the final descent and the last days inside of my mother’s womb. …..10 years ago today, I had a tiny fetus growing within my boundaries and had recently ditched the father…..I was also a stripper, at the time at Pure Passion……today, as I type this blog and try to get ready for Christmas dinner with my mom, who up until last night, I had not verbally spoke with since the day before Thanksgiving, I am a successful writer, performing poet and host……I almost put ‘mildy’ in front of successful, but this year, I have learned that I no longer have to “define” what my successes are to people….

I know longer have to downplay, what to me, is a great accomplishment….I own my own vision board and how dare I operate off of anyone else’s ……but I digress….

today…..even though I live with the plethora of bad decisions, false loves, failed friendships and broken love patterns of yesterdays, I stand before this laptop unapologetically proud of who I am and how far I have come…..

but do people leave me ??? I don’t really think so….I think I get tired of accepting love, in teaspoon form, from the any bodies of the world that are willing to give me an eighth in return for a whole….I have accepted strange love….wrong love….abusive love….partial love…..fake and faux love….

and this year……I got tired of it …..

I grew up on shaky love grounds…..friendships formed didn’t last because of things I was doing and not being held accountable for….I had to literally grow myself into who I am  today….which is why I do not stand before anyone, better than thou, because I know all I have been…..I know all I have done and the things I’ve had a hand in……and again, I know I am a success story…..

but I also know I have waited and baited love….taken what ever I could get in the name of saying I had a slice of the love pie……I have had two girlfriends…..and my sexuality has never required defining…..I love men……having experienced the trials of girlfriends, I’ve always known that was something I could not deal with…period. …..but men…..men and I, are a lot like Love…..I look to them to give me that love…..well I used to….. * shrug  *  I learned the hard way a thousand times…my girlfriends, were my friends…..they were two women that I genuinely “loved” in the natural sense…..I really believed in US, but not the gf/gf us…just the friendship……one of the ladies really hurt me …..in a friendship way……

and we were never the same……I think I hurt the other girl….in a girlfriend way….and our friendship was never the same…..it was nothing high profile…it was my personal business….but I share this with you because this year, it seems as though my sexuality has become a platform for private discussions…..I tell you, you’re nobody till somebody kills you, but while you alive, you’re all they want to talk about….lol…. but back to love….

…I had an affair when I was 20/21….a long affair….nothing like TV…..I never reaped a benefit bigger than his dick, but I think somewhere in that selfish relationship we were pretending to be in, we both had real feelings for each other…I believe we “believed” we were in love….but what did that lead to ??? Nothing but a shitload of Karma Pie Eating on my part…..my love life was fucked up for the remainder of my twenties after that…..


anyway…..friendship is something that I have longed for almost as much as love…I didn’t necessary want to be either of the women’s girlfriends….but I did want their friendship….for no real reason other than it as sorta being offered…..I don’t know why (or maybe I do) my life long chase has been love, friendship and boys but that is the story of my life…..I have probably been to easy to befriend people and open up my home and/or my life to them….and in this chase, I have loved and let go of a lot of all the above….except the love…

I became a faux-stepmom for a few years of my life….to a little girl that needed SOMEBODY….I came across pictures of us….pictures of an event at the Walker held due in part to her honor…..I thought about her….I still miss her and love her so much that I had to completely close off the part of me that exists to love her….her name is Jasmine….and she just turned 17……his name was Randy….and he was the love I never saw coming that gave me a helluva ride thru hell and back….and still, as he sits in prison for the rest of his life for charges unrelated to me (thank God), I still accept his calls….when he calls.

the love never leaves….

I have experienced the breakdown of friendships….the heartbreak of relationships gone awry…..the suffering of Love not being what I wanted and/or needed it to be…..and today….I stand before this laptop, a success story…

still….after a lifetime of fast time and accidental clinging, I finally perfected the art of letting go…..not to a T, but …..much better than before…..I let go this year…. a lot….mostly because I am exhausted….I’m tired of questioning whether or not I have the right to feel fucked up when folks do fucked up shit…..whenever I do something, I’m called out on it….as being fucked up…..but when I’m the observer and reaper, I usually remain mum…..I’ve learned this year to count people out when they are out….its ok…..it doesn’t matter if you are related to them or not….or how many years you’ve known each other…or what your history is….letting go is apart of growing up, healing and many other healthy emotions…..so I loosened my grip….

I kicked chairs away…..

I walked away…..I stopped accepting what I didn’t want in the name of Love….both mentally and physically….emotionally….

from some of it, came better results but from most came nothing……sometimes it the “nothing” that hurts the most….but this year….I am a success story….

because whatever the most is, I am ready for…..having a “nothing” response, used to lead me back just to erase that ill-feeling of “so I don’t even matter”…..but today, I know I do matter…..just enough for myself…

I have allowed too much, I have been blamed  too much, I have been quiet more than I wanted to….I have not followed my instincts or done what I wanted to do in the name of being a good person….or in the name of Love….or somehow “respect” …but today, as I sit in my house which is in the center of my life’s personal fuckin Matrix War Zone, I realize that I am being challenged to grow….to confront the whatevers of life….to be constantly reminded that no matter what happens, or where life places you, you have to live with and within the results of your actions….you have to live with your choices and decisions…..

your chess moves are yours to deal with….today I will see and talk to my mom for the first time in over 30 days….I will be inside of her house for the first time since ….idk spring ? I am REALLY uncomfortable in there, but that’s another story….I live next door to her…

ten years ago today…..I was a pregnant, sick and angry young woman with a broken heart…..I was battling love….I was living with unconditional and had just removed the conditions…..when I kicked him out, he tried everything to get back in….

ten years later, I live across the street from him, his wife and their broad…… the latter was probably childish to say as such 0_o …I have been caught up in car ménage trois with them that have left me virtually shaking in confusion….what I am I feeling and why ??? Its not about wanting him….its not that…its something else…..its …..anger. 

I still have a lot of “something” there…..and I need to dump it before years end….maybe all this filler flower dumping has been leading up to me letting the last of this go…..but that’s another story, another book….

I am  success……

and I don’t need or really want anyone else to validate that for me…..I validate my own successful tickets….I know what I overcome, what I beat out, what odds I make it against….I know what I’m trying to do and how that’s working for me so far….I know who I am….who I want to be and who I am dying to become….my soul and spirit are very rich…..plentiful….I have memories that can’t be changed….good times that I still roll on and laughter that lives within my home that given the right moment, I remember how dope it was….

the table has changed…..but it always does…not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever….we meet people, we love people and people move on….

people have moved on…..lives have been touched for the  time they were supposed to kindle together…..we have shared tea, traded war stories and got the best of inside jokes…..I will always remember us during moments where no one else would get it……we’ve moved on…..

no mom, my friends don’t “leave me”. ….

I think we just don’t stop growing….and sometimes, it leads us in different directions…..

may the rumors continue, the stories get bigger and the back stabbing stop hurting…..for that is the way of the world…

.but for those who I am no longer in direct contact with, may this blog reach the layers of your heart that share the same sentiments….both family and friends…..we have shared great times…..

and I will never forget them….cheers to having met….cheers to the times we shared tables…..

and cheers to 2012….for we all know it was time for me to stop allowing love to trample all over me just because I want it so……so I did……

I am successful at that, if nothing else in the world. 


0_o Part 1 of idk how many…..



How far will I go to be in New York City??


Let me start by saying I HATE buses.  I once road the Greyhound all the way to New Orleans.  The 24 hour ride was so brutal that we caught a ride back home.  I hate buses.  It’s a means to travel that is BOTTOM on my list of ways to get around.  The last time I road the Metro in Indy (not including Super bowl) was in 1999, of which my bus driver pulled us over, got off the bus and left after arguing with many of the passengers.  It was the East 39 bus, it was packed seat to seat and it was 90+ degrees out.  It took us a minute to realize he was GONE !! I lived all the way out East so while some people got off the HOT bus, I didn’t really know what to do but wait.  I vowed away from those then.  With that said……


I have to be honest.

I’m a google whore.  If I have a question that needs answering, some quick math I need calculated, words translated and of course, research done, I turn to google.  I don’t believe everything I read and I look for credible sources in whatever I do believe, but google and I have an outstanding relationship of trust and respect.  So when my Saturday show that was supposed to fund the first half of my trip got cancelled and flying was no longer an option, I googled “china bus”; the bus line that my fellow vacationers were traveling by.  I had never heard of it and couldn’t help but want to know more about it and when I googled it, several stories popped up.  None of which were good.  According to many reports, a several East Coast bus lines were raided and shut down for bad buses, lack of licenses and other things involving safety, endangerment of passengers and the like.  China bus was one of them.

I had a dilemma.

Should I call Too Black and tell him my findings OR should I buy my fifty dollar one way ticket, try to fly back and hope for the best?  My cancelled show threw a big monkey wrench in my plans financially, so this was really my only viable option.  I bought the ticket and disregarded what I read. 

Cut to Dayton, OH. 

After spending a couple of hours walking aimlessly around Target, aka the bus stop, we were forced outside about 45 minutes early due to two factors:

Target closed

The bus was REALLY late. 0_o

So there we were, standing at Too Blacks car.  Me, him, the guy taking care of his car in Dayton, Theon & Simone.  Four blacks and one Puerto Rican. ……..

…….so as the cops were taking our ID and we told them why we were standing there in the dark-ish parking lot, they begin to chuckle snidely at the China Bus.  The pot bellied pig with the brown semi curly hair and the forty something year old mustache proceeded to tell us they had been cited for human trafficking.  That we needed to be careful because the buses were essentially breaking the law by even operating; but that they WOULD be there to pick us up, which was something I had begun to worry about.  What further troubled me was that I knew at least part of what he was saying was true.  Again I faced a dilemma.

Should I tell the gang that this officer, while a perfect asshole, was telling the truth and I had read it with my own eyes, sans the trafficking OR ….do I stay silent and we keep waiting.  How else would we get there and what we were to do at this point?  We had an obligation to be there Monday night.

Moments later and after our IDs were fit back into our wallets, warrant free (0_o) and the cops were well on their way back to the donut shop from which they rose from, a bus pulled up.  It was here.  Big white bus, not too many people on it….it LOOKED safe.  * shrug *

And then there was that other problem.  Only two of us had tickets for that bus.  The other two, I being one of them of course, had bought tickets for the bus leaving at 1030.  This was the 10pm bus, although it was 1025 when it got there.. 0_o .  The driver didn’t speak English at all; he was a simple little Chinese man who looked at our confirmation numbers, made a mark on something and tossed the luggage into the area like ragdolls.  Too Black & Simone got on the bus and left; Theon and I walked off to our stop, which was not at Target btw.  It was at the Sake shop down the way.  Same parking lot though.  We started walking and my poor mind was racing as to what I had got myself into and just how far I would go to be with New York.  We got halfway across the lot when our bus rolled in.  We ran over to it, boarded it and saw a bus full of people.  Separate seats.  No window seat.  Theon went to the back and I parked someone near the middle.  And for the next 13 hours, me and my pillow that was supposed to be laying against the window, sat straight up and slept 0_o

…..the bus made about two or three stops.  I would open my eyes and see it was still dark, then rush to close them again.  Our arrival was 9 am.  Sunshine.  As long as there was darkness, I should be sleep was my thought process.  It was freezing outside and on the bus.  My neck was cramped, the man in front of me felt the need to keep trying to lean back and there was zero leg room.  The bus ride was rough.  Our bus had some kind of ongoing noise that sounded like the lines on the side of the highway that are meant to wake sleeping drivers.  For a while I thought we were driving on those lines.  then I figured out it was the bus . 0_o  

I did sleep for the whole trip with the exception of a few hours.  But it was not a sound sleep, mind you I was sitting up. And the bus driver had to have been pushing 90 the entire way there.  He bent the corners in Pennsylvania as thought it was the Indy 500.  It was nerve wrecking.  No one on the bus seemed to speak English and most of them were Chinese.  Our drop-off was in Chinatown, so that wasn’t alarming, but I couldn’t help but think briefly from time to time about the trafficking.  My phone was dead.  This was a toughie. 

And I withstood it.

Some thirteen hours later, I woke up….

in Chinatown. 


00jYOnAssignment: Kools Bazaar Gala Review

The New Big Band

It was a black tie night of cute dresses and fancy tailored suits.  The sun had just began setting against the backdrop of Westside Indianapolis and left a crystal shine on the JW Marriot Hotel, where the 2012 Uptown Saturday Night Inspired 100 Black Men Gala & Awards Dinner was being held.  The age range settled with a predominance of 45+ but it was easy to spot a few twenty and thirty somethings enjoying the dim lighting and awaiting the mock casino that would cap off the night's event.  The stunning decor helped us travel back into a time where clubs like The Savoy were heavily frequented.  Before long, the circular tables with the expensive chinaware were full of people eager to hear speeches from the night's honorees and indulge in the culinary magic served in three courses. This type of gala perfection could have only been completed with music full of high voltage drums, horns and sporadic keys that were reminiscent of the Harlem Renaissance.  
~ Enter Kool’s Bazaar ~

Back in the 1920's and especially during the Harlem Renaissance, Big Band Music was gradually evolving into the rebirth of the already popular jazz music.  These "big bands" consisted of 12 or so members (usually 5-6 on brass, 3-4 on reed instruments and 4 rhythm musicians) and became widely popular due in part to the dancing public that would frequent Harlem hotspots like  The Savoy and dance the night away to the sounds from groups such as the Jenkins Orphanage Band and the Bennie Goodman Orchestra.  
 Fast forward to that September night of the gala and local band extraordinaire, Kool’s Bazaar.  They emerged from their respective suites and entered the stage with ease and confidence.  It was as if each person clenched a tiny piece of the renaissance in their palms. In addition to the four members that comprise KB, they added six additional musical contributors creating a modernized Big Band with a neo-hip-hop flair.  8 musicians, 2 singers and 1 hip hop emcee conjured Old Harlem’s spirits from left to right of the Marriot’s ballroom.  Dressed in their signature colors red and black, from the moment they started playing, anyone within earshot of them could easily tell they weren’t listening to just any average band.  This was not a group thrown together over loosely rolled joints in the back of a cluttered garage.  This was a union of musicians who came ready to entertain, empower and embody [the theme] the way true professionals do.  These are keen spirits aligned not by happenstance, but rather by design.   

There were three sets.  The first one, which began as the people were still filing in from the lobby, was very big band inspired.  There were two trumpet players and two saxophone players.  The mixture of brass horns & reed saxophones created the type of harmony that deserved a quick step of the Lindy Hop or at the very least, a Charleston showdown.  And while a dance-off never happened, a thoroughly entertaining back and forth of these particular instruments picked up the slack.  The melodies were up-tempo and the vocals were tenacious. Althought there were a couple of technical difficulties with teh sound, as they say, the band played on. Naz Khalid was the lead songstress/poet with Ashlee Baskin on secondary vocals.  Both women’s voices were impeccable contrasts and compliments of each other. Naz owns a peaceful bluesy sound that feels as if it originated from the pains and loves of Lenox Avenue, while Baskin's voice was like the perfect flutter of butterfly bravado.   The band’s rendition of “Strange Fruit,” made famous by jazz legend Billie Holiday (who Khalid’s voice has often been compared to), pulled the attendees away from their programs and private conversations and brought them into the cultural world of Kool’s Bazaar.

Big band music had a knack for bringing people together regardless of race, class or creed.  The love of dance and the urge to do so when these bands would play transcended the racism and hard times of the 1920's and 30's.  Although a lot of the music was pre-arranged, the room for improvisation is what set them apart from the average jazz band. 

 By the time the second set ended and the third set began, KB had shifted into their complete comfort zone.  Hip hop artist/emcee (and frequent Kool’s Bazaar collaborator) Tony Styxx joined them onstage to help bring the energy in the room to a new plateau. Whether it was age or awe that kept people from giving in and cutting loose on the dance floor, the music in the room definitely called for and was worthy of it. Each artist was given a fair chance to flourish under the stage lights. The audience was treated to a vast array of sounds and genres; even poetry made a guest appearance. KB crossed boundaries and generations in three single leaps. As the night came to a close and the people began to pile into the blackjack tables, the new millennium “big band” ended on a friendly, upbeat and bittersweet note. Throughout the night, they had successfully fused original work with a few covers and their final number, a rendition of classic hip hop song “The Rising” by The Roots, was a sublime crescendo in both performance and lyrical content.  After all, they are the breath of fresh musical air the world and on this night, the gala had been waiting on. 

It was indeed a black tie event of glamour, dessert served in martini glasses and profound guest speakers.  But ask anyone within earshot and they will surely tell you; the night belonged to the entertainment, Kool's Bazaar.  And they did it all with just the right amount of Uptown Saturday Night flavor ! 

Kool’s Bazaar is as follows:

Nazeeha Khalid: lead vocalist/poet/emcee/songwriter
Richard Trotman: keyboardist/band director/ composer
Jesse Thomson: Bassist
Joe Elliot: drummer

Musical collaborators:

Ashlee Baskin: Secondary Vocalist
Ronald Craig aka Tony Styxx: emcee
Brandon Crawford: Aux Keys
Jefri Payne: Trumpet
Joel Auxier: Trumpet
Jared Thompson : Sax
Lamont Webb: Sax


3 days to liftoff.

800 Plus miles away from the Indiana state lines…..

6 days with my beloved, HOMETOWN GLORY

3 opportunities to share my poetry and 1 opportunity to meet my new NYC Street Poet family

$0 in the account right now
Plenty of stress as to how to pull it all off

3 days
Big apple
Times Square
Brooklyn Bridge
GW Bridge
Trash, rats, People everywhere
3 days
I finally experience what my soul has been MISSING the entire  last 2 years. …

New York City.