New York State of Picture

So it seems that anything is possible…dreams CAN come true and the power of using one’s voice to speak LIFE into existence is a powerful tool that is drastically underrated.  Anyone that has been a part of this blog longer than a couple of weeks should know for fact that I have a slight obsession with NYC.  Not only do I believe and have I spoken that my “soul was born in NYC” but I intend on living there….or at least very close to it by the time I get to age 35. 
But for now, I must watch from afar.  This year, I realized that my senses had not been allowed to run free in the open world of New York City since 2010.  It depressed me but made me determined not to close out 2012, a year with little to NO travel involved, without having been to at least NYC.  So many trips I have tried to plan, or ask ppl to be apart of in order to help cut costs and have someone to talk to, but nothing ever panned out.  From a solo trip to Ft Lauderdale that fell to the wayside due to me buying a car w/my vacay fund to attempting to find just ONE friend to hit Las Vegas with me, everything I tried seem to fall on fail. 
Waiting for ppl to do something has never been something I’m good at doing, so I set in my head that one way or another, I’’d hit NYC before this year was up.  Despite my pressing desire to be one with all these other places, and to experience a Florida beach or the many shows at Las Vegas, I was mentally willing to let go of all these other ideas if it meant I’d spend time in NYC.  I could not part with the idea of being there.  From NYC, I could go to a beach.  I could catch a show.  And more than anything, I could hop a ride on any number of cruises, boats, ferries and water taxi’s, all while traveling underneath one of the two most recognized bridges in the country. 
NYC is inbred in me some kind of way.  And I don’t even care.  I made this mental declaration and decided to stick to it.  I had even gone so far as to promise myself that if I was down to my last days of summer and still couldn’t locate a real travel buddy that had the time, the means and the desire to hit the road OR the skies with me, I’d go alone.  I’d save, hop a flight outta here and pop No Dozes for 72 hours.  No room, no transpo I would be responsible for; I was going on a solo trip and planned to not sleep til I got back to Indy.
Well….as luck would have it….i didn’t have to go to such drastic measures…..and as I sit here typing this morning, I am approximately 2 weeks plus one day away from my first of two trips over 30 days to NYC!!!!!!
Yes indeed
I speak things into existence
I have been gifted with TWO trips to NYC, one of which will be me and a fellow poet performing in and around NYC/Philly and potetntially a few other places (depends on my vacay days)!!!
But first, in 2 weeks, I will be going for the sole purpose of being a tourist.  Needless to say, I am about to fall out of my skin counting down the days.
But that was not even the cake topper!
A few days ago, I casually checked my email while sitting with a friend, shooting the shit and drinking shots of vodka!!!! I opened an email at the top of my inbox that was from Toshiba.  Upon first glance, my immediate thought was why do I have an email for Toshiba (wondering if I had signed my email up or something)…..after opening it, I began wondering if I won a free tv (hey, wouldn’t you?) ……but as I read thru the email, I realized why they were sending it to me….sorta.
All though this portion of the story seems long, all this happened over the course of 15 seconds????  Reading the first lines of the email, First of all, thanks for taking part in Toshiba Innovation's Put Your Face on Toshiba Vision program by uploading and voting on your best photos”, I remembered submitting my photo for the Times Square contest and was pretty sure this was an email to tell me I had lost. 
     But in fact, this email was telling anything but…..once I read Secondly, congratulations!  ”, every word thereafter was read in really slow motion.  It could not be possible, I thought to myself.  I read, calmly said “oh my God”, and re-read the whole thing in its entirety.  “I can’t believe this….i cannot believe this!!!!!’ I kept repeating with my laptop sitting on the table and my eyes a cross confusion between worry and dare I say “excitement”.  I think my voice troubled my friend, of which she replied, what, whats wrong!!!!

I was damn near scared to answer her…..how things went after that is almost anyone’s guess, but word by word I told her that I had submitted my photo to Toshiba to be shown in Times Square and my photo was picked. Once she yelled OMG, it was on…..my emotions went flurrying all over the room and I clicked the link to see for myself was this some kind of twisted joke.  And it was not. MY pic, holding my favorite NYC umbrella that I stalked and saved on several computers before buying from amazon, had won me the gift of a lifetime.
My photo was voted on and won, along with 11 others, and will be showing every ten minutes on the Times Square screen that I stood in front of first in 2007, staring in awe.  MY picture would be shown LIVE, every ten minutes, in NYC.  So what its not a shot of my face.  So what all you can see is my heels and my umbrella.  So what that I can’t be there to see it live! Its there.  I live in NYC until Wednesday. 
This was so much more than winning a contest.  If ever I asked God to lay hands on me and make his desires for me plain and clear, I cannot deny that I took that as a sign from Him.  That wanting, planning and executing leaving Indy behind for the artistic lights and loud sounds of NYC/East Coast living is just what the Dr. ordered. 
Even as I type this, someone is standing in Times Square, possibly seeing my picture playing across the screen.  I watched the live link three times.  Before the night was over, I was in tears. 
This is a powerful voice I have here.
It speaks
And earth moves accordingly
My voice and my heart are in a love/hate relationship.  When they hate each other, things go awry.  But when they love each other, when they stand on one accord and serve the common denominator, I open up my eyes and see that life has shifted a lil more towards my direction.
They say be careful for what you wish for.
And maybe that is why seeing my pic in Times Square scared me just a little bit. Because what I’m wishing for is slowly unraveling itself to be truth.
But who would I be if I looked away now???
How would I be if I silenced myself soon???
I don’t know the answers to those questions and likely never will. Writing and living in NYC are the two things I know for fact I will NEVER give up on…..and I’ve given up on many many things.  Many times. But not this time.  This time, my soul has taken the reigns and speaks for me, making all things known aloud to Mother Earth & Father God. 

May we each, at some point in our lives, before its too late, realize the power of our voices!!!!
For they not only can hurt and destroy,
The tongue can build freedom walls right within your own body.  I say lets not be careful anymore.
Lets just Know what we want
And speak the belief that we will get it.
Then watch as magic unfolds before our eyes!
“  One of your photos has been chosen to be featured on the giant Toshiba Vision screens in Times Square, to be seen by thousands of New Yorkers and other visitors!”

and that ladies and gents >>>>>
is ME...live, every 10 mins, in Times Square, NEW York City.



The Ranch........

No words, just silence. 

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch . . . . .

This will be short…I think….to the point…I hope…..and all me…I KNOW.

I wanna first start by saying, I am not knocking “the people”, if you will, for their stand against or support of Chikfila, which for the purporse of the rest of this blog, will be referred to as the chicken shop. If that is what you believe, whatever it is, then by all means, fight, protest, kick, scream and serve up hot chicken sandwiches in order to prove it.  But at what point does the protesting become minstrel shows that are playing out all over Fox, CBS and CNN ????

Are we fighting over the chicken shop??? Really?? Because this has nothing to do with rights….unless I missed that part of the story, which I totally could have…i. could be 100% uninformed or only slight-informed on that which I speak of, which is the reason I am about to shut down my portion of opinions in regards to the chicken shop protesting that is making natioanal news.  But from what I did read, I didn’t see where rights would be challenged, workers would be fired or worse, NOT HIRED or not served, dependant upon their sexual preferences….all I know is a group of people or at least an owner was not afraid to speak his beliefs in a time in our country where differing opinions seem to be frowned upon.   Now…like I said…he could have said more but I didn’t read it or hear about it and frankly I don’t give a shit!!!!! I also don’t give a shit who people marry…. Gay, straight, transgender…I don’t care….i have my own life that needs sorting out by my hands so I really have little time to be worried about whats happening in the bedrooms and households and at this point, in the minds of other people.  
Most of which I will likely never meet.

I am not a chicken shop supporter or protestor.  If in the event I feel the desire for chikfila, trust me, I will go.  Plain and simple.
In the meantime, I don’t care who goes in my place or who protests against it.  I do think its quite “interesting” that  some of the protestors are bringing strife and harm to the EMPLOYEES, some of which are gay.  The people who work there have nothing to do with what the owner or the coworker next to them for that matter, have to say…..but this is America.  We punish the peons when we can’t get to the majesty.  We don’t care. 

Back at the ranch.

Four year old Lloyd Morgan Jr was laid to rest, after succumbing to a stray basketball court bullet that he caught right in the head.  All he was doing was watching the game.  That was in NY.  Guess that’s too far from the chicken store.

Back at the ranch…..

80 year old L. Farrahkan took to the streets of Chicago with the Fruits of Islam in order to at least TRY to restore some order to the dangerous streets and neighborhoods of Chicago where this summer alone, gang violence and bullets have already taken the lives of 275 people, varying ages, including but not limited to Heaven Sutton, 7 years old, who was shot as she was selling candy outside her home.   Ten year old Kitanna Peterson was by a fire hydrant when she caught the bullet that went thru her wrist and abdomen.  Now I can’t name every case, age and post a pic for each but I would also like to mention six year old Aliyah Shell…..i have a friend who’s daughter shares the same name. 
Then there was 16 year old Joseph Briggs…I think he may have been trying to break up a fight.  Tiffany Edwards' life was cut short leaving a gas station.  She was only 25.  This paragraph hasn’t even left Chicago yet. 

Yet and still, people would rather mudsling from opposite sides of the sidewalk over the right to buy a fucking chicken nugget.  Chicago’s murder rate has rivaled AND surpassed the dangers of the troops at war!!! How does one have a better chance at surviving a war full of suicide bombers and camoflauged assassins rather than walking home from the park on the South Side of Chi???

Back at the ranch…..
A kiss-in has been planned for the chicken shop 0_-
Black people staged sit ins for RIGHTS.  ….now we are staging kiss ins for AGREEMENT. 
Man fuck this.
I HAD to have missed something said or done by the chicken shop ppl….it HAS to be more than this, but the truth is, if I REALLY wanted to know…i. would…..whatever else may have been said, does not matter much because the truth is ,  while hundreds of people were filling up chicken shop lines all over Amercia yesterday and causing record breaking sales, the men who sleep in the tents under the Morris Street bridge downtown, continued to live and sleep there, despite the weather conditions of Indiana and regardless of who marries who.  While hundreds of gay people crowd Chikfila and garner more news for the themselves and the place they apparently now hate, a child somewhere will die from a bullet.  Whether its Chicago or Indiana…>Cali or NYC…..somewhere today, someone will not make it out alive.   They will not see their dreams into fruition, they won’t even get to experience their first day in their newest grade of school. 

One day, the police will stop shooting up black men and killing them in BROAD daylight.  One day, the police will stop being abusive gang members who are legally tazing, beating and arresting humans as if they are dead animals.  One day, they won’t remove black women from hospitals in pain, carry them out to squad cars like pigs and then let them die on jail cell floors from a traveling blood clot.  Too bad they were hoping for drugs.  One day, young men with nothing more than weed in their back pocket, will be able to be arrested IF it comes to that, and survive the arrest.  Not get shot in the head and blamed for suicide.  One day fathers won’t have to shield their 2 year old daughters from bullets at any given moment.  People won’t be afraid to sit on their stoops and porches out of fear of what they might see or who might die. Young men will be able to safely go to clubs and return home just as alive and breathing as they were when they left.  But in our society, we just bow our head, have silence for a moment and go right back to partying on top of the spilled blood and shell casings. 

This blog is too long.
I must stop writing.  I feel like I could go on forever.  I don’t want it to misconstrued…..while I don’t “understand”, I am not knocking standing up for your rights and for what you believe in.  I’ve seen gay people rally and stand together in unbelievable amounts for even the slightest hint of discrimination.  I only wish my African American sisters and brothers could do the same thing.  I only wish we could stand together like we did for Trayvon Martin, and by “we” I mean people of all races, genders, creeds, colors, class AND SEXUAL PREFERENCES.   I wish we were all headed out on buses to Chicago to stand alongside FOI.  And the truth is, i'm planted two feet in Indy....i could just as easily hop my ass in a rental and be there next to him.  But this isnt about protesting.....there are other ways and means to reach people and these communities.  I do NOT have my fingers pointed, trust me.  I don't mean it like that.  But it is a frustrating site to watch.  I am not even saying people aren't juggling multiple protests and such ....

 I attempt to use the avenues i have been gifted with to be the change i wish to seek.  I attempt to write healing into my community with each word and/or performance.  I can safely recall numerous times I have and will again, attempt to be a positive outlet for my communities and do SOMETHING about helping to curb the violence the children of the village i live in.  I am criminal justice major and I hope to become a probation officer and use my gift of poetry and writing to help bring these young men and women to a more positive state of living.  I know i can't stop every stray bullet from making contact.  I know i can't prevent gang violence or change EVERY mind out there....but damn......idk....i'm trying.....

Afterall, these are OUR babies laying in these caskets…..
But then to again
Maybe they aren’t.
To call random people "kin"  would almost be agreeing that it takes a village to raise a child……

I don’t know that THAT is what we are anymore…..
Perhaps we are simply individual ranches……they are usually found alone with the closest neighbor being a softball field away....
are we just ranches now???
Homes on the range….?
Where the deer and the antelope go separate ways…….
But will gladly come together in the name of chicken.