Saturday, January 27, 2007

I was just thinking about how I do nothing but wait all of the time, however that thought led me to thinking of something,. At my cousin Voncile's funeral the minster gave a wonderful sermon on waiting and it is something I must always remember. Wait means to be of service. When you are waiting, you are to be of service. God that is a wonderful revelation.

UNCF Tribute to Aretha

Fantasia rocked the fuck out of Rock Steady at the UNCF tribute to Aretha Franklin. Chaka was powerful with RESPECT!

This is a Great Interview with the Poet Ai

It felt very inclusive, I think, for a lot of people.
Yeah. And for Native Americans and Indians -- well, we just call ourselves Indians here; I'm vice president of the Native American faculty, too, so I have a lot of duties now here -- so it was another win for them, too, and for Oklahoma, which is a state that's had a lot of problems, like the Oklahoma City bombing. You know, that's the thing about minority faculty that I don't know if people understand: you are not simply filling one role; you don't go to a school just as a faculty member. You have duties. Like I am standing in for Blacks, Native Americans, and Asians at my school, generally, because I'm the only minority faculty in the English Department.
Yeah. There's a man from India, but that's it.
Is that something that you choose?
What? To help? To stand in?
To be there, as opposed to someplace where you would...
Oh! Well, I was here as a visitor, just for a year, and then when I won the Book Award, they offered me tenure starting in January. So I won the Book Award in November, and they offered me a full professorship with tenure in January. And I was like, "Well, Ai, a bird in the hand, you know... this is a really good offer." So I thought, well, I'll just take it. So I sort of ... they made it so fast, I sort of didn't think about it. And I'm here doing research on my Indian family. I'm not done with my research, and they gave me a lot of money, too, so you know, it's a good deal! There are probably other places I'd like. I wouldn't mind being in Arizona, but Arizona didn't make me an offer! And I'm doin' okay. I don't know. Oklahoma certainly has its share of bigotry, which I feel I have certainly experienced. I haven't talked to the powers-that-be about it, but I certainly feel that there's some out there, and I'm not used to the kinds of encounter here, and some of it has been anti-Indian. [laughs] So I'm gettin' it from everywhere! I talked to this taxi driver about it, 'cause she's trying to find her Cherokee grandmother. She said, "Oh, they're very prejudiced towards Indians here." And I said, "Well, why?" And she said, "Well, they think they have everything." I said, "Well, they lost everything!" So there's definitely some of that in my area of Oklahoma.
The resentment?
Oh yeah, I've heard that. Well, I've certainly had some problems; let's just put it like that. Some racial, and some sexual. It's a mix, when you're minority faculty and a woman, because it's race and sex. I'm not trouble-free.
Do you feel that from the other side, too, where you get exoticized as a woman of color, and given all sorts of exotic praise or put up as window dressing?
Oh, I'm sure it happens. I don't think I'm getting that here actually, which I guess is a compliment to the place. But I have sometimes wondered about the amount of praise I was getting. Slightly. [laughs] But it always happens, when you're a minority. I don't think I've been over-praised; I write good poems. I just think of it like that. I don't question it too much.
I never think of myself as a token. Anytime people try to make me one, I just reject it. I never really capitalized on my minority status. I didn't really want to do that. There were instances when I was younger when I certainly could have done that. I'm not an enrolled tribe member now, but I'd mentioned it in a magazine somewhere, and Indian people wrote me and stuff, but it seemed like I have so many mixtures, it wasn't right of me to capitalize on my Indian blood. And that might have been skewed, you know, I might have been wrong, but it's been proved to me since I moved here that it's not too late, and it's your family, so you have a right. I have a right to go in there and say, "I have this and that Indian blood."
It's real interesting here, 'cause my experience with the family background is not uncommon here; things that happened in my family are rather common here, and that's been good for me to see. Like, for instance, some of the Indian women married with whites and didn't get on the rolls, because they didn't want to be on the rolls. They wanted to be safe, didn't want to be Indian. And you would think, like when I was in Arizona, my opinion would have been, "Oh, that's bad; they were ashamed." But since I moved to Oklahoma and I can understand the historical circumstances, I understand that, and I'm not judging people for what they did then. They were trying to survive. But it raises interesting moral questions, and in some of my research I have to get the case files, and one family said they had a Choctaw mother, so they rushed out to Mississippi when they were doing the final rolls, and they tried to get on them. And the Choctaw/Chickasaw people questioned them over and over again. They would say, "Well, how does she look?" They got real down to it. They would say, "Was her hair kinky or straight?" I mean, it was totally naked. Over and over again, they'd describe her. She sounded Indian to me, but they went as far as to forge a letter from a Chief, saying she was Indian. They did bad things, and a lot of the names were similar to my family names. [laughs] I said, "Oh, they're pretty under-handed here; hmmmm, they could be family!" Two of the sons were in the Confederate Army, okay? So that would have been something. In the end, not enough names matched up, so they weren't my family, but they were denied tribal membership. But how would I have dealt with that? Two sons in the Confederate Army, for god's sake!
So there's a lot of interesting stuff in Oklahoma. They had slaves, too, you know, the "five civilized tribes," so there's all the different roles and mixtures, and it's just fascinating. So there is a rhyme or reason for my being here. I almost feel my great-grandfather, like the ghosts are out there. There are still things being hashed over today that began back when, on the Trail of Tears, for instance. If you tap into your ancestors, if you tap into the ghosts of these ancestors, they are still doing things. They are still saying, "Granddaughter, I want you to look into this for me." That's the way I feel about my great-grandfather, sometimes. He's saying, "You know, I want you to check on this; check on these mineral rights to this land that we have." So I'm looking for a deed, 'cause they sold the land, but they kept the mineral rights. It's all kinds of stuff here; it's just totally rich.
Sounds a little like the stuff that you touched on in "Passing Through."
Yeah, although I fictionalized it, so it's a woman who's half White. But yeah, that poem was sort of opening the door to what I'm actually working on for a memoir, for my own history. But, as far as I can tell, there wasn't any rape involved in what went on with my family's mixing; they willingly went to the other side or whatever, so that's interesting, too. But I don't know all the details. I have to track everything. I don't know whether I'll ever learn everything, but I'm trying to track some things down.
One woman here is Creek, and her grandmother was at Indian school when a White man married her when she was 12, and it was to get her land, see. So it's possible that my great-great-grandmother may not have even been married to this man, but she had a child with him. But it may have been that he had another wife; that's what I'm trying to zero in on. A White wife, see. Some of them had two and three families. One of the White men I looked at, he had several Choctaw wives. [laughs] He divorced one, and they said, "Why did you divorce?" He said, "I wanna get me another one!" It was weird like that. It was weird stuff! And then the last letter in his file is from one of the Choctaw wives, and they said, "Well, we understand he's a fugitive from justice." And I said, "Oh, could be my family; it's so wild!" It was really wild, you know.
These are your people?
[laughs] These are people I was hopin' might be my relatives! No, I haven't found them. You know, I'm lookin' up family names and a lot of times you get one name that's the same, and you don't know until you send for the case file from the national archives. Then you have all the information. So one name might be a family name, but then when you look at all the other wives, sons and daughters, they don't match up, right, so it's not your family.
And this will be your first novel?
Well, memoir. I wrote that novel, but it hasn't come out. I haven't dealt with my family history at all yet, so it'll all be in the memoir. It's so fascinating and interesting, it's kind of a riveting tale. I think it will be. It'll be part history, part memoir. There's not a whole lot out there about mixed-race people in the Old West in this area, so I thought I'd touch on a lot of things.
How will it be to have yourself as your subject for the first time?
It'll be okay. I sort of am a fictionalized subject in my novel, actually. I'm a character, and so is my mother, and my grandmother, my ancestors. But I don't know what's going to happen with that, because my editor keeps telling me it's not ready, and I don't want to do a re-write, so it's just in limbo. [laughs] I sold it, but I collected half the advance.
You don't care whether it's published?
Well, yeah, but I had to sort of let it go. I was upset for a while; I was real upset. But now, it's been so long since I sold it -- I think I sold it in '94 -- but it wasn't finished. It was only half-way through, I think. In '97, when I was in Boulder, I sent what I considered to be my final draft, and then she told me it wasn't ready, and then I was mad, and I didn't do anything for two years. Then after I won the Book Award, I had interest from other publishers, see, and then I told my editor, and she said, "Well, let me read it again." Then she thought it still needs works. It's at an agency, but I haven't signed with the agency, and they thought they could piggy-back with the memoir, so they were waiting for the memoir. So anyway, I don't know I'll do. Oh well. [laughs] It has interracial sex in it, so I wonder if that might be a problem. It shouldn't, but, you know.
Not anymore, though. The interracial movement is very strong now.
Well, that's what I'm dealing with. The novel is called Black Blood, and it turns on how much Black blood these people have, in the novel. [laughs] So how did they get mixed? By having sex with somebody in another race; that's how! But I think my memoir is really gonna be good. [laughs] If she ever finishes her research! I could go on and on; I guess you could tell. [laughs] It's weird because the past is living for me. I was brought up short in Austin, because I mentioned a rancher my great-grandfather used to work for in Texas, and a woman came up after and said, "I haven't heard those names in years!" He was one of those cattle kings, right, and the day of the cattle king is over, but to me it's living. I hadn't really thought about how much in the past that is. To me it's like it was yesterday.
Is that part of what you've described as "psychohistory"?
Well, no, psychohistory is more like ascribing some kind of psychological reason for an historical event. At least, that's how I think of it. But in the end, I might actually touch on some of that in my work -- maybe by saying, "Why did a relative not get on the rolls" or whatever. So anyway, I probably deviated from your question. And you're not payin' me for this interview, either!
No, ma'am!
Well, let's wrap it up, honey; it's almost 5! [laughs] What else did you want to ask?
Just a couple of questions. What do you see as the relation between history and poetry, or between poet and historian?
Well, I guess I sort of touched on that in the last conversation, right? The Greeks used to take a poet to battle with them, so the poet would stand on a hill or something and record the battle. And I do think of that as sort of my role sometimes. You know, we are observers sometimes, rather than participants. But other times we're participants/observers. I felt that way in Austin. I almost hated to leave. I went down for this book festival which is chaired by Laura Bush, so it was fascinating to be there and to have protests going on -- the festival was at the capital. At that time, I really did feel like it was almost Grecian, in that I was a poet and I was observing, and who knows, I might write something, sometime.
That was a remarkable event.
You know, I was supposed to have an interview with her; she was interviewing four writers, and it was going to be on an NBC affiliate. And that morning, as they drove off to the ranch, I thought, "Well, I guess there'll be no interview." And I thought maybe she wanted to interview me because I was born Texas, but I did win the Book Award -- that's how I haven't quite absorbed how big a prize that was. That was a really major award, and I'm sort of a representative of poetry now, in a way that I hadn't been before.
You were. But now there's larger recognition.
Yeah, definitely. I got so much press, you know. I went to the ceremony, week before last in New York, when Lucille Clifton won, and it was nothing like the year before. The press were everywhere for that 50th anniversary. There were press at this one, but they seemed to be everywhere the year before. I imagine Oprah being there had something to do with it, too, but we got a lot more attention I think last year. Plus, the press were all involved in the election this year. So that really was the year to win, for me anyway. It was a great year to win.
What do you think about Lucille Clifton winning this year?
Oh, I think it was great for her to win. I feel like she really has given a lot to poetry.
It's the first time two women of color have won, back to back.
I know! I was thinking about that, and I was saying, "Next year, that probably won't happen." [laughs] 'Cause someone somewhere is probably fussin' about it. You know they are. Well, Lucille Clifton is well-liked in poetry, she really is. She writes good poems, and she's a really nice person. It was great to see her win; it really was. We still didn't know, when we were sitting at our little table waiting for them to announce the winner, any prize you really don't know. I guessed; right before, my friend said, "Who do you think will win?" and I said, "Lucille." But until that moment, I wasn't sure, 'cause you don't know. Some people, I guess it's obvious, and others it isn't. Sometimes, when I'm judging things, you pick your finalists, and then, if it's close, then it's really tough. You have to keep reading and reading and reading. Sometimes that's really hard; sometimes when I judge I wish I could give more than one.
What do you consider the most important relationships between teaching and writing? You know, a lot of people say writing can't be taught.
Well, you certainly can teach students what makes a good poem and what makes a bad poem, and you can teach them how to write a good poem. It can be taught. For your gifted students, that's a whole other thing. But it can be argued that the raw talent is already there. You can teach somebody how to construct a good poem; you can teach someone how to read a poem; and how to tell if what they're reading qualifies as good or bad or mediocre. So there are definitely things that can be taught. And it also teaches discipline. I feel like the discipline that you learn in being able to sit down and concentrate on one subject and craft something can be carried over into other areas of your life. And that's what I try to teach my beginning students, many of whom are not going to be writers. Our beginning writing here is a Humanities course, so we often have many students who are just taking writing as a one-time deal. I really do think some things can be taught.
Your poem "Pentecost" ends with the lines, "If you suffer from the grave/ you can kill from it." This is the only published poem you've dedicated to yourself. Why?
[laughs] Oh, yeah, well, I was younger then! I guess I was into this Zapata thing back when. I got into Mexican history and I was reading a lot, and I was remembering that movie from years ago. To me, he was a hero. See, it was more like, not the reality, but the character I created that I was into. Now this is so old I don't know that I even remember exactly what was going on at the time, in my mind. It was just a long time ago.
You've never dedicated another poem to yourself.
No, I wouldn't today, I don't think.
Out of humility, or what?
Oh, I don't know. I guess I would, if I wanted to. Maybe I thought that was the be-all and end-all for Ai at the time, but I certainly don't think there's a be-all and end-all now.
To be a revolutionary?
No, it wasn't literal at all.
Maybe. I don't know what I meant. Sorry! I can't help you! It was thirty... how many years ago was that? '78? '77? There's a lot of water under that bridge. A lot of poverty-stricken summers for Ai.
Yeah! I was pretty broke, before I got this job. I was so broke, they sent a grad student to get me, [laughs] and I had to use his credit card; I had to buy stuff on his credit card. The dean lent me a thousand dollars, when I got here, so I could rent an apartment. I was totally broke.
Last year!?
Yeah! I hadn't taught since Colorado. I couldn't get a job.
Get out.
No, I'm not kidding you; it was horrible.
And you went from that to winning the National Book Award.
Yeah. [laughs] But I had to sell my whole poetry collection to survive. I have hardly any books of poetry left. I would have to buy someone else's collection. I called this guy I sold them to, and I think he sold my stuff. So I have to begin again. And many of them were old, signed copies. It's really sad, but I guess it's okay.
So that's what you meant when you said that you'd worked off all your bad karma.
Yeah, I guess I have! I mean, it was horrible. I had a horrible time, beginning in Boulder, the second year. I couldn't afford the rent. I had to get out of there and go to Arizona. It's really a fuckin' nightmare. But Baby Ai can pay it now!
Isn't that strange - to go from a position of not being able to negotiate for yourself, to being able to get what you need done.
Yeah! I would say some guardian angel somewhere was lookin' down on Baby Ai.

I'm A Little BlackBird Looking for a Bluebird--As Deciphered From The Josephine Baker Story

Josephine Baker

I'm a little blackbird looking for a bluebird oooh
even little blackbirds get a little lonesome ohhh
and blue
I've been all over from east to west
in search of someone to feather my nest
why don't I find one
the same way you do?
the answer must be
I am hoodoo...
I'm a little jazzboat looking for a rainbow through....

The Look of Love

Nina Simone

The look of love is in your eyes
a look your smile can't disguise
the look of love
is saying so much more than just words could ever say
and what my heart has heard, well it takes my breath away
I can hardly wait to hold you, feel my arms around you
how long I have waited
waited just to love you, now that I have found you
don't ever go
You've got the Look of love, it's on your face
a look that time can't erase
be mine tonight
let this be
just the start of so many nights like this
let's take a lover's vow and then seal it with a kiss
I can hardly wait to hold you, feel my arms around you
how long I have waited
waited just to love you, now that I have found you
don't ever go
don't ever go
I love you so
I also made the best avocado paste with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and onions. Divine
I made the best black beans and rice with kielbasa, tomatoes, and onions. I love having a slow cooker!

Friday, January 26, 2007

There was an encouraging number of people at today's anti-war rally--about fifty people. All sorts represented. The dynamics of Lafayette's progressive community are interesting. Fused in with Lafayette/Purdue dynamics, this town really does make its statements.

Everybody Says Don't

From The Broadway Album-Barbra Streisand

Everybody says don't
Everybody says don't
Everybody says don't it isn't right
Don't is isn't nice
Everybody says don't
Everybody says don't
Everybody says don't walk on the grass
Don't disturb the peace
Don't skate on the ice
Well i say do, i say,Walk on the grass it was meant to feel
I say sail till to the windmill
And if you fail you fail!
Everybody says don't Everybody says don't
Everybody says don't get out of line
When they say that then lady that's a sign
No times out of ten
Lady you are doing just fine.
Make just a ripple come on be brave
This time a ripple next time a wave
Sometimes you have to start small,
Climbing the tiniest wall
Maybe you're going to fall
But it is better than not starting at all.
Everybody says no stop
Musn't rock the boat musn't touch a thing
Everybody says don't
Everybody says wait
Everybody says can't fight city-hall
Can't upset the court
Can't laugh at the king!
Well i say try,I say,Laugh at the king or he'll make you cry
Loose your poise
Fall if you have to but lady make a noise...Yes!
Everybody says don't Everybody says can't
Everybody says wait around for miracles
That's the way the world is made
I insist on miracles if you do them,
Miracles might come true,
Then i say don't...
Don't be afraid!

Some Enchanted Evening

From The Broadway Album-Barbra Streisand

Some enchanted evening
you may see a stranger
you may see a stranger across a crowded room
and somehow you know
you know even then
that somehow you'll see him again and again
some enchanted evening
someone may be laughing
you may hear him laughing across a crowded room
and night after night
as strange as it seems
the sound of his laughter will sing in your dreams
who can explain it? who can tell you why?
fools give you reasons, wise men never try
some enchanted evening when you find your true love
across a crowded room then fly to his side
and make him your own
or all through your life you will dream all alone
once you have found him
never let him go
once you have found him
neeveeer llleeett hiiiim

Back to Broadway

I adore Barbra's Back to Broadway Album. I first got this album(on cassette) when it first came out in 1992. I used to play it all the time and there is such a beautiful collage of music with many beautiful and powerful messages.

Venezuela May Ask the U.S. Ambassador to Leave

Hugo Chavez has said the U.S. Ambassador has been trying to meddle in Venezuelan affairs and has told him he may ask him to leave. Haha! Viva Chavez!


It was a dark, stormy night. The air was moist and the wind that frolicked around the trees in rushed curlicues bit into one’s skin the moment one stepped outside the door. I sat in the computer lab, chatting online and piecing together a story which sat unsure in the pit of my stomach. I saw him out of the corner of my eye as he approached. He came in with someone else, another Latino man, shorter, darker man and slightly heavier. Charles was tall and lanky, and what drew my eye to him was his beautiful pointed nose. As they sat down at the computer terminals opposite mine, I couldn’t help but to stare in his direction. He wore a tan colored tshirt and jeans, obviously just coming off of work, a baseball cap atop his head. My hands began to tremble and my heart raced as I silently swooned. I knew I had to speak to him. After a few minutes had passed, I decided to strike up a conversation. I worked on my story a few more minutes, adding a few sentences here and there, calming my nerves at the same time. I worked up the nerve and looked in his direction. He was casually joking around with the man sitting next to him, who I made out to be his brother-in-law. “How’s it going?” I asked, flashing a million dollar smile. He stopped to look at me, smiling back and spoke. “It’s good! It’s all good, real good. How are you?” I loved the melody of his voice. “I’m fine. What’s your name?” “Charles,” he said, the music still flowing out of his voice. “I’m David,” I replied, intoxicated by his energy. He extended his hand and we shook, a firm grip in his handshake. “ Do you live here at the complex?” I asked. “Yea. We live over in the corner there.” I nodded my acknowledgement of his answer. He put me at great ease and made me drunk with his jubilant spirit. “So what do you do here in town?” I asked, after enjoying his aura for a while. “I work construction. I just moved up here from El Paso to work for the Kings.” “Who are the Kings?” I asked, ignorant. “The people that own this place.” “Ah,” I said. I had lived there for five years and never known who owned the place. I asked him if he liked jazz and invited him to come and listen at the piano bar that played live jazz on Thursday nights. That was the beginning of my friendship with Charles. In that moment we began a slow, erotic dance encompassing friendship, one in which I would find a most incredible lover.That Thursday I arrived at the piano bar alone, coming from studying at the library on campus. I selected a table near the front and sat down to wait and see if Charles would come. The music started and the shrill keys of the piano burst into “When Sonny Gets Blue.” It was my favorite number. I closed my eyes and started to drift along with the music when I felt someone approaching me. I opened my eyes to see Charles standing next to the table, dressed in blue jeans and a tan shirt. He looked adorable. “Hey,” I said, pulling the chair out from the table for him to sit. “Hey there! Thanks for inviting me. I dig the music already.” He sat next to me. I could feel the bristle of the hairs on his arm against my skin. The song ended and they drifted into another number. The music was especially mellow that night and the atmosphere in the bar was loose and pleasantly bacchanalian. People were swaying and the feeling of the crowd was ambrosial. Charles began making cat-calls at intervals while the trumpet played. He broke the reserve of the typically cold, conservative room and I fell in love with him. That night, after the show was over, I rode home with Charles in his red, worn with age truck. My eyes were glued to the figure of his profile in the half, dark light. A smile crept up on my face. “ You enjoyed the show?” I asked. “Ahh, I loved it!” His face lit up. “I love live music, man. And Jazz is the greatest.” “I very much agree.” I said. “Would you like to go again next week?” I asked. “Sure thing man.” He said. We drove along a little bit in silence. “Do you mind if I light up one of these?” He asked, pulling a joint out from his glove compartment. “No, not at all.” He lit it and took several puffs. “Would you like a hit?” “No thanks,” I refused, nervous at never having tried anything like it before. He dropped me off at my apartment and made his way home. The night had been beautiful and pleasant. The next week, the aura of the club was free and open, and a soft light made the oak panels that made up the walls of the place glisten. The jazz band that played that night was on fire and the assembled crowd was soon on their feet, dancing. Charles stood out from the center of them. I got into the groove of the party and began dancing too. I felt lithe and moved in tune to the saxophone that formed the heartbeat of the music that was playing out on the floor. That night, I felt I had been taken to another level and I decided that I would make my interest in Charles known to him. After the show, I invited him back to my place to listen to some jazz. We climbed the three flights of stairs to my apartment and I ushered him in, turning on my stereo while I poured some wine. A great Jazz tune started to play, and as I brought him his wine, we began dancing, pulling in close as we moved to the beat. After the number was over, I asked him what he would like to hear as I was unsure of what to play. He was unsure as well, at which I invited him to come browse my music collection to see what he liked. He walked towards the counter where my CD collection sat and I sat my glass of wine down and followed him there. As I stood behind him, I was mesmerized by his scent and a river of sensation rocked my entire body. “You are really cute.” I said, a smile taking to my face. “Thanks,” he said, filtering through my CD collection, still floating off of the high of the evening. I placed my hand on his ass and turned slightly towards him. “Hey, no don’t do that. I’m straight,” he replied. The revelation threw me for a whirl. The feeling was still high, though I felt a bit dampened by his pronouncement. Something though, made me choose to continue my advances. He selected a CD and put it on to play, then we went to sit back on the couch. As the music played, I let my hand slip into his lap. For a few minutes, we simply continued to groove to the music and I felt him loosen a bit. As I reached the inside of his thigh he stopped me. “Hey, slow down their partner. I’m sorry I’m not much game tonight, but I like women.” “I see.” I said, retreating my hand slightly from his thigh. A few minutes later, the music still playing, I began to stroke his chest. “You’re really into me aren’t you?” He asked, a grin on his face. “ I am.” I replied honestly, my hand swirling around his chest and playing with his stomach through his shirt. I turned and kissed him. His mouth was sweet and I relished the sweetness of his lips, his tongue, and his throat. With both hands I began to roam his body and soon my mouth left his and went to his ear. “Oh my god, what’s happening here?” He asked as a frenzy started to form as we kissed and explored. “ Relax,,” I said. “It’s just two people appreciating each other.” “Is that all it is?” He asked as the front of his pants came open. “That’s all,” I replied. What had begun as a beautiful night, developed into a beautiful azure evening as Charles and I sailed the heights of his masculine glory. He began to get nervous as we went along. “Are your doors locked?” He asked. I reassured him as I kissed the inside of his thigh. Charles fretted for a few more moments and then fell into the web of our lovemaking. The night was beautiful. After hours passed, we slowly arose from the couch, rearranging our clothes. Charles prepared to go home. At the door, I embraced him, and he returned the embrace. “Do you want to go to the piano bar this Thursday?” I asked. “Sure!” he replied, his joviality returned a bit. “It’s a deal then. “I smiled, wanting to kiss him. I brushed his arm slightly then he left, headed towards his apartment at the back of the complex. I headed back towards my bed in a daze, completely in love, ecstatic that the night had turned out so beautifully.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I think we should get rid of the word natural and replace it with human. Natural has been the excuse for too many things. Natural should only be affiliated with things that are supernal or ethereal.
I have such an affinity for Cuba. I don't know, perhaps there is some ancient connection there.
I have learned an appreciation for the word hallelujah.

A Charge to Keep

I was looking at my Uncle's obituary and the headingi said, " A Charge Given- A Charge Served." What beautiful words.

A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
O may it all my powers engage
To do my Master’s will!
Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And O Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!
Help me to watch and pray,
And on Thyself rely,
Assured, if I my trust betray,
I shall for ever die.

Pirate Jenny

Nina Simone/Bertoldht Brecht

You people can watch while I'm scrubbing these floors
And I'm scrubbin' the floors while you're gawking
Maybe once ya tip me and it makes ya feel swell
In this crummy Southern town
In this crummy old hotel
But you'll never guess to who you're talkin'.
No. You couldn't ever guess to who you're talkin'.
Then one night there's a scream in the night
And you'll wonder who could that have been
And you see me kinda grinnin' while I'm scrubbin'
And you say, "What's she got to grin?"
I'll tell you.
There's a ship
The Black Freighter
with a skull on its masthead will be coming in
You gentlemen can say, "Hey gal, finish them floors!
Get upstairs! What's wrong with you! Earn your keep here!
You toss me your tips
and look out to the ships
But I'm counting your heads
as I'm making the beds
Cuz there's nobody gonna sleep here, honey
Then one night there's a scream in the night
And you say, "Who's that kicking up a row?"
And ya see me kinda starin' out the winda
And you say, "What's she got to stare at now?"
I'll tell ya.
There's a ship
The Black Freighter
turns around in the harbor
shootin' guns from her bow
Now You gentlemen can wipe off that smile off your face
Cause every building in town is a flat one
This whole frickin' place will be down to the ground
Only this cheap hotel standing up safe and sound
And you yell, "Why do they spare that one?"
Yes.That's what you say.
"Why do they spare that one?"
All the night through, through the noise and to-do
You wonder who is that person that lives up there?
And you see me stepping out in the morning
Looking nice with a ribbon in my hair
And the ship
The Black Freighter
runs a flag up its masthead
and a cheer rings the air
By noontime the dock
is a-swarmin' with men
comin' out from the ghostly freighter
They move in the shadows
where no one can see
And they're chainin' up people
and they're bringin' em to me
askin' me,"Kill them NOW, or LATER?"
Askin' ME!"Kill them now, or later?"
Noon by the clock
and so still by the dock
You can hear a foghorn miles away
And in that quiet of death
I'll say, "Right now.Right now!"
Then they'll pile up the bodies
And I'll say,
"That'll learn ya!"
And the ship
The Black Freighter
disappears out to sea
And on it is
I have just begun Brecht's Mutter Courage. It is wonderful!

Oh, The Power Structure

So, they arrest this white man for killing blacks in 1964, I suppose to offset their arrest of BLA members. Hmm.....That doesnt even work.

NYU Students Sue Over Removal of Morales/Shakur Monument

Read about the lawsuit brought forth by NYU students about the removal of a marker honoring Guillermo Morales and Assata Shakur.
I just finished The Senator and the Socialite about the first Black U.S. senator, Blanche Bruce and the dynasty he founded. Fascinating book. I am still mulling it over in my head. One thing I definitely find about the Black upperclasses is that, as the multitude of them were the products of illegitimacy and white patronage, they are/were definitely not as patriarchal as their white counterparts.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Booker T. Washington

Self Reliance and Second Class citizenship be damned! I would have castrated that MF!

The Arrest of Six BLA Members

Such sad news as the police have harrassed and detained six former member of the Black Liberation Army. These people should be freed and should make their way to Cuba. God help them to overcome the wickedness of white people.

What I am Discovering

Indianapolis was a stomping ground for a lot of wealthy and well-to-do Blacks. Senator Blanche Bruce, and more so, his wife's family lived in Indianapolis during the last decades of the 19th century(Bruce only spent two years in Indianapolis). Also, Lena Horne had people living in Indianapolis. One of her uncles ran a newspaper there. Frederick Douglass was a constant visitor to Indy. There is definitely some rich history there to be discovered.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh My, The Connections

I had no clue that Eslanda Robeson, Paul Robeson's most wonderful and courageous spouse, was the granddaughter of Francis L. Cardozo. Cardozo was a very famous progressive educator and minister before and after the Civil War. He was a mulatto from South Carolina whose white father sent him to the University of Glasgow. He presided over Paul Lawrence Dunbar School in Washington D.C.
It is interesting there are some people who think they can define my existence. I am a Goodson, a Deramus, and a Smith, oh lord!

Monday, January 22, 2007

I Never Loved a Man(The Way that I Love You)

Aretha Franklin

You're a no good heart breaker
You're a liar and you're a cheat
And I don't know why
I let you do these things to me
My friends keep telling me
That you ain't no good
But oh, they don't know
That I'd leave you if I could
I guess I'm uptight
And I'm stuck like glue
Cause I ain't never
I ain't never, I ain't never, no, no (loved a man)
(The way that I, I love you)
Some time ago I thought
You had run out of fools
But I was so wrong
You got one that you'll never lose
The way you treat me is a shame
How could ya hurt me so bad
Baby, you know that I'm the best thing
That you ever had
Kiss me once again
Don'cha never, never say that we we're through
Cause I ain't never
Never, Never, no, no (loved a man)
(The way that I, I love you)
I can't sleep at night
And I can't eat a bite
I guess I'll never be free
Since you got, your hooks, in me
Whoa, oh, ohYeah!
I ain't never loved a man
I ain't never loved a man, baby
Ain't never had a man hurt me so bad
Well this is what I'm gonna do about it

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dignity, Integrity, Respect.Humanity.

And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going

And I am telling you I'm not going.
You're the best man I'll ever know.
There's no way I can ever go.
No, no, no, no way,
No, no, no, no way I'm living without you.
I'm not living without you.
I don't want to be free.
I'm staying, I'm staying,
And you, and you, you're gonna love me.
Ooh, you're gonna love me.
And I am telling you
I'm not going,
Even though the rough times are showing.
There's just no way, there's no way!
We're part of the same place,
We're part of the same time.
We both share the same blood.
We both have the same mind.
And time and time we have so much to share.
No! No, no, no, no, no!
I'm not waking up tomorrow morning
And finding that there's nobody there.
Darling, there's no way,
No, no, no, no way
I'm living without you.
I'm not living without you.
You see, there's just no way,
There's no way!
Tear down the mountains,
Yell, scream and shout.
You can say what you want,
I'm not walking out.
Stop all the rivers,Push, strike and kill.
I'm not gonna leave you,
There's no way I will!
And I am telling you
I'm not going.
You're the best man I'll ever know.
There's no way I can ever, ever go.
No, no, no, no way,
No, no, no, no way I'm living without you.
I'm not living without you,
I'm not living without you.
I don't want to be free.
I'm staying, I'm staying,
And you, and you, and you,
you're gonna love me.
Ooh, you're gonna love me.
You're gonna love me!


I saw Dreamgirls the other night. Great film! I see Oscar written all over Jennifer Hudson!

Grave, Brutal, and Unnecessary

25 troops killed in one day. How many Iraqis now? Oh what price men will pay for their evils.

The Turning Point

Nina Simone

See the little brown girl
She's as old as me
She looks just like chocolate
Oh mummy cant you see
We are both in first grade
She sits next to me
I took care of her mum
When she skinned her knee
She sang a song so pretty
On the jungle jim
When jimmy tried to hurt herI punched him in the chin
Mom can she come overTo play dolls with me
We could have such fun mum
Oh mum whatd you say
Why noy oh why not
Oh I see

The Other Woman

Nina Simone

The other woman finds time to manicure her nails
The other woman is perfect where her rival fails
And shes never seen with pin curls in her hair
The other woman enchantes her clothes with french perfume
The other woman keeps fresh cut flowers in each room
There are never toys thats scattered everywhere
And when her baby comes to call
He'll find her waiting like a lonesome queen
Cos when shes by his sideIts such a change from old routine
But the other woman will always cry herself to sleep
The other woman will never have his love to keep
And as the years go by the other woman
Will spend her life alone