Monday, December 15, 2008

The Experience....

-soooo, friday afternoon received word the venue had been cancelled...mind you, we drove to NO for this gig...and because of prior commitments would drive back friday night....i was a lil leery at first, but it all checked out. broke the news to my fellow poets...but we were ok with it, and knew it would all work out...and it did...made a phone call to another contact...bam 2 more worries. made the needed phone calls...some folks were not happy. then realized, uh oh, only packed for a couple of days...
-did the tourist thing, hit the french sin city is an understatement...bourbon was too much even in the middle of the afternoon...
-found a great lil dive on one of the side streets (always go off the beaten path folks) playing jazz and cover songs...some stranger grabbed faye and started dancing as soon as we walked in...guy playing the guitar and singing looked ALOT like Blackula....ya'll don't nothing about that oldie? hey we are in New Orleans, stranger things have happened
-did lots of driving and sightseeing and getting lost..repeat on the lost and driving and more time repeat on the lost, driving and sightseeing
-drove further into the neighborhood, well what was left of it, and realized we were face to face with the levee...we had been close to the 9th ward the whole time...i could not control the emotions that flooded my being, like these streets once had been. i wanted to run and beat on that wall...i was so overcome with tears, anger and sorrow...didn't expect it...the car was silent for a very long time. the things our eyes saw was beyond comprehension...kept shaking my head asking why? why 3 years later and it still looks like this? yet the tourist areas and the higher economical areas....what hurricane?
-the people in these devastated areas are taking care of their own, for no outside help is coming for them. still. no help, but they have each other.
-the military police still roam the streets...marinate on that for a minute
-the people do what they can, when they can; even if its working late into the night with only a generator to show some light (we saw this).
-still trailers in driveways of houses that no longer exist, or look like empty shells, cars abandoned, streets in much need of repair...yet amongst all of this a few children still find the time to play basketball with a makeshift goal. i smile.
-our first feature was @ the Red Star Galleries, nestled in a lil corner of heaven...all the business in this triangle area were black owned. BEAUTIFUL! from a creole woman-owned coffee shop called Black Coffee, a rasta shop starting a clothing line (but the rastas inside look like a front for the militant revolution-seriously), a vinyl record store...yes i said vinyl...the youngings in the car couldn't understand my enthusiasm lol...there were more, but those stood out
-we rocked it neosoul proud style! they usually have visual artists that come through, being only a month new, we were the first official spoken word artists that featured there. nice huh? got some new ideas and some new folks to add to the extended family
-next night's feature was across the Crescent City Connection bridge, you remember the bridge...when folks tried to escape, they were turned away by armed police and military...yeah that bridge.
-the lovely Asia Rainey, man she is stunning in person, helps run a community center in Westbank, called the Craig Cultural Center, just a few months old...again the need for taking care of one's own...and they do.
-we were truly blessed and blown away by some of the youth that hit the mic...oh did i mention, we hung out with some of the New Orleans Youth Slam team...yeah and WOW...we were priveledged to hear some of the new group pieces too.
-ended our night hanging with some of them at Cafe de Monde, with a lil street poetry.
-needless to say, after packing up the car, we didn't want to leave...but knew we would be back...soon...this trip has changed me a bit...i have got to do more in my community to help my own, as poets we should.

Friday, December 12, 2008

And So It Begins... grateful list first...
--for the Creator blessing thee, even when i don't deserve it or recognize it at the time.
--for the beautiful women in my life...all so different, but the ties that bind are there...and i have learned so much from each...i hope some good things have come from me as well.
--for knowing i must stay in my lane for this one, though i want to take the car and run you over the head...but his perceived happiness is more important
--for intense words around the circle of life @ the house of words...damn i love poets and how we think
--for an amazing sunday morning spent with the ladies of excellence...was truly blessed
--for childhood friends who continue to bless my life with their presence and "walking around funds" lol
--for the soldier who walked quickly thru my life...we had fun though didn't we...tucked prayers in your army sack...i will keep those words safe (i'm coming back, michelle)
--for mini road trips to ktown to giddings withing 12 hours of one another...i am getting to old for this shiznitt lol
--for stepping away just for a moment...breathe
--for first dates and last dates lol...was wondering where the cameras were for "you been punked!"
--for sisterfriends...we got this on lock! growth is a mofo huh
--for you and i talking thru it
--for my God, who takes care of fools and babies...well far from a baby these days, and too close to being a fool...but i am in His hands...all that matters
--for love...i know its waiting on me to get me together...i am working on it
--for taking the tour leap again....

which leads to me the following...
-faye & i rocked the mic @ The Red Scoot Inn. my brother came through with his new girl, and didn't even know his sister was one of the features lol...meant to be. Ms. Ria was friggin' awesome as a host.
*word of caution* don't try to challenge Ria on the mic...she will have you sliced up and feed you to yourself AND calling your mamma for help!!
-had a late night dinner @ pluckers (thanks tre) with faye and justin...laughing and talking about what else, poetry, our lives, and everything else under the sun.
-time to get this started, so said our goodbyes, gased up and hit the road
-faye's cell phone rings 5 minutes down the road..."ya'll leaving tonight, ya'll gone?" i just laughed because i already knew he wanted to go...knew he was sitting at his crib thinking man they going to new orleans, trip of a lifetime...blah blah u-turned and picked up justin lol. 5 more minutes and he would of been OUT OF LUCK...but again, everything for a reason...
-3 of us got on the road about into New Orleans around 5pm...yes it took that long....this is why....folks in texas can't drive in ice and snow...bridges were shut down, traffic jams in one spot literally 2hours, overturned vehicles...oh and saw a cop bust his ass getting out of his patrol car to help another accident victim out...couldnt do anything but laugh...slipping and sliding and bam! terrible i know...oh well
-2 freaky snow storms...the other was in new orleans...i found it to be quite symbolic though....the tour Brian and I went on in 2006 started with a yeah very symbolic
-staying with my sis's mom (thank you tova, love you)we had every intention of going out last night to see the city...why did we lay down for just a minute (our intentions)ummm didn't get up until 6 am this morning...our butts where whoooooped to say the least.
-so now let the adventures begin...keep ya updated...still send prayers up people....and for this city....what i have already seen makes no damn sense!!!
...for now peace out