Bye Bye Unc

One of my oldest and most favorite Uncles has passed away and I can’t go home to be with my family. Its moments like this when being broke and so far from home really  hurts and frustrates me.  These are the moments that define a family and once again I am not there. So tired of this situation.  Nothing communicates how much you love someone like being there whether good or bad times.  So over saying I wish I could be there…  ready to just be there.  I need them as much as they need me right now I pray they know it. These moments have to become less frequent in my life.  My uncle and aunt have been married since they were 17. We shared their 44th anniversary in Los Angeles. While I was still living there they flew in to try to see BoB Barker on the Price as Right before he retired and then we drove to Las Vegas for the day.  They both love to gamble bingo mostly. Uncle Lee was a funny guy who loved cracking on us kids in a loving way. Worked for Dole all my life and retired by the time I made it to college I think.  Last time I seen him about a year ago I don’t think he knew who I was and kept asking the same questions like he could barely hold the conversation but he managed to get off some smart remarks and make me laugh regardless.  I will miss my uncle so much every time I think about dedicated fathers, wear suspenders, or hear a black man sing a mean falsetto I will think about him. Much love to my cousins and Aunty  his children and wife who he worked tirelessly for and loved so much.  Even with 6 kids of their own my aunt and uncle managed to raise many others and take people in when they had no place to go.   His  passing is hitting alot of people hard. I just wish there was someone here with me in person who I could share his memory with.

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Words for Amiri Baraka

From this amazing warrior writer  I learned the power and necessity of righteous anger and cultural expression in the struggle for freedom. It’s  been hard articulating my feelings about the death of Amiri Baraka. He was was a voice in the wilderness when I was trying to survive a white bread evangelical christian college in the hills of Pennsylvania, his words so sharp so powerful so unapologetic gave me the strength to speak truth to power for myself. So many poems so much love for African people for black people in America and the music me make. Its hard I’m sad like I knew the man. The man who wrote the praise of the Blues People and shouted Somebody Blew Up America will always be an inspiration and now as an ancestor  his words echo through our hearts keeping our feet to the fire.

Brown Knees, Poodle Skirt, Saddle shoes

Brown Knees, Poodle Skirt, Saddle Shoes
giggling, squirming, scuffing white slides on black linoleum
eyeing those double doors from the back pew
The myth of manhood is alive in she
8 years old chasing girls
hanging with the boys
skinned knees, tumbling, and tackling
climbing trees hiding in scaffolding
a little girl trying to run the way they say she should
secretly praying for morning wood
they keep calling me a tomboy
so it should happen any day now
wrapped in a dress prancing like its a tux
lost in the distance between whats seen and whats perceived
just being himself beyond what she’s been told
just being no words for these feelings
just rules about how to sit, what to wear, and what not to say
when your brown knees are stuffed in
a itchy poodle skirt and slippery saddle shoes on Sunday