i built a story

I built a story that was tall and wide, stretching across miles of land like the Great Wall of China. I did not use brick or stone or plastic or metal or wood. I used the purple haze of stardust, sprinkled on sea foam paper that chewed my words into wide-eyed children, nutrient rich and ready for the mind. The paper sang to me, calling me through time, reminding me that it too has a story to tell that even the stones would bend to hear.

I re-flesh the ancestors with naked language that sometimes wants to forget itself; but remembering is the only panacea. I re-flesh memories, piecing together what was forgotten, clothing forests with leaves and branches and ancient trunks, and the dead things that cover the ground to re-life the soil with nearly forgotten ichor. The words grow up through it all, breathing through time to reincarnate, if even for a moment, what fibs tried to erase. I picked the fragrant words that bloomed, and built a story, tall and wide, stretching across miles of existence like a galaxy, big and aged gray, ancient and ready to tell tall tales about its life and what it had seen.

ilt

mortal words

i’ve decided that i don’t want to write, not with my hands anyway.

i want to think words onto paper and screens and leaves and stones and skies. i want words to fall onto the sand and clay soil, carved into ice and cave walls.

i want words to appear on my skin, spinning stories of a life lived and yet to be.

i don’t want pen and ink. no, that is not enough.

i want the words to manifest, conjured from my soul and eager to find themselves atop anything that is not immortal. so they can one day fade, fade, fade, then join the ancestors.

i want my words to live for a million years then without warning meld into the akashic records that house everything we have ever known and ever will. yes, even the words must leave here.

mortal words seeking immortality.

so don’t ask me to write with my hands. it is not enough. it will never be enough.

 

the potential for a memoir

One of my advisors a year ago encouraged me to write a memoir based on a writing prompt during one of our residency workshops. He was so enthralled by what I had written within the ten minutes given, he promptly shared his excitement with my previous advisor, who accosted me at our next workshop.

I have never thought about writing a memoir. Who the hell am I? I never imagined I had anything interesting to share. The writing prompt was meant to draw out a past memory, nothing more. But when he insisted that I consider the memoir after what I wrote, I began to toy with the idea.

Some of you have read the very short opening of my piece. The overall piece is now nearly 100 pages. For both those who have read the opening and those who have not, I’d be interested to know if you read what I’ve shared below (what I wrote during the workshop), would you be curious and want to read more?

Be honest. I have thick skin.


I was born beneath Cuba, across the waters of the West Indies on an island that lives and breathes Bob Marley. It was 1967. While papa, my grandfather, was mending the house he built with his bare hands, civil rights marches were happening in “foreign” the place the locals called America. As King, Jr. lay dead, murdered by the mindset of the majority, I learned to walk on hot stones. The light of a man went out. I was oblivious to this then. I lived in a place where electricity and running water and indoor plumbing didn’t reach us. The outhouse was dark at night. But my uncle would take me there sometimes. At other times the chimmy, as my grandmother called it, would be pulled out from under the bed, squatted over, then slid back filled with yellow waste that reminded us of our simple life.

I was small and grass blade thin but I remember the mangoes and jackfruit and star apples and ackee and ginepes and the flowers I used to make jewelry, little necklaces and bracelets, bright and red and beautiful. I want to remember the name of that flower, but time sends memories away to places we can’t find.

jamaica-1046596_1920-2016-09-14-12-57.jpg

burn with anger, woman

Burn with anger, woman.  Your fire voice was temporarily extinguished with water, but you did not let it drown you. You turned everything that touched you to steam. The destroyers dissipated into the air, mixed in with the ancestors who lost their way and told un-truths about the place of woman. They now mourn their ignorance. They are gone, in form and thought, the ideas losing footing and the voices fading, with those few unenlightened left who are unable to grasp what is needed to survive the next great wave of time. They say there are 2,000 years in each season, and the patriarchy that has almost dried up mother’s milk is coming to an end.

african-1296524-2016-08-25-16-57.png

burn with anger, woman was originally published on zaji

the clouds in prayer

The clouds interlace fingers seeking prayer, an impassioned supplication to the un-gods.  They spread across skies gathering stories of un-time, spaces inside cycles that collect memories we will never touch, nor taste. Nor see. Clouds beseech the un-gods, begging for intervention. But the gods are children of a lesser world, Earth merely a blue and green ball in their sand, useless castles jutting toward the sky. They play. And laugh. But the clouds do not laugh. They watch as fingers interlace, knees bruise from centuries of thanking. And begging. The un-souls want to return to spirit. But tears are not the answer. The gods mistake them for rain. The gods toss fists full of sand to the Earth for those with the bruised knees who stand only to survive this un-World. The clouds watch and wonder, where are the real gods? The ones with love and power; and the desire to stop the pain, change the Earth channel, frequency, so that the violence does not outweigh the peace. So that potential is realized in the tomorrow. Change the channel now, so the un-World can shift into an awakening we can touch. The clouds drop tears upon the sandbox. Their prayers go unanswered. Their gods  enjoy Reality Earth, because Reality TV isn’t where the real drama lives. So to soothe their unrest, the clouds cry down on us. Their tears bring growth to forgotten parts of the un-World. Maybe they are the gods we’ve been waiting for. Maybe their tears, like holy water, will cast out the evil that lives inside this un-World. Maybe.

moon_over_clouds-2560x1600-2016-08-7-17-48.jpg