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Monday, January 28, 2013

The Impossible and the Absurd

"In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd."

Not everybody recognizes this fact about pursuing impossible dreams. Absurdities are sometimes necessary. They come with the territory... and the territory is not chartered. Things one finds oneself doing in uncharted territory often appear absurd to those abiding in known and well-trod lands.

Spending two months traveling about, writing books and performing poetry. That is the plan for the "Impossible Tour." Leaving a tenured professorship to do absurd.

I am shopping for my travel car, lining up quiet and peaceful residencies (with friends and at spiritual retreats)where I can write, and drawing on maps...

Some of us are born into impossible bodies. Some of us are born into impossible families. Some of us are born with impossible social limitations. Some us are are born looking and acting like someone or something that has never been seen before. And some of us live lives that are nothing more than a series of absurd journeys...

Who is willing to attempt the absurd? To look absurd? To have all of one's dreams laughed at? Doubted? Who is ready for the impossible journey?


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Baldwin Said it Best

James Baldwin once said:

"Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by those who are doing it."

So, I decided to make Brother James the spokesperson for my Impossible Tour. Seems appropriate since he is, after all, one of my all-time top writer/activist/human being role models. 

As a fellow writer and impossibilist, I think he would not mind obliging me this small request...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What If? (a new poem)

Jan 24, 2013

I have so many poems lying about on scraps of paper, in notebooks, on backs of envelopes and napkins. I used to think that if I did not write a poem down as soon as it popped into my head that I would lose it forever. So  I carried teeny tiny notebooks around in my back pockets for years, jotting down random inspirational moments at bus stops, grocery stores, in classes, on trains. Over time, I discovered, upon finding little jottings here and there that indeed I could jot down a poem and lose it for years only to jot down the same exact lines on another paper at another time. How miraculous! Somehow the words stay in my head floating about for years without my knowledge.

Below is a poem I found jotted down on a small slip of paper tucked into a church program. I hope it speaks to you.

What if you were the One?
What if you came
You only you what if
This was always your plan
What if the world
Were waiting on you
What if you only you
What if the world 
Was counting on you?

You only you 
Nobody else nobody 
What if nobody 
Could take your place
Had your face
Could do would do
What you came to do

What if your eyes only see
Your ears only hear
The harmony the world
 To heal?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Impossible Tour Begins

After a brief hiatus I am getting back on the poetry road, people! I have spent the last couple of months in Los Angeles writing and planning and now I am ready to hit the road again. I decided to record an up-close-and personal video of my poem, "Demands of Existence." Some of you may know of it as the "Impossible poem."

I read it on the corner of 16th and Mission in San Francisco back in November. Fun times! It was an anarchist performance event that happens once a week on the corner in front of the BART station. The night I was there a spontaneous protest broke out in the neighborhood in response to the police shooting of a young man of color. The police came out in  battalions fitted for war and the motley band of street performers scattered to the four corners....never a dull moment.

I had a fellow artist, videotape my performance with my flip camera but it was hard to hear the poem so here is a new version. I wrote this poem to inspire people who are dealing with challenges in their lives; to get people to think about why they are here, and what they are willing to do to live their purpose.

I have done a lot of things in my life that people told me were impossible. I didn't listen...and eventually I learned.

I am currently putting together a new digital/physical album called "The Impossible", which will feature some of my newer poems, like this one, "Poverty Is..."  "Say You're Sorry" "Rape: A State of Emergency" and "Not Quite Right" along with some of the more popular epics I have published over the years ("Names,"  "Mixed Heritage Epic" and "Wonder Woman"). I will post the link as soon as it is live. Enjoy