submerged

 

I knew I was in over my head when I could no longer see the sun. The waters of depression made me so soluble, despite my body & mind reacting to the ever-increasing water pressure. This has never been the way that I wanted to die, drowning in a pool that I all by helped fill up. I wasn't responsible for the running water, but I remained idly by the hose & never lifted a finger.

 

"save my soul."

 

I had become adept at holding my breath when anyone came near, slowly forgetting how to breath in the process. I held on to anything that I encountered, at the expense of my own emotional & physical freedom. In the pool I sat, both arms & heart full of misery, holding back tears for fear of contributing more to my demise.

 

my friends' successes gave me anxiety. My lack thereof was the real issue, more than their amazing accomplishments. Their confidence begged for my company in a way that was more fund-raiser than politicking, but all I had to offer from these pockets were an abundance of insecurity & self-doubt. hence, my position in the pool. I was also unaware of the stench of ego that I carried. feeling that I deserved more, was worthy of better. nobody likes their egos bruised & spoiling; they seem to taste better untouchable & ripe.

 

I'm tired of being soaked in depression, knowing that staying high & dry is an uphill climb and nobody can do the legwork for me. I'm tired of not feeling like I'm at least trying to make a difference, even if my efforts amount to nothing more than a tree falling with no one around. it's time I stopped wallowing in sorrows & stood up. for me. I've got no time to drown.

seeds planted/grave stakes

Sometimes when I lie I try to(o)

abstain from feeling so Kurt Cobain

I don't really want to die

I don't really want to change

I don't really want to stay the same

Really

I'm hidden until the world deems

me worth being beautiful, strange

I don't want the adulation, love

I'm too familiar with growing pains

I don't want the shine, sun

I'm too thirsty for the rain

I don't want any of the pride

I'm too familiar with the shame

Power's needed for the powerless

To feel more than inadequate is a goal

souls remain wrapped in gold, fools

wear a different mold.

days become hour-less,

the rest is just a ruse, at best

But there's no room to grow in burning the midnight oil

Just worldly greed & the need for your soul...planted in soil.

Bring flowers.

so(u)liloquy

This is the arc where the skies get star-less.

 

It gets a little dark on this side of the cliff, when you begin to obsess with death over life, looking for the middle of the night in broad view of the light.

 

God, you're too high for this.

 

Your cries tend to get hushed more. Live through some Rocky shit, & your scars resemble Mount Rushmore.

What is it that you continue to climb for? When every shoe that life has blindly & closed-handed you has made you slip for days.

And happiness is not what the world gives in spades; it cuts through hearts, even the lowest in the book.

So exactly how and why do you want to continue to play?

This is where faith comes in, certain that you can make your way

back to the light & back in the fight, a hero who saves your own day.

who are you?

Will you ever get over the world?

 

The times are treacherous: harm is hyped up more than hugs, experiments in the form of over-the-counter drugs, TV says reality is one drama-filled party, all blacks are thugs, women should know their place, playtime's over, children. And all we do is pray about it.

 

The rich are making the world cold, overcharging for roofs over heads & warm clothes. When they all fall over dead, it's a shame the world cannot heat up with the Hell entrapped in their souls.

 

See the silent stresses louder than car alarms. Overworked moms standing in lines to pay for food, hoping the cards don't decline til Friday's check. Dads watching the 1st of the month draw near, regretting that they have to figure out who to rob next. And that will only cover paying the rent; the unsolved mystery is paying for heat to emit from the vents. A soul shouldn't have to bundle up with crime or be frozen doing time. This world is cold. Ask the lord if it's stuff he knows, or if body tissue being blown like snot is just a byproduct of the current climate's ills. The homeless are stepped over in lieu of being the Answer to a struggling score; no passes to give or a place to lay up via assist. This is not a fun game.

 

But we ask of our loves & ourselves that they look at the bright side, withstand the thunderstorms & look for the silver line, wait out the darkness & be ready for the sunshine. It's reality for some, yet rose-tinted fallacies for others who might die before their sons rise. How big is your heart? What's your gun size? None of it matters as much as training yourself to build a bulletproof mind, & not taking your neighbor's eye even if he renders you blind. See the truth from a mile away, even in the midst of being surrounded by lies. Heaven is created by your hand's actions, and Hell is too.

all along

I told you I would find you.

I told you.

Back when you were just little voices in my head, telling me that you felt as lost as I used to, as I still do. I knew that I knew some things the same way as you, different paths & walks of life be damned.  I had to find you, because there's validation in numbers, sometimes. And I needed you as much as I imagined you needed me. Here we are, together, getting prepped for another step. 

Electives

Learn something. Our backs are the only side history is on, & time is running out on the play. We are reciting the stories of our mothers & fathers, putting on the pain like a sleeved technicolor nightmare, standing under fire while on the stage. High drama in hi-definition, their pasts used to serve as premonitions, prior to presenting itself as pictures painted in Part Two. Act Three, nobody knows how to act accordingly, affording our youth the chance to become the closing of a trilogy...or render us an Act Too for their eulogies. Choose wisely.

BLK/lb.

Round them up, then gather 'round:

This is a declaration for the nation,

Not a nigger in sight of the plight,

All are guilty enough to try

& escape in the still of the night.

Catch them before they flee

The prisons are for-profit buyers

Check the flyers: Black by the pound.

Here's your little shared cage,

here's your little food on a tray,

Be happy that you're allowed a recess

To bask worthless ass in the light of day. Be a good boy when you're told

to sit your ass down...still.

It's no longer plantations & cotton fields;

it's the industrial prison complex & assembly lines.

They let the dogs out to play,

if one gets too wild...euthanize.


Turning back clocks or not, time has been overdue for life-saving change

We need rehab for the rehab; the asylum is being run by the inhumane, the same ones who suggest that I am patient...wow, how fucking insane.

free love

The best things in life used to be free. But these days, even the notion of love is under lock & key. The costs of pain still remains, high priced with interest on recurring payments. And with our worlds' "normalcies "so immersed, so driven by others' suffering in so many ways, we often sit back pseudo-helplessly. How much can be improved upon while we remain in a relaxed state, lamenting on the ills of this world that readily condone hate? It's almost as if we just expect for the world to find its way, much like a hired driver would, & just let us know when we all get to a better place.

 

Stop.

 

Open your eyes & just look around. We're merely treading water in rather creative ways, trading one hot button concern for another, giving focus to certain problems while completely ignoring ones that are shoulder-to-shoulder with the issues that 'we' decided to fix. The engine's running, but the system's broken.

 

Evolution is a textbook-spun illusion, and the sad reality behind "your enemies will define you" is that the descriptors don't necessarily have to be true to be readily believed. When one writes his story, he often paints himself as not only the victor, but as someone noble & just, slow to anger, & sympathetic to the plights of others.

 

I can't give peace to my loved ones until I give peace to myself. The excuses must get shelved, never to see another harvest to reap. And while the destructive side of me was well-fed, I have promises to keep. So here I go, trying to make mends on the fences that I used to picket from. The moral of the story burns, though: if you want to save yourself from living through Hell ever so present, no good book matches the gift of love. Consider it a lighter for the heart that's a dormant bonfire, waiting for the spark worth erupting for. Tonight, let's set our cages ablaze.

code incomplete.

I wonder what the pre-cursor of the end is like. Not to be mistaken for chasing after death just to call myself brave, my curiosity is coupled with catastrophic moments from the past - both the world's & my own - which felt like times that we weren't going to survive. No need to tell you that we made it, obviously, but we never really knew the extent of the damages. We'd grown accustomed to dusting off & keeping it moving, out of both necessity and lack of guidance. Looking back, taking a moment to truly digest things emotionally would have been sound strategy. But it's too late to turn around now.

thought about you

This only sounds like 'storytime'.

When the mid-day sun shone at its brightest, above the hustle & bustle that drives the city, I thought about you. You used to always find the brighter side of darker nights, convinced that the stars always would align to guide us right. And sometimes, I wish that I believed what you said to be true. I miss you, especially on days like this one. Not a cloud in the sky, the weather's favorable, & the sun's perched atop 12 o'clock...but I can't seem to see the rays for the beach. 

I miss you. Everything seems darker, more fragile now. I'm not as agile as I once was. The things that I used to bounce back from, tend to keep me down a bit longer. Now I like to act as if my scars make me stronger somehow, but they don't - they only serve as harsh reminders that I wasn't quick enough, clever enough, lucky enough to avoid things that were too sharp to hold, too hot to touch, too painful to watch. 

Sometimes, I want to follow the path where I saw you last, just to see where you've gone off to. And if it's better than here. 

I try hard from day to day not to, but last night when the demons came calling & I considered answering, I thought about you. I never found any sacrilege in wondering about what you would do. I don't know what's the closest to God I've ever been, but the gap felt lessened whenever you were around. But now...it's felt like a million city miles ever since.

It used to feel a little easier to smile, even when I was down. Sadness sometimes seeps into the sun times; that's not news to me. The shadows of my subconscious sell space to somber staying sentiment. Every trace of happiness has blue residue. I try to not think of you, because that becomes this. And words become pointless. And you're no longer here when it's all done & said. Even the mere acknowledgement is enough to overshadow my soul or eclipse.

 

Your son.

it's all done & said.

I have finally completed my latest book, & the feeling of relief has arrived to hopefully stay a while. I'm finished. What I mean by 'finished' is that I will not be adding anything else to this collection. All of the writing that's been weighing me down has been expelled from my shell just in the nick of time. It truly felt like I was dying, carrying it all around. And of course I'm dying 24 hours more every day,  even when I'm feeling immortal, but death feels much more rapid when I'm analyzing. Thank you to every pair of eyes that have taken the time to read anything that I ever decided to write. It meant the world to me, as I unraveled & re-bound myself in front of you, in hopes of making even the slightest positive dent in this world. 

I would be remiss if I didn't publicly say thank you to my lady, as she is easily my biggest supporter. She's also the first set of eyes that I feel the final product has to pass positively. I also have to take the time to thank my friends & loved ones for helping me, with all three books, as I would tend to send them pieces for feedback/critique, or just share ideas with them. While I may or may not utilize said critique, it is always more than helpful. Also, I have to give a grand thank you & round of applause to the creator of the last two covers, Myla, who can be found at www.Instagram.com/mylasart. Finally, thank you. No matter the size, I do not have an audience without you.

grounded/2fold.

 

Often I focus too much on what I've done

In trying to make this soil my own

Extending myself towards the sun

In an effort to show how I've grown.

I've come to realize though

In order for me to truly grow

There's shit I have to deal with

Extracting life's lessons & essence

From whatever the piles heaped.

Now, that's something to reap on.

//

Even when loved ones die before their sons rise

Stuffing dreams besides bodies in the back of hearses

The withering of life we truly cannot doctor

So we all end up nursing, 

trying to cool soothe the bruise of fall.

An ice cubed life we wanted to pot;

The dead said we can't afford Eden at all.

May feel a need to sing away the pain,

Roll with the curses in back of hearses

Draw the curtains closed.

Ask God if we're the foe

Stepped on too many toes

Committed the ultimate sin

trying to figure what this is.

And if Her answer is sunshine,

then fine, let the record show

Life seems devoid of photosynthesis

why will it not let us grow?

Why not marriage, Mother's Day, our grandkids' christening?

Instead of getting bundled up for others' sins again?

//

Don't worry and feel freer

Once the rain of eyes

No longer take you by surprise

especially on the emptier days.

When the cracks in the pavement

Begin to make a statement

They'll blame you for your displacement

Like their self-serving negligence isn't ancient

And the cracks in the foundation

Wasn't borne of their lack of maintenance.

The call flies once the line dries -

Know Love: it's a low-cost service 

that still works outside of churches

Makes hearts ears & eyes align

The sun shines upon all & one

As everyone shares the same garden

nourished with the same water falls

weeds, roses, violets, sunflowers & all.

Feed on a steady diet of light & truth

Train for the endurance to outlast plight

Hope for better tomorrows

Don't get pulled in the wrong direction

& the whole lot of us just might

Bloom.

Meet & Greet

To best your enemy, dress as them, speak their language, learn the enemy's game...then change everything right under their noses. Lack of response from an agitator does not a Nobel Peace Prize winner make; you are either the oppressor or oppressed, victor or victim, controller or controlled. 

 

Knowing what type of victory you are willing to accept will help determine what type of plans & responses the fight merits. Not all battles are won with drawn blood; sometimes, you have to take something worth much more. It is then & only then, that you can become friends.

Happiness.

A choice, a decision. 

A constant practice in

elevation + maintenance. 

Happiness comes with a cost. 

Are you always going to be

The one that's willing to pay? 

Purpose.

I think that some of us cause ourselves undue havoc by not doing things that we are passionate about. Fighting against self to fit into a box on society's shelf is only a way to die; it's no way to live.

For those who are looking for a 'purpose', I wonder how many of them stopped themselves dead in their tracks from doing what they truly love.

And I'm not saying "quit your job & draw up home blueprints full time", but if that's what sparks your soul's interest, then immerse yourself in it whenever you can.

Spend your free time like it's worth something. It only costs you when you don't use it on what makes your heart tick.

And as far as that "purpose" thing goes, I think I've cracked the code: you are here to inspire others with your life's movie. 

Of course one person's plot differs from the next, but that's what makes it *your* particular film.

(Using myself as an example b/c that's whose movie I'm mostly an expert analyst on) 

Look, I love to hoop & I love to write. Nowhere near the greatest in either one, but I'm either good enough or passionate enough to help inspire others. Sometimes the details don't matter.

Kids will see me play & want to know how to do certain 'moves' or how to pass better, whatever. I'm humbled enough to take the time to try & share my POV, and help out however I can. The same thing goes for writing. I'm not unapproachable & apparently don't come off that way, because they'll come right out and ask for help. Who am I to get in the way of someone's development? I may be one of the stepping stones in someone's path to learn from someone far greater than me. I can't be a roadblock, and I damn sure wouldn't want for someone to be a roadblock for me. Lending a small helping hand is one of the basic human skills that we need to get back to displaying more often. 

My purpose in writing this blog, really, is to share a little bit about what my last book "A Work of (he)Art" means to me, and what it took in order to finally complete it.

For the record, this was supposed to be the title of my very first book, not my (technically) 3rd project. The title itself meant so much to me, that it's one of my earlier tattoos in my sleeve. It summed up everything that I felt (& still feel) about life. Back to the movie reference from earlier, we are all putting out works of art, every day. Whether we want to be seen as such is really out of our hands: someone is always looking, always analyzing, always comparing & always critiquing. We are all part of a living, breathing gallery. As far as the "heart" part goes, many of us have been molded throughout life by others' hands, out of nothing short of pure unconditional love. And it's my opinion that the best art comes from the heart - passion fuels promise...not to be misunderstood as chasing perfection. 

Anyway, back to the actual book. I wrote a version a few years ago, back when I dropped the digital-only "EP" 'Lovers & Killers', and let a select few see it, because I had written it off as never coming out and (unbeknownst to probably everyone who cares) had resigned to the reality of never publishing a book. I could never get to a place of personal satisfaction for something that I would have to take my hands off of & put out into the world. I never quite understood why artists, regardless of creative medium, considered their works to be their babies...until I actually considered letting mine walk out into the wind, so to speak. "It's not ready yet! What if it runs across someone who doesn't understand it? I haven't dressed it up properly for the world to see!"

So yeah, I was content with living in the world of "what if", because it seemed so much more safe than the world of "actually doing" . Failure couldn't talk shit to me if I never came to open the front door. But then probably the only person who could talk me off of the ledge of isolation came calling. My brother from another, Teef, cashed in on a years-old pact that we made back in the Myspace-era to co-write a book that would be a part of his #4Seasons collection, "Winter". I've always felt that it was my duty to assist whenever I was needed, & this was no different. Little did I know, he was baiting me. I was Jay Electronica, & Teef (up until that point) had been Diddy, Nas & Q Tip. Fast forward (we wrote that book in something like 30 days, I believe) & he basically says "aiight, the ice is broken on you publishing. Now #putThatBookOutNigga!"

While finishing up "Ink Pens & Permanent Thought", I was already putting shape to my next book (I create projects in overlap)  & figured that it was high time to get my original dream title out to the public. The grand part was, I finally had a full vision to go along with the title. I not only wanted for the book to be a type of "learning experience", but I also wanted to try & give a few others the push that Teef gave me. The writers that I have featured in "A Work of (he)Art" are all artists that I know well, & ones that I wanted to give a kind of nudge to (not that they even necessarily needed it). I also wanted to share my boutique audience with them, in hopes that they might even pick up some new fans along the way. 

(note: I really hate the word "fan". It seems so self-fulfilling & pompous....thanks in large part to today's society. I'd rather use something like "appreciators"....if it were more of a sexy word. But it is not.)

I have stayed up past many a midnight, waiting for the dead silence of 2am, just to make sure that I heard my mind & heart right. Burning my candle at both ends seems like a foolish way to live to most, but with a mind like mine, it's worth the shortened wick to be able to wax poetic how I see fit. I sacrifice my soul to try & help others who feel that their lives are so dark, see their own light. And yes, there are plenty of moments that I wonder if it's a waste of time, or if people think that I write from a place of arrogance, or write just to try & make money, or (even more laughable) chase fame. But then I'll get feedback from unlikely sources, revealing to me their own tales of relatability, unearthing their dreams that I never would have imagined lived within them. 

That's when I know that everything was all worth it. Thank you. 

Ready To Die (a "Hate Me Now" story)

Born to the sound of my momma's cries

At a disadvantage the moment I opened my eyes

I am Ready to Die.

Living as the enemy in a war that I didn't even know had begun

Being profiled as being more hesitant to flash a smile than a gun

Being isolated as vile, so there isn't an ally to which I can run

I am Ready to Die.

So I'm stuck here.

As the one not to be trusted

The one who should be feared

But at every turn reminded

That I am a nigger even if they were blinded....

And I am powerless.

Powerless to save myself

Powerless to save myself

Powerless to save myself,

If they REALLY want me dead, they will make it happen

....or just throw me in the box & give me one hundred years.

I am Ready to Die.

Shit looks grim, right?

So should I just...do them a favor

Lie down in traffic

Jump off of a cliff

Look in the mirror and pull the trigger, right?

Or better yet, go on a rampage & take some more of those niggers with me, "yeah"?

Man fuck that.

I'ma make these assholes sick

I'ma make these bitches mad

I'ma have the weight of the hatin' ass world on my shoulders,

& walk like my theme music was made personally by God himself.

I'ma make these haters love me to the point where they start trying to become me.

I'ma make their parents have "that talk" about how they need to quit listening to my dope ass music, need to stop dressing like they have fashion sense, need to stop doing shit that all normal kids do but since some niggas were seen doing it, it's been re-christened a sin.

(And it's not going to be explained that way, but fuck them anyway.)

My job from now, until I get out of this shit ass "life" that you have created is to live like I don't give a fuck about what the so-called "better thans" feel or think of me. They think I'm here to be their self-esteem boost on gloomy days, (which, in reality is what I like to call "damn, I'm not the ruler of this planet like I thought that I was. Only 87% of things went my way today!") but I'm not. I'm here to make you hate me, get to know me & love me, then be reminded by your peers that you're "better than that" & hate me again. You're Ready for me to Die?

Fuck you. Here's my grin.

:)

- Flying Lotus

On the way home

to a broken art,

He looked skyward

waiting for a sign to

hang his hopes upon

on days when hall closet hangers

just won't do.

Eyes remain cloud-level

while the body stays in Hell,

they just need the right light

for their desires & something

greater. Later.

- Rush Hour Traffic.

I wish your compassion's flame burned as bright as your desire to love me.

I miss my dad on days like today.

And today is like all of the rest of them.

I wish that it was as easy to change our lives as it is to change lanes.

...then again, sometimes it's better that we don't even make the attempt.

I know because I just tried, & apparently I was infringing upon someone else's life.

She screamed through the horn to let me know.

So I'm never calling her again.

Do people buy love seat couches with love in mind, still?

Did they ever? I wish that they would.

I wish corner stores sold hope like they sell lotto tickets.

I wish drug dealers sold hope with the determination that they sell dope.

Or maybe I'm the dope that strung out on the idea of hope.

I wish every day were truly a new day, instead of a continuation of yesterday's plights & plagues.

It would be nice if nights were the soap, and morning skies were the rinse before the air dry.

Most of all, I wish that I didn't have to sit in this rush hour traffic, thoughts moving faster than the cars that have me boxed in.