Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wednesday October 25, 2006 - 6:41AM

There is way too much to really tell since the last time i updated but let me start with this. I've been to Milan and lost my phone there (God, i STILL love saying that!)

It was a great three days. I was there with VisionIntoArt ( – y'all should really check them out – we're playing at the STONE on halloween night). i had forgotten that Europe has no fat people, no one laboring under hormonally inkected meats and vegetables with catfish genes spliced in to keep them fresh.

It's a mind fuck to walk around a place, walk into folks' homes which are older than this whole country. Anyway, it was a great time and we had a great show and as a result, we'll be off to Sicily in March and Venice in July. I'ma act the fool in Europe this summer is all i'm going to say about that.

Once back, it was preparing for my book release party which just happened this Friday past. Preparing for my book release party means that largely i was preparing for my mother's arrival which frankly gave me as much pause as the impending book did. Most of us have this weird love/frustration thing with our mothers. For me i think it is that i've felt as though there is no way i could ever please her. In fact the last five times we've spent time in the same place, her visit (or my visit) would end with a litany of what was wrong with my life (last visit included the now famed asking me if i was gay – that's now legend and i'm not going to go into that whole story). Suffice to say i was trying my best to not allow anything to comment on this time. We (Marty and I) cleaned the house. I mopped the floors, I did windows. Okay let me say that again. I did WINDOWS. I washed venetian blinds. i threw shit out. I polished the bedroom floor, the kitchen floor, the living room floor, the bathroom floor. I'm talking about Mop 'N Glow here bitches! recognize! My mom got here and my mom – and check how even with all the tension i was anticipating my mom is still better than your mom – my mom, brought me a Maasai spear. My mom thought, based on a book i had as a child called 'Tall as a Spear' that my book release was good occasion for me to have an authentic Maasai Spear. So she Fed-Exed it from Trinidad so that it got here while she was here (cuz she figured Homeland Security might have questions about trying to travel with a spear on an international flight).

What i'm saying is this people, don't fuck with me. I'm rolling with a double tipped spear on the NYC subways. What?!

So i'm trying to keep my mother entertained (she moved over to Lynne's place after the first day because she wasn't about to fuck with the fourth floor walkup for 10 days straight) and i'm trying to get things done for the book release party and for my one-man show which comes up in less than 2 weeks. It's hctic and my nerves are becoming more and more frayed. I'm tired as shit, but before we even get there, on my Mom's second day here, it is the Cave Canem 10 year reunion so i take her to the readings. She enjoys them immensely and folks line up to meet my mom and all of a sudden i think it dawns on her that i'm part of a community which respects some of what i do. Moreover, my friends all did a good job gassing me up to my Mom. On about day 4, she meets Colin Channer (Jamaican novelist) who says for the 75th time that weekend, “you must be so proud...” etc etc. My mother says to him (in my presence) “well... he didn't do what i wanted him to do, but he did what i wanted to do.”

My world just stopped. This is the largest and most cathartic kind of approval i think to get from one's mother. If you asked for approval in writing it couldn't get more satisfying than that. In addition, she got to meet Linton Kwesi Johnson, legendary Jamaican dub poet, and the author of the first book of poems ic an remember my mother ever giving me “Dread Beat and Blood”.

So by the time the book release party comes around, i'm wound fairly tight, but let me say this. Folks really rallied around me for this one. Lynne refused to let me get panicked, Marty refused to let me get panicked, Fish plugged my show to the nth degree. My production company terraNOVA collective represented hard as did my publishers Cypher Books.

So i'm thinking, if i get 200 folks out and 50 books sold, it's a successful night. It's a coup. Close to 500 folks came through and i sold close to 200 books and my Uncles Wole and Femi and my Aunt Beverly and Marty's parents came through and my brother Jamil was there and i had a good performance and everything was way flyer than i thought it could be and so... it's 6:30AM and i can't sleep so i'vegot up to do a boatload of the work that my director hasgiven me for the show. So the show starts Nov 7. It runs from the 7th to the 11th, then the 14th and the 16th to the 19th. It's gonna be a blast and i think better than when you last saw it this past summer. That's about that. I should try to get back to bed now. I've been up for over an hour already.