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.


Anonymous Tara Betts said...

you did a great job with your family's support and so many people who really respect what a brother does. I hope that I can make more time to hang soon. I will definitely be out to see Masquerade.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire you for refusing to be defined. I love 'song for trent lott' that is some true warrior speech right there. Bless!

5:34 PM  
Blogger cornshake said...

oh MAN, wish i coulda been there...can't wait to get my hands on your book.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Carmen Torres said...

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5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your voice fruits a reality in printed truth and gifts this learner stuff the textbooks don't teach. How the routes our effort maps existence with eventually intersect and the truth outs.

I too have the gay wonderings going on back home, and for good reason - as I will demostrate with this anecdote.

I worked with my father in his small construction business for years and his hardest working employee - who he'd took on as a shy silent schooleaver - slowly emerged "out" covertly over the years until he had all but verbally confirmed his sexuality.

One Saturday night when I lived at home with the folks I was in Liverpool drunk and in a gay bar with a woman I had met that night, and I ended up staggering about the city lost and broke. I arrived home Sunday morning after walking 10 or so miles to get there and came through the patio doors as pop was munching his cereal and toast, very relieved and near to wide legged collapse, silently acknowledging the paternal head of family but not stopping to tell him what a great night of drunken loss and marathin tramp I had just gone through.

The next morning, Monday, Jim, the gay grafter, was in stitches telling my dad about seeing me in a gay bar at 3am, but failing to mention the woman in toe - who he had not witnessed - as he said he didn't observe me for long, just a confirmed sighting of the bossess son in a throng of sweaty neon manhood.

I love the mother/spear anecdotes man, they are proof that a huge capacity for good to happen comes as the direct result of our practicing the verbal art of faith, commintment, effort and will to believe in a dream.

You are inspiring.

9:42 PM  

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