Thursday, February 23, 2006

bday part two: daybreak

friendship n 1 : the state of being friends 2 : the quality or state of being friendly : FRIENDLINESS 3 obs : AID

i felt so good riding home on the way back from harlem with ebony knight and sage queen - feeling like i'd bonded with them. (if you don't know who i'm talking about, you need to scroll down and read the previous post first. and i know... it's long. but you don't have to read all this in one big swallow. a sip here and there will do. no rush, no hurry.) being in the cold all evening was the last of my concerns. the congestion in my chest that was just beginning to wane couldn't have been further from my mind as sage queen and i raved over everything we'd seen and experienced while ebony knight tried to get his rest on in the seat behind us. i had a bag full of goodies - my stuff from carol's daughter, the hue-man bookstore, and some extra plantains that ebony knight made sure i'd have to take home. i felt beautiful and intelligent and happy from looking at so many beautiful and intelligent brown people all day long, not just in harlem, but on our bus. the children were so handsome and full of promise - their mentors were brothers and sisters of talent and vision, who led us in prayer before we hit the road.

word from ebony knight and sage queen was that a poet/all around good performer friend of ours, knowledgable beauty (k.b.) was having folks over for a movie that

such a sucker

night. they'd asked me in the morning if i wanted to tag along. well you know me,
(well, okay, you don't, so i'll tell you), i was definitely down. ebony knight broke my heart, talkin 'bout some he was tired, and he wouldn't make it to k.b.'s. when we got to philly, we said goodnight and parted ways. meanwhile, sage queen, who was wide awake, rolled out with me to k.b.'s. we went over the river and through the woods and around robin hood's barn - sheesh! but we finally got there, and trucked in the cold night to k.b.'s door. i went in first. they must have been into the movie already, 'cause it was quiet and dark... i was wondering why it was so quiet... and so dark... until i rounded the corner and heard, "SURPRISE!!!" i am such a sucker! LOL! ebony knight got there before us and apparently was the one to transport the (CHOCOLATE!) cake, which said, "Happy Birthday, Glory," and was sitting under happy birthday streamers. my peoples were there or came through during the night to show some love.

i was so touched. i was in a room full of poets that i admire and look up to for their knowledge and


accomplishments - poets that i learn from, poets that remind me of how much growth i have yet to experience, poets that have known me for less time than i've even been in the area... and here they were hooking me up with cake and ice cream, their company, and their friendship. overwhelmed is the best word i can think of to describe how i still feel about their kindness. i had a good time unwinding with them and just being in the company of good peoples...




sunday, my actual birthday, and monday, president's day (shoot... bump dat - glory's day) passed without much fanfare. i got plenty of calls and text messages, but the kid didn't make it out of the house until monday night, and that was only insearch of food. i was tired, and i hardly had a voice, which was scary, considering that my feature was coming up. all that running around in the hawk and staying out late and stumbling into the house at 3am is not the way to go when you're getting over an illness that, at one point, had you laid out. i had a meeting planned, and then i really wanted to hit up a youth slam that night, but i realized while buzzing around to get dressed that simply buzzing around the apartment had me worn out. i listened to my body's pleas for relief and just rested these bones. they are a year older, after all...

but tuesday??? whoooooooooo!!!

i woke up thinking about my first feature ever. excited and nervous. confident and unsure. work happened. midway through the day, i came home for

just the boosts

i needed

lunch to three gifts from my wish list - one, a bell from nigeria with a striker (which i take great pleasure in playing without regard for my neighbors), and the others were books (nikki giovanni and angela y. davis) with an accompanying note: "Happy Birthday and Congratulations on your feature, Glory. Knock em dead! Love your sis! - Sis" i love my bigsistasoror for thinking about me, and my sister of the pen, traveler of the earth, for discerning how much fun i would have with my new instrument. those were just the boosts i needed on the day of my feature!

after work, i rushed home, let the water renew me, slid into my outfit, and rushed to philly. then came the worries. will so-and-so make it? will such-and-such remember?

the atmosphere

supported me

will there be parking? is there enough room in this place for everyone? will i screw this up from nervousness? nonsense. everyone made it (except my cousinbrother who was knocked out - old married men tend to do that lol!), including my best friend and my college homie. and those who said they would and didn't? you were missed but not resented. things happen, i understand. but i can't control for what you missed! the open mic was so diverse and so good! and i swallowed my nervousness and did the damn thang. it was fun to share with my family. the atmosphere supported me - hoisted me up on its shoulders towards the comfort i needed to just relax and remember the words, deliver them with the feeling with which i'd wrote them, and give of my heart.

my homie, pretty eyes, had my camera. i just handed it to her, and she took a movie of it, instead of stills. but i'm having technical difficulties. my computer and camera don't want to cooperate. i don't have stills, but k.b. took some and will email them to me once they're uploaded to her machine. sorry for the delay. but i won't forget to update once i get some stills for you, since my movie won't upload.

i did my poems voice and intolerance first. then altar. then north (which i read, 'cause it wasn't memorized). voice is the first poem i've shared with



others, that started this addiction i have for
sharing my words with others... intolerance was the second. each poem deals with the aftermath of loving gone wrong. i shared altar because it is a favorite of mine, about black men, those who i love to love. (i didn't tell the audience, but that piece is retired from performance after last night). i wanted to share more pieces, but we had so many people on the open mic list that my feature length was cut, so that we could accommodate our many guests. i'll be honest i didn't want to share (only child syndrome), but i made an executive decision and read north - i couldn't help but think of this poem while at the schomberg center, witnessing the movement of my people towards whatever freedom and prosperity beckoned. luckily for me, we got through the open mic list and were able to have another go round of poets who wanted to do more. my dear frik wanted me to do a poem of mine he likes - he wants to be assassinated - my version of a concept floating amongst the poets at one of my favorite venues. it spells out the spirit of sistas whose revolutionary act is loving a revolutionary by sharing his passion for their people. i enjoyed doing that without the book - i get to holler, and oooh that hollering feels good!

what felt even better was the support i got from more experienced poets after




the night was over. i appreciated their presence, let alone their kudos. i think they respected me for trying - and not just trying but striving to give them good words and thoughts and feelings, not just hastily thrown together snatches of language. they make me want to get better. and so does the critique i got from mightyservant, who is one of the reasons i spit now. i admire her gift so much, so i will take her criticism and use it like mineral plant food - soak it in my soil and grow with it...

what a week! what a birthday! i didn't even miss him over the past

my new year is

so full of hope

few days - my life is so full of love and reasons to be inspired that i didn't have time to think about the stuff i did upon the calendar new year... i also made some career decisions that give me hope. my new year is so full of hope. thanks to all for the birthday wishes! thanks for reading the blog! hope i inspire you to grab what love and inspiration you can from where ever you can, 'cause that's my plan and it keeps me well fed! peace to you...