Monday, May 17, 2010

Marcia Jones Interviewed on Frida Kahlo

Who is Frida Kahlo to you as woman?  For me Frida is a woman who's art is full of narrative. She tells a story in every painting. If you seriously focus and employ critical analysis when decoding her work, there is a language she speaks within the symbolism, her language is layered and abundant. Using the term "Surrealism" to describe her work to me is like calling Hip Hop "Rap" music. Frida's work is dynamic in range, a range of emotion that threads through the core of humanity. Her work to me articulates a woman's honest perspective of the human condition. Frida expresses how we love, how we struggle, and how we persevere despite our challenges.

What is your heritage? I am Native and Black American. Since going to Africa I never really call my self African American (only when around Black Bourgeoisie). I feel I haven't done enough for Africa to say I'm African anything. I know I have ancestral roots there and I do have pride in knowing my DNA traces back to Africa, but when asked on the immigration forms in Africa to "identify the nationality of the passport holder", while surrounded by Africans in Africa, I felt stuck on stupid... I felt like a poser. I had never felt such an overwhelming sense of imposing my "American Privilege". I put Black American. I see it like this, without being able to say exactly where I'm from in Africa, or being able to identify with a specific tribe cause I contribute (my time or american dollars) to uplift the community with social justice... I saw too much injustice while there, unfortunately we americans focus and care too much about the wrong things. The stuff that doesn't really matter like Tiger Woods and Beyonce, the truth is Africans are well aware of Black America's displaced if not lazy discernment for Africa... so I say Black American. Even America's idea of "Black " is dismantled and displaced... So all that to say.. I'm 1920-50 Pro Black Garveyite American and Native American.

I truly believe that you can tell the state of a nation by taking a closer look at its women. What do you feel is Frida’s greatest contribution to Mexico?  I agree. If the women are oppressed and the Country is at War spiritually no good can come of it. As an Activist I feel Frida found purpose and passion in her country and her political views. Her love affair with Leon Trotsky, Josephine Baker, and Tina Modotti speaks to that. I feel Frida is her greatest contribution to her country. How she was determined to express her forward way of thinking and living no matter what. She was and still is a Revolutionary Art Activist Woman, she had a voice and often expressed her opinion with diplomacy, vigor, and passion. But lets be clear she seemed to be the type of woman that always had a thought behind the thought. She seemed determined to hold true to her beliefs and philosophy. Her actions were not contingent on a man, a church, a school, or any traditional institution. Especially an institution grounded in patriarchy or political dominance. It has been said that her art and her life are one in the same, when viewing her work there should be no division. To understand her is to understand her work.

What do you feel is Frida’s greatest contribution to women? I feel her greatest contribution to women is her honesty.. read her journal! Her ability to poetically articulate the complex layers of her inner thoughts with such passion. Her mental, political, spiritual and emotional selves all overlapped, and at times ran congruent with contradiction so poetically, often her love read juxtaposed with fear and conflict, she exposes it all to the world. Her painting are a whisper in comparison to her journal. Really the journal informs the paintings not the other way around. The "high art world" calls her work "surrealism". I just call it real! The way artistic women do mostly everything is "surreal" we have to be out of this world. Frida's work gives Women an opportunity to see themselves from the outside in, we have to be honest about ourselves to honestly say you understand her works. I personally find strength in her tenacious audacity to be so damn honest and brave especially with her vulnerability. She withheld nothing about her life. I love how her work is both objective and subjective... how she viewed her life as both the observer and the participant. She experienced her life with passion even when bed ridden she moved forward with determination... she was honest about her love for Diego and for Women. She was explicitly honest about her physical challenges, her needs, and her desires..everything. Even though it wasn't a "Woman's proper place".

How would you describe yourself as an artist? As an Artist I feel I share many of Frida's qualities. If I had to describe myself I'd say.. I'm simply complex... a pendulum swinging from a string theory...a woman full of ethical and moral paradoxes... yet my parameters are padded with common sense.. a sense that I guess is not so common these days. I'm ethically strange I guess. I'm often misunderstood and deemed arrogant because of my standards. To par myself down I'd describe myself as a little girl in a grown woman's body yearning for a taste of commonality, a familiar language, a sense of trust, and security ... a shared love among humanity for truth and balance, a world without so much  anxious hunger for money driven over-sensationalized extremes based on insecurities. I often call my works " the beautiful suffering of"... or "the visual emotion of"... I've been asked to paint "happy" things... but I relic in an obsessions for love, logic, theory, science, philosophy, justice and facts way too much for that. Happiness is relative at best, very transient thus fleeting at times. There is a state of peace and delight that can be achieved. Getting there and sustaining it is the key. Affirming and defining my life with joy is the goal. Laughter makes me happy... sharing laughter make me even happier. How do you paint laughter?? Parody?? thus "paradox" make a joke or contradiction of it. See!! I'm back to where I started. My circles and spirals in "Spirit Images" are about that... ancient truth womb circle spiral truth. I don't do well with fiction well maybe science fiction I guess say Octavia Butler that's why I love Dirk Joseph's work. I do believe that on a cellular level things can transform but nationally a united collective consciousness is necessary. That's why I love Brooklyn circa 96-01. Magic Momentum and Movement at its finest!

Would you tell about any works you’ve created  that have been inspired by Frida?  All of my works have been inspired by Frida especially Spirit Images. Spirit Images is my first body of work I started in 1995 as a self taught painter. I was working as a personal assistant to Harriette Cole at Essence Magazine before I started painting I got knocked up so I got fired LOL . I jokingly say my undergraduate painting experience was on stage as a live performance painter to spoken word and live music in Brooklyn 1996-99. That experience was incredibly amazing for me .. it was undoubtedly a movement that I believe shaped the "spoken word" movement today. I am the self proclaimed Mother of Live Performance Painting In the spoken word genre . I had the fortune of painting live with the likes of the (all Pre) infamous Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Saul Williams, Hanifah Walidah, Mike Ladd, MuMs, Martin Luther, Ndambi Blue, asha bandele, Jessica Care Moore, Tamar Kali, and Imani Urzuri all dear friends still. I began to study Fridas work around this time, her images drew me in, hers Georgia Okeffe, Monica Sooj, and Judy Chicago were my favorite. But of them all Fridas work demanded me to feel the most! With Resolved: The Beautiful Suffering of the Secrets you Never Tell 2008 my latest I employ a mixture of Susan Sontag images shot by Lebovitz, Nan Goldin, and Frida's work. I collaborated with the amazing Frank Ishman on Resolved. He's a luscious mystery on an angel with a camera!!

What do you think Frida would think about your work?  I think she'd immediately question my honesty. I hold onto my secrets too tight and an arms distance to my viewer. If you get it I let you in.. thats to my own demise. I have trust issues cause I'm not married and/or in love. Hence I don't feel safe to be outwardly exposed. This may sound strange to some and not so strange to others. I have done 2 portraits of Frida and both times during the entire process she spoke to me, she was there, I could communicate with her. While creating one portrait I cross examined Frida Kahlo to the Saint Erzuli Frida ( they both showed up) and the other portrait is of myself as Frida and Saul Williams as Diego. Her painting is titled Diego on my mind and my portrait is "Forever the Diego to My Frida" I know she likes both of those portraits, but I think she'd really push me on Resolved/The Beautiful Suffering of the Secret you Never Tell 2008,  to the point of full disclosure. I'm still hiding inside my shell for the most part.

Frida was born July 6th, 1907, she later said that her birth year was 1910,which was the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. What changes have you made to invent yourself into the woman and artist you are today? Ha! I was a cheerleader in high school and my first year at Clark Atlanta University.. yup booty shake, hip twist, and all... a HBCU cheerleader! I wanted to be a Laker Girl and then move on to a Hollywood choreographer like the Fly Girls. I got a story for that but I'd digress. My name nick name in High School was Lil Abdul as in Paula! My hip hop /house dance crew name was Marc (even shorter for Marci). 2000-2002 I danced for a Brazilian dance collective in Santa Monica California Swing Brazil. We had several beautiful performances but my favorite was with Perry Ferrel, I got to dance Orisha folklore and Performance Paint while in costume! Perry is such an amazing performer! So yeah dance was my first artistic love, writing my second but my grammar is wretched. If you have ever watched me performance paint I'm dancing really. I also wanted to be a Fashion Stylist, I earned my BA in Fashion Merchandising and Design from Clark Atlanta University. When I first got to NYC in 95. I was fortunate to cross paths with the best. I worked with Hariette Cole, Micheala Angela Davis, and Misa Hylton.

Frida was struck with polio as a child which left her right leg thinner and weaker than her left leg. Do you as an woman have any childhood physical insecurities that have ultimately made you stronger?  I was born premature 2 pounds 13 oz. I believe how we are born into this world is how we will live our lives. I was born ahead of my time fighting for my life. I almost died in childbirth and another time when I graduated from grad school. It took me 60 hours to deliver my daughter. I passed out the day I got my Masters. Funny, when I run into people from Grad school they're like "OMG I thought you died". It's these experiences that catapulted me to create. Saul Williams' first book the Seventh Octave (moore black press) is dedicated to our daughter Saturn. The cover image titled Waterbirth is the first painting in my Spirit Images series... I really wanted a Waterbirth. Resolved 2008 is about the Grad school experience.

During her long and painful recovery from the horrific bus/trolley accident Frida truly showed great talent as a painter. Her pain is well illustrated in her work. Do you use your art as a filter for your physical pain, if yes, How? Yes, all of my work articulates my pain that's why I create. While finalizing my thesis work in 2004 I was diagnosed with MS. I have been living in and out of remission for 6 years. My lapses are always triggered by disappointments and  heartache. Every lapse has been linked to a breakup and/or my inconsistencies in faith. Thats been my most held tight secret. Yet I couldn't fully conduct this interview and not expose that. The one thing I refuse to do is condemn myself to hypocrisy. I created the Resolved 2008 works during my residency at the Studioplex art complex on the historic Auburn Ave. I lived there alone in perfect solitude in a 3000 sq. ft. live/work studio loft. I didn't exposed my health problems to the public.  I just put it in the work.  I never really felt fully embraced or safe enough to be completely honest verbally I was still coping let alone inviting others in to my healing process....I felt there was so much backlash and resentment about being awarded the space from the visual art community so I just retreated. I never felt aligned enough in ATL to any particular "crowd" that is until I met Leah and Chloe of Rising Appalachia! Have you ever met someone who can finish your sentences, understand you, and be so on point. We shared a communal home with 4 other women... we all were women united across diversities, it was a harmonious and beautiful home. Until we learned it was contaminated with Black Mold. The "Portal Palace" an enchanted palace of  Black, White, Jewish, Jamaican, Singer, Musician, Film maker, Farmer, Yoga Instructor, Painter, Actress, Professor, Buddhist, Baptist, Fire Spinners, and Activist with Chickens, neighboring Goats, 2 Dogs, a compost heaps, recycling bins, bikes, and a garden....ahead of our time! It was a healthy community of like minded women. I felt safe enough to tell them and they showed up for me in my most crucial moment. In Sept of 2009 because of the mold,  I experienced the worst lapse I ever had. Overnight I couldn't walk, talk, drive or comprehend the simplest of things. I was in a wheelchair but with their love and support I'm back up healthy. I love my sisters of the palace. 

Later in life Frida married Diego Rivera, famed Mexican artist. After experiencing bouts of infidelity with Rivera she stated “ I suffered two grave accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar ran me over, the other accident is Diego.” How did her art change or evolve after her “other accident”, Diego? Her spirit was broken. I have a piece in  Resolved titled "If You Love Her then Love Her Well." its pretty much about that. See to be honest I've been broken and put back together so many times that to tell my whole story now you'll have to fill in the blanks with your own story so it can read as whole...but one specifically Saul Williams and I got back together briefly in 2007, I felt we had full circled, yet he called me to inform me he was marrying "the actress"...hence him being the " Forever the Diego to my Frida" piece which I exhibited at the Excavating Motherhood exhibit at B.A.G in NYC. in December 2007.

Like all the women of the Jewelry, Art, Music & Movement project Frida did not limit herself because of other’s limited imagination. What kinds of limitations have been placed on you as a woman and artist? How have you overcome them? Wow first thing that comes to mind is the being a "Black Woman Visual Artist" limitation. There is only one granted entry to the "club" at a time. For the most part Thelma Goldin seems to be the gate keeper then we have a few runner ups to follow.  My new favorite Black Woman curator is Shantrelle Lewis, she rebukes the politicking and is honestly about the content of the work. I have this running joke, it's not a nice one but I feel like its so true in the elite fine art world..."wow, she got into what show or omg she got what grant??? Damn that had to cost her about 50 dicks LOL. I'm a bit stubborn, it's not that they don't work hard for opportunity, I just won't compromise my integrity to get ahead. I know there is a game to be played but I don't want it that way. I exercise choice and if refusing to sleep with someone to get ahead sets me back 15 years so be it. Believe me I've been offered and I have been denied. For every blue ball comes a black one to follow. My legacy has to be consistent with my standards for my daughter and her generation. That was one of my peeves with the movie, that so much was focused on her intimate sex life, than the content of her work. Take the story of Saul Williams and I for that matter, we very much loved each other, made a person and some art, now we are linked in love and art forever.  That a story she'll be proud to tell about her mother as an artist.

What legacy do you want to leave as a woman and artist? My story (ya'll haven't even heard the half of it!) my daughter, and my art. I want my daughters children to open the herstory books and say thats my Grandmother... I have this pair of Frida Kahlo socks (my lucky socks)... I want a pair of socks made out of an image of me, hand bags, and beaded curtains and stuff like that. I want my work to auctioned at Christie's and Sotheby's (not today but one day) but hopefully for ages to come. Please don't think I don't issue Letters of Authenticity with every original work sold..and trust my daughter will be the guardian of my estate.
 So people who have collected my works thus far..I appreciate you! 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hustlers, Musicians, and Pimps Oh My!! Poets and Painters and Priest Om My!!

I have a bad addiction for men who rock the mic right.
...when Left is the feminine side.
My feminine side is now loaded and weighed down.
Heavy with false promises, protective amour, and disappointments of my own demise. Pain.
I am guilty of loving others more than I have loved myself. I was simply doing what I learned how to do. You attract what you reflect, you reflect what you know. What I know now is that I am loving and peaceful regardless.

One has to be "Committed and Addicted" to be a great Bottom Bitch. That was my goal. I witnessed how ladies would shine at him, the way he handled them with care, giving them clothes and money (little did I know they earned it and those were my aunt wanda's clothes...he stole em while she was away at college). I was addicted to how my Uncle William claimed me on the streets. Dared anyone to question how/why he was pushing a stroller, I was with him. period. I felt worth something to belong to him , I had a purpose like the shiny ladies, to make him proud (that's all I knew). Its what I learned how to do at an early age. I was groomed to Love like A Best Bottom Bitch would.

My teacher, my Uncle William aka Dolla Bill a Pimp.
He was the baby boy of my grandmothers 7 children. My "babysitter"
He'd put me in my umbrella stroller and we'd be back alley bound. My job was to look cute and smile politely (the proverbial chick magnet and Po Po deflector I presume). I was unaware of the business at hand. My favorite part of the adventure... when it was time to play make the "dice roll and fly in the air", it was my job to kiss the dice and then pray real hard.

Ask any of my ex's who gamble on anything, especially their Artistry before they were known, like a good baby girl full of innocent promise and magic, did I not kiss the dice and pray real hard. I'm pretty sure Saul Williams, Charles Lee Stuart (Charlie Tuna), and Leor Dimant (DJ Lethal) would agree.

My love for the music, the art of words, and the "principalities" of the matter hands down always wins me over.

I also hold my Uncle Larry responsible to some extent. My Aunt LaVans then boyfriend now husband of 35 years. He was a musician that served in the Vietnam war ... his presence in my 3 year old life was also ingrained. I guess as a counterbalance of sorts. When he and my aunt initially started dating, I'd let it be known every encounter "i don't like you. You're always taking my Aunnie away." He'd return with treats but I didn't budge until I was 7 and I went to live with them.

Soldier, Musician, Hustler, Poets and Pimp all rings synonymous, analogous and juxtaposed in my mind. The evidence is in my paintings.

My cut of the prize after I Kissed the dice and prayed real hard...was always a guaranteed bag of Jays Salt and Sours, a pack of Twinkies,and a Grape pop. We'd always win! On our way home from collecting the earnings we'd stop at the "real" corner store, Clay's pharmacy at 114th and Laflin which was black owned and had a real cash register...what made this moment great in retrospect is that Clay's was frequented by everyone in Maple Park and Morgan Park it wasn't a question of Target or Wal greens, or Rite Aid NO ... a real black owned business. Unfortunate that in the 80's Clay's became a real corner "pharmacy" by all means. Clay was murdered in his own business. It's now a Korean Dry cleaners. Clay's daughter Marcia is who I'm named after.

When learning how to pray for others, I habitually skipped over the beginning of the mantra that states pray for SELF and others.
I've carried around a pocket full of prayers to spare like change
and everyone loves some free shit. I had an unspoken value. gave it away in the name of "free" love.

I like kissing in dark places and fucking with the lights on
I have sunshine's ability to shine bright in dark places
there are so many ways to act
and there are many shades of black
So yes I have lit the path and he kept walking out
I lost my man to the studio
I tried to compete
I laid my tracks down smooth,
no feed back in the system,
our syncopated rhythms were rhythmically aligned by Universal Indigenous African standards. The beat and contract was tight. Guaranteed to hit big.
I lost my man to the studio.
Many times over
I've given birth to many stars
this time I said good-bye
I got a studio all my own
and now they wanna call me lesbian
Not painter, Not creative, Not survivor but Dyke.
I understand the female MC now more than ever.
There is no greater intimidating force than a woman in love with herself and her art.

Darkness consumes light and the skies turn grey
Mind, mine, tranquil transforming
head hurts..
the air feels like bricks
chasing dreams foot-stepped over yellow road floating kites
broken on beaches at the expense of a heart
and a vermilion sunset fade to black
How do you feel
I know now why and how
be honest
you have
well warned i am
you try
consume still
I still wish you'd love me properly
i take chances with you
What part of it was true
I'm guessing all of it
doodles on scraps
and all lies and denials in between included
You're hungry, searching and reckless
and you told me
to deliver what you needed
in so many ways
what we crave
this kind of love
the kind you really want
not what you want
like the first time fucked
may not have been so ordinary for you
but maybe routine for me

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

confessing sins...facing my accoutablity, and granting myself forgiveness

age 5-7 are the wonder years when life unfolds and defines life for a child
age 5-7 based on science, mythology, and nature is when magic is suppose to happen building blocks in the brain are formed...and the personality is set, a child builds their life and the mind structures from what happens from 5-7.
So my question is what does life look like for a child if 5-7 is filled with perpetual abandonment, neglect, and abuse in the name of the math..
I spent my wonder years in Fear.

When my mother uprooted me from stability and ran again. This time Arkansas I was 5 and his name was Joe. This is where my life took a turn, although my mother ran in the name of protecting me from her abuser she ran right into mine. He did not sexually abuse me, he preferred torture, pain, and humiliation. Next it was Texas at the age of 7 where I was frequently left alone in strangers home while she went out partying with friends. Finally last stop Los Angeles CA at 9 where I was "raised". This journey of my mothers "running" has shaped a lot of my being for the worst and it was expected that I'd fail... but I had an Angel of Mercy looking out for me... my Aunt Lavan Morrison (My Aunnie). My Aunt Lavan is the middle daughter of my grandparents 7 children.

When alone stuck to a motel table in Atlantic City NJ at the age of 2 she answered the phone call, at the age of 6, she terrified to fly, took a plane to Pine Bluff Arkansas the day the County came to evict my Mother and Joe and hand me over to Child Protective Services. Aunnie took me into custody... my mother signed me over.
When visiting Chicago once when I was 12 my aunt served as a "silent liaison" arranging an inconspicuous meeting with my father and his family.

I remember being relatively happy when living with my Aunt I made great friends! But most nights I would cry myself to sleep wishing for my mother. Feeling helpless Aunnie called my mother and her reply "she is old enough to do dishes and clean now... I'll get her" Off to Little Rock Arkansas. Charles was a better man than Joe.

Moms and I eventually laded in Los Angeles. It was around this point my mother converted to Buddhism, it is what provided me focus and discipline to be a courageous young woman, courageous to be everything my mother was not. I started to see/feel/chant my "way out" of her cycle. An Education. I strongly believe this was the best thing my mother ever did for me. At 17 I was accepted to Clark Atlanta University... and it was my aunt and father who called and made sure I was eating, and taking care if myself, it was my Aunt who helped me get my first apartment off campus. It was my Aunt, Father, and Uncle who served as my parents.

5-7 the emotional scars did not go away
7-11 I hid them...
11-16 I swallowed them and yelled shoulder's? back! chin's? up! eyes? bright! and what else? a smile! The Young Womens' Division Buddhist auxiliary group for girls (I attended every sunday Sun up to Sun Down...that was our courage call.

but once 19 and legal
I tattooed and pierced my pain beautiful
I drugged my pain a daily ethereal trip down the rabbit hole. left me feeling whole
I drank my pain uninhibited to say exactly what I felt
I fucked my pain boy and girl.. searching for the reflection.. a glimpse of light to call my love and cast a Shadow over my darkness.

I was left alone to rely on my own dysfunctional devices to define love
used my lovers heart as my springboard
forgive me CLS,KL,HW,KUA,SSW,NH,RTLW,MM,and SM I was clumsy and fell many times your reflections were the brightest. I contemplate if we could have ever found a resing place, I thought we hid our secrets well.
Because there are no victims, everything is divine, I trust the Universe immensely I have no real regrets just moments of questions
Offer me a moment of forgiveness as I confess my sins.

And for the record I have appreciation for my mother. These confessions are not an attack on her, I am being honest with myself for myself. Making an effort to lessen my karmic retribution so my daughter lives free.That's the work. I feel victorious she reminds me that regardless I am victorious.
I don't know how to carry regret
I do not know what that feels like
but i did learn how how to become restless and impatient with
outcomes and expectation
I've tucked years of anxiety and shame of failing away
ignored it
never looked back..Ran
I'm confessing my efforts have been in false vain
a vanity not my own but my mothers. Granted accomplishing her dreams and making her proud ... It has given me a grand platform to stand. I appreciate it and I have repaid my debt.
I never asked for fortune or fame
I asked for a love and legacy.
this is the reason for my distance at functions
my premature indigestion of love and fear
I haven't learned unconditional.
and this feeling has been tucked in my belly since 5
and has surfaced as an auto immune malfunction
My immune system now attacks my nervous system
Even though I am brave
I've never been a coward
often just as scared as that 5 year old awaiting her day of torture to descend upon her.
Creating Art is my self-soothing method

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Its my party and I'll cry if...

This photo, my last birthday party at my grandmothers house. My grandmother, a seamstress, made everyones dress up clothes, not just in our house but in our entire neighborhood. She could copy the dresses in ebony and jet magazines... It was just a known fact that whatever Van Jones she touched it was going to be golden.

I was born on the Southside of Chicago at Little Company of Mary Hospital. We lived at 115th and Justine in Maple Park.

This birthday was my last at my grandmothers house before my moms left and we went to Pine Bluff Arkansas.

My Birthday Party on June 25 I977 @ 11537 JUSTINE was special. Our house was notorious for parties. Block Parties, Church Parties, After Fashion Show Parties, Spade parties, Drinking Parties, any-kind of party, my grandmother hosted it...but on his day it was My party.

Grandma made me my very own floor length white eyelet dress. Properly accessorized with Snoopy b day hat, 2 pigtails. barrettes and pink ribbons. (Peep the side part). The guest list My Aunt R with baby J, My Uncle W, my Great Grandma Crutchfield and my big cousin D. Of course all my neighborhood homies... Binki, Flossy, CoCo, Nikki and Cheeky ...say somethin!I guess you didn't know. This was my O/G crew my O/G tribe. We use to run up and down the block and dare each other to break the rules ...the rules 1) Don't step, walk, or run on anybody's lawn, 2) don't ring anybodies bell more than 3 times, 3) don't yell to or out the window from/to the street and 4) don't leave the block!

So when we got 25 cents for a brown bag of penny candy (our idea of a shopping spree) to the corner "candy store" it was a privilege. The candy store was one block up and a half a block over, in "the old lady who smelled funny" living room, but this moment was like our voyage to another world. This moment was our liberation. Coco was the oldest so she was in charge. We'd all hold hands and make a mad dash across the street, up the block, and around the corner. But best believe on every given day Mr. Medlock (coco's grandfather) was watching us from a distance and would report you to the authorities if you broke any of the rules along the way... . "oh what you gon get...I'mma get some wine candies green (jolly ranchers)..and some Bazookas, ooh an a chico stick, some salt n sours, some now n laters purple, oh and don't forget the blow pop the green one you gon need it when we do cheers later". These are my last my memories of pure joy before my world fell apart. I still enjoy simple pleasures.

In finding some pics recently, I learned that big cousin D (my proverbial big cousin of torment... come on every little cousin has one) come to find out she was repeatedly sexually abused by her father, my Uncle J who was also my mothers abuser. Uncle J was my grandfathers brother, my grandfather, who also was an alcoholic and woman beater. Obviously the Jones' men had some very serious problems with drinking and domestic violence. My grandfather kicked my grandmothers ass! I've heard it was cause she was beautiful, successful, flirty, and adored. A ghetto superstar.This explains why my grandma pioneered and got a divorce, honestly all this trauma has never been addressed in the Jones family. That's why I'm doing this, putting it all out there cause its time, also it's a valid part of my story to tell as well... call it a domino effect hanging from a string theory. Growing up in a house of violence masked with images of perfection, " the Jones' I was a pretty child so my pain was always over looked. As a child guess I start to believe thats what love was. Pain, Abuse, and Violence hiden under a perfect smile.

My Cousin D and I, we use to play "house" she'd play the daddy and I'd play the mommy... that I didn't mind that so much it felt nice, and to this day I still enjoy a nice game of "house". But learning this information about her daily life and what was going on in her home, totally explains why after we played "house" Cousin D would kick my ass. I understand now. She was a child emulating what she saw at home. I completely understand my moms fears and desires to leave. She felt she was making the right choice for her despite the fact that she did uproot me from my stability and ran away. I'm sure most mothers would have done the same thing. So this time she ran to Pine Bluff Arkansas. I was 5 and his name was Joe. This is where my life took a turn, although my mother ran in the name of protecting me from Uncle J, she ran right into the arms of my abuser and called it love. It's what she knew. I think Joe came with all the promises my father never made. When filing in the blanks I've learned and saw pictures proving my mother had the choice. She could've left me with my his family but she chose not to because it wasn't a package deal. Plus taking me away would hurt my fatherand my family just as they hurt her. Thankfully Joe did not sexually abuse me, no he preferred torture, beating, and humiliation. I had never experienced that kind of abuse before except at the hands of my 8 year old cousin. I guess she was preparing me for it. But Joe was not a confused * year old girl. He was a grown man. It was different.

I bring this into the equation with some acceptance, apparently this was all predestine to happen there are no victims right? I am not festering angrer per se cause it is in the past, but I can only observe it in retrospect and learn from it. I haven't reached total balanced place of forgiveness that my mother ignored the fact that I was being severely physically abused right under her nose for the "love" of a man. That's disapointing. But I am acknowledging it, exposing it, and healing from it. I can no longer hold on to this trauma, I can move though it for the love of myself. I get to make a choice now. I know she did the best she could but it's not too late to take responsibly for it. What I have learned from this is to be aware, never overlook a child crying out for help. I listen to them, especially when in pain. Don't brush it off "as a get over it". I feel allowing a child to be to abused for selfish gain is a sin. I was uprooted, stolen, and denied my fathers love cause it was not extended to my mother. I guess she thought a stranger would do it better. Please let this be a call to single mothers out there who play games of self serving manipulation. Get over yourselves its possible your babydaddy is just not that into you... just cause the baby came from you it is not you. His love for the baby is not to be confused with his love for you... especially if your unfit and unstable caught up on the hype. Check yourself. Please stop co-opting the babies needs as your own. Just cause he might be there for his kid... it dosen't mean he has to be there for you. Just the child. Please don't make the child suffer from your immature insanity. A kid deserves to experience and get to know both parents. Now if either parent... mother or father... is a down right dirty dog the child will figure it out..time will reveal the truth. But Mothers I pray that we can set our false pride aside and shower that child with love and acceptance. My blessing is I have utilized this experience to eradicated these causes my mother made by being one of the best parents to my daughter. Showing her a loving relationship with her father without being in love with him. I could have easily repeated a cycle but I'm thankful didn't. She currently resides with her father In Paris.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

holding my truths to be self evident

There are really big problems in the world and to further discuss my own life makes me feel narcissistic. Yet on the other hand, I can only share my personal truth, my personal reasoning about life in general and how I relate to the world. The way I see it is.... I only have control over myself , and at my age and physical capabilities, I am the one thing I can change in the world. I am choosing the path of fighting my personal Human Revolution, I am flawed by human error so I do kick my own ass (I have fight club moments) I pray my attempt to make a difference in my own life, becomes synonymous with making a contribution to making a difference in the world. (especially for colored girls when I say colored I mean black brown red blue yellow green and pink). I pray my method of changing/shifting my family Karma is as effective as my mentors Buddhist Scholar Daisaku Ikeda.

I love and honor those who really "see" me, I even love and honor the ones who underestimate me, and mistake my openness for weakness...shame on you... but thank you for showing me who you are and you will get to know/see me in time....I'm sure there was a day when we both agreed and enjoyed each other.

Now, my contributions... I pray they assist on a profound level cause the shit I shovel through daily is pretty profound. All i know how to do is share, give, and love. and i am learning boundaries. There are so many languages in the to speak a shared language is awesome. To find the communal connectivity of a tribe is truth of ones worldliness. I like to think of myself as A Tribal Multilingual and Translator.

For every state I have lived in I have gravitated to my tribe.

Today I am recluse by choice. Winter is a war. I am hibernating and rehabilitating. Spending my days Cross intersecting my Life Theory with Philosophy, Religion, and Science with Mathematics, Cosmology, and Sacred Ideology with Hip Hop, Feminism, Cultural Anthropology and Visual Aesthetics and Color Theory ... life is art. I hold my truths to be self evident. I make my most earnest attempts to practice objectivity, but even when I am being objective, my tolerance levels fluctuate from a very low tolerance for mediocrity to a very high expected discernment. I've been told I'm very all or nothing... yet I'm the most flexible and person I know. I observe then make choices. simply complex. people call that judging. I'm not judging... if your right or wrong good or bad that's your call.. own it. I am praying we all take a hard look at ourselves No one is perfect at best we can be honestly self-aware. So really what I'm doing is choosing..choosing if the actions and choices you make (based on your display of charter) will best serve me....always DO YOU.. and please be authentic. own it! Confess that we are learning. really we all have something to learn. At this point the peacefulness of a tribe is when you don't have to dissect to figure these conclusions. With a tribe your mind, body, and heart can be still you honor see and feel how you are one. There is time to laugh, eat, pray, smile. and Exhale.

I miss the exhale.

Bartered it in southern towns as a spiritual frequency

of currency

of glory for pre paid earnings


post-disposition, anxiety, and disillusionment.

These days I feel detached, displaced, and shipwrecked

To breathe deep

is now accompanied by tears

both silent in their existence

holding my breath

as not to scream under water.

emotional tidal waves

oxygen tank


in panic and anguish

In an attempt

to took a jump upward

briefly crossed paths with a former lifeguard

took it as a highly favored sign (along with two others)

that he could see me drowning

and teach me how to swim

I made the conclusion it's what he was trained to do

but that was too long ago

to apply it to current circumstance

I feel we all have the compassion to take all people into consideration w/o the intent of self serving manipulation.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blessed be these four corners

These are calculated versions of my own personal thought process.... mixed with Celtic cross tarot claims, Buddhism, and African veve cosmology ....add Newton's Laws of gravity and Plato (I'm into Newton, and Plato and Nichiren just as much if not more than I'm in to Jay-Z, T.I., and Fiona Apple and oh yeah..I also love schematics and geometry ... my favorite subject... this is how I figure out everything....I'm self taught remember ... My very own personal equation/road map to figure it out... life, motivations, intentions, everything.... when I'm wrong I'll admit it... I realize this is too much... this has to be the reason my brain is if I'm giving you the blank stare mid convo..this is inner workings of the conversation ... you can gauge the outcome by my love for you... when everything in the water computes so to speak...Ignorance was bliss it was quiet and simple... only time the noise stops is when I'm Chanting, Making Art or Making Love, or having a great conversation about art and valid politics...not Tiger Woods but real social change and real Passion for it...and really there are no divisions...Jay-Z is Newton and T.I is Plato and all of us are Nichiren....and Making Passionate GREAT Love is Making Passionate GREAT Art and that is Social Change cause the world is having a really hard time loving right now.
I prayed for clarity but I think I got clairvoyancy...

(E)AST=FIRE =FUTURE x BRIGHTNESS+MOTION ...Think feet walking on hot coal....
(W)EST=WATER=PAST=An anxious twitch in my stomach... yoga helps....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

just to get by

There are ghost of transparent regret that haunt me. Casting shadows often hidden in the corners of my heart and tucked in the folds of mind, never latent on my smile. I purposefully create images that hold an arms distance between my heart and my viewer. Protecting my constant defense. I often yearn to be offensive and wide open. The images are beautiful on purpose. They mask the honesty of my suffering encoded in the obvious. It is rare to experience a moment of surrender is rare to feel safe. Looking through the pictures I rarely smiled with her ...I rarely held her hand.... It's most likely the damaged trust issue embedded in her rapid ability to vacate the premises.

Now habitually I repeat the cycle and provide the love an exit route. I struggle to trust myself to love. My actions are often clumsy and uncensored. I've been self taught for primarily everything... often blind like finger tips to braille following the sound of loose change rolled up dimes sculpted by false destiny and soap opera dreams deferred... too fragile to ask for help. The disappointment of others hurt much more than disappointing myself...the fear of being too exposed too vulnerable. So today I wear it all on my sleeve. All of this well versed in the perfect amount of paranoia and pain. Often exchanging a piece of my fortune for a spectators love an admiration. When what was entitled to me by birth was denied. unconditional love. It became my responsibilty to make our life perfect thus making her life perfect......children can not afford to be lived through vicirously until they have a life all their own to live through.