I have not used this medium for writing in a long time and it is beyond overdue an update. Words don’t come easily all the time and communicating is even harder at these junctures. The year 2018 so far for me has been brilliant trash. I say this with all the love and gratefulness and frustration in my heart.
I am finally a quarter of a century and yes, saying it this way sounds sophisticated in my head. With that accomplished I attempted to write more poetry. Silent writing and away writing is how I did it, because I too often quit the things I start especially if people know about it. So far, I have had seven poems published this year and six are forthcoming, with one being a reprint. It doesn’t sound as exciting as it could be, but it’s a difference in my aesthetic. I am submitting more poetry, taking my rejections like a champ (so far I’ve gotten 14?) and trying to churn out more words.
I’ve been over on Twitter @gravitystephens following as many poets and magazines as possible in order to be saturated by creatives and that mindset they vibrating at. It was through this medium that I started watching The Chi, a black series. For those who actually know me, they will know I hate “black” stories and movies/series because they are often too stereotypical and honestly whether it is truthful portrayal or not, it can be damaging. The Chi just focuses on community and family, it doesn’t over play the black narrative as radicalized by white perception and I think that’s the main reason I could get into the story.
I also started following Lena Waithe and Ava DuVernay: who are brilliant and futuristic and so necessary to the black community in their voice, mindset and actions. They are some of the role models I wish I had growing up as a child. They are plain and real and driven in their desire to portray truth as a scope of entertainment that doesn’t ridicule black bodies or turn them into cautionary tales for the world.
2018 so far has also made me rectify aloud a narrative of myself that bordered on hidden for so long.
It wasn’t because I didn’t know this already, it was more when you surround yourself with people who take and take and take, you think this reality should be your only one. I mean if it isn’t then what do you have, a body filled with no one to give anything to? But that’s the difference right? Giving versus being taken from holds such a drastic difference. My god mom says I’ve finally grown up, not in the sense that I was immature before, but more like I’ve finally thrown off the dirt off my shoulder.
What else have I done?
- I’m reading more, or at least I’m trying to calm my brain to focus more on reading. So far I’ve read 12 books according to my Goodreads challenge. I’m stuck on like 3 books now though and I will get them done before the year ends, but like urrrrrgh, why can’t my eyes and brain just behave.
- I’ve subscribed to poets.org ‘Poem-A-Day’ so as it says, I get a poem in my email every day. I don’t read them as often as I should, but I’ll remember they are there and open my email app and leave this plane of existence for a while.
- I get micro chapbooks in my email from Ghost City Press. I haven’t read a single one yet, but soon soon.
- I have watched Black Panther soooooooo many times.
- I have watched Dirty Computer sooooooooooo many times. Janelle Monae is my president.
- I finally started watching Scandal, and yes, I see the hype, but like I also think that Olivia’s relationship with the president is abusive.
- Steven Universe is god’s gift to mankind. I mean best best best cartoon ever that addresses so many issues and realities that are in society.
- I’ve tried to lock myself off from American politics as best as possible. I don’t click the links or watch the videos or read the articles. I just can’t see myself effectively managing my anxiety and being aware of the movements of Trump.
- Oh! I’ve learned to sit in a group of 40 students that are tearing down the world and block out their chatter and misbehavior #bestskillever
- I have also unsuccessfully convinced people that I have a 9 year old son. Apparently I am too nonchalant to have a real kid running around in this societal climate. Oh well.
- I’ve also cried a lot this year; like whale blubber tears just because it’s refreshing.
- On having a discussion about success, the conclusion was made that if I am the only one living in this body, I am the only one who can set my goals and regardless of failure or achievement determine my success not by comparison or statistics, but by my own chi and grit and self-actualization.
That’s it so far.