Archives for category: Random rambling

“…So for me patience is most fitting”

            -Yaqub Father of Yusuf

 

While we wait,

Droning along

Towards world excellence

Towards new order.

 

Policing the heinous crimes of The Others.

So Christian like-

This show of black intelligentsia.

 

Covert. Ignorance. Advocacy.

 

Yes the Dream is real.

The fight won. So

You and I can fight some more

 

And some mo’,

and some mo’.

 

Yes,

I had a Dream

That my big brother was spying on me,

To keep me mo’ safer, make my life mo’ betta.

Ensure my loyalty

 

Les’ I be

Unpatriotic,

A lone wolf wandering amongst the sheep

While the shepherds preach?

 

The reporters ask,

“Would He be here today?”

“Is this the Dream which

Thine eye did seek?”

 

Hell no

 

This dream reeks

Of Orwellian overtones,

Unmanned. Fallacy. Orbits.

So that the children of the world may

One day

 

Be free.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. -Benjamin Franklin
TIME CAPSULE 2001, SIDE VIEW, show

Thank you Mr. Franklin, I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Since undertaking some new responsibilities in my life, (a.k.a. a new job, a.k.a now I can pay more bills) I find my myself yearning for more hours in the days and for more minutes in the hours.  I fully understand the complaints of those writers who try to balance practicing their craft with putting food on the table.  I guess I should try to look at it from a more creative positive viewpoint; now I have more fodder to give my poems life.  I digress…

The true reason for this post was to share a link to a poem of mine that has been published by the lovely ladies of The Blue Hour Magazine.  Please be sure to head over to their site and show all of the wonderful poets, writers, and artists some love!  I’ll be back to posting poems and random ramblings soon enough.  I just wanted to thank all my followers and even those of you who just happened to fly by and “like” a few of my posts.  I love you guys and wish you well.

-Umm Qamar

In the Purple Rain- A poem by Jasmine Javid

Google Images

Writers. They are those eclectic creatures everyone wants to be. According to most Johnny Depp portrayals of authors, we drink excessively, smoke endless cigarettes, experiment with mind-altering drugs, and then prop ourselves up in front of a typewriter and expect miracles to fall onto the page.

If that description doesn’t sound familiar to you then you don’t know jack about writers. No seriously, writers are actually hardworking, sane individuals. Not unlike other human beings we sometimes get caught up in the throes of depression. I can attest to this from experience, not just as a writer, but simply as a human being.

Depression, whether it’s clinical or self-diagnosed affects people from many different walks of life. Unfortunately we live in a society or rather in a world that is very conducive to this disease. Being a creative individual may actually expose you to more of the stress that causes depression. Creative types spend a considerable amount of time noticing and analyzing the nuances of the environment we live in. We notice and are inspired by the little details that most people miss. A lot of times it is these same details that cause us to feel pain and to harbor a foreboding sense of hopelessness. As an artist you respond to these feeling by creating something which expresses your thoughts and emotions. So does this mean that one can only produce something meaningful when one is battling bouts of depression?

Of course not. You see I thought yesterday was going to be one of those days. You know the type of day wherein you wake up cursing the sun for having the audacity to shine while you are trying to wallow in your misery. Yeah, one of those days. I knew what the cause of my discontent was, but I still found myself fighting back tears. I continued with my morning routine because as you know- kids don’t give a damn how your emotional health is. They want their breakfast and it had better be good. So I made a decision. I was going to fake it until I made it. Following the advice of my grandmother I said aloud, “Devil you are a liar!” I asked God to remove the storm clouds from above my heads and from under my eyes. Then I just let go.

Depression, humph! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Let me make this story short. Since I homeschool my son I’m in complete control of his schedule. I decided to switch things up and go to the park before we started any of his school work. Let me tell you how prayer works honey. As soon as I stepped outside of my door, it hit me. The warm sun greeted me while the breeze flirted with my hemline. We were experiencing unseasonably warm weather. It was as if God was saying, “Look boo, I got your back.” It was then that I realized just how ungrateful I had been. To think I was going to allow myself to be overcome by darkness. All I had to do was make a conscious decision to be happy. Allah took care of the rest.

When we arrived at the park I sat down and wrote. I wrote about how grateful I was to be worshipping a God that not only hears your prayers, but who answers them in ways that our minds can’t even conceive. I was able to concentrate on projects that I had long since brushed to the side. More importantly, I laughed and played with my son. He never had the slightest inclination that mommy had woken up feeling like doggy-doo that morning.

Do you battle with depression?  How does it affect your creativity?  Let’s talk about it in the comment section.

Here are some links on writers and depression

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/14/books/exploring-the-links-between-depression-writers-and-suicide.html

http://www.elizabethmoon.com/writing-depression.html

http://narrowpathstohigherplaces.com/writing-in-and-through-depression/

http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/archive/1989/12/styron198912

Inner Critic(n) a parasitic entity that feeds off of creative beings.

Piero Manzoni Artist's shit

What you know about it?

I’ve been trying to make an upgrade from a wanna-be poet/writer/artist-type chick to an individual that actually is successful in one of these mediums.   I would be able to do this if it wasn’t for this inner critic chick junking up my flow and throwing major shade by making comments like this:

“”Who do you think you are anyways, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, freaking John Keats?”

AND

“Seriously, my great-great-great-grandmother could’ve written better poetry than that and she was a slave (i.e. she couldn’t read or write due to her unfortunate circumstances).”

OR

“Girl you know you can’t draw worth a damn.”

AND

“Paint by number isn’t art.”

So you see what I have to put up with.

I’ve tried all the logical solutions to shut her up.  I’ve done the whole free writing, write-just-for- the-sake-of-writing for ten minutes and don’t worry about grammar or about punctuation or about making sense thing.  I ended up editing my results because they weren’t profound enough (ά la Jack Kerouac).  As for my art practices, I keep an art journal.  I rarely work in it for fear of messing up that expensive ass watercolor paper.  I mean really, how can I ever live up to my full potential if this chick is forever in my ear telling me I’m not good enough?  Oh and don’t get me started on referring to the internet for support.  I’ll get on the web and snoop around for inspiration from fellow artists/writers.  What usually happens is I’ll stumble across a blog or website of someone whose work I really dig.  After about five to ten minutes of enjoying the fruits of their labor, I’m reeling into a self-imposed pity party.  “Boo-hoo, I’ll never be as good as such and such.  Please pass me the lotion infused Kleenex,” I whine aloud to no one in particular.  Actually you know who is present and nodding, “I told you so.” I hate her.

Since none of the conventional methods of quieting my inner critic work, I have to take drastic measures.  I have to kill this bitch.  I invite you to murder yours as well.  We can all go down in history together as the coldest, baddest, inner critic murdering gangsters to ever do it.  Here’s the plan.  Pick up you pen, pencil, crayon, or use your fingers if you’re like me and cannot afford such fancy instruments and stab her ass.  Poke her, slash her, Lorena Bobbitt her, and get her out of your life.

*Trust me you’ll be a better artist for it.

Courtesy of madmikesamerica.com

Oh you just don’t know

*You may need your critic for revising, so you probably shouldn’t murder her.  Maybe you can just stuff her into a closet or something until you’re ready for her.

scribblings of a madman

written through pains of failure.  Committed.  It is a never-ending flow thoughts materialized into the unexpected.  It is rough, undiscovered, still in the beginning stages.  It is the result of never saying no.  It does not care who is watching as it gets undressed, it is not modest.  It is unfamiliar and it cannot be found in the retinas of any man’s eye.  It is sometimes unworthy, often times plain, dull, lack lustre, UGLY.  It is the wrong shade of lipstick on the right girl, it’s the hole in her stockings.  It is a mis-fit.  Archetype.  Unusual.  Rare and common.  Irritating and lovely.  It is paradoxical.  It knows no bounds it is free.  And it is not, I repeat it is not, A DAMN ROSE.

 

Feel free to continue with your definition of beauty below in the comment box.

When two persons become intimate with one another they lose their sense of proportion.- John P. Davis, Verisimilitude

MAN.  I’ve been super busy with this ModPo class (which I’ve mentioned in a previous post).  I’m kind of late on getting something up for this week.  Since I never announced an official posting schedule you can’t really hold me accountable.

Anyways I decided to cut myself some slack by sharing a found word poem with you all, instead of something exclusively authored by me.  I also have a little personal tidbit to share.  Are you ready?

I’m engaged! Yay!

Actually I’ve been engaged for quite some time now, but I’ve withheld all the mushy details because this is a poetry blog and not a tell-all-my-business-to-complete-strangers-blog.  So what does my engagement have to do with this poem?  Well… if you must know, my fiance and I share an intense love of poetry.  We write poems to each other.   This piece is actually taken from something he wrote for me.  Our poems are a little too hot for WordPress, but I watered this one down especially for you guys.

Enjoy!

Determinations pull me closer,

Drops dripping intentions.

Without light I couldn’t escape

Breathing ever so slightly.

In darkness I waited, surrounded by mocking shadows

I find myself stuck.  Endless possibilities,  just

because Roses

Days of and nights of moments knowing

moans and incoherent stuttering.

Secure in your fingers, eases my soul and gives

Intimacy towards kisses that are

Perfection.

Photo Credit: Emiliano via Flickr

I’m taking this awesome Coursera course called Modern & Contemporary American Poetry.  While it’s kicking my mental butt, the class has shined a new light on poets and poetry for me.  I’m very grateful to be partaking in this class.  I’m learning some valuable lessons, that I’d like to share with you all.

Lesson #1- Poets are Historians

Poets tell the stories of the nations in which they reside.  They relate the emotions, events, thoughts, and ideas of the people in their time period.  They do so in beautiful language that we all can take meaning from, whether we are learned or unlearned.  They are essential to the literary preservation of a country.

Lesson #2- Poets Keep it Real

Poets say what you want to say, but that you may not have the courage or eloquence to say.  A poet can showcase popular ideas as well as unpopular ideas with such grace, that you’d never know they were presenting an argument.  They give a voice to the unconventional, the hippies, the intellectuals, and the deep-thinkers of the world.

Lesson #3- Poets Help us Understand Religion

Lately, I’ve been studying my religion, Islam, through the eyes of a poet.  I’ve come to the realization that just as we need poets for politics, we also need them for spiritual matters.  During the time of our blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), poets played a vital part in relaying information to the public.  Arabic is an exquisite language that has deep oral traditions.  The Arabs benefitted from the speech of the poets, as they could relate to them.  The poets let the people know what was going on in the religious arena which was very volatile.

Lesson #4- Poets are Democrats                                                                                                                                                                 

When I think of someone who wears the badge of democracy properly and with pride, I don’t think of the U.S. President.  I think of poets like Walt Whitman, who unabashedly let us know that he was a poet for the people and of the people.  He understood the plight of his readers.  He got his hands dirty and wrote poetry that even the commonest of people could  appreciate.

Lesson #5- A Good Poet Inspires                                                                                                                                                                    

The most important lesson I’ve taken from this class is that poetry is open to interpretation.  There is no wrong or right way to interpret a poem.  Your personal experiences help shape the meaning of a poem for you.  I am forever inspired by influential poets like Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, and the like.  I am inclined to be fearless and uninhibited in my own poetry because of these luminaries.  I throw my words on the paper like splashes of paint on a canvas.  I have faith that my readers will take my abstractions and use them as mediums to create their own meanings.  Thanks to ModPo, writing and reading poetry is all the more enjoyable to me now.

What lessons have you learned from poetry?

Often times I find myself wondering “is my poetry deep enough?”  To those of you who are seasoned writers this question may seem a bit petty.  In my own defense we all have insecurities, and this is one of the many that I harbor.

The internet, WordPress in particular is lush with inspiration for poets, writers, and artists alike.  It isn’t rare that I come across work that truly moves me, and every once in a while I stumble across a gem (a poem) that makes me do a double take.  I end up reading the poem over and over again, trying to gain some insight on what the speaker is communicating.  I know firsthand how much labor and creative energy is spent on composition that speaks to people.  So I’m amazed when I read poetry that is both eloquent and  thought-provoking.  How do they do it?  Better yet, am I capable of that type of writing?

Welcome to the stage my inner critic.  I actually appreciate her for catching my mistakes, or for suggesting better word choices, or for helping me excise the b.s. from my writing.  What I  don’t appreciate is her constant reminding me of my “wet-behind-the-earness.”  I am well aware of that fact.  I don’t need her Inner Critic Highness to remind me of it.  I also don’t need her suggesting that the simple language I use, or the fact that my poetry isn’t very obscure equates it with crappy poetry.  I know this isn’t true, but I can’t stop myself from wondering.  Does fancy language and hidden meanings within a poem make it a good poem?  Or is a person such as myself able to compose good poetry, by simply writing about things readers identify with and are able to comprehend after just one reading?

It would be nice to know what you all think about this matter.  Tell me your thoughts on the subject by leaving a comment.  I’m just going to keep writing.  If you can understand what I’m talking about in my poetry, great.  If not, then that’s even better 🙂

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