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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Lesson In "Manhood..."

Once, I thought that Manhood was like a musky cologne… or a dangerous R & B song that came on strong, like Otis Redding did. In my young and ignorant thoughts, Manhood could flip the script and be like a switchblade, flicking long and sharp and deadly from the pocket.

I once thought it MANifested in a jock-strap, a fly new Cadillac, in a designer suit; that it possessed a mad smoooove rap, and a sufficient amount of neighborhood juice.

See, Manhood had these strong hands, huge-ass biceps, hairy knuckles, a broad chest, and it always drove fast and recklessly.

It was measured in wallet size, clocked by the way I used my fists; determined by the width of my shoulder span… and proven by the frequency of my one-night stands…

But strangely, none of these things ever made me a man. Instead, they left me longing, left me empty, kept me reaching for some Deeper Meaning.

I once thought Manhood was in a sliver of meat hard, thick, menacing, and full of promiscuous tricks. It was in the ability to make others feel inferior. It was this magnificent presence inside my posture and it didn’t have shit to do with my interior.

I once thought that Manhood consisted of:

A snarl, a frown, a furrowed brow, a cuss word on my tongue to show I was down. A bottle of Hennie, cheap wine or a 40… my hand on my crotch, my third-eye on watch, a quick fuse, a simian bop, a well-timed middle-finger to prove I was nobody’s punk!

Yeah... Manhood was some strong shit! I wanted to wear it like a musky cologne… and whip it out, like a switchblade, that was sharp, useful and deadly in my pocket.

It was in the style of my swerve, not in the honor of my word.

However, I’ve come to believe to truly BE a Man is to survive Adversity… to rise from my knees and thrive in my humanity. It’s to calm down and to step up… it’s to holler in a righteous tone, without raising the sound of my voice. It’s to own up to my mistakes… and to handle my responsibilities. It’s to take full ownership of my actions and reactions.

Manhood… it’s something you earn. It's not something you’re given… but something that you must learn to possess. To be a Man is a rough gig, yes... but it’s real, and it’s honest. It’s full of pain and fears unafraid to be acknowledged.

It’s the song and the poem composed of myself. It’s my own unique and singular sonnet... And I try Like Hell to sing it daily; because no other Soul can compose its lyrics…

But me!

copyright © 2010 by L.M. Ross



Rich Fitzgerald said...

Man, that was so dope, all I can say is word.

Can I get that on a poster. I'd definitely hand it out to my nephews.

Moanerplicity said...

Thanks for dropping by, my Brotha. It's not on a poster yet, but I definitely emailed a copy to one of my neph-son's, who's a teenager & going thru some things.


Wizardress said...

I had no idea you were blogging or I would have been here ages ago to read you. I've missed your words my friend. *hugs*

stephanie said...

i sometimes wish i had an older somebody to kind of help me understand what it means to be a woman so i hope he appreciates the gift you're giving him.

stephanie said...

o yeah, i'm posting this on my facebook for my friends to read ;]

Mizrepresent said...

I absolutely loved this poem. Every word, every expression exemplifies what it is and not to be a man. Wonderful prose brother, as always!

CareyCarey said...

Man, you took my words and made them yours. You're nothing but a crook *lol*.

Well, actually, and seriously, again you are telling my story. Now, don't tell anyone, but I didn't become a man until very late in my life. Nope, in my early years, I emulated a "man" but I wasn't one. Also, things came to me pretty easily, so I wasn't required to reach inside. But low & behold, when the storms came, I had to reach in and find the man in me. I have not fully arrived, and the journey has been tuff(yes, it's a tough gig) it's a mean gig. However, now I have on my man shoes, and the going is easier. I first had to, and have to, clean my side of the street.

Look man, the next time you decide to write my story, please check with me first. I mean, it seems as if we've been down the same roads. Your blues may not be like mine, but you've been somewhere.

In fact, just as you've invited me to this post, I'd like to invite you to my latest. I was just speaking on moving from the mindset of being a kid, to that of a man. yes, I made some terrible mistakes. I didn't finish my thought, but I posted it.

Oh, by the way... Rich, you fathead, I haven't seen you slumming at my blog. Even Miz comes by to drops a wave. *lol*

Here is my #, in case you forgot

Kyon Saucier said...

Wonderful once again... BTW ur all man baby.

D-Place said...

all young men need to read this. I loved it.

Felicia Monique said...

Very nice! I will definitely share this with my young man. Thank you.

greeneyes67 said...

Just dropping in to say "hi" Lin! **waves** I've missed you.

Lovebabz said...

I may have to print this and make my own poster...with all nods to you of course! Check is in the mail!

This is just the right tone and wordsmithing any Brother can hear and feel.

High FIVE!