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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

for a black man who is seriously considering suicide...

Dear Gregory:

Just finished reading your words, and now I’ve all these crazy tears in my eyes. Your words, they sounded so final, so methodical, as if you’re at some ticket office, finalizing your flight plan.

Gregory, final is a very, very long time, my friend.

I am sorry that your trip to London didn’t pan out the way you’d imagined and hoped and written and prayed that it would. I am truly, deeply sorry that the one you profess to love, wouldn’t see you, or answer your emails or take your calls. I am sorry that you feel lost and unnecessary. I am sorry that you feel all your effort was for naught.

I could say that this is THEIR loss. But I fear you won’t really hear me.

Gregory: When it’s real, when it’s actual and factual, Love is a verb. Love doesn't ignore you, or kick you in your gut. Love doesn't crush your spirit, hurt or fuck you in some deeply wounding way.

Love is supposed to support you, LIFT you up! “So High” that your “shoes are scraping the sky”… remember?

But Love, The Real Deal Stuff, doesn’t truly exist if it isn’t reciprocated. Yes, that’s a rough, mad tough pill to swallow. Yes, it may hurt like hell, but I swear, it’s true. What you thought was Love, was, in fact, a joyful past-life experience, an illusion, a beautiful dream in your heart.

It doesn’t mean are not worthy of Love, because you most definitely are. You ARE! It simply and sadly means that *this love* was not destined to endure for the entirety of your journey.

This too shall pass.

I’m also very sorry that the reunion with your father fell through. I am sorry that he chose to spend time with the “beloved” brother, instead of you. This too is HIS loss. If you have been made to feel as if you’re unloved, loveless, love-free, that is sad and most unfortunate. But it happens to be a deep untruth.

So now… what? You not want to punish those people who’ve hurt you, ignored you and chosen not to give you their love?

The truth is, your demise might sting them, might hurt them, might cause them to grieve you, for a minute or two. And… then what? You’re gone, and their lives will continue to go on.

You haven’t truly THOUGHT this thing through, my friend.

Well what about your son, and his family? You want to punish them, too? Do you really think leaving them your precious computer will soothe them through your eternal absence?

What about the friends who’ve offered you help and guidance, Light and Laughter and Love through your episodes of pain? Do you want to punish us, too?

What about those times when the sun shines and a smile comes into your heart for no reason, and you experience a Good Moment? Do you want to punish those Good Moments, too?

What about the spirit in you, the one who believes in The Creator, what are you really saying to Him? That He Made a Tragic Mistake in Creating you? That you’re not worthy of a full life, lived in joy and pain?

Truthfully, Gregory, Black Men and Suicide shouldn’t even be in the same damn sentence. Black men have known Real Tests of The Human Condition: centuries of indignities, kidnapping, and slavery, centuries of systemic emasculation, physically, mentally and spiritually, and still somehow survived without the crutch of suicide.

But *heartbreak* alone is enough to do YOU in?

Your sensitivity enlightens me, but your weakness, it only frightens and saddens me.

I would truly like to Believe you are STRONGER than this, Gregory. You are a Spirit-filled, God-fearing Being. You are, and have been a Light, and a Beacon of inspiration. Should you choose to snuff out that light, everything you ever said will forever ring of fraudulence.

Should you snuff out that Light, you will truly know Hell, and not that sacred peacefulness you only imagine you will.

You need to remember this: What Doesn’t Kill Us… Make Us Stronger!

You need to know that the Sun does indeed rise again.

You need to realize that suicide is a foolish and permanent solution to a temporary problem.

You need to always remember that This Too Shall Pass.

You need to know and to put into daily practice, this, my friend:

From the Jaws of suffering, Snatch Joy!

That’s it. That’s all.

Choose Life!

I Love You.

P.S. And now I’ve all these crazy tears in my eyes. Imagine that! Me! I must be one those people who truly feels that you Matter, Gregory.

*Ponder* that, my friend.

One Love.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Once, they were the party, baby. They were the freaks,
and the dance, the music, and the whistles, the holler,
the sweat, and the heat of the grind. They were the cool
fools, hyped up on speed and booze and tripping on ecstasy.
They were the high-pitched sirens and the manic screams
of the city.

They made the streets, the clubs, the backrooms, and the
alleys all moan and holler and freak beneath the indigo night.
They were the sex, and the light, the smoke, and the furtive
cigarette. They were the weed, and the high, and the ridicu-
lous giggle after it. They were the hot sigh, the wild grunt,
and the primitive sweat of the hard luck, transitory fuck.

They were this city’s rogue Romeos and its sorrowful ad-
dicts, its oxygen thieves, and its dying poets.

And then, all at once, they were gone.

And now, on Saturday nights in New York City, some eight
million people still exist to live and breathe, to date
and dine, to drink and smoke, to party and get high. Some
still live to dance, to freak, to kiss, and to fall in lust
with a body that glows as it sweats in the dark.

Some still pray and some will still dream. Some will aspire, some
will scheme, and some will sadly quit. Some will still find the
energy to create and some will only destroy.

Some will bitch and whine and kick and curse and scream at God.

And some will get their hearts broken, and dwell in the loneliness
of their own private hell . . .

And the city still blinks and strobes and winks and laughs its
steely cold laughter at them.

From The Moanin' After by L.M. Ross


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Dialogue of "Manhood"

Well into the third week of their courtship, Zy and Ty’s conversations were lovely in their essence, and Tyrone recognized their loveliness right away. He cherished that period of a new relationship when everything was fresh and so precious, before time or other distractions somehow tainted them... or made them common and tragically pedestrian.

“Of course you know you’re seducing me, right?” Ty asked.

“All I know is my spirit erects whenever I speak to you,” Zaire said.

“Wow! Tell me this: If I were there, present in your presence, right this moment, what would you do?” Ty asked.

“I’d hold you very tightly. I’d cry with you. I’d kiss you. I’d tell you to believe in possibilities. I’d try to imagine why I would ever let go of holding onto you.”

“I'd let you do all of the above,” Ty grinned in spite of himself.

“I'd love to do all of the above.”

“Zy… You say these things, and they stroke my heart, man. Things, I’d secretly imagine myself hearing from someone... sometimes even before I imagined them.”

“Souls have no comprehension of space and time...they just meet when the time is right … and when the two vessels housing them are receptive to it, then gravitation takes control.”

“There’s a depth in that, man. Reminds me of one of my fave songs, that line: “Pulling closer… sweet as the gravity...” from The Closer I Get To You... by Roberta and Donny.”

“OH. MY. GOD! Yeah, we're gettin' married!!! I can't believe you pulled that song out of thin air, Tyrone!”

“Perhaps our souls danced to it, in separate places before.”

“You don’t understand. That song is one of my FAVORITE songs of all time!”

“Same here, baby. It’s a classic fave.”

“Well maybe, just perhaps... it's time our souls danced to it, together.”

“Oh, you fuckin' poet! I’m rubbing my inner thigh... as I lie here, imagining it's your beautiful hand,” Tyrone heard himself say.

“It’s a matter of time before we can rub each others legs, hands...hearts...”

“Lovely thought, my Lovely Man.”

“God! It’s 1:37AM! It’s 1:37 on Tuesday night/morning! How does this happen to us?”

“We’re both a little insane. But you’re right. It’s late. We’re being crazy. It’s time for us to be sane again!”

“So, my favorite crazy brotha, are we finally gonna get together this weekend?”

“Sounds like destiny’s plan for us.”

“Good. Cool. Cause all this romantic rambling we do is leaving me very hard and frustrated.”

“So, go to bed.”

“I am in bed!”

“Well, go to sleep!”

“OK. I’m off to sleep. I can't tell you how much I wish you were here right beside me.”

“Sleep tight. And goodnight, my husband-to-be.”

“I hope that was the sane part of you saying that!”

“It’s late. I’m never sane at this hour.”

“It’s all a matter of time. I promise to play that song at our first candle lit dinner, Ty.”

“Yeah-yeah. Whatever! Now go to sleep, you crazy-sexy-romantic-poet-man!”

“Well, are you gonna kiss me goodnight, or what?”

“Zy! Zy, we’re not in junior high. I don’t do kisses over the phone,” Ty laughed, yet he was strangely enchanted by the idea of it.

“I could fall asleep kissing those lips of yours, every single night.”

“Damn! Damn you for making me smile... and making me hard... and making me dream.”

“Well, I might have to take things in hand between now and our next conversation. But just so you know: I’ll be thinking of only you, baby.”

“Such flattery might just get you the draws. Goodnight, my sweet sexy-poet.”

Zaire was full of sweet sexy poetic things, and he was never shy of reciting them to Ty. And after a while, it didn’t feel as if he were just running a line on you. He was actually being romantic. Zaire Monk needed that outlet, and the object to express it, just as much as Tyrone needed to experience it.

Is there anyone, woman or man on the planet who didn’t want to feel completely, utterly, unabashedly desired?

* * *

From The Novel, Manhood The Longest Moan, by L.M. Ross

The Stubborn Principles of Belief

To go
In things. I
Believe in Autumn
The green leaves turn rust
And o
range out of Summer's fatigue.

Believe the

Sound petering from
Coltrane’s h
Horn ... Can heal
ost anyone’s failing rhythms. I believe
ou can can feel chord changes on your skin,
Like a baby’s breath... o
r a sudden shift in wind.

The wind
s music, you see?
I believe that this rhythm

Of my heartbeat is made by
A playfully insistent

I believe,
Just a little,
In everyone's gods
And even more in the passion
With which people praise them.

The boundlessness
Of God to be inherent in
The sound of children's laughter,

When it’s free. I believe that sex and
Laughter creates its own rapturous music.
I believe that my breath makes these minuscule
Sparks... and then ... flames... when I’m singing.

In what
Nietzche said:
That without music,
Life would be a profound mistake.


That Angels, Spirits
And Deities make soothing
Sounds. They gather around in
Cliques, s
peak in whispering tongues
And t
hey insist on traveling with me...
And at night, I hear then quaking, fluttering
Like flights and flocks of feeding birds.

Believe in
The power
Of my words, and
Deeds can sweep and move
Across the terrain of souls and beings I’ll never know.


That to read
A poem is to weave
And sew the tapestry of your own
Infinite reality... a
nd inside the mirror of
Words, y
ou can discover your own affinity.

Every human
Being is a singer, singing
Its own unique solo, and every
Heart... is... a... drummer... which
Bangs, and clangs and sounds in an echo
Forever, and ever and ever in the Universe.

In this as much
As the richness of my
Own Manifestos. I believe
So religiously in collecting
And keeping and giving back.
I believe less in fables, and more
In the stories of my actions. I believe
For each of my beautiful mistakes, for
Each of my most gorgeous of failures, there
Lies within.... a d e e p e r l e s s o n.

I believe
Even harder in
The sweetness of
Aspirations. I believe in
The strength and the willfulness
To succeed, even in the ignored
And weakened spines of Black men like me.


Believe in
Shimmering warriors
Wet with sweat. I believe
In Kingdoms, in Karma , and distance.


See, I've
Always been

A believer in Things.
Maybe I'm a
Hopeless romantic, or
Maybe, just a little d
eranged. I believe

uestions and
In answers which
all or tumble slowly....
Like autumn l
eaves tumble,
Upon the softest winds of change.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bullshit A Go-Go

Inside the club:

So it's the night of the 4th of July, and I'm doing what I'm paid and tipped to do: imbibe the heads, throats, the egos, the bellies, and the livers of those who want to drink the night away.

Being a bartender is not for sissies. There is way too much stuff... too much drama and heartbreak, sadness, and b.s., and the dull ache of loneliness surrounding you.

You are hurled into this cacophonous arena, caught inside this strange land of poseurs and ventriloquists throwing their voices from the slick and jagged lips of the twisted. You're caught there… like some reluctant spectator, as the smooth and vicious volleys of nightlife play out.

It occurs to me that Everybody wants to be a star, at least after midnight, People want to shine brighter, appear hotter, and more brilliant than the rest. If you work in a bar, you begin to
intuit this, to know it by instinct, to detect it in the mirrors, and you can smell the smoke and fire of it. You hear its braggadocio convo, the slick words and slicker motives that make you go, "like Whoa!"

You know the scam, the scandal, the hustle, the quick buck, and even the opportunistic fuck, and it all just makes you lose faith in humanity, especially the drunk and distraught, the lonely and the most desperate kind.

This all paints a wildly psychedelic landscape inside the metal state. It etches a portrait of just how sad and scared people are. Some forge foundations of potentially core relationships on a lie, or a look, or size of one's privates, or someone's ability to make them laugh, or to forget, even momentarily. People build fast-food relationships on a tradition of paper houses that sit and waver upon acres of bullshit.

Once, just once, I'd like a night of nostalgia, of respect, of charm, of finesse. Just once I'd like some lively intelligentsia which rubs my cranium with a mouthful of lovely. Just once, I'd enjoy the give and take, the ebb and flow of a buoyant conversation that doesn't hurt so much, make me feel so nauseous, or used, abused, or a sad victim to the usual bullshit a go-go.

Some people can astound me with their sadness, this way they attempt, yet fail to mask it with manicures or too much make-up, with gym memberships, or impeccably groomed wildness, with French cologne or perfume to drive away the stink of it. I've seen and watched them pickle
their sadness into jars of superciliousness arrogance. Seen them erect their genital sadness, get it to smile, and to do risqué somersaults and tricks in the dark.

And watching these retarded little incidents take place, and working and pouring and listening to what my ears are held hostage to hearing, I've come to see the saddest truth of all: people,
even barflies, even drunks, even users, even thieves, even adulterers, even bitches, even bastards, even bullies, and even hacks like me… all want a little piece of acclaim.

It's lonely out there in this fog of horror; this unspoken, unnamed yet very real terror. It's sadder still to head back home all alone, untouched, unkissed, unfucked, unfelt, unloved. I guess.

Happy Belated Birthday, America!

* * * *