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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Meditation On: The Myth of Manhood

The Myth of Manhood


We offset masculinity
With bravado and obscenity
Afraid to embrace sensitivity,
We disconnect from our poetry.

We boil in soups of complexity
And stew in our futile brutality
Too fearful to reveal our humanity,
We ignore our peace mentality.

We inflict our core fragilities
Upon weaker ones, for clarity
That we are MEN... a phallically-
Challenged curiosity, with no idea of
How to be.

We shield our insecurities
With braggadocio and hyperbole
Ignore our wounds and maladies
Projecting our faux-vitality.

We erect and flex our sexuality, yet
Disguise our chronic uncertainties
We exaggerate our salaries
As we over-inflate our reality

Refusing to acknowledge our fallacies
We stoop to acts of inhumanity
We masturbate our M-16s
And falsify our legacies...

We’re victims to this harsh disease
Contorting our souls into machines
Terrified that shows of empathy
Might destroy our guise of

Masculinity. Yes, we are
MEN. We stew, we boil in
Soups of complexity, with no idea of
How to simply



copyright © 2010 by L.M. Ross

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Accepting Duh Love & Passing Some On...

Good news is something I never take for granted, and today I’ve some good news to share. It appears that the very captivating Anna Renee aka “Sista Westsiiiiide”
(as I like to call her) has deemed to bless me and this blog in a large, remarkable, and mad lovely way. She has tagged me in a meme she’s participating in, which originated at the Electronic Village Blog.

In doing so, she writes: “It's for black bloggers to introduce themselves and share about their interests and other black bloggers they know.”

Coolness. I’m extremely honored. Realizing there are tens of thousands of other worthwile blogs out there, it’s really quite humbling to have been chosen. However, being selected from the multitudinous masses had me scratching my nappy head, wondering, WHY me and my blog? No. I’m not being dense or obtuse, nor am I fishing for compliments. I’m just the curious type.

So… WHY ME, Sista Westisiiiide?

“I chose you and four others out of ALL the lovely blogs out there because you are in my TOP FIVE: For being cool! (I appreciate that there's no East coast/west coast beef between us;

For being funny! For being REAL! Really Real! I’m not gonna talk about your talent. You already know you talented. And for having the coolest blog title and a sign off word!! That ish is cool as hell,” she said.

Oh. Ok. Bet. Well, thankyavurrrmuch! See? I figured it was best to let HER explain it, instead of me talking myself up!

(But you can still APPLAUD me! * I’ll wait*)

Part of the meme is to apply five separate links that help to reveal a lil something about myself and my circle of fam, friends and those things that make my heart beat faster. So the rules of the meme are thus: Create five links about:
• 1. Link one must be about Family;
• 2. Link two must be about Friends;
• 3. Link three must be about myself–who I am, what I’m about;
• 4. Link four must be about something I love;
• 5. Link five can be about anything I choose!

To begin with, I’ve three bigheaded & beloved nephews; the oldest one is named Lang.

AKA: “The Neph-son,” as I call him. He’s managed to seamlessly infuse the ying and yang, and use both sides of his brain by playing football on his college team, and he’s also an aspiring writer, with an eye on journalism. I’m so proud of him. And yes, it was me who suggested naming him “Langston Harlem”, after the great Harlem Renaissance Poet, Langston Hughes. Thus far, he’s doing that name some serious justice. God Bless him and the other bigheads, Ellington and DuBois!

Then there’s my serene friend Sunni

Her page is a loving homage to the Great African-American entertainers, past and present. I’ve never known a more wonderful person, or a more beautiful spirit than the woman I call “My Sunni-ness!!!” I’m very Blessed just to have her as a close and treasured friend. She’s so down, smart, cool, lovely, spiritual and just a pleasure in every way. Sunni lives in the Philly area, where she and her husband, legendary radio personality, Tony Brown, share the duties of broadcasting a nightly Quiet Storm format at WDAS-FM, bringing good vibes and meaningful music to those who still appreciate it.

As a lover of music, and being a hardcore audiophile, I’m lucky to count a few friends in my circle who happen to be surperb musicians. Some do their thing quietly, going about their lives making music that matters and by doing so, they feed the soul.

My friend Lucas
is one of those cats, specializing in the kind of jazz that makes you tap your feet, nod your head, and yes, THINK at the same time. His vocals are a throwback to a hipper, more polished and classical age, and he continues to set a sterling example of what today’s music can be. So, please, check this dude out!

I’m always a little amazed at how many people have never had what can only be called: The Jimmy Scott Experience. Mr. Jimmy

Jimmy Scott's Facebook Page

No words could possibly describe this man’s gift. Once you HEAR him sing, then you will GET IT. He is the sound of the human soul in its most piercing bluesy, brilliant, emotional, fragile and fantastic echo. His voice is a God-given instrument that taps into something so deep and unspoken within your being that you might listen to him and find tears pouring from in your eyes. He is considered a legend in jazz circles, and having met, spoken to, and seen him perform several times, I feel humbled to consider him a beloved friend. The man is 85 years-young, and still doing his thing! So, roll by his page, read his bio, check the pics (I’m actually in one. “Moanman” cat in the cap would be me). But better yet, go to your favorite music site and download a few of his masterpieces disguised as songs. Once you do, then get ready to be MOVED beyond your imagination.

A lil sum’m about :
I love: the art in and of expression...
I hate: limitations of any kind...
I fear: never having been *felt*...
I hope: there is a Heaven...
I hear: Music, all the time...
I crave: human understanding...
I regret: ever hurting anyone...
I cry: for abused children...
I care: so damn deeply...
I always: breathe...
I feel alone: in my solitude & dig it muchly...
I listen: closely to the lyrics of jazz...
I hide: my deepest pain from others...
I drive: some people crazy...
I dance: with each stride of my walk, yo...
I write: because it lets my soul sing...
I act: like a gentleman... most times...
I miss: the people I’ve lost...
I eat: new KNOWLEDGE...
I drink: vodka martinis, str8-up w/ a twist...
I learn: that life continues presenting new lessons...
I feel: I am a work in progress...
I know: a Creator exists...
I sleep: with dreams as constant companions...
I wonder: why I don’t have wings to fly...
I want: to heal...
I worry: about the future...
I have: a cosmos in me...
I fight: my insecurities...
I need: to purge sometimes...
I am: a human being w/one beak of song...
I think: I'll sing.

Read more: Book Page

While I’m not the most consistent blogger (working two gigs while finishing up a new novel doesn’t leave much free time for anything else, not even blogging), I do enjoy the opportunity to vent, to express, unravel and poetically reveal the goings on in this ever-evolving cosmos within my spirit.

HOWEVER… the hardest part of this whole process is that NOW I must choose/nominate FIVE other bloggers for this rather prestigeous honor! It’s rough to narrow my list down to a mere five blogs when there are so many that I genuinely enjoy visiting, reading, and commenting on because they either amuse me, challenge my perceptions, inform me, and/or basically entertain the hell outta me. However, I must follow the rules, and they state that only FIVE can be singled out, thus… without any further ado, heretheygo:

1. Fellow writer, music lover & all round chill bruh, Jason. I recently discovered his blog and it has quickly moved to the head of my must-read list. There’s something about his topics and his writing style that feels as if we went to different schools at different times, and yet picked up some of the same lessons along the way. This is one of those blog brothas definitely worth checking out:


2. Curvy. Well I choose her blog because this sista shares the wisdom, drops the science via quotations from various great minds which often serve to inspire, and in addition, she pens blogs in her own voice that consistently keeps it real and relatable. Reading her words often remind me of those good ole days of sitting on the stoop with a few friends, riffin’ on various topics and commenting on the passersby, while one of the neighborhood chicarinas braids my hair. You can find her at:

3. Then there’s my girl, Felicia. What can I say about Felicia? She’s a blogger I recently happened upon; a quietly cool and talented sista who doesn’t use any bells and whistles to get her point across, and yet, I’m always intrigued by her poetry and the verbal landscapes she chooses to share with her readers. You just know there’s a caring, feeling, sensitive and active mind composing these thoughts. Check her stuff at:

Mariposa Tales

4. There’s no way I could NOT include Miz… Ok, I admit it. I’m a sucka for good writers who have something to say and express themselves in their own uniquely individual way. Miz definitely fits that bill. An artist, mother, feeler of deeper emotions she’s unafraid to explore or question and she always leaves you wanting more. Her blog is like a beautiful gift you take pleasure in opening just to see what new and beguiling contents lay inside. You will find her at:

5. Finally, there's that unshakable force known as "Sista Lo!" She is one of the most keeping it Realest Black women who never chafes at revealing all that goes on with both her exterior and her interior life. She is a fearless writer on her journey through love, divorce, family and other personal issues. And yet, for me, whatever she writes about, and whatever her emotional terrain, she always provides a good read! Peep her out at:


oTAY! That’s it. I apologize for not being able to include more. But, truth be told, copying web addys, setting up links, and making sure they work is a time-consuming enterprise for someone like me who is NOT the most net savvy person on the planet. So mad congrats to the nominees! I hope you will be as honored and perhaps as dumbfounded as I am by this inclusion.

Snatch JOY!



Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Brotha's Sick N' Tired Rant!!!

So, this is my sick and tired of the bullshit rant. It's past due time for it. No. This ain't about me snatching JOY because JOY has been playing Hide 'n Seek with my ass!

I don’t know what the problem is. Well, maybe I do. Lately I’ve been in a deeply dour mood. Been feeling mad stressed, and maybe just a tad distressed. Been feeling overworked, and underpaid… overtaxed and laxly laid. I have been lacking so much for, inspiration, that I’m afraid my soul is now underfed. This could be a case of the typical "I Jess Don't Gits No Respect" Blues, I guess.

In no way, a slacker, I’m just lacking that knack, that zest, that magic drug that makes one feel accomplished. Been working on manuscripts deep into the ungodly hours of the morning, and chances are, no matter my efforts, the work will never be appreciated. Or else, some smooth-ass-ghetto-bred-wannabe-thug-criminally-minded mofo will rip me the hell off. I can’t count on people any more. They leave me thoroughly pissed with their triflin' fits of bullshit and blatant self-involvement.

I’m starting to understand why so many others find solace in the bottle, the beer can, the crack-pipe, in meaningless coitus, or in a needle. I’ve seen too many bad things go wrong for essentially good people. I've seen too much foul shit in general: too much TV and cable news, too much war, and too many viruses, too much of the web, and too much porn and senseless violence.

I’ve witnessed too much of man’s inhumanity to man; the wrong hands placed on women, children, animals… and sometimes I think, just maybe those *needle people* have it right.

I have seen them wandering carefree and aimlessly through the haze of days, and I’m almost filled with envy. At night, these junkies glide down a maze of neon streets, slinking down avenues and onto those roads, less taken. Lately, I’m wondering if the road I’ve taken has really been worth the trip.

I won’t say my head’s messed up, or that I’m depressed. I’m not a big fan nor a subscriber of that concept. Yes. Some people are truly clinically depressed. God Bless them. But other people just use it, own it, cling to the idea of it, until death. I just get down sometimes— that’s all. I get down, and I try to breathe in easy waves, to *center* my chi, and eventually… it goes away.

I believe "Happy" is an unnatural state to be in 24-7, anyway. Lord Save me from those chronically HAPPY(!!!) people!

But I’m tired, damn tired... and bored and deeply uninspired by my day-to-day life.

purple shadowed nude

I’m tired of smiling when my spirit doesn’t feel much like cooperating.

I’m tired of sometimey folks who, at best, can only extend their lukewarm acts of graciousness.

I’m tired of trying to figure and finesse the latest in the hip new handshakes.

I’m tired of making half-broke, half-assed, half-fabulous appearances.

I’m tired of these old clothes that smell like old closets.

I’m tired of the smell of me, my cologne, my hair, my face, my goatee, and my reflection.

I’m tired of people wanting things from me, knowing I’ll most likely be the one *cheated* in the interaction.

I’m tired people telling me “the check’s in the mail!”

I’m tired of practically begging for things that are owed to me.

I’m tired of failure… and of failing to be *felt*.

I’m tired of weird-assed vibes and mixed signals.

I’m tired of nosy people who ask questions that are none of their biz.

I’m tired of making exceptions for ignorant people.

I’m tired of intolerance- even when it comes from me.

I'm tired of fake-azz wannabe "thugs."

I’m sick with braggarts, bling and people who measure their worth by material things.

I’m sick with a media that glorifies this rampant banality.

I’m tired of emails and calls from people with nothing cognizant to say.

I’m tired of supplying wit to thoughtless, witless, depth-free individuals.

I’m tired and bored with my self, my moods, my words, my brooding, and others curiosity.

I’m tired of Presidents, CEOs and powerful people who only possess weak knees.

I’m sick of these new restrictions taking every ounce of my so-called freedom.

I’m tired of the hype, hypers, and the hyping of things I’m supposed to like.

I’m tired of long, boring-ass movies so notoriously overly-priced, that, as a customer, I oughta sue!

I’m sick of exhibitionists claiming to be artists, and really don’t have a clue.

I’m sick of half-assed attempts at music, expensive cigs and TV dinners served cold.

I’m sick of the lies and dissortions of the media, and 15 minute faces I’m supposed to know.

I’m tired of this prevailing phoniness while engaged in my constant struggle to keep it real.

I’m tired of the mediocre shit being praised, tired of preeners and posers and I’m tired of watching what I eat to retain my appeal.

I’m tired of competing, while others are cheating, and I’m tired of these jobs, and the gym.

Sick of entering races I never seem to win. I’m tired of running. Tired of running.

Tired of running and breathing too freakin’ fast!

I’m so tired of the rats, the rat-race and the races of men.

I’m tired of always, always running, damn it!

Sometimes, I just wish I’d learned how to swim.