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Monday, July 30, 2012

PDA: What a Concept! (When a Kiss is MORE Than Just a Kiss)

So the other day I was standing in a checkout line at a local grocery store, right? It was a late Saturday summer afternoon. Ordinarily, I try to avoid shopping on Saturday afternoons because the crowds are typically massive, intense, and the best articles tend to be well picked over. But the meteorologists were predicting, forecasting and then straight out WARNING of vicious storms ahead, so I rushed in to pick up a few essentials. It doesn’t really matter what time you venture into a store in New York, because day or night, night or day, it’s bound to be over-crowded and thick with the populace of pushing, shoving, swarming humanity. This day was no exception.

So I get the few things on my list (plus a couple of extra impulse items) and as I approached the registers, I noticed rather long lines at each. Clearly, I’ve no control over these situations and so after sighing my silent sigh, I shrugged and stepped into the back of the nearest line.

It’s rare that I actually pay any attention to people in stores. I seem to go into tunnel-vision mode. The writer in me prefers to casually check out those who are walking, running, or idling outside on the streets, in the subways, on the fire escapes, etc. However there were fits of wild, lewd animation, and damn-near LIVE SEX ACTS going on in Pathmark, and my eyes couldn't help but to detect this madness. Just ahead, about three customers in front of me was this couple. This man and a woman, in their early 30s, were getting extremely touchy-feely right there in line.

Mind you, generally speaking, I don’t have any problem at all with Public Displays of Affection. In fact, PDA…


when not based essentially upon lust


they present a testament that love still exists in the world…


and love, no matter in what form…


is a beautiful thing.

In fact, speaking personally, I see absolutely nothing wrong with holding hands…

or a kiss on the cheek... or planting a gentle, if momentary, peck on the lips…


but that’s the extent of it.


Anything else would be tres uncivilized.

Exhibit A) Photobucket

B) Photobucket

And C) Photobucket

In other words, unlike Arruh Kelly, I DO See Plenty Wrong With A Little PUBLIC Bump And Grind!

So, there I am, trying to avert my eyes, yet noticing how this couple, completely oblivious to the rest of us, are acting as if they were all alone, in the privacy of their bedroom. They keep going at it, no holds barred, and it really becomes a bit TOO much. I mean, the dude, who at first had his hand ON her butt, has now sent his hand down her shorts, and he is palming, grabbing, squeezing her entire ass! A seasoned multi-tasker, he’s also whispering in her left ear, while simultaneously fluttering his long Gene Simmons-like tongue in it. She then kisses him, her wild tongue darting with such strong and reckless abandon that a part of me became embarrassed for them. I mean damn! I just don’t get it. These were NOT heat-driven teenagers hopped up on hormones and tripping on Ecstasy. This couple was certainly old enough to know better.


My fear was this Public Display of Affection would soon turn into a PDE (Public Display of Erection), and that he’d whip it out and start DOING her, right there, smack-dab-in-the-middle of Pathmark!!!

This was NOT kosher! This was madness! Madness, I say! But there was nothing else going on to garner my attention. I guess I could’ve played with my Smart Phone, but I don’t currently own one. However, instead of staring them down, I decided to ponder the reason behind such exhibitionistic behavior.


Are they trying to make a statement about their status?

Not necessary! People can already tell that they were both together. No one was questioning the legitimacy of their relationship. BUT WHY must we all be subjected to the intimacies of it? What’s the point exactly?


What are they trying so hard to prove?

And if two people really wanted/needed to have sex so desperately, couldn’t they have taken care of those desires BEFORE they ventured out in public?

Or, if the urge struck suddenly, as it sometimes does, couldn’t you have waited until you were someplace a tad, tidbit, a li’l more… ummm… private?

Clearly the dude was the more obvious aggressor, and his mate was merely following his lead. As they were practically eating and swallowing each other alive, they didn’t even notice a gap in the line, or that they were supposed to step ahead and keep things moving. And still they kept at it, with hands and tongues all over each other.

I gathered it had been a while in between sessions. Isn’t it romantic? Wasn't that isht some mad-sweet gooey gushy stuff?

No. Not really. Not so much.

I wondered, was he just back home from a Tour of Duty? No. Considering the long length of his hair, that was not bloody likely.

I wondered some more: Has discretion gone completely to the dogs?

Actually, that was what they reminded me of two rowdy, horny, mangy bow-wows going crazy with heat in the grass. Only this was a public establishment. Little kids young enough to cling to their mother’s hand could even SEE them!

Where was their sense of decency and decorum?

It clearly didn’t exist. The two of them seemed to lack basic home-training, and had failed miserably at Sexual Etiquette, 101.

Finally, I wondered: where was that damned fire hose when I needed one?

Anyway… that entire putrid display inspired to me visit the concept of PDA.

Are you pro or con... and just where do you draw the line?

Meanwhile, I’m still pondering…



Friday, July 20, 2012

Poem For Miss Sylvia (Who Lived and Cooked and Smiled… and We Were Glad)

Sylvia Woods ~ 1926-2012

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!


I remember Sylvia’s
Soul Food Restaurant
The way a small kid’s taste buds
Remember deliciousness, and
I recall Harlem-brown women
Stirring, boiling, baking, sweatin’
In tiny kitchens, preparing
Ambrosia with heaping helpings of
Love. I remember Sylvia’s

Soul Food Restaurant
In the colorful sway and easy flaunt of
Black people,
Brown, white, yellow and
Rainbow people
Getting a serious grub on…
You see, Miss Sylvia could
So easily charm ‘em and then
Her food could
Disarm ‘em with harmony.

I remember Miss Sylvia’s
Soul Food Restaurant
Like a flash of some celebrity’s
Sparkle in my
Left eye, and the sweet
Sound of Gospel
Music in my right ear.

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Fix, here!

Southern fried chicken,
Smothered chops
Cornbread and grits
Sassy Catfish and collards
Macaroni and cheese
Sweet potato pound cake
And please, don’t even
Get me started on
Miss Sylvia’s Banana Puddin’

Laws Ham Merrrrrrcyyyy!

When I heard she’d passed
I felt saddened, like the rest
Of Harlem… and the world at large.
But then I just know now
The angels must chowin’ down
Getting their grub on
Their wings growing heavier
Lips bustin', eyes rollin,
With traces of
Heaven upon their tongues.

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

We, who have witnessed
Her smile, or tasted
Her menu…
We thank you, so much
Miss Sylvia…
For whether young or old
Rich or poor, you have
Served and fed generations
And more…

The time has come to remove
Your apron, to loosen those strings,
To let them know you were
"The Queen
Of Soul Food..." as you
Sit down with kings
At the table before your
Heavenly Host.
And you can grin
That shy, Miss Sylvia grin…
And it’s okay to boast
How we on earth say your name
With smiles… and think of
The treasure you’ve given to Harlem
And think of the pleasure you’ve given
The world.

See, it’s called: leaving behind
A Legacy.

Not bad, for a colored girl
From South Carolina with
Some Soul
Food recipes and
A dream.

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!


Monday, July 9, 2012

A Meditation On: The Art Of Cool

From a very early age, almost as soon as we THINK we understand the meaning of the word “Cool”, it becomes an admired thing, a desired state, and an ultimate destination. Little kids, keeids, big heads and li'l duns will mimic any adult who they see, think, feel or decide in their formative minds to be that thing called cool. No matter our birthright or disposition, all throughout school we aimed to be seen and thought of as Cool. The way we walked, talked, dressed, acted, reacted, the music we listened to, the people we associated with, it was all in an effort, a singular quest to be seen as “Cool.”

But what is COOL, really? Tell me... tell me, if you THINK you know.

Are we born with it… or is it something that we can acquire? The Jury's still out.

Can we cop some coolness by simply being around it, like in osmosis? Who knows.

Is it thrust upon us or drummed into us by those cooler elder people? It's possible.

Is it the same as popularity? No. I don't think so.

Is it something we can slip on or off, like a fly leather jacket… and suddenly we can claim Cool as our personal ownership? Ummm... 'fraid not!

Actually, to be COOL is the complete opposite of hot, hot-tah, or the hotness (another of those often desired states).

To be Cool is to be profoundly mellow, relaxed, unexcitable and extremely laidback. Cool is a state of mind which ultimately infiltrates into a state of being.

Cool is something one emits. Yes, one can project it but that doesn't necessarily mean that one IS actually The Coolness! You see, Cool is a very strange animal, indeed. It’s not all warm and cuddly. In fact, it can be the polar opposite. Cool is not necessarily ice-cold or unfeeling either. It’s a subtle way of regulating emotion, one's core reactions and attitude. To be seriously Cool can scare the hell out of some people… and deeply intimidate others.

The Truly Cool rarely if ever lose their tempers or raise their voices. In fact, they rarely if ever TRY too hard at anything. They simply don’t give a damn what you might think of them or what you perceive them to be. You can’t upset them, even when you try. You can’t piss them off, visibly, or make them surrender control of that all-mighty coolness. You see, they inhabit coolness. They simply are COOL, 24/7.

That above descript clearly cancels my personal membership to The Ultimate Club of The Care-free, Casual Coolness Clique.

You see, the Truly, Deeply, Madly Cool are like from another planet, yo. They don’t belong to any group or station in life. They eschew all rules and organizations. They don’t follow anything or anyone. Instead, they are the pacesetters, the forbearers, the mavericks and such. They are often misunderstood, lone wolves who buck all trends and humdrum signs of homogenization.

They are either, very wise, or secretly deficient in knowledge. But if it’s the latter, you’d never even know it.

For some erroneous reason, many of us think of Coolness as a youthful phenomenon… and that it has a certain time frame in which it is relevant.

This is a HUGE mistake. I mean, think about it: Who was cooler than Miles Davis, even well into his mid-60s?



No. He did not roll with a one-name-moniker like Cher or Liberace, Beyonce or Usher, Prince or Madonna, but he very well could have. When you hear the name MILES… you don’t have to wonder Miles who(?). Yes, he blew a mean and most pristine trumpet, and he was notorious for turning his back to an audience as he played. People HATED that isht! But did Miles Davis care?


Hell-to-the-nah, man! Man oh man, Miles was one of a kind! This cat was all dat and a slab of swiss, man! His genius could never be denied, man. The dude seemed to redefine the word COOL itself, man. Ya digs, man? Ya digs?


As I’m typing these words, I’m collectively counting up all the cool people I currently know of personally, along with the Icons Of Coolness, and it occurs to me that there are very few Truly Cool Ones left. Well, at least in my opinion. For instance, here are a few of the Iconic Cool:

Tell me, who is cooler than George Clinton, a man now well into his seventh decade?


The cat invents words, phrases and entire social movements with the ease of an emotional Ex-Lax. “Tear The Roof Off The Mother Sucker…” “I Wants To Get Funked Up!” “Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow.” They are but a few Clinton gems.

And yes, his LOOK might be a tad, a tidbit... ummm… urruh… mad-stoopid-crazy-out-there


But that only reminds us of The Beauty of The Truly Cool: See, the Truly Cool don’t give a good damn what the world might think!

Hey, maybe True Cool needs some time to marinate.

Musician Lou Reed... is The Coolness.


From his past as originator and vital member of the iconic and seminal band The Velvet Underground, or his beat poet delivery on the ultra laid-back jam “Take a Walk On The Wild Side,” to his senior status as one of the leather-clad Prince's of NYC Underground Cool, Lou Reed seems worthy of the title.


A legendary rock musician, songwriter and photographer, he even upped his cool factor by marrying Performance Artist Supreme Laurie Anderson. Nah, I ain't mad at Lou.

"And the colored girls go...

Doo do doo, doo do doo, doo do doo...

Meshell Ndegeocello:


Quite simply: the chick is baaaaadd. Plays a mean-ass, mad innovative bass. She writes songs that make you think, and outed herself as a lesbian way before it was considered cool, en vogue or even acceptable to do so.


Funk, soul, hip-hop, reggae, folk, jazz, she has staunchly refused to be pigeonholed or put comfortably inside anyone’s trick bag. Her exterior is calm and so chill that her coolness sneaks up on you, like a smooth hit of herb. Her music, much like her steelo, is so fantastically mellow that it's intoxicating. Sometimes one of her songs alone can become the soundtrack of my day. She always thinks and performs outside of the box.


You have to love the gusty swag and soulful energy of someone so determined to pave her own road.

And speaking of swag...

Johnny Depp: He defined cool undercover cop swag in the 80s with his role in 21 Jump Street. And ever since, on film he has been the cool-azz chameleon... transforming from Edward Scissorhands, to The Mad Hatter, to Captain Jack Sparrow...


Depp is constantly showing us the various personas and facets of his cool.


And that quality seems to extend beyond his movie roles and into his off-screen appearances. Yo, Johnny. That suit is MURDA!

Prince (or “Princeton” as I calls him):


This cat was busy being cool while the rest of the world was trying to figure out what his true sexuality was… or what his lyrics really meant. I mean, come on: "Reach For The Purple Banana Till They Roll Us In The Truck?" WTF?

His whole genre of Cool is different. It’s part retro/part futuristic, part androgynous/part glam-slam swagger. He’s unique and so damned talented, multifaceted, and charismatic, and yet he’s managed to remain this ultimately mysterious character, no matter what has been written, said, attested. Face it. What do you REALLY KNOW about Prince?


To be so damned famous and to still remain an enigma is the very Essence of Cool.

Angelina Jolie:


She's one of those special peeps I consider a friend in my head. What makes Angie so effortlessly cool is not just her distinctive look-- which is edgy, stunning, dangerously-gorgeous and always uber-sexy… nor is it her thoroughbred thespian chops, which have already been awarded with Oscar, Emmys and Golden Globes, and it’s not her notorious past of drug addiction, cutting, self-mutilation and same-sex relationships; it’s her ability to transcend all of that shadiness in her yesterday to become a citizen of the world today, an ambassador, a mother of six and somehow still remain a world renowned icon.


Yes, her glamour game might be beyond extra-terrestrial...


But it’s the global size and scope of her heart and her world vision that makes her so damned Cool.

And then there was One…

Barack Obama aka The King Of Coolness:


Sometimes his sense of cool is damn-near ridiculous for a man of such power. No, I don’t mean the street-lively bop of his gait, nor the fact that he plays a rousing game of b-ball on White House premises. It is that nothing and no one, not the press, not those media vultures, nor the blatant lies of Fox News nor certain Republican candidates can fade him or get this man’s goat.


His cool is so transcendent that to call him 'laidback' would be a most gross understatement. Obama? Fly off the handle? Apparently, that’s NOT in his nature nor his DNA.


Sometimes I'll wonder: has Michelle ever once pissed him off to the point of him raising his voice? Hmmmm... *ponders*

And there you have it. There must be some that I’ve missed, but I fear there really aren’t very many… well, not anymore.

Who or what defines cool for you?

And when did you first become aware of this concept called Coolness?

Any Candidates Of Cool come to mind?



Monday, July 2, 2012

*About Motherfuckas, And Why They Are So Necessary

Just recently, I experienced a great and profound disappointment in my life. Yes, I know. Boo-hoo. Woe is me. Within this business of living, just existing, and having these prolonged human experiences, much like everyone else, I’m not exactly a neophyte in the treacherous fields and hills and valleys of disappointment.

But this particular strain of disappointment, it hurt me so much, I'd begun to feel it down to the depths of my very soul. When the soul hurts, please believe... that's some deep and very serious business.

Without going into great detail or naming anyone's name, I will say, I’d lost my faith in all humankind. I'd forgotten to Trust Only in God as a rule. Man is full of trick bones, tainted hearts and bullshit parts, and thus, man is bound to hurt you, bullshit you, disappoint you, lie to you, smile in your face and stab you in the back with such cunning and swift precision that it can be mad ALARMING! Most times, you won’t even see the blade coming.

When someone does this to you, whether they be a man or a woman, it’s a Motherfucker’s Move.

In life, we need to be keenly aware of the Motherfuckers. They live, breathe, bob, weave and co-habitate among us. They secretly dance in the shadows and sometimes waltz in broad daylight. They are madness incarnate, but with sanity's eyes. They can sneak up on us and often surprise us because they'll say or do the wickedest of shit. But most of all, they are everywhere, yo!


You can’t and you won’t always spot them right away. Why? Photobucket

Because Motherfuckers are shape-shifters, damn it! Act like you know!

They can wear the face of a friend or your boss, your family, or even your lover.


What makes them true 'Motherfuckers' is that they won’t really care enough about you to support you when you’re down, or have your back when that back is against the wall. When you’re hurt, when you’re stressed, when you're struggling, when you’re just trying to keep your head above water, that’s when the Motherfuckers will show you their True Face.


That’s when a Motherfucker will rise from the oozing dens of their wretched primordial Motherfucker-ness.

So, upon the Great Disappointment in my life, caused by another kind of foul-ass Bearilla Motherfucker entirely, I sought friendship, instead of stress. I sought understanding, instead of madness. I sought empathy, instead of selfishness. And I sought love from those who claimed to love me.

When you love someone, and they require space... you give them space.
When you love someone, and they ask for peace… you give them peace.
When you love someone, and they need to be alone… you give them their alone time.


But a Motherfucker won’t care about any of that shit.
A Motherfucker has his or her own agenda.

A Motherfucker will make demands upon you.
A Motherfucker will make erroneous accusations about you.
A Motherfucker will not give a shit about you or your feelings.
A Motherfucker will always find some new shit to bitch about.
A Motherfucker will say some shit with no other objective than to Piss. You. Off.

And yes, a Motherfucker is chronically insecure.

A Motherfucker will secretly smile at your misfortune.
A Motherfucker doesn’t care if there’s an illness or even a death in your family.
A Motherfucker will only crave more and more and more attention.
A Motherfucker will drain you of your last ounce of energy.
And then that Motherfucker will still ask for more.
A Motherfucker can’t stand it when you tell them NO!


A Motherfucker truly believes they are the planet’s most important person.
And yet, that same Motherfucker needs constant emotional reinforcement.
A Motherfucker will try to make you doubt your own abilities.
A Motherfucker is truly a miserable human being.


But I want to give all The Real Motherfuckers their rightful due.

You Motherfuckers inspire me to be the best that I can be.

You Motherfuckers give me new confidence in myself.
You Motherfuckers make me realize the hero within me.
You Motherfuckers make something in me rise higher.
You Motherfuckers stoke my creativity’s fire.
You Motherfuckers are soooooo damn necessary.
You Motherfuckers make me stronger than I ever knew I could be.
You Motherfuckers force me to make a LIAR out of you.


So, thank you, Motherfuckers.

Even if you don’t know you’re a Motherfucker.

I know it now. I hope... NO.... I'm quite sure that others will recognize your Motherfucked-ness, too.



* repost