Sunday, July 31, 2011

Unfinished Poems

I think I have an acute version of attention deficit disorder
because I start poems and I can never seem to find an adequate way to end them.
I'm not sure if it's because I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to certain things or if it's because I have a hard time to focus long enough to resume the end of an idea. :-/

I need help.

...seriously. For the next little bit I'm going to try to combine different drafts of pieces I've been working on. Not sure how to copywright these things in case if it's gets jacked on the inter-web. But I'll publish it nonetheless..

Stay posted

Saturday, July 30, 2011

old lady & book & ttc

The story below was meant to be publish a while back, but for some reason I never got around to it. Appologies.

"yesterday on the train ride home from work, I saw an old woman whose 'race' I couldn't quite decipher find a seat accross from me at a subway stop that shall remain un-named. lol... Her face was folded and patterned in wrinkles that held a million words... she had in her hands, a few bags, some plastic some cloth. Either way I couldn't quite make-out the contents that filled them.

She glanced around for what seemed like a second before she eagerly reached out in one of the bags a book that read something along the lines of "The book of Catholic jokes"... She opened the book and I could see her eyes quickly skim through the first couple of pages and she turned one page after the other (probably skimming the prefaces and intros)... and I saw the faint prelude of what seemed like a half-cracked smirk when she landed on the first page where the book began. ... It was cool to watch that moment.

.... of course she didn't know I was staring at her.. but I was. lol... I saw her eyes dance accross what I assumed to be words, phrases and ideas and then I saw her smile. It seemed like every joke she read was funnier to her than the next one. Almost like she could relate or was hugging the memory of her youth, the memory of something past and the possible irony that may have found itself hidden in between the sentences she found.

... her smile would get bigger as she read on. At one point I noticed that she must've ran into a joke that was super funny because she was smiling really widely then looked up to see if anyone was looking at her (it was adorable).. we exchanged glances, as her eyes skimmed around her surroundings then she returned to her book.

It was the most heartwarming sight I'd ever seen on the TTC in a while. ... oooooorrr Maybe I was reading too much into it.... LOL."


(Strange Fruit)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Haiti Diaries || Week2... debrief.

(My sister at home, w/ a blanket #deathtomosquitos lol)

It's been a week since I've been back from Haiti. Forgive my lack of posts for the past little bit. I have a lot that I wrote while I was away, that I meant to post daily, but I rarely had access to internet while I was away. So I'm going to be periodically posting some of my scribbles on here just as a way to debrief on some of the ideas that were running through my mind while I was away. I'm also juggling a lot of things personally (moving, job hunting, preparations for another chapter ect..)

Nneka featuring Nas - Heartbeat (Remix) by Hypetrak

" Prior to coming to Haiti I think I must’ve fallen prey to the rhetoric of the strength and defiance of the Haitian story. When I say Haitian story I mean the story of the 1804 revolution, and it’s legacy on Haiti, but I never really addressed or even remotely really recognize the real deep impact of colonialism on Haiti prior to the legendary uprising. ...Everything, from the name of some areas in downtown Port-au-Prince to the names of some streets throughout the country have french names. Names of places and spots that you can find in France as well. ... it's crazy.

French culture is embedded into Haitian Culture and Identity. I’m slowly realizing this more and more. In the formulation of the elite class, the more you can emulate "frenchness", (it also helps if you're lighter skin...[post-colonialism rhetoric] smh) the more opportunities were presented to you.

Right now, I’m wondering: is there a point in trying to separate Haitian identity with French identity and latin-american identity, and African identity. Because right now they all seem to speak of my story. From music on the radio, to our diction, to how some Haitians style themselves with castro-like mustaches, and eat pastries by the deli and ensure to have their café au lait in the morning... From the texture of our paté (patty) to the way family remembers always know natural alternatives to sicknesses and diseases (African roots)... it’s a creole. It’s a mix... I think it's starting to make sense to me now. " - Week 2 (thoughts).

Hypetrak Premiere: Mr. J. Medeiros - Old Man Perez by Hypetrak

This whole trip allowed me to make more sense of who I am, and why I am the way I am. It helped me make sense of why when I was growing up I felt awkward not getting the references that some of my carribbean (jamaica, trini, antiguan ect...) friends and acquaintances had. For example, I never heard of or fully understood dancehall culture growing up until grade 11 (Canada) or felt like it was at all ever part of my history... Also a LOT of times when I heard my Island people speak Patwa, I didn't (sometimes still don't) understand what they're saying, accents can be STRONG lol... Yet as someone who everyone knew was carribbean it was automatically assumed that I got it, and that I got down exactly like my jamaican, trini, antiguan brothers & sisters, (dancehall culture and all). So I remember trying to keep up... I remember a couple of instances where I faked being into it, because I wanted to be friends with the black kids lol... they looked so cool, and spoke in such a cool way lol... smh. dang. (oh the compromises I made!)

There's also the conversations I've had with people who are Caribbean that told me that Haiti doesn't count as being part of the Caribbean... I think the source of this reasoning stems probably from the fact that we don't speak English, we are stigmatized by poverty and politics unlike our other Caribbean counterparts... and let's not forget the basic fact that we have completely DIFFERENT stories... This sort of ostracism irks me a little.

(strange Fruit)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Haiti Diaries || Day3...

Day 3

My mom arrived, and the 5 of us greeted her with warm hugs. I hadn’t seen her in 3 years. Moments prior to seeing her, all of us had been skimming through old pictures of her and the rest of the family on a dusty family album. I never realized how much of hipster my mom was back in her day... Her sense of style throughout her 20s and 30s. I never realized heard or seen stories of her youth, nor had I ever had a visual of the kind of young woman she was before she became my mother. It was cool to discover and let my mind fill in the blanks through dusting of some images.

We ate... we drank. We roamed around the house in the laziness brought by the warm weather, drank coca-cola out of class bottles and not cans... and joked around while playing big2 and Cheat while the older fam sat on the porch outside with the sound of wind and leaves to set the mood...discussing politics and other things. Later on when we had super... some of that conversation trickled down at the dinner table. Things pertaining to the existing elitism and shadeism surrounding politics in Haiti... the corruption of the Haitian Government and police as well as the devaluation of Haitian workers/ education since the heavy flood of NGOs were part of the conversation. It’s crazy how things changed.

Come As You Are by Yuna Music

Then later my brother, sister, cousin and I were sent my uncle to come and visit them in petion-ville. So this was one of the first time on the streets of port-au-prince since the drive to and from the airport. I wish I had my camera in my hands as we drove. Everything was crazy. There were so many places that were familiar... There were floods of people on the street. Drivers drove with NO RULES and pedestrians crossed the streets and pavement carefully and slyly... I saw the commissariat (the police station) that was close to the marché we used to get our food from back in the day and it was destroyed... and only had the blue and white brick walls that survived. The unpaved roads made each time we drove a little bumpier than the time before. I think I remember only seeing 1 traffic light... I also remember seeing A LOT of young people. ... a lot of people my age in the street.

(strange fruit) ..