Tag Archives: Marriage

We GOT Our Reparations…

If we ONLY knew what we were capable of...

If we ONLY knew what we were capable of…

 

It’s all in your mind.

We’ve been free since 1865, and REALLY free since 1965. Stop begging for reparations, because you are asking a THIEF to pay what he stole–he won’t. God has given us reparations, but you’re spending it on bull shit. Stop asking White Jesus for it; he’s ordained your pastors to live in million dollar mansions and to drive Bentleys and shit, so HE won’t give it to you. We already have our reparations: $1.1 Trillion worth.

If I hear one more brother or sister say we are not free, I’m going to fucking BUST. No one is stopping us from taking our money and doing what we need. But you gotta budget it. We are too wasteful, too foolish with our money, for God to hand you a check like he was fucking Santa Claus. If Negroes got $100,000 each today, by the end of the summer, 99% of us would be broke and the Koreans, Jews, Chinese, White folks, you name it–would be flossing with our fucking money. But that doesn’t mean we can’t write our own ticket to success and full freedom. Most of us sign away our wealth as soon as we have the credit to do so. Each time you drive a nice car on a car loan, you use your credit card to go on vacation, you finance jewelry or a house you really can’t afford–you are STEALING your children’s inheritance, in basically pissing away your reparations. The thing is, everyone knows it, and that’s why they put check cashing places, buy-here-pay-here, liquor stores, and everything else we don’t need right in our neighborhoods. I predict on the Day of Judgment, when black folks ask God why He didn’t give us reparations, He will have to put out a memo that He did, but we spent it on bullshit.

We are a hell of a lot freer than we were when slavery was legal. The Black community is like a lion in the circus, or better yet–a lion raised since a cub in someone’s back yard. We are Lions who think we’re puppies and this is why the white man has his foot up black asses. We have enough financial power. manpower, voting power to build or destroy any institution in this country. but as long as we keep thinking we’re still slaves, every ethnicity will pass us in social status and political power. we are worth 1 trillion dollars, and still begging for reparations. we have made damn near every industry in America rich, from nails to movie theaters to Nike to thrift stores to the aftermarket wheel industry to jewelry to education, yet we can’t keep a damned black owned corner store in our neighborhoods open 6 months.

We need to stop acting like ex negroes and take our place in this community. You know, when white folks say we cry, they have a point. invoke the struggle–but don’t use it as a reason for failure or worse–inaction. We are POWERFUL and we are FREE. we just need to act like it. we need to stop waiting on White Jesus or Uncle Sam to make it right, they won’t. God has already opened the door. We just too busy throwing chrome doorknobs on the mother fucker instead of walking through.

Take a look at his picture. It illustrates us well. We just don’t know what we are capable of.

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Black Problems

Wrote this piece while watching a lady in a laundromat do her daughter’s hair. I know that struggle; I became a single Dad when my daughter was 9 months old and I didn’t know anything about taking care of Black hair. My best friend came to California to hang with me for the summer two weeks after my ex left. My sister visited pretty frequently that summer from the Bay area. Then my mother arrived three months later and stayed with me for almost a year. None of us knew a thing about braiding or cornrowing. Fortunately, my next-door-neighbors were Sudanese and both daughters taught me to braid, and I ended up dating a beautician… Well, I thought about how Black girls had to balance beauty with self-esteem in a world where it seemed no one–not even Black men–loved them and who they are, or how they looked. Here was my beautiful Black daughter, in a family of non-Black women. I swore she would never have straightened hair (although her hair is somewhat straight)–I even carefully chose mates who wouldn’t leave her feeling left out or feeling like her Dad didn’t value women who looked like her. This is the dilemma of raising a Black girl in a White, male-oriented world. Teach her not to love herself as God made her, and you run the risk of teaching her not to love herself. I get that. To some, it’s just hair. To those who know better-she is the young, female version of Sampson. You teach her so much more by the seeds you allow to sprout from her scalp. I whipped out a pen, grabbed a flyer off the wall, and wrote this piece. Hope somebody out there can feel me.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

 

BLACK PROBLEMS

with a fine-toothed comb

she sorted out kinks

curls

and imperfections:

lint, grease, and debris

remnants of four-hundred years of ugliness

hoping to straighten out her blackness as well as her naps

wants nothing but the best for her baby

painful process with the power

to pursue a pampered life

mother’s prerogative to pass on

a pretentious policy for a positive future

pressing in

beauty, success and acceptance

all contained in what she perceives:

presentable hair.

as if relaxing away her pretty locks with a perm

could also relax away the tense life of being a Black woman

“life ain’t no crystal box of crayons, honey—”

mother’s desire to elevate her daughter’s beauty and status

by eradicating her African roots

the ignorant notion

of solving and sorting out Black problems

with a damned comb.

🙂

©2004

The Queen and the Princess...

The Queen and the Princess…

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Monster

intricate roadmaps of scars

churn, swirl and twist, like

the vicious veins that torture unforgivingly

agonizing reminders of the monster I’ve become

so I hide behind prosthetic mounds of womanhood

ashamed to bare my pain

to those I hold dear

fear that it may frighten their innocent minds

or kill his desire

so I

carry these secrets to the grave

My Lord, couldn’t You save me

why have You forsaken me

refused to hear my cries:

disfigured

unbecoming

heart-swallowing

something’s missing

like Leroux’s angel of music

hideosity hides beauty

my bosom no longer blossoms

oh, what a bare-breasted beast,

half-woman i’ve become

carrying the shame of such unsightly monstrosity

wish i could tell him how much it hurt

*it won’t hurt if you touch me*

but i will hide her till the Angel comes for my soul

one day the sun will rise for me:

the pain

the shame

subsides

and–

maybe she will once again

feel

whole.

“monster”

 

beauty despite what's missing

beauty despite what’s missing

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Alan and Amy

An abecedarian, for those who know what that is…  Written for my best friend who decided in her late 30s that she wanted a baby (and wasn’t sure if she could actually have them)–I still claim her as my ultimate Baby Momma. Names had been changed. lol

Alan and Amy almost had another abortion or

baby, but because birth

control can cure conception with Christian conviction

Daddy decided to do

everything every

first time father who forgoes fatherhood

in order to gain a foothold in the grabbing of goods

and houses, he hated to have to heavily suffer

indefinitely, see, initially, incomes are interrupted

just by jumping in to join the generations of Joneses

or Karens and Kens having kids, he

liked

making money, making love, moving on the minute

never needing to nullify nymphatic normalities

or otherwise order takeout food out of owning

priorities… Parenthood pains pauses the

quality of life for quintessentially quaint queens and kings

or royalties for wrong reasons other than right

see, single sex spells sin since suffering stays

true to traditions of taming tainted temptations

Amy understood that it was unbearable to usurp the ulterior

veracity of vaculess valueless vanity

when will Alan and Amy wave to the wind and

accept the vex of the expected outcome of unprotected sex?

Amy yells to Ya’Allah, Yaweh, Yehova–yearning to yield a yes and gave birth

to Zion.

“Alan and Amy, for Flurrie Black”

 

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His Journey Home… Hurts

I used to hang out at the Starbux in Oak Park (now Old Soul Café), and there is a regular there–I don’t know her, but I see her all the time–whose son recently passed away. She is about my age, so I’m sure her son is pretty young. As a fellow parent, her pain engaged me and I terribly empathize with her… so much I hurt.

 

So, anyway, two nights ago, I dreamt I was in Starbux, and this lady was pregnant. She was sitting on the couch holding her stomach and crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she was saying that her stomach hurt–a lot. So I walked back to my table to call the ambulance, thinking she was in labor. 911 asks how far she was in her pregnancy, and I turned to ask her, and noticed that she was no longer pregnant. She was still holding her stomach and crying about how much it hurt.

 

I recognized what God was telling me, and I woke up right after (it was 4 a.m. btw) and wrote this poem….

 

 

Sitting in painful silence

Dark

Somber

Empty

Hopeless

Ovaries ache with undying misery

They accompanied his arrival

Now they send him home

Sailing across ripples of worlds

These momentary folds of time

With Oceanic voyages between them

Earthly vessels on loan from the Creator

She hears whispers from within—

“He is not mine, but Yours…”

—Her Lord offers comfort—

With waves of wet womanhood

She feels an echo in her womb

As if he were still here

Bound by umbilical connections

Like tin cans on a spiritual string

They met in this blissful dream:

Such a short life

Yet it forever stains her memory

His departure brings back enough labor pains

To last a lifetime

(It’s hard work giving God back

what’s rightfully His)

Her soul cries prayers

At the top of its lungs

Begs relief from this insatiable grief

As a tear evaporates back

To the clouds above

Sitting in painful silence,

But enveloped in the fragrant scent

Of the Greatest Love:

A mother’s.

 

 

 

“His Journey Home… Hurts”

© 2008

Mustafa Gatdula

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I Was Halfway There (Poem for Alicia Khan)

A good friend of mine lost his wife.

He’s an old friend, an old martial arts student. When he married, he asked me to pen a poem–so I wrote two. One an ode to him, the other, one to his wife. This was only a few years ago, and earlier this year I hear that every man’s fear occurred… That “Till-Death-Do-We-Part” is pushed. I’m dropping tears as I write this, because while I don’t know his wife–never met her in fact (they live out of the area)–but I know and love him, and my heart hurts for him.

Those “lady-killers”/polyamorous types long for what he found, and my friend Kashif has never suffered the misfortune of looking for love in the wrong places, chasing dream after dream after dream, and then 7 marriages later you find yourself still alone. Waiting to be swept off your feet as some woman did, years ago, and like a cocaine addict looking for that first high that will never come back–and alternate between having your heart  broken and breaking someone else’s heart. Then one day, you look around. You’re no longer good looking, you’re no longer young, no longer traveling baggage-free, you’re no longer desirable, and you’re no longer capable of finding that perfect woman because even if you did, she wouldn’t want your old, broken, tainted-history ass.

But enough about me.

My friend Kashif found the woman of his dreams at 25, and traded in the bachelor’s life happily because he knew there was nothing else he wanted but to be in her presence. And he asked me to take his feelings and describe them in ways he could not.

So Alicia, you perfumed Kashif’s life and your memory will leave him forever defined by the fact that he was fortunate to have been your husband. It breaks my soul to know that you will now only be held by him in his dreams.

Poems take our thoughts and feelings and are a way for others to enjoy them. This is for Kashif and Alicia.

i was halfway there

existing somewhere

between boy-meets-girl

and baby plans

you’re my wife, i’m your man

raising babies and

baby, i want to spend my life with you

it is between a boyhood crush

and everlasting love

between sold on the idea

that she is the one

and i would sell my soul

to keep her on this earth one more day

it is the space in time

somewhere between “how do you do?”

and “i do”

it is the place that lovers seem

to forget when they fight

the days when a man longed

to be with her for long days

and during sleepless nights

the days when a man checked

his cell phone and email

every five minutes

and while most who are already there

take this time for granted

it feels too good to let it end

i’ve got to keep it going

for the long haul

it’s bordering obsession, i greed you;

i want it all

and we

have yet to evolve to the level

where individual souls conjoin

to form one unit

i dare not call this love yet

but lust is just to primitive a work

to describe it

she has yet to experience

what it feels like to to have her soul

penetrated by true manhood

i anxiously anticipate the arrival

of opportunities to show her

how heavily and heated heartfelt works

can hold down her heartache

till it subsides

i want to ride her dreams into reality

fulfill forgotten wishes

so that the next time she’s in bed with a man

she’ll be laying with

a man.

and the next time she’s in bed with a man

she’ll be laying with

her man.

a man who does not give in

to his mind when his body lies

a man who can look into her soul

seeing past breasts and thighs

a man who appreciates the beauty existing

behind her eyes

i’m feeling her like a good massage

i can feel her thinking of me

i can read her mind

i can hear her before she calls me

when she’s hungry

i feed her my time

leaving me never thirsty

i drink the juices poured from her heart

every time she speaks to me

when i sleep, i dream:

KA

Keep her Always

KA

Kneeling At her feet

KA

King of her Affection

KA

Kindly Assure me she’ll be mine forever—

forever sweet

KA

Kashif and Alicia

my greatest accomplishment

the achievement that brings me the most satisfying sense of completeness—

i adore you

i was found between the like

and the love

down below

and above

but it was temporary;

and it felt too good to end

i needed us to get out from between that place

evolve to the next level

because, baby, you complete me.

Kashif and Alicia Khan

© Mustafa Gatdula 2006

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Filed under Marriage + Love, Poetry

Denial

“My master tole us dat de niggers started the railroad and that a nigger looking at a boiling coffee pot on a stove one day got the idea dat he could cause it to run by putting wheels on it. Dis nigger, being a blacksmith, put his thoughts to action by making wheels and put a coffee pot on it, and by some kinder means, he made it run an’ the idea was stole from him and day built de steam engine.”

— Mrs. Fanny Berry, a former slave born in 1823 (Weevils in the Wheat/Slave Narratives from Virginia ex slaves

For those that don’t know, in the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt employed writers to capture the stories of former slaves before the generation died out. There were many collections, including Weeviles in the Wheat. VERY interesting, enlightening reading. Stuff those history books don’t want to tell you. Things the writers of those history books most likely don’t know and didn’t think interesting enough to research.

I don’t blame white folks for not wanting to tell these stories; it makes them uncomfortable to discuss and confront. So it makes more sense to say it was in the past, or why bring up old wounds. But I need for MY black children to know of their own Holocaust and what was in their past, so that they don’t dishonor their ancestors by making a fucking fool of themselves or acting in a way that justifies the horrible treatment Black people are going to get at the hands of evil people who are just acting out the evil their forefathers bequeathed to them.

#malcolmXmodetoday

 

I thought I’d share something from my Facebook page. I wrote that. I write lots of thoughtful stuff, in between posting Twerk videos, chatting with frat brothers, and rehashing jokes, streetfights, and the occasional reposted Facebook Movement B.S. Plenty of those posts are buried under more posts and tagged photos and again, more bullshit.

But today, I thought about the state of race relations in America, and… No. I woke up around 5 a.m., and had thought about my relationship status, and how my lady was raised by her White mother, how she is a Black woman trapped in White skin and straight hair, and how she had to learn to be Black by the media, the ill-educated (about themselves) Black community, other Black women, and ultimately the White dominated American environment she lives in. You may be wondering what that had to do with Black and White. Well, let me ask you a question:  What do you think it means to be Black? Is it simply Black skin? Is it a nationality? Is it ethnic? Culture?

Black in America means something different than Black in any other country on this earth. You see, here in America, as a Black person, you are an ex-slave. Everything about being a Black man or Black woman in America has to trace itself back to slavery. Because without slavery, there would be no America. We wouldn’t have the White House. Slavery enabled America to be able to afford to revolt against England and declare itself a sovereign nation. Imagine:  400 years of FREE labor. You could kill a man if you wanted without going to jail (Casual Killing Act of 1669) — which, by the way, sounds a lot like the authority the Police have to kill Black men if the death occurred in the process of doing your job. You could force them to work when they were sick, there were no Labor Laws to place a limit on how many hours to make them work (seriously, did you think there was minimum wage? overtime? lunch breaks?). America prospered because of slavery, and everything the slaves suffered from hatred, to glass ceilings to low self-esteem, to anger they had to suppress turning cancerous to broken families and psychological problems…

Ooh. My next point. Take for example the following argument (also a post from my Facebook wall):

(paraphrasing) “You have to understand, after being take from their homeland, snatched from parents early, poorly fed, forced to work even when sick, beaten daily, long hours, no control over their own lives, constantly under a whip–lashing out violently and disobedience was bound to happen…”

↑↑  An animal trainer explaining elephants and tigers who suddenly attack their trainers. How is it that we can understand this <– but not that –>?? You feel me?

I hope you didn’t think that if a people were taken from their homeland, brutalized for an entire lifetime, then those brutalized people (with all the psychological damage they suffered because of it) raised a generation of children who were then brutalized as well, and then they raise a generation… and then the people are “freed” but continued to be brutalized through the Jim Crow era, then their children are brutalized through the civil rights movement, then their children are the most likely people to be drafted for the Vietnam War, then their children (continuing to be brutalized now, but by the police) are introduced to jobs, prosperity, film, gangster rap, drugs and alcohol (seriously, you didn’t think BLACK people invented crack cocaine did you?) until they took the reins from the White man and started brutalizing each other… Do you honestly believe these people are somehow 100% responsible for their behavior and thinking?

Tell you what. Let me take you hostage for one short year. I will treat you the way the slaves were treated. I will beat you daily, sell your children, rape your wife, force you to work whether you were sick or not, whether the weather was nice, 100 degrees or 20 degrees in the snow. Then I’ll let you free, and you tell ME if:

  1. Your behavior will be normal,
  2. If your thinking will be normal,
  3. If your relationships will be normal, and
  4. If you are fully responsible for any crazy shit you do

But it’s so much easier to say that this is a thing of the past, and that the bad behavior of the Vietnam Vet was fully his fault and he’s a grown man, so blah blah blah. Hell, the war was over, what–40 years ago? Can’t you just get over it? Why do you flinch everytime you hear thunder? Can’t you tell the difference between thunder and a mortar attack?

I’m sure none of your educated, politically correct Black friends will tell you this. But my white brothers and sisters, Black people DO have a problem fostering normal relationships. They have a major issue with authority and are very insecure when it comes to feeling respected and slighted. They are very defensive. When provoked, Black people will resort to extreme violence instead of talking about it. And the reason why is because YOU taught them that. YOU laid the foundation for this environment and the psychological damage they suffer–while generations ago–was inflicted by your ancestors, generations ago. You still reap the benefits from that relationship, trust me. Black people aren’t poor because of laziness. We need to get this out. To deny the pathology of why these things exist in the Black community is to deny past guilt because it makes you uncomfortable, but it still needs to be discussed. To act as if Black people should just “get over it” because slavery is over, is like telling the cancer victim to ignore his tumor and just “think positive” and make the most out of his life. Forgiveness and healing is a two way street; both the wronged and the wrong-doer must come to terms, and both parties must heal (yes, YOU too, must heal). There is something called “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome”, similar to “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and I believe both Black people as well as White people suffer from it. No one has undergone therapy for it, and it will just grow more infected until it either bursts or turns into another disease. You must not ignore it.

One last post from my wall. It has as much to do with White men as it does Black men:

“Boy I’m gonna beat yo *Black* ass! I’m gna take some branches, braid it together, pull your pants down and humiliate you, beat that ass till I’m too tired to whup (whip) you, beat you till you submit to my authority–and I’m gonna make YOU go get it, you Black ass child!” Dang, do you think this might have come from someplace else? We’ve certainly learned our Black history, haven’t we? Might be time to rethink some things about our culture… And how we parent our kids.

My lady thinks she knows a lot about being Black just because her grandmother is Black, and she likes Black music, and Black men. But there is a major part of being Black that is so much deeper and cannot be trivialized by the size of your ass or your dick, the brownness of your skin, the roll of your eyes, and the diction in your voice. Black in America is nothing like Black in Nigeria, or Black in Cuba, or Black in Jamaica. There is something that is so deep it cannot be seen, and until you know what it is–understanding it and reconciling it–you are at the mercy of forces that mean you no good. Likewise for what it means to be an American (yes, even a White American), because without this Black man and without this knowledge, the White American is carrying a cancer from five generations back that will not heal on its own. Though you don’t see it, you definitely feel it–although you may not recognize what it is. And the first step to understanding it is to rid yourself of the disease called “denial”. Denial of guilt. Denial of truth. Denial of history. Denial of what must come next.

And as always, I post this in love, not hate. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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