what is fame?

January 30, 2012 § 1 Comment

what is fame but a flaming sword
before the neck of the one who seeks claim to lordship
for a worldly gain
slashing them at their buckled knees thats what fame does
then seized from them
and chuckling at their pleas
to give back to them what they once thought they had

what is fame for the one who craves fame what is fame for the one who craves it
but a ragged flag that gathers the vultures to the one who waves it
a flag dragged from the hands
of rabid fools
who thought that they possessed what
possessed them
a cruel game to lose
a tool false garment
that exposed them more than covered them

it loves you it loves you not it is fickled
mangled rose minus the petals

what is fame but a flagrant fragrance
what is fame but a fever for its seeker
a false flatterer
loving you loving you not
depending on the petal plucked
what is fame but an affliction for most
for the one who confuses this test with a gift
toasting to their own trial
they boast and they boasts and they boasts of their own trial

what is fame but a seducer
but a gaze of the Medusa
leaving frozen in their tracks all who seek to court her
making stones from those who cast their eyes upon her
don’t they know this thing will turn its back upon them at the turn of the wind the turn of luck?

some have fame tattooed to their fate
it was written for them
the wise amongst those individuals
handle it like a hot coal in the palm
bearing it as a responsibility, as a test, as a tool.

Funny.

January 25, 2012 § 4 Comments


While some might interpret the message as sarcastic or negative, that is not the point. It is a reflection on reality of the multidimensional nature of being a human being. Salient points are “funny how you’ll be the same way in way in one moment if you let yourself forget for one moment you the same way” and “funny how sick we can get, and how quick we forget how sick we can get”–serving as reminders (to myself first) that within each of us is the potential to have the characteristics described in the first part of the piece—- to be oblivious, to be heedless, etc.—so it’s not so much about pointing fingers at the world and the external but at oneself–and the necessity to be on guard and to strive for a certain level of self-awareness.

A Series of Attempts–Video

January 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

This is “A Series of Attempts”–A collaboration that I did with my brother Kamau Bilal, an excellent filmmaker. (visit the link on my page “kamaubilal” to see more of his work!

The underlying theme is that through our journeys in life, we are often placed in situations that appear to be one way but, in hindsight, reveal themselves to be quite different than we initially thought. Painful experiences turn out to be beneficial and helped us to grow. Likewise, things that we thought were wonderful or good may have actually been hindrances. In short, life is full of paradoxes— and the reality is many times we simply just do not know–and have to be patient.

Some may have seen this video before as it has been up on youtube for a little while–I just realized that I could embed videos onto my blog here!

half of a half of an open letter to my missing other half

January 16, 2012 § 6 Comments

dictated to myself and unsealed with the hopes that the message will reach you in time
and i’ll recognize you
from some other time before time some place before place—-
when we stood in some long line as we awaited our souls to be handed out and introduced to Adam
tied to one another by the knot of fate
familiar from then though it’ll be hard to place the face before you had a face
—but faith guides

this is post haste white rabbit i’m late i’m late and i’m sorry about that
but all these papers and jigsaw pieces the wind kept plucking from my fingers
made the picture hard to put together

but it’s a simple question similar to the one posed to jasmine when aladdin asked
‘do you trust me’ when he was still a street rat on the surface
-though he was already a prince despite the patched pants and lack of a turban-
this is back before the confirmed legends of subliminal messages
this is back before the lamp and the monkey and the magic carpet
this is back when they were running from the law with drawn swords in the market
I am 1001 arabian knights in unpolished armor of the heart but i’m working on it its hard work

and I could use a hand in this work

where is the maiden with those piercing hawk eyes that
sees through this skin and bones-monkey- suit  of mine right down to the molecular structure of this babbling filibusterer
as it was written to be on the Sacred Tablet above the Throne

who understands what it means to be maniac stick figure in disguise
mild mannered clark kent peter parker Aracnaphobe or bruce wayne or
a harvey dent is a better description–

who knows what it means to think in run on sentences that carry on past the edge of the page that last for several days straight sometimes things get carried away

followed by silence for weeks on end long deep pauses inbetween breaths
when all the letters wiped from my tongue by the beauty of the peeling paint on the ceiling
would you mind standing in awe in silence with me for a time

who sees that sometimes its hard to stands still in this skin with all this rabbit in my blood
but i’ll slow down again
who sees sometimes its hard to keep up being tortoise shell-clad
but i’ll come crawling out this heavy tortoise shell again
slow and steady wins in the end

who sees that seeing the globe through strobe light eyes like mine
like late night traffic light signals
can be a bit exhausting
but i’ll still shove myself into the box of responsibility for your sake
even wrap it and add a pretty bow and a card with a heartfelt message that I wrote
though be forewarned my handwriting’s poor but i’ll try my best to make it legible
for your sake

a Majnoon– coattails dragged to halt to the sniff of the bleeding roses
red running off their petals at inconvenient moments
but I must answer the call because
when the lightning strikes i’m awestruck

–A Majnoon whose coattails tugged on by you as Laila beckoning me to spill from these pores far fetched verses about by gone times
starring you as Laila a past lover or present or future whenever I pass by your abandoned tent or a scarf with an intense pattern that resembles your speech pattern in some way in my mind or catch a whiff of some scent some something that conjures up memories fabricated or authentic the point is I meant it.

i ain’t talkin about the vultures that want to pick over a rotting carcass for golden rocks

i’m talking about a Goldielocks subtract the goldie locks
but keep the moderation that she had a firm grasp of
as demonstrated by her love for what was “just right” because
a balanced path though always off a little because…
well that’s what it means to be made of mud…
not a balanced path as dictated by fading modern standards
i mean a golden mean that rather scoffs in the face of time even when we’re a sea of bones
Divine in origin and we can continue on the other side

where are you
the one who can see the pearl in the grain of sand before it ended up in the oyster’s mouth
or the beanstalk before the magic beans planted
before I slipped the golden goose from under the fury of the fee fi fo fum of the giant
and brought it back to you

my partner in crime
a complementary blue to my orange red to my green
to make my colors jump from their planes through your presence
see the brilliance in eachother’s canvas it’s not just scribble marked madness
and the colors bleeding through to the other side are even more striking

a punch-drunk love hunchback of notre dame— mon dame
come see me in the bell tower and i’ll do the same for you
when you’re locked behind heavy wooden door

All I have to do is find the magic words

what if..

January 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

what if your soul drift to realms when you sleep

what if you lived in a fantasy world
and everything thou ate was just insanity pills diet
what if vanity killed on the spot
what if calamity peeled of its powder-keg outershell
was a plot of shade to douse a cloud of hell
now think twice about that.
i been sinking in my skin since I was round twelve
now how deep are you willing to delve into these issues before us?

what if you think you’re free but really you’re just a slave to your lower self
and it’s just steadily getting deeper as we go further into Plato’s Cave
as the days pass

what if you could swap souls and control centers
with a member of the opposite gender
and ask one question–

what if one day I learned the true meaning of selfless
an act that is truly done for the sake of someone else and not just for the pleasure of myself
empathy
what if almost everything you believe is almost a lie and you’re the one responsible for believing it
based on a series of  transformations of impulses into thoughts into actions called free will
hard to swallow and its hard to follow a bad act with a good cause its a circus in this neck of these woods

what if the man you always lended your ears to turns out he was just looking to tug on your heart strings for the time being out of a lack of concern for your well being and nothing better to do
meanwhile what if the man you spat on could’ve saved you—
but you frowned. You frowned.

what if you’re just fumbling in the dark with a handful of thumbs, grabbing the leg of an elephant and the next man’s got the trunk and the next one the tusk
and since the dawn of man till the dusk
same story till we fell to dust in the blink of an eye
what if all of this porcelain tissue that we’re buried under isn’t the issue

what if all this stuff that that’s there turns out that it ain’t so there after all
what’s if it’s all really just a bunch of layers of atoms –which are mainly made of space and air in the first place—
which means all this we’re looking at is literally a bunch of nothing
wait a minute….

and what if all that nothing is just a vase
a vase for something that evades typical sensory perception—
too concrete to comprehend
something that holds the weight of that moment danielson caught
a fly with a bare hand in a vacant room
now that’ll make a mind do the matrix spoon

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