about that galaxy...

the one i mentioned a couple of days ago...

there's a sort of formless mass bouncing around in my head. i suppose it's something of a zygote--recently fertilized, but still relatively shapeless. in the process of deciding what it's going to grow into. i know i can't rush the process, and i'm not trying to, but boredom's making me restless.

i've often said that my post-college years have been the most boring of my life. i'm not used to the extreme lack of mental stimulation the work world has provided. reading and music have been my salvation, but seeing as i haven't had much money in the last year and a half or so to support either habit, there are many times my brain's felt like it's just seeping outta my ears.

so now i'm faced with trying to balance the part of me that needs healthcare, food, and gas in the car with the (larger) soul-driven part that wants to skip through daisies, heal folks, write all day, or something else equally non-profitable--at least in this society.

i'm still trying to figure out how to clear the hurdle of being terrified of sharing my work...

i need to feed my artsy side, but don't have enough artsy friends. and i think the idea of making some is horrific 'cause that'll force me into thinking of myself as an artist...

sometimes i think i'm ready for a leap of faith...but on some levels i don't know which direction to leap in...


well, i know a way is being opened and prepared. i'll just have to keep my eyes open so i know when to veer off the rat race highway.


gotta get it together...

i started to write a long list of hates and wants today...but i didn't get a chance to post it.

there's a lot on my mind. and i'm not sure how to organize it all.

there's also a full moon coming.

i need to write some things out...strategize about what i want to see happen over the next few months. it's time to get focused and visualize my new hopes and dreams.

for months, i did very focused, intensive prayers on the full and new moons, and many of those things came to fruition. once they did, i stated my gratitude and decided to lay low and see where things stood. i think it may be time to renew the practice.

i've been uncomfortable lately because i need to be. the universe knows that as soon as the fire under my ass goes out, i'll make do where i am. but as long as i'm missing the bliss, peace, and comfort i know i deserve, i'll be forced to work until i get it.

i see you, esu.


"wanna say 'wait' but you're scared to ask..." (c) e. badu

these days, i'm trying to figure out what i need to pray for—and how i should be moving my feet.

giving thanks is relatively simple. however, it's difficult to determine what to ask for. i can’t tell if the inability to speak comes from a fear of getting what i want, or a fear that i’m not worthy.

i'm trying to keep in mind that if it comes upon my mind to ask, then the universe will conspire to get it for me.

but i have to put it out there. that’s the bargain.



last night i cried more than i have in a long time.

i hate feeling helpless. one of the worst feelings in the world is wanting to be there for someone you can't be there for.

but...i have to let it go. it's outta my hands.

still, between this and the other craziness of the week, i'm starting to feel kind of knocked around.

i'm gonna try my damndest to pull myself together and get my house clean before the weekend. i feel like i need to make my surroundings as new as possible.

i have to remember to eat and stay hydrated. those are the first things i neglect in moments like these.

i am, once again, quite hateful of the fact that honey is so conspicuously absent. i know he doesn't mean to be, but he's gonna make himself sick--if he hasn't already--running around for this jackleg job of his...

sometimes i feel like screaming, "when am i going to get taken care of for a change? when are you going to learn to take care of yourself?"

i suppose that's pointless at the moment.

gotta pick myself up off the floor and keep on going...


the struggle to keep one's head up

i still need shampoo and soap,
the house is a mess,
supposed to get away this wkend,
folks are fkin with my money (i'm not even joking)
and, by extension, my plans.

but i'm gonna rise above it.

vengeance is unecessary.
i trust that all will be handled by the ancestors and the orisha.
they know the heart & mind of my enemies just as they know mine,
and they'll deal with it as they see fit.

i'll seek to let go of anger

and keep on living my life.
'cause i know i'm on the right side of the fence.




by nature, i'm not an angry person. however, i seem to become very aware of my capacity for rage when i'm hormonal. it's uncanny.

maybe i should think of it as a power surge; a sudden awareness of what i could do if i really put my mind to it.

the anger probably comes from not being able to manipulate and shape the power to my liking. who has time to sit in the garden (eh...what garden?) and write or dream up spells or potions or prayers or incantations or whatever? i gotta sit up in this office for 8 hrs and some change and try to act like i don't have a galaxy brewing inside me.

ah well.

i try to keep it all in perspective.


keepittogetherkeepittogetherkeepittogether (c) eddie murphy

i'm starting to feel like i've already checked out as far as this job's concerned...

but technically, i haven't. so i gotta keep my mind right until i can truly get the hell outta dodge.

some days that's hard. but i take a small measure of joy in being able to put a line through one more day in the calendar.

i know i shouldn't worry. i know the universe has my back. but that whole humanity thing tends to get in the way...

not being able to see the process can really fk with you sometimes. they say the journey's part of the fun, but i like to be assured of a destination. the downside of the relative stability and normality of my life is a need for security that simply isn't always available in the cold, cruel world.

leaps of faith used to come easier. now i envy people who can just let go and grab onto straws on a whim. i'm easily lulled by the promise of a rock to lean on, no matter what might creep out from underneath it.

gotta change it up.



i find it a bit unnerving that i can't remember my dreams lately. they just don't seem to be coming with the intensity and vision that they usually do.

on the other hand, that could mean i'm getting better at keeping in touch with the spirit world in my waking moments--which is good. typically my most intense dreaming comes when i'm going through some kind of transition or need to learn some lesson.

but i've been a dreamer my whole life. so when the hiatuses come, i notice.

the shaman with gray braids wearing a flannel shirt and jeans who reads for me...

serpents crawling over my feet and me walking, unafraid...

glimpses of past lives and times...

the oshun-woman who comforts me and gives advice...

the water dreams--rolling aquamarine waves and crystal clear waterfalls...

but i haven't seen any of them in awhile.



i'm finding that ifa requires a great deal of discipline. it's not so much the unfamiliarity with the language and culture, but the preeminence it takes in one's life.

but even though this is the most time-consuming spiritual practice i've experienced up to this point, it brings innumerable blessings and intimacy with spirit. i am reconnecting with myself and enjoying a whole other level of being.

ifa helps me to remember who i was as a child--when i accepted my gifts and didn't think about nasty things like limitations and labels. i'm getting to know ancestors i could never have known otherwise. building bridges with the orisha. plus, i know i'm being groomed for the work i will be doing for the rest of my life, the work i will raise my children to continue.

sometimes i wonder if people shy away from traditional paths because of all the rituals, offerings, orikis, etc. but when you consider all the things we ask god for, all the things we have that we take for granted--even when we're in a place of gratitude--the beauty and generosity of the planet we live on, the gift of life...it's really a small thing to do a few ebos every now and then. and, truthfully, once you've established and learned how to maintain a relationship with your egun/orisha/spirit guides, they don't ask for much. when they do, it's a sure sign they're working on some blessing for you.

it's definitely worth it.

...that said

paying bills is still depressing.


my people, my people

thank you for posting this, jendai.

while we all know blk folk need to learn better and do better, it's kinda hard when the folks you're racing have had a several-centuries long head start. when have we had the time/money/energy to build up a wall street? a lloyd's of london?

it's gonna be a long, hard road to recovery.

the story of the wall family of mississippi

talaam acey responds to saul williams

talaam acey's response to saul's letter
i think this is a great dialogue any way you slice it...

Notes on "An Open Letter to Oprah Winfrey" by Taalam Acey

I want to approach this critique cautiously if only because these ideas are among my most sincere. I applaud you for writing your "Open Letter to Oprah Winfrey," and though it took me awhile to get around to reading it, I'm glad I did. When James Baldwin remarked that, "The poet or the revolutionary is there to articulate the necessity," I'm sure that your open letter was the sort of agitation he had in mind.

I was not born of a minister and school teacher. Instead my parents were Black Nationalists in Imamu Amiri Baraka's Committee for a Unified Newark. Unlike you, I was influenced by both Rakim and June Jordan. I affirm these things because they will no doubt color the critique that follows.

As for the illustrious Ms. Winfrey, I too grew up watching her on television. As a teen, my mother had me read Alice Walker's "The Color Purple." In the film, Ms. Winfrey's portrayal of Sofia was exactly how I envisioned it. It was not surprising that she garnered one of that film's 11 Oscar nominations (though, the film somehow didn't win a single Oscar).

Of more relevance here, however, is that Ms. Winfrey, ironically, played a major role in my appreciation for gangsta rap. In 1989, Harpo, her company, produced (and she starred in) Gloria Naylor's "The Women of Brewster Place." Back then I was sure that white America despised young black men. However, in my 18th year, her mini-series convinced me that black women might hate us even more. I felt demonized. Though, I didn't care much for "hard core rappers" beforehand, after Brewster Place, my feelings of betrayal rendered their messages vital.

A few months later, when Ms. Winfrey donated $1 million dollars to your alma matter. I remember thinking it had to be a function of her guilt.

Since then, she has given repeatedly and contributed to the education of hundreds of Morehouse students. I no longer doubt her sincerity. Still, I have come to believe there is a dichotomy in her perception of young black males. She has gone on record about being sexually abused by relatives (including a 19 year old cousin) beginning when she was 9 years old. However, she also credits moving in with her father as saving her life. In fact while Vernon Winfrey was named by her mother as only one of a few potential fathers, he nevertheless took responsibility for Oprah and refused paternity test throughout her life.

I mention none of this to be disrespectful to Ms. Winfrey. She is a self-made billionaire, Television Hall of Fame inductee and media mogul. Yet, she is also human and, like the rest of us, her past experiences may shed light on her current convictions.

Thus, having discussed the above, I'd like to assert that many of today's rap lyrics conform more to the values of her 19 year old cousin than they do those of her father.

I love Hip-Hop. It is and has always been sacred to me. There was something spiritual about Rakim's flow and something evangelical about KRS-One's diatribes. In high school, I spent time with Queen Latifah and was pretty close with Cut Master DC (of "Brooklyn's in the House" fame). I attended shows at Union Square, The Tunnel and even The Castle in the South Bronx. I almost don't know where to stop...during my teens, I got to drive Red Alert from a show in Jersey back to NY and talked him to death. I remember dancin' to Crash Crew records, arguing over who was the best emcee in the Fearless Four, losing my mind when the Sugar Hill Gang and The Furious Five did a record together. There are entire Slick Rick, Rakim and Biggie songs that I still know word for word. Believe me, I too am a hip hop head.

Hip Hop in it's organic form is Melle Mel's, "The Message." Nevertheless, there's always been room for Ice Cube and Snoop. They had a story to tell. Our problem now has become that the stories are being told ad nauseam and by people who not only haven't lived them, but aren't inspired to tell them.

I'm into Spoken Word, one of many forms of poetry. There can be no doubt that rap is another. True, all rappers are not poets. But, even by the definition you applied, all Spoken Word artists aren't poets either. Few artist of any art form operate from a sincerely vulnerable place. That is not a Hip-Hop phenomenon.

The problem is bigger than vulnerability. When you declared "There is no true hatred of women in Hip Hop." I can only assume that you meant in the Hip-Hop that you and other "Backpackers" support. Those of you who choose "to associate...with the more "conscious" or politically astute artists of the Hip Hop community." Surely you don't believe that today's rappers intend their endless litany of "Bitch," "Ho," and "Slut" as displays of affection.

I agree with you that, at our root, we inherently worship the feminine. Sadly it seems that for most of us now, at all points above our root, we've begin to worship money more. The problem with most of Hip-Hop is that it's being co-opted. I cannot imagine what, if any point, you were attempting by mentioning that 50 Cent and George Bush share a birthday. I agree that George Bush is one of the gangsters that control this country, but I am certain that 50 Cent is not one of the "gangsters" that controls Hip-Hop. He may control his entourage and his bank account, but not much more. Curtis Jackson is an "artist," not a mogul. So can you tell me if Lyor Cohen or Jimmy Iovine share a birthday with Bush? That might be slightly relevant.

You are right that "Censorship will never solve our problems." Boycotting the sponsors of a radio show that made disparaging remarks about young black girls isn't censorship though. In America, dollars vote. It is not censorship to use your dollars to vote a bigot off the air. The dramatic decline in the sale of rap records since 2005 is also not due to censorship. People are voting for change. We no longer care to support songs about how your car and house are better than mine because you're really good at selling crack to my children.

This is a serious social issue and has nothing to do with the depiction of G*d in Christianity or any other religion. I've heard the argument about the proper Holy Trinity being man, woman and child, previously. I've attended lectures about instances of chauvinism in organized religion. Still I take issue with the logic that the Western depiction of G*d has driven emcees crazy.

You concluded by saying:

"If we are to sincerely address the change we are praying for then we must first address to whom we are praying."

That's the point, emcees have begun praying to mammon. Most mainstream rappers no longer take pride in their lyricism. They simply write whatever the record company believes it can easily sell. The problem is selfishness, not religion. Believe me, we haven't reached this point in our history because too many rappers have become obsessed with studying the Bible.

This particular weapon of mass destruction is NOT the one that asserts that a holy trinity would be "a father, a male child, and a ghost." This weapon of mass destruction IS wealthy racist white men who exploit and mass market poor young black men who are willing to denigrate themselves for money. We do not require disconnected excuses, only change.

The primary problem with rappers today is selfishness. That's the very quality that separated Oprah's father from her 19 year old cousin. I'll end by saying there's nothing more vulnerable than a broke talentless rapper in the hands of a racist white media mogul. In the end, I hope you understand that these notes are not about you and I but, instead, the masses of oppressed people who deserve to know the truth.

In Brotherhood,

Taalam Acey


may i be frank for a moment?

once, a man i was incidentally dating asked me to shave my flower petals.

not because it was causing any particular problem, mind you. he just decided to make his preference known. shortly after the first time he even saw me naked, even.

he didn't seem to object to anything else.

had the nerve to threaten the withholding of head.
too bad i wasn't pressed.

head's always best when i give a shit about the mind between my thighs, and he didn't quite qualify.

i didn't even care enough to explain that i'd earned every one of those hairs.

i remember changing in the girls' locker room at camp some 20odd years ago and having the girls look at me like i was nuts 'cause i had hair there.

like most women who've had a similar experience--i also had to contend with being "too tall", having too deep a voice, etc.--for years i considered myself some kind of freak.

then, one day, the opposite sex began to consider most of my previously offending traits "sexy".

the hair now proved i was grown. it was even deemed pretty, thanks to my complexion/coloring. it inspired love names, interested stares, and lingering lovemaking sessions.

so, while i totally and completely support necessary waxes, appropriate trimmings, and all the usual generalized grooming and hygiene habits, i'll politely tell you to go fk yourself for attempting to de-fuzz my blossom over some bullshit notion of what it's "supposed" to look like.

it ain't like i'm fittin into a bikini any time soon...

addendum: and look what i find on postsecret just after posting this.

whoever you are, free yourself sistren.




i got to leave work early friday

got back in the kitchen sunday

spent some time with honey

treated myself to a few things

saw the godkid play baseball

...not a bad weekend.


secular bibles

i started reading the temple of my familiar again last night. i consider it one of my sacred texts.

the ritual goes like this: i'll get an urge to pick it back up, and if i can get through the first fifty pages barely blinking, i know it's time for another reading.

considering the publication date, i was probably around 11 or 12 the first time i read it (the copy i have now was my mother's). i distinctly remember feeling like i knew those people, those lives.

later i came to realize that i am a version of miss lissie, only i wasn't fortunate enough to remember everything this time around. even so, i've surrounded myself with many women (and some men) who are cut from the same cloth. as they remember, so do i. we help each other.

as much as a book can, this one validates me, my essence. things i've known about myself and the way my heart and spirit work since i can remember consciously thinking about such things.

i've said it often: this book made me make sense.

needing to reread it is a sign that i'm keenly aware of my own evolution. it means i need to check in and see what spirits and worlds i'm identifying with in this moment, which ones i can leave behind, and which ones are coming.

other secular holy works:

sassafrass, cypress, & indigo (i intend on studying this one again, too) and for colored girls...

dick gregory's nigger

sapphire...american dreams and push

like the singing coming off the drums (haven't picked that up for awhile...)

saul williams' she

zami, a new spelling of my name

their eyes were watching god


mandela's children

baltimore sun three part series


i traveled last night.

i felt like i was in a man's apartment, trying to find a quiet corner to rest in during or after a party. i found myself in his room--a very postmodern affair, something out of an r&b video. tan sheets on the bed, leather couches and chaise lounges, chrome accents. i tried to read a card he'd left on his bed for a lover, but couldn't make sense of it.

in another house in a very different kind of setting, i sampled heroin. the next day i had on a backpack, trying to get somewhere (was i a college student?) but found myself contemplating another high instead. (un)fortunately, the dealers were gone and the house had changed. seemed i was somewhere very european. cobblestones everywhere. something in me fought the urge to seek out another hit, knowing i didn't want to travel that road.

there were flashes of past lives.
forgotten and remembered loves, sensations, emotions.

it was a strange night.



ok, we've all heard it: before they put us on the ships during the maafa, we were all kings and queens, living gloriously in the beauty of africa, etc.

the beauty of the continent i don't doubt.
and the trauma of the journey is undeniable.

however, to paraphrase my girl aulelei, somebody had to be hauling the holy water to the kemetian temples and drinking the cheap beer.

seeing how ifa is growing and moving in the lives of the descendants of those who arrived on these shores, i do believe that many of us are descendants of powerful spiritual lineages. we see constant evidence in the way our spirituality (i'm distinguishing that from religion), art, dance, music, and culture has survived. sometimes hidden, sometimes in plain view.

that's not to say some of us aren't linked to royal families. in fact, i've come across a couple of stories of blk folks discovering just that, particularly since dna testing has made it easier for folks to discover exactly where they come from.

as for me, i don't know if i was anybody's queen or princess.

but i'm pretty damned sure about my spiritual warrior heritage.

and i can live with that.