Black Magic

Image courtesy of http://beautifulbrownies.tumblr.com/

Image courtesy of http://beautifulbrownies.tumblr.com/

Blackness in full view
Open and vast
Varied and rich
Not hidden in the cloak of
your lies and shame
Blackness doesn’t need your acceptance
or validation
It just is
As it is
And my, what our blackness is!
Full-bodied power
A vivid cultural mosaic
Intricately woven
Connecting our past, present, and future.

My experiences are too often judged, rarely understood
If I let you tell it –
my story simply wouldn’t be
My existence – my truth –
buried, annihilated
At the other extreme, you’ve tried to tell
my story as if you know me better
than I know myself
Praise to the gods that there never is and there never will be
a substitute for the real thing.

My story – our story –
more hype than virtual reality
Afro-futuristic dreams—
we live them every day
Casting spells before you
can comprehend
#blackgirlmagic
#blackboymagic
Rocking it like no other before, during
or after.

Forever an enigma
Keep ‘em guessing, as Mom always says
And just when they think they’ve figured
you out – flip that shit!

My blackness is unapologetic
Will not turn down
for your comfort
It’s everlasting
Just like the storied journey passed down
from my ancestors
Label it haughty or narcissistic
It’s simply self-love
Black love and BLACK PRIDE.

The strength and resilience
of my blackness is unbreakable
as the blood I share with my brothas and sistas
Forever catching our fires like Sonia
Yielding the fire within
Bringing beauty and beyond to the world
And making history every day
Now, that’s BLACK MAGIC!

© 2016 BuddahDesmond

A Writer’s Joy: A 2015 DC Metro Scholastic Writing Awards Reflection

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In March, I was honored to be invited back to recite poems by one of the American Voice nominees, Emily Zhang, at this year’s DC Metro Scholastic Writing Awards. Sponsored by Writopia Lab and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Scholastic Writing Awards recognize DC Metro Area middle and high school students whose writing has earned Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention Awards, American Voice nominations, the Busboys & Poets Senior Portfolio Scholarship and the Edward P. Jones Young Writer Award.

You could not help but be affected by the positivity and creative energy in the room. Being amongst so many talented young writers was a joy. I saw myself all over again. Seeing and hearing how much literature, language and writing has inspired these young men and women truly touched me. When you are blessed with the gift of writing, it unites you with such a vast community. A community where we feel deeply connected and happily at home.

Writing gives you the freedom to explore worlds. To change minds. To explore feelings–both familiar and unfamiliar. To get inside the lives of characters and their experiences. To dispel myths. To reflect on social, political, cultural and historical events and the impact they’ve had on generations past and present. Writing gives us the opportunity to make the unknown known. To tell our truth. To cast away our fears and simply live. Writing is everything and more.

The approach, style and genres in which we write may vary. But it’s our love of writing, our foresight, insight, perspective, curiosity…and desire for understanding, respect and freedom for all that brings us together.

Reborn: A Poem

Sadly, today’s the last day of National Poetry Month. I thought I would share a new piece I wrote a few days ago. I know I’ve been missing in action for much of the last few months. Between entering into a Nutrition and Integrative Health Master’s program and starting a new job, I’ve had more than enough to keep me preoccupied. I promise I’ll be back to posting regularly very soon.

Though National Poetry Month is ending, the celebration of poetry doesn’t have to end. Poetry is the language of the people. Even if you’re not an avid poetry reader, I’m sure you’ll find a poem or two that will resonate with you. Given the state of today’s world, poetry can offer us hope, solace and perspective. Poetry ignites the fire within. In the words of Sonia Sanchez, “Catch the fire…and live.”

Reborn

You fall back–
thinking you’ve got broken wings.
They’re only broken if you empower mistakes
and pain from the past to rob you of future’s joy.
You’ll never make it off the ground
running from your history.
Run into it for understanding.
Revisit for healing.
Conquer the aches, soothe the wounds
so you can be one with your spirit
and true destiny.
The internal battle will cease.
Like morning on a crisp spring day–
you’ll be reborn.

The Escape (from ‘Exotic Shifter’)

When you started calling every 5 minutes and
demanding every beat of my time,
I should’ve known you were another brotha beyond
the OCD tip.
Possession’s only sweet to those committing the act.
It’s one of love’s nut job rellies that
shouldn’t share a bloodline.

When the life you live isn’t enough that you have
to encroach upon and suck the essence out of another’s—
it’s way past your meds and time for an intervention
They don’t make straightjackets tough enough for
the pained love you inflict on your prey.
A love that needs to be checked
by family, your crew, or law enforcement is a love
I wants no part of.

Thank goodness I woke up in time.
Cause there’s no guarantee that a kiss from
Prince Charming would’ve saved me
if the entrapment lasted one moment longer.
Thank goodness I got away.

Exotic Shifter can be purchased through the 2 Pens & Lint website on the BuddahDesmond author page.

“Exotic Shifter,” a Chapbook, is Out Now!

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I’m happy to announce that my latest project Exotic Shifter is available for purchase! Published through 2 Pens & Lint, this chapbook features 20 poems primarily about love and relationships.

As described in a previous post, “Love changes things… Well, love changes everything. It’s impossible that we go through life loving anything or anyone (ourselves, others, our communities) without being changed. The poems featured in Exotic Shifter examine the transformative power of love (and/or how we can be transformed once we learn to love ourselves and others better).”

Exotic Shifter serves as a prelude to my next full-length volume, which is tentatively titled From the Inside Out. This project will take an even deeper look at love and relationships. I’m pushing to release this project in late 2015/early 2016.

Exotic Shifter can be purchased through the 2 Pens & Lint website on the BuddahDesmond author page. The chapbook is $5.

If you like/love Exotic Shifter, please tell a friend or two (or three or four) about it. And if you have feedback, please feel free to share it with me!

Thank you for your support. Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

Next Event: Baltimore African American Book Festival – October 11, 2014

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Okay artists, writers, poets/spoken words artists, and book lovers: If you didn’t know, the Baltimore African American Book Festival (BAABF) is this Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 10AM-5PM at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Presented by the National Literary Network Organization and the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the BAABF will feature Trice Hickman (Best-Selling Author), Sheri Booker (NAACP Image Award Winning Author), Troy Johnson (AALBC.com Founder), Nikki Woods (Tom Joyner Morning Show Producer, Nikki Woods Media Founder, and Author), and Ella Curry (EDC Creations Founder). Other events include panels/workshops, kids activities, and live spoken word. The event is free and open to public.

I’ll have a table (#10) selling copies of Prevail and Exotic Shifter and will perform during the Spoken Word Hour from 1PM-2PM. My blogger buddy Marc Polite (Author, Blogger, and Founder and Editor in Chief of Polite On Society) and will be one of several authors appearing at the event as well.

So if you’re looking for a FREE event full of great edutainment, come check out the BAABF this Saturday in Baltimore, MD!

Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

~ BuddahDesmond

“Exotic Shifter,” My New Chapbook, Coming Soon

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Good news: my latest project entitled, Exotic Shifter, will be available soon! In a previous post, I mentioned that I’d been working on two new projects. The first being a chapbook, Exotic Shifter, and the second being my next full-length volume of poetry (with a tentative release date some time in late 2015/early 2016). Well, we’re in the final stages of the editing process and the chapbook will be heading to the printer any day now.

Exotic Shifter is primarily about love and relationships. As my grandmother says, “Love is a metamorphosis.” Love changes things… Well, love changes everything. It’s impossible that we go through life loving anything or anyone (ourselves, others, our communities) without being changed. The poems featured in Exotic Shifter examine the transformative power of love (and/or how we can be transformed once we learn to love ourselves and others better).

Exotic Shifter will be published by 2 Pens & Lint, whose tagline is, “A New Direction In Poetry.” As their website states, “2 Pens & Lint strives to create an atmosphere where poets can build and maintain financial stability through the art of poetry while simultaneously using their poetry as a catalyst for change in their communities and broader society.”

2 Pens & Lint is a company that is completely supportive of the art of poetry and ensuring that poets have the resources they need to continue enhancing their artistry, their platform, and their business (which in essence will impact their communities and the world). This is why I decided to pursue publishing my chapbook with 2 Pens & Lint.

Exotic Shifter will be available for sale on the 2 Pens & Lint website and from me at upcoming events. Stay tuned for more details!

As always, I thank you kindly for your continued support. Much Love!

Exotic Shifter Cover Illustration: Patricia Swann (my grandmother, who also created the cover illustration for Prevail)

Next Event: The Ask Rayceen Show – August 6, 2014 in Washington, DC

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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be performing in the Listening Lounge at The Ask Rayceen Show. You’ll be able to catch me in my element – singing and reciting poetry. Hosted by the FABULOUS Rayceen Pendarvis, the event takes place Wednesday, August 6, 2014 | 7PM (Doors open at 6PM) | Liv Nightclub (2001 11th St NW, Washington, DC | Above Bohemian Caverns).

Esteemed authors LaToya Hankins, R. L. Norman, and Wyatt O’Brian Evans will be featured in the Authors’ Corner. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of our books, you’ll be able to do so at the event. Poets, spoken word artists, and poetry lovers are also in for another treat as there will be a Poetry Slam. The winner will receive a $100 cash prize.

Best of all, the event is FREE and open to the public!

Check out the calendar for The Ask Rayceen Show for next few months.

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So if you’re in the area on any of these dates, please check out The Ask Rayceen Show!

Until next time… Peace, love, and many blessings!

Happy 2nd Anniversary to “Prevail!”

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I cannot believe it’s been two years since the release of my first volume of poetry Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics. Seems like it was only yesterday when I saw the email that the book had gone to the printer. And roughly 10-14 days later, it was available to purchase. Seeing my work published, especially this collection, was a major milestone. I went through a lot to get to that stage. And my what I’ve learned in the time since it was published.

I was trying to do everything when Prevail came out. To maintain the little bit of sanity I have left, I had to pump my breaks. I realized that if I broke my goals up into smaller pieces, execution wouldn’t be as difficult. This allowed for quick wins, which in essence brings you closer to achieving your ultimate goals (versus trying to attack everything head on all at once).

My goal this year was increasing visibility in the DC metro area (i.e. attending more events, performing, and making connections/building relationships). I went after some opportunities, while other opportunities came to me (all of which I’m extremely grateful). I’m in the process of planning for events for the latter half of the year (I’ll be sharing news about this soon). Aside from releasing my next two projects, the goal for 2015/2016 will be increasing visibility in other regions of the country.

After going through the publishing process with my first project, I feel like I could teach a course or two. There’s no need to spend a lot of money buying packages through an on-demand or vanity press when you don’t have to. Doing it yourself may be a more cost-effective option, especially if you have access to the right resources. Whether you self-publish or get picked up by a publishing company (indie or mainstream), you will still be on the hook for marketing/promoting your work. At this stage, I’d rather have more control over the finished product and how its marketed/promoted.

Information about my next two projects is forthcoming. In the interim, be sure to check out my previous posts about Prevail. And if so inclined, buy a copy of Prevail, write a review, and tell a friend!

Thank you for your support. Until next time… Peace, love, and many blessings! ~ BuddahDesmond

Buy Prevail from: iUniverse | Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle) | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover)

Buddah’s Upcoming Projects and Events

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Hello All! I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post. Outside of my crazy work schedule, I’ve been revising, editing, and selecting poems for my next two projects. The first project is a chapbook which I’m pushing to release later this year.  The second project is my next full length volume of poetry which I’m hoping to release in late 2015/early 2016. Titles for each project will be forthcoming. I look forward to sharing more details as the process moves along.

I also have a few events coming up this month. I’ll be doing a reading at Open Mic at Busboys & Poets (Shirlington) in Arlington, VA | 5/12/2014 | 8PM-10PM. The open mic will be hosted by Joseph LMS Green and the featured poet is Dasha Kelly. I’ll be the spotlight poet for the evening. Tickets for the event are $5 and can be purchased the day of the event (beginning at midnight) via Busboys & Poets/Eventbrite. I’ll also be doing a reading as part of the 2014 DC Black Pride Writer’s Forum in Washington, DC | Grand Hyatt Washington (Lafayette Park Room – Independence Level) | 5/24/2014 | 12:30PM-1:45PM. If you’re in the area, please come out and support!

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

~ BuddahDesmond