Track 1 the Blue Nile.
I walked in so wet behind the ears I might as well have swam to the spot. I was utterly amazed though. It was like no where I had ever been. There were folks of all kinds and colors and shapes and they were all vibing. It was so different than the environment I had come from: competitive and hella superficial. This felt so much more real, so much more inviting. It was that inviting that got me twisted up. See I was all amped up to be part of this new thing that was making me feel so alive that I didn’t take the time to learn how to appropriately interact. I just took up space. Thirsty for the love and acceptance that seemed endless in this place I jumped on the mic like I knew anything at all about what this was, without understanding this was suppose to be a reciprocal relationship, you had to show respect, pay homage and, as I would learn later, do the knowledge. I just wanted others to feel about me the way I was feeling about them. I just wanted…
Track 2 being scene
I think I’m doing something special. Writing to be scene especially by the right people, people I see as being somewhere I’m trying to get to. I’m something like a parasite nourishing myself on this community and culture but giving nothing back. I’m doing shows and traveling and people are digging me so I must be doing something right, at least that’s what I tell myself as I fall asleep at night. There been some folks along the way (they know who they are) who peeped my game and let me know the business: they let me know I’m violating. I’m still thirsty though. Now, instead of feeling in awe I feel a sense of ego. I walk in open mics and love that people know me. I think I’m doing something cuz I say some shit at Voices Merging that can get a reaction and when the mic is over people ask about the cd and if I do such and such. It’s still, in the end, about me. I feel good that certain people know my name, like that has anything at all to do with my worth. I get salty when I’m not invited to shows and some of those people are. I’m a hater, no doubt about it, I’m no longer in awe or inspired, it’s full blown jealousy. Instead of being at peace and closer to God I feel the same type of competition I was so desperately trying to escape.
Track 3 mirrors
I don’t know when exactly it happened but it did. I hate what I’m writing. In fact it feels like a chore. All I think about is how this line will go over and if such and such university will get back to me and how much they will pay. I haven’t been to the Nile in a minute. I feel spread thin. What used to feed my soul, at least I thought was feeding it, was now causing me hella stress. How’d it get like this? I thought about a certain interaction and decision an artist I really respect had made regarding our relationship and I finally understood it. That is to say I finally saw the truth in what she saw. I didn’t like what I had become. I had good intentions but regardless I saw something beautiful and in true white-boy American fashion I took what I needed while fronting on the give back. I violated straight up and down. I loved community only as much as they could validate me. I was still empty, spitting poems about living some real shit while faking the funk in my life off stage. I cried differently that night.
Track 4 being seen
I’m trying to be more honest. I know I’m part of creation and the creator and so I create. For me that means I write a lot. Sometimes that comes out as poems sometimes as other shit. I don’t know if I’m an artist because I’m still figuring out what it means to be one, but I think it starts with telling the truth about myself. I love this community and am learning how to be a member of it. I owe so much to it. So many people had so much patience with me. So many people dropped little pieces of knowledge that I realize now were like life boats on the Titanic. I know that I am lucky to have grown up in such a loving and forgiving community as this. I still care too much about how what I produce will be received but I’m working on that. I see, and interact with, a lot of the people that first drew me to this community and I wonder if they know how deeply they have effected me. I wonder if they know how grateful I am they created the spaces for me to find myself and to be seen.