Archive for June, 2010

Paradox: –noun 1. a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

Conundrum: –noun 1. a riddle, the answer to which involves a pun or play on words

I have a paradox which has somewhat turned into a Conundrum.

Paradox: I want to post poetry my blog, but any poetry I post cannot be submitted to the eZine I found, which publishes a limited number of poetry books per year because they want ‘first rights’.

Conundrum: How do I post poetry to a poetry blog without automatically disqualifying it from publication.

The answer to my conundrum and paradox turns out to be post older work now, create new things, post some, submit the rest. So, the next few poems I post here will actually be poems which have made previous appearances on my Facebook, but they are still quality poems. The poem about to be posted now is one in a series of poems from the same perspective, and I am very fond of it. But dont worry, new work is in the works. Hold tight fans, the wait is almost over.

****

I the lonely actor

Stand solemnly on the stage

Beyond its lights I dare not cross

For in the darkness is a war I dare not wage

I am a prisoner

Self contained

Holding the keys to my own freedom

Since the coming of my age

I spread not my wings in an attempt to fly

But sing from within my cage

I the lonely actor

Tread silently about the floor

Staring only into the darkness

And not the opened door

I spread my dreams down at your feet

And ask you to walk as Jesus did

Have faith in what flows from my inspired brain

And save me if I sink instead of swim

Punish me not for bringing fire to man

It has been contained in my pen

For my lonely heart has already gone blind

Still I bend to its every whim

The parchment I ignite with words

More scorching than the sun

I have locked away from light of day

Before the play’s begun

I the lonely actor

Contain and conceal my inspired rage

So that that which could bring me freedom

Keeps me lonely upon the stage

So to begin with, I have to shout out my friend Will McGrath (follow him on twitter @Ouill) for indirectly contributing to this blog entry. As promised I will be featuring another up and coming artist as my May entry did, but first;

SHE’S BACK!

Now I will admit that this may be pre-emptive and in fact over-confident.  There was a time about 2 or 3 years  ago when everyone was excited about a Fugees comeback. They released a song, and Lauryn released a song which was included at the end of the Shark Tale Movie if I remember correctly, and every hip-hop head got excited. She and Macey Gray actually both released singles which were included on movie soundtracks that years, but nothing much came of either. Regardless, both the Fugees, and a solo Lauryn return turned out to be smoke and mirrors.

So whats different now?

Well to begin with, we have this NPR Article by Zoe Chace. Zoe, as it seems, is one of those who was growing up at the time when Lauryn was hot. So around my age, albeit a bit older. When Mis-education dropped in 1998 I was 10, so my appreciation for the meaning behind the lyrics didn’t come until later although the enthusiasm for the music was still there. Now however, I can honestly say it remains one of my favorite albums to date.  In addition to this article however, we have performance dates. ACTUAL performance dates. Not rumors that she will be in a city for one night for one hour and never be heard from again for about 10 years. Performance dates such as Rock The Bells in DC, Chicago, New York, and other city’s as well.

Chance’s article of course doesn’t cover the rumors that fans have been hearing for years about the whereabouts of Ms. Hill. But why should it? The important thing is that we may once again have the woman who many looked at as something of a hip-hop savior in the booth once again. Nikki, sit down and watch a pro do it effortlessly.

And now, without further ado, Ladies and Gentleman I present to you Selah J Rauw. 19 year old Californian who may very well herself be on the way to do great things.

I first heard about Ms. Rauw through my good friend mentioned earlier, Will McGrath in one of his #FF (follow friday) shoutouts. (Follow her on Twitter @SelahJRauw). Later on when doing my profile of the beautiful and talented Ms. Gabrielle Baty (@GabrielleBaty), a comment was left on the blog also telling me to check out Ms. Rauw’s work. Well, while away at Airborne school I didn’t check out anything, so this morning was actually the first time I was exposed to any of her work. This is not to say I am rushing to put her into my blog or anything such as that, I had planned this for some time. That being said, my initial impression is I am impressed.

Selah has a style and a voice which immediately sound like a mix of Avril Levigne chords on her guitar, and Kerry Underwood/Natasha Beddingfield type vocals. And I mean that in a good way. A bit country, a bit pop, and a good mix of both.

I am especially impressed with the amount of original music that she has, as most times it seems artists today rely more on Covers and less on original work. Not that there is anything wrong with covers. Besides, she has a really great cover up right now anyway. However, as a writer/poet, I especially appreciate the work that goes into writing an original piece, so she gets major props for that.

What probably impressed me the most however, was the song she has called “Lemonade”, another original, which also features her playing the Ukulele! The sound of both the music and her voice, as well as the tone and rhythm of the song immediately reminded me of the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. Love that song.

Like any hard-working, up-and-coming artist, she of course has a Myspace music page, and a Facebook fan page. Dont just take my word for it, check out her music. Check out any of these pages, but especially the YouTube page so you can hear the music that she is making.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the multi-talented Selah J Rauw

WOW!

It has literally been over a month since the last time I posted. This is not a good look! But better late than never, and I’m back now, so the past is the past.

Hopefully this week will see a post from me everyday. Im working on New Poetry so that I have enough to submit to The Smoking Poet, an eZine which I found and will discuss more later. I will be profiling 2 new artists; one who I know personally and another whom I have never met.  In addition I will also of course be bringing news stories, commentary, movie reviews, and all those things all of you know and love me for.   To begin with however, we will start with news, followed by personal achievement story.

Army. Airborne. McChrystal.

These are the three operative words for today’s post. We’re gonna start from the end and move forward. To begin with; McChrystal.

GEN Stanley McChrystal, 4 Star, Ranger, Special Forces, JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) Commanding Officer, who has been in the army for 34 years, nearly long enough for two full careers is in the hot seat right now. He has gone from the top commander in the War in Afghanistan to the General no one wants to be seen with in a matter of days. Why? Because he let a reporter publish things which were probably not intended to be heard by anyone but his staff.

Rolling Stone Magazine reporter Michael Hastings interviewed the General in relation to his strategy in Afghanistan. No harm there. Right? Right. Unless the General begins to forget that a reporters job is to do just that, report. Therefore nothing said is off-limits, and nothing is off the record.

As a General, or even as a soldier in general, you are expected to show support for your leaders, and follow their commands and directives without question or pause UNLESS it will get someone killed or puts the lives of your troops in danger. No one should ever know your PERSONAL opinion about a higher up. That’s the way I understand it anyway. And after 34 years you would think he would know it as well.

To me, it appears that what happened was the reporter simply recorded comments that the General intended as jokes, and to be only for his staff, or for the people immediately in the room. I honestly don’t believe that he intended the American People to hear what he had to say about Obama and his staff being wimps. As always though, I leave it for you to decide. A long article, but a good general profile of the General as well. The fact that he still goes on foot patrols with his soldiers is also a huge indication of just what kind of soldier he is; a good one.

The article is here

AIRBORNE

Now, if you follow me on Twitter (@TMothaPhukinW), or are a friend of mine on Facebook then you surely saw my #tweetsfromAIRBORNE for 3 weeks. If you are not one of those people then heres the story.

For 3 weeks, I was in Ft. Benning, GA at the US Army Airborne School. Its a 3 week-long course culminating in making 5 successful jumps from a C-130 Hercules or C-17 Aircraft using a T-10Delta or T-11 parachute. Mouthful? Yes. Basically, I went to GA and learned how to jump out of planes and land correctly so I could walk off the drop zone. If you walk off the drop zone, you had a successful jump.

I will admit that Airborne is said to be one of the easiest schools the Army has to offer, but make no mistake, that does not mean that the training is a cake walk. Going to sleep at 11, waking up at 4am and doing physical work the entire day for 3 weeks will do something to you. And PLF’s (Parachute Landing Falls), I promise are no joke. But the mindset was, and always is that I won’t quit. The 3 weeks included Ground, Tower, and Jump weeks. Ground was mostly learning the correct way to land, which is the PLF. Tower week introduced the 34ft Tower, which in truth is harder to exit from than the plane actually is, and proper body position for the drift. Jump week is exactly what it sounds like. And when you finally get to Jump Week, everything you did before, the mental hazing and the Marines, early mornings, late nights, horrible food, keeping yourself from a single drink for 3 weeks (my personal struggle) all becomes worth it. Once you exit that aircraft and you float down, no noise, it’s all worth it.

I’m very proud of myself for completing that endeavor. It’s the first real Army training school I have ever attended, and I hope for many more to follow. My dad, who was also Airborne, came down to pin my wings on me. That was an important moment for me, and I appreciated it more than he probably knows.

Finally, the 265 Anniversary of the US Army just passed a few days ago. This is a simple Thank you to all the Men and Women in Uniform who are out there serving, fighting, and sacrificing so that we can enjoy the lives that we live here in this country. One day I will join you, but until then you are simply paving the way for me when I get there.

Now go hug a soldier and tell him Thank You.