Monday, November 23, 2009

A man's life is interesting primarily when he has failed.

framed-print-large-14x10-sunset2 by wavian
framed-print-large-14x10-sunset2 by wavian

"A man's life is interesting primarily when he has failed--I well know.
For it's a sign that he tried to surpass himself."
Georges Clemenceau

Sunday, November 22, 2009

After Midnight, by Jalal

After Midnight
By Jalal
for Milton
(from It's All Love: Black Writers on Soul Mates, Family
and Friends
, edited by Marita Golden)

When opportunity
I open my door
After mdnight.
You appear
First in line
Of homeless men standing
Outside a shelter.
You enter my apartment

The neighbors on my floor
They come and go
stand between the elevator
And my door,
Waiting for a way out.
curse me,
"That Black faggot bitch got crackheads coming up in here."
Peering through their peepholes
They don't love us
Or even know how
the pairing of two Black men
Is so much greater than the rumors they've
reduced us to.
Rumors I hear when I enter the bar
Where no handsome
stranger flirts with me.
Rumors that litter the streets we walk
pollute the eyes around us
With self-disgust and self-pity.

opportunity knocks
I let you in,
You open
My refrigerator door,
You take
Sacrifices pakaged
And ready to be eaten
I run your
bath water, wash your clothes
Lie in my bed with clean sheets,
But there
are places within me
French kisses and erections cannot reach.

opportunity knocks
America sees shiftless garbage walking
Through my
door -- a crackhead, a killer, a thief,
Another nigga racing past them in
I live beyond the expiration date men
See stamped on my fae.
I'm a forty-year-old Black gay man
Living a life challenged by HIV

What makes me different from those who would
Exploit you,
Knowing you are
Unemployed, homeless,
And a crackhead on call who
sells his body
For a rock, food, and shelter?
I worry about you
don't have to fuck me
Or get fucked in the mouth for a meal.
I won't wet
your appetite for self-destruction
With my cum,
I won't buy you crack
Or give you money.
I will grieve each time
You tell me you can't
Smoking crack
And that you like your life
Just as it is.

When opportunity knocks
You fuck me with the sincerity and passion
Of a condemned man in prayer
Isolation binds us
Soul mates locked in
Hell's hotel room
And this is our wedding night.
Am I liberated or
Lucky or reluctant
Free or afraid to be hurt again,
Discarded by men
ISO (in search of) personal ad playmates
Wanted --
Black men, must be younger, must be lighter, must be darker, more
more masculine, more status conscious, more attractive than . . .

When opportunity knocks,
I want you to find a way station of
Not at the bottom of a beggar's cup
I want us to give more to
our lives
Demand more of ourselves
Than despair.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"I hate love."

framed-print-large-14x10-red-flower by wavian
framed-print-large-14x10-red-flower by wavian

I love this quote. For the record, I don't hate love anymore! lol

"Have you even been in love? Horrible, isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like "maybe we should just be friends" or "how very perceptive" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love."
~Rose Walker, in Sandman: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who would you call? And why are you waiting?

framed-print-large-14x10-dramatic-finch by wavian
framed-print-large-14x10-dramatic-finch by wavian

"If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?" ~Stephen Levine

Sunday, November 15, 2009

You're always doing your best... even when you're not.

framed-print-large-14x10-stones by wavian
framed-print-large-14x10-stones by wavian

"Calling all perfectionists! Here’s a mind-bender: You’re always doing your best, even when you’re not. Give yourself a break. Today you may be exhausted, fed up, or suffering cramps – and your all doesn’t feel like much. But tomorrow (or 10 minutes from now, when the Advil kicks in), you may have that brilliant brainstorm, run the 4th mile, or accomplish whatever feat you wish you could realize NOW. Your best, and varying degrees therof, is infinite, not ultimate."
~Laura Berman Fortang

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Life is about creating yourself.

framed-print-large-14x10-yellow-flower by wavian
framed-print-large-14x10-yellow-flower by wavian

"Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

castles in the air

framed-print-large-14x10-arches-at-sunset by wavian
framed-print-large-14x10-arches-at-sunset by wavian

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.
Now put foundations under them."
~Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

dreamy African violets

framed-print-large-14x10-african-violets-watercolo by wavian
framed-print-large-14x10-african-violets-watercolo by wavian

When my mom gave me these flowers as a present, I was terrified. The last African violets I had turned black and died within weeks. No one wants to kill their gifts, especially not from their parents and so I went online for advice on how to care for these finicky flowers.

My problem? I was watering them like my other plants. But African violets have little tolerance for water -- spare droplets on leaves cause them to rot and fall off. They prefer instead to draw water from their roots. I put them inside little bowls and added water once a week. They liked this. I was so happy when they bloomed that I took a picture to email my mom in NJ! And that's when I turned it into a digital watercolor.

I entered this piece into the online art auction, the first to ever exclusively use Twitter as a bidding tool. That auction ended today and my piece sold! If you click on the flower, you can head over to my online print store and get a print, even custom frame it. But this one is only available in a limited quantities because of the art auction; when I sell 50 total, I'll take it offline.

These African violets still sit in my window sill.

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