Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Live & Let Live

I learned in my maturing process that it is the overcoming of obstacles that simultaneously causes me the most pain and pleasure. Sometimes when I’ve done what I feel I’m chosen to do, it causes problems for others around me. We cause disappointment and suffering to our proclaimed friends, our appointed guardians, our children, any of the people we know in our flow of life. Sometimes my words make people squirm. I’ve also discovered life has a flow with friends too. Sometimes there is a flow of everything I know. Various flows happen to me daily. Mostly I see, sometimes I don’t.
It is my nature to jump first and ask questions later. This life long habit has caused me problems but like most humans when I err it is on the side of trying to do the right thing. Very often in my leaps of faith I have helped other people. I’m not bragging about this; it is my nature to be helpful and I’ve always done it. I consider it my inborn talent and strength. It is this nature that made me become a social worker and writer. I accede that under most usual conditions most humans will try to do right thing. Spike Lee’s movie was his device to make us wonder what is the right thing to do?
When I decide I must do something my decision may cause someone near to me pleasure or pain. Likewise any choice I make may cause me pleasure or pain. I don’t make decisions in a vacuum. Neither is any choice going to give me one hundred percent pleasure or one hundred percent pain. So everything must be weighed out like a chore, a balance scale of life when I make choices. Most of all I am a survivor filled with hope and desires for my future.
When I progress, I feel pleasure in becoming unstuck. Think about this. What is the alternative to moving ahead? The answer that strikes me here is death. The primary obstacle to moving ahead is to remain the same with all your sorrows and regrets, or you move ahead with a different set of sorrows and regrets. Life contains all; pleasure, pain and hope. Hope keeps me going. Sometimes it’s not about wrong or write (please forgive the pun, I can’t help it.) and it’s not a matter of sorrows or regrets. Sometimes life is about moving ahead. Sometimes it’s about sorrows and regrets. Sometimes life is for living and not being still. Sometimes I meditate and like to be still. Sometimes I meditate and like to be in motion.
I write of a different type of movement, not a parallel movement but a movement that leaves old things behind to begin anew - using new building blogs (forgive another pun). New can strengthen my spirit when old ideas crumble. Spiritual nourishment is ideal.
Sometimes I meet someone and feel a special pull. I don’t know what the pull means and I must decide how to respond to that pull. I may decide this is meant to be but perhaps this decision is an excuse to move in the direction I want desire or need. Some people inspire, some people relate, some do both. I am still that jumper who is a known chance taker. Many people have told me I’m a blessing in their life. I assume they say this because it’s true. Seers have called me a reborn fallen angel. I strive constantly with my power and the talent I was born with. I’ve nurtured my powers (talents included) with love and dedication. My powers have grown. Making wrong or right choices can build my power too. I must live with my choices and always move forward. I value that place in my life and in your life where we strive towards betterment. It is this common striving and our connections to one another, that make us human and makes life worth living.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Blog Give Away

I've seen other people have giveaways on their blog & every time I've seen it I've thought, ooohhh that is so cool! I decided to do one too. If you sign in to my blog and leave a comment, I will take a scrap of paper - write your name on it, mix them all up & pick one out of the bag. I will then ship this beautiful -still-in-shrink-wrap-brand-new-book- to you. This will happen when there is a sufficient number of people to mix up several slips in a paper bag to keep it fair .

The Beautiful Struggle: Street attitude from South Africa's Townships (Hardcover) by Mlamli Figlan (Foreword), Per Englund (Photographer)

The book sells at Amazon for $22.76 & can be yours for the price of a blog check.

Much love ~ Joy

Sunday, September 28, 2008


The world continues to become more anonymous with online networking. I have an entire set of contacts on fb & elsewhere who I will probably never meet in person . Contacts I nurture to promote myself & DubbleX & sometimes other writers too. I give myself credit for this networking because before me DubbleX had never been published. He told me before I worked with him no one else had ever encouraged his writing. I have faith in his writing. I got his first poem published before we actually became a couple. D isn't the kind to bother with submitting or reading things. He works more on the creative instinctive side. Perhaps it is my personality that is better suited to networking combined with creative pursuits. D still insists he is happy to have me submit his things but he's already very busy. This makes my busy life even more busy. I try to manage my time to get everything done that needs doing. You'd be shocked if you knew all the shit I pack in one day without even mentioning daily vacuuming & cat littler cleaning plus all our other daily routines.
This morning when I opened my internet mail there was a letter from a woman who began as an internet contact. She was searching for a cat. I had recently rescued one so I invited her over to see the black and white beauty. At that time, over three years ago, when I met her she was going through a lot. When I took her home with her new cat it seemed like her apartment was in shambles. I worried that she didn't have food or the fortitude to care for an animal. I showed up several times with soup & bread I had made in addition to some cat food.
Surprisingly over the next few weeks my friend's condition improved. My friend, Niambi, began to clean up & throw out the unneeded garbage filling the small space in which she lived. She told me the cat helped her to rearrange the order in her life and that he'd actually guide her in what needed to be done.
Niambi, needless to say, is also an artist. We actually performed together in a show I put together called the The Art Stroll, which takes place up in my neck of the woods. Since Niambi lives in Harlem which is generally included in our area, I was able to include her. Niambi is primarily an actress and singer but she also writes. As proof of this I am including in today's blog the poem I received from her this morning which got me to do what she wanted. I called her immediately. I am sharing it here because it is a good poem & also to show how our lives get so complicated we forget how important keeping in touch is to those around us who care for us & depend on our contact.


I just wanna know one thing-- do you ever speak on the telephone anymore
Or has that part of life become too much of a chore
Duly noted is the genius of your epitomes and metaphors
But jesus christ I wanna get back to the used to bes and gone befores
I know that isn't fair to your new found sense of discoveries and recoveries
But have a heart for us old farts that still live in our reveries and miseries
Some of us just want our friends to be a familiarity
Not a new design on a runway like a freaked out fashion week.
I want to be part of your joyous new discoveries
But it’s hard to imagine someone who remains such a mystery.
I've never even been introduced to the new man in your world
But every time I turn around I'm forced to meet him in the words he's learned to twirl.
I'd like to meet him at a gathering meant for more than just you two
I feel so out of place meeting him through you
The world I live in is populated and free
The world you live in seemingly has no place for me...
... and I feel it every time I get electronic, cyber sonic word windfalls
Instead of incoming, purposeful, personal phone calls.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


The sounds outside pull me, grate at my insides
My line got lost in the breeze, the sound spread wide
By helicopter blades whirring busily by
The noise becomes louder in my head
Assaulting my senses engorged and fed
I feel the sound right here in bed
It bursts in thru my open window
Along with politics, sex, lies & videotape
Everyone watching everyone creates, mouths all agape
I keep telling you – we’re all in this together son!
Everyone trying to emulate innovate
Be different yet somehow stay the same
Men in hard hats drilling on the rooftop
Facing me, I want them to stop
I run downstairs but there’s nowhere to go
There’s no escaping the sound inside my head
I can’t escape the crazy lady downstairs from me
Mornings I lay on the floor to stretch and hear her talk radio loudly –
Consistently persistently working it’s way up to my head
This same woman had the nerve to come to my apartment and yell
At us on a restful Sunday afternoon watching a quiet movie
Her banging disturbs me;
I was enjoying the movie smoke signals
On the door insistently banging annoyingly cloyingly
Banging me I throw the door open finally
She stands before me talking about noise
I tell her never to darken my doorstep again
She’s another schoolyard bully drunken with power
About an unforeseen abuse
It only happened once
Samoa jumped up & down from couch to ground
DubbleX said Samoa did it once then again & again
Samoa told Daddy it was so much fun
Then Godzilla loudly invaded our space
Once is once too many
My senses are assaulted daily

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

THAT FLAIR by dubblex & Joy

Room for exploration
want to touch every part of your body
like I was running for president
your body is the nation
want all parts of you to vote
for my sexual sensation
I saw something there
beyond the clothes you wear,
that sexy glare
something there you were unaware
you possessed this flair
wanted to share this brown skin
with your fair short red hair
and matching trim
so fine and fair that short red hair
I had to get to know you better
And I can’t figure out why
Whose ticket do I have to pay
To get to know which play
Comes next in this game
It can’t always be the same
I won’t always be this tame
I can catch this moment of fame

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I crochet colorful dread caps for my love
Make them perfectly fit to his head
Especially made to hold his dreads
I do macramé write poetry & prose
Became a macramé expert after only one day
I match & coordinate color schemes naturally
stitch my own clothes
make things with my hands

Cuz I got mad skillZ

I throw foods together to make a feast without meaning to
Create a variety of dishes to please your palate
Make U hungry for food & me
Before you know it you’re addicted to me
Cuz I make sex like a whore in or out of bed
Like a sex machine never running out of steam

Cuz I got mad skillZ

I hit you up with words
Words powerful enough to make you feel things you don’t want to feel
My words sting & thrust, make you laugh
My words resonate with you

Cuz I got mad skillZ

Like an alchemist I use words to create something from nothing
When you hear my words you know you exist
You may want to escape the page real fast cuz
I draw reality from dreams & write with new themes
I heal wounds with the power of my words

I can be what ever I want to be
And do what I want to do
I will give you a fresh start in life becuz
I carry diamonds in my heart
Which I share & instill in you

Cuz I got mad skillZ

Friday, September 19, 2008


I expect changes
The sudden flow of colors this coming fall
Not better - not worse, a different perspective. Better or worse…
Let it satisfy humanity to say with jealousy that happiness is our common striving – our goal-
Let it be further said everyone complains
The leaves have turned red - they’re turning orange then gold
Rains come as they’re expected to
The storm whips the leaves off trees with a fast blowing breeze
Winter revisits again the tops of trees without leaves
Leaves disintegrate - turn to dust
A barren world all - about me,
A strange world - mothers have to find new ways to procreate
Men’s sperm count has found a way to degenerate
Yes I know about Charlie Chaplin
Not every man is he
The world has turned to dust
Compared to what it used to be
Our American natives
Our forcefully immigrated slaves
Our citizens descended from prisoners given refuge here – in a brand new land
What do you think those forefathers would say if they saw how we all are
Hostages to gas & electricity
The evening meal destroyed
By addiction to
TV; video games night & day
The simplicity of our lives drowned out by the missile wars
The noise of airplanes high above; the train roars by
Lord - give me peace from the insanity
From wars about religion, crimes against children,
Control of resources on foreign soils
Perpetual invasions
Give me peace from this agony
The world spins out of control
Where are the common goals
The I & I – our wants matter less & less
Generations continue
Mother earth is destroyed
No one loves her anymore
Drowned in hostile fluids created to abuse mankind,
Makes our forests and animals disappear
Her oil removed from her intestines
How long can she suffer this abuse
Will we humans ever be content to leave well enough alone

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sometimes I forget...

Sometimes I forget that it's nice to post things in several places for people to see. I posted my interview with What Makes Poets Tick on our profile with the wikipedia link and am also going to put them here for you to peruse.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I’m in the rainy season of my life
Each day the dark sky above
threatens to storm clouds gather
The rainfall begins as light misting then gets heavy,
big snowflakes fall and disappear on the wet pavement
This is the beginning of my winter of content, I’m not sure yet

The sky simmers red in between imminent storms
then mingles with purple after sundown
Upheaval seems the norm today
while tomorrow brings warm southern winds
leaving again a shimmering steel gray sky
bringing calm in its wake as I begin the winter of my content

Sunday, September 14, 2008

15 minute of fame

An open moment to eternity
Fastidious & attached as I am to so many tremendous moments
I live in the day Warhol predicted
An open heart mends wounds
Are you for or against
On their side or mine
Is it them or is it us
Or is there even any us anymore
Who is us anymore anyway
I don’t know
An open wound
A bleeding ulcer seeking to be healed
A headache that covers wide world news
& closer to home news too,
All news is bad news
Except the rescued puppy thrown in to control you
A news forecast makes everything worse –
See what happens if you ignore the news a week or two
Act like you’re on Pluto
Ignore my bleak forecast of doom
All of us doomed as we all are anyway
The more you do - the more gets done
When you stop doing there’s no more to do
Another open wound
Always the dream remains of
Another go-round

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What? What you say?

I said to DubbleX & he fully agreed, "when there's nothing left to do I stop doing. I guess that's why I keep going - because I'm caught up in the struggle to maintain a life. If there's no going there's no life."

Friday, September 12, 2008

The History of DubbleX & I

Thing is we met we were at our lowest ebbs. We were both sad about many things. DubbleX had his sad things. I had mine. I’ll tell how we met.
We met at Louder Arts downtown. Honestly – I know this sounds conflicted because I’m a very friendly outgoing person, but it’s difficult to push myself out the door to go read anywhere. I had wanted to go to Louder Arts for so long it was now silly. That’s me – all bottled up in my fears & anxieties. You know writers. Mongo called me & invited me to gay night. I said OK.
Mongo and I met at Au bon Pain. He says, “You’re gonna love it.” I’m skittish, a new venue I’ve never been to before. Hell, I have the bear with me – a teddy bear so I’m safe. We’re seated and this big very tall brown-skinned dude with dreads stands to my left gazing at the seat on which parts of me and my belongings are spread. Being the friendly type I bustle my big ass over a few inches to make room for the big brown dude with dreads. I got my shit together and put it on my lap.
I caught him looking at me.
“Hey,” I said, “I’m Joy.”
“Is it your first time here, Joy?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said. “Mongo took me here tonight. I always wanted to come before but somehow I never got here.” Then I explained the whole gay theme poetry night as Mongo had explained it to me; that you first read a gay poet’s poem and then one of your own.
“Nobody ever talked to me this much here before,” he said.
“Oh…really,” I said.
“Why’s that?” I said, “You shy?”
“A little,” he said his eyes penetrating mine.
“I like your dreads,” I said flirtatiously.
“You do?” he said acting surprised.
"What?" I asked because he was staring at me so strangely.
“No one’s ever said that to me before.”
I was like where’s this dude been if he’s never run into anyone like me.
“They really look sweet. Can I touch them?”
He stared at me for a long time – his eyes holding mine. I felt him in the pit of my belly.
“You didn’t answer,” I said our eyes still holding.
“I …I,” he stammered, “No one’s ever asked me that before.”
“Oh … Really,” I said. I was touched - like - where’s this gem been hidden?
“OK,” I said. “So can I touch them or not because you still haven’t answered me. I’ve always wanted to touch dreads but never had the opportunity.”
“Sure,” he said, “If you wanna.”
“Wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want‘a,” I shot back, reaching over to touch his dreads while he bent his head slightly towards me to provide easy access.
I let my hands feel the coolness. I squeezed to feel the springiness. I held several coils in my hand. He looked at me through his dreads. I looked back. I closed my eyes for a moment to feel. I opened them. Dubblex was watching me through the lens of his glasses. I stared back smiling. We kept quiet mostly after the show began.
It was fun. I read one of Mongo’s poems. He gave me a few to choose from. Mongo’s poetry is cool. He has many styles. I read one of Mongo’s then one of mine. What’s most cool the about the Louder Arts thing is the rule. I particularly like it that no one is permitted to take up more time than allowed. I really appreciate that feature and find it very respectful to all the rest of us poets waiting our turns.
Afterwards Mongo, DubbleX and I were chatting. Mongo says he walks to his place from here and it’s not far. DubbleX and I are looking at each other because neither of us has said yet where we live.
I say, “I got a long trip uptown,”
“Probably not as far as me,” he challenged.
“Oh … really,” I said, “Where do you live?”
“Inwood,” he said. “Do you know where that is?”
Mongo laughed because he knows I’m from the Heights.
“I live up there,” I laughed too. “I need to take the #1. What do you take?
“I take the A usually but if you take the #1, I’d rather ride with you.” He said
Mongo and I looked at each other then bear-hugged.
DubbleX & I split Louder Arts & talked the entire walk/ride uptown. I handed him my card. it’s nice to partner up for readings. Sometimes people call, sometimes they don’t. It’s a sometimes world.
DubbleX called me the day after we met. I was out but my man at the time picked up the phone & gave me the message. DubbleX called the second day as well. I was home. He told me very personal things about himself and I immediately responded, “I’m a social worker with a lot of skills, let me help you.”
Don’t ask me to tell you what possessed me to say that. Suffice it to say that helping people is part of my nature & is the reason why I went to get my masters in social work in the first place. I had been doing it my entire life anyway.
I’ve reflected & written tons of poems about my life since before I met DubbleX & how things are now. Somehow it boiled down to me being hostage to my expectations. It’s all mixed up for me. To make a long story short, the two of us decided to take that leap and live & grow together.
DubbleX has managed to be more productive than ever before. He says his hair has never grown this fast before and attributes its fast growth to our relationship as he does his sudden productive artistic growth. Should I argue with genius?
Let me tell you – this has been one hell of a trip for both of us. Things have never been the same with either one of us since that day we met. Mongo says it’s his entire FAULT; he takes CREDIT it for it all!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I rescued a baby pitbull today

Things have been a little rough the last week. Since last Tuesday I have been in terrific pain. I have acid reflux & hiatal hernia plus I've always had a very sensitive stomach. Put that together with eating tainted fruit and see what you come up with. I ate a container of fresh figs and a couple were molded. I threw those out. But you know how it is with fruit, if it's not clean... Yes, I did wash it but mold can travel through it. Because of that I pretty much laid up all week & cried from the pain. Friday I went to the doctor, but she had no clue. She gave me Aciphex which gave me a severe headache. I looked it up online and learned that headache is an allergic reaction to it. Today I saw the specialist who is going to do a colonoscopy and endoscopy at the same time in October. (Yuk) He gave me Prilosec which I tolerate better.
After I finished at the doctor, I picked up DubbleX at his job so we could go to the gym together. We went to the gym, did our workout, then drove home and parked the car in the lot on Tenth Avenue. On the way back to the apartment, we walked through Isham Park where you have to walk up hundreds of stairs. Partway up I heard a rustling in the bushes. I asked DubbleX to stop and hold my bag for me. I couldn't believe what I thought I saw. I went into the bushes and there was this gorgeous pit bull puppy about 3 months old. He was all white with big floppy ears and a long skinny tail. He had several black spots and inside the black spots were orange spots. The puppy was affectionate and sweet. I love pits whose tails & ears are intact. The poor thing seemed hungry in the bushes eating leaves and chewing on sticks, so I decided to let him chew on me instead.
I went and got him. A man stopped to talk to us and gave the baby a can of cat food which he gobbled up. The dog had a small collar and leash on. We walked down to Broadway, stupid me thinking his owner had lost him. He was a good dog and stopped to piddle along the way. The big dude seated in front of the bar rolling his stoogies said some guy walked up to him said "hey you want this dog for free?" and when he said no, the guy continued walking up and down the street asking several other folk if they wanted the dog. When no one took the baby, the guy just took him in the park and left him there.

I began calling dog people I know, but no one wanted the baby. One woman said maybe. She agreed to see the dog. As I walked towards her apartment to meet her, she called me back and said she changed her mind because her landlord wrote her a letter warning her that although he was sorry her dog died she better not get a new one. By that time I was in front of her building and she looked out the window to see the pup. She oohed and ahhed about his beauty while leaning out the window talking to me on the phone.
Some young girl came out of the building with her family. She got very interested in the pitbull & said her cousin was looking for a baby pit, because she already had a grown pit and wanted a companion for her. She called the woman and the woman came down to meet the dog. When the woman saw how beautiful and young the baby was (he sat and wagged his tail while she examined his teeth) she couldn't resist. Denise and I hugged and she told me about her other dog. Luckily for DubbleX and our three cats, Denise decided to take Mr. Gorgeous home after all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I am a woman of great mind & desire blended with creativity
I am a woman who's survived much
And lives with my dreams
I am a blend of us all, although I may not be the part
you hold dearest to yourself
I am your wildest dreams & fantasy
I can be me or you or who you want me to be
I could be you and step inside your shoes too
I’d rather be me inside of me
Then you inside of yourself
I’ll do me & you do you
Then we’ll both do fine for ourselves