Leaving The Burning Building – The Toughest Piece I Ever Won With

For those who haven’t heard the great news, I just recently won the No Ifs No Butts Tobacco-Free Poetry Slam. Yeah, I imagine it sounds like something straight out of a sitcom, but I guarantee I took it completely seriously.

Seriously enough, that the night before the slam I was close to tears about the thought of even entering. Serious.

Me, performing my piece "Burning Bodies" at the Tobacco-Free Poetry Slam

Me, performing my piece “Burning Bodies” at the Tobacco-Free Poetry Slam

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Why I Love Luther….And What That Really Means

Promotional photo for the BBC crime drama ‘Luther’

When I first saw Luther, I was honestly just intrigued by the idea of seeing Idris Elba on a television series. I had missed every single episode of The Wire and had no intention of catching up on an entire two years of BET drama, but I’d seen him in film after film and in him I was well pleased. So when the very first thing I saw was Detective Chief Inspector John Luther standing menacingly over a serial pedophile, watching the man dangle dangerously from a piece of broken catwalk over a dark pit of rusty steel, leaving him to fall to his doom, I was shocked. I was appalled. And I was in Love. Continue reading

The Body Barrier Chronicles – Faith Ain’t Straight and Narrow

Shawn Smart and I just finished ‘2 Creations’, and I must say it truly was a spiritual experience… The production tested some wills, had it’s own fair share of trials, almost made some folks sin their souls, and at the end the entire play came down to faith. We had never done a full run of the play, had no idea of some of the cues, never even had a real dress rehearsal. But at the end of the day, when the lights were on and showtime began, it was a blast.

That’s the first lesson I’ve learned from directing – have faith. Continue reading

The Body Barrier Chronicles: How T-shirts Can Change Your Sexuality

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If you’re a friend or even decent acquaintance of mine, you would know that the above t-shirt is actually my favorite article of clothing in the entire world. My brother and I helped come up with the slogan when I was planning an activist event in 2010, and since then I’ve worn this baby a couple hundred times. I’ve even asked the organization I was working for to make more, just so I can buy another one.

And because I sometimes have violent bouts of either activism of douchebaggery, I sometimes where it in social situations where it is unusual, ironic, or just plain controversial. I’ve gone to churches with it. I’ve deliberately worn it to hang out with homophobes. I’ve taught classes at a faith-based secondary school with it on.

I’ve even gone to rehearsals for a Christian play with it on. Continue reading

Higher Level

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Today’s 420. I’m in my room, with dark curtains all the way down, listening to Kid Cudi’s new album.

But the closest I’m getting to any green is a hot cup of Lipton green tea.

Marijuana has always been a big issue for me, even larger than murder, stealing and sexual misconduct. Lemme explain – politically, I am pro-legalization. I think that marijuana criminalization needlessly puts people in jail. People who have not necessarily harmed anyone, and cannot be placed in the same space as hardened criminals. They are often young people of a particular economic and social class (and race, but I digress) who lose the opportunity to make a future for themselves through education and contributing to society in what it views as constructive. I mean, no matter what you think about weed-smokers, they go to work just like sober folks.

But, on the other end, I believe that anything that takes away your sobriety, your control, and lends the power to your flesh, is not what a person truly needs. It’s heavily informed by my spiritual understanding, and how I now view the flesh against the soul. I’m completely okay with people doing whatever they feel they should, and for the most part I won’t completely shun you. But, at a point, that’s an energy that mine cannot mesh with. I suppose that’s okay too, once each person has the spiritual experience that makes them feel whole…

So, for those who are wondering how I’m spending 4/20, I’ll be having tea and rehearsing for my play in May.

And I wish the rest of you a sober and sobering day.

Blessings, Compassion, Peace & Love.

The Body Barrier Chronicles: Faithful Play, Faithless Director

The ticket for my play '2 Creations'. If you're interested, I've got some!

The ticket for my play ‘2 Creations’. If you’re interested, I’ve got some!

When I jumped on board a project to write and direct a Christian play with a mentor and friend of mine, I knew it was going to be hard. I signed on, because it was already something I was doing as a personal project – ‘Body=Barrier’. I was excited to see whether my own writing was up for the challenge, and whether I could direct something that was not only outside my experience but was an experience that I rejected in my own life so long ago.

Turns out that’s not the problem at all… Continue reading

The Final Stretch

So, for those who didn’t get the memo, my mixtape, “The Exorcism of Port of Spain” is almost done. Now just comes the hardest part – the final touches, making sure that it’s safe to be released.

You might wonder what makes it so hard, given that it’s a Spoken Word EP. In honesty, all I have to do is perform a poem in front a mic and process it. But, to me, it’s more than that. I didn’t choose the first few poems I memorize or have written, but the poems that meant something powerful to me and that I imagine might mean something to those in my life. They are stories of people that I’ve met and tried to be there for, and of things I have experienced when no one tried to be there for me. It’s about the demons that I’ve tried to exorcise from the people that spark my Compassion, and of the demons that are still haunting me. In fact, there are a few sitting on my shoulders as I write these words…

Me in the studio getting some work done.

Me in the studio getting some work done.

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