"The notes/works/writings here are in process. They come from yet to be published volumes, yet to be used stage text and dialogue, and lightly used speeches and articles. I am anxious to share them in forum for a number of reasons. None of the notes here are complete, some are in the process of being updated. Please read, comment if you would like, even share with someone you think might have an interesting response." - Robert Moses
This practical swipe at the setting down of a creative log of my inspired fumbling through my body and mind, and through the bodies and minds of others - is also - a log of questions that dog artistic lives poisoned by race/ lives pilfered, at the edges by experts / a log of lives surrendered knotted, gnawed at and co-opted. It is a register of unsatisfactorily constituted questions forced into the soft sack of creative resistance, that I recognize as my work by race. it is the confession of those questions, of that “work”, spoken from my mind in the voice of those questions, as if they, ( those questions, those works) were inquisitors that have, at last, elicited assent to an ignorance wrung from exhaustion. They, those questions tell as much about the work and how they think as any experience they gift. They may not even be my questions but since they come, as far as I can tell, from my mouth, I sometimes confuse their use of my body, and mind with my use of my body, and mind; I have a need to find out if these questions belong to, or even with me. So, I decided to record these things. I decided at the very least, in the service of candor, I’ll share what I can of myself, my state of disarray, rather than letting secrets intentionally slip from the million unfrozen frames of a dance because they are precious to me and I know that hidden in the unkempt mind blown orders that register, are attempts to recover the spirit of what I love. And i’ve found in those orders scattershot truths filtered through the bodies I’ve known, the sweat I’ve shorn, language I’ve forced and I understand now I’ve come to a partial armistice with the untidiness in those orders. The first of those terms is a bow to the compulsive need to share. So here I am with my intention to turn your eyes to the urges that drag my heart through my throat into my head and a hope that you can follow as I put them to this page.
I’ll start here
I was in my head, staggered again, taking low blows from every lowlife that bounced in when up popped a - not again, for Christ’s sake move your ass kind of nard tightening knee jerk fallout of an insight: I might need to try something new. But what. since my heart and spirit were my only options for cover and neither had proved to be shelter in the past I was at a loss. And move to what end, what do I do when the random swing of a “AhHA” moment might take out my most substantial cores at any moment, in addition, rather than being willing to fight, my instinct for self preservation stood in the middle of my heart, mind and soul like a wide eyed fawn. So there I , am, victim and witness, aware and frozen, standing stock still in shock at any notion judgement starved enough to raise its head while inside mine and then the ass whipping starts,
That’s the start, me so busy ducking and weaving and trying to reduce one thought’s, or feelings inhumanity to another to a meaningful skirmish that work on the next masterpiece takes a back seat to the mania’s end.
How is it that I can be both frantic and frozen? Well, I am an artist; a conflicted duality, a walking contradiction. I want to do this on my own but need your help . I need to involve you, as something more than just an observer, ( at the very least as a silent sounding board) but I resent you for that and I need to try something radical, ( you have my apologies) so I need you to place your foot on my bottom and push. In fact that must be how I wound up here on this page in front of you. You pushed, by having the poor judgement to speak your mind while inside mine. Ah so that was you? This is circular and I feel slightly guilty going about it in this way but I need you to provide another shove. I need to pull you in again so that you can push me outside of my head because this mania needs to be managed publicly, in front of as many people as I can get to uncover my mind’s eye. This attempt at openness is, for me, radical and though it is unlikely to result in a lasting mindful peace it might pay off in slackened hostilities. That will be enough for now and since I’ve made you a part of this at least I will have company. Misery loves that. I have already moved and calmed a bit. So, this is already another kind of start for me. One where I get you to admit you exist, and don’t have all the retorts and are at odds with me, and one where I admit I still have a least a few questions and One where I get you to admit that you are not just a poacher but also a brother or sister or fellow citizen of my mind who when locked in a cranial cage match is able come to some sort of armistice. The violence might not stop but let’s begin to set terms for the cessation.
It starts there.
It’s also gone through my head I’ve had every opportunity God affords a Black artist in America: Good liberal, ( that’s code) supporters; a merely sub-standard rather than criminally lacking education, possession of an awareness of the advantages I’ve been afforded, - those friends and that education,- (it’s occurred to me I need to become better at bobbing, weaving and choosing companions) . Still It’s true, that is how it starts, me so busy ducking and weaving and trying to reduce one thought’s inhumanity to another to a meaningful skirmish that work on the next masterpiece takes a back seat to the mania’s end. So there I am witness and witness, aware and frozen, standing stock still in shock at any notion judgement starved enough to raise its head while inside mine so busy avoiding hammer blows that I might never get anything done.
This is also a diary of creative questions that have dogged my life, been eaten by politics / stolen by experts/ poisoned by race/ surrendered to artist/ co-opted by collaborators. Questions I haven’t faced that have gone unanswered by me. It is a confession of those questions spoken from the mouth of those questions as if they were inquisitors that say as much about how they think as the experiences they’ve gift. I have a need to find out if these questions are really mine. So in the service of candor I’ll share what I of myself. For one thing, I know that hidden in the unkempt mind blown orders that register, are attempts to recover the spirit of what I love. I’ve found in those orders scattershot rundowns filtered through the bodies I’ve known, the sweat I’ve shorn, language, and I’ve come to terms with an untidiness in those orders. I thought I could rid myself of it but apparently not so here I am with my intention to turn your eyes to the urges that drag my heart through my throat into my head and a hope that you can follow. Maybe you can relate to this log of my fumbling with and through my own body and mind and that of others, this practical swipe at an inspirational creative record of the death of my artistic life in front of others, in front of you.