The Birth of POINT BLANK

  This piece was written for Free Black Space, an awesome blog by Yao Glover. Here’s an excerpt:   I’m a different poet now than I was when I wrote DRIFT. I wasn’t a father at the time and I’d written most of the poems before meeting my wife. I was a single guy that […]

Four Year Blogiversary!

Combined, the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall and Opera House seat about 4,700. Beijing needs 13 gigawatts of power to work. At the time of this posting, which marks this blog’s four year anniversary, readers viewed this site more than 63,000 times. If this blog was a performance running in both the Concert Hall and Opera […]

The Obvious

Never bet against your wife. My cousin Alvin tried to teach me that through his marriage crash course. “Love”–Alvin’s pet name for his wife, Natasha–“is always right,” he once told me. “Even when she’s wrong, she’s right.” Conventional wisdom tells guys being “wrong” is better than sleeping on the couch. You’d think I’d heed that advice […]

A True Story About Hollywood

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following true story is part of the crazy world series I’m doing for the World We Don’t Know (WWDK) blog, the brainchild of Kelli Anderson, my colleague in the Literary Media and Communications department at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and our freshmen students. Kelli asked me to contribute. So I […]

Rejoicing in the Church of Poetry

I’m coming off a high after graduation last month. I finished the Stonecoast M.F.A. Low-Residency Program at the University of Southern Maine, a two-year journey I started for time to write and complete another manuscript to shop around. It allowed me to expand my network, see Maine (a place I otherwise would not have visited), […]

Clint Eastwood’s “Invisible Obama”

Last night, I watched Clint Eastwood talk to an empty chair that stood in as President Obama. He asked a piece of furniture for explanations about his “failed” policies, then answered his own questions. This passed for humor with the convention audience as they laughed ‘til their faces turned red. The entire time I couldn’t […]

Monica Hand’s *me and Nina*

Farmington, MA: Alice James Books, 2012. 78 pages. $15.95. The world continues to remember Nina Simone (formerly Eunice Kathleen Waymon) as a storyteller through songs, whose body of work created a legacy of compassion, empowerment and liberation. At the time of Simone’s death on April 21, 2003, she was already among the 20th century’s most […]

The Black Poets United And They All Got Down

The panel of poets at a Baltimore City Library quietly considered an audience member’s question: “When did you know you were a poet?” Evie Shockley, a presenter, smiled as the response brewed in her mind. She’d been asking herself the same thing until she took a poetry workshop led by Lucille Clifton. If you wrote […]