i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This Writer's Block: Real or Imagined?

Its been nearly two months (sigh) since I've written in my blog. There have been a number of interesting & provocative subjects to ponder, yet my ongoing depression got me shook, much like Mobb Deep - who are down with the 50 Cent/G-Unit crew - though not for the same reason. I feel guilty for not doing that which brings me great joy. I'm still very passionate about the written word. I just don't have the energy to write about anything.

Last week I was inspired to write a poem about the death of Michael Sandy, a Black, gay male interior designer who was hit by a car, in addition to being robbed & assaulted in Brooklyn by four white teenagers in the midst of a homosexual encounter gone astray. I was duly inspired by the New York Mets & the New York Yankees, who tied for the best record in the majors this summer, yet didn't advance to the current World Series, tied at a game apiece between two Midwestern ballclubs, the Detroit Tigers & the St. Louis Cardinals.

When the media reported that enigmatic Dallas Cowboys wide reciever Terrell Owens attempted suicide by overdosing on painkillers, I wanted to express my empathy for him & outrage towards the racist press who sought to further demonize a rich, successful Black male athlete - clearly troubled - without exploring and/or trying to understand the exact nature of how his depression, mistrust of others & valued privacy affects his decision making.

I thought about critiquing the powerful independent thriller, Shadowboxer, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Helen Mirren. The film was directed by Lee Daniels, a Black, gay male who won critical acclaim after Halle Berry became the first Black woman to win an Oscar for best actress in Monster's Ball, his directorial debut. I wanted to write about the shocking revelations of former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Pat Tillman's death, at the unsuspecting, albeit innocent, hands of his army peers, though Tillman has been decorated in the media as a hero for serving his country.

Last week I received a letter informing me of a recent New York State audit of city use of AIDS enhanced housing rental assistance funds. As a result of this audit, there will be an increase in the amount of money clients pay toward rent & a decrease in the amount of money clients are allowed to keep. Apparently, the goal is to bring HASA benefits in line with New York State standards for public assistance. What's the 411? If you currently receive SSI, SSD, Veteran's Benefits or are employed, you can ONLY retain $330.00 per month for food, clothing, transportation & other items. How do I feel? These muhfuhs are crazy!

Anyway, I feel better making an attempt, feeble though it may be, to get the creative juices flowing once again. Truth is, I feel stagnant professionally. I was offered a unique opportunity to write an article in the November edition of ESSENCE, but the fashion editor changed her mind & did it herself. I hate her. My current editor at POZ Magazine keeps giving me the run around about supporting a new column from me. I hate him. Saving money is not happening in this lifetime. My periodic dates with men are nothing to write home about. I will never see the age of 45. One of my nieces is seven months pregnant (for the first time in her life) & I've yet to call & see how she's handling this responsibility at the tender age of 19. In fact, today is her earth day. Perhaps I will call her before the day is over.