The Run Down

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Free books

As I mentioned before I'm giving away some free books. I've updated the list so get at me at if any of these books catch your eye.

-Funerals Without God: A Practical Guide to Non-Religious Funerals
-Diet for a Small Planet
-Mission to America: Five Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America (these are HETERODOXIC communitie: the Druze, the Moorish Science Temple, York's peoples, etc)
-The Occult Conspiracy (really deals with secret societies throughout the ages)
-Abraham's Legacy: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Reality
-The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla
-The Chalice and the Blade
-Ceramic Uncles and Celluloid Mammies: Black Images and Their Influence on Culture
-Step into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature
-Instant Zen, 10,000 Ways
-Complete Idiots guide to Astrology
-Dummies guide to Astrology
-The Legends of the Jews
-Essential Sufism
-Blacks in Science: Ancient and Modern


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Monsoon season pt II

Pinky Rings and Pulpits

the preacher's son
the pusher's daughter

poppa was a stone rolling
following Domi trails
nomadic tents in random states
static still
black, white, grey
twilight zone
sometimes beautiful
sometimes terrible

naps in after hour clubs while daddy and the house band played
his friends whose golden arms flowing with itchy blood
spoiled acupuncture
nodding jack-in-the-box heads on springs
pipes with thin stems
small buds

the pusher's daughter
the preachers son

father was in heaven
final suppers of cannibal cuisine
slaughtering endless armies with kindness

surrounded by familial benedictions
king james hebrew
elderly and young testaments
reveled in prayer while bloodied cheeks turned

daughter of man grew jaded through project survival
son of god grew skeptical through religious ascension

fell for each other
without a dope fiend lean
strictly enamored
no saint no sinner
eulogy serenades
Curtis Mayfield crooning Fredy's death
Lazarus rising due to anointed voices

enclaves of needle groves in junkie paradises
across from
circus tents of small town revivals peppered with prayer benches
staring at each other across the tracks
finger painting in orange apple sherbert

©2007 C'BS Alife


are made
of light and

sprites telekinetic
tip toe coaxes

from sinks
basin shower spray

his laughs
made of bubbles

©2007 C'BS Alife

Monday, December 17, 2007

Free Books


It's coming up to the end of the year and in anticipation of my upcoming mile (year) I am doing some in house cleaning. As such I am getting rid of a host of books which I have either read to the limit, have doubles of or just have no need of anymore. As such I am giving them away free. That's right, free. I will be updating the list on the regular so keep an eye out.

This is how it works. You see something you like hit me at If no one has claimed it you can have it. I'll just ask you to slide shipping and handling my way.

As of now the books are:

-Funerals Without God: A Practical Guide to Non-Religious Funerals
-Diet for a Small Planet
-Muhammad: A biography of the Prophet
-Mission to America: Five Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America
-The Secret Destiny of America by Manly P. Hall
-The Master Cleanser
-The True History of Master Far Muhammad
-The Occult Conspiracy
-Inside the Nation of Islam
-Afrikan People and European Holidays: A Mental Genocide
-Abraham's Legacy: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Reality
-Selections from The Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt
-Eastern Philosophy for Beginners
-101 Key Ideas: Buddhism
-The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla
-The Chalice and the Blade
-Ceramic Uncles and Celluloid Mammies: Black Images and Their Influence on Culture
-Way of the Warrior: A Journey into Secret Worlds of martial Arts
-The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ
-Step into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Monsoon season pt I


shoe laces tied tight by my son
epic tale of his sole action
how he slayed two slithy pythons
by thumb and finger he conquered

where was the one two buckle shoe
or velcro strap easy to do
he just wanted to say adieu
on this foot problem he tinkered

mother forced him into corner
hoping that he would learn faster
tactic couldn't be more meaner
her wrath was not to be incurred

let her sit and learn japanese
while forced to crouch still on her knees
no doubt she would pray to genies
to have this one moment defer

young son number one graphed the air
banished plastic needles somewhere
fighter planes played with a child's flair
the nurtured bunny ears prospered

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Norouz pt I.

Untitled random thoughts

black and white photos mexico music astronomy love hate history egypt indonesia purple stars learning eye contact living space earth air water fire metal pyramids scents numbers conversation HIP HOP jungle liars children traveling thinking learning dreams breathing suffering veracruz africa people watching sleep knowledge wisdom secrets the ocean culture hugs making out trees venus neptune mars saturn marijuana inscense tiger spiced chai tattoos piercings scars art internal and external stickers life with a purpose painting honesty family

untitled 2

flying kiss
in a
bow with tongue
amour kung fu

Noruz pt II

Lale Devri

A tulip grew in Tehran
on Haltamti soil at the base of the Alborzi
Saoshyant in slumber

occident florists plucked her
frosted her with opium poppies
stewed in Iranian Farsi funk
electric sitars, heavy tonbaks
potting her in american soil

on Ashura turned her back to Husayn
left rosewater tears in the shallows of knife fissures
Shi'a had no sight of
everyday Azadar

green peach aphid nestling on her back
expected her to

soil made her into a unique tulip
striped feathered flame petals
where she grew in
punk rock and roll gravel
saturated in new waves
sol kissed roots tapped with break beats

forswore off of fish
fowl pork beef
off all meat
instead took sustenance from pardesu

socialist fiesta fashionista
a soft enigma throwing clay in labyrinth kilns
skating fluid Nasta'liq punctuated with dusty cuneiform
feet stained copper with henna latices

herbal mental expansionist who
ate electric mushrooms, churned cannabutter, powdered her nose on the inside,
through shabu saw the world in digital
misty third eye
riding crocheted carpets cresting clouds
spoke smoke ghazals through hookahs

Fatima Zahra ushering women with her gentle khamsax
Oureana to Fatima left Gonçalo Hermigues in Moorish Portugalxi
Fatima Blush her body perfumed gardens
greatest rapture in life

her crushed fig brown sugar saucer eyes 1001 vellum persian miniatures

Pretty Purdah

her voice
hood hoops dangling

just her
secluded pretty purdah

naked tresses
wrapped in fabric

won't permit
a stolen glance

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Year in the Making

Part of the my woes of last week included my whole next book, "A year in the making" being lost. I had backed some of it up yet not all of it. It was a book of poetry separated into four parts or seasons filled with poetry that was inspired by how I felt during those seasons or poetry that was written during those seasons.

I am not going to attempt to rewrite the whole book. The four seasons as listed were the classical seasons yet named from different original cultures world wide so the seasons were noruz, monsoon season, autumn, and jiqei.

I do have a fractured version of my book with unfinished poems, some poems in transition, and some completed poems. Kind of how my mental is right now anyway.

I am going to post the fractured version piece by piece online at This will also give me the time I need to prepare for my big Afrofuturistic project in February. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or two.


Friday, November 30, 2007

A ghazal

Nikāḥu’l-Mut‘ah, Nikah el Mut'a (Arabic: نكاح المتعة, also Nikah Mut‘ah literally, marriage for pleasure)

honeymoon period brief shard before clouds and rain
preparing for eternity not for clouds and rain

air rising from shallow embers of fires whistle warm
sky breaking into one million blues pours clouds and rain

wrote this out of anger or despair burnished lead thoughts
heavy feet shuffle with pride mi amor clouds and rain

rich passionate love espresso i have to offer
must i settle for these few coins the poor clouds and rain

sun burnt copper her blood thus ran her henna soft wine
eshq bleeding gold pissing tears she foreswore clouds and rain

kiss your face with spring winds why renege this bridal veil
wilts into a burial shroud comes more clouds and rain

ground smoky pearls into dust to season dry miso
soup satisfies not absalom abhors clouds and rain

© 2007 C'BS ALife

Monday, November 26, 2007

Watt's Prophets

A lot of people know about the Last Poets yet their contemporaries are not as well known. I am speaking about the just as fresh Watt's Prophets.. If you don't know about them you need to up your game.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I know we have the internet now yet...

........try writing with a pen or pencil every once in a while. Practice your script writing. Learn calligraphy. Make sure you don't loose the notion to place a writing instrument to paper. I like those chubby Phd pens that are easy on the grip. Get back to the organic notion of writing.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Blue Black Poetry Collective

Blue Black Poetry Collective was a poetry crew I ran with in the early 90's. It was in my 'I don't know if I want to go back to college phase'. So I was around alot of people who were in college who were juggling the same idea. It was at first just a workshop group. We got together 1/week. We would share some poetry and offer concise comments for revisions. From that point it started to grow though into something else. We were hungry so we started to bring food. Visitors started wanting to come by to hear us. Individuals in the group started to specialize in certain areas. We had black feminism, proto-afrofuturistic poetry, black psychedelica, post-colonial commentary, etc. It was truly an interesting time.

In the end what we transformed into a poetry performance group and KILLED it around the New Haven county for a couple of summers. It was funny cause we definitely didn't plan it to be that way. We brought poetry and theatre together. We wanted to have an engaging way to perform poetry that kept the audience involved. So we had poems as conversations, poems coming from the back of the room, from the audience itself, etc. This was during the time that slam poetry was coming into its own yet we were doing something different that hearkened back to more like the Black Arts Movement.

We are each in a different spot nowadays. I would hazard to say that I am the only one who is still actively pursuing the craft even though I was away from it for a while. I will say this though. I am sure that moment in time transformed all of our lives in some way. Shout out to the BBPC.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where I'm at

Crunch time.

It's the eve before the next issue of so I'm working like a worker ant to make sure that it is ill. It is also coming up on the debut of Eboni Joy Asiatic's From 85 to Civilized so I want to make sure that Asiatic Light Publishing get her the appropriat shine (in fact look for an interview with her in the latest issue coming out on November 15th). Also, btw, sales for Daybreaker have been good. It's a good 'mini-commercial' also in terms of setting up the environment for my next major piece coming in December, "A Year in the Making: 4 Seasons of Poetry". I've also been getting the camp together to work on my 'Afrofuturistic' body of poetry. The 'grand experiment' will commence in February and I'm looking to have out the project in March.

After that folks THEN I will get back into the spoken word circuit and think about doing a CD (maybe that will be part of the Afrofuturist project).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Buy me a cup of Shou Wu Chih

You may have noticed the little icon up top in my byline. It's Shou Wu Chih, a Chinese Herbal tonic. If you like my writing you can contribute to buying me some cups of Shou Wu Chih by donating a few bucks my way.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Poet of the Week-Muhammad Iqbal

He is Pakistan's national treasure. The great Poet Iqbal. He is to Pakistan as Shakespeare is to the English world. He was a poet, philosopher, and politician. To read more about his history you can check here.

To me, in the poetic realm he was influencial because he spoke of aligning the Self to the great will which he refered to as Allah. It definitely had elements of man as God because his writings reflected the notion that the universe bowed to the the will of Self. That is what is attractive to me. He illuminated my world view through the work of poetry and imbuded my 'atheism' with an element of sacredness.

His works are numerable Here is one of his poems

Selfhood can demolish the magic of this world; (from Baal-i-Jibreel)

Selfhood can demolish the magic of this world;
But our belief in The One is not comprehended by all.

Have a seer's eye, and light will dawn on thee;
As a river and its waves cannot remain apart.

The light of God and knowledge are not in rivalry,
But so the pulpit believes, afraid of Hallaj's rope.

Contentment is the shield for the pure and the noble
A shield in slavery, and a shield in power.

In the East the soul looks in vain for light;
In the West the light is a faded cloud of dust.

The fakirs who could shatter the power and pelf of kings
No longer tread this earth, in climes far or near.

The spirit of this age is brimful with negations,
And drained to the fast drop is the power of faith.

Muted is Europe's lament on its crumbling pageant,
Muted by the delirious beats, the clangour of its music.

A sleepy ripple awaits, to swell into a wave
A wave that will swallow up monsters of the sea.

What is slavery but a loss of the sense of beauty?
What the free call beautiful, is beautiful indeed.

The present belongs to him who explores, in their depths,
The fathomless seas of time, to find the future's pearl.

The alchemist of the West has turned stone into glass
But my alchemy has transmuted glass into flint

Pharaohs of today have stalked me in vain;
But I fear not; I am blessed with Moses' wand.

The flame that can set afire a dark, sunless wood,
Will not be throttled by a straw afloat in the wind.

Love is self-awareness; love is self-knowledge;
Love cares not for the palaces and the power of kings.

I will not wonder if I reach even the moon and the stars,
For I have hitched my wagon to the star. of all stars.

First among the wise, last of the Prophets,
Who gave a speck of dust the brightness of the Mount.

He is the first and last in the eyes of love;
He is the Word of God. He is the Word of God.

To view some more of his poetry check here

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Haiku and Low Coup

One of the great things about terse poetic forms is that they help you sharpen your ability to choose powerful and appropriate words. This is a necessary skill in writing poetry. Making it part of your daily routine is a great practice for any aspiring writer.

For me one of the most beautiful terse forms is the haiku which on the surface appears simple; three lines, 17 syllables. In reality in the pure form it has 17 'sounds' and also has key seasonal words that need to be incorporated. There are whole dictionaries of these seasonal words. They are included in the text so that you know what season it is in the poem. For instance, by including cherry blossoms in the text one would know that it was spring.

Haiku is a form that has been adapted by many Black American poets, amongst them Langston Hughes, Sonia Sanchez and Richard Wright. One of the great masters though of this form no doubt is Kalamu ya Salaam. He has written a great overview of the African-American appropriation of the Haiku. All writers should definitely take time and check it out.

The Haiku is not a form that I have any great skill with at this point yet the insight given by Kalamus ya Salaam is great.

Any interpretation of the Haiku through the lens of Black America is by Amiri Baraka with his Low Coup which is a short, terse verse imposed on top of Black Folk Art.He actually wrote a whole book exploring the form. Definitely check it out. Something I want to explore for self in the future.

Also check out what they are already saying about my Ebook mini book of poetry over at Asiatic Light Publishing

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My new mini-book of poetry: Daybreaker

DayBreaker: 7 poems written while meditating at dawn. A book of poetic brevity
by C'BS ALife

Daybreaker: 7 poems written while meditating at dawn. A book of poetic brevity is being offered at the cost of freewill donation. It is an E-book in PDF form.

What does that mean?
YOU choose how much you want to pay for it. I'll take anything from 1 cent to 100 dollars. You can pay via paypal right here

,send me a note after words via email that you sent me loot, I check, then I send you the file. You can also send me a money order via snail mail (send me a note at to the the address). When I get it I'll let you know and you tell me what email address to send the file to.

What is the suggested donation?
I am trying to tell y'all that there IS NO suggested donation. For 'reference' you know some of those places like I-tunes and SNOCAP are charging like 99 cent/song. Yet again I stress there is NO SUGGESTED DONATION.

Why are you doing this? Don't you want to get paid?
I am not always turning out grand epic length books of poetry yet I have poetry that needs to be heard. This is one way to thank my readers while at the same time prepare them for my upcoming books of longer length. Plus with the precident recently set by Radiohead and Saul Williams with their albums I think it's a great idea. I just want y'all to check out my work.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Fib and Cadae (short poetry forms)

It appears that new forms pop up all of the time now. In response to the great power of the Haiku many American writers have generated new modern terse forms. This has led to the Cinquain and the Pinoy inspired haiku form the hay (na) ku.

Seeing the relationship between proportion and beauty there are two form that have been inspired by mathematical equations, the Fib and Cadae.

The following is from wikipedia.

Fib is an experimental Western poetry form bearing similarities to haiku[1], but based on the Fibonacci sequence. The classic fib is a six line, 20 syllable poem, with as many syllables per line as the line's corresponding place in the Fibonacci sequence.[2] The only restriction on a Fib is that the syllable count follow the Fibonacci sequence. An example of a classic fib:

“ One
Spiraling mixture:
Math plus poetry yields the Fib.

— Pincus, Gregory K. , GottaBook: The Fib. Retrieved on 28 July 2006

Cadae is an experimental Western poetry form similar to the Fib. While the Fib is based on the Fibonacci sequence, the cadae is based on the number Pi. The word "cadae" is the alphabetical equivalent of the first five digits of Pi, 3.1415.[1]

The form of a cadae is based on Pi on two levels. There are five stanzas, with 3, 1, 4, 1, and 5 lines each, respectively. Each line of the poem also contains an appropriate number of syllables. The first line has three syllables, the second has one, the third has four, etc

Both form lend their self to alot of experimentation and play.

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Writing Peeps

One of my writing peeps finally got herself in gear and got her a blog. Check it out at Listening Winds Overhear my Privacies. While you're over there bug her to put out her CD of poetry which has been done for a minute. Tell her to stop holding it hostage.


Getting it Together

Just to let people know Poets and Writers has updated their contests for the next two months. This is one for the comprehensive sites online (check my byline for their address). They also have updates for residencies.

I am still learning to balance the poetry writing, poetry submission,
journalistic writing, freelance writing, and promoting my friends book
and my book at Asiatic Light Publishing.

This week stay tuned for the release of my mini book of poetry. I am also going to go over some short poetry forms that one can add into their daily routine to
loosen the writing sphincter (similar to the hay (na) ku and cinquain which i already covered)

I'm going to also add on weekly with a poet of the week or body of writing of the week so keep your eyes peeled.


Thursday, November 1, 2007


Jeff Noon has this to say about language.

"By reaching towards an imaginary literature, the post-future novel offers itself as a way forward. First of all, we have to accept that English writing has been far too slow in its adoption of avant-garde techniques, in comparison with popular music, art and films. The narrative fabric of the latest cult movie is woven through with jump cuts, freeze-frames, montage, slow motion shots, tracking shots, hand-held camera techniques, and the like. House, hip-hop and garage recordings contain elements of remixing, scratching and sampling.

We can also look at the branching narratives of computer games, at the strange connections that hypertext links reveal on the internet, at the games played with image and text in a graphic novel.

All of these are fluid mediums, for a fluid society. Set against such material, no wonder the contemporary novel seems moribund. As writers, we need to open ourselves up to this fluidity. What are the prose equivalents of the tracking shot, the hyperlink, the remix, the freeze-frame? As readers, we need to bring the expertise we use when enjoying a film or a piece of visual art into our appreciation of the novel." (originally published at,6000,420328,00.html)

Interestingly enough he actually comes up with a set of techniques to experiment with language differently. He calls it the Cobralingus Engine.

You can see an example of it at these various sites. Experient with this process. I am still experimenting with it myself.

Filter Gates
Animated Cobralingus site

Coming in 7 Days

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Book of the Week: Muse and Druge

I am interested in Black authors of the diaspora who push the realms of tradition. The good aspects must be preserved and transformed to meet the needs of modernity and to scratch the back of futurism.

As such I am going to make sure that I highlight a work of poetry that gets the thumbs up from me.

A lot of poets building off the the Harlem Renaissance and later Black Arts movement sought to generate a black poetical tradition that was firmly rooted in the history of Black American music expression. Thus you can see many experimenting with ways to transpose the modalities of jazz and blues to the written word.

One poet whom I think has done an excellent job is Harryette Mullen through her work Muse and Druge. Not only does she have an epic poem that lyrically resonates blues she has also successful transposed the subject matter of blues in her writing. The whole long poem is about that 'invisible woman' who is so because of the social circles she stepped into. Make some time and check it out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is there a polar shift?

Traditionally my greatest times for creative writing has been late at night. Recently that has shifted to early morning (is there a polar shift going on here). I think that I am storing more nervous energy (from various factors) in my physical and I don't fully let it out. I start my morning with various activities that actually release and accept in energy. While this may be okay to some it isn't to me because it means that if I ain't unwinding fully before I go to sleep then I am not getting the full benefits of sleep. Hmmmm...going to have to think on this one.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Support my peeps!

Asiatic Light Publishing
Presents Eboni Joy Asiatic

From 85 to Civilized: An Earth's Journey in Poetry
by Eboni Joy Asiatic

Coming November 19th!

“The travel from darkness to light updated for our times”
Charles Jong, author of the poetry book Don't Shirk Your Duty

“Now poetry like this I can dig. Tell me again why stuff like this isn't in school?”
Charonda, SCSU student

“I like it. I like it alot”
Carol Anne, mother of three, neighborhood matriarch.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Science and Poetry?

Do you like sci-fi? Do you like poetry? How about having your cake and eat it to. Check out Star Line online science fiction poetry magazine. Also if you just like science and poetry check out Astropoetica. Finally if you want to check out some next level in poetical forms check out Mathematical Poetry. According to that blog "Mathematical poetry is an artistic expression created by performing mathematical operations on words or images as if they were numbers. One may find this baffling because it seems we are confused about knowing the difference between the states of quality versus quantity. But it is through the fusion of this dichotomy that mathematical metaphor is spawned. Mathematics has always been used for denotation. However, our interest is to use math as a language for connotation.". It a great merger of visual art with poetry like Amiri Baraka's Low Coup (calm down we'll get to them).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yeah Yeah

Yes I have still been working on those two poems that I mentioned a few blog post back. My overall time though has been devoted to getting out Original Thought magazine.

Both of the poems have a free verse quality to them which is interesting since currently I have been attracted to classical forms such as the ghazal (we'll Build on it soon) and pantoun (yeah, we'll Build on that one also). It may be that I will squeeze out some pulp of free verse and distil it back in a form poem. We'll see.

The subject matter of both poems does signal a return of my use of poetry as a tool of addressing social injustices. I never leave that far behind though I do delve deep into periods of Asiatic Romanticism.

As an aside there is a fresh 'chained' Hay(na)ku project going on for a collection that is looking for submissions so y'all should check it out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Original Thought: The Time is Now

Yeah. You've been wondering what it is. Well today is the day of revelation. Take yourself over to and check us out. Tell us what you think. If you are interested in writing for Original Thought in any capacity leave me a line at


Monday, October 15, 2007


big mack chunks
see sea gulls slurping
beef fat

© 2007 C'BS ALife

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The ins and outs of poetry

So I've been under the weather the last week. Just as I was getting over a cold my allergies dropped (damn Ragweed has been on a rampage). While being infected with the blahs I found it hard to focus and write. I did get a little focus back when I found some ill songs. Music is SO complementary to my writing process.

While surfing the web I did come across this article at It's a blog on African inspired writing. I had to post this for those constant excuse making writers out there (who I may resemble at some time)

Friday, October 5
How not to write poetry
Perhaps I know better how not to write poetry than how to write poetry. In the end it amounts to the same thing, but for now, I probably have more experience writing bad poetry than good. And this is my story. I decided to offer this because several friends have asked me to look at their stuff and comment it. I can't. I can't because nobody can tell anyone how to write. They can tell them how to prepare/be ready to write, not how to write. So this is for my friends who have asked me to comment their work, and for my friends who haven't, but whose success I desire. Remember, do the opposite of the following:

Write poetry but do not read it. You are gifted, and you know what poetry is. Why the heck should you bother yourself with what others pen? Write, write, write your poetry and you'll soon convince the world of your talent.

Do you think, I don't know, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, Emily Dickinson, Claude McKay, do you think they spent time reading others? If they had, they wouldn't have had any time left to write their own masterpieces. Think of it!

Poetry comes from the soul. Write it as it comes, as it flows, and do not, repeat, do not change the words of the muse. Do not rewrite. It is blasphemy to do so. Poems are better written and read hot from the oven, with the feelings intact. Tinkering with a poem destroys it (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). Many beginning poets fret over punctuation, synonyms and other non-significant criteria. Write from the heart. Voila!

Listen to your family: siblings, cousins, parents, etc., because they love you and can guide you in your writing career. Who else, otherwise? Strangers may be jealous, so beware.

Write when the emotion stirs you. The rest of the time, amuse yourself with other things in life. Friends, movies, sport. Wait for the writing mood to strike and when it does, whammo! Write your masterpiece and send it to a magazine for publication pronto (see rule N°2). Why wait... but for the next writing emotion?

Poetry is fun, so when it gets difficult, or painful, stop and do something more fun. Then come back when you're in the right mood (when the muse is present). There is no way a poem such as this one (or this one) was written in pain, or by giving up something else. A poet can't be expected to give blood, to tear up, to wrench themselves when writing.

When a magazine rejects your submission, screw it. And screw the editor, too. They're out to get you, jealous freaks. Send them a piece of your mind, find other magazines, and submit to them only. Magazine editors are, after all, failed writers. They don't want to see anyone succeed where they didn't. Watch out for them.

Forget blogging and networking. Forget any sort of contact with other writers. What the hell would you want to communicate with them for? They'll just end up stealing your stuff.

Don't read advice about writing. Like we've already said, the muse is yours, use it to write and never mind what anybody else says. Don't listen to Geoffrey or Charles or Bob or Rethabile. And if you do listen, don't do what they say!

Do not find yourself a guardian poet, a mentor. You'll just end up writing like them without exploring your own potential. What can a guardian poet/writer do for you anyway?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Original Thought

Log on to our temporary blog until out Oct. 15th launch.
People are already adding their own ORIGINAL quotes and observations to the comment section. They get the THOUGHT.

Appreciate the support to aid Original people!

Check out our commerical and help spread the word!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Two pieces

I am working on two pieces. With the current climate of social injustice just sickening to me words have haunted me day and night. I have to lay them out in some pattern and order. The two pieces are "I throw block parties in Sundown Towns" and "Weapons of Mass Instruction". If you are ignorant on the Jena 6, Megan Williams, civilians dying in Iran/Afganisthan, poverty stricken youth, etc. than you need to get on up out of my blog and get informed. I'll be putting my drafts to my editor folks in the next couple of days and we'll see what I come up with.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Preacher and the Teacher

Got the oratory skills from my Old Dad and the written from my Old Earth.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Cinquain

The Cinquain as developed by Adelaine Crapsy (which was influenced by the Japanese poetic forms of Haiku and Tanka) is a form I like to utilize. It is a short unrhymed poem of 22 syllables. It has five of 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, syllables respectively.

It is a nice form with brevity which I find refreshing and challenging. It is also noted as being a form that is taught to children alot so there is a large body of children Cinquains.

There are several sites that are devoted to the preservation of the Cinquain. I use it along with the Haiku, Tanka, Hay (na) ku to express short verse.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


You know you want to be down. One of the freshest places for online poetry in terms of community on the net. Check it out.
The Underground Poet's Society

Monday, September 10, 2007


Ayah IV
School morning with Isaiah

We slurp hot tea
On a brisk September morning
Just shy of the sunrise
Sitting on red milk crates on the back porch
Counting paint chips on the banister
Marveling at jackdaws scribbling across the sky

©2007 C'BS ALife

Friday, September 7, 2007

Be the writer for...

...those who have a story to tell and those who don't have a voice. I am the griot of my family. My father is the HISTORIAN yet I am the griot. My father is 86. He hasn't written a book on the family history yet he has it all up in his brain, forget forgetting. My job is to take his recollections, those photos, that story and make it walk and talk. I must make it relevant to the masses.

What about all of the displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Who speaks for them. The poet is to be a voice for social change. Poetry is intensely personal yet it isn't private. Those who are on some narcissitic poetry porkcrap aren't poets in my observation. They just need a hug.

The poet alerts you to reality. The poet is actually the counterpoint to journalism in that they just don't report facts. The poet infuses his view with emotional weight that cries for one to address something.

Make sure that you are writing for something. This allows you longevity in this craft. It also allows you to have a relevant perspective and one that people in general will respect.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Surface is the Shield

The surface that we write on is just as important as the instrument that we write with. The pen is the sword yet the pad is the shield.

There are two primary surfaces that I write on. The first is a product of this age. It is the laptop computer. It is mobile so I can take it with me where I go. I can use it in the park. I can use it while riding in the bus. It serves as a mini ecological environment for me. It has pictures of my family, my favorite music, built in dictionaries. I can put all of my work in an insane OCD order that may not work for anyone else yet is necessary for me.

My second surfaces are a little more intimate. They are small pocket sized moleskin note pads. Always given to me by someone who I love or have loved. Everything goes into those pads from observations, to random list, to poetry fragments. Their weight in my pocket is comforting. I probably should be fearful of anyone looking at them due to all of the secrets inside yet the language is so sublime that very few would be able to extract the full meaning.

I have seen people have spiral notebooks, loose leaf papers thrown about, even a chalkboard. Whatever works. Just take a moment though and think why does it work for you. A little insight into that may enable you to tap into a portion of yourself that you were unaware of.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Top Heavy

Though I am invovled in alot of different types of writing from general essays to science fiction this blog will be poetry top heavy. I freelance write yet my great love is for poetry. Take it or leave it.

From Steven Barnes

This is a post from Steven Barnes. He is a black science fiction writer whom I highly respect as a WRITER and as a modern day Renaissance man. Listen to his words of wisdom. You can check out his daily postings at his blog atDar Kush

N is for "Never Give Up"
I heard a story once--not certain whether it's true or apocryphal. It's said that WinstonChurchill was asked to give the commencementaddress at a British school. He mounted thestage, looked out at the audience of fresh young faces and said: "Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never. Never give up."

And sat down.

It's never, ever, ever been said better. In life,you should choose an occupation, a career, a livelihood that you feel that strongly about. Me? I'd rather fail as a writer than succeed at anything else. I've typed my fingers bloody, cried myself to sleep, wrestled with my demons,read until my eyes were bleary, sought out any and all advice or help I could find, whereverI could find it.

All because what I wanted, more than anythingin the world, was to be a writer. Most peoplecan't handle rejection, not realizing that rejection, in any arena from getting published seduction to sales (and aren't they all really just the same thing?), is just a numbers game. You have to get rejected twenty times forevery "yes" you get. Or thirty. Or fifty. Whatever.

The person who wins is the one who gets up to the plate one more time after hisheart has been broken. Who gets back on the horse after all his friends are wincingand limping back to the bunkhouse. Whoasks yet another girl to dance after a dozen have said "no."

It's a numbers game. When you start collecting rejection slips, keep a scrap-book. Paper your walls with the little suckers. Consider every "no" a victory--you are oneof the few with the guts to keep going afterit gets tough.

And make no mistake, it's going to be tough.Even writers who seem to have utterly charmed careers have their personal struggles, I promise you. They just don't wear theirhearts on their sleeves. You see the finishedproduct, not the hell they went through to produce it.

You must believe that your efforts will be rewarded, if your goals are clear, you workto the edge of your ability, tell the truth, continually improve your circle of allies, and have faith.

Go back over everything I've taught youabout the Hero's Journey. It is the combinedwisdom of all the world's elders, condensedto comprehensible form. While nothing andno one can promise you success, I can absolutely guarantee you failure:

Just roll over and give up. That'll do it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back on the mic

I have been away from performing for a minute. I focused alot of the past years invested in raising of my son during his first few years of school. In the last couple of years my life has been transformed into a form that I would not have predicted many years ago.

I wrote and published my second book of poetry, something that I have been saying that I was going to do for several years. I am very pleased with it and the response from the public at large has been positive. Yet with all of the above and moving into actually realizing that I can generate some of my income from freelance writing I have been absent from the scene.

This all changed this past Friday. I hit an open mic and it felt as though I didn't miss a beat. I started off with my usual stream of short poems (that one of my friends calls the fortune cookie flow). It came from having alot of short poems that I wanted to perform yet not feeling that an open mic was the place for it. I have turned that into part of my normal performance. Felt good to have that mic in my hand and sharing again with the public. Needless to say the 10 copies of my book that I had on me sold like fire right after my performance.

Sigh. Looks like I gotta plan a tour soon.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Poets of renown

I added a section letting you see some of the people who in the poetry world inspire me. I will continue to add on to the list as it is incomplete as of now. The list has alot of different people on it. Some are dead poets, others are famous poets, some are some of the greatest poets I know yet you will only see them if you come down to poetry night in New Haven. Also, I had to add in there a few emcees who are some of the most incredible modern day poets that I know. I continue to learn from their works and writings. And amongst that number on that list there are a few I even call friend.

Something that I have learned from each poet is the importance of community and the duty of the poet to be the voice of the community. It is one of the highest of all callings. Sometimes I get discouraged because some poets whom I have come across want to use their platform to edify their own inflanted sense of self. At those times I can always come back to these solid rocks who continue to show me new ways to get the voice of the community out to the community.

Friday, August 31, 2007


We as writers don't live in a vacum either. With that said read. Read often.

On the poetry side I am reading 'Call Me Ishmael Tonight' by Agha Shahid Ali and 'The First Hay (na)ku Anthology' edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young.

On the sci-fi side I am reading 'The Phoenix Exultant' by John C. Wright.

Make sure that you keep reading because that extra stimuli opens up new channels in your thinking and can cause you to go in direction that you wouldn't have thought of on your own.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poetry Links

I added a new list dealing with links connecting to poetry forms to the right. I will update the list everytime I overview a new form in my blog. At present I have a link to THE Hay(na)ku blog (the blog of the creator of the form) and a link to a great Haibun journal. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another Poetry Form: The Haibun

The Haibun is a Japanese form often used in a travelogue form. It is another brief form (lately I've been experimenting with brief forms). It consists of one or more paragraphs with one or more embedded haiku. The prose is often poetic in and of itself. It lends itself to reveal a special moment. The haiku amplify the prose by illustrating a direct or subtle relationship to the moment. Basho, a traveling zen monk is the originator of this form circa 1650. As he wrote them while he was traveling the same subject matter permeates modern Haibun.

I have a lot of travels that I have taken (and continue to take). I find it a great meditative form to use in my travel journals. I also lean toward poetic prose so this form allows me to explore that particular strength. Try it out.

*Poets and Writers has just updated their contests and residencies area. Check it out.
*In the future I will link some poetry form sites to my blog. Stay tuned

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You are not an island

Writers are a community. We do not exist on an island nowadays. Make sure that you are a part of this community. There are so many ways that youu can become a part. You can join a writer's workshop in your area. You can join one of the the billions of online writer's forums out there. You can subscribe to one of the many magazines or journals. It is just important that you become a part so that you first have a group of people supporting you who respect the written word. For me, this group was essential in getting me through the 'dark night of the soul' that many of us go through in terms of judging our own work.

Being around other writers also enables you to recieve new stiumuli in the form of their writings. When I am writing I tend to shut my self off to mine the resources within my own self. It is important to stay organically connected to the world though. The works of other writers is a great way to do this.

So don't flee the people who probably understand you the most.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Get an Editor

Get an Editor

If you are working on a large project like a novel or a book of poetry or even a short story get an editor. In terms of your shorter pieces you should always have someone look them over. You should get use to someone critiquing your work. A once read over with a fresh eye will bring out the luster of your piece, clean up any loose ends, and make sure that your works are always presented in the best light.

Use all of the benefits of computer writing programs such as grammar/spelling check. If you have a friend who is an English major let them take a crack at your work. Editing is part of the process of writing. It is the final polish. In some cases editing may cause you to smash the whole project and start over again. That's alright. Don't become attatched to a single point in time of your creation. Allow your creation to grow and develop. Be in tune with every stage.

You may be perfect, yet your piece is not ;-) Let others point you toward perfection

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Writer Write

You have to keep writing.

It seems the most simple element yet it is the one that people ignore all of the time. Writers write. Runners don't get better by sitting around. Musicians don't get better by staying in bed all day. That 'i'm not inspired' is some porkshit that needs to be dismissed. You don't write always to turn out masterpieces. You write to become better at your craft. Even if you are inspired if you haven't perfected your skill then it isn't going to come out or it will come out as crap or you'll just be damn constipated.

*You will become better at grammar

*You will start to produce a volume of work to select from

*You will start to see things clearer

*You will be productive

*You will REALLY be a writer.

Don't set out to always write a whole poem, essay, book, short story, etc. Sometimes you just need to skroodle (skribble+doodle). That tightens up those writer muscles and every so often a beautiful piece emerges.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What is unique about you?

That is the most important jewel that you can discover. What sets you apart from 101 other writers out there? Why should I listen to you vs the next guy? Do you have anything important to say? Do you have a unique way of saying the same thing that everyone else is saying? Where are your works? What are you known for? Who is paying attention to you? What are you trying to do with your words?

When writing you have to sell yourself. The key is to get in the door. It isn't easy in this day of every type of media. Once you are in though you have to continue to make noise. You have to continue to innovate.

I haven't fully laid out what makes me unique yet I won't be content until the whole world knows my name.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Writer's Take Note

I have some new updates in here. I have a link to Asiatic Light Publishing which is the imprint through which I published my book. Check the RSS feed to the blog that will let you know what is going on there.

I have a link to Winning Writers which is another excellent poetry one stop site for contests, residencies, etc.

I also have a link to book summaries that I have done at Shvoong. Check it out

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Filter and Flood

If you aren't a full time writer you must balance your time. You have to discover the formula to write AND be productive on your quest to generate more of an income from writing. I haven't found the 'perfect' formula yet though I have seen some results.

Right now I am following a method I call 'Filter and Flood'. Basically each day I take a portion of time to see what new writing opportunities are out there from basically 4-5 search engines. I usually pull a good 15-20. From there I start to filter. I take out anything I can't write, anything that I ain't really feeling, and anything that doesn't meet my general standard (which is that there must be adequate payment for what is being requested). When I have my core left I then flood. This means that everything that is left I write. It may be some things that I ain't really THAT interested in yet the payment is good. It may be something that I have to do a little research on. I take all of that into account. The purpose though is getting my work out there. There will be rejections. Some of my work will not be up to par. The key though is to get my work out there so that I can get as many positive returns as possible.

If you are a writer then write. It is that simple.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Freelance Writer?

"That swift writer with a pen for hire"

How the Hell does one become a freelance writer? To be honest, I have no clue. The first thing I did I realized was the most IMPORTANT thing. I DECLARED myself a freelance writer. As soon as I put out that declaration I started to focus on things.

My first accomplishment was writing and publishing my book of poetry, Perihelion Baby (if you don't have it you can just click to get it in the top right hand corner..thank you very much). When I had that finished AND started getting feedback from people who had read it I was comfortable with saying that I was an author.

The second thing that I did was I started entering poetry contest. I even won a few (I am still waiting to win a 5 G That gave me the confidence that my writing could stand the test in any arena. I check out Poets and Writers magazine for the latest contests out there.

The third thing that I did was I started to dive into the internet. Through the internet I found several sites that listed daily freelance jobs from copy editing, blogging, online/offline magazines, etc. I am now learning how to filter through all of these and in time I will be able to draw up the best part. I have already found fruit. Several of my essays have been accepted for various periodicals and I have a regular blogging job at BlueBlack Atlantis.

I know it is only the beginning yet I am finally seeing that it is possible to make money off of something that I do all of the time and that I enjoy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The First Poem to Bless the Spot

In addition to all that I laid out in my intro this will also be a sort of workshop for me. I'll drop some poems that I'm working on (constantly writing) and maybe an essay here and there.

Pinky Rings and Pulpits

the preacher's son
the pusher's daughter

poppa was a stone rolling
following Domi trails
nomadic tents in random states
static still
black, white, grey
twilight zone
sometimes beautiful
sometimes terrible

naps in after hour clubs while daddy and the house band played
his friends whose golden arms flowing with itchy blood
spoiled acupuncture
nodding jack-in-the-box heads on springs
pipes with thin stems
small buds

the pusher's daughter
the preachers son

father was in heaven
final suppers of cannibal cuisine
slaughtering endless armies with kindness

surrounded by familial benedictions
king james hebrew
elderly and young testaments
reveled in prayer while bloodied cheeks turned

daughter of man grew jaded through project survival
son of god grew skeptical through religious ascension

fell for each other
without a dope fiend lean
strictly enamored
no saint no sinner
eulogy serenades
Curtis Mayfield crooning Fredy's death
Lazarus rising due to anointed voices

enclaves of needle groves in junkie paradises
across from
circus tents of small town revivals peppered with prayer benches
staring at each other across the tracks
finger painting in orange apple sherbert

©2007 by C'BS ALife

Thursday, August 9, 2007


In my never ending quest to become the writer that I already am I am everwhere. Sometimes I even loose track where I am at. I am posting here. I am submitting there. There are alot of people who have been very supportive of my work. There is another group, which I thought I would never get, who are my fan club. In deference to both groups I made the one stop author shop where you can get all of the writing of C'BS ALife in one place. You can find out where I am going to read. You can find out where I am going to sign my book. You can find out where my new writings are appearing. You can hear me as I work on making writing more of my lively-hood and that whole journey.

At the date of this writing the blog space has RSS feeds (meaning you going to get the up to second post) to two of my other blog sites, it has a link to my writings on, it has a link to my book, it has a link to my author page on myspace, and resources for writers। Keep in tune!