The Run Down

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!

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