Why Write?

I am filled with a tremendous rage. Like a twister ready to set down on earth. It has always been inside of me. I was born into rage.

My parents wished to do well by me and honestly tried as much as a drug addict and prisoner could.

My brother, the great hope of our clan, saw his ship stay out at sea. On board were his dreams, forever in the horizon. Mocking him, as the sails blew brilliantly in the wind.

My grandfather, the man whose hands could break earth, fell to cancer in my formative years. Finally parting this wretched place.

As I sat on the many porches of my youth I saw a world that would rather me dead.

I saw my brothers and sisters tamed and beaten into submission by armed men occupying our communities under the banners of “protect and serve.”

I saw the decay of the buildings we were sent to get socialized in and I was filled with a paralyzing fear as I, the one who was elevated and chosen as the model student, was confronted with the reality that I too was a nigger in the eyes of the State.

I saw the disgust in the eyes of my peers as I ascended and the satisfaction as I fell. And rightly so. I am Black and it was lies, bourgeois culture and desperation that made me think otherwise.

I looked out upon a world that hated us and made us hate one another.

I would soon find there was no quarter for people like me.

My first boyfriend, try as he might, could not love me in the same way he could a womyn. No same gender loving Black men are allowed to express what he felt. We are kept in line with the Bible, the fist, and the gun.

We were told loud and clear one night when the television flashed headlines of a gay man found stabbed, shot and sodomized with broken glass.

There is no place for us . . .

That is why I began making art. I learned very early on that if I did not write, if I did not create, that I would be crushed by the paralyzing circumstances of my youth.

I create to get out and to help others get out. Together we get out of these boxes.

One day I wish all the darkness in me to part and for enough sun to fuel three summers.

I wish no more winter in my bones.

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