Thursday, March 01, 2007

all apologies

sorry i didn't post any pithy remarks about black history month in february. i'm usually so good about that stuff. the thing is, i don't walk around thinking about what a wonderfully uppity negress i am. to quote zora neale hurston, i'm too busy sharpening my oyster knife. actually, i don't think anybody spends a whole lot of time dwelling on their race or gender unless something happens that draws their attention to it. and if you're black, something is happening all the time. the difficulty is to not meditate on it.

when my blackness isn't brought to the forefront of my daily goings on, i'm thinking stuff like, i can't believe that i need four sets of boot trees or i'm almost out of vitamins or i'm not going to make it to jef lee johnson's show at the jazz standard next week or boy, do i love lobster bisque or i should call my grandma tomorrow. until something happens, i'm just another person, reaching for enough miracle whip for my sandwich. believe me -- the stupid things that can happen to people of color even in a place that's supposed to be as cool as nyc can turn anyone into a militant/activist. and in that regard, brothers and sisters, there's a little malcolm x (or a little betty shabazz) in each of us, no matter where we are in the world.

so here's a little cheat sheet of what's going on in my black world:
  1. i need (yes, need!) three box sets: another one in the bob dylan bootleg series, willie dixon on chess and the layla and other assorted love songs 25th anniversary re-issue. listening to a lot of charlie christian and johnny cash these days, and i'm learning how to play bar chords and power chords.
  2. i love playing guitar so much, i've already picked out my next one: a beautiful scaled down A & L parlor guitar, in a strange shade of blue.
  3. believe it or not, i found a restaurant in east harlem called creole that serves real honest-to-goodness bona fide alligator etoufee.
  4. my friend and i are going to see new york divided: slavery and the civil war this weekend. (maybe we'll have gator afterwards...)
  5. congratulate me: i've finally perfected my ultra-southern sour-cream chocolate cake.
  6. i think i'll bake one and take it to abdul at a. bistro in brooklyn. i miss my african chef.
  7. i'm reading odimumba kwamdela these days. (if you've never heard of him, i highly recommend the semi-fictional novel/underground classic niggers, this is canada.)
  8. if you want to get a real taste of dany laferriere's work, skip the movie how to make love to a negro without getting tired and read the book. or if you want to see one of his movies, please do yourself a favor and go see heading south. it's effing brilliant.
  9. now that every available windowsill in my apartment has a thriving philodendron, i've decided to grow something that blooms: an amaryllis.
  10. i really need (!!!) to go see the allman brothers at the beacon this month, for march madness.


AJ Muhammad said...

Hi Queen: Yes, another black history month has come and gone and we are left right where we were before the month started, except a month older and crazy from trying to see all the events that black themed events on PBS and in the city that rained down during February as if a year is only one month instead of 12. As Steve Harvey and others say Black history is everyday as you know...

You know that since I'm addicted to your blog, I was inspired by you to create/adapt a song for you from info that you posted on your blog about learning to playing the guitar. You said that getting better is your perpetual goal and that haunted me. I wish it moved me to finish my overdue schoolwork from last semester and get my patootie in motion but instead I could hear you sing "I'm getting better all the time" in mind since I don't think I've heard you sing it live in person. So here are lyrics (rough draft) that I imagine you singing about music and being in love with your sweetie, Mr. D.:
Title: Getting better is my perpetual goal

I love practicing on my guitar
but I love you even more
I’m not where I want to be
but I play better than I did before
Anything that’s worthwhile
takes a whole lot of sacrifice
If you bear with the pain and sweat
you’ll see the payoff is pretty nice
Somewhere down the line
you gotta put your shoulder to the wheel
You can’t develop your talents
unless you sharpen your skills
Improvement is my perpetual goal

but when it comes lovin’ you baby
I’m getting better all the time
When it comes to loving you and only you baby
I’m getting better all the time

I’m committed to you baby
and bein’ the best I can be
can’t waste no time at all looking back
when the future’s right in front of me
Whenever you leave baby
and I find myself alone
I pick up a guitar off the rack
and plug it on in to my teen tiny Epihone
I strum then stop out of sheer frustration
my skills don’t match my ambitions
but you can’t tame my dreams and elation
I’ve got such a long, long, long way to go
and boy, I’m having a helluva ride

‘cause when it comes lovin’ you baby
I’m getting better all the time
When it comes to loving you
I’m getting better all the time

Improvement is my perpetual goal
I’m never gon' stop learning
even when I’m old
‘cause when it comes to lovin’ you
I’m getting better all the time

I’m getting better baby
Getting better all the time
When it comes to pleasing you
I’m getting better all the time
When it comes to loving you
I’m getting sweeter all the time
So are you, yeah so are you
we’re getting better baby
we’re getting better all the time

I hope you get to see the Allman brothers at the Beacon. Treat yo self and tell us all about it.

c a d e said...

umm...i'm gonna need to taste that "perfected" ultra-southerny sour-cream choclate cake!