29

i came out the womb with a bullet to my head, stuck up by a society telling what they wanted me to be. i’m black, i’m angry, and i’m a child of god. daily i put a smile on my face to hide the slashes i endure from nigga racism, racism, dumbass politics, and blatant stupidity.

the first slash from nigga racism can be defined as black people that hate their own enough to sabotage others success. i got one thing to say to those folks. i love you. i love you because god, our father in heaven yoked my destiny with yours in some way. i know i can’t be successful without you in an odd way.

racism, something i encounter as i walk along a campus that doesn’t necessary need, want, or appreciate my kind here hurts my tender soul. but hell, god has helped me endure the midday purse clutches when i am seen as a threat, the first day are you my nigga teacher looks when i appear in class, and the most offensive the liberal educator questioning affirmative actions efficiency all while advocating rights, justice, democracy, and all that shit.

at 29, everyday i get 29 mental lashes to my black body from white and black eyes telling me i ain’t shit, so i gotta make it known that they are right, i ain’t shit. i am mr. to them. yes i am. mr. shit.

at 29, i am glad a nigga made it with every ounce of energy put forth to be a quality person. through my dumbass early twenty something womanizing. thinking my penis guided my path to success was a joke. now i know my penis is nothing but a political tool i used the wrong way for so many years.

at 29, i know now which friends you choose and which ones you lose. i lost my best friend right after graduating high school. i will never forget the call telling me he was going to prison. through everything, the hell and the success for him, i loved that dude because we did everything together when we were young.

at 29, i know where my walk with angels is going. two. two angels did i lose when i was 17. but a person dies, a baby is born, my nigga the world turns. sitting on high please watch my path moa and granny. both of you are loved by me. i take up your soul and spirit of love for the human condition.

at 29, the fam has to be proud of me. they gotta look at yo boi and just say. damn that knucklehead, hard headed ass lil boi made John E. and Etesta proud. all i want from the fam for my birthday is a prayer, a word, and hug. keep that money baby.

at 29, i fucked up a lot of good money, good women, good clothes, good trips, good minds, and good people. but one thing i constantly do is repent, for i am only as good as the path i try to carve. for those i have wronged. pray for me.

at 29, the love of my life, she knows who she is will have my blood forever. i see myself declining from this world abruptly, so in the meantime know three things. first, you have my heart, even when i make whimsical decisions. second, you are my heart and i use your energy as my own. third, the love i pray to god you have for me is blessed and divined by our master. we are eternally yoked as souls along the path to righteousness.

at 29, dear momma, keep loving yourself. after a hard life only can god judge and let you in heaven. i love the womb i came from. you are a spirit i cry and pray for daily.

at 29, my siblings and their offspring, you all have my energy, love, prayers, and soul. i love you.

at 29, let my soul rest and be blessed only to resign in the spirit of other blessed folks. only let me dine with those who are doing the work of the lord for the right reasons.

at 29, dad, John E. you are my guy. i love you like no other human and wish you were out here living this dream with me. i fight for you daily with the understanding that the prison movement needs reform.

at 29, my obituary is signed, stamped with the letter CTM. CTM means come to me. god shows me signs daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly that ill be in his court sooner than later. don’t be sad for me pray for my quick ascension.

at 29, lima ohio, you gave me a lot of grit, thank you.

at 29, marion ohio, i rep you like no other. i love marion and until i die i will be true. although i loathe the experience i have had with white cops in this city i love my marion people.

at 29, south korea you made my decade by providing me the space to put in my ten thousand hours.

at 29, johnnie when you make it to 39 you need to have filled the world with enough love that your heart can’t beat.

at 29, i am just glad i am not dead, strung out on drugs, in jail, or destitute.

at 29, da crew i love y’all niggas. if it weren’t for you, i wouldn’t have made it thru college. can’t wait for us to be in a place like thug mansion together.

at 29, dub and juice, y’all some wild niggas. we have some good times and i am proud to call both y’all my niggas. keep being a good ass black daddy to your kids. those attributes are everything america tells you not to be. luv.

at 29, my aunts and uncles, i can’t conjure up or articulate the love, wisdom, and down right passion y’all gave me. if i am lebron, then each one of you are my dwayne wade. thanks for believing in me even after no one else did.

at 29, god thank you for giving me 29 years with 29 ways of understanding your one way of loving me. divine by your omnipresent spirit please hold me in a space to keep my mind from all the crazy shit going on.

at 29, if i forget your name, know that it wasn’t on purpose. the lenity of folks above came off the top of my brain. if you’re not on here maybe god is keeping you for my 39 blog. know i love you and cannot show it in just one way.

at 29, im out.

inspiration

up everyday at 6am. reading just a chapter by a white chapter, then a chapter by an asian author, then a chapter by a black author. thinking to myself negro have you lost yo muthafucka brain cells. why would you sign up for such foolishness. the next second my sista from columbus calls me telling me that my niece needs spanish lessons. my brotha beeps in telling me about my nephew having all A’s. so much so now, my sibs consider me an education new reporter. daily they clue me in on what’s going in my nieces and nephews education.

meanwhile in the academy, i am struggling between black space, white space, latino space, and asian space. damn space, shit gets kinda real when you dealing with alternative epistemologies. fightin’ words such as “i wonder what the efficiency of affirmative action is today” break the lips of a liberal white educator of mine and wound my flesh as bullets did J. Davis and T Martin. for the former two brothas I am here.

what’s my inspiration? mass incarceration, push out rates, black hair politics, but most of all i’m inspired by the uninspired educators who question my writing, intellect, and stamina!