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HARLEM BOOK FAIR…PART I

 

 

What an experience…I made it through.  The HARLEM BOOK FAIR was everything and nothing I expected.  I was out there from 9am until a quarter to 6 and I was exhausted by days end.  Due to the conservative nature of my books, I only sold 5 copies all day.  On a lighter note (and it definately was a lighter note) My son Elijah sold over $225.00 in water, Gatorade and Sobe!!!!  YEAH ELIJAH!!!!

What I found out was that there are thousands upon thousands of people writing and reading.  The most powerful thing happening on Saturday was the networking.  There were people from all over who would not ordinarily have the platform or the opportunity to meet one another.  Aside from the heat, it was truly phenomenal.  The networking was off the chain.

 Here are a few of the people I ran into, as well as information for upcoming events that were handed out at the fair:  THE WOMEN’S HEALTH SYMPOSIUM is Celebrating Harlem Week for Women 18 & up at Columbia University Faculty House located at 64 Morningside Drive, NY, NY 10027.  The event will be held on Saturday, July 31st, 2010 from 8am-1pm.  There will be celebrity appearances by Sherri Sheppard & Bern Nadette Stanis (Thelma of Good Times).  Registration is required, so be sure to register at www.betfoundation.org  or by calling 866-356-7348.

 Power Walking: A Journey to Wholeness by Maxine Bigby Cunningham deals with walking, wellness and healing through the Bible.  Find out more by going to www.maxinebigbycunningham.com or by going to www.empoweredwalkingministries.blogspot.com.

 

REVOLUTION BOOKS/LIBROS REVOLUCIÓN is a book store at 146 West 26th Street(near 7th Avenue) is a book store that deals with what they term “scientific and poetic, wrangling and visionary”  Just their description of the store was enough to pull me in and is well worth looking into.  You can do just that by going to www.revolutionbooksnyc.org.

 

For her debut novel, L. Marie Culbreath releases MOMMA AELIANA’S GIRLS a compelling story about a Portuguese Cape Verdean Migrant woman who’s husband, ‘Romando’ a Central American Indian  from Honduras walked out leaving her with six girls to raise alone in the United States in the early 1970s.  Momma vowed she and her daughters would be survivors.  Amidst tragedies, her girls would grow up to be six of the most respectable, well-educated and beautifully groomed women.  Her book, a different look into African American literature is available on www.publishamerica.com.

 

There were some phenomenal children’s books/authors as well.      The one that struck me the most was Angelot Ndongmo author of Loving Me and Boy! Am I Loving Me!  This wonderful author wrote children’s books for children of color instilling in them early the importance of self love.  She reaffirms this love by celebrating their melanin and their hair.  Great read for your children and an opportunity for you to teach them to embrace the difference in them and their counterparts. www.lovingme.ca

 

Pedro’s Visit to the Aquarium by Rasheedah Saleem-Muhammad is a much needed book giving audience for children of Autism and teaching those with it that they’re understood and teaching those without it more tolerance and acceptance.  It focuses on Pedro’s erratic behavior and the decision his parents must make on whether they should send him on a trip to the aquarium.  www.pedrosvisit.com

 

The fair also gave major information in the way of other fairs, like the African American Business to Business Exchange for Westchester & Rockland Counties.  The event is next year, March 23rd & 24th, 2011.  For details/information: 914-699-6279 or www.aaccnys.org

 As far as me, I will be returning to the radio on next Saturday, giving information, lesson plans and things much needed for protecting your intellectual property.  Tune in at www.blogtalkradio.com/mother-metaphor

I am also working on my 1st work of urban literature called: CLASH OF THE DRUG TITANS.  I already have a following on Facebook for the story and I anticipate it being released by years end.  ENAMORED: THE LOVE LETTERS  is doing well as is LOCK, STOCK & SMOKING METAPHORS, but we still need one anothers support.  Stay in touch…I know I will…

and don’t fret; this is my first installment on the fair…I will update you later on more…

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Vintage Pussy (29/30)

Vintage

He blinked and she was there
Debonair

He noticed her there
The slight grey in her hair
                                                                                      And laugh lines
Laying the path of her life
A map of her happy/ Even when she wasn’t smiling

She sighed softly
Her brow furrowed with dismay
Of long lines
And teenage clerks who couldn’t count
Beyond the broken register

Which couldn’t register the count

She feels his stare
And he wonders if she can feel his joy
Smell desire in his loins
The throbbing in his groin
The fact that
vintage pussy turns him on…

He is a man of 25
He comes alive at the prospect
Of learned lips
aged hips
As his heart pounds heavily
Thinking on the new wine in those aged skins
The detachment of older women
The assurance of their everything
The indifference
their younger counterparts lack
He loves that
And she radiates with an energy that screams
“take it or leave it…I’m thinking the same of you”

She is beautiful

Laying unknowingly in her regality
She speaks
“are you going to gawk all day?”

He stood against the column of the convenience store
Watching my annoyance dance across my brows
Standing in line for 20 minutes or so now
One clerk; 17 consumers
and I am number 3
I have a good mind to retreat
But my feet                                         seem the rational
Acknowledging there are things one cannot do without
He stood there
                                            Mouth gaping
                                                                                       Wide
As though he’d gone inside himself
Pinning me under his gaze
his mouth is filled

With adverbs

Adjectives

And nouns

And silent wishes, eating from the bounty of his thoughts

And I smell his fear

Faint compared to his desire to be

In places he could have been expressed from

Numb to the years that separate us

 

He is GLARING

STARING

At my aged thighs

My slow walk, what he may deem my nonchalant way

but today, it is not indifference

I’m just tired…and he has finally gussied up the nerve to ask

“Do you need help?”

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SON…

 

I never run out of ways to love you

To shove you out of the way of danger

To advance you in the right direction

                                                    Fight for your protection

Invest in you…

 

I never fell harder than the 1st day

My arms wrapped around you

My palm cradled your head

And you smiled…

 

I held you

In my arms

In my heart

Like the air would stop

More often than not

Lullabies rocked you

Even in the womb of me

 

You out grow things quickly…

Your fair skin

Your chubby frame

Your nickname

We can’t call you “Icky” anymore

 

You are a teenager

Too quickly

5 years to manhood

We are already at the girls

Calling your cell

Sending pictures of their pre-pubescence

On little camera phones

With high mega pixels

Competing for your attention

They dream of your ebon skin

Your almond shaped eyes

 

While I dream of your chubby cheeks

Your baby drool

And the 1st time I held your head in the palm of my hand

And learned the wisdom of old eyes

In my newborn son…

 

Love,

 

Your Mama

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The Empty Womb…(3/30)

i remain empty

waiting to be filled

to knock the chill off of being so alone

i am older than my years suggest…

 

i detest

the civil unrest within myself

i wait for male companionship

hoping he will leave behind

something I can build upon

but there is nothing…

 

here comes the tears again

they are falling rapidly

as i cry

for 4-5 days straight

those tears are never late

 

they’re rapid and red

another month gone

and dreams of holding a child

lies dead…

 

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Ashe…(2/30)

 

 daughter of elegua

you have tricked yourself

do your ébbo

and purge the sin

that has imbedded itself in your skin…

leave elgua his sweets

cleanse your head to your feet

and meet oshun by her river

give her cinnamon oranges adorned in honey

and adorn yourself

in the sweetness

of her wet breath

see yourself reflected

when she is still

for she is angry

because you have remembered to love

all but yourself

sprawling your gifts

lift the ancestral curse

ashé

 

today the orisha lay in wait for your head

without knowledge we are the walking dead

 

elegua return me to the old way

open the road that i might pass

open the door to what i might ask

mighty elegua

standing where roads meet

guard the door

protection

unlock my spirituality

the way must come through thee

awaken me from my slumber…

 

ashé

 

oshun

river goddess

forgive

as sure as you live

in the sweet waters of river

giver of love

of light

tonight i pray to be my greatest love

to uphold me as you have

keeper of broken women

carrier of my prayers…

protector of  violated women

harvester of eggs

elegua gave passage

open the door to my self

my words

my womb

my groom

forgive oshun

the self-infliction

the contradiction

of wanting a love strong enough to cover

what was once

self loathing

for we are made in the orishian image

and you oshun are beauty

so bless my sight that i might SEE

oshun,

be with me

ashé

 

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1/30…Trimesters of Rape…

 

what the womb will incubate

is more so than a child growing

the secrets the womb will keep

the tightened lips that do not speak

the silent tongue beneath our waist

south of our face, once a place of chastity

 

it holds all that doesn’t flow from the Nile of our blood filled monthly

there rest a family secret

spreading like a plague

between the legs of daughters

something unnatural

 

it festers & grows in the unwilling quiet

in the mold and mildew

of the shadows of incest

it is the conquest of lips that do not speak

lips that keep the secret of violation

it incubates

in the body

in the blood, boiling at 98.7 degrees fahrenheit

a disease that brings the carrier to her knees

she spends her life trying to please

or unfreeze what is now frigid

 

it demolishes the soul

as it takes a hold

as maggots eat away at today’s

yesterday

day after day

leaving behind

spoiled portions of a life

she becomes

someone’s broken wife

someone’s  jaded future

 

daughters impregnated with this sin

within

as it gives birth to itself

it outgrows a womb

playing out an ancestral genocide

inside a womb that should have been barren to this type of child…

 

Renée Michele Breeden © March 30, 2010