• Langston Hughes and the definition of 'initiative' ...

    "The definition of the word 'initiative' is to relieve pressure on the onus so nobody gets screwed." -- something I said earlier today.

    I was told it was clever. I was only trying to illicit light-heartedness and a smile. But I know it's important and it's true.

    Unfortunately, sometimes ... people don't take the things you say that are important very seriously at all. The hardest part is accepting that.

    I wrote a book that's soon to be published. It's called
    Greyhound. In that book, I've delicately woven a thread throughout utilizing a few pieces of Langston Hughes's poetry, like the one spoken in the video above. The book is basically a conversation between a man and a boy and all the important things that need to be said along the way. It's also about a lot more, but I'm being modest.

    Currently, I'm at odds because I may have to soon extricate the Langston Hughes material from the book due to rights usage, and I very much do not want to. And also not for the lack of desire to do a re-write to surgically remove it either. But because even before I wrote the book, I had planned to use it and it's as much apart of the story as 'As Time Goes By' is to the film Casablanca. It would be painful and difficult to take it out, but if it must be done -- then I'll have to comply.

    I know that everyone places a different level of importance on poetry. Some people don't care for it, others don't understand it, some are driven by it and it shapes their lives. For me, it has deep meaning as all words uttered between people must. It is the things that we say to each other in love that have the most meaning and lasting impact. And even if it's vicious and pointed, I believe all poetry is spoken in the guise of love and with the intent of it.

    I once wrote a few lines on the subject, which appeared in my book
    'During The Apocalypse'. I'll include some of it in the post here:

    What use is poetry?

    The words assaulted my inner ear
    With dumbed-down public-school reverence
    Lacking real sincerity
    Absent of internal ingenuity

    I felt against the wall
    I was on the offensive

    Poetry is not a means to an end I answered
    It's not a war to be waged and won
    by the time we get there
    It's not a service pistol
    full of brass rounds
    that I'll use against you
    the next time we square off

    It's more like a dull, rusted knife
    found abandoned
    in a muddy creek
    And I'll spend the next fifteen years
    slowly trying to perfect it
    using a piece of rotted wood
    or the decaying carcass of some
    unidentifiable mammal.

    So that one day ...

    It'll be sharper than surgical steel
    which will pierce you
    and rip your insides out
    in an attempt to exorcise you
    of pretense
    and dullard communication

    It's everything that you're trying to understand
    that television can't teach you
    can't show you
    cannot deliver.

    And so on ...

    All poetry has a place. It may not be for you today, but it will probably reach you sometime late tomorrow when you least expect it. That's how all messages and attempts upon the subconcious work.

    It's my goal to give something beautiful to everyone with Greyhound. If you read it and find yourself within those pages, just know that you're not alone. Everything I've written is for a reason and every statement has it's place and a home. I would hate to abandon an effort to bring the words of Langston Hughes to new readers in this way. Everyone will suffer for it, myself the most.

    Our minds and our imaginations are the greatest things we have that belong to ourselves and no one else. Love is the greatest thing we share with each other. I often hear people say "that's not so", only when they have an abundance of 'things' in their life and lose sight of the reality of 'it.' Love is what you come in with -- and what you leave with -- and nothing more.

    Poetry is the communication to remind you of that.


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