Archive for the ‘arthur flowers’ Category


By Arthur Flowers


to melanie and my fellow travelers at tbr
rickydoc signing out – good luck to the next ball up

1st a bit of news – finished my draft last week, like to think ive finished my novel but before i can say that i have to put it down, let it get cold for a couple of weeks, read thru it and see if it passes the cringe test – then my poetry draft and its a done deal

meantime ima enjoy the energy unleashed – not only do i have freed up energy, i just feel powerful, like i can do anything

thats gon last until i crack that bad boy open again and start cringing, so ima take advantage while i can

okay, my last tbr post – wanted to do a rickydocs blessings for the world thing – originally conceived this as blessings for the blackworld, then thought as per last post that i need to elevate my game, do a blessing for the world,

so then i start listing all these challenges in the world

the global meltdown
the rise of fundamentalism
the conflict between islam and the west
african development
strengthening global infrastructures
global conflicts and hotspots
immigration and nationalism
quality of life issues (poverty,health,etc)

then i realize this list can go on and on, and somewhat lacking in specificity

what about the iraq and the middle east, what about people losing jobs and houses et al, what about grinding poverty all over the world, folk living on 20 cents a day if they lucky, what about hunger and aids, god help me it goes on forever – the human condition in all its pain and wonder

so lt me just give a generic blessing for the world –  when it comes to the human condition i am an incurable optimist, i believe in the capacity of the human spirit to evolve and solve any problem – i believe that life gets better thru time – i have to – otherwise id despair

so let me say this world – all my blessings for you –

and when you come to the crossroads, always take the highroad, always strive to be greater than you are – step by step and inch by inch, slowly we turn  –  ima take that as your blessings on me

so now, a few blessings for situations that move me personally and ima call it a day:

sudan, somalia, the congo et al – may peace and well being fall upon you like rain, 3 generations

and haiti, poor haiti, you know i got to bless you, hold on, rickydoc got a plan, hold on

let me stick neworleans in there too while im at it, and memphis on general principles, i would the delta take care of its own

and the folk of iraq, they have suffered so, you get a blessing too

and the southern sudan in its coming referendum and subsequent development – dont worry about that, ima walk you thru that, rickydoc wont let you fall

and mugabe, man i wish i could say something to you make you understand what youve done to your legacy – no blessing for you

israel and palestine, i dont think there is anything i can do with that, israel afraid to give slack, the palestinians got no slack to give, i expect nothing but pain here – they been standing at the crossroads a mighty long time, somebody will have to make a move – i suspect it has to be israel – may this work out for both peoples

the conflict between islam and the west, i should put this one in the same boat with the rise in fundamentalism

this one is complicated and perhaps the most fraught of the moment, i have faith that the good folk both sides will prevail – we dont really have a lot of choice – suicide bombers and jihadis on one hand and on the other palin, beck, foxnews, teaparties and militia movements incensed by the election of obama

progressives both sides, islam and the west, will have to make common cause – may you be steadfast – and when you come to the crossroads, so forth etc

and let me do a blessing for barack, and maybe a word of advice

my brother, lecturing and admonishing your base wont get it, you got to beg, man, tell them youve learned your lesson, tell them please come thru for me and i will come thru for you, i just need a little more time, please dont bail on me now

he got a little growing to do but dont we all – nov 2 lets put a blessing on obama, the democratic congress and my midterm voters – my mighty frontline, hold it

anything else that bother me personal – people losing their jobs, people cant find jobs, folk losing their houses – the hammer this collapse has been – hold on people, position yourself for the comeback – this too shall pass, you have my word on that

and to all the conditions i will think of as soon as i send this off – dont worry, i got you covered too, running and gunning i might miss a shot so let me send out a generic blessing for everybody – may the gods be as good to you as they have been to me

and to all the generations – i would humanity be a star faring culture, always evolving, always reaching for higherground – and when you come to the crossroads, always strive to be greater than you are – but you got that, right, i dont have to tell you that again

let me drop a little blessing for my friends and family, i will try to be more attentive in the future

same same my colleagues and students over at the schoolhouse –  nothing but love

let me save my last and best blessing for tbr, my literary warriors in array

the future is yours, take good care of it

all my love

in the name of the conqueror

word by rickydoc


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By Arthur Flowers


hello tbr, moving into closure here
got this one and one more, had wanted

to let this one be my closure piece but its basically done
and one ima call the blessings of rickydoc im still working on

some commentary on global issues, so you dont think all
i do is me – the mythworkers greatest myth

ima try to get that one to you for my last day, got what, about 3 more days

for this one i got a print by tom feelings, of
babajohn killens as a long distance runner

tom sent it to me right before he died
that moved me – and i thought it appropriate,

for this post on representing: blackwriters in the
postracial reality of the 21st century

i been thinking about doing this one since i got here

wanted to leave you on a high note, maybe a little inspiration

1st full disclosure:

ima child of the 60s, blackpower, civilrights, blackartsmovement
a year of blackinization in the nam, studied with babajohn killens

and i come out of the militant wing of the southern black bourgie
where i come from racial custodianship a family tradition

taking care of blackfolk a sacred calling where i come from

i come out of that we all in this together world of pre civilrights –
that belief we are only as strong as our weakest

its just what i do, no if and or but – my understanding is that to live
life to its fullest is to live a committed life, one of service

but in the postracial reality of the 21st century i often feel out of touch

when i speak out for blackfolk people look at me like im unsophisticated
like i didnt get the memo

i did get the oneworld memo, i acknowledge it the stronger reality
the reality of the future and every day i strive to master a oneworld

sensibility, to speak in my works for all humanity

when i was a young writer my whole constituency pretty much was black
but in my literary maturity my constituency is all over the place

thats my evolutionary track, universalizing
the tribal voice

but that dont mean ima leave blackfolk leaderless – visionless

all over the world blackfolk suffering, still last in every quality of life matrix

whatever it is we doing it aint working, we need a whole new kind of people
long as we slack whatever strategy we attempt will come to naught

i got to work the tribal soul/culture as only the high hoodoo can

i got to give blackfolk a vision of themselves that constantly calls them to their highest

accepting the oneworld reality as given mean statusquo, blackfolk as eternal bottomfeeders
that dont get it – not on my shift – oh no no no – im flipping that script, it is the

geas of rickydoc – aint gon never walk away from the plight of blackfolk in this world

so i had to figure out how to work with both hands,
how to take care of both my families, blackfolk and all humanity

i have addressed this ideological quandry by attempting to illuminate
and empower african american culture, make it a culture to which others

aspire and emulate, the magical negro basically

make sure that its one of the cultures that makes the oneworld cut, that it
is a substantial contributor to the common culture of the future

that way as i work on empowering and illuminating african american culture
im also empowering and iluminating all humanity

i know, its weak, its dicey, but it works for me, thats all i need
it dont have to work for you, it work for me

i can speak for blackfolk without being apologetic,
without feeling like the game has moved on w/o me

it is this attitude i have tried to bring to my time on the tbr stage

it has been a point of honor for me to do right by you

i am a sturdy voice of african american literature, the griotic wing

african american lit has been since its inception the voice of a
culture which has felt itself under mortal siege

determined to use the power of art and the word

to empower and illuminate, to function as guide and guardian of

the tribal soul and destiny

we have sent generations of warriors into this struggle

we will prevail

in the name of babajohn

all my love


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By Arthur Flowers


good morning tbr, hope its as good in your world as it is in mine
i been doing my redpen and its turning into a quasi poetry draft

get thru this 30 pages or so and i will do the whole thing poetry

i love the poetry draft, the story is told, all you doing now is

working the poetry (and a couple of rough spots probably)
this is when one word, one phrase, can add layers of meaning

to the text

this is when weak passages repoetized become startling strong

this the draft i love doing, this when the 10 odd years of investment pay off

this the draft when it sing

got today and tomorrow strictly me and the work, everything

good in my world, today i am blessed of the gods

dont know about you but im clocking pages today

may the gods of literature be also good to you


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By Arthur Flowers


okay, tbr folk, moving into closure here, 10 days and counting, its been live but i will be glad to be gone, the overextended one is burntout

caught up my schoolhouse manuscripts yesterday and had a decent window of opportunity, tried to do a little redpen and its a no can do, just too burnt out on it, been working those last 20 pages or so for damn near a month, im not feeling it – will have to go straight to poetry draft, which means i will have a rougher endgame than i care to contemplate but it is what it is, i have to adjust to the terrain and keep moving forward, dont have time to tread water

sudan – preparations for january vote in gear, us and un have stepped up efforts to convince sudanese government to allow it to proceed, hillary and susanrice, the us un rep have been in favor of pressing the sudan hard while gen gration, the us envoy to the sudan, has been conciliatory, i believe for this push though they on the same page,

as referndum date approaches, sudanese gov been dragging its feet, which is understandable, it will cut their country in half and the southern half has most of the oil, but if they dont allow the referendum on independence it will restart the civilwar, which i believe is maybe the preferable option for them, ima keep my eye on these developments

in the name of chancellor williams

have you ever read the destruction of black civilization by chancellor williams, it was one of those books change your life when i read it as a young writer and politico,

he draws this image of the blacks as being under assault, driven out of egypt into the black heartland of the sudan, gets all prophetic talking about the oldtales say as long as jebal barkal (a mountain) stands so will the blacks, but jebal barkal has been inundated by the aswan dam, as were many of the black holy sites

between the conquest of the north africa/egypt and the once fertile lands turning into the sahara desert he draws a picture of the blacks being forced into the long marches and losing their legacy, i remember biking down jamaica ave in queens after reading that book and thinking look how far weve falling and i remember beginning to cry and thinking im not accepting this

and im not, ima keep an eye on the sudan, ima do what i can when i can and when they are free ima help them take the hump because thats when the real struggle start, so far i and the international community have let the blacks of the sudan (as in darfur) down even though as has been the case for a couple of thousand years they have been their own worst enemies

can damn near say that about blacks around the world,

you do realize dont you that wherever in the world you got blackfolk they are on the bottom of their respective societies, everywhere, damn near w/o exception, cant blame everywhere on nobody but ourselves, somehow someway we must transform into strength the weaknesses that have crippled us in global competition

i was thinking of the sudan and chancellor williams when i came up with – where two blacks stand none stand together

instead we got folk naming themselves after mohammed ali, one of the most brutal slave traders to ever depopulate the sudan – for an african american to rename yourself after a brutally efficient arab slave trader in the name of the struggle denotes a failure of historical clarity

if folk were really listening to what i have to say id probably catch some flak for that statement, being a footnote has its advantages

what else, obama and his team trying so hard to energize the dispirited base, recently called on the congressional black congress to fire up the team, if that aint a joke i dont know what is – fact that he had to do it at their notoriously partyhappy annual conference is indicative of the problem – perhaps they can mobilize their respective ops, but it feels like a longshot and indicative of the soup obama has gotten himself into

im still a believer and i find myself unexcited, uncommitted, thats not a good sign
at the very least i should send them some money, that i can do

lets see, anything else or is that it, got a couple of days i can squeeze out of the week, let me see if i can get that poetry draft started

enjoying my 2nd year workshop crew, its a good crew
i love teaching young writers how to be writers

what astounds me is that i get paid to do what id gladly do for free

all my love


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By Arthur Flowers


hello tbr, this one kinda rough, as you know im busy, i dont have time to clean this up, didnt mean to be so extensive, i just got caught up, what ima do is not read over it, that way I dont have to rewrite


i am concerned about the southern sudan, ever since I read chancellor williams destruction of black civilization, the sudan been holyground to me


january they vote on independence from the sudan, this vote is a given, the question is what happens next, will the sudan willingly give up its primary oil supplies, not likely, will they put aside an ageold contention with the southern tribes


not likely, will the southern tribes stand together, not likely, the historical pattern seems to be where two blacks stand, none stand together,


what about the grinding poverty, the archaic social system, the lack of human resources, and me the armchair player, bemoaning once again my lack of resources in the realworld,


as a young artist politico the soldiers and activists wings would berate the artists and the thinkers in the movement as being ivorytower theorists


and as a young artist i was susceptible to this charge but i am comfortable now in the knowledge that my most profound contribution will be through my works, if i can write works that will inspire generations i will have done what i been put on the planet to do


your organizing efforts might help one or two folk, a given community, but if you want to effect systematic change on the human condition, your best shot is thru your works


but then situations like obama, like the southern sudan, come up where i crave power

in the realworld, when i want to make a difference, my response is nonfiction, blog et al


which is a very poor substitute for some kind of direct action but i got to do my thing

as a young artist i had discretionary energy that often went into political organizing, i no longer have that option, everything i can beg borrow or steal now got to go into getting my work done, assuring my legacy


anybody can be an activist, nobody else on the planet can do what i do – which is write what i write, work my vision


but i have this lifelong fantasy of founding a thinktank, founding an international consulting firm on governance, assembling a good team, contracting out to governments and blackworld leaders in need of committed guidance – just thinking as i write this, i am part of palf, panafricanliteraryforum,


had a meeting with jeff and mohammed in the city this weekend, we about to make some moves on nigeria, palf been more than a notion, 3 writers do not a viable board make, im the systems guy, the organization guy, which gives you an idea of just how bad a shape we in – we call ourselves going to different african countries, holding literary conferences and empowering literary cultures, couple of years ago we did ghana, our initial run – but we all busy writers and we doing just enough to keep it alive, but when i get this novel done ima have to put that in play


im thinking i can work some institutional goals into that framework….


okay rick, you need to chill, down boy, but you see how my mind run, its my nature to put pieces in play, i just cant help myself, that’s how i was trained, but the fulfillment of that particular initiative will take a full court press and i cant do that and be a great novelist too, least not at this stage in the game


i have to repress that side of me, do it on the side, in my spare time, allow its fullest manifestation in my work


which is part of what i like about being a writer, this prophetic thing i got, this would be prophet of the hoodoo way bit, that’s a recipe for failure, i dont believe a true prophet can be a success in their lifetime, then they become something i dont care for, so my little efforts in the realworld to manifest as a prophet of the hoodoo way are shall we say frustrating, failure is a given,


but that’s okay because on another level whatever i do in the realworld is just research for my books, cause ima metafictional, all i got to do is write about being a would be prophet and a mode that would otherwise be considered delusional has realworld value, in fact i get my best material from failure in life


I did not intend to get this deep into themud


once again i have gotten all involved in a post, i meant to write you a quick note, i got to do manuscripts today, i feel a great sense of relief that i have finished my longhand phase (w/a little cheating), now ima put the book down, focus this week on schoolhouse, domestics and palf, then redpen this weekend hopefully,


would like to take a week or two off and prepare myself for the final lap but until i redpen that last 30 pages or so im not really done and rest wont be restful


so this is the plan – take the week to catch up on schoolhouse manuscripts, palf and some domestics – then this weekend its redpen do or die


dont know about you but ima be clocking pages, do or die


as for the sudan ima do what I can – a luta continua



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By Arthur Flowers


working, if you can call it that, inch by inch, word by word – slowly we turn
apparently i am burnt out, have overextended myself over  my summer woodshed

and working on fumes now, do a para and im whipped, an hour
and im ready to take a nap, what i need to do is just shut down shop

take a couple of weeks off –  difficult for me to do that, my desperation
generally dont allow that, i get panicky if i dont work a whole week

but i dont believe i have much choice in the matter, will keep
you informed, didnt want you to think i had forgot about you

at some point will cut that obama piece down to nytimes op ed size and send it off
i expect they will file it wherever theyve filed all the others ive sent but i brought it

this far, might as well play it out

im gone, limping and lame, still game, im out


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By Arthur Flowers


hello tidal basin folk
sorry about crying on your shoulder last post

whats happening is i havent worked on my novel in about a week
that always depress me – that make me cranky

 hopefully i will be able to get some work

done this weekend, get back in my groove

once again, i appreciate the respect you

have shown my work,

a luta continua

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