Pre-Order Your Copy of “On The Other Side”

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I recently completed my novella, “On The Other Side!” I am doing pre-orders. My planned release date is March 17, 2017. If you would like an autographed copy, pre-order now. There are two links for local Memphis buyers and non local buyers. If you want to get you copy, click the book above.

 

SYNOPSIS:

In a story of love, loss, and betrayal, Kamaria is a living, breathing wake-up call. Kamaria is a 33-year-old woman who grew up on the Southside of Chicago. She witnessed her parents die in a horrible car accident leaving her with an inheritance of five million dollars, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. With these disorders came the need to love and be loved. Kamaria decides to leave her hometown to create a  new life for herself. Her new life consists of a husband and two beautiful children, until her husband attempted to take away her beauty. This led Kamaria to have an affair. Her lover becomes possessive and Kamaria gets too comfortable. What happens when her  past and future collide? Will she be able to accept the reality or will it consume her?

 

 

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Taking a look at the Goodnight Sky with J.D.S.

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POETICXPOSURE.COM: For those who may not know you, Who is J.D.S.?
J.D.S.: J.D.S is a young Memphis artist. Leader of the young world and one half of Knee Brace Music production team.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: What is your definition of Hip Hop?
J.D.S.: Vibrant urban culture. The truth of the uncomfortable majority in the form of art.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Who do you consider some of the pioneers that have influenced your music and your sound?
J.D.S.:  Kanye West musically is my number 1 inspiration. As far as rap goes I have to say Lil Wayne an T.I are big inspirations also J Cole and Starlito.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: You have a new project dropping on the 31st of this month, “Goodnight Sky.” How did you come up with that title and what’s the concept behind the project?
J.D.S.: It’s basically all the shit I think about in the wee hours of the night when I’m the most real with myself. It’s very personal and if you don’t know me then you will when you hear it.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: On top of being a dope hip hop artist, you are also a well known producer in Memphis. Tell me more about Knee Brace Music.
J.D.S.: KBM is me and my brother Mike Maxis. We been making music together since 2012 and we were 14-15 years old. The name stems from my torn ligaments in my knees. Injuries I suffered in high school that led to some of our best work at the time.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Did Knee Brace Music produce this entire project or did you welcome other producers’ talents?
J.D.S.: It was all us lol. We locked in for a long time on this.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: I heard a lot of familiar as well as unfamiliar voices on this project. Who are some of the featured artists?
J.D.S.: My friend Bradyn
Mika Genesis
Jay Daskreet
Snapback Jolo
Idaly Maceano
Alma Almaz and
Miss Joyce
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Speaking of featured artists, one of my favorite songs on the project has a female feature. “Conversations” is a very melodic song. What was your thought process while creating this song and how did you pick the featured artist for this one?
J.D.S.: It’s funny I had writer’s block bad when i first got the track done. I couldn’t write to it. I had to go to Idaly’s place because we were consulting on some of her music and she helped me come up with Conversations and Gas on the same day. She’s dope lol.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: I’ve been a fan of your work for a while, your music as well as your production work. I’m particular fond of your singing. Your live performances are very energetic and seem to be full of personality. You seem to be creating your own lane when it comes to your style. If you were to place yourself in a genre, would it be hip hop or something else?
J.D.S.: I’m definitely Hip Hop but I’m like on some other shit though, if that makes sense. I like to call what I do “Post Hip-Hop”. Super punk rock vibes from that title but I feel like I’m doing something different.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: How can people get in touch with you or Knee Brace Music for production services?
J.D.S.: Contact me and mike @wearetheyoungworld on IG and twitter or email at inquiry@wearetheyoungworld.com
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Where can we find your previous and upcoming projects?
J.D.S.: There are no previous works available but starting on Dec 31st we are at www.wearetheyoungworld.com
POETICXPOSURE.COM: Do you have any shows or performances coming up that you want people to know about?
J.D.S.: DreamFest 6 I’m participating in night 2 of the festivities. On Feb 18th KBM is taking part in the draft edition of DOA and Mike will be there and I have a performance that night as well at another event and that info will be available shortly.
POETICXPOSURE.COM: It’s been a pleasure interviewing you and I can’t wait for this project to be released. If you had to pick one song already released that would give people an idea of the type of music that you create, which song would it be?
J.D.S.: Nights by Frank Ocean

JDS Proves to be Ahead of his Time w/ “Goodnight Sky”

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After years of enjoying the production genius from J.D.S. and anticipating a project of his own, the wait is over.

J.D.S. releases his Freshman project, “Goodnight Sky” on December 31st, 2016. I had the privilege of hearing the project early. With this privilege came the opportunity to give the people a pre-release album review.

J.D.S. lets us into his thoughts and mind with this album. Listening to this project feels like sitting in a living room on the floor, eating snacks, and inhaling herbs and incense while talking about issues in the world with dear, dear friends.

You may be familiar with his production. You may even be familiar with his voice on tracks and features over the years. But many may not know him personally. If you don’t know who he is, you’ll definitely feel like a long-lost friend after listening to this project.

He immediately gives you the feeling of a Neo-Soul/Hip Hop/ Punk Rock album. He has definitely paved a way for himself. He gives you samples of all of his talents. With this, you get to see the many colors of him.

“Goodnight Sky” is an album that you can listen to from beginning to end. I am almost reluctant to skip tracks because the arrangement of the tracks flow so effortlessly. Interrupting that would be a tragedy.

J.D.S. takes you on an incredible journey through this album.

On the intro track, “Euphoria Undone,” you hear euphoria turn into the realization of reality in this melodic track. Lines such as, “I’m in love with white girls but I’m afraid of white cops” makes you think and also gives you something to compare. This track takes you on an emotional roller coaster while describing what it’s like to be in love.

He takes us on a flight to somewhere heavenly in “Clouds.” This track is reminiscent of conversations we have with God with lines such as, “I really wanna pray and believe in you. I’m jealous of the ones that can see it through and make it to your house among the clouds in outer space.”

“Super” is the hype feel good anthem that you play in the morning before getting your day started.

“Tokyo” featuring Jay DaSkreet is definitely a Memphis anthem. It makes you feel on top of the world and shows that you can go anywhere with lines like, “Go to sleep in Memphis, then wake up in Tokyo!” He shows confidence and a little bit off arrogance in lines like, “If I had a baby the flow would tighten. These lame ass niggas sound so enlightened. Lean on that damn third eye as a crutch cause they suck and they know that the woke will like it. Quit making bull sh*** famous.”

My favorite track is the smoothest on the project featuring Idaly Maceano who is also a Hip Hop artist out of Memphis. I’ll leave that one as a surprise.

I won’t give too much of the album away. But with all of the features and smooth ass production on this project, you’re bound to find something that you like.

If you’re wondering what to expect while listening to this project, imagine sitting in a room listening to Frank Ocean, while Childish Gambino raps and rants from the other room. While you’re at it, let’s just put Chance the Rapper in the mix. The sound, the quotable lyrics, and energy reflects all of my favorite artists. I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

If this is J.D.S.’s introduction to the world, I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us!

Be on the lookout for J.D.S. and all of his future projects. Once the project drops on Saturday, come back here for the links.

So until then,

Goodnight!

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Freestyle Friday: Evoking “Joy and Pain” with Amarii Davu

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PoeticXposure.com: For those who may not know you, Who is Amarii Davu?
Amarii Davu:  I’m a mix of life, poetry, rhymes, good vibes, storytelling, and Southern hospitality, man. The actual name Amarii Davu translates into “the beginning of a promise from God” and intend to deliver on that promise. Just know that when you hear ME, you’re hearing a vessel expressing on what I’ve been told to shed light upon.
 PoeticXposure.com:What is your definition of Hip Hop?
Amarii Davu: Hip Hop is healing. It’s a lost Art that’s appreciated by many, but disrespected by TOO many. Hip Hop is the reason I’m still alive. I don’t think I’d have purpose if it wasn’t for Hip Hop.
PoeticXposure.com:You had a birthday this week, in which you released a new song off of your new project, Khepri. First, Happy birthday! I think it’s dope how you give to people on the day that most people expect to receive gifts.
Amarii Davu: Thank you! I had to give back. I try to do something musically on my birthdays. Last year I gave people the Cost of Melanin video. This year it was Joy & Pain.
 PoeticXposure.com: Secondly, How did you come up with the concept for “Joy and Pain?”
Amarii Davu: I came up with the concept for Joy & Pain about three years ago. Keep in mind that most of these songs are old to me, but new to y’all. But I wanted to shed light on some things in my life that most people would consider as flaws or hindrances and show that you can flip any bad experiences in your life into a joy. It also came from a dream where Pac visited me. He told me that the only way I’d survive in this world was if I was able to flip my pains into joys. I’m just passing on the message to y’all.
PoeticXposure.com: How did you come up with the title for Khepri?
Amarii Davu: The title Khepri means a lot to me. Haha. So my middle name is Capri, right? Khepri is pronounced the same way. Khepri is the name of an Egyptian god that was responsible for moving the sun across the sky. The name translates into “one who is coming into being”. I used to hate my name until someone told me this info. On top of that, this entire project is about me coming into myself as a man and as an Artist while also discussing the events that got me to this point of evolution.
PoeticXposure.com: Speaking of events, you performed at SXSW this year. How was that experience?

Amarii Davu: SXSW was life. That was biggest crowd I’ve performed for and they rocked with me. There was so much love in Austin. It was just a different kind of energy there than other places I’ve performed. Outside of performing, Austin is just a dope place to be. Still wanting some Torchy’s Tacos.

 

PoeticXposure.com:Who do you consider some of the pioneers that have influenced your music and your sound?

Amarii Davu: Tupac, Jay-Z, Nas, Ice Cube, Snoop, A Tribe Called Quest, Outkast and that’s just naming a few. Each of these artists have something about them that I can see myself in.
PoeticXposure.com: Going out on a limb here, speaking of pioneers. At the beginning of “Joy of Pain,” you mentioned JayZ coming to you in a dream. Can you elaborate on that dream?
Amarii Davu: Yeeeeea! Man. Jay came to me in a dream, bruh. It was crazy. I had stopped making music for three years. I completely said “fuck music,” you know? And Jay-Z told me in this dream that he liked my music, but that it was missing ME. He told me that the only way people would connect with my music was if I was able to be metaphorically naked and expose myself to people in my lyrics. He said “Don’t worry about being the best, just be honest.” and that made me start writing again. Years later those tracks would turn into Khepri. I realized that with my first project, “6:15 DayDreamsz”, I was too worried about being the hardest nigga out. I wasn’t worried about telling my story. Now I am and my music feels different. A good different.
PoeticXposure.com: Do you have those types of dreams often; and if so, have any other famous rappers come to you in your dreams?
Amarii Davu: I have so many damn dreams about people coming to me. Pimp C visited me, Tupac visited me…and every time I have one of these dreams, it’s always something that completely alters the way I look at and create music.
PoeticXposure.com: It’s interesting that I’m doing this interview on the day that Cole released his album. You’re on my list of favorite artists right along with Cole. So, to me, this is beautiful. In light of J Cole’s new album release, “4 Your Eyez Only,” I know that J Cole has influenced you a lot. Have you heard the album? If so, what do you think? If not, Are you looking forward to it?
Amarii Davu: I’m glad that I can be listed in a high regard like that. I haven’t heard the album! But I know Cole delivers. Usually my tribe does listening parties for new albums so I’m waiting for everyone to link up. That “Everybody Dies” joint has been on repeat since the video got released. He pissed off people with the “False Prophets” joint. I’m expecting a lot of soul and thought-provoking words with this album.
PoeticXposure.com: You said tribe. I know that you recently recorded a song called “The Tribe.” What is your definition of a tribe?
Amarii Davu: Your tribe is the collective of individuals you naturally gravitate towards. It’s the like-minded people who support your dreams and you support theirs. Your tribe is your family even if y’all don’t have the same blood. Your tribe is your support system. You build with your tribe, you know?
PoeticXposure.com: I’ve been keeping up with your work. You are an advocate for Mental Health, especially Mental Health in the African-American community. Tell me more about your work.
Amarii Davu: Thank you for staying up on me. I really appreciate that. I am definitely a mental health advocate. I want to help people. I realize that’s my purpose in this world. To help. So I don’t mind speaking out about mental health awareness especially in my own community because we don’t talk about it enough. Look at Kanye and Cudi. They are direct results of us NOT speaking about mental health until it’s too late. What I am doing now is The Hopeless Blueprint.
PoeticXposure.com: Your song Hopeless is amazing. It touched on a lot of subjects that we often are told not to talk about. From that, Hopeless Blueprint was birthed. What exactly is the Hopeless Blueprint?
Amarii Davu: It’s a mental health initiative designed to help people share their stories about mental illness on camera and normalize the conversation on mental health. I’ve lost a friend to suicide, I’ve dealt with friends not feeling like their worth being happy because of mental illness, you know? It’s insane. I personally deal with Bipolar Disorder and Depression. I understand. I want people to know that you’re worth being alive and happy and that it’s ok to have a mental illness. In fact, it makes you dope that you are HERE fighting through your pain, getting up when you don’t feel like it, and living. I want people to know that it gets better at the end of it all. It really does.
PoeticXposure.com: How can someone who wants to be a part of this awesome movement get in touch with you?
Amarii Davu: If you want to be a part of The Hopeless Blueprint, please check out the WordPress page and review the videos [That are currently] up. The instructions are on the page and I definitely look forward to your stories. Let’s change the discussion!
PoeticXposure.com: Where can we find your music?
Amarii Davu: Most of my music can be found on my Soundcloud, but I also have videos on YouTube and music on Spotify, TIDAL, iTunes, and all other streaming services.
PoeticXposure.com: You recently joined RAWartists. You have a show coming up with them. Tell me more about it.
Amarii Davu: I love RAWartists. I’m excited about my show on Dec 21st at The City Winery in Nashville. Their showcases are a mixture of music, art, fashion, etc. It’s an organization that’s truly for the artists and by the artists. They have showcases in all 50 states and outside of the country so I’m looking forward to doing more showcases with them!
PoeticXposure.com: It’s been a pleasure interviewing you and I can’t wait for this project to come out. Do you have a release date in mind?

 

 

Amarii Davu: Just keep your eyes open. I hate giving dates haha.

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Freestyle Friday: Holding Jay DaSkreet Hostage for a #NoExits Interview

 

POETICXPOSURE.COM: How did you come up with the title for No Exits?

JAY DASKREET: It was titled after an idea me and the #Agency came up with. The concept was,[what] if the #Agency locked me in the studio and decided I couldn’t get out unless I recorded a project.

POETICXPOSURE.COM: You mentioned the #Agency. Who are they and what effect have they had on your career as an underground artist?

JAY DASKREET: The #Agency is a collective of artists, producers, graphic designers and engineers. Basically it’s a group of talented people who are all serious about music that big up each other through promotion, features, and overall advice. The Agency has embraced me as one of their own and allowed me to grow with them as they have grown as of recently. There would be no #NoExits cd without them. We are FAM!

POETICXPOSURE.COM: Let’s backtrack, for those who may not already know, who is Jay DaSkreet?

JAY DASKREET: Jay DaSkreet is a Chicago born, Mississippi raised MC with deep roots in poetry. I think the most accurate description I have ever received of myself is “Prolific Writer” considering I write in pretty much every genre as well as short stories and I’m slowly getting into play writing. In a nutshell though, I am the embodiment of Hip-Hop.

POETICXPOSURE.COM: What is your definition of Hip-Hop?

JAY DASKREET: There is no simple definition… Hip-Hop is a culture. It is a way to bring your reality to the world around you in a way people can SEE your view. It is innovating and trendsetting while simultaneously showing respect to the pioneers. IT is being fiercely competitive while at the same time pushing your competition to be better. Hip-Hop to me is an actual way of live that includes but is by no means limited to rap. Hip-Hop is more than music. It’s clothes and slang and even politics.

POETICXPOSURE.COM: Who do you consider to be some of the pioneers that have influenced your music?

JAY DASKREET: My music… Hmmm well I came up on Twista and Crucial Conflict. Then there was No Limit and UGK and Outkast, followed by Three-Six Mafia and Playa Fly. Then I started getting into the Jay-Z and Nas and Eminem joints. I’m ever evolving though. I was one of the people who went and got on Pac and Biggie and LL [Cool J]. DMX taught me to not be afraid to be COMPLETELY real on a track. I was also bumping Babyface and Jodeci and Toni Braxton too LOL. That’s why I have an affinity for love songs.

POETICXPOSURE.COM: Speaking of love songs, one of my absolute favorite tracks on the project, is “Delirious Love.” What was the inspiration for this song?

JAY DASKREET: The inspiration was my real relationship LOL. Before my girl and I moved in [together] we were literally at each other spots so much that it started to be funny waking up and taking a minute to see whose place we were at. She used to come and spend the night to go to work on a Wednesday and then end up getting clothes from work (she works in retail) then come back cause neither of us wanted to be apart. Then we would look up and it would be Tuesday and she would go to her house so it wouldn’t be a week at my place. We have really done rock , paper, scissors to see who would get up cause neither of us wanted to!! I just decided in order to make a REAL love song, I should use REAL experiences.

POETICXPOSURE.COM: That’s dope. Being in a relationship, would you say it’s easier or more difficult being in an industry that requires a lot of interaction with the opposite sex?

JAY DASKREET: It’s definitely has its difficult times lol, but it’s difficult from both ends and most people don’t know that . You have the side everybody knows which is the artist interacting with the opposite sex, the advances and the flirting, the groupies. But from the artist point you have to deal with the reassuring your mate and getting them to trust you. You have to deal with trusting them while you’re gone for long periods of time as well as getting them to differentiate between the artist you and the real you.

POETICXPOSURE.COM: That’s a very good philosophy to have. What would you say is one of your favorite tracks on the project?

JAY DASKREET: I would definitely say “Thermometer” feat. Crisis901

POETICXPOSURE.COM: That’s definitely a very touching track. I won’t give too much away for those who haven’t heard it, but what inspired the track?

JAY DASKREET: Well as an artist, I’m known for my live shows and my personality. I’ve been grooming myself  to be an artist a long time so I’m all about the show must go on. While I was writing this project, I was dealing with some personal and professional things that I had to keep with myself. But I was still making appearances and I couldn’t let what I was dealing with affect the shows I was giving my fans. It was bothering, me so I wrote a song. I reached out to Crisis because I knew he had an amazing voice and he was wanting to get more into that side of his talent. The result was absolutely Memphenominal.

POETICXPOSURE.COM: That’s amazing. I love to see an artist that doesn’t make apologies or excuses but continues to be an artist first and foremost. This has been a great interview. I want to thank you for allowing me to do this and for being open and honest with me. For the new fans, if they were to listen to one song of yours that you think would make them an instant fan, which song would it be?

JAY DASKREET: I have several but… I’m going to go with my first ever radio-played song. That would be “Hello Lover.” I have never met someone who has heard that song that didn’t love it almost instantly! Thank you so much for having me.

POETICXPOSURE.COM: You’re very welcome. I definitely want people to hear your work and especially want them to hear #NoExits. Where can people find your music. What’s your social network sites and where can they download the #NoExits project?

JAY DASKREET: Well I’m not hard to find at all. All of my social media sites are tied to my name Jay DaSkreet. My main distribution sites are datpiff.com and bandcamp.com. #NoExits was released exclusively through BandCamp and it is “Make Your Own Price” starting at $2. This means, you could get the entire project for just $2 but I definitely encourage and accept more for it.

Find Jay’s music and links to his social media below:

FACEBOOK

SOUNDCLOUD

 

 

 

Short Story: Mirrors

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I have a ton of short stories that I’ve been keeping hidden. I often write things with no intention of anyone ever reading them. They aren’t doing anyone any good sitting on my computer. I have decided to publish these stories and sell them for a small fee. The first story that I am publishing, is “Mirrors.”

Synopsis:

Martin had a rough childhood. Most people would have a hard time coping with such pain. However, Martin didn’t remember any of it.  Martin spends his adult life, living and falling in love. But what happens when he sees his past reflected in the mirror and he doesn’t recognize it?

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For The Girl Who Wants to be out of Her Feelings and in a Relationship…

letters-to-a-younger-meYou’ll fall in love, a lot, place them on pedestals, and give them all of you with nothing to show for it. They won’t return the favor. You’ll cherish the company, but hate the lack of attention. You’ll wish you were single. You’ll pray that they get it right. They won’t.

You’ll compare those men to your father. They’ll never meet his standards. You’ll realize that it’s almost impossible to do so. You’ll lower your standards. Every guy who approaches you after this fact will act accordingly. They’ll tell you that they love you. You’ll believe them. They’ll leave you for someone less  likely to love them. After all, you’re the first girl to ever love them completely. You’ll offer to help them become the best them. They won’t care enough to let you.

You’ll get your heartbroken and finally give in to reality, falling in love with whoever you want. You won’t let the rest of the world dictate who you love. You’ll love them unconditionally. They’ll be your best friend. You’ll fall on hard times. It’ll be too much for them to handle. They’ll break up with you before your one-year anniversary. You’ll cry. They’ll find someone else. You’re left to pick up the pieces. They’ll continue to want to be your friend. It will be hard and damn near impossible.

You’ll try the newest dating apps, POF and BAE. You’ll meet your cousin. You’ll have about three conversations before you realize you’re related. He’ll be upset. He’ll like you anyway. He’ll say, “It’s not like we’re first cousins.” You’ll tell him this isn’t Mississippi. You’ll stop calling and answering. He’ll get upset. You refuse to be kissing cousins. He doesn’t care. You’ll wonder how things would have turned out had he not been your cousin. You refuse to give your children a reason to be handicap. He seems to not care. You distance yourself from him. He calls you three months later. You’ve met someone new, a potential boyfriend maybe. He backs off.

You start to receive phone calls from that ex in college who still won’t admit to cheating on you back then. He’ll say he misses you. You miss him too. You invite him over. You spend the weekend together. He asks when you will get back together He leaves. You keep in touch. A month later, there’s a Facebook post. He’s having a baby. You wonder when it will happen for you.

You start to believe that you’re the stepping stone for men who want to get married. You show men how to love. You show them what it’s like to be loved by a woman who isn’t afraid of the word. They take what they learned and let it work for their next relationship. They’ll ask you to be a part of their wedding. You’ll be angry, but you do it. You spend the entire wedding happy for him until you see the way he looks at his bride as she walks down the aisle. You try to remember the last time someone looked at you like that. It hasn’t happened, yet. You shed a tear. People around you think they’re happy tears. Your best friend knows the truth. She says, “I thought you were over him.” You thought you were too. You’ll sit through the rest of the wedding. You’ll go to the reception. You go out with the new couple afterwards. You go home, alone.

You’ll join a single’s group. You’ll meet someone. He’s already in love with someone. You wonder why even be in a single’s group if you’re not really single. You X him out of potential suitors. You spend Valentine’s day at a single’s mixer with ten women and three men. One of the men doesn’t even like women. You have fun. You go to the movies and see “How to Be Single.” You go home, alone.

You spend the next few months reading love stories, talking to friends that are in relationships. You live vicariously through them. You fall in love wit the idea of being in love. You wonder when your chance will come. Everyone you went to school with is getting married or having kids. You want the same.

You’ll meet someone. He’ll become your friend. He’ll tell you everything you want to hear. He’ll spend his days getting to know you. He’ll tell you things he hasn’t shared with anyone else. You’ll spend hours on the phone getting to know each other. He’ll cure your insomnia. Conversations will turn into speechless conversations and you’ll feel like a fifteen year old all over again. Your anxiety tells you that this is too good to be true. It’ll tell you that this is only temporary. He’ll find someone who he likes better than you. But that day never comes. He only has eyes for you. He’ll put those anxieties to rest and make sure that you know he isn’t going anywhere. You aren’t going anywhere. He’ll be the manifestation of everything you’ve ever prayed for. He’ll come wrapped in a different package. He won’t be your type. But types keep people single. Your type never worked out before. This will be a good thing.

You’ll remember the days when you were just a girl who wanted to be out of her feelings and in a relationship. None of that will matter anymore. You’ll walk down the aisle to your favorite song, to your favorite man. He’ll love you for life. The only time you’ll be in your feelings is because he put your there, in a good way.

The Diary of A Homeless Romantic

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Dear Diary,                                                                                                                          October 16, 2009

I can’t remember the last time I felt this way. This was reminiscent of the time when dad bought me those candies. They were delicious. They were even better because I didn’t expect them. I was coming home from school one day. I had to be about 5 or 6. He had it wrapped up neatly and tied with a pretty purple bow. I couldn’t wait to get to school and show the other kids what my daddy had bought me. But things didn’t go the way that I had planned. I was robbed. Karen, the class bully stole the candy right out of my locker. I’m not sure how she got in. Maybe her lock had the same combination. But it was more likely that the key she used unlocked my lock too. The lock didn’t cost much at all. No wonder, it was so easy for her to steal from me.

The same way that she took my candy, she’s trying to take the man of my dreams. It’s been ten years and she’s still taking things that don’t belong to her. She should be ashamed of herself. I know that they taught us to  share when we were in school, but I never thought I’d have to share the love of my life. No one should have to do that.

James has no clue that I like him. He’s the most popular guy in school. Everyone wants him. But this is different. We’re friends. He looks out for me and I help him with his homework. I’m not allowed to date, so I don’t. But he spends time with me anyway.  Usually, we’re somewhere public. We’re not alone too often. But I guess we’re not supposed to be.

Karen has no remorse. She couldn’t care less about how I feel. She just wants to make sure he sees her. She does things that even my mother wouldn’t do. I’ve watched her bend over in front of James in skirts as short as her attention span. She lets him look onto her papers during tests.

I’ve never liked small skirts. Mama always told me that boys value what they don’t see more than what’s thrown their way. I make him work for the answers to tests. Why give him all the answers when I can teach him how to come up with them on his own? She’s known as the easy-going girl. Ya know, easy… going… Everyone seems to notice this but him. Boys can be so naïve.

He deserves better than that. Hell, I’m better than that. I hope he sees it. Maybe he only sees me as a friend. Maybe we could be more. I guess I’ll never know as long as Karen is around. She will keep throwing herself at him and he will never notice little ol’ me. I refuse to be that girl. If that’s what he wants, maybe they deserve each other.

untitled-design

 

 

Meanwhile ma is having another one of her episodes. They seem to be getting worse since we lost the house. I’ve officially been homeless for 32 days. I haven’t slept in my own bed for 42. Some men in white suits came and took that first. Then they came for the car. Before you knew it, all of our clothes and furniture were outside. Ma said that we ran out of money. She hadn’t worked in a few months. She would leave the house as I left for school but it wasn’t for work. I wish she had told me what was going on. I may have been able to get a job working at the grocery store or a fast-food joint. I just hate that her anxiety affected her ability to talk to me.

We’ve been living in a homeless shelter for women. The people there are okay. I don’t talk to them much. I’m rarely there. I hate seeing ma like that. I spend most of my time at school and hanging with James. His mom is cool. She lets me come over whenever I want. I don’t stay long. Ma told me to never wear out  my welcome. I usually go back to the shelter around 10pm. Then I go to sleep. I wake up around 5:30am, shower, and go to school. I come back to the shelter, go to sleep and do it all over again. It’s a constant cycle that I’m just about sick of continuing.

Ma hasn’t done much since we lost the house. She’s been depressed. She doesn’t talk anymore. What’s going on in her head? Why won’t she talk to me? She stays at the shelter most of the day. The shelter provides meals, even if she rarely eats them. All she does is sleep. If she got out more, she would probably feel better about herself. I don’t even want to see the place, let alone stay there all day. Thank God for school. Hopefully things will get better. Maybe I’ll get a job. Living homeless and free is definitely not a good look. No one wants that kind of freedom, if they can help it.

 

 

 

 

For Scott Mescudi, Other black men who suffer, and the ones that didn’t make it.

for-kid-cudi

I know that it’s difficult and that sometimes it’s hard to find the words to say how you feel. I know that when you finally get the courage, it’s hard to find someone who will listen. You should never be ashamed of your truth. Get help when you need it. If not for anyone else, do it for you.

It’s hard to focus on your mental health when the world only focuses on your gifts and talents. It’s hard to wake up, put on a cape, and be a hero, when you don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning.

If you don’t feel like getting out of bed this morning, Don’t! The world will not collapse on the account of you missing a day.

If you don’t feel like talking to anyone today, Don’t! Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, place it inside of a box. Don’t open it until you’re okay. Do something that makes you smile. Do something that no one else knows you enjoy and do it alone! Spend time focusing on you.

If you don’t feel like going to work today, Don’t! Call in sick. Tell them that you need the day off. Take a mental health break. Let someone else do your job for the day. You deserve it.

Stop taking care of everyone else for once. From now on, do what makes you happy. Do what satisfies you. Do the very thing that brings you peace.

You’re forced to look out for yourselves in a world that doesn’t care whether you make it home or not. But we need you to make it home. We need you to be okay. When you’re not okay, we’re not okay.

I’m sorry that no one noticed your sadness. Oftentimes we’re too busy dealing with our own issues, our own depressions, our own grievances.

We’ve all lived lies. We’ve all kept secrets that we didn’t want people to know. No one wants the world to see our scars. We cover scars in hopes that no one will notice. Then those scars turn into phantom aches begging for our attention again. But those scars make us strong. They don’t make us weak. When we develop a wound, it heals itself. That self-healing mechanism causes our skin to grow back tougher and more capable of enduring a stronger force that may hurt more next time.

There is strength in acknowledging that you need help. I pray that you get all the help you need. I pray that you do nothing else without, first, taking care of you. I pray that you’re able to find your peace.

Find peace in knowing that we’re here for you. We’re standing in the gap where you feel that you fall short. We want you to be okay, we need you to be okay. We need you here. For the ones who didn’t make it, we need you to survive. We need you to overcome the stereotypes. Depression is killing us faster than old age, faster than natural causes, faster than racist cops on the street.

I know that there’s a lot to make you depressed. There’s a lot for you to be anxious about. There’s a lot to make you think. But the next time you’re sad think about all of the things that make you smile. Think about tomorrow. Today may be bad. But tomorrow will be better. If you’re not here to see it, you’ll never know.

So, for me, for us, for all of the people rooting for you, for all of the ones who didn’t make it, let’s make it through the day. Make it through tomorrow. Let today be a test. Let the nighttime bring you rest. The sun will be brighter in the morning.

We love you!

Sincerely,

A Queen who suffers, but made it!

 

 

 

When Waiting to Exhales Turns Into a Gasp for Air

When Waiting to Exhale becomes a Gasp for Air

I never knew what it meant to suffocate until that night…

You gave new birth to the meaning of the word. I couldn’t remember the last time I had an asthma attack, yet it was so easy for my lungs to give in to the pressure of not having enough room to breathe. I felt my chest collapse as though the world was on top of it. Five words:

I can’t be your friend…

This brought back six-year-old memories of asthma induced weight-loss…I remember secretly loving those moments where I was skinny… but only for a second.

But I didn’t love this feeling. I waited for the day you would give up on me, when your five-year chase would come to a screeching halt. Only I thought I would have a different reaction…

I never thought it would feel like a train wreck happened on the inside. It was as though someone ripped my heart right out of my chest.

I thought I knew what heartache felt like, but now, I’m not so sure.

The next 24-hours were the longest in history.
You gave me an ultimatum
and all I could think about was seeing you.

We sat
We cried
We talked
We cried.

I’d never heard you so hurt before.
Tears that only fell at funerals,
were falling because of me.

I knew that I couldn’t lose you
and I refused to risk it all.

No way would I deprive you of your happiness,
just because I chose to punish myself.

There was nothing keeping me from being with the love of my life,
just past hurt and religion.

——————————————————

When you’re almost 25 and with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you hear “We need to talk,” your mind goes directly to breakup mode.

I just knew it was over.
They say that it takes twice as long to get over as it takes to get to know.
I knew that it would be a long 34 years.

34 years from now,
you’ll be retired and I’ll be running my private practice
helping others in the place of you.
I would no longer have you to give that extra push. Others would need that shove.

Maybe I can catch it early.
Maybe they won’t have to grow up with the pain from their past.
Maybe I could be their reason for letting go.
Maybe I can be the voice of reason to a girl surrounded by close-minded hypocrites,
the one who tells her that it’s okay to love who she loves.

I thought that my heart would break into two. But I already saw it coming. I spent the next few hours imagining what you’d share during our next conversation.

It’s that time…
You’re deploying and can’t stand the thought of leaving me here alone.
My greatest fear is now a reality.
You’re not happy and would rather end it now before you resented me.

Well my imaginations were half right. You weren’t deploying. My soldier was still going to be on this side of the world just not in mine. Just one of my worst fears was coming true. But it didn’t hurt any less.

Nothing hurt as much as the time you no longer wanted to be my friend. At least you’d still be in my life. That’s if I would have you. At least I still had my best friend.

What do you do when the only person who knows your worth tells you they’re not worthy of your love and the only person you chose to freely give your love to, doesn’t know how to deal with it? What if they’re not ready for the love you’ve been cultivating just for them.

That’s when you take all of the energy that you used to exhale the moment you realized that you could finally be with the love of your life and use it elsewhere.
Breathe…
Think…
Breathe…
It’s okay to cry…

They say that time heals all wounds, but I say oxygen prevents scars. It’s okay to cry, take all the time you need.

Just BREATHE!