Monday, July 25, 2011

For All We Know: In Memory of David Blair & Taylor Siluwe-Speaking Their Names....

I've found myself thinking of the lyrics to the Donny Hathaway song, "For All We Know..." after hearing about the transition of Poet, Spoken Word Artist, & Musician Blair (David Blair) and Author & Blogger Taylor Siluwe.

I first met Blair soon after moving to the bay area. He was here from Detroit featuring at a local spoken word spot. I had never heard of him before but I was blown away by his performance. He was only here for a few days but we managed to sneak in a lunch and have time to talk. Blair is one of those performers that tours constantly so I always assumed our paths would cross again. He was a gifted performer and I love the tone of his voice. I could listen to him read the phone book. Here's a sample of some of his work:

I'm know he will be missed by many other performers and people who grew to know him. Very gentle and warm spirit.

A few weeks ago I woke to read several posts on facebook and other places that Author & Blogger Taylor Siluwe had transitioned. I had never met him but we spoke through messages and IM chats about meeting once I finally made my long planned & hoped for trip to New York. He was one of the first to join the fan page for my book and also sent an encouraging note in support of me getting it published. I loved his blog and his work it was so organic and seemed to come from a place of really trying to inform people. I loved that the way he wrote wasn't just to humor himself or show how smart or talented he was.

I'm the youngest of 10 and had a brother & sister die as well as a niece that I never expected. It just never literally entered the realm of possibility that we would not all grow old together. I'm really understanding how eternal life is not some notion we were taught in traditional religion about heaven or something "over there" but it's like the ancestors told us to speak the names of those we have met in this life so their lives live on....

Both these guys will be missed by many and like I said it really has got me thinking,

For all we know
We may never meet again
Before you go
Make this moment sweet again

We won't say goodnight
Until the last minute
I'll hold out my hand
And my heart will be in it

For all we know
This may only be a dream
We come and we go
Like the ripples of a stream

So love me, love me tonight
tomorrow was made for some
tomorrow may never come
For all we know...........

Friday, July 15, 2011

Reflection, Renewal, & Laughter....

Last week I attended, "The Fellowship" Convention in Las Vegas, NV. The Fellowship is a conglomerate of open & affirming churches lead by my Pastor, Bishop Yvette Flunder.

I've attended many workshops, conferences, conventions, & convocations over my life and I've learned to use them as a place of renewal for me. I really needed it I've had a series of disappointments from people not following through on things that they've promised or that we've spoken about. I won't go into detail because honestly I am still bitter about some of it and I don't like being that way. It's something I'm definitely working on. I don't want my look on life to be skewered by hanging my hopes on another person's actions but it is at least for me disappointing & upsetting when people don't do what they said they would do and then avoid contact with you because they haven't especially when you consider those people to be friends/people you love. I have learned it's important to return phone calls, e-mails, and messages. Even if the answer is no and will cause disappointment it's better to know it than to leave things in limbo.

Music has always been a balm for me and during my time at The Fellowship in Las Vegas I got a chance to participate with the National Mass Choir. This is always a highlight for me because there is just something so special about people from different churches coming together to form a choir. Usually you get people who are dedicated to the Music Ministry so there is an extra level of energy. The music for the nightly services was phenomenal! Even Mother Shirley Miller, the partner of Bishop Flunder said she thought it was the best the National Choir has sounded since the beginning of The Fellowship.

One highlight was a tribute to Sylvester by Martha Wash, B. Slade (formerly Tonex), Gene Viale, Bishop Flunder, and the incomparable Charlene Moore who is the National Minister of Music for The Fellowship. Both Martha & Charlene sang background for Sylvester and Bishop Flunder was one of the Associate Pastors at Love Center when he attended services there. Here is a wonderful rendition of one of his most famous songs, "You Are My Friend" by these amazing vocalists:

I saw this video first on facebook and it just made me smile and filled with such joy. This kid is so excited that he's met his first pair of husbands. It's like he found money or something!! Then just as a kid would do let's them know he's going to play ping pong and invites them!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Feel The "Touch..." For 20% Off....

ACT FAST!-This offer is only available until this Friday July 15. You can get 20% off

Go to:
and use code: BIG305 at check out

“Touch…Poems & Other Writings of Love, Erotica & Sensuality”
by Jair, the Literary Masturbator is a friendly reminder that living and loving is possible. Jair touches us in many ways weaving familiar sounds and sharing intimate stories (real or imagined) to help unify his theme. These poems touch you physically, spiritually and mentally. One of my favorite poems is “When I Look into His Eyes…”

Much like Etheridge Knight’s “Ilu, the Talking Drum”, Jair’s “When I Look into His Eyes…” is filled with sound devices, specifically alliteration and repetition, which help fuse the poem. For example, the speaker states he drowns in “sweet soulful syncopation” (5). A few lines further the speaker describes the sound from a flute as “feather falling freely” (12). In addition, we hear a rhythmic repetitive rumbling of a drum beating with the repetition of the words “Africa” and “drum”. The sounds of life (drumming and heart beating) in and under the poem summon us because they are familiar. Similarly, the refrain used “When I look into his eyes” is a tool that brings us full circle from Africa to America and back again.

Music is consistent throughout his poems and fittingly, Jair injects music into this poem to help tell his tale. Written with a fluid rhythm, the poem is like a song. My favorite line is “A voice calls out, rising above the mixture of sight and sound to create/ joy unbound…in this island found, in the oasis of your soul” (14-15). Their lovemaking is boundless, vulnerable and free.

My jaded ideas of serial monogamy and Knight’s imprisonment in many ways are isolating, however, the process of writing for Knight, Jair and me is a liberating experience. Jair’s book moved me. I was touched and reminded living and loving is possible.-Review by Dauwd Najimi II