I would like to begin this with my hat in hand,
humble as I can be and with all I have,
I want to thank the artists who’ve taught me
inspired me, opened my eyes
to allow me the understanding
that it’s alright for me to be who I am
and that in my form
I do not have to adhere to anyone’s expectations,
except for mine.
I am not alone
but . . .
it has taken my a long time to understand
what it means to stand by myself
Before I begin the end of this
or at least before we begin our approach,
I want to thank Jim Carroll
who is gone from the earth
and who doesn’t know me,
who I am
or why I appreciate his thoughts.
I want to thank him for teaching me
that, yes, there’s a way to be free
even when caught in our own captivity.
I want to thank Saul Williams
has no idea about me
and, quite possibly, wouldn’t care
or most likely would smile to be polite;
but still, I want to thank him
for teaching me about the different concepts
of beauty and that as a man – yes,
I can be beautiful too
without surrendering the concepts
I want to thank Burroughs and Kerouac
and Robert Fulghum as well,
especially him because his was the last book
that was read by my Old Man
just before he passed.
I got to hold that book
read from it
cry from it
and heal from it too
I want to thank you,too, for allowing me
this little space in your heart because without this place,
I’m not sure that I would even exist
or be real
or be anything other than a tiny glimpse
in an endless atmosphere of hopes and dreams.
This is my life, right here,
held in the palm of The Father’s hand,
a power greater than myself;
in which case, this is me,
a small child in the grand scheme of so many things
with so many names
and countless different faces of influence
to either contend or coincide with.
This is my motivation to get up.
These words, which I have here
This is what propels me towards my destiny
and moves me to stand,
to dress the part for one more day,
and, of course, to more importantly remain and persist.
But more accurately,
this is me,
not quitting before the miracle happens.
Here comes the sound of a sigh and exhale
just as my fingers touch the keys
to unlock the screen and here I go –
This is my path, which I have chosen to take,
and committed myself with no return
no surrender and no apologies.
I am not perfect. I have flaws and tiny details
which, to me, if I’m being honest,
I have little scars that no one can see yet to me,
I see them as obvious
or outstanding and otherwise
then again, I understand the irrationality of the mind
and the need to keep myself safe
This is my drive. This is my heart and yes,
this is my desire too. This is “my all” and “my everything”
and with this,
these are my keys to which I aim to find the right door
which will eventually unlock my universe –
and keep me free.
These are my collections of thoughts
which, by now, you know all about them and by now
you know all about me, which is odd to me yet
this is comfortable. And safe.
I am strange yet everything about me and you is familiar and
connected, as if this has always been the case
and nothing in the world could ever change this fact –
not time, not death, not the rebirth of the soul
or the resurrection of life
because this is who I am,
which, essentially, I am a piece of an infinite puzzle
to which I only belong in one place
However, and more and more,
the more I look around and the more I realize
where my shape is supposed to fit,
the more I am convinced and understand
that my place is here; as in right here,
and with the all the shapes and sizes around me
and with all the outside configurations;
with all the messed up and jagged edges that surround me;
even still, I know there’s a perfect fit for me
I know that right here, there is no judgment.
I know that here, in this place, there is no pain.
There are no worries. I know that no one can hurt me here.
No one can even pass the threshold because right here –
this is me. These are my things.
I have a bag filled with hopes and dreams
which I keep in perfect condition
so as not to damage their edges
or hurt them in any way.
This is my history. Here are my secrets.
There is the child. And there it is, in his hands
there is a small orb of light, like a tiny seed of hope
which contains the seed
from where my hopes once came from.
See how the light blooms and shines
to brighten his face?
See how this interrupts the dimness of doubt?
I am somewhat outward bound in a dream state – and yes,
while I understand that possibly A)
you might have heard this before and B)
I might be rambling,
like when the caffeine takes over after the morning coffee;
I am still, however, and will always be
unfolding as a work in constant progress
both endlessly and consecutively
until the day I die.
This is my Mother. This is my Father.
I am their son. Do you see where I’ve come from?
I am a cross between them and a mix of incidentals
and, as such, I am a product of this environment.
I am on a trip which is going nowhere fast yet
this trip has taken me everywhere
and at the same time,
I have learned to see the world from different positions,
even while managing to sit still.
I am the son. I am the younger brother.
I am the baby of the family which, of course,
has changed and of course, I am no longer the baby
nor young yet
all I want to do is be youthful again
so that I can turn the past upside down
and shake it free like an old piggy bank
that holds my last few coins
So I can spend it
This is my train. Do you see me?
I am the one with my head leaning against the window,
looking outwards and watching the landscapes change.
I am not tough, nor do I want to be,
at least not anymore. I have decided to forfeit
and let go of my weapons of self-destruction.
This is my trip. This is why I say that I am outward bound
because I have decided to allow myself to go,
which means I have decided to give myself the permission
to move beyond my limitations
and to exceed them by any means necessary.
I have granted myself the permission
to shed my old skin, regardless of who or what anyone thinks
I have granted myself the permission
to look away and to remove myself from the equations
that no longer add up.
I have decided to readjust the math and the coordinates
of my life, so that I can readjust my mission
and, therefore, here on this trip;
I have equipped myself with all that I need
to successfully reach my destination
both happily and safely.
I am the sum of my life, up until now that is.
And going forward, I am the footsteps
that travel between the two points of here and now.
There is no in-between anymore.
There is no “later”
and there is no more “past.”
These are only subjects of the mind
which no longer exist to me,
so long as I am mindful that is
because although I know of them,
I cannot touch either of them.
I am humble here. I am vulnerable.
I am weak which, in fairness,
takes a lot of strength to say this.
At least, to me it does.
I have kept these notes with me to allow me a view,
just in case I want to reach back
and remember where I was, like say,
in the month of August 2020,
and what did I do
that changed the face of my existence that time,
years ago when I was too young to make a choice,
back when a door opened up
and I saw the face of a brand new life.
I know nothing. I know some.
I know it all and at the same time,
I only know what I’ve been taught,
which is interesting to me
because some of my teachers were wrong;
same as I was wrong about them,
especially when accepting them in a place of authority
or trusting their word
even if I didn’t believe them.
And ah, there’s that word again. Belief.
This word is everything.
Believe me . . .
This word says everything about you.
This tells you who you are.
This tells you what you can and can’t do
because your belief of who you are
is all you will ever be –
so believe what you choose
but believe carefully
and be careful what you choose to believe in
because beliefs have the ability
to limit us to one specific view.
But not me. Not anymore.
That’s why I’m here on this train.
I know there’s more than one way out there.
And like I said, I’m a searcher,
searching for more
I know that somewhere there’s a home for me
and a door
which any one of my keys are destined to open
and when this happens
this is the time when I will have unlocked my universe
and at last – there’s my life,
as in my real one and thus,
all the rehearsing and all the preparation;
all the bleeding and the fighting, all the scars which will vanish,
as well as their reminders
and all the weeping and all the questions
will be more than justified:
they’ll be answered when the door opens
and the hand that welcomes us in will say,
Come on in . . .
. . . . We’ve been waiting a long time for this