January 22, 2014

We are all born with dis-ease. creative medicine

Dis-ease is an illness that weakens our creative immune system. These maladies can include our thoughts of lack and limitation, our insecurities about our body, what may or may not be in our bank accounts, what others may think of us… it’s a long list of ailments that if left untreated, can lead to chronic pain and ultimately leave us creatively paralyzed.

What are the dis-eases affecting you lately? What are the places that you need to treat with your creative medicine? Our bodies have healing properties; we are fortunate that both the treatment and the cure are within us.

Mine is writing.

Others paint, sing, workout their bodies, dance, play a sport, practice yoga or do a combination of treatments. I have found that when I stop writing, when I don’t adhere to my “medication regiment,” I become ill. My symptoms increase both spiritually and physically. I begin to question myself, my body aches for no reason and my overall health weakens me into a state of indifference.

So why is it, that having both the treatment and the cure within us, do we find it so difficult to “take” a dose of what can begin to make us feel better? For me, it’s about an infection that we are susceptible to during a flare-up of the dis-ease. I call it bacterial bullshit. A microorganism that makes us believe that dis-ease is a state we need to live in because after all, we are born with it.

There are so many days I doubt my writing. I believe my medicine is ineffective. But unlike man-made medicines, your body doesn’t become resistant to your dose of creativity. And you can always alter the dosage by adding an adjuvant medication. Give your creative medicine reinforcement.

This natural dis-ease is our inner self in conflict with our outer self; a battle between who we are and who we want to be. If our body has already given us the treatment and cure for it, then we need to give our creative body its medicine. Daily. STAT. Medication adherence is crucial to symptom management.

Write. Sing. Dance. Yoga… you can never overdose on creative medicine. Actually, your overdose spills into those around you and you are able to heal others as well. It’s why people show up to poetry slams, theaters, concerts, museums and other creative spaces.

We are all in need of daily doses of creativity, of those things that remove us from ourselves and move us toward our Self.

If you’re experiencing dis-ease and your symptoms are present, I encourage you to make a promise to write one word today, sing one note today, dance one step today…

Today. Now. The quicker you take the medicine the quicker you will begin to heal.

dig at the wound

February 26, 2013

sometimes the weight of my pen is heavy with fears and uncertainties
the cramping in my hand makes it difficult to write clearly; if at all.
so i scribble a little only to put the pen down because quite honestly, i’m tired.

life is happening.

all its wretched. all its beauty.

why is it that sometimes we turn away from the thing that helps us the most?
i mean, for me writing is healing. why am i not taking my medicine?

it is because sometimes to heal something you must first injure it more. go deeper
into the wounds to really get at it. and that’ just it. that part is the hardest in writing.
putting the pretty poetry aside or the warm reflections off to write through some of the things
i always have a hard time writing about.

my fears. my uncertainties. my elephant in the room. my anger (which i tend to keep in check because
i’ve been told it doesn’t “suit” me).

i haven’t even written it down in the pages i don’t publish for fear they may be discovered.
what can possibly have taken me to that place where i feel i can’t write my story down on a page
that will not be seen?

i will write. my story must be told,
even if it’s just to my self.

i must dig at the wound to really heal. so must you. so must all.

a place to heal

October 8, 2012

i wish i could gather all the stars tonight
and place them around your neck,
so that they may frame
the full moon of your eyes.

i wish i could gather all the shells
in the ocean, place them around your hips
so that they may serve as wave breakers
for the ocean of worries in your days.

i wish i could gather all the mortar and stone
in the world, build you a fort that’s impenetrable.
that you may be protected always.

but i am just your Titi Feisty
and the only powers i posses are
Love and Faith…

so i ask the Universe to protect you,
to send any worries you may have to me
if only it will make that beautiful smile brighter-
your walk, a bit lighter.

you are growing up so quickly.
life has a way of speeding up the process.
and in that mile per hour highway
you are so amazing.
i marvel at your courage.
i see your patience and care with your little sister,
how you put up with your older brother’s wisecracks
and i know you are growing up beautifully.

so when the days become heavy (and they will)
bring your beautiful hands
to that place that is sacred to you.
turn to music, turn to writing
turn to express your Self in artistry
-it’s the most amazing place to heal.

i am so proud of you my little Love.
your spirit is contagious.
your laughter has the sweetest melody.

Emelyn… you are one of my six favorite songs.

that’s poetry

September 21, 2012

poetry has not escaped me.

it sits quietly in the corner
of my breathing room.

allowing me to write
in places
without rhyme and reason

…without ink.

in her kisses,
and my cousin’s laughter.
in the company of a friend
or the phone conversation
with my so-grown nephew.

the poem writes itself
without writing.

poetry isn’t just the spoken word
it is also the word unspoken…
the word we Feel.

piri thomas

April 21, 2012

i’ve been meaning to write to you since i learned that you had your homecoming. when i read of your passing i was overwhelmed with sadness. and i wanted to write but i couldn’t. it was as if my pen needed to mourn. so i turned to my bookshelf and reached for the autographed copy of “down these mean streets.” i opened the book and skimmed through it. read a few lines and recalled that first time.

your book was the first time i read a book cover to cover in one sitting. there was something so magnetic about that book. i couldn’t put it down. i didn’t want to be interrupted. i felt hypnotized.

by this age (i was 15), i had read a few books. i was always reading. it all started with judy blume, then the babysitter’s club, then things started getting a little more mature. i read “where the red fern grows,” and “flowers for algernon” and “catcher in the rye” and then classics came in to play (pun intended) with shakespeare’s “macbeth,” et. al. And in between all of these, my grandmother would have me reading the bible to her in Spanish.

i can tell you what i liked and didn’t like about all of those books… but when i was 15 it was your book that made me want to do more than just read, i wanted to write. see piri, your book was home. literally, you where writing about my home.i found what el barrio feels like, tastes like, sounds like in each of your pages. i could relate to so many parts of it even though your book was written more than twenty years before it reached my hand. it made me both happy and sad. i was happy because i could read a book that talked to the realities of our lives but sad because that reality was still very similar to the same el barrio, when your book reached my hands.

i loved your book. even the weight of it was perfect in my hands. with every page, i turned the corners of my streets. every chapter in your book was a new-york-city block, building projects that were never projected to amount to much. there are so many beautiful stories in our documentary filmed ‘hood.

when i had the chance to meet you and hear you read in 2000, i was “star struck.”

your swag was lyrical.
to the evolution of my poetic soul.
i knew my story must be shared
because i had nothing to be ashamed of.

yes, these streets are mean, but our stories made them sweet.

you survived. i survived. we survived.
the stats were against us. but the strength of a pen
is powerful. makes you feel like you’re on the roof top of taino towers
overlooking the willis avenue bridge.

today, i light a candle to your light.
thank you for shining so bright on this earth.
you will always be un rey del barrio.

poetic prayer

January 24, 2012

may my poetry only hurt
in the places that need healing,
as a gentle reminder
that i will be stronger
at the broken parts,
if i remain open
to the process.

may my words
suture the scars
of a little Sarahí.
may they mend
the hearts of those
i have injured.

may they bring me
to action and healing.

i pray…

that i use the sharpness of my pen
to stab at hatred.
that i use its soft felt tip
to write gently.

may i heal
through forgiveness
of Self.
may i be patient
with the wait…