One Single Act of Love

I sold a rock opus to the best Black rock band on the planet. A band that lost its capacity to dream. Formulaic guarantees skewed their imagination for platinum discs. The male coward covered their lifework, literally. My story reminded them of what ‘rushing’ felt like, how complete, how deep blushing could be obvious. And they bought it, and produced it. And it was good — it was better than good. It was thought provoking and it was an African-American affirmation of our realities and our fantasies — no matter how unrealistic.

Suddenly, they were very significant and the world truly believed, that rock music is black music and black music is everything. Power is aesthetic. Aesthetics is politics and being black is philosophical and our philosophy is phenomenology and being black, is being real.

No Hip Hop could say as much as this rock opus did, ever — no matter how many stories they sampled. So, this black rock band were crowned kings and were exulted, and revered; incandescent icons, the envy of friends, the consumption of man, the image of immortality — like the stained-glass heaven you summon before you close. And they loved me. I was the wick in their candlestick and without me, there was no burning flame. I was the source of their energy. I, was the unstained virgin encamped.

Sooner than anyone imagined, there was nothing more important, than our collaboration. The media was our medium. They stopped referring to me as a writer, and started calling me, a Love Supreme…..

 

Copyright 2016 by E Maria Shelton Speller.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Night — FAWC Summer Programs — Featuring Istanbul

A Night at the FAWC

“I think women artists begins to pay attention to what people expect from them, as opposed to what they are searching for within themselves. It’s pretty deadly.”  Euphonic’s, “The Artist”

Istanbul

and 

“Nobody Speak” – (Feat. Run The Jewels — DJ Shadow ~“TRAPSOUL” — Bryson Tiller
“Deee-Lite Theme” — Deee Lite ~ “Estate” — Joao Gilberto  ~ “Gooey” — Glass Animals
“Mercy” — Kanye West “The Far Side of the Moon” — Tinashe
“Give Me Your Love” — Curtis Mayfield ~ “Seven Whole Days” Toni Braxton
“Two Weeks” ~ “Pendulum” FKA twigs ~ “Zip That Chop That ” Black Hippy
“Panda” Desiigner ~ “SevenRings” — Lyricks and JL
“Sex Packets” — Digital Underground ~ “Elemental” — Tears for Fears
“Heavn” — Jamila Woods ~ “Baby Can I Hold You — Tracy Chapman
“Sunset” (Ft. Yuna Zaraai) “Special Affair/Curse” — The Internet
 “Seven Suns” “CPU (feat. RZA) — Raury
“Where Do We Go” ~ “F.U.B.U.” (feat. The-Dream & BJ The Chicago Kid) — Solange
“Me and Your Mama” — Childish Gambino
 I Miss You” (Dobie Rub Part One-Sunshine Mix) — Bjork
Liberation ~ OutKast — Belle and Boujee — Migos Beauty and the Beast Parody (Nerdist Presents)
Without You I’m Nothing — Placebo (featuring David Bowie) ~ Diamonds — Rihanna
“Immigrant Song” — Led Zepplin — Lose Yourself ~ Eminem
Give It Up Fast — Mobb Deep (feat. Big Noyd and Nas) — fullmoon — Ryuichi Sakamoto
 Bodak Yellow ~ Cardi B  — Kitana — Princess Nokia
Marvin Gaye — Live! 

The Foreword to Insomnia

Like all writers, I rewrite, combine, borrow, loot, recreate, change my own work, and play with metafictional devices and the relationship between what is real and what is imagined.  I combined “TP’s Muse Board” with “The Foreword to Insomnia.”  Perhaps it will be a triptych, or perhaps three panels of an octaptych,  a short story, novella, or perhaps a novel.  It’s a WIP.

The Foreword to Insomnia

 

“All our crimes are the crimes of a phantom:  God.”  Octavio Paz

 

I

Is the girl necessary?  Can you abandon her?  Yes and no.    She’s the curtain-lifter and the scout!  Always.  I cannot forget her.  I was there, talking to myself, as if I were someone else.  Like now.

She’s as necessary as the galoshes on her feet, paused in a puddle, with her binary reflection obscured by polka-dots, vector and speckled umbrellas billowing from ordinary windows like parachutes, or the multi-colored aureoles in the virtual vertigo — of an art installation.

She is as necessary as umbrellas on a rainy afternoon under golden arches and digital displays of saucer eyed anime faces in Tokyo during rush-hours, or the dark city around the corner with a hole in the ground — over rainy subway stairs she lost a galosh on.

II

When she was nine, and her sister seven, they shared a bedroom in the attic of an old Victorian house, in New England.  They loved that pink triangular room, and the imaginary line that equally divided that sanctum, and it was not lost on them, that they were far removed from their extended paternal family, parents and the Irish triplets who shared a room of their own — downstairs.

It was not just the physical detachment, but on the heels of “making believe,” they began to transport each other to fictional realities at bedtime that began with a question, followed by an answer and finally a bidding, “What are you doing?”  “I’m thinking.”  “What are you thinking about?”

Her stories would often begin with something truly extraordinary.  Diana Ross had ten kids in 1964!  She was twenty years old and married to Jorge — the Ebony Fashion Fair model who was the most beautiful man she had ever seen, and one of Diana’s children was her fourth grade classmate — a Puerto Rican named, Sorah Sanchez.  He told his classmates to call him Willie.  He was so cute!

Theirs was the perfect family!  Jorge wore gray suede shoes and cardigans advertised in Jet and Ebony magazines, and the children wore clothing from Alden and Spiegel catalogs!   Images were accessible and appropriated. The stories epic and uninterrupted — unless clarification was necessary, like “What time do the kids have to go to bed?”

She loved The Supremes!  In the Sixties, Diana Ross was a delicate and beautiful remix, of freedom from ugly restraint.   She could scan a page for “Diana Ross” and find her like code.  Ditty Bop!  She could imitate her voice, her tone, inflection, her vibrato, choreography and her mannerisms!

In the Summer of 1965, she sang A cappella, “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Stop in the Name of Love,” and “Come See About Me,” on a makeshift stage in her back yard, and became an accidental star with a teenaged fan base; but, she just wanted to be left alone to adore Diana Ross — the beautiful one!  Those oral narratives in the dark — were contiguous, on a continuum, interconnected — in medias res.

III

At seventeen she hadn’t seen her Father in four or five years.  Her mother and six children took the last bus to a safe haven twelve hundred miles from Boston.  But, when father walked into her home, the house her mother managed to “negotiate” by “befriending” the most unattractive man she had ever seen… and barely past the threshold, he said, “I know, I know, I know, and I know.”

It was the most honest response she’d ever heard.  It made sense.  No apologies.  No explanations.  What else could he say?  Last year, she wondered why she and her sister screamed their hearts out of their mouths, eyes, and ears crouched in a closet — as if screaming would make a difference — as if screams would stop unmeasured and random assaults on her Mother in a Commonwealth where the Rule of Thumb allowed husbands to beat their wives as long as the stick was no thicker than his thumb!

In that house, little girls might not stop screams with their own.  Who could scream the loudest?  Who could silence the noise?  Eventually, she realized the house was on Rockledge Street before pre-K, so they were one and three, or two and four years old, perhaps.  In a one mile radius, the same thing happened on Cedar and Alpine Streets. On Hartford Street, her Father cut her Mother up with a meat cleaver.

She can still summon the smell of Sugar Smacks decayed and stinking in bowls of spoiled milk abandoned on the kitchen table like so much blood and flesh on the floors, doors, the papered walls, and ceiling where on her Sister’s 9th birthday, “the accident” happened.

The blood of donors rushed from other jurisdictions, the white sheet that hid her mother’s head from her children, the paddy wagon where her mother was slung like a criminal, the crowd outside the window oohing and awing, jeering, and cheering her Father, who changed into a brown silk leisure suit, brown suede shoes, cocked a fedora on his head and walked tall, proud, and un-cuffed to the Police car.  The footnote in the Boston Globe, “Negro Man Attacks Wife with Meat Cleaver.”  The rise and fall of orphan’s tears, swollen eyes, praying hands and bargains with God in zombie disbelief.

But, I don’t feel sorry for that little girl.  Tall and proud.  She could have been a psycho killer — and I would be her muse, a tiny detail, a paper doll from an Alden’s catalog — paused in a puddle for the amusement of children.

IV

I am the one who cannot sleep.  Aside from occasional drifts from the pollen consumption of moths, to the dignity of a ski-lift nose…

 

Copyright 2004, 2013 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Trench People (TP) Muse Board

When I was nine, and my sister seven, we shared a bedroom in the attic of a Victorian house, in New England.  We loved that pink triangular room, and the imaginary line that equally divided her side and mine, and it was not lost on us, that we were far removed from our extended paternal family, our parents, and the Irish triplets who shared a room of their own — downstairs. 

It was not just the physical detachment, but on the heels of “making believe,” we began to transport each other to fictional realities at bedtime that began with a question, followed by an answer and finally a bidding, “What are you doing?”  “I’m thinking.”  “What are you thinking about?” 

My stories would often begin with something truly extraordinary.  Diana Ross had ten kids in 1964!  She was twenty years old and married to Jorge — the Ebony Fashion Fair model who was the most beautiful man I had ever seen, and one of her children was my fourth grade classmate — a Puerto Rican named, Willie Sanchez.  He told us to call him Willie.  He was so cute!   

Theirs was the perfect family!  Jorge wore gray suede shoes and cardigans advertised in Jet and Ebony magazines, and the children wore clothing from the Alden and Spiegel Catalogs!   Images were accessible and appropriated. The stories epic and uninterrupted — unless clarification was necessary, like “What time do the kids have to go to bed?” 

I loved The Supremes!  In the Sixties, Diana Ross was a delicate and beautiful remix of freedom from ugly restraint.   I could scan a page for her name and find her like code!  Ditty Bop.  I could imitate her voice, her tone, inflection, her vibrato, choreography and her mannerisms! 

In the Summer of 1965, I sang A cappella, “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Stop in the Name of Love,” and “Come See About Me,” on a makeshift stage in our back yard, and became an accidental star with a teenage fan base… but, I just wanted to be left alone to adore her.

Those oral narratives in the dark — were contiguous, on a continuum, interconnected, in medias res. When I think about — Trench People, I wonder what are Angela, Lisa and Nimrod’s musings and who are their muses?  What would they like?  What makes them click?  TP’s Muse board is visible/linked below.  It’s a living, breathing, WIP.  It’s the pink room in the attic all over again!   I wonder how my sister is doing?  I wonder what she’s thinking…

http://pinterest.com/sheltonspeller/tps-muse-board/

 

 

Copyright © 2012, 2013 by Elaine Maria Shelton Speller