the lights went out she cried
she left after the last cigarette
He counts the money
He puts on the expensive suit
Still can’t see the man
Hello remember us? Yes pen and paper. Remember how back in the day and it wasn’t too long ago mind you that we were all you needed to write. Remember how the most important thing as you, a notebook, and a pen?
All those songs you wrote, all those poems you wrote and somewhat plays bad as the dialogue was and it was bad dude believe me. With just us there was nothing that could stop you. You were so proud of having us and we were proud to be yours. You were just a writer with nothing but ideas for what seem to be for days and days and you were happy
Now here you are worrying about well I don’t have a laptop, I don’t have this kind of software, I don’t have that kind of software and everybody wants this and that. Now you’re stressing yourself going into coffee shops and places looking at people with all their latest gadgets and you feel inadequate are you for real right now?
We are here to remind you that if pen and paper was good for the masters of literature back then it’s good enough for you now. If we were good enough for you on this journey when you started we are still good enough for now, so would you please stop sweating the small stuff?
On another note despite technology and such you’ll be happy to know we’re nit going anywhere anytime soon
All you need
Gusting winds blow leaves
Off now trees cold and bare
Chicago winter is here
Middle of the night
Now Lord it’s time for that talk
I have been avoiding
Writing is first and far most pen and paper. Sometimes I go in a coffee shop, and look at people with their laptops and tablets and I get self conscious about not having the things that I feel I need to be a writer or feel writer-ly
Then it came to me there is mobile device, no smart phone, or computer that makes you feel like a writer. The three steps are simple
1. Get a pen
2. Get some paper
3. Sit in the chair and write
If pen and paper were good enough for the masters of the past it’s good for me. As a writer you deal with enough insecurities and self doubt as it is, so you really don’t need to add anything else to it that’s for sure
So what was I getting so uptight about? If I’m honest well it was just another excuse for me not just declaring this is what I do and I just need to get it out there show the world what I can do. If I’m honest it was another excuse to mask the fear of the lack of confidence I was having in myself
If Shakespeare were sitting in front of me now he’d probably pop me upside the head, hold both pen and paper up to my face saying “kid you have all you need right here and up here” he’d finish pointing at my forehead.
Jaded to the blank page
Jaded to find the words
Blank page saying… I’m just that
A blank page
Why are you mad at me for? you’re the one that’s afraid let out you’re real feelings down. I never asked to compare yourself to the geniuses or now if there is such a thing
I’m … just… a blank…. page. The words are in your head, the feelings are in your head
so do something
light a candle
say a prayeR
Scream, yell, jazz the moon
because when it’s all said and done, I’m still going to be here
saying the same thing, it’s up to you, it’s on you to make something out of me… so pull it out
I read in an article on The Write Practice website, a place that I find to be very helpful by the way, it’s not your job as a writer to write the perfect sentence quit trying to . There was something about this little sentence that somehow struck me deep inside.
For the longest time I thought everything in the page had to be perfect, afterall you call yourself a writer right?, and if you want to walk in the hallowed halls of writer- dom like the greats you have got be like them perfect. Perfect in every word, perfect in every aentence, every puctuation and comma because after you’re a writer right? So if it’s not perfect than it’s garbage
What this article went to talk about was this need for perfectionism in writing how everything has to be just right. This is what had caused a many a writers block for me and self doubt oh Lord the self doubt. It told I don’t have to be perfect. I can write terrible I can write stupid make up anything I want to.
Look I am a writer but I am not and I repeat am not a walking dictionary I don’t know every word in the dictionary let alone always know the right word for the right occasion. I don’t need to be the voice for society that can’t express itself. I haven’t read all the classics that is required reading. I don’t go around quoting lines from famous poems and authors what a boring life that would be.
I give myself permission to write crap, champ trash and just plain stuff that don’t make a luck of sense. I give myself permission to not always rely on the muse to come whisper in my ear those perfect lines that make women want to love me crazy. Didn’t work in high school and hasn’t been so lucky for in me in my adult years.
This wasn’t my son, but it could have been my child. I won’t go over how tragic the lost of this little boy’s life is because it’s evident. What has gone wrong in our communities? Why is our children, whom we are building a future for or supposed to building a future for being lost in such senseless violence? Homes broken, fathers as well mothers absent. I’ve no idea if that’s the case in this little boy, but someone lured this little boy into an alley and executed him in cold blood. Someone cut down a life that had a future. This little boy wasn’t my son but he could have been and I don’t even have children.
Tyshawn Lee and other children like him in the world will be in our minds for awhile we will mourn them, get angry and protest, but will it really make us rise and take back the street and neighborhoods of our city? Didn’t we learn our lesson from Sandy Brook elementary just three years ago?
As adults whether we have children or not do we take into consideration the world we’re making today , and how it will affects their tomorrow because it is their future when we are gone.. People the violence has to stop. Fathers you have to fathers to your children they look to you to be an example of strong leadership and provision. Mothers your children need your love , affection, nurturing and guidance more than ever in times like these. Black communities your future is in your hands. You must become sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired times ten of your homes and places you live being overran with crime and drugs, and senseless acts of violence like this. Do you want to have more Tyshawn Lees?
The day Tyshawn Lee died a future doctor who could have found the cure for cancers, a future political leader who could have ushered new laws to make better the lives of not just a community but perhaps a state or a nation, a future lawyer who would champion the rights of those who can’t fight for themselves and so many other possibilities died with him how many more will join him so unwillingly?
So now where do we go from here? Guns need to be brought off the streets and out of the hands of the people who’ve no business with them but we already know that. We already know what gun violence brings more violence more Tyshawn Lees and others like him. This wasn’t my son but it could have been. Our children the inheritance that we are leaving for the world is dying to know what will we do to keep them safe. God please wake us up to that fact