Anonymous asked:

Dear Dr. Heron, can I sail thru the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?

I’ve been afraid of changes. For a long time, probably. You get comfortable doing a certain thing. You get comfortable surviving. You get comfortable being less than happy, and eventually you stop knowing whether or not you’re allowed to want more, or if this is just life. You remind yourself of how grateful you are for where you are and who you are and the things you feel like you might be capable of. But you spend so much time building your life around you(rself) and then one day there’s someone else standing there — and you just have to jump off a cliff and hope you’re able to finish growing up on the way down.

So if I can handle the seasons of my life — time has made me bolder — I think you’re probably getting older, too…

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Ask Niles: I’ll come up with a catchy title, one day, but first….

Family, Friends, Followers, Tumblr —

I’m hoping to do an I’m-not-holier-than-thou advice column that actually acknowledges race and sexuality and societal norms… our position as leaders and followers and participants in a world transforming under our fingertips care of this digital revolution… our position as lovers in a world not teaching us healthy or reasonable expectations and standards and outlooks on our relationships with each other and the world… I just want to talk about how we can all do better, and the things that hold us back. And the hurdles we don’t know how to clear. And the things that make us remember happiness is worth fighting for. Myself included.

My goal is to find a outlet to publish these one day, maybe, but I have to prove I can write a compelling advice column first. Which means I need people to ask questions. If you could share - tweet - repost - reblog the above, or the below, I’d appreciate it. I need to cast a wide net and get some people to engage with me…

Life, work, relationships, writing, reading, love, hate, want, need, thirst, hunger, full-filled. Let’s talk.

Ask anonymously, or put your name on it.

www.nilesheron.com/ask




[[ An example of someone who asked me for some advice a few weeks ago: "I don’t know how to make ‘I’m Sorry’ matter…." ]]

Anonymous asked:

Your bio says you are teacher, are you a true educator, like in school?

I am not a teacher, in an academic school. I sort-of teach Kung Fu. I have lead classes on poetry before. In my bio what I mean is to say that I’m a student (from people, circumstances, culture, world around me) and a teacher in the same sense. Someone somewhere is learning from my actions and thoughts and words. I’m trying to make sure I hold myself accountable to that, because bad teachers ruin students perceptions of topics. 

Quote Iconi am a pen
with a bullet in the
chamber

i am a black boy
burning a book
about history

i am a black boy
painting new colors
on a flag —

it didn’t match
my shoes, red’s and whites
only remind me bloods and angels
I don’t know how to pray to, and I
don’t believe in that
purple predecessor.

i am a spectrum of sunkissed
skintones, calloused and weathered
and stress-tested

those of us who survive the firing squad
are fileted, and
skinned, and worn

they say, the first man who wears
a nigger’s skin, inherits his
rhythm. and the blues he spent so long
running away from will lay
by his headstone.

Anonymous asked:

Has anybody asked you why you're so damned fine?

Nah, but I give all the credit to God and my parents. Good genes have given me more than a life’s worth of donuts have destroyed.

I’m grateful that anyone can look at me and smile, and it only takes the one person who makes you smile back to make you “fine,” where it matters.

Thank you. I’m blushing. I would lie about it, but I’m really lightskinned, so it wouldn’t work. You’d see it anyway.

keepingupthefeathers asked:

Thank you for your beautiful words. I'm also from metro Detroit area and I'm so proud to know of a local artist whose words are so profound that they speak to me like they were meant for me. That's what great poetry does. Always, I thank you.

You’re so welcome. I feel like I should thank you, though, not the other way around. I’m still getting used to the intersection between writing only for myself, and letting the fact that I know people might read something I write unduly influence what I’m writing… (people like politically bleached topics like love more than charged and still bleeding ones like race or patriarchy or classism — many would rather read 10 words than 100)… 

It is so gratifying when my attempts at staying honest and directed towards my goals is a format and path that works for someone else. I’m humbled. Thank you.

Detroit vs. Everybody. 

Anonymous asked:

During a very trying moment I came on your blog and read your work. You gave me clarity that I wouldn't have found in any place else. Thank you for pulling me out of the darkness with your words. Love, an admiring poet.

I’m so grateful that you were able to find anything in my attempts at documenting my own searches and losses and losts and founds. 

Thank you for bearing with me. I’m glad we get to grow and chase lighter things together.

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Bridge to Somewhere (freewrite 7.13.14)

even with hands built
to carry peace
over troubled waters,
i am only steel and
concrete; only submerged pillars
breaching, desperately reaching
toward heaven so
painfully accustomed to coming up short —
misdirected suspended roads,
i am a bridge to nowhere unless
I have your shores
to land on and name
destiny.

anill-followedplan:

OMMMGGGGGGGG I CAN NOT STAND IMAGES LIKE THIS! 

i get the point but THAT IS NOT WHAT MY CITY LOOKS LIKE!

IT

LOOKS

LIKE

THIS

AND

THIS

do we have areas of blight? absolutely. do we have more blight than other major cities? absolutely. is poverty a real issue in some of our neighborhoods?  absolutely.

BUT THE BLIGHT PORN THAT WE HAVE TIME MAGAZINE TO THANK FOR NEEDS TO STOP.  THOSE IMAGES IN NO WAY EMPOWER DETROIT OR ITS CITIZENS.  THOSE IMAGES TEAR US DOWN.  THOSE IMAGES LET US KNOW THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD THINKS THAT NO ONE VALUES OUR WORTH AND THAT WE DONT HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER.  THOSE IMAGES PAINT A PICTURE OF A PLACE THAT NEEDS A SAVIOR.  WE DO NOT NEED A FUCKING SAVIOR.  WE NEED NEW BUSINESSES. WE NEED YOUNG PROFESSIONALS.  WE NEED TO WORK OUR WAY THROUGH THIS BANKRUPTCY AND OUR OTHER INFRASTRUCTURAL CHALLENGES.  WE NEED NEW HOME OWNERS AND WE NEED YOUNG FAMILIES AND WE NEED ALL OF THE THINGS THAT ANY CITY NEEDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL.

we are not a charity case.  we are a city with a rich history. we are a city that has had Black leadership in our businesses, municipality, and organizations for decades.  we are a city that is passionate and fiercely protective of our own. we are a city that is recovering from industrialism and trying to figure out how we will transform and who we will become.  we are large enough to fit San Francisco, Boston and Manhattan at the same time and we are working to cover the hundreds of thousands of people across that huge space. support us. lift us up. visit us. move here. but dont perpetuate stereotypes and stigma that make us out to be uninhabited and uncared for.

I don’t usually reblog, but when I do, it’s usually something really important like this.

(Source: america-wakiewakie)

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freewrite 7.11.14

I love you, but maybe
it’s that I love the way
you love me,
baby, maybe
the way you reached up for me like
I was suspended in the sky, held the back
of my neck like I was made of clouds, and
kissed my face like your mouth
was a mut, mixed from mustard seeds and
the kinds of mountains people climb
to separate themselves from mere mortals.
you took a chisel to your chest,
split your sternum,
spread yourself open, and
told me I wouldn’t have to
use cardboard signs and street corners
to mine blessings
anymore, the way you
looked in my eyes
birthed me whole
from homeless.

I look at you and see my mortal leave
and my lover —
teeth and also your lips,
claws but also your hands, the palms
that showed me what could happen
if I just trusted and prayed.
I see all of the parts of you
that they see, and the reasons
they are too afraid to catch you
when you jump into their arms, we
are such a delicate balance of want and
need and fight
and
flail, it’s hard
to feel like feathers and
freedom could ever be the product
of our exponent

It might take the rest of our lives
to let this love stand
still, but I will wait
as long as you will
and if this kills me
I will have died for
you, they laugh when I tell them
that lions
are people too

Quote Iconi am a pen,
with a bullet in the chamber
i am a black boy
reading a book
about God.

i am a black boy
writing a book
about all of the times I’ve failed.

i am a sinner
standing on the corner
looking to the sky,
trying to carve a dream
from the clouds

i would give any of my things
to have anything
worth crying that i
cannot hold.