Anonymous asked:

When did you start writing poetry?

I grew up in a home full of writers. 

I think some people know every day that they are growing up that they are going to be what they are growing into. Some have the luxury of really just walking down the road to the market and coming back with milk. Most days I pity them… Until it’s one of those specific days when I feel extra spun around and don’t know which way is up or down, and don’t know what direction to write in let alone what to write about, or that I should be writing more my name and the date on the top of a blank page I don’t know why I stole, or how to spell my name, or what the date is…. Then I really envy people who are doing what they always knew they’d be doing.

All I ever really knew was that it wasn’t going to be me — writing. And then I woke up one day and I was 16, in a creative writing class during my junior year in high school, and the poetry section started. My teacher, Robin Moten, showed us “Slam Nation” and I got to watch Saul Williams and Beau Sia and Jessica Care Moore and muMs da Schemer represent the Nuyorican Cafe / NYC at the National Poetry Slam. Taylor Mali and is “Like Lily, Like Wilson’ poem. Saul’s Pickininey Children and Aunt Jemimah and Uncle Ben shooting at them. I was hooked. It was like a light switch got turned on. Mostly on Saul, and most of my early writing really reflects that point of inspiration. Young writing (still problematic), and more attempts at wordplay than attempts at meaning, some times (and still).

But I knew that I was saying something. I knew that it was important — if only for me.

I won the poetry contest/slam we had in that class. And the one the next class had (they invited me back). A few slams and some wins here and there, and a lot of stages and mics have helped me grow into who I am. As did a long break from mics and stages, which happened after I decided that I was winning or doing well in slams because I was a better performer than a writer (the opposite is now true, and performing isn’t as fun as it used to be — but I’m trying to get back).

I spent the next decade or so often living, sometimes writing about it, and trying to figure out how to write more and more and more for _me_ while not being more and more and more open to the world. It’s been exhausting, and incredible, and hopefully I’m just getting started. 

Ask your questions here

Anonymous asked:

Who is your favorite Pokemon? ;)

I worked security for an anime and cosplay convention in downtown Detroit a few weeks ago. It was a wild ass experience for me. I think I saw 5-7 Ash Ketchum’s and fiddylevum Missy’s. There were Pikachu costumes people had purchased prefab, and homegrown costume versions of many other PokeDex entries. 

It made me wonder a lot about whether or not people who do this are dressing up or dressing down… These people were having more fun than I can remember ever having (which might be a indicator of my own pathology and personal hurdles and stuff), but for most of the convention I couldn’t tell *exactly how* these con-goers were enjoying themselves in this weird-real-world-alternate-reality. That is to say, I couldn’t tell if putting their costumes on gave them the separation, or it was that this was actually them, and after however many months or years since their last opportunity to do this, they were finally taking their costumes _off_.

From a security place, it was a nightmare… A bunch of people dressed up like characters that I either 1) can’t readily describe to my colleagues in the case of an incident, or 2) who have the same exact outfit as seven other people in your general area. [_Try telling someone on the other side of a convention center to be on the look out for one of the Lara Croft’s — the one who ISN’T pulling the costume off…_ See how good you feel about yourself, or how well they understand you…]

Anyway. These aren’t the answers you were looking for. 

I was a Generation I pokemon player, and don’t know anything beyond about 150, in any honesty. I gravitated toward Psychic or Ice because they felt so unreasonably strong.

Favorite Pokemon: Alakazam / Lapras / MewTwo.

:)

Ask your questions here

Anonymous asked:

why are you so smug?


"Smug"

(/sməg/)

Adjective
Having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements.

Synonyms
self-satisfied - complacent - conceited

(-_- )

Me? Oh. Welp. Following is optional in every medium (unless you’re a blood relative, in which case: “Sorry, guys.”).

And I have even more great news (see next graph):

Un-following me, this week only, is on sale. We’re actually giving out FREE TRIALS, down from the normal price of $0.38 with a $0.38 instant rebate. So you know. Do what you have to do, I guess.

Jokes aside. I really struggle with my self-confidence. I wish that it made more sense to me, or came more naturally. The truth is I’m kind of always surprised when people read, like, follow, tweet, text, call, hang out. Well. Not the first time, because sometimes people think I’m pretty. But the second time, when I haven’t scared them off, I’m always really surprised.

And then I look in the mirror afterwards, do this, and say nice things to myself.

Joking.

(Not joking.)

notthatchick asked:

Where does the bulk of your inspiration come from? Are you rendered sweet by the colors of the dawn? Vulnerable at the scent of a woman's perfume? Emotional when you think about all the stars that we can't see? Do you get your exigence from religion? Do you inspire yourself, maybe narcissistic, maybe just self-sustainable? What inspires you to feel, to write, to move, to listen, to speak, to sing, to love, and experience?

Hey. I meant to answer this a long time ago, but I never got to it. There’s just so much here to talk about.

I’m going to just take that first question and do my best for you:

The bulk of my inspiration comes from the foolish part(s) of me. It’s really easy to let the world strip you of your dice-roll. I am willing to rabbit-hole with the thought that illogical hope and dreams and love will happen, here. I don’t put money on it, because I’m not rich enough to do that, but I try to write from a place of risk. I try to ask myself “what would it be like if I were all-in on this hand?”

I come up short so often… It feels like… I try, but I fail, a lot. I write safe things instead of scary things, a lot. I don’t say that I think she’s wonderful, enough, and I also tell her more than I probably should because I’m used to having to convince people to stay. I don’t let silence hang and breathe, enough — I try to fill it with things that makes truth less awkward and some times that silence would probably turn into poetry, if I’d let it. I don’t know.

The bulk of my inspiration comes from all the things that I’m convinced will convince people that I’m crazy if I say out loud; the things I’m just too crazy to keep quiet.

Anonymous asked:

are your current love poems about the same woman?

In a relationship. Engaged. Single. It’s complicated. In an open relationship… Okay, I’m gonna keep it really really real with you, Anonymous. I’m just listing Facebook relationship status options.

But honestly, the last one kind of works. My pen is in an “open relationship” with the people that inspire it (and by pen, I mean, keyboard, because I’m a generation whatever-the-hell-we-are-they-have-called-us-eleventy-different-things and I grew up with a computer and my hand hurts if I write for too long; which is to say if you ever get a handwritten note from me we go together — it’s time to break up with that bout-to-be-ex-boyfriend, these poems are for YOU now).

A lot of the love poems I write are about want, or desire. About the things that I hope to see with people, in people, of people, through time spent with people, between… (heavy ellipses, and other prepositions too). My want is definitely motivated by real people. When I tell you about hands creeping across my chest, I know what those hands look like. When I tell you that she has a GPS-reserved parking spot, my arm wrapped like I’m afraid she’ll leave, with her head below my clavicle and above my heart, I know who’s lips are kissing my chest in that scene… So that sort of answers your question, right?

You know when you’re sitting across from someone, and they’re talking. They’re probably saying something relatively innocuous, but you care, and yet they are drowning out to the actual sight of them talking? And you sit there and think to yourself, “well, shit; I could just watch them talk about anything…" I write about her. A lot of my writing comes from residual inspiration I get left with from the times I got flustered because some she asked me why I was smiling at her. It probably wouldn’t be a problem, but this she has finished talking, and now I’m just sort of smiling with my head slightly off center looking creepily out at her silence. Staring, basically. Not cool, Niles. The point is that it’s a fair and valid question, and the truth of it is that right here is when I should tell her that I think she’s awesome, but instead I just say some dumb shit like: “Oh, what, a thug can’t smile now? 2013 is some bullshit.” (She laughs, I dodge a bullet, but if I would have just told the truth, I might have been too happy to write a damn poem about it). I get in my way. I also digress.

Other poems that I write are about real women, who have really changed my life, who really have given me palpable examples of what my or their love looks and feels and tastes and smells and hurts like… who have shown me where love stack-ranks in their lives or mine and whether or not our mixture was potent enough to overcome the obstacles (spoiler alert: nah, man — but we cool, though).

I don’t know if that answers the question, so I’m going to try one more time.

No, not all my poems are about the same woman. Yes, some of them are. Yes, some of them have been about others. All of them are about someone. Probably. I am motivated by reality, but my writing is also a product of my own imagination, which has awesome magical powers like projection and alchemy wherein I can combine things I want but can’t or won’t have with things I have but can’t or won’t share, and sometimes the byproduct is poetry.

Ask Niles A Question

Anonymous asked:

Do you date?

Yes, but I never know if I’m doing it right…

It’s kind of stressful, actually.

One day you’re you, and then that same day at dinner, or drinks, or coffee, or at an art gallery, or walking through the city or maybe beachside, or on a picnic (which is really anywhere you have lunch),

or in a movie, or doing something else that people do on dates

(what do people do on dates?)… I digress… Sorry, Anonymous.

Anyway, you woke up a normal person, with dreams and hopes and intentions (hell and heaven bound), and now later, on that same day, you’re sitting across from this new person who has all of these lists and expectations of who you are and how close to their dream man you stack-rank. The conversation is surface level because no one wants to go there on a first date, and the entire time you’re just really wishing you had ordered Saba Nigiri (you saw it on the menu, idiot — what are you doing?) or that you had gone and seen the James Bond movie (because you can’t stop laughing at stuff that isn’t supposed to be funny in Gangster Squad), or that all ants everywhere would die forever because you’re so focused on the fact that they are getting in the hummus that you didn’t realize until right now that she has a fucking incredible smile…

And now there are ants in the hummus dip, and she notices, and stops smiling.

But you saw her smile, and now that thing kind of matters to you? But you didn’t know that she had a traumatic childhood experience with ants and hummus, and she had been able to overlook the hummus out of courtesy (she was working through it), but with ants added to the equation it just reminds her of the war in Grenada and it’s now time to go.

You just want her to smile again, though. So now you’re making a fool of yourself, chit-chatting yourself right out of any chance you might have had at a second date. Your saving grace is maybe she pities you.

Alternatively, you can avoid all of the above and just watch NBA TV. Yeah. So….

Remember when I said “It’s kind of stressful actually?”

What I meant was…

Shit is Scressful, bruh.

Anonymous asked:

I have just discovered your poems. And thank you. What process do you go through in your writing?

I’m not sure why you’re thanking me, but I’m grateful that you’re here. Thank you for your time (even if I can’t count it), and your eyes (even if I can’t see them), and your critique (even if you never share it). Thank you for letting me write to you.

I don’t always understand my process. It feels like there’s fire involved. Sometimes it feels like I walk around; alive-ish and definitely ablaze. Feels like the writing is just me trying to document things before they become ash. It’s always a race; always a struggle.

Write it down before it’s gone. Write it down before they leave. Write it down so maybe she’ll stay; so maybe she’ll love you; so maybe she’ll learn you; so maybe you’ll remember yourself after you change.

Usually, when I walk past the mirror these days, I’m looking at someone who I don’t quite recognize, and who I desperately want to know. We’re moving so fast, here. I want to keep up with myself. I don’t want to lose my location becoming this man I’m becoming. The thought that I might be worth the things that I pray about is scary, and the thought that someone might pray about being worth me is scarier.

For all of my fears, and prayers, and hopes, and scars, and pasts, and futures… My process boils down to one thought:

"Don’t die before you tell them why you were living."

Anonymous asked:

Hey homie why are you so obsessed with @NaimaPixie ?

Because Naima is awesome. She’s smart, and witty, and really pretty. She and I have talked, and topics have ranged from: Love and the lack thereof, to hope and the dreams thereof, and David Foster Wallace (she introduced me to him), and reasons my poems miss their mark sometimes, and Walt Whitman (a shared fav), and lineage, and E. Ethelbert Miller, and Marvin Bell, and Ice Cream, and God, and Baudelaire (who I still haven’t read).

That’s why, Anonymous… That’s why. Also, I like larger-than-normal foreheads. It’s indicative of a large brain, I think… Right?

Ask Niles A Question?

Anonymous asked:

How's the search for the natural haired woman who likes poetry, has a great smile, owns multiple sundresses, and will give me back rubs on the regular going?

I’m working on it. My eyes are wide open.

The only real must-have’s on this list are ‘likes poetry’ and ‘great smile’ (above and beyond the un-quantifiable ability to inspire me) — Added points are available for nice natural hair, sundresses, back rubs, good cooking, great taste in music, etc.

The search continues. She’s out there, though, right?

Ask Niles A Question?

Anonymous asked:

How awesome is Kid Fury?

Kid Fury is one of the better humans on earth. He’s hilarious, which is undeniably influences my feelings, but beneath the layer of shade that he calls his ‘skin,’ he’s the the type of humble and genuine person that I am grateful to call a friend… The kind of person I hope my kids get to meet, or grow up to be. If you never knew him as Kid Fury, I’d still call want to be able to call him a friend by some other name… I have no doubt that he’s going to go on to be some new kind of great, that we haven’t seen for him yet. I’m excited about it.

(Disclaimer: My affectionate stance on KidFury is in no significant way influenced by the fact that he has been trying to find me a natural haired woman who likes poetry, has a great smile, owns multiple sundresses, and will give me back rubs on the regular. That said, he’s also awesome for that… How’s the search coming, Fury?)

Ask Niles A Question?

Anonymous asked:

Do you believe in soulmates?
Lionel

7 billion, or whatever we’re up to, is a huge number. It’s bigger than I can conceptualize.

I spend a good amount of time (probably the nature of most poets, especially those who are as fascinated by the concept of love as I am) thinking about questions at least related to yours… who is for who? I am for her, she is for we? Etc.

Logistically, I accept that I might not ever understand the mechanisms by which we are brought into and out of each other’s lives. I’m struggling enough just to know when to talk less, when to kiss more, when to back up, and how to do all of those things without descending into the game playing that happens (unfortunately, sometimes) while we try to make ourselves fit in and around someone else’s life and/or body.

But these are the questions that life is about right?

Are our souls made in two’s? Are we born to live a life of which the point is that we walk the earth until we find each other again?

What is it about her, specifically, that makes me willing to dive, so quickly, into crazy?

It’s a lot.

There is a random element to this “separation” that makes it difficult for me to buy into, or wait for. What if my soul mate lived in Laos, or rural and decrepit Cambodia? What if she died already of malnutrition? I’d like to think my soul mate would support a free Tibet… What if she died trying to protect a monastery? Am I just out of luck until the next go round, even though I love my martyr more now than I knew I could?

Is this whole system such that it was designed by a God who lives and directs from above or below us? Has He/She/it chosen someone who is “best” for us. That said deity has chosen us for each other would seem to mean that we have been given the opportunity to cross paths and recognize our futures in the freckles on her face, or the warmth behind his eyes. That the trials and tribulations that we all walk through are not only so that we might learn to live towards a salvation after life, but that we might find our salve here on earth, too, in her(him). That’s comforting… I guess…

I don’t know.

I believe in the power of pairs.

By that I mean that I think that many of us were built such that we are better when not alone. Maybe not everyone, but I know I am my best when I’m not just me.

I think we all live this life colliding with people. We see what fits, we learn what it feels like when it does, and we spend the rest of the time trying to burn away memories of when it doesn’t…

(I know that my past will not spoil me [who I am] for her [why I am], but I worry that where I have been will manifest itself as undue burden for us [what we are]).

…I don’t know that I believe that of all of the people that I crash into, that there will be a perfect fit. Further, I don’t know if I want that relationship. I think there is a beauty in the work and compromise that we make when we want to fit with someone bad enough. I think that’s what makes relationships fantastic. Those moments when you look at someone and you realize what they may have given up for you, that you are worth that to them, that they love you and don’t hold against you the places you don’t fit. That you evaluate all of the reasons they were worth whatever you gave up, and not who gave up more, because it’s not a competition.

/end rant.

Answer to your question: I don’t know, but I believe in people that are worth working for. I believe in people that can make you happier than you know how to be. I believe in people worth dying for. I believe in people worth changing, moving, living, loving, melting for.

I believe that love is what happens when someone inspires our soul to grow… to expand enough to wrap them up, and keep them safe.

What do you believe?