Big Bang of Brotherhood

Me and David, my big brother from another mother (and from the Bronx), were laughing about how we met … our Big Bang of Brotherhood.

He was behind the camera at a Bay Area TV show, as I was interviewed about my magazine, Genetic Dancers: magazine for/about the Artistry Within African/American Fathers, which I published from 1985 to 1988.

After the show, this buff, former U.S. Marine got right in my face. Reached out his hand to shake mine.

We need to talk Brother!

We swapped numbers and I pledged to holler. I did NOT holler. Quiet as it’s kept, I was intimidated by this dude who’d walked point in Vietnam and who intro’d himself with ONLY his last name.

Months passed. I was attending an MLK celebration in front of SF city hall.

I thought you was going call me brother!?

In that huge crowd, ONLY destiny could have bumped us into each other! First thought: Why I gotta meet up with this dude who spoke more like a pissed off power forward shouting, ‘AND ONE,’ than Dr. King intoning I have a dream!

Of course, we got together. Close to 40 years later, we’re the beneficiaries of sincere, emotional and political conversations, creative collaborations, teamwork through various crises and during fierce games of basketball when we could both run all day, meals and meals and meals (both he and his Beloved burn baby burn in the kitchen!).

He even loaned me $$ once during one of my crises, and when I took a bit too long to repay, he called me.

I love you brother. It’s time to repay me.

I think my rent suffered that month, but I repaid this individual — with visions dancing in my head of a horse head in my bed.

David is one of many brothers beyond biology whose kindness and instruction and invigoration pulse with the frequency of life. They are embodied mantras. Virtuoso meditation partners. Voices of mediation and medication.

And I can remember the exact moment when we met, the exact experience that consolidated us into brotherhood buoyed by candor, laughter, honesty, encouragement, and generosity. Ethical He said/He said!

life life

this season  life  life
this need   life   life
this season
this need
this crying season
this laughing need
this peter this man this fool
need this season need this need
need this life need this foolishness

when he cry   human
when he he laugh   human
morning out the pores
night between the hands
30-year-old vinyl echoes circulate his blood
daily stamina of beauty
recreate sound beyond instinct
this moment
poised with paradox in the back pocket of his humanity
years of gratitude dancing in the near sight eyes
need this season need this need
need this life need this foolishness

I wish you clarity about the DNA of your friendships. I’d love to see video interviews with men about the aha moment they chose to be friends and brothers from another mother

— for life.

BONUS EXCERPT from my book, Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right,’ WINNER, 2015 AMERICAN BOOK AWARD: “… In his essay, “Love and the Enemy,” from his book, Flyboy in the Buttermilk, Greg Tate inspires me, and reminds us all, that “any liberation or empowerment strategy that doesn’t grow out of love, in its most constructive, critical, and compassionate senses, is useless.”  Tate then throws it down: “The warriors we need to step forward now aren’t the confrontational kind, but healers. Folk who know how to reach into where we really hurt, to the wounds we can’t see and that nobody likes to talk about. If Black male leadership doesn’t move in the direction of recognizing the pain and trauma beneath the rage … if we don’t exercise our capacity to love and heal each other by digging deep into our mutual woundedness, then what we’re struggling for is merely the end of white supremacy — and not the salvaging of its victims.” Sidewalk, I’m talking about. The sidewalks of our lives, where we walk on the way to work, to school, where we carry our emotional lunch money, run up on a long-lost partner from high school, reconnect with formative friends from young adulthood, where we just us, living our lives substantially and without sensationalism, one day at a time, as fathers, workers, lovers, inventors, uncles, and play brothers, making pancakes from scratch for our kids, temporarily holding a job we can’t stand, finding contentment in the arms of a round-the-way lover, just doing the damn thing as humane companions for children, women, other men.…”

2 thoughts on “Big Bang of Brotherhood”

  1. Peter, this is Dave’s Mini-Me, and Your Brother by Extension. Real Friends are Few, Real Brothers are Fewer, and Soul Mates are the most rare. Our Mom and Dad taught us to recognize genuine people and also taught us that there are very few “real friends” who you will encounter in life. Dave “knew” you and it was and is that “knowing” that permeates your mutually beneficial relationship, and dictates that you both hold the other accountable for honoring that relationship.
    The fact that you, the Wordsmith, have given “Voice” to your friendship further honors both you and Dave. Good expression My Man!!! BTW, I too have a “brother from another mother”, Sam Little, and our mutually beneficial and accountable relationship turns 50 in October 2022. So our Mom and Dad taught us well. MORAGNE [East Coast].

  2. This is a beautiful love letter to brotherhood, fatherhood, manhood and love in general. Usually stereotyped and confined. Loving this Love Unlimited! Loving brothers loving !!


Leave a Comment