I feel like bustin loose! Sky on my brow. Wind on my breath. Backbeat in every flash of insight. With each breath, scared only that I aint metabolizing each moment through my richest vitality.
Bloodstone called it a natural high, soaring effortlessly as love blossoms, as the hope of love blossoms.
I call it a self=knowing so ferocious, so delicious, I am fueled to ask: tell me what you know about it!
I feel so DELICIOUS – 44 years after publishing my first poem in the Black Scholar magazine in 1978, 13 years after starting the Black Man of Happiness Project in 2010.
I feel so FEROCIOUS – advocating for myself as a pioneer in the artistic and intellectual – and public – exploration of Black Joy and Happiness.
I’m churning, sifting, reflecting years of study, meditation, and observation. Radiating a sure, hard-earned joy with the force of maturity, confidence, and imagination.
I feel so RESILIENT – embodying my devotion to mastering the tools – the Inspiration Specs – of cultural innovation.
I refuse to allow my regrets to define me. I embrace the scars of my mistakes and failures and disappointments.
My very existence pulses to a deep internal backbeat. I’m not groping anymore. I’m a walking strategy, rhythmic, uncensored self-expressed repaving the sidewalks of my life.
Joyfully, it’s resonating for others as well. This year, from April-June 2023, I’ll be in residency at The Nicholson Project in my hometown of D.C.
So you know a GoGo beat got to start off this new year!
Welcome to Year 5 of Wreaking Happiness!
Five years of monthly meditations on joy from a D.C. public-school ambassador celebrating 50 years since graduating from Ballou Senior High.
Five years integrating and braiding my distinctive pain and pleasure into a diction of genuine emotions, spiritual fulfillment, and intimacy with the immaterial!
Five years of considered concentration from – say what!? – a Black man brazen on the tightrope, on the lifeline, of his happiness!
Five years seeking to keep the party grooving like one of Prince’s True Funk Soldiers!
Five years of offering a haven, finding a haven, in trust beyond my senses, even as I strive to explore ideas, mine and others, that humble and inspire us into contributing our distinctive ways to make beauty on Planet Earth – this mighty world of implacable
I’ll Always Be Your Haven
I’ll always be your haven
your portable Bobby Byrd
I’ll always be familiar path
your lean-to on high plateau
in pouring rain
when clouds soak your Sunday Best
when shearing winds part your hair
I’ll always be fleece
your down-beating hiding place
your worst side’s best spotlight
when trauma leaves you unprotected
you can break down with no game
curl your dramatic fidgeting
against my mentholated chest
when demons stir your fever
tightrope into lifeline
Homeboy into Walkboy
okie doke into substantiation
BONUS EXCERPT from my book, Black Man of Happiness: In Pursuit of My ‘Unalienable Right,’ WINNER, 2015 AMERICAN BOOK AWARD:
“Plus, being the D.C. Homeboy that I will always remain, The Black Man of Happiness just sounds right! I hope young men, especially, will find it liberating and invigorating that a grown-ass man speaks candidly about himself with confidence and vulnerability, with respect and tough-love, with honesty and hopefulness. Given what my experiences have taught me, I cannot Man Up without the fullest range of all of my emotions. I cannot wear a mask and arrive at an authentic masculinity of emotional honesty, personal vocabulary, and genuine whole living… I best honor the legacies of forefathers by
illuminating the life and lessons of one cultural worker, internalizing the timeless values of my elders, accepting their baton, and swaying enthusiastically to their hymns calling for the creation of beauty that will help heal the wounds of my brothers. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve earned my expertise. I’ve found my stride…..” https://blackmanofhappiness.com/shop/