Thursday, December 29, 2005

From an artist...

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I painted this woman after meeting her in my dreams. I awoke one morning having literally tasted the air she breathed. This woman who lived over a hundred years ago blessed me with the opportunity to witness how she lived, struggled, loved and even died. How could I not put her image to canvas considering the way in which she came into my life. I thought God was playing a funny trick on me or maybe my boy, Byron hypnotized me because I'd cover my ears when somebody started lecturing me about sacrifices folks made years ago. Zenobia didn't have to explain her sacrifice; she showed me... Now my only question is why and what do I take from this experience? This has got to be about more than just inspiration, allowing me to paint with more realism. What Zenobia has given to me and even to my art is a life... and even love but where do I go with it?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Monday, December 26, 2005

Old Time Christmas Memories

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(A memory shared by family about Christmas time in Daingerfield, a small town in east Texas as told by George Rivers, the eldest son born to Lucy and Joe Rivers.)

Christmas wasn't much for us in east Texas. Only thing I seen that give me a different feeling about it was the change in weather. Those days we couldn't get much done. Working on the farm was always cut short 'cause of so much ice on the ground. Papa Joe just had all of us chopping wood and with five boys, by the end of the day we had enough firewood for a whole month. Once Joe seen all that wood we collected, he'd start to smile. He'd think about all those white folks close to town that be looking for firewood and willing to pay a lot of money for a healthy supply. Joe usually sneak off with the wood we done chopped and he take it to town and sell it. Then we dont see him for a couple days but just to be safe, we still do our chores and chop more wood. Joe a mean man when he seen stuff aint done the way he like it. I calls him Joe because, well that's his name but also because he dont respond to daddy or papa; at least not when it's me speaking them words. I'm the oldest and you would think the favorite but Joe ain't got a favorite with his boys. He hardly even look us in the eyes unless we do something he dont like.

I recall one particular Christmas where I got a little fed up with our family not having a nice time with a big dinner celebration. I didn't want for us to have to pile up in the wagon and ride to church for a Christmas meal like we always done before. Mind you, it was always good seeing family and friends there. Grandma Moriah own that church so the doors always open but for once, I wanted to see my family have a meal at home, sitting around our own table and mama saying the prayer before we eat. I decided, that's what we was gonna do so, there I was, taking the wagon by myself to the supply store about two miles up the road.

Mama Lucy yelled at me from the porch "George Rivers, where you going off to?"
"Gone to the store! I be back soon!" I told her.

Mama just shake her head and then go back in the house. I worked at other farms, tending to cattle, chopping wood, clearing brush. I did all I could to bring home some money 'cause I know what Joe make, he keeps most of to himself or spend on something that have nothing to do with the family. I felt like; being the oldest son I needed to be a man.

Once I made it to the supply store, I pulled out every last dollar I had in my pocket. I had enough to buy plenty and when I was done, I was a proud young man. I had about a quarter left and I stood there flippin it in the air without a care in the world. I could already imagine the look on mama's face when she see all this food she be able to cook. And my brother's be mighty happy to be drinking something other than water from the well.

My pride ended before I could lift myself back up into the wagon. I heard a deep familiar voice say my name and I liked to froze in my tracks. The quarter I was flippin in the air fall to the ground and that was the last I seen of it because I didn't pay it no mind any longer.

"Boy, what you doing over here?"

That voice belonged to Joe and he ain't sound too happy. I turned around and his eyes stared so hard at me I could barely see if they were open or closed. They just looked like two dark holes in his face. I didn't say a word as he come closer to the wagon and get off his horse.

"Where you get the money to pay for all this here?"

Joe tossed around the flour, sodas, and everything else he could reach for. A couple bottles broke open. My first thought was to put out my hand to try and prevent him from breaking more. Then as soon as Joe felt my hand touch his arm, he turned toward me with all his might and slapped me with his open hand. Joe was strong to where an open handed slap felt like heavy leather hitting you upside your head. I fell to the ground but I got right back up. Joe kicked and cursed at me. I defended myself by putting my hands up but then as I seen some white men come outside the store and start laughing, I swung back at Joe. I hit him, too. He backed up and glared at me. He told me to go back home. I stood still until I seen him get on his horse and head that way first. Those white men snickered as I tried to put all that I bought back inside the large sack they gave me inside the store. I didn't want nothing else to break. Once I got home, Joe was waiting for me but Mama was standing on the front porch too. I was bleeding from my right ear and my clothes were all dirty but I walked up those stairs and inside the house feeling proud of my sacrifice. If Joe couldn't do for his family what a man should do then as the oldest, I was gonna make sure this family enjoy what family's is supposed to have. Ain't no excuse for a man to think his responsibilities can wait while he go have fun. Me and Joe never talk again. We just stare and when words need to be shared, we speak through somebody else. Mama tells me what he say and I tells her. She dont like the anger in her house but Joe gone so much that he take that anger with him 'cause he the only one I ain't respect. Christmas felt a little better that night because we could stay home and eat at our own table... Mama say a prayer and she smile. My brothers, Virgil and Charlie pat me on the shoulder 'cause they sitting next to me. The others nod like they proud. Joe was somewhere else in the house or he could've been gone. It didn't much matter 'cause mama and us couldn't contain our joy, we had our own Christmas celebration... When mama said "amen," we all said it and this time we mean't it.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Part Two Of Lookin Back...

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1) Was 2005 a good year for you? For the most part despite the lows and losses, it was fabulous..

2) What was your favorite moment of the year? Tie between seeing the reaction of L. Dawg when I showed her the cover to My Life Is All I Have and the incredible feeling when Tee C. Royal let a lot of folks know that my epic story, Until Again is a future bonafide classic. Other moments come to mind as well(great walks, Sunset Blvd. closeness, meat pies in Natchitoches, La., walking and photographing New Orleans, and another visit to the St. Augustine Church near the Cane River) but those two moments are great things that will spill over into 2006 and will be attached to the success of those two incredible stories...

3) What was your least favorite moment of the year? Having to serve as pallbearer for my cousins funeral in the very same church that I once witnessed her get married. Nevertheless, both times I was proud to be her cousin..

4) Where were you when 2005 began? Standing outside under the moonlight eating some Ritz crackers until I heard a couple gunshots.... oops...

5) Who were you with? I was enjoying the company of me...

6) Where will you be when 2005 ends? Not quite sure yet...

7) Who will you be with when 2005 ends? Noise..

8) Did you keep your new years resolution of 2005? Yeah..

9) Do you have a new years resolution for 2006? Same as last years.. do better, look better, make somebody smile...

10) Did you fall in love in 2005? Hmmmm...perhaps deep like.. I tossed pebbles in an ocean of love but never did my rock hit the center and sink to the depths of the ocean... get to the point, right? lol...

11) If yes, with who? Hmmm... Its like I tossed

12) If yes, do they know? perhaps suspect the sincerity of my deep liketh-ness..

13) Are you still in love with them? I aint had a chance to hit that level yet...

14) You regret it? What's to regret?

15) Did you breakup with anyone in 2005? Nope..

16) Did you make any new friends in 2005? Yes...

17) Who are your favorite new friends? L Dawg, Big E., Eric Peete, Patrick

18) What was your favorite month of 2005? Can't remember..

19) Did you travel outside of the US in 2005? No.

20) How many different states have you traveled in 2005? Six

21) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2005? Any loss is too close for comfort...

22) Did you miss anybody in the past year? Yes.

23) What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2005? Crash

24) What was your favorite song from 2005? I'll Be Late by Kanye West

25) What was your favorite album from 2005? Late Registration by Kanye West

26) How many concerts did you see in 2005? memory lapse on concerts..

27) Did you have a favorite concert in 2005? same as above..

28) Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2005? Nope

29) Did you do a lot of drugs in 2005? No drugs.

31) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year? Nope

33) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2005? Dont believe in remembering someone else's lie.. I'd only be serving as the mirror to their stupidity...

34) Did you treat somebody badly in 2005? Probably but it was unintentional as I was blinded by that human quality of being in a bad mood and reacting out of anger... We always hurt the ones we dont wish to hurt when that sort of thing happens...

35) Did somebody treat you badly in 2005? Oh yesssss and they get the why-you-be-trippin-like-that sticker placed on their forehead!

36) How much money did you spend in 2005? Too much but it never hurted...

37) What was your proudest moment of 2005? Making someone happy without one second of thought about what I'd get in return.

38) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2005? Cant really remember...

39) If you could go back in time to any moment of 2005 what would it be? None because even those good moments were meant to be as long or as short as they were. I'm much more interested in seeing if the wisdom of time can allow for those moments to have much deeper meaning to the foundation that completes me...

40) What are your plans for 2006? Be hot like fire, flow like water, remain humble, stay sweet, be bad, be good, keep a sense of humor(I laugh at my moments of deepeth-ness though its always sincere and meant as food for thought/expressions of honest feelings), enjoy the journey, feel the disappointments, celebrate the achievements, support and champion others, live good and keep those blessings warm..

Thanks to Alli for this creative exercise in lookin back... *smile*

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Year In Review of sorts..


The hands of time move so fast that it makes a lot of things blurry. As I adjust the focus during the last few days of 2005, I notice a few folks who dont take the time to appreciate or recognize sincerity when it's rubbing their shoulders... Sadly, disappointment was one of the gifts that I opened this year for Christmas and its been an eye-opener.

I did something different this year during my usual three week vacation. I stayed home, stayed in Cali and got in some much needed relaxation. It was cool but it's not me... I've felt a big part of me missing because I wasn't out there on the road, traveling from town to town in the south like I usually do. All that delicious food on the road, the uncertainty of what's around the corner and all the beautiful history found in the land, spirits and eyes of people I'd encounter along the way. I miss placing flowers on the graves of my father, grandfather and grandmother.. I even miss the cold weather during this time of year and the smell of Texas when I'd typically first arrive just outside of El Paso in the early evening searching for a hotel to lay my head for the night. Next year I've got to make my return to the road... Its in my blood to hit that highway and document through pictures and special memories, every moment of my travel...

Now, 2006 is almost here and I'm trying to stay motivated; keep everything in perspective and make sure my dreams remain in focus...I usually like to indulge in a year-end wrap up so I thought I'd start on a few things...a few thoughts... inspirations, disappointments, etc etc...

2006 brings with it a whole lot of promise and cool things on the horizon... 2005 was fun, interesting, emotionally exhausting and even uplifting at times... It brought a whole slew of new friends, a deepening of current friendships, and a few disappointments that can only be classified as mind boggling, just-dont-get-it-type-of-stuff... I may have to make an appointment with my friend Dr. Stephanie to see if she can place the card of enlightenment in these blurry hands.

I had a chit-chat recently with one of my fellow white chocolate mocha drinkers outside the Magic Johnson's Starbucks in the Ladera Center. He too was wondering what's the deal with folks today... The lack of concern... The tossing away of positive experiences for the party-party gotta get paid mentality...

He said to me, "when you got somebody good in your life be it friendship or a deeper reason, you hold on to them.. If you got folks that can't appreciate real sincerity or the stability of a strong hand that reaches out to them with no expectations, let them go... More than likely they'll leave anyway due to the clueless induced, trifling behavior that floods they veins.. Youngblood, people be seriously trippin these days..."

After we sat in silence for a minute possibly pondering similar thoughts, a car drove by blasting a new song with the familiar vocals of Too Short rapping "I do it everyday anyway, 'cause I gotta get paid..." We both laughed. Dude said to me "see what I mean, that shit is everywhere.."

When I got to my car after enjoying the chit-chat, I took out my journal and began to scribble some poetic thoughts down... I never finished it because I didn't want to harp on something that got me down or had me feeling confused but this is how the half that I wrote read from my thoughts to the page in my journal.

I'm sitting on the shoulders of time watching rainbows float by.. They look like dreams that glow with no real focus.. Women that wave with smiles like love is hopeless.. But I know that not to be true... I hear the sounds of waves crashing in the distance. The wisdom emanated from patience... I grow in the midst of undecided hearts trying to figure out direction... Waiting to tell me that perhaps another time things could be different. Time has nothing to do with it, at least not the present. Your mind has decided that you and I have no mission. Your past appears to dictate your decision... I listen... I offer to you friendship because from day one that was always I hurt but I foster no regret. My heart and intention overflowed with respect... first, last and forever.. Life is clever... New hope floats by and changes my mind from never to this might be better...

Anyway, I'm excited about the next book coming out and thanks to a fabulous publicist/friend(Glenys), we're gonna do big things with this novel..(My Life Is All I Have) The cover is the bomb and the choice of model has turned out to be the best choice because she represents the character in more ways than I originally imagined... Sort of like life imitating art... You'll have to read and get inside the character's(Leesha) mind in order to know what I mean... Now I'm in search of a new model for my book due out in the fall of 2006 called "Until Again." I've got two choices already in the running and both I'm sure will be beautiful but it's gotta be right because this story is epic.. It's very special and it was completely motivated and inspired by the kind of LOVE folks dream about... I know I do... It's dedicated to my great grandmother Mama Julia on my mother's side, my great great grandmother Moriah Rivers on my father's side and the initial inspiration and reason for the title; a beautiful woman who during four months of my life shared something with me that felt as powerful as an eternity... Despite a certain recent misunderstanding, she(Ardys) has my love(friendship) forever.... One day she will finally see what I've been telling her about for years. This story is the most amazing journey put on paper...

Well, I leave this interesting year behind with no one to fill my heart.. That's a sad admission for a brotha who is definitely passionate about love and remains a big supporter of such a blessing... I've got amazing shoulders to lean on(Angela, Shelia, Jamise, Missy, Apryl, Big E., Arnail, Kitten, Kim, etc etc) and I thank those who send me compliments and cool affirmations about whom they see in me... I especially thank Angela for being there for me on October 6th. Powerful experience... But in closing, It's not hard to be sincere... To not be is when you find yourself struggling to represent in the right way so instead you find ways to remove yourself or to simply no longer care but I'll be here when you do and it be that way because from day one, my intentions were always sincere... From this romantic soul to the world...Happy New Year... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Happy Christmas 2 Moms


This post is dedicated to the always worrying, "I tell you" saying mother of mine... She worries about her son but I'm just fine. She's an amazing woman though most of the time she doesn't know this; we both gonna be fine. She can read it in the stars and listen to the words of others; she got a good son... *smile*

She got a son that remembers the years; details of which she's left behind. She's sacrificed on many levels for me and I am grateful. She's intelligent and beautiful; takes care of business. I know that even my father respected that in her. Maybe one day she'll verbally tell me she's proud but that's not what I shoot for. I'm enjoying a good life and I want her's to be fabulous as well. Good times, bad times, tragedy, celebration, it all happens in life but the beautiful thing is when you take the time to be thankful, to document in the most special and profound way that thing which is never held up enough for the world to see..... L-O-V-E... I wanna play that Dear Mama song by Tupac but instead for now since this is the season I'll simply sing... Happy Holidayzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.... Posted by Picasa

Rollin Back A Memory..


Rolling back the hands of time and memory when romance took me to northern Cali... I remember this young lady with an interesting name.. Xochilt... I met her by way of the internet when it was just beginning.. AOL counted the minutes back then and if you weren't careful..chi-ching! You got hit up for a big bill... Nevertheless, I caught a sweet connection with this lovely lady.. She intrigued me with her innocence while at the same time she was always determined to voice her opinion and be the shit, constantly.. She could verbally move from a northern Cali way of speak to a very heavy caribbean accent in seconds... I loved the sound.. I drove hundreds of miles one time just to deliver flowers to her on her job. She was thrilled and touched. We celebrated with lunch on Fisherman's Wharf, ate lobster thermador and listened to some sweet caribbean music played on steel drums.. We had a nice time.. It remained nice for a while; this moment in time until the threat of a deeper relationship made things complicated. Neither of us were ready and I had no clue back then either... I made desperate attempts to understand my own thoughts but everything got foggy.. We argued over silliness which sent us both in strange territory.. We lashed out and things ended... We gained nothing but a need to dislike one another for reasons that will forever remain a mystery to both of us... Friendship should've been the foundation we should've worked on.. Friendship is the kind of soil you can walk on forever and thus wake up ten, twenty years later and still be able to say "yo, what you up to today?" and be able to smile and laugh and pick up from any amount of time left behind... I think back and pray that this lady is alive, kickin, lovin, and bless'n the world around her with her spirit... I dont know what makes me think of her now but when memories come I figure, you might as well share..... Blessings... Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 12, 2005

Dreamstyle Quotes


Laughter is like music to the ears just as a smile is a stroke of genius...

It's always easier to close chapters once the truth is revealed and as a result an epiphany hits you like a revelation saying "I'm gonna be just fine.."

Blessings are the memories that linger and keep you in awe of the person framed inside your thoughts..

--VAR Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 09, 2005

Borrowed from a cool bloggin friend..


I lifted this creative exercise from the Sell Crazy Some Place Else blogsite...

1) My uncle once: performed on that really old television show called Midnight Special.
2) Never again in my life: will I remember what I'm never again supposed to do...
3) When I was five: I got married.
4) High School was: a learning experience on and off the school grounds.
5) I will never forget: yes I will...
6) I once met: Tupac in the bathroom at the Glam Slam Niteclub in Downtown LA.
7) There's this girl I know who: frowns for no reason, not recognizing that she could be on the list of most beautiful women in the world if she simply relaxed...
8) Once, at a bar: I witnessed the most beautiful smile in all of God's creation..
9) By noon I'm usually: waking up my spirit.
10) Last night I: Made an unsuccessful attempt at xmas shopping, came home, watched Love Jones and ate some delicious tuna fish sandwiches and sweet potato fries. Washed it all down with some of that there Arizona Sweet Southern Tea...
11) If I had only: had one more hug...
12) Next time I go to church: I'll stay longer and stop noticing how suggestive the women be dressin!
13) What worries me most: people taking time for granted...for that matter taking each other for granted..
14) When I turn my head right, I see: my journal sitting near a row of candles..
15) When I turn my head left, I see: a spilled drink underneath my window..
16) You know I'm lying when: I head butt you before I answer..
17) You know what I miss most about the eighties: When Prince woke everybody up musically..
18) If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be: out of my element..
19) By this time, next year: I'll be smiling and celebrating....hopefully..
20) A better name for me would be: Shorty
21) I have a hard time understanding: why sincerity and giving just because is so misunderstood... or even feared..
22) If I ever go back to school I'll: prove I'm smarter than I used to be...
23) You know I like you if: you like me too...
24) If I won an award, the first person I'd thank would be: that unknown, most popular person that goes by the name of "umm.." I'd like to thank ummm....
25) Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferarro are: People who weren't blessed with great first names but still followed their dreams to do their thang.
26) Take my advice, never: worry about the definition or what others might think, LOVE is alright.
27) My ideal breakfast is: Hot pancakes with delicious butter and maple syrup on the front porch of a beautiful country home while watching strong gorgeous horses hanging out in the field.
28) A song I love, but do not have is: cant think of anything right now..
29) If you visit my hometown, I suggest: plenty of money..nothing is free..
30) Why won't anyone: say thank you when you let them in your lane...big city life..
31) If you spend the night at my house, DO: make me feel good about allowing you to do so..
32) I'd stop my wedding for: no one unless I found myself standing next to past experiences who almost became..... yuck...
33) The world could do without: expensive prices...
34) I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: nah...lets not go there...
35) My favorite blonde is: any beautiful sistah that puts on a blonde wig for two seconds and then promptly removes it...
36) Paperclips are more useful than: glue
37) San Diego means: cool place to ride a train to from LA.
38) And by the way: I'm a sweetheart....genuine... Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 05, 2005

Funny Incident On Da Shaw


A funny thing happened to me while driving down Crenshaw Blvd in Los Angeles. Two ladies tried to stop me by any means necessary. They almost crashed into my car but luckily they didn't. At the corner of MLK and Crenshaw, the lady in the passenger side screamed out "THAT AIN'T DENZEL!!" Then she went on to say "HEY! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE DENZEL WASHINGTON!" I laughed and then I said, thank you. It appeared that the other woman who was behind the wheel thought I ignored her friends' compliment so she screamed out the window too.


I had to repeat my thank you and then they both got into a little discussion. They looked like they were debating over whether to keep talking to me or not... I was still kind of laughing and hoping that the green light would hurry up. When it did, I let them hear the sound of my VAROOM!

Denzel, hmmm.. that was nice... Folks also tell me I look like R. Kelly so go figure! Ha haa!! I think I look better than both them brothas and I'm taller.. Now if I could just have the same bank account... whew... I'd truly be precious.. *smile* Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A reminder of something cool


My Life Is All I Have

A novel by V. Anthony Rivers

Life is about decisions and no matter how big or small, each one can affect the outcome of others around you. Love can change your direction. Tragedy can ruin the best dreamed out plans. However, a young woman in control; she can do just about anything or at least that’s what Leesha grows up to believe…

Packed with suspense and vivid descriptions of some of Los Angeles’s toughest streets, My Life Is All I Have tells the gripping story of a young girl who will do anything to leave her troubled past behind her.

Leesha Tyler is about to commit robbery when memories from her past start to consume her. Leesha looks back on her life and remembers the chaotic household she lived in—with her mother and herself always at odds. Thoughts of the death of her grandmother and the untimely loss of her favorite cousin Luther only sadden Leesha further and make her more determined that the only solution to her problems is to get out of Los Angeles. And the only way to do that, or so she thinks, is to commit armed robbery.

My Life Is All I Have is a timely piece of fiction that paints a candid, upfront portrait of a section of Los Angeles known as “The Jungle.” West Coast readers will welcome the familiar settings and others will enjoy a realistic slice of Los Angeles life. With echoes of The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah and Warmest December by Bernice McFadden, this novel shows how the decisions one individual makes can alter many lives—a perfect blend of contemporary fiction and street-lit flair. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 02, 2005


I was asked to contribute to this wonderful exercise expressing my thoughts or I should say, responding to the thoughts of a woman. It's featured in a wonderful online magazine called Bahiyah Woman's Magazine. The website address is Jump on over there and enjoy. It's very good. For now, checkout this fabulous piece that I had the priviledge to be involved in.
The Battle of the Sexes - Or Is It? (Part I)
by Guest Blogger Sharon "Shaye" Gray

Dearest Handsome,

Is it all a farce?
A devilish ploy, designed and passed down through a wicked fraternal tradition, to make an innocent succumb to the perils of premarital sex and other various faux relationship woos.

Am I your toy?
Your ultimate conquest?
Make her whimper-fall prey to the big bad wolf? Am I this said prey that has beeen once hunted in pure play in hunt of a quick thrill?
Is this deviant and ill-composed ‘chase’ really worth future heartache of another?

Are you playing me?

What is it you desire?
My sex?
My squeals from intimacy induced dances?

I plead in lack of angst or even in seek of anything else beyond pure curiosity derived from my deep skepticism, grave fear and horrific past heartbreak.

What is it that you want from me?

Woman to man—
Straight with no chaser
I present to you in all of my nakedness. My truth.

Will you let me be...let me free…leave me...
If it is so—that your intentions are tainted for other desires than love.

If you seek a lover—solely and purposefully please let it be known and save me another grudgingly heartache at the expense of my dignity.

Let me be.

If you seek a buzz—a quick sexual jolt, an exchange of temporary ecstasy—be loud with your tongue and speak your rendition of the truth. I will listen.

Do you not aspire all of my essence in which enthralls one and weaves a collage of passions and whimsical tales of wanderlust?

You see...and I whisper this from within so mark my honesty with my life and the life of my unborn.

I like divinely, adore intensely and love immensely.

That’s my hand of truth—in all is bare so I plead in earnest repertoire,
For you to reveal your earthy intentions with me. My affair. My adulation. My love
Confess now, let it generously, and mercifully unfold...
Is it, indeed all a farce, as it was softly, from above, undoubtedly told?
To me. About you.

What is it that you seek?

The Battle of the Sexes - Or Is It? (Part 2)
by Guest Blogger V. Anthony Rivers

Dearest Beautiful...

I feel as though you mistake me for another. For I seek what most men and some women for that matter, take for granted. In my experience(s), I've come across women who fear what feels right. They run from good intentions and efforts that say, I do, I will, for always, forever...

I could never imagine nor fathom the idea of placing my heart on the line only to present to you a false image of the future. That to me is a waste of time that would only serve the purpose of leaving us both exhausted. Sure, unforseeable things happen between two people but it's always been my belief that once a man is blessed with commitment from a woman, that's when the real fun begins...

A toy or a quick thrill?
Dearest, as I said, you mistake me for another. I see and even know many who play such games to fulfill what you accuse me of. At times because of disappointments in my own relationships, I too have considered going that route. To become a man interested only in quick thrills, mindless pursuits and efforts where paydirt is another notch on my manhood. Crazy thing though; I once discovered what I'd always believed in my heart to be true and you know what that is? In a committed relationship, love gets better; it has purpose and the sex? Very hot! Within the realms of commitment, a man is blessed with the opportunity to learn all of your pleasure zones from head to toe; physically and mentally... I crave that sort of committed exploration.

Man to woman-
I present to you my own nakedness and truth for everyday I fight the very same skepticism that you carry so close to your heart. This feeling which causes you to doubt and question a man before he can even utter words like "how are you today?" It hurts my heart to have that which I refer to as the most beautiful blessing on earth(Woman) convict me without so much as having the courage to investigate my heart on a personal level.

That question you place before me; "what is it you want from me?"
I sigh whenever I hear it. My adult life flashes before my eyes because it conjures up the disappointments that I too have suffered under the guise of love. I dont fear trying again but I do fear that after you've witnessed the ease in which I'm willing to share my heart and soul, you will then take it for granted or run because it's not what you've become accustomed to when dealing with a man.

What is it that I seek?
A chance without early conviction... Run from me if I treat you wrong or curse me out but if I show to you sincerity, passion, kindness, comfort, support, honesty, and a desire to build something together based solely on the merits of my actions; reward me with your own sincerity. Don't run if I treat you right... Don't walk away from the possibility that forever could potentially be right here with me... I'm not afraid. I dream about it all the time...


Sharon "Shaye" Gray is Sr. Editor of Bahiyah Woman Magazine, She is also the Co-Founder of Essentially Women Writing Group, and co owns Eve's Literary Services with Lorraine Elzia. Ms. Gray works full time as a high school teacher and part time as an evening instructor for adult education; she has her B.A in English and Master's degree in Public Administration. Currently, she is pursuing her Doctorate degree in Higher Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Adult Education. Presently, Sharon Gray resides in Maryland and is working on several literary projects. You may visit her site at

V. Anthony Rivers is the author of Daughter By Spirit, Everybody Got Issues and the upcoming My Life Is All I Have(March'06) and Until Again(Fall'06). He has also contributed to various anthologies including;, Chocolate Flava, Truth Be Told, and Love Is Never Painless. A native of Los Angeles, California he currently resides in Van Nuys, Ca.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Back In The Day...late 70's Father moment

Back in the late 70's, Dad had the key to the city of Houston, Texas. Just like it seems as if musically today, everything is about Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, and Mike Jones..who? In the late 70's things were jumpin on Alameda Blvd. and other parts of town where you'd find a Budget Soul Records run by my father. He had colorful characters all around him, namely the fellas that ran the streets along with him; Big George(semi-bodyguard, looked like Issac Hayes), Steve(cool white guy with a beautiful black wife), George Frazier(KYOK air personality), Gil Bultron(exciteable record salesman behind the counter), a few other co-horts and sprinkles of afro wearing sistahs all around. It was a far cry from my father's country boy upbringing in a small east Texas town where he had no indoor plumbing and no streetlights.

Dad lived it up bigtime during this brief era. He drove a new corvette every year and eventually found that he garnered more attention while driving a souped up Cadillac Seville, two-toned with chrome wire wheels... He was all that.. The shiz-nit, promoting concerts with his cohorts under the moniker of Family Productions.. Such acts as Rufus & Chaka Khan, Al Green, The Brother's Johnson, Earth Wind & Fire, War, and every year the spectacle that was Parliament-Funkadelic. That was life at its fastest and most exciting for dad. He was even given the key to the city by the mayor, covered by local television. He was celebrated as a black businessman generating a great deal of success via his chain of records stores; Budget Soul. Those were the days for him and then like some good things, change moves the playing field in a whole new direction... Those small record stores where you could go into and get personal attention. Have a brotha place the needle on the record for you and have you listen to the first five seconds of the song only to realize you gotta have it! Those days had to give way to the huge record stores which sold more than just records. At the time in Houston, the store that came in and changed things was called Cactus Records. They sold everything... Those neighborhood stores with the personal attention, the culture, the fun, the conversation and good times like Budget Soul, couldn't compete. Dad found a new niche building homes and making furniture but gone were the days of fast times, hot music, nice cars, women and running the city.. The key became but a memory but its those memories that last longer than anything that might interrupt an era... Dad had fun...