i make music now


phasing out

this blog will stay alive though i rarely give her breath by new poetic posts.

find me here with more arts antics than personal poetics


ill doctrine on mj


the artist's accountatbility

a friend and i made a baby, abstract random.

our baby has grown into an animal i am growing to know, striving to mold.

for an artist exists when audience listens

and is therefore accountable

to present and communicate a sacred shared feeling

when i grow up, i want to be like rux


ian kamau - september 09 mixtape

download ian kamau september 09 mixtape here
ian kamau on podomatic
ian kamau myspace

Not Far From Home... June 26, 2009 doors 7pm @ anitafrika! dub theatre

Not Far From Home is an exhibit of photography from my travels to Cuba, Kenya, Brazil and Ghana. There will be performances by myself and Afrakaren Nile and a screeening of Stolen From Africville as well as my parents' (Claire Prieto & Roger McTair) film Home To Buxton.

anitafrika! dub theatre is located at 62 fraser avenue (liberty village)
call 416 434 1823 or check out www.anitafrika.com


download the mixtape at airkj.com



is it okay

if a person of color generalizes about white people?

if queer women hypersexualize womens' bodies?

if once-persecuted people oppress a nation?

do unto others, as...

her sparkly lov


sun n jam are abstract random

abstract random is lover sun and jamilah malika. armed with a portable amp, microphone, sampler and projector, abstract random create an art show that can go from street to stage. abstract random use art, costumes & theatrix to create an organic unique art experience installation – a story told by the visual, with the sound and through the words. all three. always. love, abstract random.

abstract random is an arts experience – part poetry, part music, part play, part call to arms to humanity.

we tell stories through

image (from body art to video projection)
sound (from sampler to stompin beats) and
words (from microphone to you)

we come to your town as

abstract random sound crew :: lover sun on ones n twos and jamilah with freestyle flow
abstract random youth workshop :: accessible multimedia storytelling program
abstract random :: image, sound, word story

performing @
the gladstone hotel - les blues event - wed july 24 (open second set)
the fruitloops stage - pride - sat july 27 (busking all day around the parade)
pedestrian sunday - kensington market - sun july 28 (busking)
88 days of fortune - 960 heart beat (960 Queen W) - full set 10pm

hear us on womens word CHRY 105.5 or streaming live @ www.chry.fm wed july 24th 12-1pm

email abstractrandomis@gmail.com for more info
myspace in development... look out for ep 'disrupt disreality' dis summer.

beyond the struggle


right now

my mother says 'look to your roots to see your responsibilities; the cultural legacy of your peoples behooves you to take advantage of your privilege'

i'd like to leave for the equator (sea level) and let this whole life drop (to attain some level of perspective) and return to pick up only those essential pieces. those essential eternal pieces.

for i can't see from here.

the word. word.

when voice can take you deep inside your mind outside your body through collective consciousness to a place you may not 'know' per se, that, is the power of the word.

image, sound, word. word.

watch out, the abstract random collective is coming. it's not art, it's ARC.


shame shame

it's just not friendly, just not friendly...

why be 'friendly' over a year now?
but lie? or to be clear, why omit?
why never speak her name?
why not mention your wife or marital status?

you coulda drawn that line
long long long ago
when we were first becoming 'friends'
a little clarity in fact would have been
much more 'friendly'

cause i believe in karma
and now mine feels sullied
still i did not know i trespassed
until well after the fact, found out by (the universe disguised as) chance...
should i have asked?
i should have asked.
shoulda done 'due diligence'

says my friend with a cock who i call up to talk when i find out to process the shock to help me figure out how on earth could this type fuckerie come about? he explains i'm to blame cause i never asked point blank and all men care 'bout is that they don't get found out, cause the exposure is the only part that causes pain. in fact, i played right into his game by never insisting to know when, who, what he did at night. i reply we never talked on those levels, bout them type things - that's not what we were about, we were friends over writing and music and artivism. "then why'd you fuck?" i hesitate to reply that's not what this is about -

'to deceive'

synonyms: betray, mislead, beguile, delude, dupe, hoodwink, bamboozle, double-cross...

the sad truth is
i valued you as my friend, friend.
but bredren don't do so to bredren.

sadder fact is i got to shake off the sad feeling
and do my best not to hold onto that bitter unease
but be real with myself
that i did suspect & felt in my gut
that you were lying or withholding

now, if i had known what
i woulda backed the fuck off.


i will write

mercy. i love life. i love the people in my life and all of the infinite blessings bestowed upon me. i am awed in each moment; reminded of the opportunities and possibilities, constant, flowing, surreal.

full circle... to come full circle is to re-realize, to remember, to re-discover what always was and what will be. what came before and everything you don't see - yet. it's always, everywhere, just see. i give to others so easily and must be disciplined to do the same for me. must be conscious of each experience, although fleeting. flying past me. to capture in wordsound is my blessing.

she said, fly free. in these broad mountains this feels easy. we hum, each and every. i walk out and see earth in the sky and he said, that immense towering mass was once rockbed. rockbed? i am staring up into what was once the sea? can this be? really? surreal in its reality.

i will write.

no words

at least a dozen poems are rattlin around in my mind and i cannot write. aggravated by the fact that usually all i can do is write. however i never memorize a word. then step up on stage with my sheet safety blanket and read. lawd have mercy on me. que pasa?! i'm writing silly love poems and posting videos and not really writing. not really really writing those words that will put me way out on a limb with my heart on my sleeve and exposing it all full frontal. 'go bare' he said. i shudder. my head hurts and i cannot write. perhaps i misplaced my voice somewhere... i will retrace my steps. maybe i left it on the subway or in the streetcar with one glove or a scarf. i disperse my words among notbooks and laptop files and slips of paper and more notebooks and then feel 'a ways' wishing i could scoop them all together into one heap and sift through the whole collection as though that would give me a sense of cohesion, or completion or contentment. self-sabotage maybe? likely.

for i am at a loss. my frontal lobe throbs and i cannot write. i have a list of potential poems and i put my pen to paper and ... and ... and ...

how bloody anti-climactic. i just want to get them out. ejaculate. maybe then my brain will stop buzzing. i mean, what is sanity, really? and how sane should a writer be exactly? and if i plan to step on a stage, do i really need to just memorize one, two or three? or all? or what? i'm suffering from severe inadequacy. even though the response is almost always 'you are lovely' -

that is not the problem. the problem is with me. i just can't seem to articulate the damn thing. for a writer - that could be the end of me.

could it? really? will this pass? what will become of me (without words?)


there is no light by wildbirds and peacedrums

2009 lovesex quandry

my dilemma -

intimacy in 2009 obliges a level of dialogue
however the conversation to many connotes a level of commitment
before those lines/shapes/squiggles have necessarily been drawn

though i have left some such marks in your back...

so, how to broach or approach this conversation
without the misinterpretation/accusation
that this wom/hu/man wants to lock you down?

because i truly don't give a fuck what we are doing or where this is going
i do not need a label or a drawer or a sweater with a letter or a ring

all i really want is to pin you down
with my body, my mouth on your mouth, our limbs entangled
(at times, not all the time, but sometimes)
(in this case, in addition to our friendship)
in this present moment. today.

remembering tomorrow is a new day.
knowing neither can commit to feeling the same way
tomorrow as we do today.

truth is 2009 obliges
a mutual understanding for
reciprocal esteem of both mind and body
some sense from both parties of
truth and trust in the 'thing'

particularly that neither is
the unsuspecting third party
to danger or deceit,
can you feel me?

'cos baby, i can easily risk my heart
but my self-respect and physical health
are much too dear to me,
and much more so than the idea of 'we'.


my very best poem

i only want to give you my very best poem
i don't want to share any old poem
only my very best poem

i've skimmed several pages, all disparate,
review different files, flipped through every weathered notebooks
searching for that one very best poem
for you

and no one poem
feels just right
is quite right
for this occasion
for you

so i skirt the stage
remain in my seat
purse my lips
and hold this feeling in

this fretting, this distressing
that none of my poetry
is good enough to me
for you


i miss you

the sun is shining
i look upon these broad white mountains and
i miss you

moments we've shared
too few
distance our physical bodies
i wonder
do i even really know you

could i?
will i ever?
will you?

if we spend a lifetime together

and in your presence
what will i feel
will distance still
push me away from you

intangible distance
the words i cannot articulate
instead i'll just say

i love you
i love you
i love you

always have
even before
i knew you
even before
i knew what it was
to miss you


alixa and naima - climbing poetree presents hurricane season

ase, lovely love you ladies, such a blessing to meet these beautiful souls in nyc, learn more at www.climbingpoetree.com

bk, nyc - recession and art

in brooklyn last week i encountered many artists and noted a theory buzzin about the community of visual artists, musicians, dancers, producers, designers, etc. and the current economic crisis (all americans can chat bout these days)

the recession will engender more quality art and community arts by diminishing the pressure of market art imperatives and allowing the artist to focus more intensely on the process and the intention. no longer a money game, art can become about expression for other people.

question is, when are curators and gallery owners gettin on board?

i am a killer

i must confess
i shot down our love

i am the python
that swallowed our love whole
and went to sleep

i stifled our love
i smothered our love
i stabbed at
the slight possibility
of love
between us
then watched our love
bleed out
in silence

wrapped in my
cold flexed fingers
i squeezed the
life from our love

a seed planted
and germinated
i smashed it
drowned it
obliterated it
a giant unaware of
her own strength
swatted in self preservation
and tore down
the sky
then sat up
hardly knew how or why
and still
i don't know
if i hurt
your pride
or some real
beyond the reaches of ego
beyond the reaches of your

and now we sit
six feet above
our love
we talk across
the dirt mound
neither mention

while secretly
i bring flowers
and wonder
how to resurrect
the love
i know I murdered.

trying to work it out

i am so turned around, mixed up, headspun right now.

my mother calls my lifestyle 'bohemian' - i reel. don't know what to feel. how to explain this intense place called growing. coming to some knowing. some sense of direction. through exploration and reflection.

over the past year my close friend has found me 'heavy' then 'lighter' now 'restless'

over the past year i am bless to have been immersed in community arts as a result of an opportunity to manage a space (no quickbooks, no incorporation, no personal income) that has truly enriched my everyday experience, connected me to artists i respect, exposed the hustle of grants and independent artistry in a busy gritty money mongering tdot city and allowed me to develop myself as an artists first a writer writing to publish now a writer writing to perform, to paint, to make muzak and installations and yes, publish. but also to heal, to share and to learn.

i have learned i can facilitate a workshop, collaborate to curate an art show, mediate dialogue on arts and issues, plan programming and much more. but still...

in my pockets are precious plans i hide while i try to manage the biz bit of this amazing project including w.i. sea - an international magazine, a cerebreal jourey from head to heart - a guided journaling activity, heartbeart - a chapbook and more... wrapped up in these plans or around them rather, cradling them in place, is a fear - a very real frightful concern:

the desire to share and publish is fused with the fear of the 'how' - the connect between the articulation and the action - do i pursue more academic credentials? when i do not want to perpetuate the idea grad studies and academia are necessary (as the are elitist and exclusive and a publishing pissing contest?) why don't i follow those examples i have encountered this past year of renegade guerrilla artists on a serious grind, walking that tightrope for funding and pushing their projects hardhardhard.

what greater fear lurks beneath fretting over the 'how'?

why do i fight focusing on my own projects in my pocket? why is it so easy for me to commit to another person's project one hundred percent? why can i wake up early for class but not for myself?

i am so afraid. i am in serious debt. my head hurts.

everything is nebulous and in the air and this may be over in july and that may not go down in september and this opportunity in june might pass me by but what will happen regardless?

what is the foundational purpose?

new plan - stop planning. forget the hows, whens, wheres and just focus on the why. put the why into action and forget the rest. for now.



morning ase

thank you universe
for the
in my present moment

i wish to articulate a bridge

i am perplexed and saddened by the seeming inability to draw connections (and thereby nurture compassion) across complexions - this feels to me like a dilemma of grave consequence as my female friends who are not of color are having beautiful mixed babies by men of culture, of cultures of the african diaspora. i fear that if i cannot clearly connect across color with these women, then what day of angry disconnect awaits them, in relation to their children?

"you don't understand me ma! you can never understand my experience! i am black. you are white." period.

to feel/fear one cannot communicate conditions across color inhibits dialogue and the possibility (not for unity but) for real change through cooperation. audre lorde wrote of the richness that differences make, the richness, not the hate, nor the distance. the richness in difference will bring us to new solutions (that humanity needs desperately but often does not seek.)

nehal notes the differences between performing black and owning black. black as in black consciousness not that amorphous BET-NBA black blob. to perform is to portray pride to people in the everyday, an ability grown out of a genuine place of inward reflection and self-knowing e.g. the owning. performing is the outside action and owning the inside understanding. i could list other ethnic identities that appear outwardly differently in different people as genuine pride of or striations away from 'stereotypes' across communities all owning their origins that invariably vary but note that 'white' is the norm, is the over-riding desirable state, is the other to a person of color - more often the amorphous blob often trying to lend itself to culture failing either by destroying or disingenuously uplifting or outright theft. is there no room for the heartfelt appreciation of traditions of people different than you, is that wish to learn more about, dress like the people of, play music of a place, an origin, that you cannot locate in your composition?

is there no room for francesca to play kalimba? i cannot countenance this. i must build a bridge.

another level of reality cloud the issue for me: 'looking' of 'x' identity, the perception peice. when a person self identifies as 'of color' but outwardly face, skin and features 'pass' as 'white' or other - how authentic can your identity be when you are perceived as better than that blacker-than-you-being therefore denying that complex set of oppressions that string together the days in dark communities? how can those fair skinned offspring of interracial families maintain his or her ethnic identity in a world that does not respect them as a part of neither side of the family tree? how much to we need to 'see' to believe?

i seek the opportunity to connect across culture with integrity, wanting that for my friends' mixed pickney and equally wishing to affirm friendships i keep. i feel that conditions exist across colors and in the details of the experience are opportunities for dialogue, for caring comparison and connectivity across differences without calling 'sameness' similarity ... quite. mirroring instead of othering says sandra amarie of moja tea gallery.

i say we should all poke out our eyes. moses responds 'then we would judge by voice and odor.' i wish to shed a tear for that othering instinct inside, wish to draw it out of me in that same sigh, wish to expel the impetus to tell you how 'you' are different from 'i'.

i say white mothers of mixed babies, don't antagonize your child with the idea that 'we're the same'.

i say white women don't call 'gender' and say you understand racism and systematic discrimination against (in)visible min(maj)orities.

i say white heteronormative men walk with a level of assurance and affirmation (a result of pervasive patriarchy, capitalism and racism) that women and people of culture simply cannot for the world in this world has not taught us this - we look for grey, seek compromise, learn to accommodate. our labour (from mothering to slaving for pennies a day) has no value inside the market but the world could not continue without us. but sometimes i feel that pedestal built of privilege is a prison all its own and there are no steel bars between he and i, no, there is a steel wall and you cannot really see me and i do not really know you because you in fact have never been compelled to show the real real you.

cry me a river.

black babies eat mud pies because of your privilege and black grandmothers bury their daughters to care for their children because of your injust aid - see how i connect the two?

what to do. what to do. what to do.

how to articulate
an authentic bridge
across color

if i cannot
i fear
all is lost
child and mother

i know
between privilege

class can transcend color
for money can buy your way
out of oppression
out of identifying with
'your people'

i sense like class
there exist
connections between conditions
across color
and these
can create that bridge

tell me how this can be done?

d'bi says to see the places where you are an oppressor, a witness of oppression and a victim of oppression.

let's start here - shall we give it a try?

i will and will let you know how it goes...


wanting and not wanting


so still




it was NOT written

a premise:
we have gone so far idolizing progress irrationally that we are now looking to explain this state

a fear:
we look to attribute our technological folly and excessive injustice to religious truths

a recommendation:
we take responsibility for our present state and look to resolve, undo and change without hoping that our mess was predetermined by some being bigger than us


prose poetry

i adore thick heavy prose, packed with descriptive language and intangible imagery and alot of alliteration so that the words don't come easy. rather they oblige the reader to slow their reading and expend energy to enunciate each syllable, allowing a moment to meditate on wordsound. wordsoundpower.

the root of love for rastas

my mother, a soft, round west indian south asian woman, loved tosh. from the cassette player weaving in and out of bhajans, steelpan, and symphony orchestras were his reggae riddims and sweet voice, dark and deep and textured with pain yet smooth - like some tossed wave beaten black rock. above the statistics textbooks and caribbean lit in her ofice was his face, eyes peeping behind locks, smoke escaping from his lips. i thought him god-like.

my auntie joy had the spot in montreal in the seventies, where activists and artists crashed and buzzed and laughed and cried and never paid rent. one day, joy returned to find the house reeking of ganja. knowing she was on rcmp radar for traffickings us illegals into canada, she demanded to know who was in her house smoking reefer so - a friend pointed downstairs silently and brought her index to her lips - who could cause such reverence and quiet in this lively household? at the bottom of the stairs sat one peter tosh, whose quiet presence was so powerful, my auntie joy (no stranger to confrontation) held her tongue and continued to bring him fresh coffee (he refused food) until he departed. he strummed his guitar and sang, spoke very little.

to this day, i love a ras. not certain if its its a smell or memory or timbre of voice or rejection of norms and babylon shitstem or a combination or all these. but i know tosh, tosh, tosh, peter tosh is the root.

love meditation

since sunday
i have focused
on love

take in
send out
with breathe

sending messages
across frequencies
to say i love you
to those entering my mind
in this meditation

i was reminded
next next saturday
couples celebrate love
in a formal way

and i laughed
cos alone
i'm in love
with everyone
these days


to write

i want to write a scream
rip, roar and tear

i want to write a sob
one wet streak

i want to write peace
steady exhale

i want to write love
wrap you in my skin
and mouth
and blood



honor your growth

light refraction
a flicker
and i'm new
still the same
always was

just the layers
peeled away
now the sculpture
once under stone
grounded in change

new canadian film :: nurse fighter boy



brilliance abounds

this is ian kamau

this is boonaa and waleed aka the kings of kush, video by che

they both performed at the mikey smith festival in dec '09 - giving their time and sharing their stories - at the anitAFRIKA! dub theatre

love the new works by the good peoples doin it all for community, expression, freedom of imagination, identity, you and me...


do i still love you desperately?

or is that regret that pierces my heart so deeply?

my friend's papa's new film

Disfarmer: A Portrait of America - Trailer 2:30 mins. from Dennis Mohr on Vimeo.

holy happens all around,

blessings, ase, give thanks - it's a new year.

all the best to the blogsphere, eyes on screens, hearts at a distance - lovelovelove.

now, i'm not the festive type, though i do like clean slates and peaceful pious persons and the other day the two collided... parkdale, my hood, is home to several churches of all denominations and in the same day of early '09 i passed quiet groups of young monks in white and blue as well as orange and red, all passing beads through teir fingers and prayers over tongues and i thought to myself, "how lovely."

the snow continued to fall silently on their garb, on me, the sidewalk i trodded upon but i couldn't shake the buzzing feeling that sometimes loving god and your god's people can be a heinous horrid affair - gaza in this moment.

let's love a little more. take a moment to this about it... and while we are hushed in reflection may the lord have mercy on us all. i mean all.