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here in my head / these things they stay with me / this how i know i aint dead

when things i do they shackle me / my blood it pourd so endlessly

and this air so thick

 

 

corners

                                                    By Asili Ya Nadhiri

the softly stabbing sadness

of long worried nights

laying here waiting across my face

and the memories i swallow then yesterday

is what i lean up against

here in my head

these things they stay with me

this how i know i aint dead

when things i do they shackle me

my blood it pourd so endlessly

and this air so thick

it smothering me

is what i lean up against 

here in my head

these things they stay with me

this how i know i aint dead

notions of you

that i'm too scared to dare

my other little thoughts

they going no where

and the nipples of things

that i wish they could be

is what i lean up against

here in my head

these things they stay with me

this how i know i aint dead

 

Source: Asili Ya Nadhiri. The Inner Recesses of an Abandoning Life: Tonal Drawings Written in Poetic Form. 2004

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The language and rhythm of African people have been an obsession throughout my life.  I can still vividly remember the heavy syrupy dialect that impregnated my ears as a small boy, the hypnotic rhythmning of the body movements of African people that continue to sang to me, and the depth of the wellsprings silently stirring inside the language forged in the North American experience of African people.  By means of my tonal drawings, I am trying to actualize this experience-ing for the benefit of us all.

I am Asili Ya Nadhiri, born on August 29, 1944 in Durham, North Carolina and raised in a small tobacco town named Clinton, North Carolina.  My undergraduate education took place at Hampton Institute and Ithaca College, Masters at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and ABD (all but dissertation) at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  I have been an instructor of vocational agriculture in the Orange County Public School System (Orlando, Florida) for the past twenty one years.

New book entitled the inner recesses of an abandoning life by Asili Ya Nadhiri available.  For an excerpt and purchase visit www.hummdrummsung.com

A CD is inside the back cover of the book entitled the inner recesses of an abandoning life; and a cassette tape accompanies the book entitled HUMMING DRUMMM SUNG in soft pedal tones.  Nadhiri Writesasil@aol.com

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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Outlandish Blues

By Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Jeffers derives her form and jaunty, deal-with-it attitude from the blues, an American tradition that beats back despair with wit, élan, and grace. Artfully distilled, Jeffers' musical and forthright lyrics cut to the chase in their depictions of self-destructive love, treacherous family life, and sexual passion turned oppressive or violent. She calls on her mentors, soulful musicians such as Dinah Washington, James Brown, John Coltrane, and Aretha Franklin, for guidance, then, sustained by their voices, segues into vivid imaginings of the inner lives of biblical figures such as Sarah, Hagar, and Lot's wife; a man about to be lynched; and a former slave bravely attending college. And whether she's singing the "battered blues" or critiquing Hollywood's depiction of slavery, Jeffers is questioning the nature and presence of God.— Booklist

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Red Clay Suite

By Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

 

In her third book of poems, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers expresses her familiarity with the actual and imaginary spaces that the American South occupies in our cultural lexicon. Her two earlier books of poetry, The Gospel of Barbecue and Outlandish Blues, use the blues poetic to explore notions of history and trauma.  Now, in Red Clay Suite, Jeffers approaches the southern landscape as utopia and dystopia—a crossroads of race, gender, and blood. These poems signal the ending movement of her crossroads blues and complete the last four “bars” of a blues song, resting on the final, and essential, note of resolution and reconciliation.

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Hopes and Prospects

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In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky surveys the dangers and prospects of our early twenty-first century. Exploring challenges such as the growing gap between North and South, American exceptionalism (including under President Barack Obama), the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza, and the recent financial bailouts, he also sees hope for the future and a way to move forward—in the democratic wave in Latin America and in the global solidarity movements that suggest "real progress toward freedom and justice."

Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race. "This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the world—to millions, I suspect—for the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him." —John Pilger

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Karma’s Footsteps

By Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

Somebody has to tell the truth sometime, whatever that truth may be. In this, her début full collection, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie offers up a body of work that bears its scars proudly, firm in the knowledge that each is evidence of a wound survived. These are songs of life in all its violent difficulty and beauty; songs of fury, songs of love. 'Karma's Footsteps' brims with things that must be said and turns the volume up, loud, giving silence its last rites. "Ekere Tallie's new work 'Karma's Footsteps' is as fierce with fight songs as it is with love songs. Searing with truths from the modern day world she is unafraid of the twelve foot waves that such honesties always manifest. A poet who "refuses to tiptoe" she enters and exits the page sometimes with short concise imagery, sometimes in the arms of delicate memoir. Her words pull the forgotten among us back into the lightning of our eyes.—Nikky Finney /  Ekere Tallie Table

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Life on Mars

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Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection's "lyric brilliance" and "political impulses [that] never falter." A New York Times review stated, "Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we're alone in the universe; it's to accept—or at least endure—the universe's mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith's pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant." Life on Mars follows Smith's 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet's second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans.

The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.

*   *   *   *   *

Beyond Katrina

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Beyond Katrina is poet Natasha Trethewey’s very personal profile of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and of the people there whose lives were forever changed by hurricane Katrina.

Trethewey spent her childhood in Gulfport, where much of her mother’s extended family, including her younger brother, still lives. As she worked to understand the devastation that followed the hurricane, Trethewey found inspiration in Robert Penn Warren’s book Segregation: The Inner Conflict in the South, in which he spoke with southerners about race in the wake of the Brown decision, capturing an event of wide impact from multiple points of view. Weaving her own memories with the experiences of family, friends, and neighbors, Trethewey traces the erosion of local culture and the rising economic dependence on tourism and casinos.

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The White Masters of the World

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W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 26 July 2012

 

 

 

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