Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Practice: Building a Still to Slow Down the Time....

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I will let Jean Michel Basquiat do most of the talking today. This is a picture of one his tags in New York City. I feel him. Its way too easy to get off track, to let others get you down, to become a victim of their expectations and to stop believing in possibility.

I'm not gonna lie to y'all, 2011 was rough...but it's like my boy Drizzy says..."everything for  reason, there's just some things you had to learn..."

I'm coming back HARD for 2012...just don't forget about me while I figure things out.

Love,
















Gypsy

I like a hip-hop cover song, not a lot of people did...but I think "Practice" goes hard...Y'all know I love that man...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Niggas in the New Paris: The Throne Arrives in New Orleans

Cause they made us hate ourself and love they wealth....
Remember that one? 

Remember that whole Kanye vs 50 Cent beef? Remember the niggas riding with 50?

What the fuck ever...

When Kanye dropped the "All Falls Down", Saturday night, I remembered being in college. Trudging through the day, tired as a motherfucker, with the feeling that I was being sold a dream just beginning to fuck with me. College Dropout  was an album that spoke to my frustrations, fears and most of all my dreams. Kanye with his leather kilt reminded me why he just might be my favorite artist of all time.

Not to be outdone,the consummate showman, Jigga Man defines what charisma is. Rapping acapella with just a spotlight and a smile,Jay-Z came on did his thing, and ripped it with his perfect pitch. Broke it down with those crisp,clear, images that only he delivers with such precision.

He's the best that ever did it...period.

I decided to go see Yeezy and Hov dressed as the serpent from the Garden of Eden. It seemed a fitting homage. In a moment of pure simpatico Jay and Kanye preformed "No Church in the Wild" with a montage of black people being baptized outside, Roman Catholic cardinals, and the KKK. Glad to see that I am not the only one for whom the connection between group think,Negro Christianity ( you know, "which would you like? This gun or this Bible?" version), and White Supremacy is all too clear.

 If that makes me part of the Illuminati than I'll be damned before I'm blind.
I used to argue with people about religion, a lot. I don't any more and I accept that some may regard me as lost, but I stand firm that God is bigger than a box or a book, or the arrogance of humanity. Like, tell me you can't here the Jesus in Kanye's profanity?  Tell me, you don't feel something in your soul when you hear a drumbeat? I know you do and there's nothing biblical about that feeling, the one that compells you to move, its way more ancient.

The Times Picayune reviewer had this comment about that moment...

Without warning, the rappers went silent as Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” accompanied a litany of disturbing video images: Hurricane Katrina damage, a Ku Klux Klan rally, fires, tornadoes. The set piece was meant to introduce “No Church in the Wild.” It also served as an unfortunate, ill-timed buzz kill, an awkward attempt to inject gravitas

Really?

So a "white-man" would say...
Alas, there are many waters that cannot be bridged. However, there were plenty good Christians and a few white men in the building with their hands to the ceiling and we had a good ass time together.Smack dab in the middle of the New Empire where white men came --to Louisiana--to make their fortunes. We are the ones who survived and we march on to the beat.


I'm from where the beef is inevitable, Summertime's unforgettable

Say what...?

Definitely in my zone,

Love,

Gypsy











P.S. Just cause I can't get the first seconds of this out my damn head after that concert! I would like to play this bitch whenever my friends and I go to a place with all white people in it...hilarious...
 


Monday, November 28, 2011

Watercolor and Out of Focus:Morning Reflection on Grief




***********
It's been two years since I lost my partner,my son's father  and there is no road- map or rule book on how to do this. How to live, grieve,move-on, remember, reflect, and raise your child. And rarely is there anyone you can really talk to about it. Let's keep it all the way real, in these austere times, therapy is definitely a luxury. Most of us are doing it on sheer willpower alone.

Being a mere plebe its crazy how alone you can  feel in this experience. Alone, despite the fact, there are plenty young mothers raising the children of  deceased fathers in my city.

But such is the nature of the beast called grief, it can swallow reason sometimes. So despite the fact that my mind tells me not to relive the events of this season, two years  ago, I do anyway.

I've been thinking a lot about intentions lately. Color me self-righteous but its a gospel I want to preach to a lot of Christians.This lady that works at a Walgreens near me, recently made a comment she thought I didn't hear. One wondering where my child's father is, sad, you don't ever see him. It wasn't what she said, really, it was how she said it that made all the difference. It was her intention that made all the difference.

Later that same day, I thought about my own misguided intentions, and how easy it is to get my feelings hurt. I threw myself a pity party and wallowed in muck of the mistakes grief can cause us to make. I am my harshest critic and sometimes I can uncharitably rip myself a new one. I guess it is that stubborn Catholic part of me that won't go away.

Original sin,guilt, call it one or the other, it's all the same.

I am a Crab, a Cancer to the bone, this is the way I operate. I retreat, hibernate, go underground when I need to. But the wonderful thing is we can definitely have fun in our caves. I am emerging with a positive vibe and good intentions. A little hibernation can be cathartic.

 I haven't been writing much,but I been stewing and I'm ready to share. Last year, I was afraid to be alone. This year I know I am not.

A little bit sacred a lot profane...


what's a life with no fun?

Enjoy...

Love,

Gypsy

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mighty Aphrodite: A MODEST Proposal

It's Friday, so why not blow off a little steam and kick the weekend off with a bang? I'm feeling RiRi right now and am very much in the mood to let the Jameson sink in. But before the whiskey knocking can begin, I shall digress....

Recently, an eighty-four year old woman got pepper-sprayed at the Occupy Wallstreet protests. Her response resurrected one of the best slogans of the women's movement.

"Screw us and we'll Multiply!"

Damn, right.

A Modest Proposal

If you don't notice the way the boys politic with their enemies these days, you have got to be blind. Men parse their words with one another out here,cause they know it ain't about stature, when it comes to that equalizer. Those that play in that world, know exactly what I mean. You ain't about to come up short or just say you're about something that you're not  because men know there are consequences to reckless speech and action with other men. With us...not so much...

I think it would be different if girls toted choppers the same way the boys did. Call me a radical, if you will, but seriously, think how different the world would be. Broken dates, lies, unpaid child support, all around slick talk would be cut dramatically in the first quarter...guaranteed.

A lot of men get their rocks off from dealing with women, who they know they are not good enough for. They then proceed to "conquer" her  with their insults and move on...pumped up and feeling better about themselves.  Call it the ego-boost for the bitch-made. Now ladies, I don't know how to stop that. All  I do know is....

 I'm upping on the next dude that tells me that I use too many big words, and then I'm deleting his number!


No questions, just the Answer,

She mean and she never ever take back talk!

Love,



Gypsy

a.k.a. Nina Ross


Love this jam by Kardinall Offishall....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Feelin Good,Livin Better (Mini-Take Care Review)

Take Care. I been listening since the leak. Feeling it...

feeling that is the radical act Drizzy asks us hip-hoppers to do when listening to his music. A big task for us,the "generation of not being in love", of getting what we can and getting up, of getting before getting got--at all costs.

Still, we have feelings and sometimes human beings get hurt in the game. None of us are immune. I certainly haven't been. Drake's music seems always aware of imperfection. That none of us is really wearing a suit of armor around our hearts, some of us are just fake and some of us are real.

There is nothing wrong with a tender heart as long as you keep it all in perspective. On Take Care, Drake still maintains more than a healthy ego during all his pitfalls in life an love. That's how it should be. Don't ever forget who you are or everyone else will too.

People will debate the merits of Take Care, sure, but whether you call it a classic or not...Drake ain't fell off with this one...The album is layered, musically sound and something Maybach music ain't...intimate.

Take Care reflects on lost love and what you do with all that rage in your heart.

You create. You make it.

Do it on 'em. There is always one better than the last asshole you've encountered. Sometimes killing the muse  is what you gotta do to conjure better inspiration..

A broken heart pumps battlejuice,
Back with a vengeance,

Love,

Gypsy

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Get So Emotional :Kisses and Thoughts from a Real Girl

I have had some experiences lately. Conversations, interactions and observations that really have me shaking my damn head.

I mean, what is really good?

 From Herman Cain calling Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the House, third in line to the Presidency,'Princess Nancy', to the games average men play....It seems respect for women has hit an all-time low.

Growing up in New Orleans, I have been no stranger to outright disrespect. I'm from the "fuck a hoe" generation in the city, so I know how the game goes. However,as I've gotten older, I've been noticing a curious trend.

As the bad boys of my youth, have started to chill on the cursing bitches out in public shit, a lot of the  so -called "good -guys" have become condescending jerks.

I blame Barack...lol...not really, but sort of.

In the same way that rappers make a lot of guys believe their own average joe-blow hype [see the dudes poppin bottles in the club like they on camera], Barack made any black man with a job and a suit in his closet feel like he has something to say. Like he, alone, and rightly only he, has the solution to all that ills "us".

Like he is The Great Black Hope.

So...oh please... Mr.Hope please save me from myself and all this living I have done, books I have read, an the education I busted my own ass for,from which I draw the audacity to form my own conclusions.

Oh please Mr. Hope, save me from my own feminist thoughts that supports marriage as a circumstance (a happy one for some) but as an institution (not the solution for the many.) 

I can't lay the entire burden at Mr.Hope's doorstep, a lot of women play this game as well. Whether they play dumb, or unopinionated for favor in Mr.Hope's eyes or they just really are dumb and really believe the hype. They are big part of the problem too.

I wonder if it is possible for some men to contemplate a brain or being that happens to be female.  And I wonder if it is possible for some women to conceive of themselves outside of what is pleasing to Mr. Hope's eye.


So, oh please Mr. Hope teach me what a Lady is...show me where she lives...

all the real bitches want her offed, so that the rest of us may live.





*puts dick back in and zips up pants*

Love,

Gypsy









Monday, November 7, 2011

Big Enough to Take These Broken Hearts...Frank Ocean @ the House of Blues

I had a great time this weekend. I broke out my bat cave, took a break from writing these short- stories and went to see Frank Ocean at the House of Blues.

To say he has a great voice is an understatement. Its the kind of voice that recording really does no justice. Booming and powerful and rich, and with a bit of tremor--that is what makes it linger in your memory.That's what makes his voice special in a sea of good ones.

Frank Ocean is not a big guy but he fills up a room. Still a bit shy he didn't talk much to, but I can't say he didn't engage the crowd. Most were hanging onto his every word, as old movies and celestial scenes played on the projection screen behind him, singing along to songs not officially released to the public.

New Orleans definitely supports its own when it comes to our artistic talent.

The audience for the show proved to be every bit as entertaining as the performer. We  were cool, weird, & black and then there were those that only wished they were as far as the eye could see.



One of the best moments of the show was when Frank Ocean sang an unreleased track, which features as the hook, the bounce classic, Primetime's ,"She Givin Me Love". The audience loved it and it made me feel nostalgic for the time when I was a strange  little girl in a beret that also liked 'that beat' like everybody else. And then there was the Sade cover....By Your Side...otherworldly.

I definitely left  Frank Ocean's concert a bigger fan than I came, which should be the goal of every artist's performances, I think.  It's great to see a black man get to be eccentric, talented, play it his own way and be loved for it. It gives me hope that all that teasing for beret, leather jacket, and boot wearing that I endured in 1990s New Orleans will be worth it, as long as I keep plucking these keys.

It's Monday y'all,
And Being blue ain't bad

Kick off your shoes and Swim Good...

Love,

Gypsy

He sang this about tenminutes into his set...a pretty gutsy move. He was like, here it is, but get into the rest of me, you'll love it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

We Found Love in a Hopeless Place

"We Found Love" might be my favorite Rihanna video. Its dark and dangerous but can be beautiful on the other side.When I watch this video, I remember beating the pavement, running the streets of New Orleans, fuckin, fightin, rolling, loving, and surviving a whole host of things we shouldn't have. There were kisses and scraped elbows, smoke sessions on the river, and a few bumped heads from when we lost our balance.

It was the time of my life.....

The True Story of the YoungGypsyChild in the Wild and her best comrade, Slim Streets, also known as Mac, Ghost, Atlas, Iceberg Slim, Tat2 Tim or our Timmy.




One Love
Now. Forever and Always....
RIP 12-4-81 to 11-4-09...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

They Spittin/Am Writing: Mid Morning Session

I'm all about punchlines and hastag rap. But I love when a rapper tells me a story. You know those songs that don't just give you bars but also a mood, vibe, and a backdrop. Those kinds of songs take you places. They transport you. Maybe they take you back to a time past or somewhere you've never been. Either way, being that I have taken a detour into the land of fiction writing again, a journey is what I'm looking for.

I've been writing these crazy ass stories, letting my hair get wild and having fun.

Here is a little of who or what has put me in the mood....




Like Wayne said,

"So 504 you got to kill me here ."

But always California dreamin',

Love,
Gypsy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Feast of All Saints

Tim drew this on a scrap of paper. It was like the very last sheet of paper in this cheap ass notepad I used to write poems in.

It was the kind of peice of paper most people would have thrown in the trash.

But nothing and no one was to be discarded in his eyes.

The total acceptance of things as they are... the joy and freedom that lies there... is the greatest lesson I learned from this greatest partner and comrade.

It was such a brief time-- it turns out. But I'm not mad.

We were rich, beautiful, broke,bummy and wild together. And we had a baby together.


What could have been better than that?



Maybe, just a little more time.



Rest in Peace Love---

Original artwork by:
Timothy McGary Jr. December 4th,1981- Novemeber 4th, 2009

Monday, October 31, 2011

We Wear the Mask: Show Your Face Today


Its Halloween, definitely my favorite holiday of the year rivalled only by Mardi Gras. I love these two holidays because I believe in the transformative power of masking and unmasking.  How for a day, one becomes the other.

Halloween is an opportunity to get in touch with spirit. The spirits of our ancestors and loved ones, who have gone before. A chance to let loose that inner self that we shut- in most other days.

Today is a day to let go of inhibitions that stop us from being our true selves. Halloween is a day free from judgement, so wear what you want.

Like my headpiece for example. I love it. It's like having jewelery as bangs.  I had another one that I loved even more before Katrina.

Once I wore it to my ex-boyfriend's dad's house. As soon as I walked in my ex cringed and his dad chuckled, trying to rib.

"Were you in a play?" he asked.

"Nah, Kristina just thinks she can live her life like it's Halloween." My ex joined in laughing with his dad. Needless to say, we weren't soulmates.

Wherever he is, I hope he knows, its been a decade and I'm still doing it.

Quite happily.

Do Whatcha Wanna,

Stay vicious

Love,

Gypsy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bro Q , The Golden Pistol and One Last Ride Through the Center of Town


I remember waking up last Thursday to the "unconfirmed" reports of Muammar Qaddaffi's death. Next thing I knew, I was being bombarded with the graphic footage of  a bloodied Colonel Qaddaffi, being led through the streets of Sirte.  This was followed shortly by the video and images of Qaddafi being hoisted into an ambulance, layed out on a stretcher, with a bullet in his head.

I wondered then and today, what all the hubaloo was over  not releasing the Bin Laden photos? Especially, given that  I had basically, just witnessed all but the actual gun shots of a murder on network television.

I have been feeling a little discombobulated, lately. I've been writing fiction but not blogging, watching the news but not offering much by way of my own two cents. This general feeling of unease of mine, I can trace back to many sources right now. But while it may sound a bit over-dramatic of me, to say...I think the pictures of Qaddaffi with a bullet in his head have only exacerbated the problem.



I have had the misfortune to have been very near gunfire, a few times, in my day. All the local coverage of murders in New Orleans, witness killings, bullshit police press conferences, and executed former dictators has been causing me to relive those incidents, lately.

It hasn't been fun. Quite frankly, it puts me in a dark place.

The rebel fighter in the picture below, proudly shows off a solid gold pistol.  Reportedly recovered from Qaddafi, it serves as a  powerful symbol of everything many tribes hated about his rule. Brute, military strength and a wealth, they were excluded from attaining.





Unlike in the case of Saddam Hussein, who was ultimately hung, there will be no trial. Qaddaffi will never go before the Libyan people for justice. His captors have already exacted their version of it on the people's behalf.  We the international community were allowed to become the most macabre of voyeurs.



I don't think beyond his tribe and his children, there are many that mourn the loss of Moammar Qaddafi. But with reports of mass graves filled with both Qaddafi Loyalists, Black Libyans and Black African mercenaries I hope no one expects life without him to be pretty.
 
With "Old Fuzzhead" pulled from a drainage ditch, I expect that new doors for Western Imperialism have been re-opened in Libya . And  that the people still trying to free themselves in Syria and Bahrain and Yemen will continue to suffer and fight.

In New Orleans, they've locked up Telly Hankton, but I don't know anyone in the hood who feels "safer". I expect that true people's freedom, here in New Orleans and abroad is still a long way off. Despite what they tell us on TV.

It has been reported that among Qaddaffi's last words to his captors was this:

"'Do you know what is right or wrong?"

Staring at the pictures of this bloodied  man with a gun to his head, watching the coverage of Serpas' press conference loop around and around, and recalling the events from the past that I'd rather forget, I ask myself the very same thing every day.



Remember,

The revolution will be no re-run brothers;



The revolution will be live.

Love,

Gypsy




Read more on the death of Qaddaffi @: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2052178/GADDAFI-DEATH-VIDEO-Moment-Libyan-dictator-killed-bullet-head.html#ixzz1btzeBksf

Friday, October 21, 2011

Public Service Announcement #3: You Get What You Pay For


This should be on a t-shirt, like seriously...So the next time somebody hims and haws to me about their "tax dollars" I could just point. So,  that maybe next time they saw state of the military equipment, they would get as mad as, when they see a young mother with an EBT card.

Somebody does have their hand in your pocket but its not poor people. Its more like banks that don't lend, and charge you to use your own money. It's like funding two wars, and guys on Wallstreet that made bad loans and then bet against them, profiting, as we say in the N.O., "however the cut goes...".

So while the top 1% controls 40% of the nation's wealth, we 99% are competing for the remaining 60% and quibbling over less than 10% of discretionary spending. Maybe some people can just stick their fingers in their ears and cover their eyes. But some of us can't. This casting of the people that have the least is like picking on the smallest kid on the playground. Its, unfair, unwarranted and unattractive of our culture.

The truth is hard and it hurts but we are a nation of blamers. But instead of blaming those people and institutions that hold society's progress hostage for real, we look downward with our most impassioned scorn. Its irrational and it holds us back as a people.

As long as we live in denial about the systemic causes of poverty in our country, things will stay the same.We may feel better about ourselves and our own accomplishments but nothing will change on the ground. What you can rest knowing is that the amount of people on food stamps, Medacaid etc. will be steadily rising as unemployment, poor working conditions and stagnant wages are around.

It's time to validate the lives, worth, resourcefulness and intellect of our community--not continue to disparage it. Part of that is knowing, who you are, what you are and where you come from. And like a fellow writer told me, once, when i was down:

"What you are is a beautiful person."

We are all beautiful people...Uncle Sam's contributions be dammed.


Hold your head up high,

Love,

Gypsy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When the Story Mocked is Your Own: Youth, Love and Violence in New Orleans


So, it's Hump Day in New Orleans...

I was trying this thing, where I made my Wednesday post all uplifting and upbeat, or at least pretty to look at.  But New Orleans just ain't a pretty sight lately.

Can I just say, I really detest politicians. Or maybe, more specifically, I hate the New Orleans' political machine. Totally abhor the nature of the beast that makes a photo-op out even their most grotesque failures and humiliations

People can kid themselves all they like but prohibition and poverty makes New Orleans a dangerous place to live in for all of us. Nobody, and I mean nobody, in city government is engaging the root causes of the violence in our city in a serious way. Press conferences to engage in a game of modern- day Cowboys and Indians or Elliot Ness and Al Capone, does nothing to make the city safer. In fact, I would say it only exacerbates the problem, an elevates the confrontational climate.

It definitely doesn't help when the those pledging to go , and smoke the criminals out of their holes, are widely perceived as at best out of touch and at worst corrupt themselves.

 A lethal mix of poverty, ignorance, depression, survival, greed, and  cultural materialism have made the trade that drives this all a thriving one. The dirty truth is that we are a community with divided loyalties from the top down and on both sides of the law.

Yet, at the end of the day, we [ black people] are dying and being locked up at a rate, not matched anywhere else in the world.

There is a certain kind of hopelessness,a despair, that takes root in heart  of our city's young men. I've seen it too many times. Watched that transform and be replaced with  pure malice and a profit-motivator. From then on, its on... and we are all the lesser for it.

 I don't know what the remedy is for filling up a lot of our generation and younger, who have been so hollowed out by this life. We have all shed tears for those lost to it and the mistakes we made in it. I know I don't like superficial displays of care and ego. I know that I hurt for my generation and the ones below me. I know I am a realist. And because of that, I worry about my son. He is growing up in a wild time. How will I protect him?

With all the ferocity of spirit it takes to be a mother. I pray,quite honestly, to make it, so that my son never has to experience this. Never has to feel the crushing weight of unreached potential. I am working hard, every day to make that happen.

It's a certified war-zone out here.

Put on your combat boots and ball to you fall, y'all...

Love,

Gypsy

New Orleans classic...personal narrative, religious philosophy, and all that from a baby gangster.





Monday, October 17, 2011

This is How I Look Without Make- Up: Out of the Dark with Mama's Gun,

So this is how the weekend went...

I visited the New Orleans  Healing Center,took some good pictures, felt like I had a mini- spiritual awakening  in the Island of Salvation Botanica and then wrote and  attempted to submit to a blogthe worst article ever about it.

I am still striking the article from memory, as we speak.

I proceeded to critique a short story for class that contained the ghost of dead slaves and the verb "shuffle". Let's just say I wasn't amused. Maybe it's tacky to put a classmate on blast and Workshop is a sacred space and blah, blah, blah. But, fuck it, I'll be polite when I get there.

 On my blog, I'm myself.

That was followed by some near tears over my feeling that my own writing is amounting to a lot of little bits and no one big thing. Makes me feel the unfamiliar feeling of an amateur.

Mix that with a little general discontent and you have the Gypsy in the dark, throwing a pity party, that could rival anything going on  in the street.

But while I get  down... I'm never out...

In  true New Orleans fashion, Sunday came, I went to a Saints Party,  and  got hella -fied drunk off Hennessy and my friend's rum punch.

The Saints lost but really the weekend wasn't all bad. Or ever as bad as I had made out to be.

I did start work on my own mini altar and make a collage to the Patron Saint Badu.

I have been on that Mama's Gun again hard. That's what you call making moves with a broken heart. Erykah makes art for those that understand her, prays for those that don't and sticks her ass out [literally] at those who disparage her.

My kinda woman.

There were some things I didn't get done but I'll get around to them. I'm crossing them off my list one by one and getting it done.

On my time, at my own pace and I'm starting to catch up.

I guess what I'm saying is even though its Monday and it's a mess...relax, take your time, cut yourself some slack.

I'm trying to loosen my own cuffs as well.

So maybe I choked and wrote a terrible article, maybe I have low tolerance for people figuring out their place in the world, using my history as a backdrop. Maybe I am moody, unpredictable, sensitive and  insufficiently ladylike...

But like Ms. Fatbelly  Badu says ,

I'm alright with me,

"Cleva when I buss a rhyme...Always on ya mind..."- Erykah Badu



Love,

The YoungGypsyChild

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Life You Save May Be Your Own: A Tale of Women, Health and Hospitals

It's Feminism Friday and I want to take a little time out to discuss a very serious issue.  Many women shy away from speaking about reproductive rights  openly.  Even more dangerous  is that so many women remain grossly uniformed about their options and rights under the law.

No matter what side of the debate you fall on, pregnancy, childbirth, etc. affects more women than any other single issue. Most women will become pregnant and/or decide to have a child at some point in their lives. As a result ,I think it is important that women remain in control and informed about their choices ,when it comes to reproduction.

In the midst of an economic crisis, the largest since The Great Depression, the Republican Party has once again taking their time out to attack women's reproductive rights. This isn't about whether you are pro-choice or pro-life. The GOP is intent on attacking the rights, health ,and lives of women even in pregnancies they have chosen to carry.

There is an old saying about being pregnant: one foot on the ground, one foot in the grave.

That's real talk and anyone who has had a baby knows it. Childbirth isn't a limo ride and their can be sserious complications. Today, I want all women to familiarize themselves with something called The Access to Emergency Treatment and Active Labor Act.

The Access to Emergency Treatment and Active Labor Act states that hospitals do not have the right to refuse treatment to patients in life or death situations.  And if they can't treat you they are required to transfer you to a facility that will.  How this has played out when it comes to  the treatment of women is in Catholic hospitals (at least 15% of all hospitals) is that women in life in death situations are transferred to other facilities.

Women, who are hemorrhaging, in sepsis, and in some cases not completely stabilized, must be transferred in order for them to receive life saving medical treatment, which in some cases is an abortion.  . For women in urban areas this may be a short trip but for those living outside cities, the next closest hospital, isn't all that close.

That women are still seen as only vessels for life with no innate right to it themselves is something beyond sad in the 21st century. Check the chart below. If you notice, America isn't exactly first-tier when it comes to mortality rates of women in childbirth.


The GOP Bill, would seek to add a "conscience clause" that would even further endanger the lives of women. If they had their way, they would provide  legal protection to health providers that refused to transfer dying women to other facilities, if  they believed those transfers would result in an abortion. Basically, we can call this, as other Democratic women  described the macabre law as, 'The Let Women Die Act'.  

Now this bill out of the House of Representatives is basically dead on arrival in the Senate. However, the 2012 election is about more than just the economy, believe it or not. It is about basic rights that many young women have never known their lives without. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, you have always had a choice. If the Republican party wins control of the White House, choice will be under attack in a big way.

All young women and men should really think about that in a serious way. Even if you are morally oppossed to abortion, if it becomes a crime what will be the punishment for women who receive them? How will you protect women from the back-alley abortions that still costs lives globally? And even if you are oppossed to abortion,  if you are woman, you will most likely find yourself in a maternity ward one day. You should hope the people taking care of you, see the goal of  preserving your life, or the worth of it, for what it truly is

Your Divine and Inalienable Right!

Fight for it,

Love,

Gypsy






Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hi Rihanna: Esquire's Sexiest Woman Alive Gets Dirty


It's Hump Day people and who better to celebrate this kind of morning with other than Rihanna? Some  have criticized her, wondering if there is any other strategy for selling her music, other than disrobing.

I think Rihanna would say, why do something else when you do one thing so well?

I had fun watching the BET Hip Hop Awards last night. The Cyphers being my favorite part. The best one contained an homage to my favorite rebel flower by 5'9 Royce.

 Esquire Magazine's Sexiest Woman Alive reminds us to love the skin we're in, loosen up and have a little fun.

Rihanna's taken her licks [literally] , gotten the shallow shit up off her, forgiven Chris Brown and seems intent on living her life to the fullest.

Life's too short to be sittin 'round miserable

Carpe Diem and
Happy humping,

Love,

Gypsy


Click [read more] below to check out the video of my favorite Cypher from last night's awards

Monday, October 10, 2011

YoungGypsyChild in the Wild: Chronicles of An Open Heart Part II

 I stepped out into the sunlight this morning with a few things on my mind.

I.  Good food, drink,smoke, sex, and people are always great to have.
II. Others only have control because we give it to them.

***
 Its really been shocking me lately how uptight, particularly, women my age can be. It seems to me that we are regressing culturally and intellectually when it comes to our relationships with men and our morals. With the new black male hustle evolving from "for-profit" churches to writing a books of  terrible dating advice--the women my age and younger seem so eager to prove they're not "angry" or "bitter". So hungry to show that they don't posess egos equal in size to their male counterparts and can be properly "submissive".

Whenever gender debates come up in the corner of the cafeteria ,where all the black kids hang out on Twitter, it always kills me how much women identify with men. Despite the fact that  sometimes the boys are arguing for more work for you to do, plus to shut the fuck up while doing it, girls are the main retweeters. And when it comes to "respectability" women where the pants on that patrol.

How does this relate to good food, drink, smoke, sex and people? Because the more closely aligned a woman seems to be with the theory that if she is a "good" enough girl, acts like a lady but thinks like a man, one day her prince will come...the less she seems to have of all of the above.

Am I only person that thinks that's wack?

I know I can't be.

At the end of the day I'm not here to knock anyone. I am a firm believer in "whatever floats your boat". I think marriage and/or monogamy with the right person is a worthy pursuit if it appeals to you. However, so often, women choose the wrong man in pursuit of the idea of marriage, and a lack of any other framework for their lives.

This wrong choice or just the committment to the idea often leads to an intense judgement for other women that choose differently. Not all women are concerned with being deemed "righteous", "respectable" and "poised". Some of us just want to live our lives and make art  instead. And if I get called a harlot for doing so, I will  be the one to make my own scarlett letter H for my chest.

There is nothing wrong with forming a healthy partnership with another human being. But hinging your fulfillment on it is foolish. Because the sad fact of the matter is that women don't control the dating game. And the reason we don't control it is because we care too much and are too concerned with being chosen.

Men don't spend their childhoods imagining the day they pick one of us, so why do so many women already have their weddings planned to imaginary men?

Sigh.


***
I have a friend, a muse of sorts, that posesses a unique ability to subtley infuriate me with his words. Many times I find them smug and pompous but often very true.

You are much more in control than you think you are, he said when I complained about my lack of it.

Great way to free yourself of any responsibility in this, I thought cynically.

But I also could not deny the truth of the statement. I was in control--I had only lied to myself because it was easier that way. When you realize you are in control, sometimes it means you have to put on your big girl panties. Face, facts, reality and situations for what they are--not what we wished they were.

"We are the ones we have been waiting for", said Mama Alice [Walker]. I think it's high time we all join hands, male and female, and stop planning and living for days that are not promised.

Take a sip, a toke (or not) ---lighten up and enjoy the present moment it's the one thing we have for sure.

Do it for your girl,

Love,

Gypsy


Friday, October 7, 2011

If You Were Traitor to the Movement: Blame Yourself Herman Cain!

I am about to do the unthinkable...

I am about to defend Republican, "Clarence Thomas lite", Herman Cain against uber-liberal, self-proclaimed, Socialist commentator Lawrence O'Donnell.

Last night on the Last Word, which airs nightly on MSNBC, O'Donnell and Cain went toe to toe over Cain's lack of participation in the Civil Right's Movement. O'Donnell referred to Cain's book, This is Herman Cain!, in which Cain recounts his father's advice to move to the back of the bus quietly and "stay out of trouble."

 I am the first to say that a man like Cain belongs in the psych ward for aligning himself with the likes of the Tea Party. I borderline question his sanity at times. I mean how does he really feel when he looks at those racist signs, or hears about Camp Niggerhead? What does he see when he looks in the mirrorr?

Those are valid questions from a reporter of any color, however, I resent a white man hammering at the line of questioning Lawrence O'Donnell hit Cain with last night.

Where would black people be if Rosa Parks had followed his advice?
Why were you on the sidelines while your classmates were on the Freedom Rides?

Parents want to protect their children at all costs--even if it costs their freedom sometimes. When Cain's father advised him to "stay out of trouble"--that "trouble" was often death at the hands of the system countless black youth were protesting.

As a white man, Lawrence O'Donnell would not have had to face such a decision in the Jim Crow South. Any participation in the Civil Rights Movement would have been entirely voluntary. And it is the height of arrogance to call a man out for cowardice,who in the sixties, had to choose between his life and their dignity on a daily basis.

I may be projecting but I think in Herman Cain's heart their may be a smidgen of shame that he chose to cover his own hide during that time. This may explain his attempt to represent himself as younger than ripe college age during the Freedom Rides. That shame may explain his antagonistic relationship with the rest of "brainwashed" lot of "us".

Maybe because of this shame, he choses to believe that we are to blame for the current economic climate in America. This shame of a man like Cain  is that he accepts the system as it is, he just wants his peice.There are winners and losers in this game.And Cain knows to the victor goes the spoils. So to a man like him ,better to be the winners' mascot, sleeping in the big house, with the all the good cooking than to be fighting in the fields with the plebes.

I think Lawrence O'Donnell should chill and thank his lucky stars, he never had to trade his soul for a slice of this all-American humble pie.


Foraging through the forrests Niggerhead for my next meal,

Love,

GYPSY

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chronicles of An Open Heart: YoungGypsyChild Afternoon Meditation

So it seems that I am waking up from a long,deep, slumber.

Coming up on the second anniversary of my son's father's death, the fog is beginning to lift--I am beginning to see clearly again.

 It is a painful process, not all filled with pleasant discoveries.

Pain is a difficult thing to rid one's self of but easy to mask. Sometimes we seek out people, places or things  to relieve it. I'm not ashamed  to say I've needed salve for my wounded heart .

What I've learned on this journey is that the trick is not to confuse the medicine for the cure.

In that regard--

I am getting stronger every day.

Love is something that resides deep in the human heart. A full and abiding sense of self  love in communion with empathy for others is the only cure for what ails us. For some experiences there is no resolution. I will never be able to "make right" at such a sudden, youthful, loss of life. What I can do is put one foot in front of the other, keep moving toward some destination be it darkness or light.

 I am optimist and I believe that my best days are ahead of me. To all those who shared some of my darkest, whether you knew it or not...

I thank you,

Love,

Gypsy

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So Lonesome I Could Cry: The Nigger Rears His Ugly "Head" Again

So... Hank Williams Jr. thinks Barack Obama is the twent-first century version of Hitler, the Perry's agreed with the previous owners of their hunting camp that Niggerhead was an apt name for the sprawling country, and Herman Cain thinks this is all a "distraction".

Whew, I'm not even going down that racial rabbit hole today. What drives the psychology of a man like Herman Cain is beyond me and not worth the trouble.

What is worth more than the time and the trouble is stopping our muted outrage at bullshit like this.

Yeah I'm on my lil' Angela Davis shit this morning because this is getting ridculous. From President Obama in diapers on a lawn Uptown, to Niggerheads, Hitlers, and tarbabies galore! Where and what time are we living in?

The answer is America and we are living in what has always been. People, it's time to act again. There is most definitely something brewing. You have to be comatose at this point not to see it.

When one New Orleans citizen exercized his first ammendment rights and posted that billboard of the President in diapers, about 60-70 New Orleans citizens exercized theirs and showed up at his house.


That's what I'm talking about...


History, Time has something in the works. You better believe that.


I think we should tell the story this time or at the very least give 'em hell,


Love,

Gypsy

Monday, October 3, 2011

Art and Life: The Woman in the Mirror


Armed with two coupons good for almost fifty percent off my total purchase, I entered Michael's, a local craftstore in Metairie, Louisiana on a mission. I would rid myself, or at least find an outlet for all the anxiety that I am filled with at this time of year.

I am coming up on the two year anniversary of my son's father's death and the mania of the time creeps back into my psyche not so subtlely. When I feel this way, I am restless. TV is no use because I can't pay attention--I can write but only for so long. Music helps but I still need something to do with my hands. 

This weekend I decided I would declutter my mind the way I used to when I was child. While my collages and paintings may not reveal any hidden inner genius, they do calm my nerves, make me feel connected to Marley's dad, and its also an activity that me and my son can do together.

Sitting out in the sun, feeling the breeze, gluing my feathers, flowers and magazine clippings into a "found poem"(a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry.) with my son's assistance, is as close to peace,as there is in this chaotic city of mine.

With each thing I create,I become closer to the woman in the mirror.I harness more and more of the power that lies in my own hands. 

As women we possess the power to both take and give life to all God's creation. It's like my girl Nikki Giovanni said,

I am so perfect, so divine, so ethereal, so surreal

I cannot be comprehended
except by my permission

Call it ego-trippin if you all like-- but in a city filled with choppers, cops, weight, victims, and perpetrators--armed with my feathers and my word...

I call it necessary.



By any means,

Love,

Gypsy


Friday, September 30, 2011

Dear Old Gypsy: Where Y'at Girl?

I am looking for you honey. Maybe not the you, who had two-toned hair and was known to flick a camera off faster than you'd smile...

 I have been channeling a little bit of your fearlessness.Your ability to wander without the lust for it.  Your surety that  all the cool people dug you and those  folk who couldn't, fell in the category of the impossibly lame.

Call it a big -ego, but you looked at it like a security blanket for a cold, cold, world. A world that will chew your identity and spit it out with the quickness if you let it. You have to have something you call your own out here and it's best to start with yourself.

When it comes to dealing with men, before love and broken hearts and especially after, I think Rihanna said it best, "falling like the rain, so we aint running out..."

I see you, lil' young Gypsy...There is a freedom that comes with embracing who you are, experiencing real love. It is the point of no return...

I been off the porch,

 Love,

Gypsy

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back Down Memory Lane: Love and Struggle Mixtape

I listen to a lot of music. I find it cathartic to reminisce, about what certain songs meant to you, where you  were when you first heard or they first made an impact on you. I love a good hip hop cut where the magic of art meets the hardest of cement realities. I just want to share a few with you all.

I say this is Turk's best verse EVER...5 feet 8 inches tall...my back against the wall. When I hear this song I think about two crazy ass kids in love with one another and lost in the world.


Love is so good when it's sweet. I think Onyx, Bayou Road before Katrina



Oooh baby I like it raw...the best hook EVER...


85% communication non-verbal, 85% swear they know you...10% you know they story, man tha other 5... time'll show you, just know you


Dark Man X... I miss him


I used to say this girl was the NYC Gypsy lol...This is a real ass song...sometimes you just gotta charge it to the game.


Makes it hard to ever love again...but the allure of the game...keeps calling my name.
 
I'm vibin so don't nobody start a fight...
 
Love,
 
Gypsy
 

Friday, September 23, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small: Conceptions of Infinite Love

Today is Feminism Friday and  I am thinking, like I always am, about how to live my life authentically. I seek this quality in all areas...my relationships, my work, my spirituality.

I had a conversation yesterday with a friend in which I was trying to explain how "God-fearing" spirituality could fall outside of both Christianity and monotheism. I didn't have much luck.

I don't proselytize or seek converts--just respect. Maybe a little, just a little, understanding that the divine exists outside of our man-made labels and can't be absolutely confined or defined by them.

Feeling a little down, as I can get, when I am misunderstood by someone I care for--I sat outside reading some work by Zitkala Sa.

Zitkala was an early political activist for the rights of the indigenous. She was a thinker, a beautiful,brave, woman and a courageous, courageous writer. She gives me courage every day to affirm my identity, my ancestors, and my spirituality.

She said it better than I ever could, so I will leave you with her words:

Still I would not forget that the pale-faced missionary and the hoodooed aborigine are both God's creatures, though small indeed their own conceptions of Infinite Love. A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan.

Zitkala-Sa.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Every Decent Man is Ashamed of the Government He Lives Under


No Justice,

No Peace,

Love,

Gypsy



*quote by HL Mencken

These Rights are Declared to be Natural, Inherent, and Unalienable?


So it seems on the anniversary of the 1906 Race Riot in Atlanta,the state of Georgia seems determined to execute Troy Davis. Despite the fact that there is no murder weapon, no physical evidence, and nearly all the eyewittnesses have recanted their testimony--truth is appparently, unimportant.

Only the judge Penny Freesemann can revoke the death warrant, leave your honor a message urging her to do so at 912-652-7252.

So often, black people are told to: "move on" ,"get over it". We are often reminded of how long ago "all that" was.

In 1906 Atlanta newspapers ran stories about multiple white women being assaulted by black men. A white mob began to form...anywhere from 25 to 50 black people were reported killed. That these new stories were bogus but an afterthought.

1906...that was such a long time ago...

Right?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In Defense of Magical Realism, Zora Neale, with a Little Help From America's Next Top Model?

I have recently fallen back down the rabbit hole in my writing life by returning to the world of fiction writing. It has been awhile....what began as an amicable, temporary, separation became a bitter divorce following Hurricane Katrina.

I have always written about the magic of and in the real world. So,when all that real magic was literally covered in muck, I didn't know what to do. My characters and my stories sat there, damp and rotting--molding over into nothing.

It’s funny that this Fall is bringing forth so much resurrection in my life.  Ray and Fadi are the first characters to come back alive in my memory. It seems that without me paying attention they have taken the journey of the last six years with me, growing and changing, accepting and wrapping their brains around the "new" New Orleans. Reunion is great and the emotion is real--I missed them.

Sticking my neck back out in fiction has been interesting and I am approaching this journey whole-heartedly with the intent to grow as a writer and blah blah blah. But true to form I remain hella sarcastic, so I would like to share some pearls of wisdom I have gained since beginning this foray.

1. Realism itself is not interesting
2. Writing in dialect is NOT okay
3.Magical realism is at best dead and at worst trite

Ouch...taking these commandments into consideration leaves me just about dead on arrival in the land of modern "literary" fiction. Apparently, since a bunch of twenty-something year-old white women in academia did a piss poor job at magical realism, co-opting it into mediocrity, people of color in the south, whose experience is undoubtedly engaged with the supernatural, is now negated.

Monday, September 19, 2011

'Work it Kinda Vicious': This Funny Little Thing Called Love


Sometimes when a person enters the room,music begins to play and you aren't sure why. All others fade from focus and in a space packed by thousands, your mind sees only the two of you in the sunlight of a new morning...

There are some people you just can't resist--some actions have no explanation other than Force. I think Amber and Wiz are a great example of one those attractions that moves at ninety miles per hour, from lack of any other speed being possible.

But where are the boundaries between powerful attraction and love? Where do Force and "love at first sight", intersect and depart? When does attraction become just plain,old, everyday Lust? When does resistance become manipulation? Can hurt be transformed and where does the cycle end?

I hate the "dating" game. I find its preoccupations false and the power plays cheap.

Don't call first--let him call you....So how long do you wait to have sex? Are we dating or friends with benefits? Friends...how many of us have them?

Whatever happened to genuine, human connections and all the rest of that corny shit? Did it ever exist before the "g-code" "real niggas", "down ass bitches" and the "lady-like" took over the conversation?

When did just letting the music play, become so bad?

Friday, September 16, 2011

"In This Great Future, You Can't Forget Your Past"


As I've stated in other posts, one of my favorite sayings of the Buddha is this: "If you find truth in any religion, accept that truth." Meaning, just because some wisdom falls outside your denomination or your decision not to partcipate in organized religion, don't feel that you cannot embrace it.

Living life with this principle in mind has allowed ancestor veneration to play an important role in my spirituality. Ancestor veneration asks that we keep our ancestors in the forefront of our minds and that we trust their lives to guide us to and through wisdom in our own.

Because it's Feminism Friday, today's ancestor is Marie Laveau--badass voodoo queen, once called the "most powerful woman in New Orleans."

In today's world, where it is so hard to make it, I look to a woman like her to guide me. Back when there were few ways for a free woman of color to support herself, Marie used the power of the spirits, the power of her mind and her gifted hands to carve out--not only a life but a legacy.

I am on a little hiatus from the rat race right now. I quit my nine to five to focus on graduate school and my writing. I realized that I'd rather create right now than move up. And if that means no malls for a minute --I'm good with that.

I had a great night and a beautiful morning...I opened my door and sat in the sunlight, feeling the breeze and listening to the delicate jingle of my windchimes. While sitting, I said a prayer: Marie Leveau ...Loa, Lost- ancestor , Mother,I ask that you guide my hands--remind me of just how nimble they can be.

And in the quiet of the moment, I am almost certain I heard her voice...

Always, always remember who you are.


Love,

Gypsy

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not a Customer, Crony: The Value of Owning Yourself

President Obama calls himself an "Eternal Optimist", a worldview for which he has received more than a little flack. Many people have tired of his Pollyanna approach to dealing with the Republicans. Many of his constituents see no silver lining in the dark, ominous, clouds hanging over them.

The President has also been nicknamed "No Drama Obama" for the unflappable "cool" he projects no matter the circumstances.

Whether they be hicks from the Carolinas shouting out: You lie!, during his State of the Union... or the tantrums of the House Republicans, who decided to skip his joint session of Congress...to the jilting at the altar by The Tan Man,John Boehner,on the Debt Limit...what you won't see is Barack Obama let the inferior get the best of him.

This is one may favorite clips of the President. Breaking down one of the simple truths of life, courtesy of my man Jigga's wise words. There really ain't shit you can do about a hater but let him do so.



Their abuse will bury you in the sand if you let it pile up or get to you. It's best to brush their careless insults to the side one by one. Keep your eyes on the prize, keep putting the wheels in motion, one spoke at a time.

After many years of rolling with a hot one on my shoulders, I learned the value of a cool head. Playing with fire, you get burned.

Today,I am walking out of one door and opening several others. Accuse me of having illusions of grandeur, but I figure like if Barack Obama and Shawn Carter can do it, than I can do it too.

Maybe not be President of the United States or have eleven number one albums in a row. But I can figure out how to make a living while keeping my dignity. I can keep my cool, when racists want you to just have " a nigga moment", as Huey Freeman would call it.

So I'm going to come out on top, have the last laugh, put one in my pipe and smoke it. Plus write a book of my own to boot.

If you feelin like a pimp...

*dust falling at my sides*


Love,

Gypsy

Friday, September 9, 2011

Manumission Isn't Only For Man: Feminism Friday

There is a saying that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I would amend that and say sometimes it begins with a giant leap. I had a powerful conversation with a fellow writer a couple weekends ago. She stated it so eloquently, stop starting from the place of sacrafice when you don't have to. Open yourself up to oppurtunity.

I have a rebellious spirit,my family's legacy of freedom in Louisiana predates the Emmancipation Proclamation. My heart and soul derives from them. I owe it to all the blood spilled, so that I might live,to offer the best of myself to the world. I decided a couple days ago,instead of being in service to men or The Man, I will do my part for mankind.

Its time for us to reclaim our minds, heart and most basically, our human dignity.

It is our birthright.

be Brave,

Love,

Gypsy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life Without Fear : Salvation is a Journey

Been down many roads in my life, so I have learned that there is much wisdom to be had in this wide wide world. One of my favorite sayings of the Buddha is, "if you find truth in any religion, accept that truth".

Its a principle I live my life by. Meaning, that I have met people of all faiths and those that profess none, that have illuminated my existance and shown me that life can be lived and understood in a more complex way than what is available on the surface.I see this possibility for illumination in every being that I encounter, so I strive to live with compassion and an open heart above all. I am often times mistunderstood but with compassion comes acceptance, so I remain patient.

One of my other favorite quotes is by French philosopher, Descartes. "I think therefore I am." One of the simplest, most powerful truths in life. It is the one thing around which there is no debate. It is one thing you can hang your hat on in this world of illusion.

Never be afraid to exist,

Speak it, Be it...

Love,

Gypsy