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Myesha Jenkins

Introduction To The Stream

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Dear Reader:

Myesha Jenkins here and … glad to find you on this path.

I’m excited because I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m a poet and performer. I’ve written a few articles, a couple of reviews. So I am nervously excited to be embarking on another journey, this thing called a blog. Where I have to be consistent and make sense and be able to defend my opinions. Well, … its my space to talk about any number of random things that I generally only share with a few close friends.

In Stream of Consciousness you will get an idea of what goes through my head, what I care about, what I see, the values I try and live by. You will also get my attempts to touch that universal Stream of Consciousness that connects us to all living things, including each other. As with any relationship, I embrace the possibilities of my growth, development and understanding. We are building one another.

I’m open, honest and straightforward looking to make connections with and for people. I am an older black woman feminist expat African-American alcoholic spiritualist poet. Whew, is that jacket big enough? I am totally committed to the future, to creating the new. So I’ll be talking from those references; I’m known to be opinionated. I make all apologies now, for my cultural, linguistic, and historical inadequacies. Always know I’m just trying to be a human being, no harm intended.

So hopefully this blog will touch you in some way that encourages discussion and engagement, will allow me to share some of my truths (even half-baked ideas), will let us explore some new territory.

And here’s another, much more personal reflection on who I am.

Autobiography

It was too early
Blood, blood, everywhere
mother hemorrhaging, the priest gave her last rites
sorry father, no hope for baby
Nineteen forty-eight
I was born a rebel at birth
I never had a good relationship with my mother.

I grew, played rough, was smart, had friends
sprouted hair, grew tits and started bleeding
By eight I knew my body was
fearful, shameful, dangerous
That year my brother got married
I was raised like an only child.

I grew into a tomboy girl, achieving girl, woman girl
My first political march at 14 for four black girls just like me
blown up in a Birmingham church.

I loved, married, divorced, lived on stages pretending to be whatever you needed me to be and I drank
College, Black Power, sexuality, a new name, given two months “in Africa” and I drank
Became a communist, studied Marxism Leninism, thought I was a revolutionary
went to meetings, led marches, learned to shoot, organized events, went to Cuba, to Nicaragua and I drank
Women’s Day, AGMs, demonstrations, speaking tours, pamphlets, summations, fundraisers and I drank
Jesse Jackson campaign, Black Community Task Force, Women’s Building, Bay Area Anti-Apartheid Network, Venceremos Brigade, Somos Hermanas and I drank
LA, DC, San Francisco, Atlanta, Berkeley, Oakland and I drank
Bill, Fred, James, Tony, Leon, Ralph, Andy, Vicki, Joy, Michelle, Sandi.

And I drank into insanity
denial, secrets, convulsions, hopelessness
weed, pills, cocaine
Couldn’t be there in my skin
At the bottom there was only up.

Born again at 38.
The goodness of life
began in my struggle to stay sober
to change my outlook on life.
I have survived earthquakes, fires, floods and tornados
nearly drowned in Hawaii
Touched an ancient religion
Met revolutionaries.

I left that home at 44 and made a new one
South Africa’s spirit of freedom absorbed me
I found a poets voice, enjoy young lovers, shout in jazz club and cry for beauty.

There are things that I’m not proud of –
vanity, infidelity, rage, dogmatism, adultery, violence
but I have come to accept what I am.

Worked for rich people and poor people
mostly to change the circumstances of women and black people
Sadly never had children

Still other memories –
tree-lined beaches, abandoned cars with names, road trips, hot tubs, the friendship of women.

I remain a sucker for a jazz musician or poet.
Conscious of politics but no longer active
Obatala and the ancestors light my path
Discovered flying
I find much to be happy about.

– End –

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