Tag Archives: art


Dear World,
This is my film No Way Home if you want to watch it, it’s $1.50… If you want to buy it it’s $3… Could i let you see it for free? Sure… But shit cost me $15K to make… and that doesn’t include the labor of my friends and family who worked for free… These co-conspirators are named in the credits of the film, i won’t bore you with names you’ve never heard of (but deserve to be known) and that have no bearing on anything since you haven’t yet seen the film… It would only make this post longer and we all know how shorter is better on the internets… But damn, they are an incredibly talented bunch… and i’m blessed to be able to call them friends and doubly blessed to count them as artistic co-conspirators…
photo by Sam Lahoz

i shot it on film… Yeah film, 100′ rolls of Kodak Vision 3 • 7213 • 500T stock … On a Bolex connected to a battery belt to power the motor… We shot some of it in Queens and Brooklyn and Washington Heights in upper Manhattan in New York City and we shot some in Valley Of Fire in Nevada and in Red Rock Canyon just outside of Vegas… Some more friends of mine who are musicians and also worked for love, not pay… created a beautiful original improvised score… They’re names are in the credits too…


It’s 20 minutes long… It’s about finding god in yourself and in others and fusing the fractured pieces together… It could be a narrative if you believe narratives can be a simple as this… It could also be a non-narrative… i’m too close to know… or care… i hope you like it but i don’t really give a fuck if you do… My friends and i made some beautiful unforgettable memories making the film… and if you watch the film and pay close attention you’ll feel that beauty coming through wrapped up in the images and the sound… Anyway the beautiful unforgettable memories we made are enough with or without a film… There are pieces of this in the film to prove these statements… Watch it… look closely, listen intently, leave yourself open and the reward will come…
i don’t do this film thing for the money… i don’t do it for the love either… Although maybe there’s a kind of love there but if there is, it’s a complicated love… i do this to stay safe, to sane, to stay secure in my own soul, to stay stabile in my own mind… When i’m not making films my blood goes bad, the saliva in my mouth drys up, my muscles get tight and nothing feels right… The demons squat my well being and evict my peace and my worthlessness threatens to rise above my head and drown me… Only making the films eases the pain, reduces the fever, alleviates the ache of feeling too much, makes the waters of worthlessness recede…
Not to say that making the films is not without its own pain, fever and ache… But it’s different… It’s tangible… it’s something that can be touched and held and the problems of filmmaking can all be solved… Unlike trying to find the god within yourself or within someone else and trying to fuse the fracture…
It would be nice if you saw the film… and even better if you got something more than beautiful images and honest poetry and incredible music… It would be good to even make a few dollars to recoup and reinvest into the next film that’s building in me like a storm in the distance ready to test me… again…
No Way Home Sunset Poster
photo by Sam Lahoz design by vagabond

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1P2


M O V E by vagabond ©

31 years ago the Philadelphia Police Department dropped a bomb on the home of the MOVE organization… Six adults and five children were killed and 65 other homes in the area were destroyed due to the fire that consumed the area…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1ON


zapatista by vagabond ©


when we showed ourselves
you dismissed us from sight
and omitted us from memory
when we told our story
the sound got lost
in a maze of cognitive dissonance
when we were unarmed
you attacked us as evidence of
some false superiority

now we cover our faces
and you struggle to remember
what was so easy to forget
our eyes tell a story
that resonates with a frequency
of sound never before heard
we take up arms
because our self defense
will free us first and then you

the new year
was as good an excuse as any
to puncture your bloated illusion
with a violence done right
to return your imperialism
with our anarchy
to rewrite the future
with the missing history
of 500 years

– vagabond ©

Note: April being poetry month i wanted to challenge myself to have a poem with an accompanying piece of art for each day of the month posted on this space… Share what you like… both online and off…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1Jb


Four Baptisms
4 baptisms by vagabond ©

4 baptisms

star dust comes
burning out of the sky
gathering a consciousness
as it falls to the sea


the ocean cools
the surface
and the soul takes a form
that will always thirst

inhale exhale
this is the machinery of living
exhale inhale
duality within the singular corpus

algor mortis
let it go resting in earth
returns us to star dust
to hurtle in space around the sun

-vagabond ©

Note: April being poetry month i wanted to challenge myself to have a poem with an accompanying piece of art for each day of the month posted here in this space… Share what you like… both online and off…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1Io




So attacks in Brussels by ISIS or ISIL or so-called affiliates or whoever the fuck is todays boogeyman are all over the news today… And the faux shock of chickens coming home to roost begins one more time… How could this happen…? How could our white superiority be attacked yet again…? And the talking head faces of white supremacy all say the same thing… Don’t these sand niggers know there place is beneath our heel…? Don’t these camel jockeys know that we can blow them back to the stone age…? Don’t these A-rabs know who they are fucking with…? Of course they don’t use those words but the effect is the same…

How many people on Facebook will change their profile picture to a Belgian flag in solidarity…? Will there be an app that Facebook will make for it…? Will we all feel better now that there is…? Will it assuage the guilt of living off the constant and consistent misery of almost everywhere outside the US, UK and Europe…? Will you donate to the GoFundMe page…? Or send out a tweet with whatever hashtag that comes with each and every act of first world terrorism …?

Every terror attack in London or Madrid or Paris or San Bernardino California is just an occasional appetizer in comparison to the constant feast of violence that London and Madrid and Paris and San Bernardino are serving up in places like Syria or Libya or Nigeria… Terrorism is just another tactic of political negotiation… And the US, UK and Europe have set the terms… They set the terms in 1492 with their racism and their slavery and their imperialism… They set the terms with their settler colonial mentality of white supremacy as their politic… And when that supremacy is challenged using the same tactics that created that very same supremacy the surprise is overdone to to insure that no one sees past the shock to see the guilt…

And for over half an eon the blood bath has been clogging the pipes and overflowing onto a killing floor… And when we try and get out of the tub to reach for a towel to wipe away the horror we slip and stub our toe and scream, ‘who left this blood on the floor where you can slip’…? And then we blame Bin Laden or the Taliban or Al Qaeda or ISIS for stubbing our toe on the history we spilled with the horror we let our democracy create…

In less poetic terms and to make it plain… We vote for Cameron and Bush and Berlusconi and Merkel and Putin and we toy with the idea now of voting for Trump or Clinton (again) and we wonder why they hate our bullshit democracy… We wonder why they hate our capitalist thirst for more than we can need and more than we can hold… We wonder why 99.9999% of them want us to get the fuck out of their country and just just leave them the fuck alone…? And you wonder why 0.00001% of them strap a bulletproof vest on with a thousand armor piercing rounds or drive a car full of explosives into into a cafe, a subway, an airport, a nightclub, a restaurant…

The problem with our bewilderment is that it’s only awakened by acts of terrorism that are close enough to ring in our ears, close enough for us to smell, close enough to choke on the smoke of burning rubber and plastic, close enough to mop up, close enough to bury… Our bewilderment is only shaken when the terrorism is visceral for us… When it’s around our corner, when it’s at our door, when it’s in the cloud of smoke that just won’t clear outside our broken windows, when it’s the sirens we can only see because our ear drums are shattered and we have to pick glass and shrapnel from our body before we bandage our wounds… This is the only time we wonder why… This is the only time the veil of our bewilderment can be lifted…

When the news cameras showed us the refugee grandmother carrying all that she could of her belongings while she held the hand of a child or the crying baby being pulled from the rubble in Libya, or the father in Iraq covered in blood carrying his son into the street, the veil that protected our bewilderment could not be lifted… When Boko Haram slaughtered 2000 Nigerians that was Nigeria, not us, when 147 Kenyans were killed at Garissa University College that was Kenya, not us, when 142 were killed in Sana’a in Yemen that was Yemen, not us, when 22 were killed in the Ivory Coast were slaughtered that was Ivory Coast, not us … The Facebook app to change flags doesn’t come in “African” and the hashtag never went viral on twitter…

Do we remember Aylan Kurdi…? No…? We don’t remember the name of the lifeless three year old refugee boy from Kobanî, Syria, found washed up on the shore of Turkey…? Then i guess we won’t remember Gelani or Rheana..? His five year old brother and his mother who also drowned off the coast of Turkey either… But we remember the Eagles Of Death Metal…? The american rock band that was playing in Paris the night of the attacks… Of course we do… The Eagles Of Death Metal were able to lift that veil that kept our bewilderment under wraps but when the Muslim Mandera Heroes of Kenya stood up to protect Christians on a bus from slaughter by Al Shabab the veil of bewilderment remained because it’s  Kenya… It’s over there… It’s how things are over there…

And now the delayed shock and the bewilderment of the war as it comes home… The karma comes home to nest… The horror that we sent into the world with our democracy, the same democracy that brought us Cameron and Bush and Berlusconi and Merkel and Putin and even our beloved Obama… The most advanced democracies in the world that can only find solutions in misery and terror… The horror returns home like a prodigal son, and we shun it, bewildered at how something like this could exist, unable to recognize that which we created…

We gave birth to this horror… What can we expect when it comes home…? Instead of taking ownership of it we turn it back out into the world to reek more havoc thinking surely this horror doesn’t belong here, surely this horror isn’t ours, surely that belongs somewhere else, surely that belongs to someone else…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1Dp


BUk and vagabond

So the rumors of my death or near death have been only slightly exaggerated – but not without cause… Had a traffic jam in my heart and you all know how much i hate traffic… The blockage in my heart gave a me a heart attack… A combo of inheritance (genetics), good eats (but bad for your health) and filmmaker artist blues (stress)…

So Friday December 18th shoulda been on my tombstone but i have cheated death again… temporarily… at least for now… And now Friday December 18th of 2015 is kind of a 2nd birthday… It’s nice having a 2nd birthday but i wouldn’t recommend it… One is enough for all of us…

i’m in the good and very capable hands in the BX at Montefiore and the nurses and docs here are top notch… Whatever they pay these people it’s not enough… The Filipino, Ghanaian, Jamaican, Trinidadian, Italian, Gambian, Indian, Monserratian, Iranian, Korean, Chinese, Dominican, Puerto Rican hospital crew got my back… All smart and compassionate and tough and on message… i can’t tell you how many of them have told me about how much i have to change my eating habits and lifestyle – they don’t want me coming back – at least not under these conditions

i’ll try my best to make changes… no salt, no sugar, no red meat, no fat… my taste palate just went beige, no flavor, no color, no taste… Not a complete ban on that stuff but everything in moderation – very small moderation… Big changes must come and must come soon… It’ll be hard but i’m a do it… There are too many films asking to be made and asking me to make them and too many places i’ve never been on this big blue marble… And way too many people that would be upset if i don’t make some positive health changes…

But the docs say i’m lucky… Dodged a bullet like Neo in The Matrix… They say my echo is good and miniscule damage to the heart because i got in early… Props to the ambulance driver, she can wheel… (must find her and giver her, her propers)… So i’m good… Was Chillin’ in hospital while they made sure i’m good… They say i should be back on the streets soon…

Home now and chillin’ like the villain that i am… thinking about how to balance the idea of getting more done with my renewed lease on life without being consumed by the stress that broke my heart in the first place… i think the artist has the advantage of having the outlet of art but it also comes with the life long constant and ever imposing reality that you will never be free of art… It’s impossible for the artist to turn off their mind, to stop working, to stop being creative… The artist’s mind is constantly working, constantly scrutinizing the world and trying to make sense of what a life that for the most part has no logic…

Artist’s don’t take daze off… They don’t take vacations… Don’t go on holidaze… Don’t know what it is to leave work behind… The artist mind is always racing and between the pressures of making some kind of living (either with or without your art), family, friends, etc… it can be rough to be stress free… The only time we become stress free is when we finish a project… There’s that momentary satisfaction, that peace, that tranquility of purging the idea… And we enjoy it… It’s a rush that purges the stress… But it’s temporary…

The next idea is creepin’ around and rearing up it’s head and asking what about me…? When are you gonna realize me…? And so it begins again… The fever, the anxiety, the stress, the restriction, the pull, the tightening…

Before my heart attack i would often kill many of these ideas in my head in order to shut them up… How many ideas have been killed…? How much blood is on my hands…? i imagine that there is a room in my head  where i keep the dead bodies of ideas… i only open the door to that room to toss the corpses of artistic ideas in… i never look to see how the dead bodies are piled up or how many there are…

For the past year i have been trying to do two documentaries at once… Harlem’s Last Poet on the life of Last Poet Abiodun Oyewole and Six Shooters about six Puerto Rican teenagers from the 70’s and 80’s who chose camera as their weapon of choice… Been working on a sci-fi script that i’m halfway through writing…  Have to edit a short film tentatively entitled Sacred And Profane shot in the deserts of Nevada this past Spring with my Red Epic… Gotta get a short film we made a year ago called Coney Island Dreaming out to some festivals and see what happens… Trying to adapt an Afro-Futurist novel for the big screen as a potential Hollywood franchise… Some time next Spring a book of posts from this blog will be published by 2 Leaf Press under the name NOTHING TO BE GAINED HERE… And there are other ideas other projects in various stages all calling for attention…

This art thing is a lover… and like all lovers we fight and we make love and we fight and we talk and we refuse to talk and we argue and we forgive… It’s a lover, this art thing, and it will kill me… Art will be the death of me (hopefully)… You have to die of something and art is good way to live and i suppose it’s as good way to die… as good as any other way…

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1eniL-1Bb


Trans-sister by vagabond ©
Trans-sister by vagabond ©

A while back i illustrated a book of poetry called Last Of The Po’Ricans Y Otras Afro-artifacts. One of the poems in the book was called Trans-sister and it was about Puerto Rican Trans woman Sylvia Rivera and her fight for equality and justice… Sylvia Rivera was at Stonewall on that fateful day of June 28, 1969… With the ruling by the US Supreme Court that the entire US must recognize Marriage Equality i thought it important to remind people of that the modern day LGBTQ struggle for rights was born at the Stonewall Inn in NYC…

It’s good that the LGBTQ brothers and sisters have some equal ground to stand upon after so many years of pain and struggle and it’s a moment worth celebrating… At the same time we have to remember that homophobia, gay homeless youth, trans phobia, and the everyday violence that people face for being themselves is something that continues… So let’s celebrate this victory and use it strengthen the other work that must be done…

Shortlink:  http://wp.me/p1eniL-1Av