About Me

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Sterling Heights, MI, United States
"I give a damn what any fan thinks of my legacy. I'm tryna live life in the sight of God's memory, like that y'all." ~Mos Def

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dear 2009 - ode to the year.

Dear 2009:

What a whirlwind of a year you've been for me. I'd successfully closed the door on my hurts with James Keath and locked my heart away in the hopes that one day it would be taken seriously. I started a new poetry venue. I re-entered the studio to what is now becoming one of the most amazing projects ever. I absolutely smashed WOWps 2009 and brought the event into the black. The 14th Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners was a complete success and I'd even tucked away my feelings of those that had offended me on my job. You brought Robert Anthony Kotaran to my life and I'm finally in the relationship with a man that I'd only witnessed on made-for-tv romances (and he's a white dude, who would've called that one). I moved out of the hell that was Ann Arbor - with its racism and issues and cute stores and mis-informed people. I moved to Sterling Heights with its quietness and quietness and quietness.


You've shown me the error of my ways. You showed me humility. You've made me really face myself and admit that there is plenty I can improve on. You've taught me that even in my mistakes that there is nothing wrong with admitting I'm wrong and seeking forgiveness. You've helped me to take compassion on the unforgivable and to truly forgive them. You've illuminated when I haven't been great to those that love me and have shown me acceptance when those relationships had to end. You have given me the strength to organize and categorize my relationships. I understand that not everyone deserves front row access to my life. I understand that it is going to be uncomfortable for them when the VIP card is revoked. I understand that they will be okay.


You've shown me the spirit of giving this year. I've given more of my time, talent and money than I ever have in life! What a beautiful bounty of reciprocity I've received from the act! I pray that I continue on the journey of giving in 2010. I pray that I inspire others to do the same.


You've shown me where I've been lazy this year. I have put so many of my dreams on hold not believing in my own talents. I have put so many of my dreams on hold waiting for others to activate them. I have put so many of my dreams on hold because I didn't want to be the only person at the top. I have put so many of my dreams on hold for fear of actually succeeding. I am upset that I KNOW that a man's life is the sum total of the choices that he/she makes and that I didn't activate that faculty in my brain. I forgive myself. I will not fail as I embark into 2010.


You've made it painfully clear that I haven't spent enough time with the people I really miss and who miss me because I've been spending so much time hanging out in other social groups. I will be spending my time more wisely this year. You have also made it painfully clear that my friends are NOT my family. They have been given the role of friend for a reason. It is unfair of me to expect them to bend like my family would. I will take that burden off of them effective immediately. The very act alone will release me from the unfair resentment I feel when I'm not loved back at the same capacity that I love them. I accept that responsibility. I will do better.


No other year has forced to me to realize that I am an adult like you have. I will not throw tantrums. I will grow up. I am more excited about my womanhood than ever.


You have made me hopeful for marriage, travel, new business ventures and self-actualization in 2010. Thank you for teaching me to write my vision plainly. How excited I am! What a beautiful accountability partner you've given me in Anthony. Teach me to appreciate the gifts you've given me. Help me not to outsource for what you've already blessed me with.


Thanks so much for: Anthony, Ty, Paul, Omari, Tawanna, Alicia Martin, PEACE, Chace, Chantay, Keisha, Kesha, Alicia, Brian, Jose, James, Leah Evans, Lia, Liz W. (prayer warrior and chief intercessor), Matt, Beverly, William Evans, Alex, Torreano, Liteshineth and Deonte. I certainly hope to deepen my relationships with all of you this year.

Shibu and Carmen
Matthew and Beverly

You should know that I completely admire you and am really looking forward to retreating with you all this winter.


I'm expecting new doors, new opportunities, increased health, peace of mind, prosperity, overcoming my past, honing in closer to the relationships that are truly beneficial and not superficial. I am loving the strength of my family and am looking forward to our growing closeness. I expect to be better than ever.

I wish all of the same things for you too. I hope we cross over together. 2010 - I'm coming to reclaim everything that was lost and to acquire all that I desire!

~La Shaun phoenix Moore

Monday, October 19, 2009

Evolving - 101

One of the things that I've become keenly aware of in the last few months is the number of things I've tolerated versus the number of things I actually believe in/care about/participated in et cetera.

The thing about self-victimization is the fact that YOU (I) always get the opportunity to come out as the victim. You blindly avoid responsibility and eagerly shift that blame off to others. There is one kryptonite, if you will, for self-victimization: Keeping it real with yourself and others.

I've been becoming more brave in saying that there are some people, places and things that I'd rather not be bother with because I'm just not interested in them. I've forgiven myself about feeling bad when I say "no" to something that I actually don't want to participate in. I've quieted the things around me so that I can really HEAR myself. I realize that I only want to draw to me and my space the things that will grow and strengthen me. Not all of those things have to necessarily be good-feeling things. They just have to be self-actualizing things.

I encourage each of you to drown out some of the noise pollution around you. While it certainly won't win you any favorable glances from your friends/fam when you take a moment to withdraw, I encourage you to be completely unapologetic and HONEST when you need to take a moment to yourself/within yourself.

These moments of quiet have made me realize that it's been time for some serious house cleaning in my spiritual/mental/physical/emotional space. Some people/places/things/habits are taking up residency in my life that need to be filtered out. Some experiences need to be counted for the experiences that they are and not made into deeper, more meaningful moments that only existed on my end. I do believe in the concept of "reason, season and lifetime" and I think it's important that I stop turning "reasons and seasons" into "lifetime" experiences. I think it's important that I'm OKAY that everything doesn't have to have a life-changing impact; that some things are only meant to benefit me in the moment that I experience them.

I also think it's incredibly important to clean out the unused or misused space in my heart to make room for the new and improved things that God wants to implant there.

I had to get this off of my chest for so many reasons - the primary one being that I am my most valuable and best friend. I no longer want to bow down to the ideals and ideas of others just to be accepted. My own voice is a valid one.

I trust the way that I sound.

Ya Gurl,


Monday, September 14, 2009

On Being A Bigger Person When You Really Wanna Be A Bitch.


I had to work at Dally in the Alley as a Beer Girl this year. Every year, this very cool/artsy/hippie festival takes over the streets of the Cass Corridor in Detroit and I provide happiness to cats in the form of ice cold beer and a warm smile. For the last two years, a sister who has made it publicly known to the mutual friends that we share that she hates me (we'll call her Sandy), has stopped by my booth with a shared sista-friend. Last year, Sandy and I barely made eye contact. I shared a small joke with our shared sista-friend, handed off a beer and forgot the incident.

Months later, me and the shared sista-friend (we'll call her Goddess) were sharing dinner and drinks at my place in Ann Arbor and just catching up on old times when a small commentary about how Sandy really held her down during a time of bereavement surfaced. Naturally, I grimaced at the mention of Sandy's name. There's a lie that Sandy put out there that goes along the lines of whipping my ass so badly in a night club that it caused me to relocate to Cleveland.

The true story is that we were both getting played by the same dude who knocked her up with a child that she lost while he was squatting rent free in my shared home with my girl Tumika. I saw Sandy in the club and instantly recognized her. The douche bag we were both loving told me that their relationship was over and that she'd lost the baby but that they were still cool. That's it. That's all. Sympathetic, after having had an abortion that I regretted, I approached Sandy (who knew very little about me except the few exchanges we had in the arts community we were both heavily a part of) and told her I was sorry for her loss. She thanked me. I left and continued dancing with my girl. Shortly thereafter, Sandy re-approached me with expletives on how she knew who I was and why would I deal with her man when I knew she was pregnant, blah, blah blah. She also threatened to beat the shit of me after the night was over. Angry and afraid, I let her know that the douche bag we both loved told me that they were no longer an item. Douche bag was in the club that night. We both approached him, and in true nigga fashion, he played us both, watched us both verbally attack each other, and watched us both - leaders in our community - embarrass ourselves over a brotha that, at the time, cared more about his next meal than about our hurt feelings. Sandy issued one more threat to me and stormed out of the club. I walked over to the girlfriend that joined me for the night and gave her a recap of the evening - including the fact that I was due for an undeserved ass whipping once we left. My girl thought it best that we approached security about the situation and get an escort to our car. Embarrassed and afraid, I recapped everything to a guard who laughed about the entire situation, but thought it best to walk us to our car.

End of Story.

No ass whippings.

No flights out in the middle of the night.

Just the acknowledgement that someone I shared my home, my sex and my soul with was a lying jackass who was perpetrating depth when he was just a manatee.

Sometime later, I spotted Sandy in a poetry cafe and felt that nervousness stir up in me again. Instead of fleeing in fear, I took the stage and free styled a poem to her apologizing for my ignorance to douche bag's betrayal to us both and hoping that we could at least remember that we were sisters in a shared arts community. To my surprise, Sandy accepted the apology. I even got her number and had a chance to speak to her on one or two occasions. Genuinely thinking all was well, I went on with the rest of my life only to find out that rumors of me being lesbian, rumors of me getting my ass beat to a pulp were still coming out of her mouth. Goddess, confirmed that these rumors were still in effect.

Painful, right...

...That we have to make up our lives by pretending to be bad ass when in fact, we got hurt, betrayed and played by people we took a risk to trust?

Why do women insist on "saving face" by degrading another sister? Why do black women attempt to show their strength by punishing other sisters?

I'm clueless.

Why am I recapping this horrible moment?

Because, sometimes you DON'T want to be the bigger person.

Sometimes, I don't want to be the bigger person is probably the better statement.

I saw Sandy again at this year's street fair. She and Goddess were hanging at the festival in their usual fashion. Goddess came up, gave me a hug and I gave her the traditional beer but this time, I didn't want to ignore that Sandy was there too (feigning interest in a cute puppy so that her lie of whipping my ass stayed in tact) so I offered her a beer. She paused, perhaps stunned that I'd broken the ice, and accepted the beer. She even threw in a few witty comments about how Goddess was a wonderful mentor, et cetera. I engaged in the exchange genuinely, but was still angry that I'd initiated it with someone who professes such a strong hatred for me. When it was all said and done, Goddess hugged me and told me that she was proud to see me be a bigger person - and while her pride in me only strengthen the abiding love I feel for her, it stung just a little. Why can't Sandy and I just say, "We're too old to be beefing about #1 a nigga that didn't want us both, and #2 over a lie I know you told because you got dissed by the same nigga I got dissed by"?

Maybe wearing your ass on your shoulder shows your infallible strength. I'm still, however, learning to tap into my divinity so the fallible me is still here most days. There is a passage in the KJV of the Bible in the book of Matthew that has been stinging me for a minute. Chapter 5: 43-48

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I don't want to be a bigger person. Most times, I'd like to be the bigger bitch. But what would that avail?

Today, I release myself from other people's mania with complete and total trust that in the same way I found healing they can too. I acknowledge that a woman's choices ultimately shape the direction of her life. I commit to making good choices and to being a bigger person, even when my emotions want to spiral out of control on the inside AND on some one's face with my fists.

Still growing,

Ya Gurl,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Uhm, Yeah.

So, (dramatic pause)

it's been a while since I've jotted some thoughts down. I took a look at my girl Laura's blog (who is currently going through a pregnancy) and just couldn't resist talking about how blessed I've been thus far. My life with Anthony is nothing short of amazing. All of my friends love him (even Ty - and Ty hates all of my ex's), my family enjoys him and I feel safe and nurtured for the first time in years.

The thing about safety, though, is that it can open up the can of worms called "all the shit you never dealt with because you haven't felt safe in while". My can of worms is filled with unkind words that had me an emotional wreck and on all sorts of roller coasters.

I took a look in my journal and thought about my ex-man, James. James, an ex-con, ex-gang member, verbal abuser was still transitioning when we finally got a chance to really test out our love. His rage and anger about everything that went on with him for ten years transformed him into someone that I not only didn't recognize, but it changed him into a man that thought it appropriate to project his ill feelings of himself onto me. His raged destroyed not only my relationship with him, but also with my girl Rashida (who I'd been friends with since I was 14)and with myself.

I found that I needed to completely rebuild - which was no small feat. I thought myself too toxic, too fat, too hurt, too washed up, too emotional, too fucked up to receive any goodness at all in my life. It was extremely hard to see myself through a lens that wasn't filled with the hatred I saw in James' eyes when he looked at me. I'd become angry and despondent. Fearful and embittered. I became all the things I'd always fought off being before this fool even came into the picture. When goodness came in the form of a renewal of self and then in Robert Anthony Kotaran, I wasn't sure if I was truly ready to receive it.

Honestly, even now, I still pinch myself and wonder how I've ever come to know the happiness that I'm experiencing. There is safety and beauty in the friends that surround me. Among them, Ty, Chrissy, Aricka, Lizzie, and Cassie. There is this "newness" or this "awareness" if you will, that I DO deserve the things that are happening to me. There is also this necessity that I feel to share my real stories more often. We need to know that we're not alone and we need to stop faking the funk like shit is alright all the time when sometimes, that couldn't be further from the truth.

Every day, yawl, Every day, I consciously choose not to sabotage my happiness. Every day, I am grateful that the Creator grants me new breath to experience this happiness. I gave so much time and energy to ignorant mutha-fuckas without even second guessing it. I don't want to second guess real happiness.

Not today.

That's all.

Ya Gurl,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gonna Get Back Into The Swing of Things.

I hide from this blog for a minute. I thought my thoughts to open-ended to put out there. I feel like sharing my thoughts again and blogging again and singing again and writing again.

I'll write this week on my first twenty days of 33 years. Should be interesting on what I've learned thus far.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

Orange heart splattered on the floor
pained from cinnamon dreams
nutmeg promises
sugar kisses
believes her autumn beauty is crushed in her fall.

Chef knowingly inhales her scent
adds the life-sustaining milk words she’s been missing
scoops her up
gently spreads her on a golden foundation
heats her 360 degrees with passion
cools her with integrity and good intention

shows her the beauty in the breakdown.

©2009 La Shaun phoenix Moore

NaPoWriMo #21 - Corned Beef (A Draft/A Memory)

NaPoWriMo #21 Corned Beef (A Draft/A Memory)

I have adorned myself in loathing contempt
gift wrapped in self hatred and disgust
for miles of moments.

The most vivid of those memories
was age 20 at a church concert:

Jesus was nailed to the cross and uncompassionate
while Earth’s own angelic gospel chorale
flew charts, notes, song arrangements and insults around each other
before taking center stage to amaze all the little sinners of the world.

House lights prepared to dim and audience members
shuffled rudely past seasoned parishioners
as the choir prepared a humble prayer back stage.

At the prayer’s conclusion,
“Amens” are tossed around like raw chicken in batter
and well wishing commences.

The choir director,
a fly young Pentecostal playboy,
smiles openly at his perfectly poised paradise performers
praising them for hair, makeup, and wardrobe well coordinated
and then beams light sabers in my direction

“Even La Shaun looks good.”

Rowdy laughter foxtrots around the prayer circle.

I slowly bowed my head
to utter another prayer to the God
that would let His “chosen”
offer me,
the fatted calf,
as the sacrifice of praise before worship service.

I’ve salted the wounds of that memory,

of backhand compliments like

pretty for a
thick girl/a chocolate girl/a smart girl/a doesn’t always follow the rules girl/a land on her feet girl/a girl I’m fucking/a girl I’m fucking over/a not my wife girl/a not my girl girl

as a preservation technique.

My beefy flesh pickled in a seasoned brine,
from ever accepting the freshness
of the raw beauty trapped within.

©2009 La Shaun phoenix Moore