I am of course referring to the main character of The Soloist, played by Jamie Fox who is working on another Oscar, yeah he was that good. This line from the movie was uttered by Mr. Ayers during a confrontation with the movie’s other main character, Steve Lopez, a journalist. He was referring to how he felt about all of the “help” Lopez had been giving him lately, and in his schizophrenic mind, he was feeling kind of used. For those who haven’t seen the movie, I wont spoil anything, I’ll just take this moment to talk about myself ;)

I feel the same way sometimes, that I am not an artist puppet to be used to produce works for the masses. I’ve recently been back to creating works, after a very long hiatus. One of the reasons I didn’t pursue a career in graphic design, what I went to school for, was because I didn’t like how I felt after creating a piece for some commercial entity. I felt like I was pimped. I felt like a used condom. And there is no amount of money in this world that would be enough to cover the loss of my self respect. Yeah it means just that much to me. So anyway, lately as I’ve been painting my little heart out, kind and wonderful people around me, who’ve seen my stuff, keep encouraging me to sell it. I’ve had offers around town to put my art in galleries to be sold. This is wonderful, this is great, but the timing sucks ass. I’m just not ready for all that yet. The world is ready for me, I see, but I am clearly not ready for the world. I still have my wounds from my previous experiences as a graphic design whore. I think I have an artistic STD (I’m Still Touchy Dammit) from all the whoring I’ve had to do with my art over the years. I would love to get to a place where I wouldn’t cry to see my pieces go, but as of right now? My art, my paintings, are like my appendages, and sorry honey, I haven’t gotten the regenerative thing down pat yet. I just can’t let go.

*starfish can grow a new one
* I got a message tossed through my window. It was a rock with a note wrapped around it.*

A while back, before the 3rd world war, before the returning vets became our #1 terrorists, I worked with this girl who was a spoken word artist. We would joke that the reason she came into work so tired was because she was out all night playing superhero. Fast forward to present day, in the land of the zombies, while taking refuge in an abandoned apartment, quietly away from the zombies, I got a message tossed through my window. It was a rock with a note wrapped around it. A message from my old coworker! She said to keep the faith,that I’d be alright. The message read:

Let the heat of your brilliance burn the zombies to embers and ashes,*


I was truly feeling like Dorothy in a B horror flick. Turns out my old coworker is a superhero, she’s part of some super powered artists guild crap. I feel relieved that they know I’m down here, but dang couldn’t I have gotten a little clearer of a message? Couldn’t they just swoop down in their hovercraft and get me? No, of course not, because I’m Dorothy and there is a bigger lesson for me to learn from this experience. I’m going to be fed breadcrumbs until I can find my own way. How cliché…

stay tuned for my rescue!!

*thank you amymay for the line!

I want to be a superhero...... *pout*

"womp. womp. womp." says the crowd....

That's part of my cover. I look like a normal gorgeous chick with a lustrous afro, so you'll never see me coming. I'm super. I'm a hero. Call me superhero for short. What's my superpower? Dang y'all are nosy... My superpower is suspending reality. What does that mean? It means I read books and had a real childhood so I have a vivid imagination. I can change your reality and leap over mundane in a single bound. You may know me from the "What's Going Down episode of"That's My Mama" of me by my code name: Artist. I am so powerful that I even swayed my alter ego Alise the Cubicle Crusader to my side of things. I only let you guys in on my secret for one reason.... come close so I can whisper to ya: We have got to save our dear Cubicle Crusader Tiha from the legion of zombies she encounters each day.

Okay, I am done being silly for just a moment... What about you personality/abilities is so awesome that is is a super power? Can it help Tiha from the Zombies?


*most of my friends in NC and my family call me Alice... they're all crackheads

A Brain in Zombieland

Have you ever watched one of those zombie movies like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead or 28 Days Later (all movies I simply LOVE LOVE LOVE)? Have you ever wondered, while watching the main character run for their lives, protecting their brains from the zombies, what you would do if that were you? Well I find myself, scarily, in a similar situation. While at work and even in my social life, I find myself surrounded by brainless drones. I try to hide my intellect and wander around aimlessly through my day trying not to gain attention by thinking. But every once in awhile the light bulb goes off before I can stop it, and I have a thought, and the zombies catch wind of my intellect and chase me down. I mean a full on assault! I start running for my life, checking over my shoulder to make sure none of them are closer than I realize. At full speed I jump on the chain link fence and climb over it. whew! With my brain and ideas intact, I try once again to meander about without being noticed in the next city. I’m ultimately looking for other human life, other thinkers on the run. I never thought I’d really be living one of those horror movies…

Word? Power?

I was having a conversation with my blog partner yesterday, and somehow she called me a whore. (She has no home training, I associate with her only to try to socialize her, I have a big heart) Oh yeah, we were joking around. The thing is though, I was not offended. Why you ask? Well, that is none of your raggedy business... who cares if I brought it up? I am not offended by ambiguous words. That word means nothing to me. Define it and have one person match your answer... Don't worry, I'll wait..... See, I have a problem with words such as whore, bitch, hater, punk, and a host of others for a couple reasons. No one can define them concisely or consistently. I am a lover of words and their etymology so this sort of things bothers me (Oh, the quandaries of geekdom). 8 times (plus 2) out of 10 it is used to emit projectile hate. For example, every woman that has uttered the word bitch to describe someone is usually someone with a lot of self hatred. This person normally is a mean, spiteful, unhappy and jealous individual that must lash out with profanity instead of expressing herself like a grownup with real words and tact. Imagine doing that. So back to this whore word. Every woman I have heard call a woman a whore is:
  • the most promiscuous woman on the block, once again, lashing out... go get some help boo-boo...
  • OR ain't getting any and are sexually frustrated
  • OR someone insecure with their sexual side and are extremely jealous of your freedom.
So the moral of this story this week at the Latte Mug is that being judgmental is not attractive, and that the former Cubicle Crusaders Naturally Alise and Tiha the Eysqueen can see right through it. (we are super heroes and sh*t, we even have capes and other super powers, i'll tell you all about it next week...)

Projectile Hate

Today, my little test subjects, I would like to talk about projections. Not those things that show movies on the wall, but those thoughts and feelings we put on other people. For example, an artist may look at a blank canvas and project an image from their mind onto it and create something wonderful. Or sometimes we may meet someone that reminds us of someone else and start to treat that person a certain kind of way. I want to put a stop to this crazy behavior, and yes I’m calling it crazy because it is, having been the victim of projection on a regular basis, I’m making a stand.

Any of you who read this blog know that I am a very private person. I reveal myself, in pieces, to those I deem worthy. If you aint worthy, you aint gonna know me, point blank. Its my personality and I can do with it what I want. With that said, sometimes folks take what little info they know about me and spaz and trip on me, because I’m sure I remind them of that other distant, aloof person from their past that they couldn’t reach and felt rejected by. I get spazzed on by people that I really don’t care about. It’s like walking down the street and getting tomatoes thrown at you. Ok, that’s being a bit dramatic, or is it?

All I’m trying to say is that the next time you spaz on someone you don’t really know, think first- is it really this person that did me wrong, or was it ray ray from back in the day that never returned my phone calls? I’ll betcha 9 times outta 10 it was Ray Ray from back in the day.

Stop the projectile hate, please just throw up in your own mouth. Thank you.

Get a hobby......

*utter these words and I will encourage you to play in traffic*

If someone else says that to me I will kick them in the throat thrice. Oh yes, I'll do it..... thrice! I was talking to an acquaintance a few days ago about how much I love twitter, blogging, and other online activities. Their response, "Get a hobby and a life..." Of course in true Alise fashion I delivered the side eye of death and uttered, "Are you serious?" I wanted to and should have said, "Is your hobby meddling in other people's affairs? Go kill yo'self..." I have been trying to figure out for the life of me why online interactions and activities are considered to be hollow or a waste of time. Anyway, as broke as I am currently, I don't have the funds to go out in the "real world" everyday. In the virtual world, I can go out and network every night. I can meet fellow nerds, people who like to listen to what I do, and find folks that appreciate my spastic sense of humor. Sure beats going to a bar with overpriced drinks, pretentious hollow people (like Kanye, Wale, etc....lol...), and folks trying to holla at me even though I explicitly and firmly state my relationship status. At home I can chat with my fiends and drink a BOTTLE o' wine that is the price of one drink at a bar or club.

My "interwebbing" has led to me to more networking in a couple weeks time than I was ever able to accomplish in years as far as the poetry and music scene. I think folks don't realize that I don't get online in lieu of other activities, I do them in addition to my life. I have found cool and genuine people on these here "innanets". Sure you run into some wackos, but I run into the same ol' fools at the club, grocery store, and at the bookstore, so please tell me the difference. Don't worry, I'll wait.....

Why do you think such a stigma has been placed on us web-fiends? What have you gained/lost from being online?


Poems to the Wise


Rudyard Kipling said:

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too,

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:*

*If by Rudyard Kipling

and I find myself reciting these lines to myself now more than ever. When I first read this poem, IF, I was a teenager and couldn’t really relate. I understood what he was saying, but had yet to experience it in practice. Now that I’m older and have the fortune to deal with many people in many different situations because of the life I chose to lead, I see the wisdom in this poem. I feel good that I have been able to live the virtue of this poem. At the end he says that if I can do all of the Ifs:

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

Sometimes its hard when you try to do what you know is right, what feels right to you, and those around you condemn you for it. Sometimes I have to take a step back and not let myself be swayed by someone else’s…insanity. I always say, in the face of undue pressure from the outside: what you eat don’t make me sh*t. That’s the dirty dirty version of it all. So I leave you all with this wonderfully inspirational message: Don’t let what other people ingest be your entrée and give you the runs.

Keep in mind that I'm an artist....

"....and I'm sensitive 'bout my sh*t...." -Erykah Badu

Have you ever dated an artist and have been puzzled about some of their habits or tendencies? Are you an artist and can't understand why your non-artist mate (or ex-mate likely) didn't get you? Well have no fear, Ms. Naturally Alise is here to enlighten you and sh*t. It's what I do. Wu-Tang AND Alise is for the kids Here we go:

  • Artists are "moody". Look at Tiha. Actually, I think moody is not a good word, so I think I will make one up to add to my personal lexicon. It's what I do. Let's say moodrospective... yeah, I like that. A mix of moody and introspective. A lot of times artists, particularly writers get into a zone and fixate on an idea and forget about being civil, polite, thoughtful, etc... Trust me, 87.7 %* of the time it is not personal. (that's an exact percentage, I interviewed Tiha, the E-posse, the mailman, and my cousin June Bug) Also keep in mind that a lot of artists are stuck in jobs completely opposite of what they really want to do and are therefore not happy in their current situation, that will make anyway a handfull. Look at Tiha (and me, le sigh...).

  • Artists tend to be big flirts, but usually it unconscious. Usually an artist is having to peddle their own wares, so they are CONSTANTLY having to sell themselves (not literally you gutter dwellers) and push their product. Unless of course you are a subpar rapper with big budget promotion and an legion of ass kissers entourage . The phrase starving artist is uttered for a reason. (Dang, I am hungry as a hostage) So to deal with an artist you have to check your petty insecurities and jealousies at the door with your fancy Triple Fat Goose coat. Also you may have to pick up the check sometimes... hi-yoooooooo... I am corny, I know, it is an art.

  • Artists need alone time. If you are overly needy don't date anyone until you get your self esteem together an artist. Especially when we are feeling moodrospective (see I used it already!), sometimes we just need our space, time to breathe, and be creative, like I said, "don't take it personal, take the bitter with the sweet, easy come, easy goooo... " (sorry had a Jermaine Jackson moment, that NEEEEEVVVVVER happens...).

  • Artists need their egos stroked, yet, we do not want to be patronized, we want you to mean it, or at least make it believable. Yet, the funny thing is we will never accept the compliment. Example, my significant other will tell me a poem of mine is great, and I'll say something like, "Well it's okay, you REALLY like it?" ,"What lil' ol' me?," or "Ummmm, I guess, I've done better." Even though we will treat every compliment this way, keep on giving them, we really do like to hear it.

  • Also to piggyback with the ego stroking ....... "I be stroking, that's what I be doin'". (Sorry, had a Clarence Carter moment, that happens ALL the time). Sorry, I lost my train of thought, you know I have no attention span, thanks a lot twitter. But no really, we also like you to ask about our art. Nothing makes us feel better than a genuine interest in what we have going on. Whether it is going to a show, asking about a painting, bringing up a chapter you like in our book, or humming a song we composed, it is always a plus.

That's what I've got for now, do you have any tips for dealing with artists, or if you are an artist what have you dealt with in relationships?


*zipping thru to add my 1.5 ¢, this also applies to friendships. if you are friends with an artist, i sure hope you are low maintenance because low is how much tolerence they have for people who take their attention away from their art... -eysqueen

The other week Angela Davis came to Atlanta to give a speech. I was ecstatic, completely and totally and unequivocally ecstatic. I mean we are talking about living legend here, we are talking about someone who stood by her beliefs, regardless of what was popular or what the majority thought about it. She continues to speak out about injustices, and fights for equality for all. She gives a voice to those who would remain silenced through her books and teachings. She’s the bomb, and I couldn’t wait to meet her.

As I prepared to meet this living legend, I realized that the books I’d preordered hadn’t arrived in time. No biggy, I thought, I’ll just run to the local overpriced book chain and murder my piggy bank to get anything by A. Davis. She was worth it. But to my shock and dismay, NONE of the mega book chains in my area (15 min from downtown Atlanta), had ANY books by Angela Davis. WHAT?! You had a major figure in human rights coming to town to do a book signing and you don’t have any books available? Gimme a break.
Mildy disgruntled, but refusing to rage against the machine, yet, I made my way to the event, bookless but optimistic.

Optimism is a wonderful, and it sure is sad when that optimism runs out. To my shock and dismay, as I pulled up to Ebenizer Baptist, and parked a couple blocks away, I found that they had LOCKED the doors.

Yes ya’ll, they locked us out of the church, and there was a whole lot of US. So many of us you would have thought President Obama was backing town. Again I was turned off by the lack of preparation and forethought given to this event. I mean, after all this is Angela Davis, she deserved the Georgia Dome. This was a free event, but I sure would’ve paid to see her. Did they not think she would draw a crowd? Did they not think she was important enough? Did they not think her message was relevant enough to warrant a bigger venue? Oh yes by this point I’m raging, raging big time, raging in silence. Although I did have a few good conversations with the enlightened folks on the outside, and I got to see her through the glass of the church, I was still thoroughly pissed.

Then the New Black Panther Party showed up, just in time to shout their propaganda and pass out pamphlets. My views on the New party deserve a blog of its own. So I’ll just leave it at that. And I left at that as well, with the agitated voices of the youth grumbling disappointed of being turned away. The down turned faces of the mature, as they were assisted back to their cars by family and friends. And the oh so angry voices of the New party, shouting…whatever they were shouting.

I’m raging, against the machine, against the casual way we are regarded, against all that I cannot control…

and I wont stop raging, and preparing, until I see, until I become the change…

Can I Have Your Attention? (please.......)

internet robbed me
attention span larceny
what was i writing?

That was my attention span haiku. Lovely isn't it? I wrote it in response to this conversation:

Alise: oh, i just realized something.... people love writing haiku
Alise: who knew?
T 2U: long enough for their attention span
Alise: u got a point there
T 2U: you can talk about people loving the haiku, who knew?
Alise: that would be an interesting delve into the psyche of the short attention spanned internet culture
T 2U: it wont be a deep dive
T 2U: haha
Alise: hush it
Alise: you can dive into puddles
T 2U: i'd like to see you try

So, those who know me in real life and virtually know that I am a bit of an internet fiend. Okay, scratch that I am a full blown junkie. Case and point: I have 2 blogs, I actually have an e-clique (me, Luvvie, and PBG), I only talk to my blog partner via IM's and text messages, I do the facebook thing, read a plethora of blogs, and my favorite poison of the moment is Twitter. (http://twitter.com/naturallyalise) What do all these things have in common? They only require the attention span of a flea to do. Yesterday on my other blog I opened up a group haiku writing session, it was the largest traffic day and comments ever for my blog. Every week I open up the floor for people to write poems based on a theme and maybe 6-8 folks come through. I also write poems quite often as well, and guess what? I get the most response for my shortest poems. That may be a coincidence, but I don't believe in them (you know Tiha and I are conspiracy theorists). I think everyone is suffering from a severe case of Internet induced ADD. So what do you think? Do you think the internet has irreparably destroyed our attention spans? How has that affected you in your everyday life on the web and in the "real world"?

What was I talking about again?