*NOTE: this blog has been updated from its October 27, 2010 posting date from the Blogger website*
Good day Ladies and Gentlemen!
I told my parents that a Viking (Norse) Funeral would be great for me. Put me on a beautiful longboat, push me out into the Atlantic Ocean and when my body gets to a decent distance, have an archer shoot a flaming arrow at my body to set me aflame. Also, in order to insure that my body is properly burned, dip my underwear in gasoline. Afterwards, have a BBQ and heavily joke about how I am going to Hell in gasoline draws.
We all had a great laugh out of it (the Christian Bale looking like Jesus laughing kind), as they know that although spectacular and somewhat morbid and disturbing, I don’t want to go out that way.
That, and the fact that the Catholic faith frowns upon this idea based on this practice being a Pagan ritual (their frowning WILL NOT stop me from REALLY considering this as a means of going out in this world), along with other facts.
Seeing how my family is burying my Great Great Aunt this Friday (October 27, 2010), I have been doing a lot of thinking pertaining to my Final Arrangements when my time to leave this plain of existence arrives. Life Insurance is a must for me, for with my medical condition, My Life isn’t guaranteed.
I already know that I am trying to live My Life to the fullest, with travelling to see friends and interact with them as much as possible, interacting with Family as I receive pearls of wisdom from the elders, and patiently seeking for a young lady with whom I would love to be in a Relationship. Sadly, seeing how many of my family members are passing on (the majority of them being SINGLE AND BROKE), few had Life Insurance to cover their final expenses. This worries me, because my parents seem to be the ones who not only handle the final arrangements (I am watching, listening and learning so when my time comes to bury my parents, I’ll know what to do), they at times are coming out of their pockets as well as other extended family members to cover those expenses due to the deceased not taking the initiative in handling their business which would have made said final arrangements a bit more easier.
I am looking into at least 3 Life Insurance companies with whom I would like to have my Life Insurance handled. Life Insurance is very vital as well as essential to the amount of coverage with which I need to cover all of my funeral expenses when it is my time. Seeing how my kidney transplant is over a year old, I should receive a pretty decent quote as I compare prices with them, and see with whom I will most benefit.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Life Insurance is very critical and a very important item to possess in our Life. Our Life isn’t guaranteed tomorrow, or today for that matter. Any and every thing can happen, and the one thing that we should be mindful of is making certain that when the bill for out Final Arrangements comes across our respective family’s table, we are able to cover that tab.
If I may be afforded the time to bring up a matter of great concern in regards to this topic, I would like to address the stigma about those who are not considering obtaining life insurance.
I have heard MANY a person make remarks such as “I’m not going to get life insurance because I don’t want someone to profit off of my death!”, “If I get life insurance, I am going to be dead the next day!”, “Life insurance costs too much!”, and “If I get life insurance, I will be worth more dead than I am alive!”
To address being dead the following day that you obtain life insurance…
Simply put, if your time comes after you sign your name on the line and make that first payment, then it is your time. Life variables dictate what happens next when it comes to you.
Despite being worth more on the monetary level on paper and in death, no true monetary value can be placed on all that you contribute and have contributed to your life. To have a thought process of that nature is understandable, yet what good is placing your family in dire financial straits when your time comes?
However, How fair and how selfish is it to think that not having Life Insurance to cover your funeral expenses so your family doesn’t go running around trying to gather money and take out loans because you don’t feel the need to have that insurance coverage for you and them to lighten the load? They will already have a lot on their minds and the last thing they need on their already full plates because of your passing is a huge portion of debt served on top of everything that is transpiring at the time.
Here are a few Life Insurance websites that may interest those that need to look into this topic:
Seven years ago on this date of September 29, 2009, I received a phone call that continued my life for the better as well as the greater. I am very happy and always very thankful for that day and all that happened which made that day possible. With this being said, here is my recollection of “Ready for Round Two!”
Ladies and Gentlemen, I think the computer will hold long enough for me to be able to document the exciting climax that was Last Tuesday’s Kidney Transplant at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. And not a moment too soon, either! I know you all have been waiting for this, and I appreciate your patience. Let’s not delay any longer.
The Gift of Life occurred on Sept. 29, but it all kicked off on Sept. 28…
At 11P, I was sitting on the couch watching WWE Monday Night Raw’s Main Event. John Cena in a Gauntlet Match against Chris Jericho, The Big Show and Randy Orton. As I watched the then WWE Champion get his ass handed to him, a “Blocked Call” shows up on my phone. At first, I thought it was a friend calling from a blocked number, but then it all became clear as the conversation went like this:
Caller: “Hello! May I speak to Andrew Boyd, please?”
Caller: “Hi Andrew! This is Nicole with PENN Transplant. How are you tonight?”
Me: “I am doing fine. PLEASE tell me you are going to tell me what you are about to tell me.”
Nicole: “Well Andrew, we have a Potential Match for you! Meaning the Blood type is a Perfect match!”
Me: (Running upstairs to continue the call with my grandmother present) “Oh my God! Are you serious? A Potential Match?!”
Nicole: “Yes! At this time, we are going to do a tissue typing to see if your tissue type and the donor’s type are compatible. This usually takes 8-10 hours.”
Me: “So, we are looking between 7-9AM tomorrow, right?”
Nicole: “That’s right. No matter the results, I will call you personally to tell you those results. Try to get some sleep, and I will talk to you tomorrow morning!”
Me: “Nicole, I am not going to be able to!”
Nicole: “Yeah, Exciting Time! Have a Good Night, Andrew!”
Me: “Thank You! You do, too!”
I hugged my grandmother, who was just as excited to hear the news. I chose not to call any family at that time because, What If it did not pan out? So, from 11.30P on, I was jumping out of my skin! I was restless, nervous, excited, and anxious. Hell, All of the above at this point. I couldn’t sleep one bit. I even called my friends Tanya and Joy before they went to sleep, like I do most nights. I then gave myself busy work by packing an overnight bag for the possible hospital stay. I also updated my Contact list on my cell phone so if The Call DID come, I had everyone’s number. After I got all of my busy work done, I remembered not to eat or drink anything after that phone call. The last thing I had was a cup of coffee at 10P. So, for the next 9 hours, I was wired from the caffeine, and wired from the possibility of being a Two-Time Kidney Transplant Recipient. I tried to get some sleep, but wound up staying awake the whole night. I was on Facebook, getting my Mafia Affairs in order. Afterwards, I played a few games on my phone. When 6A rolled around, I took a shower and got dressed. I went downstairs and sat on the Love Seat and watched the news with my grandmother and 2-year-old cousin. I was feeling tired, so I decided to lay down on the Love Seat at 7.55A. At 8A exactly, “Blocked Call” appears on my phone.
Me: “Alright Grandma, this is it! (Picking up the phone) Hello?”
Caller: “Good Morning Andrew! This is Nicole. How are you feeling this morning?”
Me: “I am nervous as Hell, and waiting on the Verdict.”
(At this time, my little cousin is babbling because I was on the phone. I moved away from him to hear Nicole’s response.)
Nicole: “You are waiting on the verdict? Your donor is compatible with you!”
(A 10 second pause)
Nicole: “Are you doing a dance?”
Me: “No. Trying not to pass out! How soon do you all need me there?”
Nicole: “We will be looking for you around 10-10.30A. Can you make it in by then?”
Me: “I am not too sure. 11A seems to be a more realistic to me, but we will push for that time. Reason I say 11A is because I will have a Battalion with me. But we will aim for your time. I have many calls to make and we will see you soon!”
Nicole: “Alright Andrew, we will see you here!”
I hugged my grandmother and nearly broke down in tears. I kept my focus, and started making my calls.
You know what people? I was HEATED!!! I am here calling you all and NO ONE was picking up their phones! Never dawned on me that hey, People are POSSIBLY at work, dropping off their kids or their phones were on vibrate. So I am here getting mad over your daily routines, and I apologize for that.
I got in touch with my cousin Bill, who in turn called my brother’s job to let them know to have him call me ASAP. I called my mom’s job and left an Urgent message with them. I called my sister and her mom and left messages with them. So around 8.30A, mom called my grandmother’s phone. My grandmother and I are bombarding her with the news, and mom wanted to hear from one of us at a time. I let my grandmother take the call and my mom told her that she and my dad are on their way to pick me up. This is what my grandmother told me:
“They will meet you at the hospital.”
Hearing this, I grab my bag, and get on the El train at Frankford Terminal. At the Tioga stop, my phone rings where my mom tells me that she did not say they were heading to the hospital. They were coming to pick me up! So I get off the train, and made more calls to family and friends. So after a few minutes, I see my parents and I get into their SUV. We were on the same page and en route to the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, the Battle Ground for Our Second Kidney Transplant.
Before I continue, I want to inform everyone the EXACT length of time we waited on this call. We had our first Transplant Evaluation March 2005, and the Official Call came in Sept. 29, 2009. This will be a wait time of 4.5 years. For my Blood Type (which very few of you know), the average Transplant wait time is 4-5 years. I know a number of people who came into contact with me recently assumed that the wait time was drastically lower. I wish that was the case, everyone. The first transplant on December 9, 1993 was an 8 month wait. This one, with all of the Medical Advances and Blood Type Breakdown, there was a longer wait time.
Along the way, I made many phone calls to family and friends informing them of the incredible news. My family and I received many well wishes as we made our way through I-95 traffic to the hospital. Just before we were out front of the hospital, I updated my Facebook to inform everyone of what was going on. We arrived at U of Penn at 9.20A, and we were in Admissions until 9.40A. After getting admitted, my mother and I traveled to the 11th floor of the hospital, where we were greeted warmly by the staff. After getting my Vitals checked and gowned up, I was seen by the Surgical Team and was given an I.V. We were in the room from 10A until around 6P while they prepped the OR and the new gift. During that time, I had a Chest X-Ray and other tests ran to insure that my body was ready for the surgery. We were informed of the donor and how this day came to pass. My donor was a 43-year-old woman with no medical history. No diseases, no illness of any kind. There was, however, an issue with the Gift I was about to receive. There was a small lump about the size of ½ of your Pinky fingernail. They performed a biopsy on the lump, and saw that it was a benign tumor. I was approached by the Surgical Rep and was told this. Their concern was that if they gave me the Gift, the tumor could have become cancerous and they would have to go back in and remove my new Gift. At the same time, it could have been just a benign tumor and nothing else. The call was mine to make. I knew my mom wanted to do it, but she knew this was up to me. I told him that, “We waited too long to turn our backs now. We are going for it.”
Was it reckless? Maybe. But for us, this day was long awaited and well deserved. The Rewards were greater than the Risks. We finally departed for the OR waiting area around 6P, and arriving there shortly thereafter. We talked to Anesthesia beforehand, where I taught them a thing or two about their methods. Not my first picnic, people…
Our time came at 7P. I hugged my mom and said the Perfect Prayer to her. I kissed her and said “I Love you.” “I Love you, too. That’s why I am here,” was her response. I was wheeled back to the OR, then we were Red Lighted. My surgeon, Dr. Ali Naji did not like the idea of giving me a kidney with a benign tumor. He had me go back to the waiting area as he fought to give me the OTHER kidney, where there was no presence of a tumor. He was successful in his fight on my behalf. I was wheeled back into the OR around 7.45P, where I finally met Dr. Naji. I thanked him immensely for fighting for the other Gift and told him he will dance at my Wedding. I was told that this surgeon has done MANY transplants. He has performed transplants since the 1970’s and is highly regarded. He is also the same surgeon who trained my first U of Penn Surgeon, Dr. Heidi Yeh.
What I am about to tell you all, simply put, blew my mind. And I can assure you it will do the same to you. Before I was under anesthesia, I observed my surroundings. I saw 2 surgeons working in a silver pan. I look over, and there she was: the Young Lady that was going inside of me. I saw my new kidney!! Never have I seen a sight as amazing and humbling as this! It looked like a chicken breast. I am here thinking, “They are going to put chicken inside of me?” Yeah, I know…
So I am transferred from the gurney to the OR table. They put on a Blood Pressure cuff, attached heart rate measurers and put on leg cuffs to help with my leg circulation. After asking about my name and date of birth, they started the Pure Oxygen, and had me take deep breaths. After a few minutes, the Anesthesia began. I asked for the time (for blogging purposes) as the first injection went into my I.V. Burned a bit, but nothing uncommon. The time was 7.55P when this all started. When the second injection went in, I felt really good! I said out loud, “Alright everyone, Good Night!!” They got a good laugh out of it as the last injection went in.
The surgeons worked on my left abdomen as they gave me our Life Saving Gift. I was told that the surgery was a success as I was wheeled into Recovery at 2.15A. Now, at 2.15A, this was the EXACT time I was wheeled into recovery for our first Kidney Transplant. I found that very sentimental. I was wheeled into my room at 4A. Still out of it from anesthesia, the nursing staff asked if I was alright.
“I need to pee.”
“Alright, you have a Foley catheter that will catch everything, Mr. Boyd.”
“I understand, but I feel I need to push it out.”
“Mr. Boyd, you have a Foley catheter. There is no need to worry.”
*note: Trust AND Believe when I say that peeing is a big deal, esp. when you haven’t done it in at least 2 years. To speak THOSE WORDS made me smile, even to this day.*
I was then shifted to my bed as I slept off the remaining anesthesia. I was assessed vitally through the night and the morning. When 9A rolled around, I was visited by Physical Therapy who wanted me to start walking!! WHAT?! Already?! I was instructed on how to get out of bed. I followed directions, and was on my feet in a matter of seconds! I felt a little light headed, but was ready to take my first steps.
Surprisingly, I was moving like our Transplant never happened, minus the searing pain where they cut me open and closed me up. I did my lap around the 4th floor with the therapist. As we returned to my room, I stopped, looked at her and shook my head No. I did two more laps around the floor, and astounded as well as impressed the staff there. I was even told that I was moving around like someone who did not have surgery. After I did my laps, I was visited by my mom, little brother, and his GF. Shortly after their arrival, my best friend Ric Brazela showed up. He drove all the way from Baltimore after being in court to visit me in the hospital.
I knew there was reason why he has been my best friend of near 20 years.
They all stuck around, reminiscing of the first Transplant and talking about the medical advances of this Transplant. They departed after a couple of hours and I was then visited by Baeednah Anderson. After Bae visited me, I was then visited by my aunt Mattie. I was a bit out of it from all the excitement of my visitors. I talked to other friends and family on the phone, and I got a chance to talk to my little sister Latoya Felder who was saddened that she did not get the chance to come to the hospital to see me. I told her it was alright and as long as she got the news of our Transplant, that made me happy. We talked for about an hour and a half that night. After hanging up with her, I went to sleep.
The next day, Ric came in early to visit with me. Such a Great Friend!! After he left, I was given the option of eating food. Those that know me know I jumped at the opportunity. That morning, I received Communion. After Communion I was visited by Tanya, then had to go down to Dialysis because my Young Lady did not fully awaken just yet and Dialysis was going to be needed until she does. Afterwards, I received calls from family and friends and updated everyone on Facebook of my progress.
Friday Morning, I was awakened by the Transplant team around 6A. I was told I was going home that day!! When you are half asleep you hear things, but not too sure of what you heard. At 7A, my transplant coordinator came in and reviewed my new medication with me, while I was half asleep. Those that know me know NEVER to wake me up unless someone is dead, dying or the place is on fire. I am looking at her with a fierce Grizzly look as she told me what each medication was and what it did. She told me she would return in a couple of hours to review the medication again. At 9A, she returns. She asked about my meds and what I remembered. I rattled off EVERY medication and told her word for word what they did. She was impressed! Around 1P, I went to Dialysis for 2 hours. After dialysis, I had my I.V.s removed and I took a nice long shower. When I got out, my parents were in my room and ready to take me home with them for Recovery Road. My paperwork was reviewed and signed and I was discharged afterwards. I walked out of the hospital under my own power, showing that I was strong willed and determined.
As of this time, it will be 2 weeks since I have been home. The Love and Support from everyone who has followed me has been very overwhelming and so appreciated. I am seeing my Transplant Team every Monday Morning at U of Penn for blood work and medication review. It will be only a matter of time before my Young Lady becomes aware and functions at full capacity.
Thank You All! I Love You All, And Appreciate Your Support During This Fantastic Series Of Events!!
Thank you for taking time out to read Andrew Boyd, Poet: Six Year Anniversary Blog Special!
Please Like and Share my blog on all of your Social Media accounts, and Subscriptions to my blog are very much appreciated. Thank You All and Have a Great Day!
*NOTE: to access the links and see the pictures in full size, right click, and select “Open in new tab”. This way, you do not lose your spot in the blog.*
Good Day, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Even though the Summer of 2016 has not officially started, the 2016 Summer of Andrew Boyd took off into the upper stratosphere with the 2016 Black Poetry Cafe (which shall be recognized from this point on by its acronym “BPC”) Poetryfest!
After clearing their screening, I met up with my friend Kelly Ragland who was sitting in a chair, charging and talking on her phone in the corridor that we would walk down around 10:30AM Thursday morning. After I grabbed a breakfast burrito, Kelly and I made our way to our departing concourse and waited roughly 5 minutes before they started boarding call. Boarding wasn’t too bad; rather quick, yet my bag was too big to be considered carry-on. I got a sticker, and was instructed to leave it by the plane entrance. I did so, then found my seat. I was sitting next to a gentleman right at the exit door. Within 10 minutes of getting seated, which was ultimately around or a little after 11AM, we took off and were Atlanta, GA bound!
You know what I dislike? NOT having a window seat! I love watching the world go by, and flying in the clouds. That, and I REALLY Wanted to record the take off and landing. What’s even worse? When the person you sit with closes the window so you don’t appreciate the view!
Our flight landed in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport 30 minutes early: 1:30PM. Kelly and I made our way to baggage claim with 2 things in mind:
My bag was NOT lost, and
The 5 shot glasses I bought in Philadelphia were not damaged.
I am happy to report that neither fate befell me!
After leaving the airport terminal, Kelly and I waited about 15 minutes for the hotel shuttle to pick us up so we could go to the Holiday Inn Express Atlanta Airport North. It was a very short ride, no more than 7 minutes (counting traffic).
Upon arrival, Kelly and I were greeted by our great and dear friend Lee Lee Ain’t Ms. Behavin’ in the lobby along with other great poets. The CEO of BPC Mr. Mark Goggins arrived shortly after Kelly and me, greeting everyone he met with a smile, hugs, handshakes, and his cool shades.
At 3PM, I checked in and got my room keys (for SOME ODD REASON, hotels ALWAYS dole out 2 keys; I’m cool with that). After dropping off my bag that weighed around 100 pounds (exaggerating, but maybe not; the majority of the weight was in fact my bag of ALL 5 “WORDPLAY” titles, 10 of each copy). After taking that load off of my back, more mingling ensued. Within 30 minutes, the hostesses of “FEVER FRIDAYS” arrived. Monique Wells and Ashley Chambers were unloading their car, and I stepped in to assist. After hugging the ladies, I presented them with Philadelphia shot glasses. They were elated and appreciative of their gift, and I wheeled in their bags and up to their room.
After assisting Monique and Ashley, I return to the lobby, meet more great poets, and snapped several pictures (all of which AND videos from the entire event can be seen in the Atlanta and the BPC Poetryfest Experience 2016: IT IS a Public Album so those who are not friends on my Facebook page can see the snapshots).
After getting used to our surroundings, which include a KFC, Waffle House, Arby’s, Louisiana Bistreaux (will need to check that out another time), and a liquor store which were located across the street from the hotel, we were in route to Calabar and Grill in Stone Mountain, GA around 7:30PM. Kari “K.C.” Conley, Lee Lee, Kelly, and I were there within 30 minutes. Kelly and I signed up for the first event of the BPC Poetryfest experience: the “Put Yo Money Where Your Mic Is!” spoken word slam challenge, hosted by Monique and Ashley.
20 poets, 3 rounds, 1 poem per round that MUST be within the allotted 4 minute time limit.
The event went without a hitch and the 20 participants went in and went in H-A-R-D. After deliberation of who would go to the Top 7 for Round 2, names were announced.
After the end of Round 2 and deliberation for that round, the final 2 poets were announced.
WELL… not exactly.
There was a tie! One of two young ladies entered the final round by the decision of The People. Our applause led to Kendal S. Turner going into the third round with Alive the Poet to determine the Dopest Poet of the Night.
After Alive and Kendal slammed, the last intermission took place. During that time, I approached Kendal and sat with her to talk about her poem for the last round: it was in regards to her father. I told her about how much I really appreciated hearing her poem, and it reminded me of “A Letter to You”, the poem I wrote about my birth father. After sharing my story with her about how the poem came to pass, we tightly hugged. As I got up to go back to my table, I told Kendal, “I think you got this.” She smiled as I was walking away.
Once the final votes were tallied, the announcement was made. Everyone who participated came on stage and everyone applauded. We were told at that time that this year’s slam challenge was, in ALL 11 years that BPC Poetryfest was around, THIS spoken word challenge was their HARDEST to decide. Then, the winner was announced:
Kendal S. Turner!
Kendal was excited, speechless, and very happy. So happy, she was at a loss for words. Her best friend Telesa Hines spoke on her behalf as Kendal held her head down, humbled by her big win.
Shortly thereafter, we enjoyed the company of those who stayed in attendance after the challenge and were serenaded by the DJ’s music. As the restaurant and bar was closing, I FINALLY met my dear friend Akua Perry and her girlfriend “Bear”. These ladies are very delightful!
Friday morning, there was an event: The BPC/Blessed Angels Homeless Event, located at the Gateway Center, hosted by Felicitee Love and TJ Nicole. Free admission, and donations were greatly appreciated. Sadly, I was still lagged from flying, so I and a few others took it easy Friday. I bought and brought socks as a donation, and will be mailing them out this weekend to the Gateway Center.
Aside from the Homeless Event, sleeping in and resting were on the menu as everyone waited for the time to arrive to go to the second event of the day: The BPC Poetryfest Show at the iLounge for more amazing spoken word poetry, hosted by Felicitee Love and Nelson Trimble. This time, featured poets recited their incredible works as we sat and listened to their prose. K.C. made her feature debut that night, nervousness aside. K.C. delivered powerful performances as we all applauded her as our happiness for her art was apparent.
Other featured artists included For Real The Poet Douglass, William Washington, Jayne Phlow, Marie Lyriq Grady, Talicha Johnson, Yarima Karima, Preech the Profit, Isna Tianti, LadyJae Flavaz, Queensmind Ase, Christine Poetically Correct Gretch, Born to Write, and Nikki Malone.
After everyone performed their incredible pieces, we mixed and mingled, enjoying the company of the dozens and dozens for the remainder of the night.
Returning to the Holiday Inn Express was a good call for some sleep.
Yet, that did not happen…
Shortly after returning to the hotel, we had “Lobby Life”: a poetic cipher where those who were awake shared some of their favorite poems with the audience that was present (I LOVE Lobby Life! It was an open forum where we had the greatest of fun with NO time limit or limit to the number of poems you desired to recite).
I personally went up about 3 times, others went once or twice. THEN THERE WAS FOR REAL THE POET DOUGLASS.
Let me say this: Mr. Douglass recited, BY FAR, the F-U-N-N-I-E-S-T poem I heard in life since the Canadian Geese poem and the one poem about queefing (I HEARD SOME STUFF in my day…) titled “Neckbones”, using his alterego “Macaroni”. It was a crowd participation piece where when he asked, “What’s My Name?”, which we responded with “MACARONI!”
My cheeks are STILL hurting from laughing so much!
It was a blast and a half having such a great time bonding with one another that night. I went back to my room around 2AM and was knocked out shortly thereafter.
*YES: I made sure to Google Map OUR Waffle House for Nostalgia*
*NOTE: during BPC Poetryfest, the diet of choice for many of the poets and their guests consisted of Waffle House. We COULD NOT GET ENOUGH OF WAFFLE HOUSE!*
Saturday was a full-on rest and relaxation day. Exploring the city and relaxing at the pool was in order before the final show took place later on that evening. After having some time cooling off in the pool after baking in the sun, everyone got themselves prepared for the final BPC Show of Poetryfest: Dashiki Night.
Everyone congregated to the room where the final event of Poetryfest was to be had, decked out in a beautiful array of colorful dashikis and African garb.
There were many performers who discussed love, politics, religion, any and all topics as we absorbed and recorded performance after performance. The event was then followed by an Open Mic after the featured poets performed. Many went on the Party Bus for the remainder of the night. I optioned to watch the open mic performances, esp. with me being one of the performers right along with Kelly and Lee Lee.
After the final show, everyone got photo ops with everyone who was still there, mingled, and also prepared themselves to return to their homes on Sunday.
Of course, this is a condensed version because I cannot hot wire my brain to the house computer to show you everything that I saw and experienced. What I CAN do, is speak freely about what BPC Poetryfest means and meant to me.
I first heard of the Black Poetry Cafe Poetryfest late last year during a “FEVER FRIDAYS” show. I NEVER knew that this event was 11 years strong. I NEVER understood its importance and symbolism to those who have organized and participated in Poetryfest. To Me, the Black Poetry Cafe Poetryfest was a stranger and foreign concept to me.
I can honestly say that, for me, BPC Poetryfest 2016 left me feeling something special: starting with the lead up to the event, during the event, the end of Poetryfest, and beyond. When I learned that it was going to be in Atlanta, GA, I KNEW that I had to be there. As stated earlier, 22 years ago, I was in Atlanta. The reason was I participated in the 1994 U.S. Transplant Games at Emory University (those who do not know, I am a two-time kidney transplant recipient).
Being able to put faces to voices from the “FEVER FRIDAYS” shows and Facebook (outside of profile pictures and albums) is a sentimental honor and privilege for not just myself, but for those who were there for the annual shows. Kelly Ragland described BPC Poetryfest in one epic sentence that I will NEVER forget:
“BPC Poetryfest is the Grammys of Poetry.”
Kelly made me a Believer the instant I started interacting with everyone. BPC Poetryfest DAMN SURE had a Grammys feel and energy since Day One, and it HAS NOT let up. I have met so many incredible ladies and gentlemen from all walks of life and backgrounds. To be in the presence of this and that much talent is beyond words. BPC Poetryfest is, has, and from that day forth will always be a humbling experience for me for a few reasons:
Hearing the poetry that I heard tells me to step up my writing ability and give my all,
Seeing the performances tell me that my delivery MUST be on point for maximum impact,
Feeling the amazingly positive energy that I felt the entire weekend tells me that I should certainly get out more, and
Being around SO MANY amazing, gifted, and talented people tells me how amazing that each and every one of them are to and for me and I hope that the same can be said about myself when it comes to when they think of me.
I am honored to not only have attended the BPC Poetryfest 2016, but to participate and experience it in all of its glory.
I would love to thank the CEO of Black Poetry Cafe Mark Goggins for arranging such an incredible poetry experience, Monique Wells and Ashley Chambers for speaking about Poetryfest on their show that fateful day that caused me to become not only curious, but to actually say “Yes: I want to go!”, Kelly Ragland for going with me so that she too may experience Poetryfest for the first time alongside of me (as well as that one picture at poolside and the pep talk that caused me to tap into “Nova” to deliver “True Character” to its fullest capability on Dashiki Night), Lee Lee Ain’t Ms. Behavin’ for being as excited for me and Kelly for finally experiencing Poetryfest, Kari “K.C.” Conley for all that she has done this weekend, Joe The Verbal Mind Dancer, Sylvia Blalock, Moni the Poet, and Bee Real with their little Prince Xavier for being so wonderful and showing us what Black Love is all about, Akua Perry for embracing my crazy ass, Mr. William “WaWa” Washington for humbling me when we met when he recognized my name, voice, and the poem “Chocolate”, every single poet in attendance and in spirit, everyone with whom I shook hands, hugged, kissed, embraced, laughed with, conversed with, swam with, ate with, and with whom I had the most amazing connections (ALL OF YOU).
To every one of you, there are not enough words to express how you all made me feel. I am misty-eyed, and it takes A WHOLE DAMN LOT to pull that off within my cold heart and make it swell 3 times bigger (no, that’s the Grinch…).
Seriously, all I can say is…
Thank you all, SO MUCH, for having me at the 2016 Black Poetry Cafe Poetryfest, and I can guaran-damn-tee that I WILL be there for Myrtle Beach!
Today we are celebrating the release of the 2nd installment in the Earth 8-8-2 Saga, “Earth 8-8-2: Genesis’ Rebellion“.
To celebrate this release, it’s imperative to share with you the concept of birth of the Saga.
In 2014 Y. Correa was preparing a concept for the then “soon to be released” Concordant Vibrancy: Unity. Being that Y. Correa is a Multi-genre author, who’s an immense lover of Science Fiction and the theme of that anthology was unity, Y thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to unify genres and various fictional beings?“
Instantly the premise of the Earth 8-8-2 Saga was born. Part Science Fiction, part Paranormal and part Dark Drama, the Earth 8-8-2 Saga encompasses the life of a being which was created to be the Savior of Earth 882’s Mankind. Traversing parallel universes, multiple earths and various lifeforms, the Earth 8-8-2 Saga tells that tale of Genesis, a being which is a hybrid of an 882 Earthling, vampire, goddess and superhuman.
In the first installment, “Earth 8-8-2: The Genesis Project”, Y. Correa lays the foundation for the saga by telling the tale of Genesis’ creation.
In this NEWLY RELEASED installment, “Earth 8-8-2: Genesis’ Rebellion”, Y. Correa further elaborates on Genesis’ enterprise to obtain reprisal.
The beeping sound which resounded amidst the silence of the scarcely occupied room did nothing to alert anyone, for those there were already at attention. Endeavors such as these were bound to have an audience.
Three sets of eyes peered into the mammoth glass, liquid filled container that housed Project Armageddon (Code Name: Experiment Eight-eight-two-dash-five-point-one); General Townsen’s, Doctor Theodor Belt’s and Acinom Zenit’s. The tank: a matrix created to nourish and sustain Project Armageddon—grow and strengthen it to its fullest capacity.
Acinom pushed a button then flipped a switch on the rotundus supercomputer which covered over half the wall and the sound ceased.
“Acinom,” called Doctor Belt, his voice raised, as though she were in another room, “check his pulse.” Acinom’s eyes shrank to slivers, the disdain of being yelled at pestered her.
“Yes, Doctor.” Acinom reached over, pushing another button which caused a spectacle of waves and numbers to appear on the computer screen in front of them. “Normal, Doctor.” she concluded.
“Good, good.” responded the happy Doctor.
Before any more hoopla could transpire, General Townsen trumped the tangible glee in the room, his voice filled with animosity. “How much longer before Experiment Eight-eight-two-dash-five-point-one is activated?” the dryness in his tone leaving much to be desired. Acinom frowned then squinted; chomping at the bit to put him in his place, although that was not necessarily her place.
Doctor Belt interjected, “Well Commander,” he walked towards the titanic, rectangular, transparent glass cistern which had a wide array of tubes and mechanisms affixed to it, and placed his hand on the glass, as though attempting to touch his creation. “It shouldn’t be much longer.” The gleam in Doctor Belt’s eyes was akin to a maniacal scientist basking in the glory of his creation—mad and euphoric. Doctor Belt pressed his forehead to the glass and shut his eyes, then released a long sigh of gratification.
Inside the immense vessel, attached to innumerable contraptions, floated the inanimate body of being liken to an Earth 8-8-2 man, but not.
General Townsen huffed his satisfaction, turned, pivoting like a soldier about to march, and left the room.
Cheers and welcome to this Cover Reveal Celebration of Multigenre Author Y. Correa’s next installment to the Earth 8-8-2 Saga.
The first book, “Earth 8-8-2: The Genesis Project” marked the commencement of a Sci-Fi Mashup of epic proportion.
Could Science Serve as Salvation?
One-fourth Human. One-fourth God. One-fourth Superhuman. One-fourth Vampire.
For Dr. Scott, the combined strengths of each life form represent the answer to the onslaught of malice and tyranny plaguing his Earth. When his creation—Genesis—begins developing, the lines between scientist and father become blurred. Soon the time approaches where Genesis is expected to fulfill her purpose. Does she go along willingly, or will her rapid evolution obliterate everyone’s best laid plans?
In the newest installment, “Earth 8-8-2: Genesis’ Rebellion” Author Y. Correa endeavors to start where the last one ended and continue the adventure that is the Earth 8-8-2 Saga.
What happens when Science’s Instrument of Salvation blazes her own path?
In the second installment of the Earth 8-8-2 saga, Genesis is heartbroken, disillusioned, but most of all … angry: angry that she has no say-so in the narrative of her own purpose. In the absence of choice, the only response that makes sense is rebellion.
As Genesis elicits the intensity of her powers, General Townsen must act quickly to develop a counterbalance to this previous experiment gone askew. Will the General’s army rise effectively against this unlikely nemesis, or will all see the literal overtures of what occurs when powers that be attempt to regulate true evolution?
Now, without further ado, we are pleased to present you with the cover of “Earth 8-8-2: Genesis’ Rebellion”.
The time has arrived: this Friday, April 15, 2016, “WORDPLAY: Therapy Session” will become available! HOWEVER, I have received confirmation that it is available for Pre-Order on Amazon Kindle!
It has been two years since I last published, and I can assure each and every one of you that this installment of the WORDPLAY series will have you thinking and reflecting on so many topics in your life.
There were several people who asked me, “Why did it take you so long to write another “WORDPLAY”?
To be honest, Ladies and Gentlemen, there was a lot of poetry that was written. There were many that didn’t fit the mold of what “WORDPLAY: Therapy Session” is about:
This installment NEEDED to be hard-hitting,
This installment needed to be even grittier than its predecessors, and
This installment needed me to take the HARDEST look at myself to the point where I needed to hurt my feelings in order to understand the truth about myself.
Trust when I say that there is NO BETTER therapy that a hard look at yourself and being VERY REAL with yourself: NO ONE can be harder on you THAN YOU, and this is what “WORDPLAY: Therapy Session” is all about. I needed this to hit not just me, but those who read these poems. It has been an interesting journey writing,editing, proofing, and a quiet room sitting when it came to “Therapy Session”, yet I can assure you that the fifth “WORDPLAY” WILL BE one to talk about for a long time.
Ladies and Gentlemen: a Sneak Peek into this Friday’s release of “WORDPLAY: Therapy Session”.
Andrew Boyd is a student of poetry, blogging, and story telling. Andrew became a self-published author on February 27, 2013. He is one who is honest to where he made people mad, yet they respect and respected what he had, have, and has to say.
A two-time kidney transplant recipient, Andrew is one who looks at the world in a way that gives and gave him perspective as to how his life would be shaped due to his medical experiences, as well as helping others by exuding inspiration and compassion to those around him.
He is a graduate of the Class of 1996 from Germantown-Lankenau Motivational Program Annex, where his writing prowess was born in the 10th Grade, and continued on while attending Arcadia University in 1996. After a writing hiatus in 1997, a trip to New York City in March 2010 reignited his passion for writing. While posting several of his writings on social media outlets, he also performs and performed spoken word poetry in the Philadelphia and New York areas. He is currently performing on Black Poetry Cafe’s (BPC) internet radio show “FEVER FRIDAYS”.
When the world needs your light, the supply is unlimited. When you need the world’s light, the service is disconnected. Shrouded in darkness, with not even a candle’s flicker to show the way, how does one heal?
Andrew Boyd’s result is to conduct his own Therapy Session. This fifth book in the WORDPLAY poetry series is a chronicle of crepuscules that Andrew has faced throughout his life, some unbeknownst to those who believed knew him best. What he hopes to accomplish through this psychoanalysis is the prescription to understanding, development and sustainable peace.
Sitting on the floor in front of a crowd,
My legs are crossed Indian Style,
Elbows on the knees.
Head bowed down and temperament apparent,
My microphone will melt with what I will say.
Hate is a strong word: never to be taken lightly.
There are many who do not use the word when
Expressing the feelings they have for others.
I Hate the fact that there is suffering,
I Hate the fact that there are immoral people.
I Hate that those who do the most harm are
The ones worshipping under the steeple.
I Hate how they lie to innocent parties.
I Hate that they rage on another.
I Hate how they do not hold themselves accountable
As they break the heart of their mother.
I Hate how people turned their backs to me.
I Hate that they feel they are seen as priority one.
I Hate that patience to them is a waste of time
Yet they look to me to jump the gun.
I Hate how people say that they are by my side,
Yet their actions speak louder than their words.
I Hate the fact that they lied to me that way
To the point where I show them my flock of birds.
I Hate that I trust some people early:
I Hate that part about myself.
There should be many people walking with shirts
That read “Trusting me is bad for your health.”
I Hate this life that I live:
I can only blame myself.
I Hate that I placed myself in these situations:
I Hate that I cannot see my worth and wealth.
To acknowledge that I Hate myself
Tells me personally that I see more than I care to see.
I need to stop hating the reflection in my mirror,
If I am to change things around and about me.
Y. Correa is a literary seductress, luring one in with her talent of Romancing the Words, keeping one hypnotized with dynamic characters, and stimulating one with engaging narrative voices, strong plots, and epic conflicts. Her writes are as complex and as distinct as her person; a delightful combination of eclectic and antiquated. Therefore, the mere mention of fitting into one set genre is laughable. The multi-genre decadence is where she showcases her magnificence.
Some of Y. Correa’s works include Historical Fiction “MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis”, Sci-Fi Mashup “Earth 8-8-2: The Genesis Project”, Sci-Fi Fiction series “A.L.O.M” and short stories such as “Ryan”, “Loving … them!” and “The G. Particle”.
Ms. Correa has also been in several short story anthologies and is the Founder/Creator of All Authors Publications and Promotions whose subsidiaries are:
All Authors Magazine
All Authors Graphic Design
All Authors Publishing House and
All Authors Certificate of Excellence
With that, Y. Correa presents “Lilith’s Dominion”.
When Lilith fails to comply with the plans of Man and The Creator, she is punished to an existence that costs her the fruits of humanity. Every moment becomes a never ending spin cycle of memories mirroring profound loss, recalcitrant rage, and immeasurable suffering.
During a Halloween party at the Arcadia Chateau, the blue-green eyed brunette Jet leaves an impression which shatters the equilibrium of Lilith’s cloud of darkness. Is this a temporary aggravation or the start of a much needed resurrection—the fire of love in a heart iced with hurt?
It is believed that before the Genesis of the human age, Adam had a wife … a first wife; Lilith.
Created from the same ground from which Adam was molded, Lilith proved to be a bit more than his subordinate.
She was his equal.
Legend has it that Lilith was strong willed, independent and unyielding. All of the things that Adam did not want in a wife.
Red hair, sensual curves and red-brown eyes, Lilith was voluptuousness in the form of a woman. Passion, ardent and burning vitality. Lilith considered herself Adam’s compeer in every way—second to none and nothing.
What Adam hated to admit was that Lilith was his weakness, his burning desire, and his fierce, iniquitous poison. As much as he wanted her,he also hated her. It was her authority that continually dominated him, and her lasciviousness that seduced him. He was less of a man when he was around her, yet he also could not feel more empowered.
Adam realized that his obsession with Lilith was a lecherous enthrallment and nothing more, for he could not love her. Neither could he be her master. This was the problem. Adam’s job was to be in control, to be the head. The leader of Lilith and all of their descendants. For this, the Creator had made him.
Yet, around her—Lilith—he was nothing more than a groveling, dribbling, insecure excuse for a man. She had him wrapped around her little finger, and this suited her just fine.
Adam, not so much.
This was not what the Creator had mandated. Not what he intended when making them both. He needed Adam—level headed and trustworthy—to be in charge. However, with the ever present seduction of Lilith, this wouldn’t be possible.
Something must be done.
The sound of a single long nail clicking against a hardwood table was all that could be heard in the room. Why? Because all of the noise and commotion was in her head.
Voices, memories, flashing thoughts. Chaos! Nothing more and nothing less.
The upsurge of rampant thoughts caused her mouth to slap with thirst—suck her teeth in upheaval. Lilith’s thirst was soon to be quenched, she was certain. She’d already made the preparations. Yet, the riot that was Lilith’s unending trail of assaulting musings would probably never be quelled.
The light of night poked through the monumental stained glass windows. One ray in particular beamed across the room, perpendicular to its point of origin, then ricocheted from a mirror to shine a slender bright stream of yellow-orange light on the table. The thin beacon glowed not too far from where her hand tapped an agitated finger.
The room was enormous and regal, yet devoid of any exuberance. Filled with scarce furnishings—the mammoth hardwood table and the innumerable chairs that surrounded it. Old, decrepit paintings adorned the walls.
The air was stifling, consumed by the scent of mothballs, molded and aged wood.
How did I get here? Lilith’s thought, although in her mind, seemed to echo through the stretch of the empty room.
“Madam, your supper is ready,” squealed Lilith’s faithful attendant, though indubitably pitiful as he was, whilst walking in. The aged, wooden double doors screeched upon his opening them. Then, he closed them, without as much as a glimpse back. His skin had not seen the light of day in so long that it had lost its color. A peculiar shade of tan-gray, wrinkled and rough, was all that remained.
Throughout the years, Demetrius had become an old, dilapidated, fragile corpse of a man—feeble and haggard, yet faithful. Lilith considered that while his situation was different than hers, at least they shared the apathetic hue of their skin color, albeit not her extraordinary good looks.
“Bring it in, Demetrius. Leave it,” replied Lilith as she waved a hand in the air, with little to no regard whatsoever. Completely detached from human emotion and void of fascination. She couldn’t help herself. All her vitality had been lost eons ago.
“Yes, Madam,” responded Demetrius, then nodded his head and bowed out of the room. Seconds later he pulled in a frightened brunette, who was so dismayed that she’d lost all fight and merely shivered and sobbed uncontrollably. Demetrius, grabbed a handful of the girl’s hair and tossed her on the ground in front of Lilith. “Your supper my lady.” he said subserviently, then bowed out of the room once more.
Lilith wasted no time whatsoever and with the blink of an eye had the girl trapped, her fangs sunk into the girl’s main artery. The one located between the thighs—Lilith had long since grown tired of the neck. It was too convenient and she craved a bit of excitement, rare as it was.
Moments later, the girl’s life blood had been drained and all that remained was a naked, pale carcass.
Lilith stood to her feet uneventfully, sighed deeply, dusted her hands and then took a seat once again in her favorite chair.
With that, her mind whirled into its turbulent incongruity yet again.
Please show your Love and Support for my dear friend and amazing author Y. Correa. Trust me: you will not be disappointed!