Thursday, July 13, 2006

This Is How It Should Be Done..

This is how I write:

As I walked up to the lecture hall, I checked my syllabus to make sure i was in the right place. Intro to Black Studies, Room 415 Hamilton Hall, 4:45 pm. Yup. I'm good. I'd heard that the professor was Umamu Shaheed Alam. He's a dark-skinned, overweight man who tends to always be found in tailored suits, loafers and designer eyewear. I guess professors are more well-paid than I thought...

In the front row, I noticed Andre sitting next to a pretty black girl in a headwrap. Probably one of those super-studious types as she seemed to ignore whatever flirting he thought he was trying to do. As the hall was filling up, Professor Alam arrived and awkwardly shuffled his way towards the podium. He tapped the mic twice to get our attention.


This is how Adam Mansbach writes: (in Angry Black White Boy)

Intro to Black Studies, Room 415 Hamilton Hall, 4:45 pm, Associate Professor of American Studies Umamu Shaheed Alam presiding: three hundred plus two dime-sacks of esteemed chocolate-brown scholarship poured into an expertly tailored girth-streamlining double breasted olive suit, accented with Armani eyewear and compromised by rubber-soled load-bearing loafers.

In the front row of the cavernous slant-seated lecture hall, Andre slouched next to a light skinned honey in a headwrap. She'd smiled back at him, then unsnapped a leatherbound notepad and crossed her legs, pen poised, preparing to look busy instead of sideways until class started. The hall was full when Professor Alam entered, swinging his legs around his belly in an
overweight pimp-shuffle. He strode directly to the podium and tapped the mic twice with a sausage forefinger, silencing the room.


It's all in the descriptions, the detail. The ability to paint a picture so vividly. sausage forefinger. overweight pimp-shuffle. load-bearing loafers. wow. It's taking me a long time to read this book cuz i read paragraphs like that over and over while shaking my head. That's the kind of writer i'd want to be if i was going to seriously pursue it. I guess any good writer knows how to do that well. Isn't that what they teach you in college? I mean i've never been to any kind of writing workshop or course but i'd imagine that they give you some bland paragraph and ask you to bring it to life. Or give you assignments on describing simple things like air and water etc. I don't know. Maybe one day i'll join a workshop and find out.

One day. yeah. that day will be right after the day I finish writing all the scripts i have in my head. Or the day after I learn to play the guitar I got for Christmas 4 years ago. Or maybe the day after I buy that franchise. But wait, that is supposed to come the day after I start a non-profit organization for underpriveleged teen girls. Yeah but first, i gotta record my debut album. Which is the day before go back to school to finish my degrees. Which should fall about 6 or 7 days after i've gone back to dance class.

I suffer from the Cosby Closet Syndrome. You open the door and out tumbles all the things I've started and never finished. Vanessa and Theo ain't got nothin' on me.

5 comments:

Piscean Princess said...

One thing at a time, girl!

So happy to see your name at the bottom of this (not that I have anything against your "co-host")!

I'm going out of town for a week, so I won't be around. But you know I'll holla when I get back.

Jehan said...

what i tell you, yo. whitejewishboy can write.

it's ironic, the surprise i hear in my own tone. same surprise that shot-blocked 'ya mama' mentions, and dribbled from the ballers' mouths in 'white men can't jump' when woody got his hustle on.

i was concerned you wasn't feelin' it, ma. i'm glad i put my pen's envy on peace long enough to send it to you, and i'm glad you see what i see.

and for the record, you just dropped two of the most beautiful paragraphs i've read all year.

Damali said...

Miss Princess:

I'm tryin' to do one thing at a time. it's hard; i'm impatient. i'm a computer baby and just want to be able to download all knowledge into my brain like Trinity.

Enjoy your travels and i look forward to you return.

Jehan:

yeah he's dope. Thank you so much for sending it to me...you know i always trust your judgement.

and i guess they aight. you might be slightly biased, tho :)

Jehan said...

this is beyond bias, tho'.

your ink stains a mural onto the page, ma.

Damali said...

Thank you, Jehan