Hey, America, don’t forget that I am a black man!

“You most likely had a fourth-great-grandparent, fifth-great-grandparent, sixth-great-grandparent, or seventh-great- (or greater) grandparent who was 100% West African. This person was likely born between 1700 and 1790.”



In different hours…

“In different hours,
a man represents
each of several of his ancestors,
as if there were seven or eight of us rolled up in each man’s skin
— seven or eight ancestors at least —
and they constitute the variety of notes
for that new piece of music which his life is.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Genealogy is a mania

an obsessive struggle
to penetrate the past
and snatch meaning
from an infinity of names.
At some point the search becomes futile
– there is nothing left to find,
no meaning to be dredged
out of old receipts, newspaper articles, letters,
accounts of events that seemed so important
fifty or seventy years ago.
All that remains is the insane urge to keep looking,
insane because the searcher has no idea what he seeks.
What will it be?
A photograph?
A will?
A fragment of a letter?
The only way to find out is to look at everything,
because it is often when the searcher
has gone far beyond the border of futility
that he finds the object he never knew he was looking for.

― Henry Wiencek in The Hairstons:
An American Family in Black and White

Maybe now I will finally finish my first book


Despite having a headache for most of the day, I began feeling better after taking a migraine pill. After having resigned myself to missing the grand opening of the new Hugo House, a place for writers in Seattle, I abruptly changed my mind, thinking that getting out of my apartment for awhile would do me some good.

But sadly there were too many people making too much noise for me. I am a bit claustrophobic around crowds and enjoy peace and quiet.

I typed this up in a room with the following printed on a wall, oddly placed in the lower right corner.

“Think small. If you have a big mind, that will show itself. If you can’t think small, try philosophy or social criticism.” — Richard Hugo

I love the space. There’s a lot of it. I am hoping to put it to use. I will probably sign up for a class during the winter quarter.