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Looking for Pluto

Sam knew something was different the moment he stepped out of the airplane and couldn’t smell the air. Down a long corridor that looked like the Red Sea after Moses went through, Sam came up on a wide hall with no walls, just endless horizon in every direction. The floor was a beige color polished to a mirror shine; everything hovered above it, especially the people! These people, women as delicate as men and men as beautiful as women; in their white robes over spring complexion, they dotted the endless dome with smiles for welcome mat. They all seem to beckon Sam to come, past them and into the clouds.(more…)

 

Dethorning of the Rose

Almost exactly 3 years later, as he listened to the settlers with their pitch-forks pounding on his gate, Kelechi Machuka will remember the day he said good bye to his last sons. There are many reasons people have few more than 2 children. One of these reasons may be fear of being lonely, needing but lacking company or reliable help when you most need it. I’m not going to pretend I know Kelechi’s reason or fear, but Kelechi and his wives had 47 children:(more…)

 

Wait's Weight

Wytho has been waiting for this day for two years. Add 10 days to that is how long she has been married to the stranger whose promised arrival kept her up all night the night before. How does it feel to anticipate a loved one you barely know? This is what Wytho is coming to terms with.(more…)

 

Letters to my Brother - Verse 1

Dear brother,

How are you? How is your new wife? I saw the pictures on Facebook. She is very beautiful. May God bless your marriage, and bless you with many children. How is the family? How is dad’s foot? Mom did not sound so good last time we talked. I hope she is feeling better today. I sent some pills with Fallah, I hope you have received them. If not, please call his brother. Fallah should have arrived by now.(more…)

 

Science Man

In all your adult life you have not as much as pushed a man. But you don’t deny killing him. In fact you planned it, thought about multiple ways to go about it, and finally decided to do right it in the middle of his living room. (more…)

 

Divine Intervention

He put God on hold. I swear he did. Even he couldn’t believe it. Hell, even God was surprised. Well as much as that is possible.

Like many men Abe never thought he would actually meet God. At least not as long as he was alive. Encounters with God only happen in the Bible and D movies. Abe thought his life was much too real for either of those. So of course when the caller said “I believe you know me as God’” Abe couldn’t help chuckling. Ok dude you going to crack jokes before asking me how I’m going to take care of that bill? But he was not sure any telemarketer was dumb enough to call strangers and even before identifying themselves decides to crack a joke, especially a joke involving God. You know people are really sensitive about their gods. So Abe thought maybe it was one of his friends. Though he couldn’t imagine any of his friends faking a South African accent that well. So he quieted his laughter to give the caller a chance to get to the punch line. (more…)

 

AtlanticRockers: Janka Nabay

 

Green Card Lambs

Mamdi came up with the idea last Christmas, at his sister’s house, after they had turkey for breakfast. They were sitting around in his cousin’s 5 bedrooms 2 ½ baths Edina house; the teevee on medium-high, their voices on high. Somewhere between breathless and eyes full of laughing tears from listening to his cousin recount his first year in America—stealing naps on a shelf at a Jewish-owned warehouse he worked at in New York—it hit Mamdi: Laughing about our pain is how we make sense of America! How else do you face winter when spring was not even in your vocabulary?
(more…)

 

Badala Road

A retired astronaut looks at the moon
And hopes the earth is still blue
It’s the things you don’t see
When your eyes can see
That become vivid as you grow blind

I think

Some of the best days of my life
Are the days I can no longer remember
Yet I try, in every blink
I cry whenever I close my eyes
I try to remember:
My sun—I hardly noticed how beautiful
The moon—I drew God in the clouds
And casted my dreams up
The stars—the twinkle in their eyes
Children like me
(more…)

 

St. Paul Almanac

Couple of piecesthat were recently published by the St. Paul Almanac

  • Inspiration and Perspiration is a short poem about the pleasures and frustrations with writing
  • Going to See My Mother is an excerpt from a larger piece I'm working on
  •  

    The Kids and I

    Lately I have been feeling a certain way about how comprehensively my kids have taken over my life. Nothing has come to symbolized this as how many times I have to reheat my cup of tea, sometimes even before my first sip. Pour the water…“Daddy.” Add the honey… “Daddy?” Lift the cup to my lips…”Daddy!” Sometimes I just want to be like “WHAT!!??” But I take a deep breath, put the cup down and tend to their needs. When I return, my hot tea has iced. I hate ice tea! (more…)

     

    What I Am Voting For

    Economic Security

    I don’t really know what Middle Class is. As far as I can tell it is this wide sea of individuals and families between those that qualify for food stamps and those that live in mansions with enough financial wealth to have their children look forward to their death. I may be somewhere in that sea.

    Both my wife and I have been employed full time for the major part of the last decade. Between us, we have a comfortable house in a comfortable part of town, two cars, and three beautiful children. Every now and then, we close our eyes, damned the budget, and indulge a family vacation. We give to charity, we go out to eat just because we don’t feel like cooking, we send money back home…few dollars in a money market account, college savings, 401K plans…you get the idea. My wife doesn’t go to church much, and I have hardly been to a mosque since coming to America, but every day we thank our gods for this life we live. (more…)

     

    AtlanticRockers: Zaki Ibrahim

     

    Djoliba's Worth

    I was born in Kankan
    Before being delivered atop old German trucks
    Full of djoula musos and the wares they peddle
    Between Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Liberia
    To Sierra Leone and
    Back to Kankan I came
    After the guns knocked on our doors
    And the grave diggers lost their shovels
    But Guinea is a hard place to call home
    When you are young and your French is… comme ci comme ca (more…)

     

    Why I am Voting No on The Minnesota Marriage Amendment

    I was born in Guinea, to a strict family in a devout Muslim community. If you have followed my writing for any length of time, you already know this. But it bears repeating here. I was about 15 when I came to America. In the few months before starting high school, I learned America from soap operas. “All my Children” was my favorite, but “One Life to Live” is where I learned that gay didn’t just mean being happy. As you can imagine I was shocked, and to be completely honest, disgusted. As a practicing Muslim, I thought it an abomination. (more…)

     

    This Could Just be THE Election of our Lifetime

    I know who is going to win the next election. Come the day after the elections in November, the next president of the United States is going to be….a millionaire male politician! And after the inauguration in January, in February your life is probably not going to be any different. If it does, it won’t be because of the ceremony in Washington the day before. That’s elections for you. In the immediate sense they don’t change anything. But in the long run, they change everything! (more…)

     

    Maybe Cheap is Cheap

    I swear I am not cheap. I shop at Target (instead of Wal-Mart), Cub Food (instead of Aldi). I even have membership at Seward Co-op. When it comes to wear, though I sometimes stray into Marshalls when I’m at the Mall of America, and I thought TJ Maxx was an high-end boutique during my college days, these days it’s Guess, Studiiyo23; hell, I’m a Banana Republic Voxx member for crying out loud! more…

     

    Letter to my Children

    You are not from there
    You are not from here
    You are from your mom
    And from your dad
    You are an African-in-America
    An African and American
    Proudly wear them both
    Wherever you go
    Knowing home is not a place
    Except if that place be a space in your heart

    I give you what I have
    Not as dogma
    But so you would have somewhere to start
    Because we all need a place to land
    When gravity proves too mighty a foe

    With that said… more…

     

    The Tie That Binds John: 15

    It's the tie that binds
    the moth to the flame
    the gold plated chains
    that would noose you
    to the height you seek to climb

    It's the pretty things that would kill you
    the familiar faces that would wake you
    up in the middle of the night
    soaking wet in your own sweat
    If it turns out to be blood
    It's the lover standing over you
    with a knife in one hand
    a dirty underwear in the other

    It's the pretty things that would kill you
    the shinning things you buy
    with the flesh you wear
    not knowing tattoos will never skin you
    The way the womb did ...more

     

    New Year Resolution

    Mall of AmericaIt was a weird Sunday evening. After hanging out with some friends, I decided to run to the mall to return some shirts I bought the week before. From uptown, I got on 35W south bound. Few miles later I debated whether I should take highway 62 East or stay on 35W to 494 East. I decided to stay on 35W.
    Well, as soon as I passed the exit for 62, I knew I’d miscalculated. 35W to 494 is longer than 62 to 77 route, with the likelihood of getting stuck in traffic much higher. Bad move IBé, I scolded myself. I hate miscalculating.

    As I pulled into the mall on Lindau Lane, winding my way to the parking ramp, I saw a lot of people walking out of Sears. Forget baseball, I said to myself, shopping is America’s favorite pastime....more

     

    Occupation Without Movement

    I am from Africa. No, not that Africa. I was not destitute. Not this Africa either. I am not next in line to any throne, nor am I a son of a politician. I am of that middle group that is too blind to notice they are dirt poor, and know better than to care. If you asked me, I would tell you I came to America to go to school. And that is the truth. But if you boil that down, I came to America for a better opportunity. For the most part, I have found it. College educated, gainfully employed, home owner, blah blah blah. I don’t (or rather shouldn’t) have anything to complain about. more...

     
    Gerald Montgomery

    AtlanticDivide:

    What is an Apology Between Slaves and Masters?

    "...an economist could quite successfully argue there was great pressure for the Americas to participate in the economics of slave labor."

    "...some 150 years since slavery was abolished in the Confederate states, there is still a perpetrator alive and present today that can and should apologize for slavery"

    IBé
     

    International Relations

    Himba LadyArabs are not bad
    It’s just that terrorists
    Wear turban and say Allah
    Before blowing themselves up
    At checkpoints and crowded
    Roadways among Muslims
    On their way to offering zakat to the needy
    ...more

     

    Financial Advice from the Edge

    Craddled Piggy BankI’m not a financial expert by any stretch of the imagination. But whenever I read an article about personal finance, I always feel like saying duh, I knew that. So I thought, maybe I know a little more than the average person. If so, maybe I should share. So here we go. ...more

     
    Gerald Montgomery

    AtlanticDivide:

    The Rise and Fall of Affirmative Action

    "The White male employee of yesteryears –the most feared group, whom Affirmative Action was to protect minorities from—is dead."

    "When Workers no longer require the threat of organized strikes to work in safe environments, for reasonable hours and salaries, America will no longer require Affirmative Action"

    IBé
     

    AtlanticRockers

    Wanlov the Kubolor