NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 123

BRN-FALL-2013.indb 121 The mere fact I struggled in desperation to consume food, sleep, bathe and negotiate the necessities of life while trying to satisfy a crack habit through the stem of a straight shooter, should have pushed me over the edge of my disintegrating cliff; yet, somehow, I survived to not let that physical and mental state be the final image I leave on earth. I do not know if the man I passed on the steps will survive his eternal war, but I remember how hard it was to perceive myself as normal. I also remember when the judge commuted my five-year prison sentence in Maryland and sent me to a drug program in North Carolina, how after having been there a year and wanting desperately to learn all I could about poetry, I saw Samantha Thornhill as a featured poet in Hillsborough, nc at a cafe called Vague Metaphors. Having been heavily influenced by the poets Patricia Smith, Saul Williams, Reggie Gibson, Willie Perdomo and Roger Bonair Agard through Def Poetry Jam, I became enamored by Samantha’s lyrical brilliance, her stunning command of imagery, and a disposit