Sorry for the delay, it's been a little crazy as of late. But we here now and I got up with the baddest bitch around. You see, this bitch is a poet who hates open mics, would rather be laid up with a felon than some sappy kufi cat sparking a champa stick. She's a venerable veteran with an interesting story to tell. I speak of rgv (rudegirl virgo)...born the 19th of this month (perfect how this is the 19th edition,huh)...let's see what she has to say.
funny thing, all these names on here and its like opening up a window and getting a peak at more about them. cool issue, I'll be checkin more of rgv's stuff, props yukon
"I walk around with sick styles, sippin on cristal, my whole cliques wild, I'm rich pal no more sticks I'm making hits now... when I recite you takin hours to write, so if you fight just tell ya man what kinda flowers you like" -Big L
6. "This was good as hell..." In response to Reply # 0
<----"what u mean u didnt like Fade To Black"...Lmao
this was just like reading something that my cousin Tia would say, she been thru the same situation, and still in it, and she takes everything in wit passion and heart. This was a very good read, big up to RGV and Blak, nice as always.
"I had to get off the boat, so I can walk on water". - Jay-Z
17. "plain text version:" In response to Reply # 16
YM. What was this past summer like for rgv?
RGV:I suppose this spring started before this summer, and even before then, the winter. This winter found me in a one bedroom apartment, working two jobs, going to school, nursing a broken heart and dying of bronchitis that went too long untreated. So, I guess you can say, I was trying to welcome the spring, but I had too many bags in my arms to embrace it. Spring found me deeply depressed. Spring found me leaving school, leaving my jobs, leaving my apartment and getting back to me. It took a lot of bed rest, a lot of tears, some weight loss, a few hair cuts, a self-imposed military schedule, and finding God again, but this summer found me writing. Writing and reading cause you need both. I wrote my ass off cause if I had to die, I wanted to say what I had'ta say first. Last year, I may have written about five poems total. In the spring and summer of this year, I must have written about forty pieces. But, I have that sort of discipline when I want to. It was real simple, u going to live or u going to die? And, if u live, are u going to do this writing thing? What's keeping you living? So, I found some words to live.
YM. If anybody is familiar with your blog, they know to expect some incredible stories about self-realizations, relationships and the like. Written primarily in a poetic fashion; the people involved in these passages, do they ever read your words? If so what were the reactions like?
RGV:I can tell you none of my ex boyfriends read it, if that's your question. My family and friends, generally, aren't familiar with my work. Everyone knows I write, they know that's what I'm going to school for, they always see me with a book, but they don't read it. So, the blog is no different. I can say my aunt and my sister are pretty faithful about reading the blog. But then my little sister, okayplayer fromscratch, has always been reading whatever I wrote since she was a child. As a teenager, I practiced all my poems on her. I'm seven years older than her, but at times, it's like she's light years older than me. She's a gravy making woman. I gladly pale in comparison.
YM. When I think rgv…I tend to think erratic, passionate. We speak online every so often and you glazed over a point about lashing out at those closest to you without reason. Why do you think that is?
RGV:Real simple: I grew up with too much bullshit to accept too much dysfunction at this point. I do not welcome madness in my world, and I will cut some mad shit off quick. Life has taught me to try to be more forgiving because I can hold a grudge to my last breath. Then you remember this life is short, and you try to be the bigger person. Then you start to think about the situation, or the person maybe tryna get over, and you're like "hold up, how much of this mad shit you thought I was going to deal with before I lost my mind?" And it isn't always a lashing, sometimes, most of the times; it's more like I'm in a different space than that person. Doesn't mean I don't love them, doesn't mean I'm not well-wishing, it just means I don't feel like that person has much to offer me, and I know I have nothing to give that person. That's my personality though. Alone don't mean lonely, and silent don't mean nothing to say. It just means I'm still forming the words. I can appreciate silence when the right words aren't there.
YM. Speaking of those closest to you, Tremaine (mindful / the perfect mistake)…in 4 words, what does she mean to you?
RGV:Four words; I hate questions like this because it's like you're trying to force some words I don't have on me. We all have friends and enemies, and we got people that fall right down in a crack right between the two, and we're not sure which side that person should be on. Something always brings you back and takes you away from that person. Or, maybe the person did something you can't forgive'em for, or they leading a life you don't agree with, or you think they hurting themselves, but what can you do? They're grown, and you're grown, and you got your own shit to handle. So, you find yourself a space for yourself and you love that person from that space. They're not necessarily invited in that space, but you love them just the same. If Tremaine needs me, she knows where I am. And, we're both grown enough to appreciate space.
YM. Again, being that we've spoke online and off via the telephone I have somewhat of an inside track to you. In a nutshell you were positioned to be all things to all members of your family. Care to share some stories that helped forge the Virgo we've come to see through her writings over the years?
RGV:Everyone has the tragic life story, and mine is no different. I'm the firstborn to a crack addict and a crack dealer, spent the first eleven years of my life in New York City's foster care system. I'm the oldest of eight children: four girls and four boys. I've been mother and sister for a very long time, and I still am. But, I don't feel tragic. I don't feel like I need answers. This was already written for me and how I've handled it was written, and what I'ma continue to do is already known. I can say you look at life a little different when you grow up without a mother or a father. My father was in prison until I was twenty years old. My mother found herself as an adult dealing with the shit that happened to her as a kid. And, that's all I said I wouldn't do. I don't believe that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I think some shit is bullshit. A lot of shit, in fact, is bullshit. But, I do believe you’re given according to the load you can carry. I just have a lot of weak mthafkas around me. I don't ask anybody to carry my bags. I got mine, and I usually got some of somebody else's too. If that makes me hard to understand or get to or rude or unapproachable, I really don't give a fuck; I'm hypercritical. I've always have been. Life was dangerous for little girls in the late eighties, so I grew up quickly because I had to. When you gotta deal with some woman shit, you just become woman. I learned early to label something 'good' or 'bad.' To know the difference between that which could help and that which was meant to harm; I have a little sister to raise. She's only fourteen, and I'm trying to be the best mother/sister I can to her. And, I want her to be just as discriminating, so she can weed out the weak, the painful, the unnecessary, and know and appreciate the good. My mother is clean now, and I'm trying, after twenty-two years, to have something tangible with her and my father as well. Has any of that translated into my writing? I'm sure. I write about being scared, about poverty, about black, about women, about the men I've fucked, and the father that wasn't there. I write about my mother getting her ass beat. I write about my sisters, but I don't feel a brooding tragedy about it. A lot of it hurt...growing up...but, a lot of it was good. A lot of it, you can't even write about. You just had to be there to live it and laugh about it later.
YM. Returning to school as well, what's the discipline? How close are we to achieving that piece of paper?
RGV:That paper chase is a motherfucker. I took time off and went part time and hustled and three jobs and all that other crazy shit. But, I'm happy to say it's almost over. I'm an English Education Africana Studies double major. Teaching means more to me than writing. I guess it's the lil'mama in me. I love children, and I love learning. I usually gravitate toward young people with old souls, and if I can help, if I can be an instrument, I will be. It's why I love soulchild, and sparrow (formerly commonwealth) and hunuh so much. I respect an old smile in a young face. It's beautiful to me. I just learned my little sister is writing poetry and shit. That's two of my three sisters; it just makes me love them more. So, I'm happy. I'm at Vassar. Fromscratch will be starting her freshman year at UPenn next fall, and the fourteen year old will be completing eighth grade. I'm happier of their paper chase than mine. I know what I’ma do, but your kids, or in my case, my sisters/kids, they're always your test. Never sure what they’re gonna do or what direction they’re gonna go in. You can give'em the direction, but that doesn’t mean they gonna get their on time. But, my babies are. And, I wanna make sure some more babies do. Especially sum black babies.... Cause I love black babies. I don't apologize for that, I just accept it and appreciate it.
YM. Final comments you'd like to share that weren't initially asked?
RGV:My relationship with people on the boards; Well, like everything else I'm picky and choosy and I like to pick for myself. So, I'm careful of who I interact with because, like I said, I have a sister/daughter, and I'm very careful about who and what is in my life. When I came to okayplayer, I was seventeen and the year was 2000. It's now five years later, and I pretty much fuck with the same people I meant in those first few months. I've been fortunate to make real friends from this site, and I think they have challenged my writing the most, and I'm thankful for that. I'm talking about the people who have your home telephone number and address. The people who can call you at work and you steal stamps from the job to send them birthday presents. But, if I had to talk about anyone who has impacted my writing most, I would say morpheme. Morpheme is a bad ass woman, and very early on she never let me get away with anything and stepped to me about everything. And, I loved her language and her control of form. It's easy and hard to love her, but she is without a doubt one of the people who've helped to set me on this course. I owe my words in many ways to her. She responded to me like a big sister almost, and I'm grateful for that. Especially that time in my life...My mother had just relapsed again around that time, and I was in a very intense emotional relationship, and she helped to keep me grounded through most of that. And, I mean we phone called, IM’ed wrote letters, sent postcards, we stayed in touch, and it was a beautiful thing. I'm indebted to her for that. I look back, and I really was all over the place. I was discovering my sexuality, and reading up on everything under the sun from womanism to parole, and I felt compelled to write something about everything that came my way, I really wasn't me yet, and she helped me to come into my own. To find my own words, separate from anybody else's. Plus, her crab salad cannot be fucked with. By anybody...
Blaksilence, I could just say he's my nigga, and answer it as simple as that. He is the most talented writer/ poet/ emcee/ person I've ever encountered in my life. I don't hold anyone's words higher than his, and he constantly amazes me. Ak reminds me a lot of me which is probably why I dig him the way I do, but seriously– he is my whole heart. My entire whole heart. We can talk about anything from Toni Morrison to Shakespeare to Marvin Gaye to Islam to comma splices to lasagna. His talent is beyond mine, and I'm fortunate to have him in my life. He's been down since the very beginning; back when I was 17 and a womyn w/ a 'y' and all that other shit I went through. Basically, as far as I can see, aint nobody seeing that nigga plain like that. He's real. He's bigger than these boards, bigger than this form. If he doesn't make it to print– nobody deserves to. That's not dickriding–that's the God's honest. He is amazing. Half man n shit, my whole heart. Rude? I don't think I'm rude. Rudegirl/Virgo is a testament to my ancestry and personality traits. My father is Jamaican; and I was born September 19th. Really, it's nothing bigger than that. I give criticism like I expect to get it. When the boards get tired, I just stop responding. I may come through and check for those that I know are going to be worth reading, but like I said, I have a sister/daughter, and I don't have time to waste reading bullshit. Writing is a very serious matter to me, and I've written since I was nine. It's my life. I'm not as hard on anybody as I am myself. Because, I don't make anything up I write my life--as it happens, what happens, where it happens. And, I feel like I have to be true to that. True to the experience as it happened. If you read it, it's because it happened or is happening. I don't need to make shit up. Perfectionist, critic, bitch–call it what you will, but it's mine. The writing process is a strange one for me: I need my music, I need my pens, I need a full belly, I need something good to drink, I gotta get up and dance a little, a fresh shower, a cool breeze, and it's gotta be nighttime. That's when I get the work out. And, when I write, I have the best in the back of my mind: the best I have to offer, and the best of what others have offered. And, if I can't be up there, if I'm not doing that, then I'm not with it. For me or anyone else; I'm not with bullshit. No time for it. I want to see some black babies reading and learning and loving. Not all words can do that. I'm only tryna fuck with the ones that do.