featured in ADAWG
featured in Paintings Modern and Beyond – PiMT
He shines in a royal blue jumpsuit gathered up along with maybe a choir robe if he likes the texture, but definitely armloads of vinyl in the local thrift store. Ariyah appreciates the finer things in life. Or, better, he simply appreciates the opportunity to live a life…
On the indigo side of his poetic rainbow he may speak of a science fiction world of insectoids and other such biomachinery, but headed toward the reds of his white light, he’ll call out Gotdam! Become enraptured with some old blues man and/or rail at the eco-disasters, classist/racist systems or war machine here inside us and over there where humans don’t count. I’d say he’s rather brilliant. His mind is sharp…that’s easy, but there’s something, like I said, prismatic about him. There’s light. There’s energy, but there’s a calm center in there. Maybe better, he knows how to get to the eye of the water-storm and he knows it takes an army.
He has lots of people inside him.
That’s how big this world is.
He’s the kind of poet that makes me wonder how to be in relationship to him and none of the permutations are difficult.
They go like this:
Were I his mama (and I could be if we count the numbers) I would make him sleep in a hammock where he could discreetly rock even into adulthood. I would demand he get his little butt off the roof before he breaks his neck. I would tell him, in no uncertain terms, to turn that crap down—saxophones annoy me—get me my flyswatter, carry in 2 more buckets of spring water and chop some wood…all before he bugles and trumpets and coronets the holler into an entranced sweet oblivion. I’d make him take lessons although I knew he didn’t need them. I’d keep this last bit of information to my smug, maternal self.
Were I his sister, I’d be older. I’d bully the bullies who push him around because at 10 he’s an honorary and imaginary monk & tries on compassion at the Goodwill, on the playground and in the post-riot alleyways of Detroit. I’d buy him the Anarchist Cookbook for Christmas and he’d dance around & kiss me before he remembered himself. We’d giggle until we couldn’t breathe. Our parents would ignore it.
Were I his teacher, I’d let him do whatever he wants & I’d send him anonymous cash on a regular basis.
But I’m none of those.
I am a fan.
Perhaps I’m a fan because his writing takes me to such places as what’d it be like to…and look at how that word jams up against another…and listen to how you just stick in punctuation because you’ve got to since he didn’t and it works…
Perhaps I’m a fan because I can’t wait to see what’s next…
And because it comes so effortlessly…
or because the language is trickery & glittery magpie thingies glinting in the mind sun:
confronted with my own breathing
i wish i could take off my arms
his wealth is cheap figurines and dollar store candy
he dreams of suede rouge addidas jump suits
he is not ashamed to be destitute existing off of charity
everything he owns is public domain
once there was a man who convinced himself he was a glass of orange juice
afraid to spill
i would often like to dream the meaning of finnegans wake
That narcotic reclining chair
Negro superstition and slang
i see her gazing at herself in the mirror trying to build her self up
wearing bright clothes to hide she is an heiress of abandonment
the unthawing of the winter beat
something precocious emerging
These are some deepsea pearls thrown up in his water-storm of imagination.
They’re often dense, but always well-turned, his and driven home in a surprise goodnight.
If you don’t catch them on the first read, they’ll be back…
I always think of 2 words when I think of Ariyah.
I think of “water” and I think of “glass”.