On Independence

What it means to me in 2020 :

I would submit that to seek independence is to fight for it, not simply for individual-self, but for all who aim in the same goal and cause. To fight for it and then celebrate in victory while others audience in suffrage is to become as those once fought against.

The conscience of the nation must be roused [Frederick Douglass] from a fanciful dream rendered a reality at this moment; for even if one citizen under a banner of freedom who suffers in voicelessness, from inequitable rights and opportunities (economically, educationally, environmentally, etc.), or that the laws set forth to govern all is perceived bias on the scales of justice, how then can independence be celebrated by all denizens. And I choose the word denizen over citizens for there was a time during the fight of American independence where the slave was categorized as less than human [chattel] despite anatomical likeness.

When pressed with the notion of the progress our nation has made, I submit that the speed of progress is relative to the oppressed and suppressed; for that chronometer does not measure in the same way as that of cruelty. Perhaps we should measure the speed at which the founders achieved their goal in achieving their dreams we now celebrate versus the swiftness its descendants has balanced the scales that it measures equal for all despite race, creed, gender, and all that makes us diverse yet the same unified under the same pledge in the pursuit of freedom.

While I proudly think of independence and my service to its continuum, I would be remiss in not recognizing the uncalibrated scale that results in the unfair pricing of freedom.

Disclaimer: I express as a private and legitimate citizen, and not from that of a position afforded me by the institution for which I now serve. The above views are my own and are not in commission by any organization or institution.

Success and Young Minds | Blog Entry

About a week ago I was invited to speak to an 8th Grade AVID class, and they had a list of questions to ask, among them were several questions about achieving success and here is our conversation in summation:

Q1: At what point did you achieve success.
A1: I am not certain I have reached what I define as success, but to others who may perceive success by their own definition I may appear successful. But because I am still living I am still achieving “successes.”

Q2: How did you overcome the challenges faced
A1: I learned to use the challenges to my benefit as opposed to opposition…every product you buy is not perfect when it is first developed, it goes through many trials before it is brought to the market if there is hope for that product to be successful in the hands of the consumer. Your Playstation, iPhones, Tablets, Hair Products, etc. have all been tested and tried before they ever reach store shelves; therefore it is reasonable to assume that challenge is an acceptable part of success…use it!

Q3: What advice would you give to a young person about life and success.
A1: Live and enjoy your youth, but if you dare dream of success define it, set a plan to achieve your goals, and lastly prepare to fail. In 5-years time you will no doubt be seeking a job, and perhaps on that interview you be asked where do you see yourself in 5-years; if you don’t have answer for that now, when asked then you won’t have an answer for the follow-on 5-years.
A1(a): Lastly, I submit to you to inquire from your parents if they are doing what they dreamed of becoming when they were your age, if not, then why? The answer to that question may help prepare you for the success you seek in the roads ahead.
A1(b): Any other questions for me, if not thank you for inviting me.

Thought I would share this, perhaps it will help someone in their path.


Tshombe Sekou Interviews with OPWR: Spoken Word Saturdays

Date: 17 Jan 2015
Interviewer: Ms Creoleness aka Adrina Smith, New Orleans
Subject: Tshombe Sekou, Japan

Q1: What is the strategy behind Tshombeism?

A: If what you mean by strategy is purpose, let me first specify that the “ism” has little to do with some form of ideology or iconology, but more to do with a principle of defining self and sharing myself with others who are like-minded; the concept of the ism portion of the idea was conceptualized by a good and dear friend of mine who goes by the name of Seaniemo (a radio DJ out of D.C.) who has been studying a lot of my works from long ago, once he made the statement “there goes another one of those tshombeisms…” and like that it stuck! But if we are to use your word “strategy,” it would be simple: discovery.

Q2: When I say Tshomebe Sekou, His work, His words, His way. What does that mean?

A: I suppose that it means that you have discovered something within my works, actions, and most of all character as a person that identifies a poet; a philosopher, an activist, a human being worthy of examination. To me, it means exhibition, and that’s what it means to be an artist—to be in exhibition why else would one choose such an exposing practice if not to be inspected and shared?!

…and to speak a bit about the exhibition of our own art, the allowance of inspection and inquiry is something we must not fear…to examine art is to appreciate it; to inspire it, and to become greater in it. In my work I had to become transparent and welcome without fear the scrutiny of perspective, learn to not fear opinion and not to hold on to the sensitivities of creativity.

So when you ask what this statement means to me, I suppose it means to be fearless and welcoming.

Q3: When you are in the studio, what do you want the listeners to capture from it?

A: Well I believe that when we are writing poems, it itself is a dimension of our creativity of its own, when we have decided to lend our voices to that work we are giving it a new dimension of existence; it’s like taking a 2D image and making it multi dimensional not just in the 3rd Dimension. When we begin to voice our work, we are giving it life, spirit if you will, and we are commissioning ourselves to intercourse with other sense beyond the ocular perception…some may have called it a full body experience, or whole sensing…see, when you read a poem you get to develop your own voice and sense of perception to understand the process or to relate, but when an artist begins to aid you in that by sharing with you there own intentions, the experience deepens…and to me that’s what the intent of transforming my work into an oratory medium. This is what I want you to feel!

Q4: How have your roots from New Orleans influence your writing?

A: Well, New Orleans provides a foundation of ancestry, culture, and identity; yet that is only a microcosm of it; New Orleans while it is my birthplace, is just that a place and the world is filled with places to limit ourselves to identifying with just one—a river passes through many places before it reaches a destination, and in those travels it picks up many things along the way contributing to its passing along, but once it reaches its destination it matters little of where it originated, but more on what it brought with it—our lives are like a river, we can focus on one place and miss all the places we have passed without realizing what we are carrying with us to the end of our journey. New Orleans is a code in my life stream, a place for me to always call home, a place for me to identify as the source of my origin, but it is not where I am going.

Q5: I want you to talk to the people about the Alien track especially with you serving overseas.

A: Oh yes, Alien—this poem was born out of a sense of observed frustration ( I do that a lot, observe my actions and interactions with things), while I was sitting at an open mic called “spit that” in DC last year I was recalling my engagement with a border agent while processing through custom into the U.S.—this track is an exposition of what it means to be an American today, where we live under the concepts of bravery, freedom, and independence, but we live in fear and distrust; where color still defines placement and treatment—where the sounds of our names strikes the heart with terror, we have begun to fear even ourselves—so while this may be an enjoyable piece to listen to, it is at the same time a dirge for who we are not and pretend to be.

Q6: Talk to me about Mickey Williams and how those collaborations came about…

A: Oh yes, Mikki is one of the few artist I have had the pleasure of working with—I’m a bit selective in that regard because I need to be able to feel and understand the artist I collaborate with—and with Mikki there is a resonance that spoke with me; there are others such as Tantra Zawadi, Mahogany Diva, Epiphany Castro, and fellow poets from the Poetic Voices writers crew…but, back to your question—Mikki and I had been sharing poetry and ideas back from when she hosted a show here on blogtalk radio and had invited me on as a guest and out of that was born a friendship and kinship in art and spirit and from that was born the opportunity to work together on a small project called “Formulation”—the project just came together out of random creativity with intention—an oxymoron I know, but somehow it makes sense to me—us. Thank you for asking about that, and I am sure Mikki is appreciative as well.

Q7: Tell everyone about your evolution as an Independent Artist. Past present and Future…

A: Well, that’s a rather lengthy journey, but I think I can bring it together in a few short points: The independence in artistry is about the freedom of reliance, boundary~less creativity, freedom of release, and charitableness of art…I found myself in poetry searching for a means of freedom from matriculation and perceptions; from presuppositions and subjection, that to me being independent in the ability to create was purpose. This meant that I had to learn every aspect of creating and delivery what you receive today—I didn’t start a poet, I started with the expressions of anger and bias rhetoric—and one day someone called it a poem, and from that point begin my discovery of being creative and the process continued to magnify from there and I believe that it will continue to evolve as long as I don’t fear the process: I don’t fear perceptions, acceptation, genres and classification, I don’t fear the truth of who I am.

Q8: How have fatherhood changed you?

A: That’s a well placed question, it has given me more patience to see what I am looking at rather than looking at what I am seeing—in a lot of way being a father creates a deepening in my creativity because now for the first time in my life I have an active—living—interactive mirror before me—who will undoubtedly someday inspect the works I am presenting now. Fatherhood has increased me.

Q9: Tell the people something about Tshombe Sekou?

A: Sometimes I love having the gift of being a poet, but I dislike being a poet sometimes because the responsibility feels burdensome at times—once you become fully engaged as a poet, you begin to examine things for more than what they are, you begin to see almost compulsively a cup of tea as a part of both the ocean and the land coalescing in one body and somehow feel compelled to share and rather convince others of how wonderful such a discovery is—even at the risk of being perceived as abnormal. But I don’t really consider myself a poet, that’s for you to perceive and define; I find myself more an examiner and even a seeker of many things and whatever it is I discover is what I begin to share with you…I have mentioned in the past—probably in some other interview or form of disquisition that you can tell a tree by its fruits, and a fruit will reveal a tree through its seed; well I believe the same is true of an artist, so what you find when you examine my works and words is me…

Thank you for your questions…
Tshombe Sekou

New Poems, New Book

blessings beloveds

I’ve been busy working on a new manuscript

for my second book; another collection of poems

that are of a different tone and color from my first book

Freedom As It Happens.


I began collecting these poems

last week after returning home to Japan;

I collected them from notes, loose leaves,

scribbled and napkins…all the various places

I may have hid my words…


I look forward to sharing this new collection

poetry with you soonest; the plan is to make it

available in print and e-book for widest access.


until then, please continue to peruse the offerings

here on my official site, and treat yourself with

my first book and free albums.


with great love





Haiku Poetry Journey | update #2

In continuation of my literary inquisition of haiku poetics, using short form in efforts to expand the breath of my expressions; this journey coupled with the studies of literary aesthetics and concision of Matsu Basho has been quite spiritually rewarding.  I must admit, this commitment to writing daily has been a challenge, since I was previously a write when I feel kind of poet…a few things:

  • Flow factor of the 17-syllables
  • Playing with natural metaphors
  • Improvised and focused thought
  • the injection of spiritual and or memories in short breath form
  • braving the challenge of brevity

on that note this post

has reached its expressive breath

as fall to winter

—Tshombe Sekou

Annual Reflection… [a blessing]

Every year around this date I spend time in introspection of the life I’ve lived and the impacts I have had on the world around me, while it is nearly impossible to gauge true impact by looking at self; I have managed to deduce the impacts by the reciprocity that has been shown me (the returning).  Today, it is the 40th time that I’ve visited this date, and in my introspection I was offered this from a social connection:

today I’m going to celebrate your birthday with you by listening to all my poetry collections by you and download those I don’t have…

~Kabelo Vincent Sekaleli (Pozzi), South Africa

I am not sure if I have words for how touching these words are, but it is clear that our poetry has impacts; for our poetry is our living transcription for others to experience in their own way our life, thus their lives.

Moments [poetry: audio collaboration]

I think one of the greatest expansions of poetry is in the ability to collaborate ideas and expressions all in the same body; it’s sort of having two minds in the same head, yet independent of each other.  Two life experiences merged in one expression.  Here is a piece of poetry that MoDi did a few years ago.  I hope to share a piece frequently through this global appreciation of poetry.