I have a confession to make. It’s probably not what you’d expect, but….I love Essence magazine. When I say love it, I simply adore and cherish it. While we are very communal in prison and share things among each other my Essence magazines may be one of the only things I won’t pass around (If I do I’m very selective of who gets it). Fifty percent of me feel like guys don’t TRULY grasp the make-up of it and the other fifty percent just doesn’t want to let it go, because page after page I find things that inspire me. Whether it is an article on African-American history of just pictures of what Black women are rocking in fashion these days, I love it. 

I’m an artist. As a poet I live off of imagination and the food of imagination is colors, pictures, sounds, words. Being a prison all 5 of my senses are limited and out right oppressed. So, to get an Essence full of smell goods, bright colors and even brighter smiles uplifts my 6th sense- my soul.

At the same time I have always been extremely inspired by women. Women writers/artist/poets have always affected me the most. It’s just what works for me. It’s just who I am. I’m inspired when I read about Winnie Mandela, Pieces by Asha Bandele or Iyanly Vanzant.  The October issues – my month! Libra in the house! It features Michelle Obama and I love me some Michelle Obama. I love her style, focus and elegance. I also love her peace. She’s a peace with who she is, what she has and wants to do and how she’s doing it.  It’s a place we all should want to get.

I’ve had female friends poke fun at about how much I love the Essence (I guess because sometimes I come off macho) but, a man that has no sensitive side is a cold man, frozen in a state of macho sickness. There’s nothing beautiful in that.

I’ve written much poetry after thumbing through the pages of Essence, everything from sultry sentences after seeing Sade or political chants after reading about Nelson Mandela’s glory days. It’s all there and as they’ve been showing us, it’s all in us. So, as I enjoy my pages of Essence I encourage any of you to experience this beautiful magazine and perhaps discover your own essence.

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