Friday, December 20, 2013

Black Cat in a White Cage

I began this blog talking about gender and sexual politics. I was in affiliation with Liverpool and the project Transvoyeur, a cultural initiative in liaison with Liverpool and New York. The early 2000's had given way to that very subject matter given the time before when Camille Paglia and Naomi Wolfe were on the forefront. Women were at an advantage. They made their convictions felt in politics and pop culture. The artist and the muse took on a different meaning. The artist became a pornographer and the muse a sex muse. The transformation brought in question the body of the female, whether it was an object the artist drew from (literally and figuratively) or a canvas the artist was free to manipulate. Women were empowered. There was a great proclamation in fashion and the sex industry. The business of sex grew to a fascination on the internet. What began as girl power became woman domination.

Somewhat compelled, I took on the drive to define myself politically as a man, lover and artist. My thoughts revolved around perceptions in the art world, topical issues and how I responded to them. The animal that was the artist lived and breathed in me. Circumstances surrounding my living situations gave way to my critiques. I inhabited an area in New York known as Washington Heights, a place that subjected itself to criminal behavior and drug culture. These circumstances made their way into my home. I lived with ruthless roommates who were into that type of behavior. And so I was on the edge most of the time. It fed into my artist concept, more or less the tortured artist.

Transvoyeur met its end with our Gender, Space, Art and Architecture project. I had discovered Facebook which took my attention away from keeping this blog. The internal struggle was great, dealing with street culture and maintaining a philosophical blog. Indeed more or less having a home and a place to live was the quagmire. That was my problem and these were the people who shared apartments with me. Given the hellish moments and time spent I secured my talent as writer. Through Facebook I discovered Whitehot magazine which allowed me to do articles and interviews on some of the most interesting subjects in avant garde art and music and fashion.

I later moved to the East Village where I got a greater sense of art, the hipster culture and at the time a growing sense of entitlement among the youth living in the neighborhood. My living situation was the same. I couldn't afford an apartment of my own. So lived with the same crew of people. Those who barely managed and were streetwise and drug abusers. That was always the difference that separated me from the art crowd, the strain and edge in my life, the struggle to have inner peace, the stress at home. I was identifiable in this crowd as unique, perhaps strange abut likable. People were fond of me which lead to a relationship with a Brooklyn artist after many years of being chaste. This circle changed when I moved to Inwood, Upper Manhattan, due to the storm Sandy.

Currently living in Harlem, I am faced with black politics and black culture. In a way the streets reflect my internal world having lived the way I did for nine years. What makes me unique is that I have an acceptance of a white upbringing and fatefully brought into a black culture. As a black person I am currently confronting my black persona after decades of Euro/American philosophy and sexuality, a complex which makes me different from most because I absorbed what I learned through white circles but had the courage to confront myself as a black person.

It's an ongoing process where I'm less the animal of an artist but a thinker and writer recovering from years of torment, shook up and made to feel free now, accepting my past as an experience but willing to move on with my new persona, which is made up of experiences in a white world, currently I live in a black society.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Originally Published in Whitehot Magazine

by Kofi Fosu Forson

Petula Girndt is a Berlin photographer who also serves as virtual muse to those who follow her on social media. Her photographs promote Romanticism. She captures sultry and self-reflective effervescence in the use of models who translate her emotions and feelings through the camera lens. These images suppose self-identity at times sexual, persuasive as roles shift in gender. As a female protagonist, Petula renders her subject matter from a feminine perspective. They are at once lush, permeating the senses, presenting physicality more transforming than gratuitous. She projects the nature of woman not as object rather implementing a source for regard as majestic, defiant and amorous.

Silk on the Skin and a Kiss…!

Kofi Forson: Petula, I love your name. It sounds like a flower. It reminds me of Lolita, Nabokov’s novel, a name unlike any other, somehow feminine and full of power and sexual identity.

Petula Girndt: I am a photographer with abandon! I’m a loving woman with abandon! I’m a mom with abandon! My eye is constantly at work. I love to catch each feeling for a picture. I love music. It makes me happy, helps me when I’m sad and torn. I love the warmth of a human body. I love to flirt. I love to dance. I’m a funny person but also very emotional. It’s hard to find the balance. My son brings me back to earth when I tend to fly too high. This is the most difficult time, to hold all these feelings in for a photograph.

Forson: They say genius is a combination of mathematics, science and the arts. What role did men play in your life? You have a twin brother.

Girndt: I truly love my brother. We’ve been through some tough times together. We even lived and shared a flat. It all helped to shape me, made it easier to deal with men rather than women. I love testosterone around me. My father left us when I was 12 years old. We’re in touch now unfortunately not often. But honestly genius is a state of mind. I can strike genius if I have to. I don’t see it as genetic. Because I’m really bad at mathematics but my 9 year old son seems to be really good at math.

Forson: I come from twins as well. My youngest brothers are twins. But also my mother grew up with five brothers. Describe for me who you were as a young girl?

Girndt: I was wild at heart but quiet, playful, sensitive, angry teenager. My life now is a “whim of nature” as we say in German.

Forson: You apply aesthetics very well in your work.

Girndt: Everybody needs something to wear, to dress up. It’s our second skin. We can't go naked all the time. So I like suggesting a sense of fashion in my photographs. Plus I like stockings and silky dresses. The aesthetic I got from my mother. But I have a good eye for it.

Petula Girndt, Lovers, 100x70, on aludibond, edition 3/3, (+1Ap)

Forson: Your photographs are shot in black and white. Are times they are stark, deeply rooted in contrast. But sometimes there’s an aura which gives off a blurred effect. This is evident in the photographs which feature two men and a woman at play, Romeo and Juliet and also some of the uniquely depicted images of women defining their self identity. What is your interpretation and essence of the female and male body?

Girndt: I have no interpretation for the body. I photograph my feelings and also put a lot of physicality in the scene. Physicality is what makes us human. Movements, gestures, all of that… They find perfection in the seduction and smoothing of the body.

Forson: It’s fair to say three of the most important images of women are Eve in Garden of Eden, The Madonna and Mona Lisa. How has history served us in sexuality from Eve to the modern day?

Girndt: I love Eva from Garden Eden. She was already lascivious without being loud just pure seduction. This is me. This is who I am. It is the exact opposite of the marketing machine in pop music industry.

Forson: Do women own their bodies or are they subjecting themselves to a world of art and sex pimps?

Girndt: Women have the opportunity to determine for themselves what they do with their body. It’s been this way from time immemorial. Cleopatra knew how to play this game. What’s missing is self respect from one person onto the other.

Forson: The words “pornography” and “fetish” can be attributed to art. I get the feeling you are more than an artist.

Girndt: Pornography, fetish… all these stamps. Let’s get rid of it. We just need sensibility, blend together and rush away on the wings of passion.

Forson: Do you ever live out your fantasies in your work? How does photography help you achieve that artistic orgasm?

Girndt: I don’t live out my fantasies in my photos. I would never show it to the world. It’s not like a carnival party. I show just my deepest feelings!!

Forson: You remind me of Ellen Von Unwerth.

Girndt: I love Ellen Von Unwerth. All her photographs have a lightness and sexiness. There is a feeling of fun and joy. My work is subliminally more melancholic.

Petula Girndt, Daydream, 100x70, on aludibond, ediion 3/3 (1AP)

Forson: We come into this world nude but we exit clothed. Would you prefer to live in the nude or wear haute couture?

Girndt: I prefer silk on my skin and a kiss!

Forson: New York artists tend to end up in Berlin. Berliners fantasize about New York. What do you know about New York? Why would you want to live in New York?

Girndt: I like the atmosphere, the never sleeping city, the openness of culture, subculture and the people. New York promises an inaccessible dream of freedom, possibilities. I don't know, maybe it’s a big fairy tail I need.

Petula Girndt, The Dancer" 100x70, on Aludibond, edition 3/3 (1 AP)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

IN Conversation with TERRENCEO Hammond, New York City based artist

Kofi Forson: So Terrenceo, in New York you are a Harlem based artist, well traveled around the world I might add. Your current escapade took you to Brixton, London, where you spent 6 months making a comparison between Brixton and Harlem. Essentially what are the differences, similarities if any?

Terrenceo Hammond: The actual physical work is still being made and the visual manifestation of all this will be exhibited in duel shows in both Harlem and Brixton in March.

The first thing I noticed was the color schemes of both communities. Harlem tends to be brown, and grey, and black, red and white. Brixton definitely is red and white. The scheme comes mostly from the signage of the cheap fried chicken joints. The same reasons for the red and white of Harlem, though Brixton has the numerous churches as Harlem because of architecture, it has an added reason for a red and white scheme.

Both communities have the ever present black of the Hijab with multiple tones of brown, and more and more tones of olive and the white of white skin of gentrification.
The great difference is the music of language, both in accent and actual language while Harlem includes the entirety of the Black Diaspora thus more languages spoken.

Brixton tends to be more of a West Indian, West African mix with the music of every European immigrant communities version of English.

The constant are the churches, angry black men and music with a powerful beat and the sound of sirens and the criminalization of young black men, young white hipsters and young white couples with the last sign of the most important sign for me of gentrification - the “double barrel baby carriage”

Forson: Harlem has been gentrified in recent years. Truthfully the precedent was set decades ago with the Harlem Renaissance. There is that dichotomy of east meets west in Harlem where the well to do live on the West Side of Harlem while the working class inhabit the Eastern Side. How is Brixton gentrified?

Hammond: It’s was sort of obvious to me I guess because I already knew some of the history. It was a traditional black neighborhood from about the 60’s. When I arrived I saw the hipsters, the couples, the double barrel baby carriages, the expensive restaurants, what appeared to be an increased police presence choosing who would be stopped and others not based on what seemed like economic status; clothing, types of restaurants where the police seemed to be observing more than others.

The people who told me that they had lived there their whole lives, both black and white and Asian said that they could not afford to go out or eat out in the same neighborhood anymore.
At one point, one night there was this woman screaming and crying in the street that she was not welcome in her own neighborhood anymore. In fact I saw several of these emotional outbursts of frustration. Then there are the ever present Sainsbury’s grocery stores. Some time there are even two in less than two blocks. You can see that the mom and pop store cannot compete with such aggressive competition.

Forson: You've been traveling through Eastern Europe starting with London. Here you did a performance piece where you were beaten, groped sexually by both men and women, set on fire and other inhumane things. What was the basis for this performance? What type of reaction did you hope to get? Were they warranted?

Hammond: The point of the Piece "Perception and Desire" was to see if we could create a perception based on our appearance and what desire could or would be created by it. So we both stood holding musical instruments. Tadeus, my partner in this project, dressed as a type of Jimmy Hendrix character holding a guitar, and me in a sort of jazz attire holding a trumpet.

I wanted to see if a stereotypical image of black musicians would create a desire in people, in particular in an area (Leicester square and Trafalgar square) where musicians are busking as it’s called in Britain, playing music for tips from people who walk past them.

At one point, to exclude race and historical perception from the mix, we dressed as cricket players. Maybe surprisingly, I had no idea the social and psychological implications of this on The British and former British colony population in London.
In both cases I wanted to use performers, athletes and musicians as a metaphor for the demand of performance, the demand that someone must always be willing to do what ever told for a small fee, for the basic nature of capitalism.

Forson: You tend to use the metaphor in your performances. How do you explain the use of cricket and busking as metaphor?

Hammond: Busking is already set up that people should expect something though they might not know what. So it’s a great way to sort of show that just because you expect to be given something and for free it’s not actually owed to you. But because people have become used to it, it’s a perception created by past experiences, though not constant.
Cricket, because of similar reasons, something is expected, though it was completely out of context for where we were.

Forson: Much like a gentleman in New York he has a regard for sophistication. How are you received around the world, first as New Yorker, an artist then black gentleman?

Hammond: Well, as a New Yorker, the eyes just widen, and then a smile, then the excitement, followed by questions and more questions. What's it like? How are the people, and of course, "you can make a lot of money there, right? The idea that anything can be possible is a constant theme with people.

As a Black man obviously the cultural impact is almost unimaginable. I have seen my culture reflect back at me in a thousand different ways, almost like the facets of a diamond. I'm still trying to process this.

The hardcore underground Hip Hop in Eastern Europe is amazing and their knowledge of it and jazz and all things Black American culture is unreal. And of course when you say Harlem! This idea that Harlem is some kind of cultural Mecca, is consistent. I don't have the heart to tell them that what they dream about is disappearing rapidly.

However the greatest amount of conflict that has come not from my skin color or even the fact that I’m American, which has brought some problems, but from the Star of David ring which i wear. The upset and anger over a simple ring has been quite shocking for me. There have been actually fist fights over it, demands and suggestions that I remove it.

Forson: African Americans were driven to cities like Paris, France in the 50's with the merit of writers like James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison and jazz musicians. This was more or less a chance to renew and rediscover their talent in ways accepted by foreigners whereas trials and tribulations were met here in America.

How have you as foreigner been able to take advantage of your talent in a world outside of your own? Rather than strive for success here in America?

Hammond: People seem more willing to listen, and try to understand where I’m coming from and my point of view and are also more receptive to my ideas.

I’ve been given opportunities to exhibit my work, without having to prove the merit of my work based on schooling and background and connections, but rather on the work itself.

I’m not saying that those things don’t exist in America, but I just have not experienced them in the same way.

The thing with me might be a problem of perception as well. This may be why I come back to it over and over through the years. I don’t think doors are open to me in the U.S. Not just because of race but because of class. I don’t feel that I’m even given the chance to be heard. How can I be bad or good at anything, if I am not even allowed to have my instrument be heard?

I think these people experienced the same more purely because of race. They didn’t go to the right school, didn’t go to school at all, don’t know the right people, don’t know who the right people are. Don’t know how to express myself in the right “artspeak gobbledegook”. That’s me.

Think of it like food. There is no amount of philosophical reasoning that can convince someone that sour is sweet or that spicy is bland, but in art you can do that.
But maybe it’s me. Maybe at my heart I’m just an uneducated philistine no matter how much I’ve read or studied or experienced. But coming from my generation I think I will always feel the sting of racism and maybe over in Europe they’re too busy being racist to other groups like gypsies, to focus on just black.

So I have a better chance. At least I don’t get that feeling or that look of I already know you and everything you feel and have to say. That I get in America and to some degree in London.

Forson: You grew up in South Central, L.A. What type of upbringing did you have? How did you discover art? To the point where you sought after it as profession?

Hammond: Actually I was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma if anyone remembers the song from the 60’s. I grew up all over the world as an Air Force brat and a political refugee, but in terms of “growing up” yes L.A., first sex, first kiss, first love, first concerts, first drugs, first real experience with art, seeing things in museums in front of my eyes.

The difference for me was a photograph and standing in front of what I might think is an important work. It was a world of difference that changed my life and caused me to really think that this might be something to give my life to.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How Black is White Hot

I love design porn. But I hate what white hot sexuality has done to me.

White hot sexuality - the articulating of what is sex through literary and philosophical means as expressed in film, art and video, portrayed within the white media to a white audience.

I was mesmerized by an ad promoting Lars Von Triar's new film Nymphomaniac in which several actors are made to give off what would be deemed as a "sex face" - face of a person during orgasmic pleasure.

This essence of behavior is something accustomed to the "pervert", myself included. In the past I have done drawings of just that women expressing orgasms. Much of this can be attributed to the artist at a young age - pre discovering sex and coital pleasure.

I remember doing drawings of stick figures having sex. Something I later called "stick figure pornography".

Lars Von Triar, much like those before him, Bertolucci, Antonioni and Kubrick are white male film directors who pushed the envelope of sexual dimensions. The subject matter was adult in language and other means.

Having watched most of their films, I look back in wonder as to how I was affected as a black person by these set ups, white charcters playing to themes and nature of a white pop culture.

The most difficult impression was that I come from a past where "white culture" made a big impression on me. It started in my youth having arrived in New York from Ghana. Most Black Americans turned their backs on me. I was quickly accepted into white circles. As an adult I grew up on white literature.

It is obvious when a movie is given a universal theme. But when it applies to several signifiers of race and culture one is left to wonder.

Black sexuality has never been given a turn in Hollywood or most European films. Having made adjustments to my reality as a black male, I now see these sex based films by white directors almost as foreign. I can enjoy them on the basis of sexual philosophy. At the same time I am aware of the characters being white, the playfulness stemming from white nature and overall the cinematic translation coming from a white director.

I can only talk to my past. I am not Black American. I was not raised on the Slave Narrative. I come from an African household.

This modesty grew to levels in mostly schooling with white dynamics. My liberal arts education saw me listening to rock and roll, chasing white girls.

In college, I studied Baaudrillard, Barthes and Umberto Eco. Baudrillard's Seduction and Barthes' Image, Music, Text are imprints on my conscience. The black male has always defied such a subculture of European philosophy.

Civil Rights movement gave way to authors like James Baldwin or the African American reaction to The Beats in the poet Amri Baraka. I don't come from that world. I read Langston Hughes as a student. I listened to hip hop (rap music). Most of what I know about Black American history I learned through pop culture.

It's all come to fruition now that I live in Harlem, having lived with mostly ethnic people past ten years in places like Washington Heights, New York.

White hot sexuality has almost been rendered neutral in my life whereas I draw a broad definition on women and the role of the female. This blog once touched on the notion of gender from that white philosophical base. As language continues to change I refer more to the notion of persona and inner turmoil.

It was indeed a shock to the conscience to have traveled through a world based on the white virtual female. That language permeated my literary spirit. I needed a gut check. I am not sure where it came from but I remember the first time I stepped on the grounds of Harlem in recent times. I felt its history. I sensed its past. It was all in the air.

Somehow I have rationalized the difference between my livelihood as a black male person and that of my role as an artist human. There is no difference.

Claudia Schiffer is just as attractive as Tyra Banks.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


I have come to a very difficult conclusion. To call myself a poet is almost like a curse. I can write poetry but to claim the status is destitution.

I wrote my first poem at the age of 11. Got published for the first time at 18. I've been through the rejection letters, publications in college, open mic circuit and anthologies. The experience at first was to exorcise the demons and ghost which troubled me as a child. First attempts at poetry were more or less inspirations from the books I was reading at the time, Prince and Pauper for example.
Perhaps watching the movie The Exorcist did not predate this and came afterwards but my poems were about what was living in my closets and under my bed.

At this point and time I was also managing attempts at art and music. I had a miniature piano in the bedroom. Mom and Dad were kind enough to buy samples of musical instruments. Not long afterwards I was studying at the MET, examples in art appreciation and writing exercises. And so my cup was full and my table was set. Any attempts at becoming a so called poet was pure fantasy. Little information was made available on who a poet was and what type of life he lived. I wrote these samples and kept them hidden.

At Xavier highschool where I studied I marveled at students who laid claim to the poet's revelry. They knew names of poets, other writers included, went as far as to imitate their posture and wrote what were indeed poems, written with clarification and wit. I was jealous and still I knew not what a poet was. It was clear to me that these were poems and my classmates were living the fancy of literature but I was less myself, busy with extra curricular activities including music and soccer.

After highschool and before I started studying at the School of Visual Arts, I started writing creatively. I had discovered the poems of Charles Bukowski and the plays of Sam Sheperd. With this as inspiration I had found two literary figures who inspired me as literary figures but also as men or rather heroes. I wanted to be them. This began a period and time in my life where I admired actors and musicians wanting to imitate them.

The very first poem I got published was "Twilight Time" written after an early evening spent with a highschool friend. The process was casual. I was going through difficult and dark times and so it was very reflective. But the writing process emanated from what was and is my creative mind. Looking back I don't remember fashioning my style after any writer in particular just letting my creative juices flow. The second poem which was published in American Poetry Anthology much like the first was "Sophisticated Lilacs" written as an ode to my mother. She ws very much a part of my life at the time, as a guiding light.

I have since been published in collegiate presses and other anthologies, done the poetry circuit, gotten to know the circles of egos artists and writers travel in. I lay this burden on myself to write and create. I come from other realms of creativity and as I create I have drawn favorable energies to me. To put myself out there as some one in need is wrong. I hope to channel my talents into future short stories, video, publishing and maybe even film.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

On her Left Breast was Tattoo

On her left breast was tattoo under green leafed trees she parted her blouse
Garden of this French cafe on Lexington Avenue I had brought some girls
Looking through glass window onto streets their backs facing I saw delight
Well to do mongers menu in hand as I greeted waitresses with a ca va ca va
Brooklyn girls rule I breathe them - who am I Johnny Cash made me king
Oh how my eyes followed her around the roundabout wherever she came
Was a glorious afternoon when we dismembered our chatter to friendship
What had I found among these pigeons – beggars banquet love supreme
A forest ceremony lay central could it be Botticelli kept goddesses here
White skinned pink moisture an air of jubilee any rocker would beg for
In this stature I made it known no nonsense – should I ever be perverted
Win her away from the wretched blond coiffeured punks chain smoking
Chokers on their necks black boots black lipstick black dye leather pants
She had been alone then but soon taken away by waves of golden gossip
Pop popular – tall and stark making gestures with her body – oh sexing
Electric muse waiting on cafeteria boys who did everything not touching
With words hot mouths breaking wind shooting the sure shit hipsters do
Puss in my vein watching like clockwork at all hours I made interventions
I walked her down Park Avenue walk ways in her futuristic trench coat
Brigitte Bardot from Bensonhurst stick figure chalk marked pastel doll
Breathtaking view on steps of Metropolitan Museum this art kingdom
Call me the African Godard – call me the African Truffaut – oh shout
Let these fortuned figures wearing Calvin Kleins hail me as Koslowskie
So then for all girls who wiped me off their tongues I chose her as model
Never once did a woman sit before me while I took turn with tight fingers
Oh this particular act – oh this sweet surrender beats any Brooklyn orgy
On her left breast was tattoo dark skies looming light fell on her breast
Half parted supple gothic - what memories I have of the bra she wore
Could she possibly have tormented me again – not in that French cafĂ©
Music so swell sugar sweet cappuccino I brought these lavender girls
What was seduction dreamt up in circles I painted portraits on paper

Friday, September 06, 2013

Kofi Fosu Forson's 10 Rules of Writing

1. I met T. C. Boyle at B&N and asked him for advise as a creative writer he said "Read, always read..." As a child invest in reading books other than those meant for children.

2. Before developing a writing talent take interest in the other arts, music, dance or the fine arts.

3. Dont invest time in How To Writing Books. Find an author you like the most a...nd read him or her extensively.

4. Always know what type of writer you are. After further investigating know whether you are either a novelist, short story writer or poet.

5. Treat language as a lover. Make love to your words.

6. Writing groups are fine but avoid writing retreats.

7. Write for yourself but edit with the conscience of a surgeon.

8. Vices are never important onto themselves but be aware of them and never romanticize them.

9. Know the difference between writing and performing. Know the difference between your desk and the stage.

10. There are three voices to every writer, the literary voice, your speaking voice and your reading voice.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Scandinavian Blue Blonde

Oh who are you Scandinavian blue blonde sitting among pajama parties?
Under this circled sun alone in dark glasses mid riff top belly button piercing
Eyes abound all that I see is it Nico in purple dress smashing a tambourine

Shadows at night cigarette lighter flickers he reads a poem by Robert Lowell
Raging darkness people do pass under subway leaving behind their histories
Lessons learned they were told we come from Melville beneath the ocean

Cities left undiscovered share among us your bones and fossils palm reader
Redeem me from this future I cannot afford - I refuse to be anthropological
Oh rescuer of lost poets Munch goddess how you saw into my vocabulary

I dream classical Mona Lisa before my eyes is Romeo’s blue blonde Juliet
Much the same a dream rock and roll each time she sits alone Norwegian
Eyes abound all that I see is it super model Rosie Vela - her music machine

Oh who are you Czechoslovakian teenager imitating Jim Morrison groupie?
Through my eye camera lens I am voyeur – you brush your hair with fingers
Turn your cheek three fourths in profile summon the photographer’s flash

One day when students gathered at leisure I found myself in her company
I had been watching her in wonder not knowing the sound of her voice
She spoke ever softly confessing she was just a typical girl from Brooklyn

That accent ever should reveal what had eluded me all this time I marveled
Fell into conversation within this ceremony of strangers and familiar birds
Circling as if choreographed with whimsy - exceptional natural expectation

Monday, August 26, 2013

`The Royal Preparatory Blues

While living in Accra as a young boy I studied at The Royal Preparatory. We were made to wear khaki shorts and orange colored shirts.
These source of clothing were often washed with starch which gave them a rugged surface when ironed became almost thick. The building itself was leveled at about four floors with a compound. Early mornings students met before the headmaster on this compound for what seemed to be a roll call. The headmaster at the time a rotund gentleman fierce in stature would give a speech and prepare the students for the day.

As my memory serves me it was a compound filled with orange red uniforms. Some of the students never gave a care as to what was happening they were more or less laughing among themselves, picking their noses, combing their hair with afro picks or if a boy had a girl behind him she would be inspecting his hair for bugs. These bugs infested ones hair due to lack of grooming with shampoo.

On one particularly morning when my mother was driving me to scool we arrived late at the school's gate. My mother saw the headmaster whipping with a long cane bunch of students who had also come in late. She promptly turned the car around and drove me back home. As a means of chastizing students, teachers kept a cane in a bucket of water. When appropiate they would call a student to the head of the class and he or she would be whipped.

The teachers were middle age men in white shirts with tie in grey trousers. They taught lessons in mathematics and english. As a student I seemed removed from what was the circus surrounding me. My fellow classmates passing around afro picks, revealing their hard ons to the girls. The girls themselves gossiping among each other. I recall the boys were into race horses and soccer. They would often imitate jockeys at the stretch or illustrate race horces or atheletes playing soccer.

During lunch there were intramural agmes where certain teams played soccer on the compound. I was fortunate to have been a part of this several times. It was very exciting to be among other students kicking the soccer ball around. At times stuck in a corner with threee to four people struggling to gain momentum of the soccer ball.

Often there were women who arrived with food sat around the compoud selling dishes such as fried plantains and beans. Many of the students gathered on the several floors eating and watching the games. When the bell sounded there was a struggle to make it to class. Otherewise those who were late would be whipped. Students jumped over each other along the staircases, screaming and hollering, pushing each other as they went along.

I had a crush on one particular girl. I did not know her name. I do remember seeing her, a fair skinned girl with a stylish hairdo. She was thin with a strong bone structure. She was indeed beautiful. I spent certain nights at home sitting in the dark thinking about her.

It is very revealing thinking about this memory as to how I grew up to have a neurosis of beauty and aesthetics. I have a fond memory of her coming down a staircase with glorious sunlight pushing down on her, reminiscent of that very famous painting. It has never been coitus that brought a charge in me. It was always what surrounded it - the pre emptive dialogue. I have grown to be that boy in the memory where I don't value sexual intercourse as much.

It is the allure of a woman. The burning desire and sensation. As time would have it my experiense with sex and lovemaking stems from pornography, an extra marital affair and time spent in the theater.

Mother worked full time so it was impossible to pick us up from and to school. She had it arranged that we were picked up by a van known as a Neopalan bus. It was a surreal psychedelic multicolored bus with room for about forty. Along the way we picked up other students from other schools. There was a clash with some of these other students certainly to be expected.

I always remained quiet combing my hair with an afro pick, watching quietly through a window as the van passed through neighborhoods.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Among the Barbarians who walk Alone

Who is your god it is not me - my leather pants should foresee all that you are becoming speed with which I drive down empty blocks looking for girls underage

Who is your pimp it is not me – my muscular arms hook around your neck remember you choose to be loved this way listening as I read you words from diaries we keep of love

Who is your father it is not me – you call me Daddy when we make love but it is not I one who held your arm brought you to school - sat at a ringed circus watching elephants kick around beach balls –

Jewish punk at a tender age of twelve burnt platinum blonde torn skirts fishnet stockings oxblood Doc Martins white shoe laces listening to 8 Eyed Spy on dirty cassette tape –

Bedroom walls posters of Lydia Lunch – sun entering window violent powdered yellow red rays from hell –

At night you could hear wolves howl bears roam knock over garbage cans –

On television screen half hour comedies game shows kept you from dieing –

Held your attention from noise outside coming in on cover of newspaper headlines –

Afternoons when mother was polishing knives you took train in from Connecticut-

Here where boys were sophisticated carried on about becoming famous wore bloody grins best described as diabolical

Some were artists other musicians who brought girls into their apartments for show dragged in from clubs and bars

On sofas you made out to The Psychedelic Furs on a stereo some one picked up off Avenue A

If you weren’t popping pills you were smoking hash while sound of two people fucking barely made it out of a room

These were the woods – not little red riding hood who walked in on her parents naked watching cable television

Evening was decorated in pink wigs and shackles as you tried on leather bracelets and boots separating men from boys

Forty hours of no sleep seeking shelter – girls made magic not voodoo talked into night sipping cappuccino

Another band had broken big so you walked in to see – no frills Black Flag waiting on lead singer to take you home

Would he be your god - Teenage Jesus make you crawl up his thighs while he fingered your hair looked down into your eyes

So you spend the night he has his way with you – four days into five you had moved in with him

He comes home with other girls – boys in the band look you over wanting to take their turn

You lock yourself inside bathroom come morning you walk out the door with boys passed out on the floor

Do you believe in god – that dark light which separates good from evil -

Are you symbol not cross but a sign - vision born of darkness into light

What music do you make and will it carry you into arms of tomorrow –

He burns your skin with cigarette for pleasure – this is not what you call love
So you douse his kitchen with kerosene standing there afraid to set it on fire
Books numbered from one to desire hate and trust will determine your fate

Become woman make earth move breath fire into bones see into evil of night

Murder each memory – this is not a place for Catherines from Montauk
Even Jersey girls walk a straight line after hours afraid to look behind them
Among these suburban queens you stand – there is no home for you here
How then can you pass for femme fatale – hung over like blue pill crushed

Wise as thieves on street corner after hours dismembering you with eyes
Rock and roll flesh tattered tee shirt plaid pants – whatever happened to love
Whatever happened to love – sitting beside Johnny with makeshift camp fire
Wrapped around each other he picks up guitar strums while singing a song
He dedicates it to you something true something blue roses in your hair

Not there that’s not where they went these boys who came along mocking
Pushing you this way and that – Jerry beat a bass drum la dee dumb dumb
Smashed guitar tore its strings broke it like wood- damaged it cause he could

All bruised and purple on a bed you resurrected to dance a dance of death
Circling the room your body like marionette turning feeling aches and pains
Arms in the air looking up looking down arms to the side left and then right
You quiver and moan chant and groan one leg up in the air another down

On your face is beauty known to survivors – wear their pain like silk gowns

There is no god – you can mold with fist any man send the cadavers home

Teach a girl to prey all on her own – among the barbarians who walk alone

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Clockwork Edie

Clockwork Edie

Walking floors of Lower East Side gallery I’m not phony not some one you wanna pick a bone with –

I’m here on luck of a dime – hippie chick got me information – she had been photographed by legend

Black and white posted down the hall right side of a wall – didn’t have it in me to pay attention but I noticed how beautiful she looked - crazy, calm and twisted

Never gave a fuck about gallery openings – if it was literati I wanted I would have been born into Warhol’s factory

White lights swallow me suck all energy out my body – but this is the plan to drink, mingle and pretend

Tom Waits had a name for people like this – he called them rain dogs – at least that’s what I thought he meant walking a dog in the rain muttered and bitter bringing it home smelling of mud

So I wait under these screaming lights popping every vein within me – looking over at works of art thinking this is East Village art – not Man Rays on West 57th Street

People here carry with them weight – it’s all in what they wear from smiles on their faces they carry with them weight – it wears on me

As if I can’t contain any of this - the outside world inside – watching as they go by always laughing drink in hand looking like paintings on the wall

So I stand in front of photograph one with the girl I know – memories of our time spent come back to me – it circles fills the room

I draw attention of blonde woman – she knows the photographer – we fall into conversation – somehow she fits in with the crowd

Our discussion drives us from one work of art to another talking – behind us is man I later learn is her husband

I come from Buddha – fell in lust with married Buddhist woman looking to rid herself of her husband

Got so bad she and I would be making love – I heard apartment door open and close his footsteps making it to his room

Following morning I’d get a blow from her while he was chanting in living room – I come from Buddha

If this is karma it followed me around – I fell into love triangles husbands and wives girlfriends and boyfriends even lovers

If love would have it I became friend to this blonde woman –when her husband was away at work I came over for coffee

He trusted me – something from my past told me all along I was made for women – I sat with mother while daddy got jealous

She slept with him – not me – you could say I warmed her up – a guy once told me talking to him was like making love

Call it domestic housewife mother making art – her studio was space corner of apartment in building Allen Gingsberg once lived

If love would have it she would always make me feel at home – up that winding hall were canvases and paintings - light so dim brought me in

Heart so warm and beautiful mother to me I thought – how she spent time cooking for me while we sat drinking coffee smoking cigarettes

Don’t fuck with Brooklyn – you couldn’t – raised two kids on her own made a living hustling – call me art pimp and I’ll sell you an art bimbo

Clockwork Edie that blonde hair up in a curl – but who could step to this –

It was done this way – back in the 50’s it was done this way – we had Marilyn Monroe - we had Jackson Pollack

Damn if ever I call you Jackson but my dear you are Marilyn - you are Pollack – whatever knives you keep in your garden

History has a place for you – walk undaunted into the futures rummaged with their virtual sons and daughters

Make music of your heart’s spirals and colors pastel orange blue imagination

Skin of skin mold me – piece of wood you cut into – damaged I arrive at doorstep another fresh Monday morning

What secrets do we keep – tall tales about driving blind on sunny afternoons into a world greater than ours

You discovered Italy – Georgia O’Keefe in New Mexico – You belong –

Away from the Westside where wind blows hair from your dark glasses oh Clockwork Edie –

Turn back time – walk the gang in with tank tops blades in your pockets –

Hold your own where boys made noise – you have been winning this war

Shelves of books wisdom and poetry – we break bread each time we meet

How do we make peace with the young banging at our doors – nearly lost a life I depended on you

Should I hold your hand – you have a world you know – but how I miss you now longing to sit becoming ourselves

Where do we keep this longing – it would only be as if time stood still - we had aged among rocks – papers - scissors

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Parskside Lounge 8/4/13

Saturday, August 03, 2013




    David Greenspan is the editor and publisher of Butcher Shop Press. He’s a teacher, poet, musician and painter and does a mean cha cha or something like that.

    Kofi Fosu Forson sees into the future a step at a time, is quick with an improvised song, would like to call himself Black Johnny Cash but is certain that wouldn't sit well. So he writes his poetry, reads women like paintings and short stories, hoping to one day visit Berlin.

    Parkside Lounge: 317 Houston Street (at the corner of Attorney)

    Between Avenue B and C

    Sundays: 4 - 6pm
317 East HoustonNew York, New York 10002

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cuisine / Cousins

What I took with me coming to America at the age of ten was sexual neurosis and how it plays itself among youth, inherently overlapping family relations. As my mother would have it she and I were very close. She confirms this to be outrightly me being her firstborn so she took me everywhere, brought me to church without my other siblings. I have very stark memories sitting beside her as she drove in her red Datsun, her back in that denim dress weat with sweat. The very constant trip was to the Makola market where middle aged women displayed their goods and wares.

I was aware of my mother's promounced beauty, her glorious eyes, full lips and brilliant smile. It wasn't a matter of incest between mother and me. It was independent of amour. Mother loved me as son and it was clear at heart. We had maids who came into the city to take care of me and my brothers as children. Memories of mother shared otherwise included her cooking, driving us to school, where one day when she arrived at the gate the headmaster was whipping with cane those who were coming in late, so mother promptlly turned the car around and drove us back home.

Father was traveling around the world as journalist. He was stationed in New York and advised mother to bring us over. My one and only favorite memory of father when he arrived from Switzerland was staying in bed with me one morning feeding me chocolate he had brought with peppermint in the middle. I remember the smell of his luggage. They were leather with a scent of newness.

Our apartment was part of the Airport Residential flats stationed beside an airport. Quite often from our window we saw airplanes taking off. It was a modest apartment with a lovely living room with furnishings. I remember the day mother's oversized freezer was delivered - a white tank of a thing. There were curtains, brandnew sofas we replaced a few times. We had a small kitchen were outrageous smells of food emanated on Saturdays during which the act of making fufu was present. One perseon stood with wooden stick with flat botton raising it up and down while another turned over cooked plantains and cassava in a wooden pot.

These maids were the ones who mostly did the cooking. They entered the city of Accra and once they did, they acquired the style and nuance of modern city women. There were never any particular momemnts where I felt attracted to them perhaps I was too young and naive. More so I saw them as gaurdians but I have memory standing on bookshelf watching my male cousin have sex with one of these maids. Watching the act of sex for the first time seemed new but ingrained in my very own system. The youngest of the maids exposed herself to me while bathing me. This was my first evidence of "cunt."

Earnestly living on grandmother's compound weeks away from our trip to New York, I got a sense of the compatability I shared with two of my cousins on mother's side. This is the greatest example of how sexuality was expressed between my aunts and me as well as my cousins. We bathed together and slept together. In doing so we became horny when the lights were turned off. Where as the youngest of the maids bathed me with her pubis exposed, my cousins sat and spread their cunts for me to inspect. They also taught me how to masturbate.

To this date I find it ironic that I learned about sex from two female cousins.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Harlem Werewolf

Kofi Fosu Forson

Novels I read in my Negritude class at Hunter College I was made aware of books written by African writers who explored multi dimentional aspects of the African cultural experience and how it played itself out in the West.

These books among them were No Longer at Ease and the original Things Fall Apart.

Wole Soyinke was the first African writer to win the Nobel Prize. His writings explore a Shakespearen content of style and intuition. His books of poems Shuttle in the Crypt is quite brilliant in making this evident.

At this point and time at Hunter College society in general welcomed a multi cultural diversion from the elite and entitled writings of young white professionals. Much of this has since been exorcised from the mainstream as black and other ethnic poets recite spoken word poems in cafes and clubs.

As I young writer I read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. S. E. Hinton books were a mainstay. I grew to read Agatha Christie. Somehow I was mesmerized by the variety of books in my father's collection from political essays to contemporary novels to intrigue and African American classics.

Indeed I was won over by the aforementioned elite young white crowd, Jay McInerny, Tama Janowitz and Kathy Acker. I had formed a world around me separate from my Dad's. This stemmed from my interest in art and pop culture.

There was a movement happening in New York City. It was obvious in the literature, music and everything else art. When I started to take an interest in writing I read Sam Shepard more and more. It became religion to formulate short theater pieces after his earlier plays. As poet I took to Charles Bukowski fashioned my style after his. To make up for lack of black relevance I read Langston Hughes.

Generally I got my literary aspirations from articles in men's magazines, The New York Times and a writing group I was part of which stimulated my writing and reading habit.

I have since enjoyed an experience in the theater where I explored more so dynamics in male / female gender politics than the black experience.

I haven't lived the quote / unquote black experience outside of my family. Most of my friends have been either Americans or Europeans. There has always been a socio political and intellectual difference between me and most African Americans.

Black men and women have been relevant to me in movies and pop culture. I have gained tremendous influence through them in actors, musicians and even journalists. Somehow I have no guilt as I move into the Eastern part of Harlem with its gentrified culture.

I see now I have become person prepared for this with my past life in some of the ghettos of New York. It isn't so much that I follow a black crowd. Rather intimately I can imbibe the nature of human along lines of animal and intellect.

Exceptionally this makes up the foundation of New Yorkers.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Self Possessed Man at Suicide Bar

Self possessed man trying to find meaning walking edges of world

Digital camera by his side ventures out at night taking self portraits

self timed camera on ledge posing cigarette at lip fists clenched

camera flashes he deletes images makes final edit uploads them

on Facebook for moment forgets what it’s like to be human jacks

off after making eye contact mind fucks men outside reality’s

perception strangers on street sidewalks public transportation

pulls no punches arrives from sea on fire his mind is the L stop

during rush hour Mondo New Yorkers come after him thinking

he was David Johansen he’ll serenade you ask Sarah the waitress

at Parkside Lounge that Sunday when Jane Ormerod honored

Brant Lyon all the poets fell apart in drunken splendor he grabbed

microphone began singing song he didn’t know song he opened

his mouth hoped it would sing itself but there was Sarah standing

joy of a girl words parted his lips with melody others fell flat in

imperfection but wow whirlwind of song he walked a line ended

with name Sarah suicide bars where people go to drink themselves

dead started with water then built into abominable combinations

slouched in arms of Lucy dancing slowly something Irish on jukebox

sounded Irish but another bad imitation of The Pogues he danced until

he fell apart girl spat at him poured liquor over his body put his arm over

her shoulder they disappeared music played Johnny Cash White Stripes

women sat in corners bellies fat from drinking dollar drafts Mona Lisas

wronged by men who took them through Guernica they wanted to be

Frida Kahlo tame the bull that was Diego Riviera

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Poem

Kofii Fosu Forson

You are a house on fire words made of wire spoken for but you play

the field chasing house wives who go walking after hours to shop for a hit

Glass doves buying malt liquor hang by counters makeshift wino bars

At corner where mad men piss each other off night covers stench of day

Phipps Housing Project flames burn you refuse to jump reading a book

Parts of the book catch fire slowly burning a book called One Hundred

Years of Solitude another book The Unbearable Lightness of Being

So sit there read focus on these words as buttons to your shirt unbutton

Cologne smell takes on different smell blazer heats up skin grows warm

Sweat begins to form crackling sound in the corner television turns red

There is no smoke alarm fire station shut down due to lack of funding

So this burning house becomes source of light for people night walking

Women looking for love picking up men young Latinos black thugs wait

For fame spit clever rhymes dance hip hop style clutching gold chains

That was then you are diseased overcome by neurosis sex has no cure

Animal wolf howling beyond Bellevue East River hell over Brooklyn

Wards on Rikers remain still silence haunts subways trains maintain

Schedule people sit in cars face each other look away read newspapers

Thoughts of a man on 2nd Avenue burning disturbs their conscience

He stands twelve floors tall windows for eyes black simmering smoke

Pours from his roof flesh from his scalp slowly peels is it the end of us

Life as we know it other apartments people are sleeping restaurants open

To colored lights as well dressed men and women come to wine and dine

Sky is electric violet dark purple somewhere someone commits perfect

Crime you sit reading close your eyes now open them the house burns

down you walk off into the night where other houses burn brightly

Friday, April 26, 2013

Photo by Dianne Bowen

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Party is Over
Virtual Reality as Life Imprisonment

Kofi Fosu Forson

The party began for me in my bedroom as it normally does for most teens.

As a child I was playing with a neighborhood girl Regina when I stuck an Ever Ready battery in her underwear pretending she was pregnant. I was chastized heavily for this.

A diagnosis of depression kept me in my bedroom for months. In between therapy I did everything to keep my spirits up. I wrote poetry, sang to my self, wrote theatrical sketches where I played the part of each character both male and female.

Once I grew to the point of health and started college I concentrated on girls and a social life. I remember trying on a condom for the first time in preparation for my first sexual encounter. It was quite successful and lead to other meetings with girls in that bedroom of my parent's apartment. As legend would have it I lived in that bedroom beyond its limit changing the lives of some, inspiring many, sitting with some beautiful women, collaborating with musicians in performances and persuing my ability to write, paint and photograph.

The party truly began in college as it does for many who leave their place of home to study elsewhere. I chose a college in the city and so home was not far away. The center of my living bordered people I met in school and others in the bars and clubs.

A cafe called Heaven changed the lives of many who knew it. It was at the point when the Barely Legal generation were making an impression in society. Many of my friends were maturing thinking about adult relationships. All of a sudden we were faced with teeneaged girls who wanted to drink and smoke with us.

Unice was a highschool not far. Many of its students drifted into the cafe, young, attractive girls who came in for coffee. Somehow they were allowed to smoke. Then again at this point and time smoking was a common thing.

It was such an exceptional point and time to be among these girls and others from around the world. A hostel was right near by. This was our party before the year 2000 which was to change everything.

Certainly the 2000 decade was techno ponorgraphic. Internet porn and new technology changed everything. Much as everything was supposed to crash at the welcoming of that year it didn't. Little did we know that politically we were destined for a crash of another circumstance.

Our reality then if party at the beginning of this decade was the welcoming of Tantra and gender division where women found a new calling, their centerdness on what was their ability and will as sexual beings.

Domesticity combined with libido became common as in the invention of the word M.I.L.F. (Mother's I'd Like To Fuck) as well as home made porno. The infestation of pornography on the internet had begun.

What was the party then was the gentrifying of many neighborhoods, areas in places like Bushwick and Williamsburg in New York City's Brooklyn welcome a new generation of people, be it hipsters, young lesbians, black new wave or a heavy gay population with it a homo eroticizing of culture.

In this decade I found art as a professional. This was my party. Writing and directing for Riant Theater. Interning at Eickholt Gallery. A partnership with Liverpool's Transvoyeur and my very own independent work with what would be knows as "muses," this was my party where communication was ideal. Whether I was dialoguing with other artists in Europe through the email or telephone, even the postal mail. Directing actors for the stage where I studied the nuances of performance and creativity. Writing press releases for an art gallery, overseeing its artists where I hosted literally parties where there were some Hollywood types.

Where is the party now. I see how people are stuck on social media sites whether they are known celebrities or people who think they are celebrities at least try to be.

I see a world of artists with no vision torn between domesticity no sense of income yet they live this affordable life entitled to pretend to be nothing. The nothingness of their existence is an example of how futile the greater picture. They suppose this philosophical role in a world where the artist is no longer philosophical.

Political verse and prose are examples of modern philosophy.

Walking among these artists, going to these art shows is afterall a means but to what end.

Great artists are either dead or they exist.

More or less we are at a point where we are trying to sell wisdom. Much of this is an imposition and threat.

The party now is virtual. Prison sentence. Life imprisonment.

Virtual reality does not equal enlightenment but for many it does.

The party is over. I can breathe now.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Genius is Making Art of Murder without a Trace of Blood

Genius is making Art of Murder without a Trace of Blood

Kofi Fosu Forson

Black rat in a cage black rat in a cage white punk found black rat in a cage

Jean Michele from hell Jean Michele from hell was put under white hot spell

Put under white hot spell walking Warhol across from 9th and Tompkinville

Tompkinville to Yaffa Tompkinville to Yaffa where girls with boys got guns

Girls with boys got guns New York University trust fund kids primadonnas

Primadonna kids shit on concrete fuck you impersonating Satan in hood

Satan in hood artists pretend Thursdays in Chelsea devil in a blue dress

Devil in a blue dress red wine or white picking up on a fuck for the night

Fuck for the night two men on girl threesomes artourages wandering Soho

Artourages wandering Soho Spencer Tunick sighting Anthony Haden Guest

Anthony Haden Guest sitting in restaurant whispering words from a poem

Words from a poem socialites gallery gurus gather painting by Caravaggio

Painting by Caravaggio in the dark yellowish orange our faces made history

Our faces made history secret history of contemporary art New York now

Digital cameras killed the 35 millimeter PC’s put to death the film camera

“Where did the young gonzos go?” “Where did the young gonzos go?”

Flocking to Washington Square video cameras in hand thinking Tarantino

Thinking Tarantino genius is making art of murder without a trace of blood

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Masturbation has been Replaced by Defecation
Taking a Shit is a Fuck You

Kofi Fosu Forson

Masturbation has been replaced by defecation.

Childish behavior is prevalent among us in society a time when parental guidance has relieved itself of power and control given in to kid gloves.

Genius has been said is a time when the adult comes to terms with the child in him. None of this was meant to be prankish behavior. More or less it's a time when creativity and imagination takes place.

Two celebrities come to mind Johnny Deppy and Quinten Tarantion, two people I believe will eventually find themselves in a film project which I sense will blow up the proportions of what is cinema, theater and persona.

It reigns in my fantasy and may not happen but both personas Depp and Tarantino have extreme amounts of imagination.

The child at his early stage expresses that ability to create much like a young boy I saw at church who in the moment is directing or perfoming complete with different characters with a voice for each character.

None of it is trully audible but he dashes back and forth mumbling, changing his facial expressions and in a sense is in his own domain.

This is genius, something we find in the future as adults, complete in its form.

Not many are blessed with talent if at all. As children we draw, we paint, we sing.

Singing is something addressed in reality talent shows on televison today. Most of these contestants are not stars in the making. They basically fill the quota of what is a production with financial backing.

I once asked a virtual friend what is going to become of all this pornography on the internet. She didn't have an answer.

The dimension of what is internet pornography has changed much as gentrification has created an influx of different emotion and philosophical mind traps which stem from our virtual world.

Combination of gentrification and virtual reality together governed by the outright politicizing of thought based on a "white" sensibility we are free to roam without any particular base. Foundations on employment, sexuality, identity, self empowerment have given way to "nothingness".

Homo eroticizing quickly found its way into popular culture. To this day I am not sure of its origin.

Homosexuality granted gained power politically and that is certainly warranted. But I think of the character "The Gimp" in the aforementioned Tarantino's Pulp Fiction or the film Broke Back Mountain along with internet websites as Youtube or the internet porn industry and I wonder if VICE magazine and its influence on the young, fantasy vampire and werewolf novels and films drew the minds of many who may have been brought up on S. E. Hinton's coming of age books and threw them into a pool of blood and feces.

Currently there's a fascination with defecating in public. There are signs in certain areas where people are warned not to deficate publicly.

I've had neighbors and roommates who deficate in their bedrooms. Perhaps this stems from what was the anema. But somehow this commands a sexual and demonic circumstance.

Whereas The Beats wrote to prove a point. Rock and roll started a cause. Grafitti was public art...

...taking a shit is a fuck you.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Was Picasso Gay When He Sat with Matisse Arguing About Flowers

Kofi Fosu Forson

German gorilla waits at bus top waddling empty lonely sidewalk

Wind blows his coiffure imagine German gorilla with pompadour

On the bus seat tapping his gorilla feet ogling through eye glasses

School of Visual Arts plastic bag glistening letters S.V.A. in red

I said to him “How is the old jungle. Have you climbed any trees?”

“What about professors? Does the name Bill Beckley ring a bell?”

Bill Beckley in his MC leather jacket philosophical David Hockney

Tongue tapped his way through texts: Umberto Eco Roland Barthes

Sunlight washed interior of bus he spoke about his life as sculptor

Wanted a scene separate from Playboys drugs and cheap women

What he needed was friendship: diner food pool hall jazz music

At my apartment glow of light listened as Charles Mingus howled

White walls almost shook in agreement we had found friendship

A world as this where men blow other men fuck each other for fun

Why would we ever have been gentlemen in the company of men

High rise twentieth floor open window looked down on poverty

Families pushing carts piles of groceries boxes and paper bags

Walked among them slid under branches leaves into open spaces

Faces worn made masculine women overweight bottoms in jeans

What might have been two men at a bar we go shopping for porn

Times Square desperate for pussy: blue magazine triple XXX video

Entering stores flipping pages women spread eagled bare breasts

French porn “Oui Oui Oui” not French people fucking not at all

A world now where we are one in an orgy homoerotic virtual exotic

How could I meet a man in passing say an innocent thing as hello

Not fondle inside bathroom pretend to be straight then fuck a friend

Animal is now punk pervert queer: animal fucks for love loves to fuck

Sexual ghosts seek orgasms transmit heat permeating our stratosphere

Bodies burn curious minds racial boundaries gender politics courtship

People want insatiably fucking aura of a person immediate satisfaction

Time passed I became human stumbled upon German Gorilla on train

Met on rooftop drinking red wine seemed homosexual new place in time

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Gentrification Ruined My Sex Life

Kofi Fosu Forson

Blue Italians wearing hipster shit make a go at me the day I moved in

Macho of the two knocks on my door begs me come up listen to AC/DC

Femme boys don’t listen to AC/DC all I hear is pounding on their wall

Smiling with teeth like seeds from cantaloupe thinking he wants to score

I tell him about my love for Italian girls to fuck him off the hell away

Soon became victim of witch hunt not from LES Latina Slayer Girls

Berlin in the East Village white boys waxing ghetto on Avenue B and C

Black intellectuals caught wandering will be held captive made invisible

Fearing for my life I lived inside a bedroom waiting for bomb to hit it

Surfing through social mediocrity I came across other potential victims

On a snowy day somewhere in Italy a girl was listening to Miles Davis

A friend what is a friend of thousand friends I imagine snow her body

Polish girl made Italy her home modeled for a living how could I not

Poking back and forth poking as if we were having virtual foreplay

Fucking my fingers thinking each time I came she was on the verge

Blue Italian in the room upstairs could sense I was fucking a ghost

Soon he became ghost of the virtual lover whenever I was turned on

Fantasizing about her when it was him I knew I had to kill her off

Killed ghost of Polish model virtually murdered her so many ways

Virtual blood on these hands so I requested a friendship nothing more

Found love bullet to heart kind of love car crashes at night kind of love

She was blowing me it felt really good something she learnt from queer

Couldn’t come inside of her ghost of blue Italians possessed my cock

We heard Mexican couple humping through the ceiling where she lived

Brooklyn sex I loved her into thinking I was Screaming Jay Hawkings

Not the East Village those neighborhood boys were Italian Vampires

Tried everything feng shui prayer book light therapy Victoria Secrets

We wanted sex but a sort of dark energy followed us around the room

Didn’t know how to fuck anymore – Gentrification ruined our sex life

Friday, February 22, 2013

Every Time I Mack a Girl She’s with a Man from Chinese Mafia

Kofi Fosu Forson

She took her clothes off for the sake of art inside that 5000 square foot loft
She loved my drawings for the sake of art inside that 5000 square foot loft
She tried to fuck me for the sake of art inside that 5000 square foot loft

Her Assistant Director boyfriend was Chinese Mafia not for the sake of art

Rico did drugs in the hole for the sake of art inside that 5000 square foot loft
John wanted to kill Sally for the sake of art inside that 5000 square foot loft
Sally fought him off for the sake of art inside that 5000 square foot loft

Met a girl named Romy drugs in her eyes asked to take my picture I stood
Up like an inflatable rubber dick fifty feet long cracked up wanting nookie
Hostess at art openings gallery girl pissed white wine coughed malt liquor

We smoked on the verandah overlooking the graffiti walls grease and scum
Down in the streets merchants sold their wares gold chains leather bracelets
Romy and I walked around handing out flyers giving the finger to anyone

Our parties were bitch top notch Hollywood came we had underground
Mobi snuck out the back door the boys from Star Wars were sipping mint
Even Orlando Bloom yeah Pirates of the Caribbean he bought a painting

When Johnny cried he was drinking red wine when Rico did he wanted ass
Eddie had wisdom of a poet he spoke Chinese Walt Whitman from Boston
Jenny Does Jenny got inspired made art with blood and the American Flag

Romy and I got lost in China Town posting pictures of an upcoming show
Drove drunk crashed into cars sat in a bar the day Janet Jackson bared her tit
Made out at the gallery had my hand on her boob but that was nothing new

Word around she was doing the Assistant Director Chinese Mafia boyfriend
Passed on hooking up with the boss of a gallery and a gal/guy Friday chick
Every time I come on to a girl she has a lover man from Chinese Mafia

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Picasso would have been a good Plumber

Kofi Fosu Forson

We met Charlie’s Tits and Beer talk art me Tony and that fat Chinese

Girls here were shot unlike those who put on a show dolled up and shit

They lined up on stage just a little higher from the floor four five or six

Otherwise these girls got a refresher course in male boneheadedness

Tony and I weren’t about gawking our bodies faced each other drinking

He loved mathematics I had a thing for film so we shot the shit on movies

The fat Chinese facing the stage brought up the name Peter Greenaway

Tony said Greenaway I said Grenaway he disagreed we left it at that

Peter Greenaway British filmmaker who used everything including shit

Like the opening scene in The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover

Somehow standing in a titty bar talking Peter Greenaway made sense

These dirty girls dancing half naked were a comment on class struggle

Businessman in suit flashing dollars an example of money the economy

Turning around to see flickering lights on stage flesh of girls gyrating

Tall brunette walks up to me Tony and the Chinese part she says hello

Girl from Chicago Charlie she’s not Charlie in Charlie’s Tits and Beer

Homesick worn out bit depressed wondering what she’s doing here

Loving that Cheshire grin on my face wanting in our eyes locked up

Couldn’t pull the dickhead charm kept kissing ass playing innocent

Once in a while without her noticing I would check out the girls

Word got around about Charlie’s Tits and Beer had them coming in

One night I brought a friend macho not in that way he talked smack

Sat there confident swigging away pointing to one girl after the other

He became a regular started tipping bit more girls would take notice

Each time the dancers took a break he brought one over to the bar

Made everything special handled their drinks did some small talk

Went as far as to get into their business pay for rent buy them shit

Didn’t take long before he began cruising other titty bars picking up

Tony and I were theater people he did sound for independent films

Hung around bars the local girls checking them out hoping for love

I had quit college to be the hundredth Picasso of a hundred Picassos

Artists don’t make it he said Picasso would have been a good plumber

Spent some time alone drawing and painting the strippers at Charlie’s

Thinking if I never sell a painting or fail to be recorded in art history

At least most people will see my work say man he fucked a lotta girls

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Ato Essandoh’s parents were born in Accra, Ghana. On a visit to my family’s home I was introduced to him. He participated in a reading for my theatrical play Cushion Pill where he read for the part of a former inmate. At the Actor’s Studio Ato performed Fredrick Douglass’ slave narrative. It was an overwhelming example in courage, strength and talent. This was soon followed by a foray into theater and small parts in Hollywood films. As a writer his play Black Thang was included in Plays and Playwrights 2003. He started a writing group The Defiant Ones. Currently he is among the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. The list of Hollywood elite actors he has worked with include Will Smith and a second film with Leonardo di Caprio. Ato has made a living guest starring in numerous television shows, Law and Order and recently Elementary. But his most lucrative role is the character Matthew Freeman on BBC America’s Copper, where he plays a freed slave with a medical practice. Ato is en route to Toronto for the shooting of the second season.

KOFI FORSON: Congratulations on the Best Picture Oscar Nomination for Django Unchained.

ATO ESSANDOH: Yea. Yea. Thanks.

FORSON: I’m just imagining Quentin Tarantino flipping out.


FORSON: I don’t think most people realize how brilliant an artist he is I mean all politics aside.

ESSANDOH: Yea. Of course!

FORSON: You look at Reservoir Dogs okay sure we’ve seen gangster types before in film history. But look at the film. It’s effortless. And what gets me with Quentin each and every time is the writing. It’s damn good.

Were you at the Centerfold Theater for the premiere of my play 5th of Floyd?

ESSANDOH: Not sure.

FORSON: I remember seeing you there that night. Well anyway I wrote that play after I saw Pulp Fiction.

ESSANDOH: Funny you should say that. I got into acting because of Pulp Fiction. I was majoring in Engineering at Cornell University. I saw the film and I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

FORSON: Really?


FORSON: Interesting. I had that feeling when I saw David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. You know what I mean…


FORSON: Like Blue Velvet was the film that defined my generation. David Lynch was to us what Tarantino has become to this generation.

ESSANDOH: Well Pulp Fiction totally blew me away. And Samuel L. Jackson’s character was something special. Quentin hit the ball out of the park with that character. Hard enough for working black actors to get parts in Hollywood films. But for Quentin Tarantino to put all that meat on the bone for Sam Jackson to work with was quite amazing.

FORSON: I remember when you invited me to the Actors Studio to see you perform.

ESSANDOH: Haha… That was so long ago.

FORSON: Damn you were good. I was like there’s so much energy so much talent coming out of this guy.

ESSANDOH: Haha… Stop man you embarrassing me.

FORSON: So then I remember you did Rodger Dodger with Campbell Scott, George C. Scott’s son. That’s when I started to take notice.

ESSANDOH: That was all part of the growing process.

FORSON: Then I would hear about your bit parts on television. I remember when you got on that Law and Order episode. That was legend in a way.

ESSANDOH: Haha you crazy.

FORSON: No really. That character and your performance got such good feedback.

ESSANDOH: Thank you.

FORSON: Funny story I was at my parent’s apartment watching television I think it was a show called Commander in Chief.

Remember that one?


FORSON: That is the one where Gena Davis plays the President of the United States.

ESSANDOH: Of course.

FORSON: Well I believe she was conducting a press conference or something. Then it cuts away from that scene. Out of nowhere your face appears…


FORSON: I’m like Mama… Ato’s on television. Of course by the time she came over from the kitchen to look the scene had ended.

ESSANDOH: Well that’s the luck of the draw with acting. The whole point is to treat it as if it were a job. You have to live. You have to eat. You have to pay rent. So you go on these auditions and get as many parts as possible.

FORSON: How did Tarantino find you?

ESSANDOH: Usually my agent sets me up with different auditions. This was different though. I was put on tape which was sent to Tarantino. I met with him three months later and went over the scene.

FORSON: What was the first meeting like with Tarantino?

ESSANDOH: The first and only meeting was the call back. I showed up in L.A. at an office with a bunch of actors who looked like me.

FORSON: Sounds like a science fiction film.


FORSON: Django Unchained as a science fiction film. Talk about controversy.

ESSANDOH: Actually I didn’t expect it to be a cattle call. So I was sitting there with the script looked up and it was Quentin. He was like “Hey man, how you doing”. I said “Hey, Mr. Tarantino”. He says, “I gotta go to the bathroom. I’ll be with you in a minute.”

And I’m thinking… Yeah. Yeah. But where is everybody else.

FORSON: Oh shit. Wait a minute. This could have turned into the scene in Reservoir Dogs where Mr. Blonde cuts off the ear.

Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel kicks in. Tarantino walks out. I can just imagine you shitting your pants.

ESSANDOH: We talked about the character and the movie. He expected me to channel that strong emotion in the character. So we went over the scene a couple of times. He said when you come down… That particular scene was shot in New Orleans. When you come down I want you to really bring it. And I’m like what do you mean when I come down to New Orleans. I’ve been through many rejections so I didn’t want to play it like I got the part.

FORSON: I remember directing my first Showcase I had to tell one of the actors he didn’t fit the part. I didn’t know how to go about it. Some actors can’t take rejection really well. I’m not sure most people can.

ESSANDOH: That’s the whole point. I said to him Mr. Tarantino I’ll bring it like I brought it for you. And he responds “You gonna be prepared when you come down”.

At this time I’m sorta confused. I still didn’t wanna play like I got the part. So then he’s like “See you in New Orleans”.

I was like okay. He was like okay. I shook his hand. I was kinda dumbfounded and I walked out. My casting director walked out with me. I asked her “Did I get the part”? And she said “You idiot. Of course you got the part. I was like “Oh my God”.

FORSON: I remember when I ran into Patti Smith crossing the street. She stopped and had a chat with me. But before she walked away she hugged and kissed me on the cheek. I ran away like a little boy. I swear almost everybody I saw that day I told them Patti Smith kissed me.

ESSANDOH: I got into my car and drove. My heart was beating so loud I had to pull over and calm down, call everybody and share the news.

It was quite a humbling experience.

FORSON: You’ve made your living in guest appearances on television dramas. You’ve now landed a lead role in Copper on BBC America.

How was the transition from bit parts to a lead role?

ESSANDOH: To be a guest star on a TV show is like being invited to someone else’s family reunion. You are welcomed but you don’t belong.

Honestly it’s the hardest job amongst actors on the set having to adapt and execute. Not only that, they have to wait for hours before shooting. That’s because the main actors and hence the storyline need to be worked on first.

It really is a great experience. To perform at a moment’s notice requires so much skill like you won’t believe.

The transition from guest star to series regular is similar to a Triple A baseball player getting a call to play in the Major Leagues.

FORSON: You play a doctor on Copper, a freed slave. How much research went into this?

ESSANDOH: I researched black doctors in the Civil War Era in New York City. My main inspiration was Doctor James McCune Smith, the first African American doctor in the United States.

FORSON: What more can you tell me about him? Who was he? How did he manage a professional career growing up at this time?

ESSANDOH: He was a gifted student but was denied acceptance into the major American Universities. A benefactor helped him get to the University of Glasgow Scotland where he earned his M.D.

FORSON: On Copper you treat patients. I would imagine you took from Doctor McCune Smith’s practice as well.

ESSANDOH: When he returned to New York he opened a medical practice. He treated both black and white patients.

This was a great source of focus for me.

FORSON: Was he a political figure? In what way did he affect the causes of black people at this time?

ESSANDOH: He was active in the Abolitionist movement and wrote papers against racism. He authored the introduction of Fredrick Douglas’ 2nd autobiography.

He truly served as the basis for my character.

FORSON: You’ve done two films with Leonardo di Caprio, Blood Diamond now Django Unchained.

What is your impression of Leo the person?

ESSANDOH: He’s a great guy, down to earth, humble and extremely committed to the work. He was a pleasure to work with.

FORSON: Are the Hollywood openings as fun as we see them on television?

ESSANDOH: For the most part… When the press is gone and the flashbulbs stop flashing, it’s usually a big reunion. Time to catch up with every one, drink a little booze and goof off!

FORSON: What plans do you have for the near future?

ESSANDOH: I’m headed to Toronto to shoot season 2 of Copper on BBC America. I’ve read the first two episodes. I can’t tell you how excited I am.

It’s going to be fantastic.