Before I Turn, 7/20/21.

  • Because of slavery, I don’t think Black people receive respect like the rest of the world. Maybe because our ancestors didn’t fight back like how we imagine to respond to that oppression. Maybe because our ancestors survived and fought for freedom. It’s like the world looks down on us because our ancestors were slaves and didn’t respond with payback. I find it twisted if the world respects those who are able to oppress another people group, but that’s the world. Black Americans have endured and continue to endure and inspire and influence the world, even if we don’t get the recognition.
  • I feel like Black Americans have it hard because it feels like we have to fight to be “normal.” I think the world is upset because we’re not slaves. And slavery still exists, but even with the technological advancement we have, the world still wants that chattel slavery that existed before the 20th century. We’re telling the world “We don’t like being mistreated,” but it’s met with resistance, and some of us are tired of fighting, but we’re still fighting.
  • I say “normal” because I feel like that’s what the world is. I feel I have to be spectacular in order to get normal things like jobs and relationships. If I were to apply for an editor position, I would have to be “more” more qualified than non-Black applicants. I can’t just stand out. I have to have extra credentials, experience, and degrees in order to get a position that may not pay around $30,000 a year. And if a lady, possibly non-Black, saw me and a dude who’s Taiwanese, and I have a notch more qualities than the Taiwanese (and a bit more handsome), the Taiwanese is getting chosen. I would have to be spectacular just to be equal.
  • In my insane head, to be “normal” is to embody self-respect, knowing my potential and taking action with it, honorably breaking the glass ceiling. Being “normal” doesn’t have a sit down with the children about experiencing a world who has an issue with their skin color. I believe racism will still exist until Jesus comes back, but we don’t have to continuously take the mistreatment. Until then, we have to be spectacular in dealing with the mistreatment.
  • I am upset with America because it wants to devalue Black people so that they don’t get out of the slave mentality and realize their true potential. After #StopAsianHate, an act by the United States that prohibits harm towards Asians and Asian-Americans was made (COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, yet I may be wrong), yet I don’t think they want to make the same type of act for Black-Americans and Africans because I think the United States holds on to slavery. I’m still finding out what our ancestors contributed to, yet the credit goes missing, possibly due to pride or jealousy or wanting to keep it hidden for fear of being convicted. We can continue to shout #BlackLivesMatter, and it goes against old thinking, and if the old thinking demands respect without treating others the same, I find it adolescent and stiff-necked.
  • I have heard the saying that we, Black people, come from kings and queens. I find it troublesome that we don’t treat ourselves that way. If we come from royalty, why not carry ourselves like royalty or treat each other like royalty?
  • I want to be international, able to communicate to anyone of a different ethnicity, but I can find resistance. Some, Black and not Black, would want me to stay within my own group, yet I find some in the Black community not accepting me because I’m not their clone, not “cool” like them, not behaving in an acceptable matter. It’s sometimes like White, Asian, Hispanic and others can get together and have a good time, but Black people has to have a good time on their own. I would warn the others if they want to “borrow” from our culture, they have to include us, too. If not, the traffic light reads red.
  • I feel the United States want Black Americans to only have jobs in the food industry, janitorial, and manufacturing. A friend of mine knew I was looking for a job, and I was cleaning hospital rooms at the time. He set me up to work as a cashier. They knew I have a Bachelor’s degree, yet it’s overlooked. Some can have Master’s degrees, yet still be encouraged to work for Taco Bell.

With everything I said, thoughts and all, I could be wrong, but at the time these things were flowing through my head, and I hope we as people grow away from the poisons and kills societal growth.

And I’m just getting started.


Something Small, 7/17/21.

This week, I was reading an article during a lunch break. It was about a country singer posting a picture of herself in a bikini after receiving comments about her body (weight). Before posting the picture, it was said that she made a tearful video about the body shamming comments that were made. From the picture that was posted, I don’t see a problem.
I have a problem with fans who possibly call themselves fans yet make comments like, “You’re fat,” or, “You’re ugly.” I don’t see the link. If the criticism was constructive like, “I saw your pictures from the red carpet. Your fashion sense is getting better. Keep up the good work.”
With the body shamming, the folks who make them are anonymous, unable to see a full view of what they look like. It’s not like they’re bodybuilders or anything. They’re not in a position to have the spotlight on them, and if there are some spotlights some of them may curl up in a corner if a fraction of a comment is made of them. Some folks make harsh comments about others, yet they don’t look themselves in the mirror and catch their flaws.
I have learned/ am learning that it’s not okay to shame body types, especially when I wouldn’t want folks to do that to me. We aren’t able to choose the body type we want (we don’t come out of the womb learning to speak with a 30-year-old mind), but it’s possible to keep it in good maintenance. I’m less concerned with the body type and more about the heart health and cholesterol levels. I had/ still may have a higher cholesterol level, yet I took steps to change that for my health. If the folks want to body shame others, why not in the same vain give them their health regiment? Possibly because they don’t have one, and they make comments to make them feel good. Twisted, right?
Obesity in America is a problem, so much so that clothing now days are more stretchy than years before. I wouldn’t want to be one of the people who criticized others on their weight problems, putting them down which may lead them to eating. I’m sometimes around folks who have more weight on them than their body can handle, and it can be a health problem. I do comedy, and may do a joke on weight, but I’ll bring it back to me because I’m in the fat category. Why not take action to get healthy and encourage others to join in the process?
Again, the lady in question didn’t look bad. Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate various female body types. What they don’t like on them, a man would appreciate. One lady may say, “I don’t like my wide thighs.” Meanwhile, the man she’s been with for over 3 years is still with her, complimenting her regularly including her body. Some ladies are plus sized and look fine, with some areas more accentuated, and can be hollered at by many of dudes. And here’s the jacked up thing: some dudes have plus-sized girlfriends, yet make comments on celebrities’ weight. Am I missing something?
To add salt on their wounds, the country singer is married to a former football athlete and has three children.
If her dude likes her and likes her plenty of times during the day, that’s all that matters.

And I’m just getting started.

Something Small, 7/6/21.

Last week at my job, we had a meeting clarifying the things that have been going on in the company, particularly on our side. They addressed the production and the release of a big figure in the company, and they addressed the teamwork that we needed to do. One employee had an issue with not having help on the line, how they saw a few folks standing around talking and no one was helping them. The supervisor apologized to them about the situation the day before, and they made it known to help out a coworker if there is an idle time.

I got what the supervisor said, but I had an issue with the coworker who said it. To start, that day, I was stationed at their spot, then transferred to another spot by the supervisor, then transferred back to the original spot by the supervisor. Second, a coworker working with them left early which set off the event, and they are buddies at work, so they may have felt alone. Now, me and that coworker don’t get along, although I can work with them (I’m crazy like that). Reasons why I didn’t like working with them is because I feel if I don’t work like they do I don’t get their respect, like I have to be their subordinate or their clone (they’ve rolled their eyes at me/ had attitude on their face a few times). I understood what was said, but there were times when I was working with the folks and I felt alone, so I had very little sympathy of what went down. That coworker was cool with the coworker who left early and the big figure that was released (or was they? The coworker conversed with some of the folks who appeared as leaders on the floor, during a time when we weren’t short on help), and I feel like if the olive branch was extended to certain folks, why should the others help? And this is coming from a secular angle.

I’m Christian, so I am told by Jesus to forgive (darn it), and being His servant has me doing things that glorify Him (darn it again). My flesh wants to care less about what happened and do what I’m scheduled to do where I’m scheduled to do it in. Yet, I’m told to be of assistance and it gets into my spirit. So, I’ll help, even if it’s the person I’m not cool with. Since working in this freaking factory, I’ve learned (again) to think I’m better than everyone else because it’s been happening there. Also, I’m in need to conviction because there have been folks I’ve had second thoughts on, whether it’s lifestyle or something else, and they’re just like me. Forget being stuck-up. Let me help and be willing to receive help.

And if anyone wants to only be around their clones, don’t be around me.


Forget The Audience.

A few weeks ago, I did an open mic in Lexington, KY. It was on a Friday, and I just got off of work, not feeling fresh, and looking for the place and a parking spot downtown. I eventually found the place and a parking spot. I eventually ordered food and drink as I waited a while until the event really started. A few more comedians came, and it was time to start. I went first, doing the material I performed at a few other spots but with some changes since there were children there. The response was quiet most of the time. As I was trying to carry on with what I had, I received 2 boos from an audience member who covered their mouth. I acknowledged it, too, along with a guy on the phone. They may have not liked my material talking about disciplining children, mothers, and Black culture. The other comedians went up, and it seemed the interest of the audience went up as time went along. The last comic won them over. I was discouraged by the boos, but I still exist (I did a few open mics to get back on my feet). It was like I wasn’t good enough for that type of crowd, like I should have read the audience better, but I didn’t know how welcoming the audience was. I shouldn’t point fingers, and I shouldn’t be a clown for others’ amusement. 😛

I felt that my material wasn’t for the audience who were there. It was like I had to talk about things everyone related to and not have a common ground. About two tables were grandparent aged, so to relate to them… they may have been stubborn, only accepting entertainment from their generation. There may have been a absence of respect on both ends. Yes, I could have had material for the folks to relate to, yet there should be a willingness to listen to those of a younger generation, especially if it’s funny. I would want to refuse to laugh at a funny joke if it’s from someone younger than I am, thinking, “That’s not funny! Now Kevin Hart…” I can smell the stubbornness from that. Now, if what they find funny is different than what I find funny, adjustments can be made. Other than that, forget the audience. If any audience is stuck with certain comics and humor it’s going to be hard to persuade them, and they may need to stay at home and wait to see/ view/ listen to their comedian. There are thousands/ millions of comedians, and that all don’t sound the same, yet some people want comedians to act like and do the same jokes as a Kevin Hart and some comedians want to emulate a Kevin Hart (I give those ideas two middle fingers). I’m not knocking Kevin Hart. He’s getting a lot of spotlight now, and some figure they can emulate him to get some traction. Not a good idea. I choose to unapologetically be myself and work on my craft(s).

I’m anticipating going back up there. I’m going to do material for them, and later become the “villain,” having jokes with social commentary that may throw them off guard. I don’t want it to be a “try not to laugh/ make me laugh” event, a test to see if I can get laughs out of them. If it’s funny, it’s funny, whether or not what it’s about or what style it is. So, I’m like, “forget the audience.” I want to have material that’s funny coming from what I was blessed with, and also having an ability to connect with the audience. Too many clones are out there. That needs to stop. I’ll give it a go.

And I’m just getting started.


Something Small, 6/27/21.

One thing I learned while at work is to keep our mouths shut. Don’t talk about subjects that are risky and don’t talk about anybody that’s risky because that can put us at risk of termination of employment or worse. There was a new temp who would talk about what went on in her life that squares like me didn’t go through. I didn’t fit the mode as someone “hood,” yet I grew up in areas that seem “hood,” and she seemed to gravitate towards folks who had their senses toward what’s “hood” and folks who liked to communicate. What went on in the street ought to stay in the street and not bleed out anywhere else. I didn’t communicate with the person unless I was asked how to do something or what the procedures were in the tasks. They also had issues with a few of the people there, as if they were troubling her flow, and she thought a few of the dudes wanted her, things coming from her mouth that can be overheard. Some folks are like that. I’m not knocking it, but I would advise that there’s a time and place for it. I also let them know one time to be careful with using their phone at work, as they wanted to use their phone for communication and other stuff, and it was a no-phone-on-the-floor zone. They wanted to do their own thing, and it didn’t comply with company rules. They would need to find employment that caters to their needs yet respects company policy. Imagine being a welder and being on the phone while welding. I’ll expect a visit to the hospital.


A Retrospection, 6/20/21.

A few months ago, I went to an open mic close to my hometown, Lexington, KY. They announced on their Facebook page that they were restarting their competition, as they put it o hold due to the pandemic. Now the competition led to the showcase where they would announce 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place, and they would go on to do features and things at the place. I talked to a few people about the open mic, and afterwards I went to the place.

There were some good talent a that place. When they started the open mic, they announced that there was a scout in the audience. I didn’t care, and I had my reasons. My time came to go on stage and I went up there and was a beast. Now, prior to getting on stage and at the venue, I told myself to “bring it” whether or not there is politics going on, because there were people who are good and did not have the set of the night. So, I did my set, got off stage, and sat down. A few people said I did a good job, and I appreciated it. One comedian, who is an absolute beast, gave me an idea to put on stage, and I accepted the idea. The scout said I did good, yet they said one of my subject matters may not connect with the audience, but when I recalled what I did based on memory and the video I recorded, I said, “If you don’t know…,” so I didn’t receive it much.

After all of the comedians did their thing, they announced the set of the night, and it went to a friend which was cool. They had a wild card and it went to a person whose first time was that evening. The first timer was respectful to everyone, so that was cool. But what I was disappointed with was how they chose the set of the night/ the wild card. I manually spelled out what I thought to a few people, but they didn’t know what I was signing. And the scout was giving this lecture and I didn’t pay attention. I didn’t care for the competition as I didn’t think it was a proper competition. So, every week I was there, I was doing something new, new material, whether it was good or not. They had their showcase, and I didn’t go, but what I noticed was there were 2 comedians set to be in the showcase and I didn’t see them involved in the competition, another reason I didn’t care for the competition. I treated everything as open mic from then on. They continued with the the competition, and another friend had set of the night, and it was long overdue.

Fast forward, I got word that the place was closing down, and it did. I have my thoughts on why it closed, but still it was sad that it did because it was the only consistent place for open mics around Lexington at the time. Now, some of us go to places in Louisville, Cincinnati, and others cities, and there has been some new areas in Lexington to do open mic, which is a blessing. My hometown needs a revival in comedy, places to develop artistry and material, places that are unbiased and honest. That night when I was a beast on the stage was a life changer for me. I can do my best material in a competition, but if something else is in effect that’s not counting the quality of the comedic performance, I will bow out of the competition, especially when there are really good comedians who do great and are not counted for (it has happened). It’s time for me to write sharper material. I will listen to some Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Steven Wright, and David A. Arnold for some inspiration.

And I’m just getting started.


Brandon’s Poetry Corner, 5/16/21.

Rather (Pressure)

Quitting is worse than suicide. I should know.
Humiliation the icing on my pride as I grow.
More than a decade after higher learning
is not helping more of a decade of my earnings.
I know I said that wrong.
The schools ain’t teaching self-encouragement, the blues in my song.
I would have to know people, brown nose, be in a brotherhood,
and/ or be on my knees. I found none of those good.
Some would respond as if I’m not putting in the effort.
I agree a little as their outlook is better.
And Black males have to do the extra as the rest do the standard.
We’re just as regular, yet we’re still getting slandered.
As if more melanin aligns us with Satan
when it’s about who we’re praising, so they’re mistaken.
I talk to Jesus about how the struggle is real.
People hurting others for their happiness. That’s their deal.
Slavery still exists in America. It’s just in new clothes.
The ones that know about it fear being exposed.
I’m writing this, and my peers don’t want to hear it from me.
They rather hear it from a man with popularity.
And the Lord has been working on my dignity, reshaping it,
healing from previous misery as I’m hating it.
I’d rather count the hairs I’m going to cut off,
cut off fake fellowships. Some friends may shut off
the idea. I should be brave to reconcile,
love them all of course as the history’s in file.
Some found me weird. I’ll take that badge and strut.
It hurt that some Black folks didn’t find me Black enough.
Who made them leaders of the council?
I’ll hand over my card with a sound will.
Strip all I have where it’s just me that’s left.
I may rebuild something tremendously deft.
Quitting is worse than suicide. I shouldn’t say that
because worrisome ears wouldn’t want to hear the playback,
but it’s true to me. Profusely I’ve been fighting discouragement.
The Lord has been giving me encouragement.
The Word gives nourishment in a world against Jesus as the Messiah,
hating him with a desire.
They rather set his existence on fire and live the way they want,
and the way they want may leave them gaunt.
They don’t want to hear it.
An encouraging word may help their appearance.
So it’s best that I lead by example,
tell them how evil spirits want my life trampled.
And I’m still around. I should be in the shadows,
but a little sun is good for my skin as far as I know.
The joy evil spirits want to keep us away from
is the same joy that will bless us. I rather overcome…
… overcome how Black men are falsely portrayed,
overcome how my skills aren’t appreciated,
overcome how my trust has been betrayed.
I’m grateful. The Lord’s help will be compensated.
Some don’t want to share how they overcame.
If they’re snobbish when they do that, later they should feel shame.
Me as well. I’d rather be inspired and inspire to rise against the suffering,
make patient and wise moves whenever I am struggling.
And I’ll dispose how the world wants me to be made,
and disclose my talks with Jesus as he helps me along the way.
And I’ll expose my ears because he has much to say.

I’m waiting on the rebuttal.


90% of This Comedy Set was For The Mothers, 5/9/21.

Last Thursday, I did a set in spot in Georgetown, KY that was solely dedicated to mothers (Mother’s Day). That night, they were doing a set-of-the-night competition, and I opted out of it. I wanted to do something for my mother and other mothers out there. I didn’t do as well as I wanted, but I wanted to get that set out there.

And I’m just getting started.


Brandon’s Rhyme Corner, 4/30/21.

Qert (Wagner)’s Thoughts, April 2021

Qert doesn’t want to see April. He’d rather skip and see May,
not deal with wavering emotions and calm his days.
He’d also take 30 days of solitude
until the curse is over and he has better gratitude.
April is when his father left the family.
He wanted a second life, two loves. That’s insanity.
His actions affected his children greatly.
Based on last year and now, Qert hasn’t seen him lately.
Plus, he couldn’t build connections with the ladies.
From April ’til August, he’d rather they stay away from him.
They would do spring break and either hook up
and/ or come back taken so quick, and he doesn’t have that luck.
If they come around, Qert may receive them with closed arms.
He wants to stay clear from emotional harm.
His faith highly suggests forgiveness on his part.
Maybe it can help heal his broken heart.
And he can’t skip any steps in its recovery,
and maybe he’ll gain more wisdom as a discovery.
It doesn’t mean he would be a hermit.
If friends want his company, he should return it.
Whenever he sees them, Qert hopes much is learned
in his sabbatical while his discouragements are burned.

And I just getting sterted.


Vocational Journey of A Black Introvert, 4/24/21.

Last Friday, I woke up on time to know I would be late for work. I didn’t set my alarm, and if it weren’t for needing to use the bathroom, I think I would have made it on time. I called the job letting them know I would be late, and after I clocked in, I told the substitute supervisor I was sorry for being late. They go on to tell me to stop being late because employee reviews are coming. I replied as I said I have been late a few times, so I had nothing to worry about. They later on give me a list of times I clocked in, highlighting the times I was late. During the break, I counted the total days. Then I calculated the times I was late taking the times I was late divided by the total days on the list, then taking the decimal point 2 notches to the right. Come to find out I was around 4% late. I have nothing to worry about, and I don’t care.

I believe they know where to hit me when it comes to weaknesses in the vocation field. One of mine is that I’m self-conscious about arriving on time. They had a problem with it before. But I realize that a few people come in after me, and they haven’t got the treatment I’m getting according to my observations. I would give two birds, but I’m Christian, so that’s a no-no. I should be in fear, worried that they’ll severely punish/ fire me because I’ve been late 4% of the time, and one of them wasn’t my fault because the supervisor at the time. who was new, forgot to unlock the door for people to get in. So, I’m disappointed with the situation. I would be on time if I had a job that matches my education/ interests/ blessings. I’m learning to glorify the Lord wherever I work. I know that there’s favoritism/ nepotism at the workplace, and the higher ups will let things slide with folks they like or they’re intimidated by. With me, I got to fight, especially when I don’t brownnose, when I stay to myself, and when I’m myself, not acting like a shell of a Black man. Fo’shiggity, diggity.

I should look for another job now, right? Whenever they find this, I’ll need to get my things and leave.

And I’m just getting started.