“Always blessed to know, I am part of community
that is serious about the development of others with less privilege
It’s an honor being acknowledged as part of The Neighborhood.
– Celonacharles Okpere Iphy, Lagos Nigeria from Celona’s Blog
If this is your maiden voyage into The Neighborhood, on behalf of myself, the resident artists and the neighbors who have made it their home, Welcome. So glad you made it. At its foundation, thepublicblogger.com is a collaborative of visual, recording & written-word artists, delivering thought-provoking editorials, breathtaking short story fiction, imaginative reviews and academic prose. But what makes The Neighborhood so special is that we are controlled by our imagination and see no limits, no boundaries, no walls. But to arrive upon the main stage, each artists must be willing to not just perfect, but become masters of their craft.
‘The Lives We Live’ is different. The very first reality show in the blogging format – like many engagements produced within The Neighborhood – it breaks new ground in online entertainment. But more importantly, unlike the overwhelming majority of our other nearly 300 original shows, most of the contributors are not artists and were not actively seeking the spotlight when i sought them out. But here they are, living their lives out loud, and perhaps one of them, may be on their way to becoming an underground star.
from Lumber City Georgia,
Nashville Recording Artists, Lance Stinson
from Baton Rouge Louisiana
from Arad Arad Romania
from Denver Colorado
Clifton & Marla Davis
from Lagos Nigeria
Celonacharles Okpere Iphy
from Sacramento California
from Denver Colorado
The premise was simple. Each brave soul who chose to participate in this online blog reality show, was asked to be open and honest and to introduce themselves by telling something about the story of their lives right now. Each week, the person with the least audience and personal engagement…. will be Dismissed from the show. In brief interludes, presented in the format of their choice, get to know each of these beautiful people, and be sure to add your voice, because without your support, your favorite or the one you find most interesting, funny or inspiring, may no longer be around.
‘The Lives We Live’
My music is a reflection of my life and my deep southern roots.
– Nashville Recording Artist Lance Stinson, Lumber City Georgia
If you ask me about me, I’ll tell you music is me.
– Kenderick ‘Lil Ken’ Johnson, Baton Rouge Louisiana
What’s up I’m Kenderick Johnson aka Lil Ken from Baton Rouge, I’m a man of many trades! Most of my early mornings recently have been spent on the football field. As a former Collegiate athlete I was blessed after graduation with an offer to come home and coach high school football as a receivers coach at False River Academy in a small town called New Roads, in Louisiana. I’ve been there 2 months now, and I can say I’m happy with how my coaching career has begun!
On the flip side, I’m also an underground recording artist. I love making music it gives me the freedom to express myself! All my songs are based upon my life and my experiences! Since linking into The Neighborhood I’ve connected with a lot of talented people within my 3 months, also was blessed with the opportunity to direct one of the Neighborhood’s hit shows “Young Black Men”. It was a first time experience for me and the success of it still amazes me. I was able to work with a group of talented artists and we clicked fast because most of us come from the same background!
Life has had its ups and downs, lost a lot of important and influential people, both family & friends. Biggest loss was losing my mom as a child, but the strong loving woman she was pushes me to be better. Remembering her smile even through tough times motivates me. I don’t think I’ll ever find someone I’ll love more than my mom, but there’s one prospect that I’m willing to share my heart with. We haven’t made anything official yet, but she knows the feelings are mutual!
I deserve to be loved!!!!! (in my Mama Dee Voice)
– Martina Right, Sacramento California
The heart is the core of everything. Always living from the inside out.
– Fabiana Farcas, Arad Arad Romania
There is this torment again of trying to go thru the day . There are also times and days where things go well or the days are energetic, but today and the last ones, the understanding in which resides in every minute, makes me go nauseas. It’s like, it’s never ending, I sit here in front of my computer, trying to write my so called books, for hours and hours I just stay, interrupting myself with youtube videos, and trying to get some facebook people to talk to me. I don’t like too much of people, I rarely like someone, I will want to finally connect with the one I really need , the one that is close to my soul. He is busy, he is shy and unsure, he is not there all the time or he is just hiding from me. I took a look around the small room where I am, trying to adjust things here and there, cleaning, putting myself back to the computer and writing very little, in this way I will never end my very first short story.As the night approaches I feel a big rock standing on my fragile chest. Sometimes I burn a candle, use some oils on my chest or use it for smell, I look back to my room, seen what furniture needs to be moved.
But … I already have done this a few times. I just don’t seem to find myself anymore, my soul is not here, its somewhere else. Had gone a long time ago and just my body needs to move from here. Vedic astrology is the thing that keeps me alive with raw new information about this universe and the events that are manifesting into this reality. Other than this, there is nothing, I guess the person I love and want, it is too selfish and unconscious about my life here. Or, it’s just not the right time yet for things to come about .
Finally, I shut down the computer, putting my sleep music into my ears and go to sleep again. Waiting to get up the next day, wondering why have I gotten so soon up from my bed.
Follow Board Locations:
Bloodlines Drawn Through The Neighborhood
A man named Kenneth Marion of Denver Colorado has five children of which there are four mothers. To Marla Davis, Kevin Marion (along with two other brothers) and myself, Kenneth Marion is our father.
We were Lost but now we are FOUND.
– Clifton & Marla Davis, Denver Colorado
Clifton and I met November 11, 2013 and got married on July 21, 2014. We are looking forward to our one year anniversary. What I do know is when we met, Clifton was on the run and selling drugs. I had just got out of prison and was living in a shelter, working at Sapp Bros. Truck Stop in the cafe as a waitress.
The first day we met we were inseparable. I was making good money, saving it in different places. His thoughts were of getting another car so I could get around. So he suggested I put in my money with his to get a bigger package to make more money. I agreed and he gave me some work to sell in between time because the shelter I was staying in was my stomping grounds and I knew everyone so it wouldn’t be hard to get it going. All this started to occur mid December 2013. I was also in a program where they would pay for my first month’s rent and deposit so we were planning on moving in together. Luckily, it worked and we moved to Inglewood in a one bedroom on January 1, 2014.
During this time, Clifton was using marijuana, alcohol and cocaine and when we moved in together, I was a little worried because I was on parole. So for about three months we both hustled. I worked at IHop, when I got off there I would go to the block and sell drugs. We also started an escort service and had a girl who we posted at our place. When she got a call, I would leave the block and pick her up because we did end up buying another car. So I was able to move from place to place while Clifton drove around and made his money. Our relationship was going downhill because I needed attention and at least some kind words of encouragement and I wasn’t getting either from Clifton. He was so caught up in the high world it was frustrating. So I ended up relapsing and went back to jail.
Kevin Marion, Denver Colorado
So my life is currently centered around change and the first thing I had to change was me. I made an effort to become a better me. Just one day after my 44th birthday I sit here an accumulation of all my past experiences and baggage trying to focus on my future. I have been in a wonderful 10 month relationship with a very wonderful women. One would think that you would have this all figured out by my age but that could not be further from the truth. Truth is we all have a past and baggage and as I sit here with a wonderful girl and we sort through life and our past it seems everyday through our intimate communication we learn more about how we feel about ourselves and each other. Mostly, we learn about how our past relationships affects our current one.
When people from the past won’t let go and how it can affect us. We have through a small amount of struggle that it’s just talking about our lives and past honestly only grows our love and trust. We are having the time of our lives and only our fears from the past sometimes creep up cause, sometimes things seem to good to be true. But the fact is, when you find the right person it can be true and real. We have had a great time and while our jobs and family keep us busy, we find time to have fun like on the 4th of July at lake Navajo or Valentines Day skiing in Crest Butte. Tonight we are just hanging out like best friends should. My life is great, I’ve been struggling to learn my new job but I have had a lot of support from Jenni. Tomorrow we will attend church a big part of the new life I lead. We have started a tradition of a family Sunday dinner. We cook together and have fun doing it. Life is good.
I’m the result of 13.82 billion years of impossibilities.
That’s how I live my life. Who cares what car I drive.
– Illustrator James D. Foster, Fort Mojave Arizona
The cat waits for little lizards from his spot at the end of the porch. The dog barking at vehicles that drive by, kicking up dust from the dirt road next to the house. When that is done, she goes back to shoveling at the gravel mound with her broad nose. Like some Manatee churning up the ocean floor. Burying a chew treat, only to expose another amongst the half-dozen she had hid earlier. Upon a tall wooden post, the neighborhood Grackle cuts the air with caws and curses towards nothing in particular. Sitting in a big wicker chair, watching the desert in the early morning, while there is still shade. At noon, the Sun will squat right down on top of us, feeling like it’s just a couple of feet from the back of my neck. 120 degrees on most days. Often I imagine living in the Middle East just to feel bit exotic. But from 8 am to 10 am, I let the pets have their recess outside.
“Do you still miss Chicago?” My fiancee will ask me on occasion. Usually something like this will come up when I pocket all her lighters. A mindless habit I have, which she refers to as ‘Survival Mode.’ When I left city limits almost three years ago, I filled two giant zip-lock bags with Bic lighters of every size and color, most of which didn’t belong to me. It was never a conscious collection. “Yeah . . . of course I miss it. I’m a Chicagoan. That will always be my home. But, I like what I have now.”
We argued about the job-thing for a long time. She would have nothing of it. “You need to draw! You’re an artist, you’re fucking amazing. My God, you’re fucking the art version of ‘Good Will Hunting.’ Sorry, I’m not Robin Williams to help you figure all this out. You have to figure it out for yourself! ” But, I’m use to working. I have worked a carnival of jobs the last thirty-two years; fast food, clothing retail, bookseller, farmers markets, arcade operator, amusement park, community theater, stockboy, house painter, video store clerk, short order cook, telemarketer, barista, country club, busboy, barback, concert venues, janitor, barback, bartender, bar manager, t-shirt vendor, comic book store, bouncer . . . and finally Starbucks. Jobs lasting anywhere from a single week to 13 years. This is the first time when people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a ‘Artist.’ Pretty much feels like I’m saying “I’m a bum out of work.” I’m just use to punching a time card. Sure, art kept me sane, but a steady paycheck always saved me.
Over the years, my thoughts have become so scattered and haphazard. Focusing on just one thing, feels like I’m trying to shoot a tin can from the back of a moving truck on a bumpy road.” But then again, if I want to get out of the desert, I have to stop with the excuses and shortcomings. At that, I finish my coffee, stump out the cigarette, pocket the lighter, and herd the fur kids back inside out of the coming Sun. Sit down at my little desk, open the sketchbook . . . and stare at a blank page… as I have been doing for the last two weeks.
Face of a push through struggles and hassles
– Celonacharles Okpere Iphy
I am a complete African breed, a child of the eastern part of Nigeria, brought up in the western part …and Charles is open to learning the wise ways of the “Westernized West” and may the little we get to share with each other, be a story that turns out to be an inspiring tune to the ones behind us and even the ones we call leaders.
This whole new challenge I have gotten, is about being truthful with my very existence and life so far, reasons I would try my best, to staying modest and not bore the community with dark thoughts of hard times and experiences in this part of the world. I intend on writing from the heart, not wanting to paint an even more complicated picture of my very humble self. I would try as much as possible, to ease into this new writing experience I have gotten a chance to explore.
Charles has lived a life full of resentments and plenty fights, as there is a part of him that remains scared. Scared of the continual decay in moral growth because society chooses to teach “fiscal strength over all” which has ultimately lead to constant pressure from within the society he calls his own. On the road of “serious struggles”, he chooses to fall in love with poetry and the art of wanting to express with words. This has fixed him into another strange journey, but this time, a journey that has stop signs here and there. There are now less questions of; “where do I go” and more of “how do I get there”.
I sincerely hope that being part of this pack of grasshoppers (a name Sir Kendall Person calls those of us he mentors), would bring me to a point where I write with complete focus on contributing to a community, that consists of different people with different cultures and traditions, from different parts of the world, is an enriching and developing experience.
If you ask me about myself, I will tell you this:
Tumbleweeds…. Alcohol and playmates.
– Flower Crittenden, Sacramento California
If you ask me about myself I will tell you this
Tumbleweeds… Alcohol and friends
I will tell you of The projects and blank walls..
Of a black telephone… We had forever. Wow.. I figure every little bit that I can Remember…is a way to say hey… Universe.. I live! I survived! I am!… This is me and like it or not … My past made me . I’m not ashamed of our little bit we had.. We had something more valuable.. That was our parents love and protection.. I always felt safe…
I remember field of dreams
Literally field of dreams
We lived right next to fields…and now as years passed in that very same field is a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah witnesses..
Everytime I attend with my mom I see our old 5 bedroom apartment… I have to smile each time
Because I thought that was all there was.
I remember fried chicken on Sundays .. My Dad who fled Mexico and his mean Uncle… At 13 he swam to Texas… A white family took him in and let him work on the ranch.. Wow.. At 13 I was reading “Are you there God it’s me Margaret”..any way.. As kind and loving Dad was.. He was an alcoholic.. Drinking with his compadres..mom use to wait and search for his arrival.. As soon as she spotted the cab.. She’d say.. Your dads home.. All 7 of us would run up stairs.. And run into our four bedrooms…silent as a mouse..confined .. No movement.. No whispers… Sleep!
I loved my Dad.. He loved his family I’m sure he didn’t realize that Alcoholism plays a damaging role in families…I find you either become one or you marry one…must I say more.
But before episode two, one of the beautiful people, whom has revealed themselves so openly to the world… will be dismissed from the show. Through your comments here, ‘likes’ on Facebook and retweets via Twitter, only you can help save the life you wish to follow.
Dismissal Day: July 17th.
Why Support The Neighborhood?
Because it belongs to you.