Tag Archives: literature

LCFC Journal #17: “Vehicle To Truth Pt. II”

17 Nov

20171101_080151This year marks the 10th anniversary of my late sister, Alexandra Anglade’s passing. And although so much time has elapsed since then, I still find it hard to believe that she’s no longer living on this earth. What is more is that I find it hard to believe that ten years have flown by in a blink of an eye. At the time of her sudden demise, I was a sixteen-year-old kid living within the means of my existence. By that, I mean doing teenage stuff such as playing basketball, talking/singing to girls (by trying to emulate Chris Brown & Mario) figuring out high school and trying to regulate a bad acne problem I had at the time. Again, being a kid with no care in the world.

And so, when Alexandra passed, it struck a chord with me and hit my family hard. None of us had been expecting it as she was only twenty-six at the time (the same age I am now, how ironic) and filled with life. I think knowing that fact in itself has made this ten year anniversary a special one for me. I’ve been able to use the time in between to step back, think, reflect, and grow. If anyone would have told me that I’d survive that experience and live to tell the tale I would have never believed them but somehow someway I managed to persevere. Below, you will read an excerpt from my poetry collection/memoir, Life Comes From Concrete 1.5 that chronicles the day that changed my life forever and forced me to grow up and look at life differently. This is undoubtedly the window into my spirit.

“Pecan Honey”

 

   To start off my family dedications, it wouldn’t be right if I opened this section without focusing on the person who partially helped place me here. The next poem you will read is titled “Aquemini” and it is symbolic of both myself and my late sister, Alexandra’s zodiac signs.

When writing this poem, I remember writing it because I truly missed my sister’s presence. In fact, to this day, my younger sister and I still talk about her as if she still exists. Alexandra was pretty much like a friend to me as well. I can even go as far to say that she also played a motherly role within my life in a lot of ways.

She taught me a lot about respecting women and how guys should go about talking to girls. As I write this I can recall one time that she was taking me and my little sister Samantha to the movies when I opened the building’s door and mindlessly let it slam right in her face. Man, when I tell you she let me have it, boy she let me have it that day!

“Boy what the hell is wrong with you? When you see a girl coming towards a door, you hold it for her, end of story,” she said angrily.

Look, when I tell you I felt like crap, I felt like crap. At the time, I was either ten or eleven-years-old and really didn’t understand what she was saying but now as I look back upon that moment, I do. What she did helped transform me into becoming the young man that I am today.

Due to the fact that my parents, being Haitian were never really into the American customs of fashion and appearance, Alexandra would often go out of her way to buy Samantha and I the latest gear in clothing apparel and sneakers. Although I was only a kid at the time, I definitely appreciated all of the things she would do for us. Now that I am a young man, I feel like if there is anyone who owes her so much it’s definitely me. I mean, if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be writing this book of poetry as we speak. I’m sure of it.

I am saying this because when Alexandra was about eight or nine, she told my mom that she wanted a sibling. And so, one day she made my mom accompany her to the grocery store to purchase candy.

When she left the store, she saw my mom talking to the man who later came to be my father. You see, my parents had been together in the seventies before my sister was born but they broke up once my mom decided to leave Haiti in order to travel the world. Therefore, I find it funny that they reconvened outside of a little grocery store in Brooklyn. To me, it only proves that I have a purpose and that I’m supposed to be here.

Now all of this changed in the year 2007. It was the year I turned sixteen. At the time I was a junior in high school, had very good grades, and most of all, I was just being a young, care-free, fun loving teenager. That summer, my parents, little sister and I went on a relaxing vacation to Montreal, Canada but by the time we got back, things quickly began to unravel.

By the end of August, Alexandra would stop by the house often and complain to my mom of some red blots that covered her arms. She complained of itching and how much it was bothering her. After my mom had done her best to help and noticed that it had gotten worse, she then urged her to go to the hospital.

Furthermore, one thing led to another and before we knew it, my sister was in and out of the hospital like clockwork until she finally went into a coma. I remember my Dad going to see her in ICU as often as he could because my mother just couldn’t bare it. On one specific visit, the doctors informed him that Alexandra was suffering from a bad case of meningitis. I remember him taking a picture of her on his cell phone and the person I witnessed lying upon the hospital bed was totally unrecognizable and a completely different person. My sister was a heavy set young woman but had ballooned twice her size in a matter of a month. As much as I wanted to visit her, my father refused to let us go because he said that no one under the age of eighteen was allowed in the room.

A few weeks after, I got a taste of life’s harsh realities for the first time on Saturday, November 17th, 2007. I remember leaving church that afternoon as Samantha and I had just finished choir rehearsal and were headed home. The church, which is relatively two blocks away from my house wasn’t far off as we walked. Upon arrival, my Dad told Samantha and I that he wanted to talk to us. As he sat us in the living room, I wasn’t prepared for what he was about to say next.

“Kids, I’m sorry to tell you this, but Alexandra passed away at ten o’clock this morning,” he said calmly.

To this day, I remember how everything just felt extremely surreal as he said it. Immediately my world began to plunge into an abyss. Samantha, wasted no time as she immediately began to bawl like a baby on the couch. After a few seconds of digesting the shock myself, I remember that I had joined her.

“Mwe konen ti moun, mwe konen,” said my Dad in Haitian Kreyol. His voice cracked as he held us both.

After a moment of consoling us, he went into the kitchen to check on my mother. It was then I remember telling Samantha while in the midst of my tears:

“You know, you hear about or see these things on the news all the time but you never think that it could happen to you,” I sobbed in between tears.

My sister thoroughly agreed and nodded her head as she continued to cry.

A few days later after everything had come to pass, my sister was buried at All Saints Church in Great Neck, Long Island. I remember watching her casket being lowered into the pit thinking, “Wow, she’s really gone, she’s never coming back and I’m never going to see her again.”

I remember as people began to leave the gravesite, I walked back to the family car thinking to myself, “It’s up to you now Kev. No more being a little kid. You’re going to become something great in this life. You’re going to make sure that your family is well taken care of, and that they can all live peacefully and happily. Nothing is going to stop you. You’ve got to do it and will do it. No more games. It’s all up to you because you have to become somebody. You have no choice.”

I truly believe that since that day, I matured far beyond than what I ever could have envisioned for myself. I deeply wanted to become something in life. And not because my parents were pushing and influencing me, but more so because I needed to… I wanted to…

I realized then that life wasn’t a game and I was going to take matters into my own hands and succeed at all costs. I mean, besides being my half-sister, Alexandra (or Sandra as we called her around the house) was my friend, supporter and a powerful motherly figure. If she never lived, neither would I have. Without question, I know I owe her everything that comes my way.

    A poet/social worker friend of mine named Felicia Henry has a wonderful blog that I advise you all to check out and for one blog post in particular, she wrote about how her car which was originally her father’s became her vehicle of truth. The post resonated with me deeply because like her father (who passed a few years back) Alexandra’s car, a 2005 Hyundai Elantra has become my vehicle of truth as I have started driving it this year.

Within the car she has an Aaliyah postcard (late R&B songstress) that hangs from the visor mirror and every time I see it, it reminds me of Alex. Every time I drive I feel as if her spirit is always with me and I couldn’t imagine a day in which I would not be able to see it dangling from its cord. For me, it represents everything that Alex was. Cool, funny, fierce, charismatic, caring and beautiful. And I write all of this to say that ten years later I wouldn’t have it any other way. Through both her vehicle and my heart, her spirit and truth lives on forever.

Note: A majority of this post was previously published as an excerpt from Life Comes From Concrete 1.5 via Flowered Concrete

 

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. He was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. Anglade holds an A.S. in Theatre, (Queensborough Community College) a B.A. in English (Brooklyn College) and an M.A. in English (Queens College). He currently teaches 7th & 8th grade English Language Arts in Hartford, Connecticut and is the author of the poetry collection “Life Comes From Concrete”: a poetry memoir (2016).

 

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

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LCFC Journal #14: What It All Really Means

25 Jul

8

 

A year ago, I published my first poetry collection called Life Comes From Concrete. And as I reflect a year later, I’m noticing how long ago that chapter of my life had ended since I first wrote about it. Since the fall of 2013 I’ve started to come into my own as a young man and more importantly, as an individual. By this I mean, at the age of twenty-six I am fully aware of myself and my surroundings. As I write this I am currently seated on a plane headed back home from a vacation (a well needed one at that) and I’ve never felt more at ease with the choices and decisions I’ve made.

I wouldn’t say writing the collection was a chore or something that I found to be extremely difficult but seeing the progress I’ve made makes me happy and anxious for what is to come. When I think about the meaning of the collection’s title itself I think about journey and one’s path while on it. I say this because the ordeals that I’ve faced and the obstacles I’ve had to overcome not only shaped my way of thinking but deliberately set me onto a path in which I expected nothing other than greatness for myself.

The title of the book is metaphorical in two ways. We can look at the title as being symbolic in terms of a flower or rose rising from the ground to live full lives. Also, to connect the meaning back to the idea of journey, we can look at the concrete being symbolic of human beings walking upon the paths that they create for themselves. Therefore, it is very important that one realizes who they are when embarking upon their paths. For the path you create becomes the guiding light towards your destiny.

Over the past year, I feel as if I’ve eclipsed the meaning of the title by experiencing multiple potential paths that could have lead me in many directions. However, the one that was meant for me came about and showed me its importance when the time was right. Now, do I think that just because I know what I will be doing over the next two years personally or professionally legitimizes me as a person or validates the journey ahead? No, I don’t think so at all. But what I do know is that I wouldn’t have gotten where I am had I not taken the initiative to better my circumstance and somehow make a way for myself.

And so, this journal entry here is all about individual perspective. Life has a way of not only showing what is potentially to come but also is powerful in throwing many curveballs along the way. When I think about the inspiration of this book as well as my career as a poet, none of it would have come about had life not thrown me off course and made me experience losing my older sister Alexandra, my father, and my maternal grandmother, all in a four-year span. I never asked to be placed within those predicaments but was thrusted into them headfirst without warning. In turn, these experiences have catapulted me to become a diligent hardworking person who perseveres despite whatever life may throw his way.

I know that my story may not be of relation or in any shape or form connected to yours, the reader. Nor would I ever expect it to. If anything, I would like for this poetry collection to be viewed as a system that helps one gauge and reassess their progress and expectations thus far on their own specific individual journey. My story is unique to me as a person because it was born out of desperation. Yours may not be as dire nor should you ever think that it has to be in order to create a championed narrative for yourself. Instead, when you see the title, Life Comes From Concrete, I’d like for you to think of it as a second chance in all that you do in life. Which goes without saying that no matter what your situation is there is always room for a fresh start. No matter what ordeals you face there is always a chance to begin life anew.

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. He was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. Anglade holds an A.S. in Theatre, (Queensborough Community College) a B.A. in English (Brooklyn College) and an M.A. in English (Queens College). He is the author of the poetry collection Life Comes From Concrete: a poetry memoir (2016).

Find him online at:

www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

 

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LCFC Journal #10: “Reflecting in 6” (A Postlude)

26 Jan
dsc_0032edit

Observing the journey over the last half year.

 

It’s been six months since the initial release of Life Comes From Concrete and since then I’ve thought a lot about what it means to write a book and unveil it to the public. When writing, I’m not usually conscious of what the content will do for others. First and foremost, I think of myself and what I would personally take away from it.

Maybe its because writing is a form of documentation in which one’s most sincere thoughts are shared on paper.

The act of penning thoughts that confesses what someone may or may not have ever thought to share with others is truly an act of intimacy. Therefore, something that’s been on my mind for a while now is whether my collection was able to arouse the emotions and feelings of others. Was anyone able to relate? Did the writing move them? Overall, how does it enable one to go about living out their lives, especially, as a young adult within America’s society?

The only thing I wanted to accomplish with this memoir was to have people feel something. And for the reason of feeling, I figured that if I had a story to provide context and background information to each and every poem included, it would evoke a form of expression that would be personable for the reader.

That’s all I ever wanted to accomplish with the collection and its counterpart in 1.5. These two editions are essential in providing a story of a young man’s journey, and are unique as they both aim in establishing a particular tone and mood when reading them. In essence, what is your story? Everyone has one and I believe it’s imperative that you share yours as well.

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

LCFC Journal #9: “LCFD”- Intersecting Journeys

20 Jan

IMG_0100In December of 2014, an idea popped into my head about creating a documentary. The first thing that came to mind was shooting a film that visually displayed my literary story of Life Comes From Concrete on screen. However, the more I thought about it, the idea and concept of this documentary changed significantly.

I then proceeded to ask myself: “What would the story be like if I followed the journey of fellow young artists/creatives on the path of turning their dreams into reality just as I intend for myself?”IMG_0160

From there, I told my friend Roy, a DP/video editor about my ideas for the project and asked him if he’d be willing to shoot it with me. He immediately obliged and the summer of 2015 turned into one of the most exhilarating summers that I have ever experienced.

The documentary was shot from June of that year up until the closing days of July and every step of the way I was amazed by the stories of each and every artist that I had reached out to interview.IMG_0056

Ultimately, what it taught me was that although everyone’s journey is different, it ends up being one in the same as everyone on earth has one mutual common goal and that is what we believe to be our “destiny”.

The result of this documentary furthered my belief in the project’s concept and that I had done the right thing in naming my poetry collection Life Comes From Concrete.

 

PS. I hope you enjoy this film with an open mind and heart. This one in particular isn’t just my story, but the stories of others in similar fashion chasing their dreams…IMG_0184

Sincerely,

– Kevin Anglade

Life Comes From “Destiny”

A Mini-Documentary About

The Journey of Artists & The Paths They’ve Created

Directed by: Jack Stellar

Starring
Raheem “Cash Sinatra” Wharton
Nick “Alexander” Anglade
Juan Bayon
Charbrielle Parker
Shola Gbemi
Chris “The Artkitech” Brown
Joshua “J La Sol” King
Jonathan Oke
Kevin Anglade

Created by: Kevin Anglade                                                                                                                   Written by: Kevin Anglade                                                                                                             Executive Producer: Kevin Anglade                                                                                            Produced by: Flowered Concrete & Jack Stellar Films
Camera/Video Editor: Neil Diaz
Management: Mia Hill
Advisor: Emir Fils-Aime                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Original Music By:                                                                                                                                         Chris The Artkitech                                                                                                                             Zachary Durham                                                                                                                                     Suupa                                                                                                                                                             Cash Sinatra                                                                                                                                                  Jam Young                                                                                                                                                     The Social Experiment                                                                                                                        Chance The Rapper

Special Thanks To:

Light                                                                                                                                                        Michael “Big Mike” Wharton
Kerry Freycinet
Aaron Gilgeous
Erik Johnson
Michael “Mikey” Cook

LoudER Records
Artkitechuals                                                                                                                                                            Sus Life

Queens College, CUNY                                                                                                                       Brooklyn College, CUNY
New York City (All Five Boroughs)

 

Also Streaming on YouTube

KEVIN ANGLADE is the author of frankly Twisted: the lost files, a collection of detective fiction. Kevin was featured on NBC’s The Debrief with David Ushery in 2014 where he provided insight and purpose about small-press publishing. He is also the author of Life Comes From Concrete, a poetry memoir.

Find him online at:

http://www.kevinanglade.com

Twitter/IG: @velevek

 

LCFC Journal #4: “Best of Times, Worst of Times”

18 Oct

DSC_0161Today marks the official re-release of Life Comes From Concrete. And so, if you originally experienced the first edition, you may be asking what is the reason or purpose for a second? Well, my answer to you is that it’s not a second edition but more so the same one with a growth and matured vibe in terms of visual presentation.

What I mean by this is that many of the poems written were from my early days in writing poetry, and although I haven’t added any of my new material in this edition, I’ve decided to include all new and additional portraits that display me as a twenty-four year-old young man in progress as opposed to a twenty-two or twenty-three year-old one.DSC_0159

Moreover, you’d be surprised by how much you could actually learn in a year or two and that is something I’m sure that all of us have inevitably experienced one way or another. Therefore, I hope that this edition sucks more people into my story. I figured what would be a better time to do it then to release it in October which stands as the birth and demise of my father.

I’m sure that wherever his soul lives he is proud of me for the young man I’ve become as well who I am becoming. And so, as I stated in last week’s post, this edition is dedicated to him for providing me with the necessary tools to become an emerging star amongst the earth with the thought of one day joining him within the heavens.DSC_0166

Yours Truly,

– Kev Elev

LCFC 1.5 (The Fall Edition)

The Fall Memoir by Kevin Anglade

Available Now Wherever Books Are Sold

Photography by: Divin Mathew

“Life Comes From Concrete 1.5” Pre-Order Now

12 Oct

kevinbookcover2-ebook

Life Comes From Concrete 1.5 is not a continuation of the first edition. What it is exactly is a depiction of a young man finding himself in a world where he must learn to grab it by the horns. Through personal reflections and poems, readers will able to delve into Anglade’s mind and comprehend what it was like to process the pain and heartbreak as his sister, and father disintegrated into the abyss. More importantly, they will come to realize how one moment at a burial changed the young man’s perspective on life as well as his understanding of his familial and social responsibilities.

Available Wednesday, October 19th

Pre-Order Now

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dUrmXe

B&N: http://bit.ly/2dIEP6w

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2d4W9RQ

http://www.kevinanglade.com

http://www.floweredconcrete.net

LCFC Journal #3:”Coming From Concrete Again”

11 Oct

What a few months it’s been for myself and my team as we have gone on the journey of experiencing the impact of my latest work, Life Comes From Concrete. I’ve been doing my best to grow as a person in real time while taking in feedback of the project whether good or bad all the same.

Last year, if you would have asked me my goals and hopes for this project it probably would have been a little different. I think that’s because we are all constantly growing day-by-day whether we realize it or not, therefore, the person I was yesterday  is not the same person I am today and what I could have been expecting for this project back then is not the way it was meant to be digested in the present.  DSC_0130

 

The same also applies for you reading this and whoever in whom you may come across if you take the time to put it in perspective. Therefore, I say that to announce: Flowered Concrete will issue a re-release of Life Comes From Concrete dubbed LCFC 1.5 exactly one week from now.

The work will feature brand new photography and self-portraits of me a year and a half after the original July shoot of 2014. The photos (this time around) are from December 2015 as the artwork stands as an ode to the season of Fall and also my late father. DSC_0178.JPG

My reason for this reissue is because I thought it would be cool to provide more content to the masses with new photography that would expand the experience and visualization.

Therefore, if you feel like taking the ride for the first time (or again), I certainly encourage you to do so. And going forward, I thank you all for your encouraging love and support as we continue to march further along upon this journey.DSC_0070edit

Yours Truly,

Kev Elev

LCFC 1.5 (Fall Edition)

The Fall Memoir by Kevin Anglade

Available Next Week Wherever Books Are Sold

Photography by: Divin Mathew