After what we decided has been five years in development, I finally met my writing colleague, ethernet friend, wordsmith extraordinaire, LaMont Anthony Wright, aka Graffiti Bleu, or as I like to call him, GB.
It was in the flesh and blood. We spoke real words. We embraced, warmly, endearingly. I had the pleasure of hearing him publicly recite his powerful poetry to a rapt audience. What began as a whim, an adventure, a desire to connect as storytellers so long ago, has matured into a relationship of trust, a bond of true friendship.
It’s hard to trust people you ‘meet’ on the web. Sure, there’s online dating, trustworthy to an extent I’m sure. I mean, everybody does it, right?
I remember when I read the invitation GB put out on Twitter, looking for someone to collaborate on a piece from his (at the time) new book. I was skeptical. I spoke with my then social media person and we decided ‘why not’? If it doesn’t fly, chalk it up to experience. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that one chance GB and I both took would become a lifelong (as I believe it is) kinship.
Over the course of our online ‘acquaintance’ there were silent times where neither one of us communicated for months, even a year, but we knew we were always there.
There were tragic and very challenging times for each of us, which we eventually shared and found solace through another working collaboration—poetry.
The first thing I felt when I met GB at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento, California, the evening of May 29, 2015, was comfort. I had, and still have, a zillion questions to ask, and I’m sure he does too, but that evening it was enough to just hang, listen to words undulate through voices of talented poets, and let our hearts and minds and bodies ease into their own piece of harmony.