Nicolae Tanase: Kurt, what is the meaning of life?
Kurtis Lamkin: To go Home empty. To rassle receiving to the ground so we can fill our waking days with giving. We come into the world buck-naked, but we are full. The heaven is to go back battered bone-dry and completely empty of everything we were put into the world to give.
It’s intimidating to look out across the land and water and among the stars, and then challenge ourselves to fill the entire space with the little bit of truth we have in our new bodies. It’s alright. The center of us is infinite. As tiny as we are we matter just as much as any phenomenon that roars or burns in the universe.
The ancestors who fill us and wait for us to come home first dressed us and advise us to carry ourselves well in the world. For some the world ends at their village’s edge; others may be swept away across oceans. Either way we carry ourselves and when we keep ourselves to ourselves we waste and rot.
So give, as if it is the last chance to be alive…. What else can we bring back to those who put the love into us but complete, naked, hungry emptiness?
~Kurtis Lamkin is a contemporary American embodiment of the ancient West African griot tradition, which blurs the boundaries between poet, singer and storyteller. Kurt has performed internationally on stage, radio, film, and television, and was one of the featured poets in the Bill Moyers documentary, Fooling With Words. He also hosted MultiKultiMove, a reading series featuring writers from around the world, and produced a radio series called, “Living Proof: Contemporary Black Literature.”
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