A Note from Mel

Make the connection…

Salim April 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — anotefrommel @ 3:07 pm
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My friend, our friend, Moriba Salim Hylton, was taken from us in the most unthinkable manner last August 30, 2009. Instead of using this space to address innercity gun violence or to revisit how our lives came to be forever changed in the matter of a senseless minute, I want to remember the many great memories Salim gave us on today, his 28th birthday.

My most distinct memory of Salim was when were kids, 4th or 5th graders. We would walk down N Street NW afternoons, after school. Salim was so energetic despite the restrictive navy blue pants and white uniform shirt the boys wore for school at Immaculate Conception Catholic School. He almost never walked in a straight line. He zigged up and down the street, all the way from 7th until we parted at the corner of 5th & N Streets, he, on his way to his home on M Street and me, continuing down down  N Street to my home as well. Occassionally, we’d stop at the corner store for snacks.

What I remember most is his smile.

He was one heck of an artist from very early on, showing off his spray-painted shirts whenever I, Sevontae, Thomas, and sometimes, my cousin Dusty,  detoured from the straight path home and hung out for a minute on the porch of Salim’s house. Never a dull moment with Salim. Never.  Almost all memories I have of him cause incessant smiling or laughter. Behind the playfullness though, Salim was so full of heart and always had a strong, sharp, excellent mind.

Love, hugs, peace and prayers to the Hylton family still. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: We’ll never forget him.


Necessity of Memory December 11, 2009

Necessity of Memory


i. be




in the blue/red thickerthanwater

currents of history

                recreated skin

                pacing under

maybe grandfather was not

so upright

suggest his photo,

sharp collar,

pleats’ neat longitude

at knees

faded in the ash

of years, a few

ancestral embellishments

grow family

steady from paradisiacal elegies,

Hayden smoke,

lies memory tells

about back alley ways,

neighborhood ghosts.



ii. break




skirtflow climbs

full height of Roscoe

four feet, age five,

silk fantasy repetition

gold/maroon paisley

build: inside

groomed cap, blurs

uncle’s harsh tone,

fact reverberating

about a family

house on L

Street Southwest,

draft time District of Columbia,

disappearing in the unnamed

6-foot slender

build: brown eyes,

brown hair,

miscellaneous registration line

of color, fading in a wish

to folklore

male voice

as all dark boom

and thunder!

or sartorially

-implied stature,

emphatic collars,


strong hats.



iii. be


All that memory,

be false and true

as a gospel of our ways

according to

a recording seer,



– Melanie Henderson


How Ironic, Her Angel Tattoo July 27, 2009

Filed under: Relating with an Artist — anotefrommel @ 3:42 am
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How Ironic, Her Angel Tattoo


My sister again, briefly,

not distrusted or distanced,

just loved.  I missed her,

wondered how the mauve

cotton candy stuck still in an almost

midnight sky, the midtones low,

early bonds in high contrast,

our present, unreal, more of a liar

than memory. Her cherub smile,

only some hours high in my mind again,

how she mended her wings.


– Melanie Henderson