Conversations with Extraordinary Everyday People, excerpt from the book
“Tuesday Morning Love: 52 Commentaries and Weekly Affirmations to Honor the Soul Within the Souldier”
September – Week 37: Speak To Me
Rochelle Soetan: Describe life, as you see it, and in just one word.
Jarvis Talley: Open.
I’ve learned to write and become a person who speaks more about love, passion, and how he feels about relationships. Each day that I’m given the chance to do anything, I’m open to the opportunity first. I open myself up to everything that I want to do in life. If I want to help someone, I’m open.
RS: What is one of the biggest challenges that has transformed your life?
JT: I think one of the biggest challenges was moving past the pain. One of the first women to hurt me in my life was my mother. After that, I broke a relationship – trying. I forgave my mother and tried to move on to other relationships but those relationships didn’t work. The fragments from that created a beast, a monster, and caused me to hurt a lot of people, a lot of women.
RS: That’s powerful because our very first connection with the opposite sex are our parents.
JT: After you’ve done one thing for so long and it doesn’t work, you get hurt from it. You revert back to where you are. Now, I am a forgiving person; I’m a loving person who loves his mother just as much as I love people I want to have relationships with. I don’t have any regrets from past things that I’ve done. In fact, the people that I’ve hurt in the past have been forgiving of me. That has been one of the biggest challenges. I’m no longer the person that I used to be, the beast, or the “Talley” guy people knew for so many years. I’ve learned to write and become a person who speaks more about love and passion and how he feels about relationships.
RS: I believe that we are love and that’s what we’re made of. For that reason alone – the return to love is always there and we can never be depleted of it.
JT: Thank you. I’m glad that you acknowledge there is a cycle. You can try to run from it, but you’ll run right back to it. That’s what happened to me in my life.
RS: Gratitude and spirituality are a very big part of who you are. How do you begin each day?
JT: In the evenings, I’ll put my shoes under the bed. I do that on purpose, so that before I get up in the mornings, I’m right there on my knees beginning. The first words I say are, “My Father, a personal conversation that I speak with you, Glory to God, Our Father – Amen.” It’s my quality time of that day and my giving acknowledgement to all trinity.
Then, I’ll begin my first words because I think how you start something – is how it’s going to be. That’s been my experience in life, so that’s what I do. From there, I’ll spend time trying to reflect on first fruit. My “first fruits” are generally what is delivered to me through my dreams, from my ancestors, or from my spiritual father from heaven, or maybe my earthly father in heaven. I will spend time writing in the mornings.
If anyone has ever seen anything that I write, that is when it is derived and where it comes from. The only reason that I do that is because I feel it’s very important to write down your thoughts. Otherwise, you’ll lose them. That early morning time frame when you wake up, the first fifteen minutes is when you capture it most. Otherwise, it’s gone so that’s what I do in my spiritual life – then I physically begin preparing myself for the day.
RS: I agree. How we begin our day is critical. Each morning, before my toes hit the floor running, I’m giving gratitude. Has Georgia always been home?
JT: No, I am a southern country boy from Arkansas to Mississippi to St. Louis! I’m just a country boy, period. I was born in St. Louis. From there, my dad raised me in Arkansas – that’s where I developed my love for hunting and fishing and all of the stuff I like to do as a man. It has a lot to do with the way I was raised.
RS: At what point did you become interested in poetry?
JT: My father passed away in 2001, and I started expressing myself more by writing little love notes and foot notes. I was pretty crafty with being able to say the right thing. After his passing, I remember leaving the funeral in Arkansas and driving the long trip back. I was going to work one day and as I stepped out of my car, it seemed that with every – single – step I took, there were words in my head. Until I reached the building, I couldn’t open a notepad fast enough. I started writing and writing and writing, and I had never written anything before.
RS: Poetry is pure intimacy. What is the single most sacred thing that inspires your poetic soul?
JT: When I wrote my first piece, it was purposeful. The first poem was birthed for a reason. As when anything is birthed, it has purpose and it grows. My first piece was written and dedicated to my father. It was an essential piece that caused me to travel. When I delivered it the first time, there were enough people in the room to say, “Hey, this is an important piece and it needs to travel.” And I started speaking it.
The first piece was spoken in Jackson, Mississippi. It then traveled to Dallas, Texas, St. Louis, and back to Jackson again. I started writing more poetry. After that, people would notice my demeanor – cognac glass in one hand, hat tilted and faded in the background and they would say, “Ok, this guy is sensual.” So I started writing more sensuality. Now, I think when I write, it’s purely from past pain, experiences, and the love I want to feel. I can write exactly what I want to experience.
RS: It’s from the soul. It’s from the heart. That’s what poetry is.
JT: It’s the truth.
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Jarvis Talley is among the many poetic voices of the new millennium, but amid the few with the distinct ability to command attention at first stance. With class and style, his literary work explores an assortment of positions on the human spirit, sexuality, existence, connection, and self-reflection. He has performed Live on BET, Showtime at the Apollo, and various venues across the United States. His masterpieces have been featured in Lyrics Magazine, Clefnote Magazine, Noire, Conscious Magazine, The Writers Inn, Black Men in America, Rock Publications, Urban Written, The Nubian Chronicles, Big Time Publishing and many more. In 2005, he was featured as Ebony Magazine’s Eligible Bachelor of the Year. Jarvis Talley is the poetic author of No Candles, his debut book published in 2006, the captivating Audio CD Private Whispers in Paradise, and several others. For a little “Talley Time” visit www.mrtalley.com
Get a little “MORE” Talley Time here: Mr. Tally Speaks on inner power, authenticity, life, self-discovery, and fatherhood.