Jean-Michel Pale Lang Mwen

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“Jean-Michel Pale Lang Mwen”  July 2015

I’m in seminary and I go to counseling every week because I’ve got some problems.

Some of my problems include believing I have problems that I don’t really have and attempting to explain away problems that I do.

Either way, Jean-Michel became the inspiration for both “Jean-Michel Pale Lang Mwen” and my fated realization that laying problem’s flat on the table isn’t a means of solving them.

I’m from Miami and anybody who is anybody knows who Jean-Michel Basquiat is. Particularly, if you consider yourself a young and artistic Haitian-American, the first test of authenticity is whether or not you’ve been acquainted with Basquiat’s work.

Not only did Basquiat lay his shit on the table, he layed it on yours as well. He rolled it around, made shapes with it, sculpted your own shit with it. If you didn’t want to look at it, he grabbed your head and made your face land in it. If you hated it, he made you eat it. I find all of this very uncomfortable.

That’s what a Basquiat feels like it.

That’s what counseling feels like.

That’s what praying feels like.

The most frustrating part is that, unlike Basquiat, I think that simply laying my own shit on the table is enough to heal me. But when my God counselor asks me to “stop and unpack this”, i’m like,

“Look, lady, I don’t have time to pour my paint on a canvas if it ain’t gonna look like a Rembrandt.”

She’d then give me some sort of nonsensical reply, like,

“Rembrandt didn’t speak Creole”.

Jean-Michel speaks my language.

ANDY WARHOL Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982
ANDY WARHOL Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982
Untitled (The Crown)’ 1982

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