This week Keith Zackowitz, ever the journalist, intuited that something was bugging his friend Robert Jones, Jr....At this moment.
Keith asked and Robert responded:
"James Baldwin said, 'I want to be a good writer and an honest man.' Me, too. But, I'm insecure. And I can't help it. I can't stop worrying about whether or not I'm going to make it into a good MFA program (I was rejected by Columbia University), or if I'm even supposed to be in an MFA program. Maybe, I'm supposed to be in a PHD program (or maybe not). The Netherverse is welcoming.
"I can't stop thinking about how peculiar and burdensome it is to be a Black man at Brooklyn College: rare, threatening, visible, invisible, disconnected, frightening, empowering, emboldening—simultaneously the object of desire and disdain (hung/hanged). A dichotomy. Surreal. Basquiat lost in Greece. Athena springing, fully-armored, from Zeus’ head.
"I can't stop thinking about how difficult it is to be considered intellectual: everyone expects, everyone asks, everyone persists, everyone suffocates.
"What does it mean to be a writer? Am I to starve for my art or am I to work at a job that I despise and write in tiny corners until someone with fat pockets takes notice and says, 'He's good'? Or is it enough that I take this unbearable pain and confusion and write it down? No, that just makes me a witness, I think.
"At this moment, all I know for sure is that I want to be a good writer and an honest man. All I desire is to be the change I wish to see, but I’ve no idea if I'm on the correct path.