I met him beside a church across from a park filled with Charlie Brown sculptures in St. Paul, MN at the 2010 National Poetry Slam. I remember seeing him working the scenes in the venues and sparked up conversation. We had a casual quirky conversation about art, theatre and performance poetry. I ended the conversation with "You're a cool dude." And he strolled down the street to mentally prepare himself to compete. And that was that.
Next time I see him, he's on final stage telling a compelling story about two african slaves in a fiery love. I couldn't hear all of it because the words were drowned out by the audience and the funky sound system, but the passion he performed with and the conviction to his character blew my mind. In that moment, there was no question that he was a slave speaking to the audience. When I returned home, I scoured the internet to hear the whole poem and came across "Carolina":
Khary's work inspires me to keep learning, writing, performing, and ultimately creating. Thus, here are quick paintings I created as a thank you for his hard work and diligence: