Questions in August 2014

            Will they find me? 

Where will they find me?

Will I be 

in the streets, with my thoughts in front of me

ten feet.

            Will they find me? 

Where will they find me?

Will I be on 

a tree, swinging slowly, 

feet dangling?

            Will they find me? 

Where will they find me?

Will I be 

on a fence, scaring crows

away?

            Will they find me? 

Where will they find me?

Will I be

in a class, my head across the glass as the

screen blinks/

            Will they find me? 

Where will they find me?

Will I be

in a street, with my skirt and 

legs open?

            Will they find me? 

Where will they find me?

Will I be 

on a sidewalk, throat 

pulled in

            Will they find me? 

Where will they find me?

Will I be 

found? 

Or will they hide me

will they wise up and hide me?

            Will they find me? 

Where will I be when

they come for me 

and…………………………………………………………

 

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What I witnessed at the Ferguson Cleanup

A Poem

A Poem

IMG_1881

Some of the folk out.

Some of the folk out.

IMG_1882

He should have left the poem up

He should have left the poem up

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Continued Cleanup

Continued Cleanup

Some of the bags

Some of the bags

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That Moment When Lafayette Read The Nation

“Has it ever occurred to that I want a piece of happiness to. Lafayette that queen who makes you white heterosexuals feel happy? No.”

I am sure that the quote is not 100% accurate but forgive me because I was too busy screaming, “Speak my life!” It was not because it was such a great read, I mean it was an epic read, but I screamed because so many times in my queer black life I have been made to feel as if I am to exist solely for the pleasure of straight females, or the curiosity of straight white folk, or to teach straight black folk about gay and queer rights, to convince masculine gay guys that fem guys deserve more respect than we are given by our brothers, or to tell white gay folk why Sierra Mannie’s article deserves something better than a “Bye Felicia.” I have been made to feel this way and I refuse it; I struggle against it on a regular basis.

It becomes repetitive.

It becomes too familiar.

It makes you numb.

This can be exhausting.

So, when Lafayette said his speech he was not speaking only to Jessica, nor was he speaking for all gay folk; he couched his words in a rhetoric that acknowledged sexuality, race, and gender performance. He was speaking to so many of you about us.

We black femme queer bois and gurlz want that piece of happiness and we don’t exist for any of you.

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“Let’s Take A Long Walk…”

I hear the question every time I leave my house; I step onto a sidewalk and walk: one foot in front of the other, my hips unhinged, dropping in diagonal directions to the beat of whatever diva coos in my ear; I walk deliberately and with an awareness that each time I move, I do so to the rhythm of: Who… do… you… think… you… are?

I answer with my body: more than big, gargantuan, and soft, unmistakable. It should be unruly but I swing all my pounds gracefully, demanding space, commanding attention. I will not cower. I will not apologize.

I strut down city streets because I am not supposed to, because I can. I have paid the price; the ticket is in my pocket. I feel your brother’s eyes on my chest. I have felt eyes on my chest since I was a boy standing in midwestern high school hallways; I have felt the hands connected to those eyes of greedy sweaty pimple faced white boys who didn’t take “No!” as an answer. I fought the hands that reached past my “NO!” and grabbed my chest to preview what Friday night with their girlfriends would feel like. “Who do you think you are?”

I, the tank with a little sugar, slink down the avenue. I am searching for sweet potatoes. The big ones are the sweetest, their flesh the deepest orange. I, the tank with a little sugar, slink down the avenue for potatoes to boil in water and mash with butter and sugar and milk and spices. Sunday is soon and there will be pie. We took the pie with us to Angleterre; we left the pumpkin in Amérique. I slink toward the shucking of corn, toward buttered dough made soft by brown hands, toward a salty smoked bone placed in the freezer, toward ham fanned on a plate, toward tough greens made soft. I slink toward Sunday. I slink away from bruschetta and small bites, away from thinly sliced fish, away from fish that can swim out of its roll, away from crepes with Nutella. I slink away from Friday. I slink about this town gathering my mind. I slink South. I, the tank with a little sugar, slink to the buzzing of that hot question: “Who do you think you are?”

The question stabs me everyday when you, yes you, look at me. I close my eyes and see myself: A figure, large and black. My edges dissolve into the soft black shadows that ziggs and zaggs through the city, limitless. Those parts of me forever trailing away from me, forever infinite. But my core, that stands out against the brilliant white of the city. A city that glitters all around me, sounding like coins fighting each other as they cut through the air, falling but never reaching a floor. This American city that does not hunger for me. If it devoured me, it would vomit me up. But, I bite it, lick it, kiss it, tear at its flesh and swallow, and call it love.

“Who do you think you are?” I answer:

I am a “We.” “‘Who we be’?” We be screamers, dancers, singers, and dreamers. “‘Who we be’?” The children of the first hym and hir. The South’s forgotten ones. “‘Who we be’?” No one named Tom; we know no Jemimiah. We have no uncle named Ben. “‘Who we be’?” Sugar made hard, candy laced with testosterone. Who are you? Hungry little ones craving something sweet. “‘Who we be’?” Jawbreakers. Who are you? Little boy lost and little girl scared; children who ate the lady’s house and blamed her for wanting justice. Who are you? Just Jacks and Jills dropping the pail because you were busy trying to kiss. “‘Who we be’?” Stars fucking, knowing that “this nut might kill us,” still; we engage in that “revolutionary act.” We be not shadows but suns. All that heat you feel be us twerkin’. We be young. We be gifted. We be the song that bird sings.

“‘Who we be’?” The originators of you.
Who are you? Imitators of us.

I switch all through the fucking city––––– the whole fucking city.

*For my fellow black queer brothers and sisters. We stomp all over this town they call America.

(Contains references to Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Essex Hemphill, Marlon Riggs, Jill Scott, and my Mother and Grandmother’s kitchens.)

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FBD: A Queer Thought

I said something to someone yesterday; something kind and honest to someone who was rarely honest with me and didn’t deserve any kindness from me; it may help him but I think I said it for me because it was the first time I voiced aloud my fundamental core belief about myself, what drives me:

“Nothing in my life tells me that I am lovable. I am not talking about deserving love, we can make arguments for that and it is easy to say ‘you deserve love'; no, I am saying that my experience, my life has taught me that outside of my family and close friends I am unlovable, in the romantic sense.The only man who has professed to love me did so while hurting me. My ‘experience’ tells me that I will not be loved and the world tells me that I should not be loved: I am fat; I am dark; I am a faggot to some; I am ugly to others; the world and experience tells me that this is not what love seeks. I am not what love seeks. If I take your position and go by my ‘experience,’ then I should give up.
But, I can’t; I won’t. I have to believe that I can be loved, that I may be loved, that I am beautiful, that I am human. I may never actually be loved, by this I mean in a healthy way; I may never have that ending with a guy by my side telling me that I am what he wants, but that is not the point. The point is that I have to believe that I may have that, that the chance may come for me too. I have to believe in more than just my experience because my experience is so small, so narrow; it has been so short. I have to believe because it keeps me going, keeps me strong. I believe because not to is to give up and say to the world, ‘You win’ and I don’t know how to do that. So I say, fuck experience, believe that you can have, that you deserve more than what experience has taught you.”

D.D.

I want a disruption, a commotion,

an explosion.

Sing out loud in the restaurant,

sing out loud in the library,

sing out loud in the lecture hall.

And scream

at the house,

at the green grass,

at my car parked on the curb in front of the plastic mailbox,

scream till blood runs

and coats my throat;

scream that this suburban life is killing me.

I had a dream

that one day I would be fucking

beautiful, in NYC,

and setting the sidewalk aflame with my sashay. I had a dream

deferred.

And it exploded in my mind.

And it exploded in my mouth.

And it exploded in my hand.

I have no dream.

Only a deep aching need,

for disruption

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18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating That You Have To Deal With

blaqueer:

sadly accurate

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested.

2. Because we want to show how cavalier and blasé we can be to the other person, little psychological games like ‘Intentionally Take Hours Or Days To Text Back’ will happen. They aren’t fun.

3. A person being carefree because they have zero interest in you looks exactly like a person being carefree because they think you’re amazing & are making a conscious effort to play it cool. Good luck deciphering between the two.

4. Making phone calls is a dying art. Chances are, most of your relationship’s communication will happen via text, which is the most detached, impersonal form of interaction. Get familiar with those emoticon options.

5. Set plans are dead. People have options and up-to-the-minute updates on their friends (or other potential romantic interests)…

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My Blackest Wish: A Note to My Younger Self

If I could I would try to shield your innocence from time

I think myself to be a well, always for filling. I feel myself to be a dipper, plunging down and pulling up selves from myself.

I’d drink from my gourd to down ’94 with stones and sticks from all the years after  and I’ll swallow it all, even the bleach creams.

I would reach out and touch your face and say, “Look boo-bear, look; I have to reach up to touch you. Don’t you see the stars IMG_1510 - Version 2forming a bracelet around my wrist while my fingers are barely cupping your face? You are so high boo-bear, so high.”

I would carry you with me always like I do my mother’s first kiss. I’d hold you as close to me as my father held me next to him when he danced with me at night till I fell asleep and knew the comfort and safety of a man’s arms.

I would say, “No! don’t go that way. Don’t say yes. Scream. Scream. Scream!” but if you still went in, if you still opened the door, I would kneel down and tell you, “You will be okay; it is not your fault.”

I would tell you that the black boys and the black girls lied; you are enough and Africa beats in your veins through and through;  America does too;  Britain does too. You are not a cookie.

I would tell you that the white boys and the white girls lied; they do not forget the African in you–they deliberately forget. They lay claim to your mind, to your voice, but they leave the body. Your body carries you through. You are not a specimen.

I would convince you that the world lies. Your skin has hypnotized every god man and woman ever created. The sky weeps for not having kept you.  You are beautiful.

I would guide your hands to the stove, give them a knife and spoon, and move them over pots and pans, have cornmeal fall between your fingers, let peach juice stain your  lips, allow hot chicken and greens perfume your clothes. I would show you how to take flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, butter, and milk, mix it, bake it, call it a biscuit and plate it with eggs, rice, sausages floating in brown gravy, and serve, serve it to your mother and your father, serve it to your brothers, serve it to your grandmother because you remember–ancestors taking flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, butter, and milk, mixing it, baking it in kitchens not their own and calling it work for mouths not their own. I would teach you the recipes so the man you’ll love will taste and know, so your children taste and know, so you will taste and know.

I would take you into me and wrap you with Marlon Riggs, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Langston Hughes, Bruce Nugent, Essex Hemphill, and so many numerous nameless black faces with stubble kissing other black faces with stubble. I would hold you while you cried at the beauty of possibility.

I would teach you to dance with  Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, and Nella Larsen. I would help you sing for Billie, Etta, Diana, Aretha, Patti, Nina, Lauryn, Beyonce, Jennifer,  Mariah, Toni, Janet, and Whitney–everyday Whitney.

I would make a garden for you and forbid you nothing.

I would kiss all of you.

I love you.

…Give you courage in a world of compromise. Yes I would… 

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8TRACKS IS EVERYTHING DOT COM

Thanks to Oscar Raymundo I have fallen in love with 8tracks (he gives it a review on his blog) here is my first mix; I call it W.G.

 

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The Fat Boi Diaries: Breaking To Heal

IMG_2440This is a hard one:

Does it matter how long it takes you to reach a place of healing? I dunno. Is it scary and hard? Yes. But, is it necessary that you reach the point when you can admit the truth, face up to what you allowed yourself to become and how you treated yourself? Do you need to acknowledge and understand the price you paid for someone who never did, and  never would,  put forth any effort to cherish and respect you?  Does it matter that you made sacrificed so many things including your self-respect for a  person who only cared  about you when it was convenient for them? If you want to survive, yes. Can you heal from this experience; can you respect yourself again? Yes.

So here it goes, a confession:

Over the last 4 years, I took myself and ground myself into dust, cracked my bones, twisted my guts, all because I thought I needed that intangible thing. Because I deep down believed that fat, black, dark-skin, fem boy me was lucky to have that copper-skinned, high cheeked boy tell me that he loved me; that I was the beast and he was Beauty. All because I believed I was the monster. Because I still, somewhere inside believed what the world told me. So I needed his “love,”  and I stayed, no I waited for the moment when he would “bless” me with the “privilege” of being his, even though it only hurt. It cost.

I lied to myself. I lied for him. I created alternate truths because reality was too harsh to face. Like the time my friend Carl saw him on what seemed like a date with his friend K while he and I were trying to make something work between us, and when I asked him he insisted I trust him and that K was just a friend, nothing more, and he wasn’t at all attracted to him; then I found out the following year that he had lied to me and had fucked K off and on for about a month or two while we were trying to make something work.  There was the time I needed him at my cousin’s funeral; I begged him to go with me because he was the only one I allowed myself to be vulnerable around, but he claimed he had to work.  I called him and called him while I was away, needing to talk and it wasn’t until the day of the funeral, while I was telling him how hard the funeral was for me while I was sitting on my best friend’s bed, once I asked how he was because I couldn’t get a hold of him, when I asked how work was that he told me that he never went to work. He wasn’t scheduled. He spent the night fucking his ex in his backseat and had to spend the day cleaning his car from the paint job the ex gave the backseat. Oh, then there was that time when I was kept in the hospital out of the doctors’ concern but he didn’t answer the phone. Or the time I apologized for the bad head and explained how memories of sexual trauma were coming back while my mouth was wrapped around his dick, but all he said to me was for me to “do better next time.” Or the time he shamed me for being too sexually aggressive and then six months later penalized me for moving too slow. Or that time when I became a doctoral candidate and he never congratulated me and just fried twenty tacos instead. Or the time when I moved to Chicago and he forgot about me. When I confronted him about it and his in general horrible treatment of me he said, through a cracking voice, that he loved me but was too scared to let himself be with me. And I believed it. I believed it enough so that when it was my last night in St Louis I set it aside to spend time with him over my parents or other friends; he stood me up again. I cried for three hours on the way to Chicago. And still I came crawling back. I listened while he told me about how he desperately wanted to fuck some fellow fast food worker he knew because the guy was white. “I have never been with a white boy and I want to know how it feels and what you can do with them.” I listened while he complained when the guy T stood him up ,”I rearranged my entire schedule for him; I am done.” T missed the date because he had an incident come up with his kids. Yes, I listened while this “man” who supposedly loved me told me he was pinning over a white boy who was closeted with two children. The white boy was the prize and I was the burden. And later when I asserted my independence Robin suddenly became re-interested in me, and I once again fell for the lines.  When he told me he wanted to see if we could be together, no one else could make him feel the way I did, I  allowed myself to believe him. Then, not even two weeks later, he fucked a guy who “wasn’t too special” to him and suddenly he, once again, was not sure if he wanted me.  I waited in all of this, all of it shit.

And in-between I kept myself numb with so many anonymous ones. I survived off words and apologies and empty promises and lies. I lied to myself and pulled my friends and family through it all too. The times my mother wondered where my smile went. My brothers looking at me scared because they saw me slicing myself off and rearranging myself to better appease and please him. My brother’s words echo in my head from when I asked him of he could accept Robin and I officially together, “He has taken years not months but years!” My friends’ clicking the phone at his name. The fatigue. The loneliness. The question of “Why?” The dark.

And it comes to me: I did this with him. I told him he could treat me like shit because I felt I was shit. I said it was okay for him to disregard my feelings because I consistently ignored my pain. I begged him to be cruel to me every time I stayed. I made myself pathetic for him, and Robin was not worth it; no man is.

But then something else occurred to me: Once I could admit what I did to myself, the role I played, once I gave up on not being angry at him or myself, once I stopped not caring,  I started to heal.   I am forgiving myself. I can admit that I care–not about him but about me. I love myself now, I did that.

Was that hard? Yes. Embarrassing? Certainly. Freeing? I feel the wind.

image———————————————-/

Pariah: Heartbreak opens onto the sunrise for even breaking is opening and I am broken, I am open. Broken into the new life without pushing in, open to the possibilities within, pushing out. See the love shine in through my cracks? See the light shine out through me? I am broken, I am open, I am broken open. See the love light shining through me, shining through my cracks, through the gaps. My spirit takes journey, my spirit takes flight, could not have risen otherwise and I am not running, I am choosing. Running is not a choice from the breaking. Breaking is freeing, broken is freedom. I am not broken, I am free.

 

 

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