Tag Archives: black

“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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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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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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When I let myself wander–not wonder, for this for me always implies childhood amazement of the cotton-candy tinted variety–into the back parts of my mind, I ask–quietly and plainly–the questions: Who sings for the kid who never walked or threw or caught a ball? Who sings for the boy who is a speck of dust in a snow filled class photo but deemed soft and white on the inside when surrounded by his supposed reflections? Who sings for the boy with limp hands and a loose gait? Who sings for the boy passed around from one man to the next but is never asked his name? Who sings for the boy buying skin fade creams? Who sings for the boy too fat to ride the rides? Who sings for that boy still demanding love? Who sings for boys like these, outcasts casted out? Then it comes to me: I do. I sing for him with a voice of bird just escaped from the fire. But he shall hear the call and find it beautiful.

But, to ask, “who sings for the dark boy,” always and already places him in a position of need and dependence; moreover it is a useless question because we all know the answer, nobody sings for his body. The better linguistic movement would be to say: I sing for the dark queer fat boy passed around from one anonymous man to the next; I sing for him-looking-for-validation-in-the-dark; I sing for him because he is I and I am he so when I sing for me I sing for we. The question is not, nor has it ever been, who sings for the dark queer boy–we do and brilliantly–but why do you make a dedicated effort to not hear the truths of which we sing?

Magpie Songs

When I let myse…

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New HuffPost Blog Post

New HuffPost Blog Post

I even used the term “blaqueer.” Share the post luvs.

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Update: “To a Brother from a Snap! Queen”

I am a little late on this but click here for my latest Huffington Post Gay Voices Post. (And if after the above image, if people can’t get the reference I will just shrug and keep on because I “got to testify because the booty don’t lie”  [I live for Q.U.E.E.N. ])

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Fat Boi Eats: EASTER!!!!

So I am not religious, but my family is so I am used to celebrating Easter, and while I tend to forget that someone died and allegedly rose again, I do not forget to put out a spread. This Easter was small and I had over a few of my friends to share dinner (odd that Christians do not celebrate passover) with the parental units (been in a “Reality Bites” mood) and I. The only disaster were my biscuits, I am not a southern lady—yet.

ricotta cheese mixture on a whole wheat multigrain cracker, topped with roast peppers.

sweet potato pie with marshmallow fluff topping

mmmmmm strawberries, and for others, watermelon

mac ‘n cheese (I prefer ziti noodles)

Cranberry, Orange, and Brown Sugar glazed Ham

collard greens (with turkey)

Small Bois Eating

always ready for a camera

Tilapia I later cooked

chocolate chip cookies with walnuts and sea salt

more fruit

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