Archive | December, 2009

on silence, and the violence it protects.

30 Dec

she gets no apology.
no vindication.
her bruises seek consolation
but they find no relief.

no one mourns wounds
they refuse to see.
there are no eulogies
for those who never breathed…

those are the first lines of a poem i apparently will not finish anytime soon, and started writing while working on a piece that addresses sexual violence and abuse – which i am also struggling to wrap up. to say the least, my thoughts are convoluted – almost like the issue itself. in the meantime, check out the link below for part of the conversation i’m grappling with. i am primarily concerned with how everyday conversations and popular media representations treat black female bodies, and the ways “silence” reinforces the problems of sexual violence and abuse. know that i understand this is overwhelmingly tangled with so many other considerations, and this is not even half of it…

“…the reality is that women will continue to be raped and those sexual assaults will continue to be met with silence and a degree of dismissiveness that holds the victims accountable for attacks on their bodies.”
(from “Rape and the Black Woman,” an article by Mark Anthony Neal:

(artwork by larry “poncho” brown)

29 Dec

cowards may survive, but they never live.

(artwork by frank morrison)

on vulnerability.

28 Dec

on vulnerability…

[open and given to love (and harm) – vulnerability is trusting in the calm/of deep skips in your heartbeats/and wary waves/of jaded seas/that crash the coasts of cheeks,/always wet with your tears…/ vulnerability/is like hope/in a war against fear.]

you work so hard protecting
everything you keep from me.
i even think you cry deliberately.
like you call the loss
and the chaos that controls your thoughts.
I think you like to sleep worlds apart
from deep-sleep, sweet dreams
that are really only meant to keep –
for this is your security.

and yes.
this is a risk.
but regardless –
with words or without them,
you cannot avoid crashing, and
one of these will inevitably happen:
you will descend slowly or jump quickly.
tomorrow or today,
you’re falling anyway…
yet meanwhile,
in your typical, strategically cryptic style,
blank diaries are dyed
with words you hide from eyes
you still pretend not to see.
your trite words will sow the wrong seeds
as you master secrecy.

writing is currently your therapy,
but soon it will be your enemy.
as it widens the space
you place between us,
this distance
will become like eternity
and you will have lost me.
words are chances –
you write them,
yet you keep them from me.

can’t you see?
your vulnerability
could make you
connected to me.

(artwork by rabi khan)

lauryn sounds perfect…

25 Dec

bad news: it’s 4:30 and i am awake not really accomplishing anything.

good news: i (re)discovered this clip of a lauryn hill live performance. she sounds perfect…

PLEASE watch through the end, she loops into this rendition of “ex-factor” parts of “manifest.”


23 Dec

…but this is where i’ll start.

i dance to rhythms
that carry yesterday,
as my voice sings faith to my future.
i may be a writer of past tense
but i am a painter of chance…

(artwork by frank morrison)

for love.

7 Dec

i’ve written pages in your honor
filled with senseless imaginations
of the greatest clarity.
my pen drips heavily
with the vulnerability
my lips are scared to speak.
and yet, my poetry cannot reach
this thing i feel.

you have always been too big for words,
that’s why i paint you.
how do i color with form
not strong enough to carry you?

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