A Resolution – 2017
I’m a 24 year old black writer from Detroit. I telling stories and being creative but I don’t think I give myself the opportunity to let people see me. This is the year for that.
Sometimes you grab an extra lovely sage bundle and smudge your home to clear it of negative energy, other times you say yes to a weekend sleepover with The Kid’s Bestie and let their combined laughter do the same thing.
-November 18th, 2016
As many of you know, I’m not working at the moment. I’m stuck in an uncomfortable (and familiar) waiting pattern: I’m waiting on unemployment to kick in, waiting to hear back from a few potential gigs, waiting on my lights to get shut off…you get it. Most days I drop the kid off at school and run around the city until it’s time to pick her up again. I’ve done a pretty good job of not letting her know how dire our situation is, but tonight…tonight I broke down. We were riding home from rehearsal and she began fiddling with this cute little pen I bought her a few days ago and snapped it in half. I snapped right along with it. I let it all pour out on her 12 year old little lap. She cried. I cried. I promised her we would be alright, because we always are, and I told her that this ain’t even the roughest patch we’ve been in. She apologized for breaking the pen, and in that moment it seemed like the tiniest, cheapest thing in the whole world.
We’re home now. Dinner has been eaten and she’s getting ready for bed. While checking off her chore chart, I noticed that she updated the rewards. $1, $2, and $3 has been replaced with “hug”, “kiss”, and “”one night in Mommy’s bed”. To “help out”, she says. Because “We’ll do it together.”
I think in the daily stress of stretching out the savings I have left, I forgot how very rich we are.
Anyway, I promised my child that we would be alright, and I keep my promises. Tomorrow is another chance. I’ll press my good dress and try it again.
-September 15th, 2016
Today, at Camp, a white boy who Zoë has been having trouble with called her a “little bitch”. She responded in a way that was strong enough for a camp counselor to tell me that there was an altercation, but Zoë is too ashamed to tell me exactly what she said or did.
This is when parenting a Black child becomes difficult. Zoë said that her new white friends all ganged up on her and took the boy’s side, and that she felt overwhelmed and afraid. I’ve been there. She said that she felt like she needed to defend herself because she felt alone and unsafe. I’ve been there too. This is her first time being in a predominantly white school setting so it’s
all new for her. I grew up in it. I understand the nuances of it. She wasn’t prepared. I didn’t prepare her. I feel partly responsible.
We had two conversations in the aftermath, one being your typical “Did you tell an adult/counselor/teacher what was going on?” conversation, the other a much firmer “Don’t ever let them knock you off of your square so hard that you lash out.” conversation. I explained to her that We can’t afford to lash out, that our consequences often don’t match theirs. I told her that her fear and defensiveness will often be dismissed as aggression, and that she can protect herself by checking in with a responsible adult after each act of violence and disrespect. I acknowledged her pain and anger and said that both were valid. I told her about the time in 4th grade at Shrine when my “best friend” of two weeks walked up to me and said she couldn’t be my friend anymore because I’m Black. How later that school year she spat at me and called me a nigger. How my brother tried to talk to her brother about it and how the boy made chimp sounds at him until he walked away. I told her how badly he and I wanted to fight, but how we knew we couldn’t because we’d be blowing our shot at attending the school that our parents were sacrificing so much for. Zoe and I then talked about how pain makes you want to fight sometimes, and how we have too much to lose to give into the urge.
Finally, at the very end, we had my favorite part of the whole talk. I promised that in exchange for her honesty and effort, I’ll always be ready to ride up there and turn that place out on her behalf. I thought that was understood, but I didn’t mind verbalizing it for her.
She still wants to finish camp, and she wants to attend this school for high school. I want that for her. We have two more years of preparation.
Woosah in advance.
He told me
“I’ll stop if it don’t feel good”
& I laid there
Accepting my defeat
& later practiced
Cutting myself open
Without making me bleed.
When I returned to those books in more mature years, I acknowledged the need within me for that level of transparency & life. The discomfort that silence invigorated was enough to want to make a change that would eventually bring me into fruition.
Writing became a way for me to organize my thoughts in their purest form & then read to understand them/me.
I do not try to be poetic when writing poetry & I do not insert punchlines in hopes for applause. I just write in hopes of understanding my own thoughts.
I have found that poetry is not just something that I “do” but it’s who I am. I’m required to be mindful of my surroundings & myself. Then, as an example, when I feel a level of growth in myself, I can easily compare the feeling to the calmness that I feel when I hear tires splashing down the road, knowing that the Earth is preparing itself to be fruitful.
Friends Can Break Your Heart too – A dedication to those that forgot I loved them
“what does strength have to do with kindness?”
Louisa is dedicated to her children, the power of feminine energy, connecting with others and her poetry. She began writing as young teen as a way to express herself quietly…eventually, she found her voice to share those expressions through her alter ego – Fara Moan. She is a quiet force that supports the art community just as much behind the curtain as she does on the mic. Some poets wordsmith while Fara Moan is a wordweaver…invoking the emotion behind the phrases while delivering in intricate beauty.
If you were to ask me my religion a year ago I would say baduizm. I’ve seen you live, twice. Both free, both restoring my faith. When you sang pack light I knew you were singing to me.
When you stated via twitter that girls should wear knee length skirts to school to avoid arousing their male teachers I knew you were talking to me.
Ripped booty shorts, choker wearing, crop-top rockin’ kind of girl whose demise will only be my own fault, who should know better than to slip up between the teeth of a hungry man, to walk not with fear of the attack but knowing I am to be attacked,
gazelle in a lions den.
Every man be lion and every street be their turf.
That must be what you were saying,
That my body is not my own.
That your body is not your own.
That your body of music is not mine either.
Do you know of how many little bag ladies you have created now?
The weight so heavy of knowing your body is a police state you cannot flea?
Feeling refugee in your own home? Victim blamed by your own momma?
When you said it is in a man’s nature to lust after, prey upon, be attracted to, or sexually assault young girls once they reach puberty; This is not the first time I’ve questioned God…
but I haven’t listened to your music ever since.
Tankas for A Seat at the Table
I’m gonna look for
My body now she said and
Then I came to learn
My body was missing too
What I claim may not be mine
I guess to be Black
Is to lose your own body
Though it be stolen
and go look for it your damn
Self. I’ll be back, like real soon
I tell white not to
Say the word nigga, they say
It anway. This
Is an act of violence, but
When has white not been violent
I wake this morning
Feeling shattered, robbed and stolen
Yet, still I say
Daily affirmation: Don’t
Let anyone steal this magic
A white boy touched my
hair, I felt myself start to
fade, to dwindle a-
way. Less than, less than, sand in
The wind. Yet, I am still here
me seems to mean I am dis-
respecting you, then
so be it. Sit in the heat
of your anger while I shine
Love of My Life
I bump The Sun’s Tirade and wonder if every bitch and every hoe is me.
KanYe West called his own wife a bitch and I guess that’s cool now.
Knowing I could still get wifed. Most inanimate objects get bought.
I can go from toy to trophy.
Me and my good homegirl skip this line in one of our favorite songs,
We gon’ play with the mind and run a game on her
And take shawty to the crib, put the pain on her.
Singing along would just make me feel dizzy, incoherent,
make me feel like no one will believe me.
The hottest rap song to come out of Brooklyn this summer was sung by a girl.
Not only a girl but a lesbian,
Tatted up, keep the hammer right next to her, probably rock your shit for calling her by the wrong nickname.
Not seen for how she deviates from this mainstream she riding now but used as scapegoat to carry misogyny on her back, just cuz they can’t lay her on her back?
As if the only room for a woman in hip-hop is if she objectifies herself?
Male interviewers question exactly what she means about a shorty giving her head then criticize her for treating women as if we are only here for sex,
and I am not too sure how the misogynist is here.
As if your fave ain’t been on that, as if your president’s fave aint been on that.
This is number 1 on everyone’s top 10.
But it’s okay because I love this shit
Because my father rep the bronx and I love that shit
Because hip-hop as my boyfriend is BDSM and I love that shit
Because before I had voice, I had this and I love this shit
and I have learned, being the Black Woman in the room often means
loving something that will never love you back.
Kearah–Armonie(Kearmonie) is a poet, spoken word artist, MC, Filmmaker, Blogger, and Writer from Brooklyn, NY. She recently completed her B.A. in Documentary Film Production at Brooklyn College, where she hosted and facilitated events as a three-time Brooklyn College Slam Team member, and their 2016 Grand Slam Champion. The team went on to rank 12th in the nation at the College Union’s Poetry Slam Invitational(CUPSI) 2016. Having been performing spoken word since 2011 she is now a mentor and teaching artist, continuing to perform all over NYC. Her most recent documentary short, “BLK GRL POET” a spoken word driven chronicle of the Black Lives Matter protests in NYC, has been featured in the Women of African Descent Film Festival and The 34th Annual Brooklyn College Film Festival.
The Music section of Wusgood is to discuss all things musical, or life through a musical perspective
A Not-Review of an Album that Shouldn’t Be
By Amber Flame
An award-winning writer and performer, Amber Flame is also a singer for multiple musical projects. Flame’s original work has been published and recorded in many diverse arenas, including Def Jam Poetry, Winter Tangerine, The Dialogist, Split This Rock, Jack Straw, Black Heart Magazine, Sundress Publications, and Redivider, with her first full-length book, Ordinary Cruelty, to be published in spring of 2017. Flame works as The Hand for TWiB Media, LLC, is the slam master for the Oakland Slam and performs regularly on musical, burlesque and literary stages. Amber Flame is one magic trick away from growing her unicorn horn
name a ghost.
call it Girl.
name a body
name a weapon.
say it to her face.
now apologize for misgendering my pussy.
the moon & my pussy use they/them pronouns.
or u can call us bitch.
or u can call us nigga, i guess.
(the moon is black too)
the moon & i smile,
see, we smart.
we know most of u can’t call us that—
we on some trick shit,
& orbit on beats 2 & 4
name a body.
call it a knife
i call myself a boi & no one understands. i admit
i don’t quite follow my own damn self.
still i Fire
soft & sharp toothed boi.
i take Happy
& wear it around my waist.
i woo myself
i sing my pussy to anyone who will listen
but it sings back Blk
my blk body makes a home of my mouth.
we blk hole sun.
to have a body & not be able to pass
for anything other than blk & woman-
you runnin yet?
don’t worry. It’s fine.
most people do.
it’s nothing we ain’t used to.
i ghost while still inside this body.
In which my blk body goes blue//becomes something other than a body or
again//becomes recognizable & Easy to Understand
in which without a body I become a person
Wusgood.black is LIVE
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