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Feb 14, 2014
I have been singing. Alone and without thinking. I sing to myself.
I wake up and my cheeks are dry. I still curl up in my sleep, fending off someone but first, I let my girlfriend hold me.
Still, I have been singing. My smile has been settling in. It’s the grief that’s rare, that must be remembered.
This is coming back to life.
This will be a short post. I’m watching two beautiful brown women scream Ludacris lyrics at the top of their lungs and laughing while I type. I know they have their struggles and things they worry over but right now, they look like the very embodiment of happiness. They’re dancing and free and I can’t stay away from this too long.
I’ve been smiling and laughing for what feels like every waking moment since before my birthday .I’ve been very bad about writing the past few days because my partner snatched me away for a weekend getaway that snowballed into days of unmitigated joy (my sleeping hours are something completely different).
Before I met these women I thought, my sexuality was a secret aside. Some quirk I had to reveal months in when it was necessary. “Hey, just so you know, I snore. Hey, just so you know I’m queer.” I’ve always had this partition between most women I befriended, afraid I’d gross them out, afraid if I got too close I’d repeat the moments in my childhood that taught me to only nurse attractions to men. I didn’t even know how alone I was.
And then the moment when I sat in a house full of women like me. The ease I felt. How good it felt to say “my girlfriend, my woman.” and to hear other women say those same words.
They looked like me.
They loved like me.
Seeing women like me so apologetically themselves, so determined to be happy and loved, so secure in themselves has done wonders for my soul. It’s made my resolve to be happy that much stronger.
The woman problem. The sista problem. The feminist problem. The queer problem.
If only, if only I wasn’t so myself my brothas could be kings and Gods. If I wasn’t so woman and determined to be human, maybe Black men could reach their goals. Maybe they wouldn’t go to jail so much.
And they’d treat me right, if I could just give up a few things. Lust. Self-determination. Ambition. Self.
I’m one of those women, these new 2014 women who won’t bow to every man.
I’m the Black problem.
As in love with another woman as I am. How dare I? Close my legs to the Black man? Don’t I know this is why the Black race is in danger, now?
And after chastising me for hours I know you want to know what it feels like for me to be a problem. Do I feel shame?
I woke up today and pulled my girlfriend in to me. Her skin really does feel like velvet. That isn’t a metaphor, it’s a fact. So, this morning, I touched every part of her while we were half asleep. Because I love the fuck out of velvet. And her hips swell up from her waist the way joy rises in your heart, unexpectedly. Welcomed. So I touched those, too. And her ass…My God. There are no things I can compare it to without cheapening it’s glory. But it’s the reason I’m the smaller one but want so often to be the big spoon. Sometimes I just lay on it. It’s like that.
After that, I picked out the tea that moved me and sat down to respond to emails and take notes on custom orders. Because I own my own business. Being a feminist and all. I spent all day choosing what **I** wanted to do..I chose to go out and see your fuck ass poetry cipher tonight. I choose to wear a Black- community-endangering dress and a big ass ring to emasculate all brothers who stepped near me.
How does it feel to be a problem? The “independent woman” problem? The queer problem? The feminist problem?.
It feels like I’m finally fucking free.
(Write 2014, Day 22,)
I’ve recently read the saying “A cornered mouse will bite a cat.This does not reclassify the mouse as a predator or the cat as prey.”
And you know what I instantly thought of? White America and it’s obsession with impending Black violence. The cat who toys with and corners the mouse, receives a bite and yells, “THIS IS WHY THE MOUSE MUST BE HUNTED!”
White America, built on the blood and torture of Africans and indigenous peoples, fears violence and retribution. White America, responsible for the slow tortuous death of Black and brown people the world over as they squeeze us for more resources, monitors our every expression of resistance- our very existence-…waiting for the moment they can justify the hunt they’ve begun years ago. They have begun to obsess over this idea of Black violence, ignoring that simple fact: a cornered mouse will bite. This doesn’t and will never make the mouse the predator.
(Creative non-fiction, Jan 21, 2014)
Grief and the body are such strange things.
I woke up this morning and found I’d been grieving in my sleep. I pulled myself up and stared out onto the snow, seeing nothing and feeling nothing but my heart’s new crack opening wide. For moments I inhaled and exhaled shallowly, afraid moving, afraid breathing too deeply, would finally kill me. I know that it was simply heartache, emotional not physical but right then, I couldn’t tell the difference. I sat still as 8:30 dragged by, as 9;00 dragged by, trying to learn how to breathe with this new pain in my chest.
Yesterday had been fun. I’d gone to bed at 4 am, thinking of all the beautiful souls who’d recently come into my life. I’d gone to bed, pulling my girlfriend’s warm body against mine, curling my legs around hers. I’d smiled at the way the moon lit up the curve of her neck. I’d kissed her freshly shaved head. I fell asleep rubbing my nose against it, reveling in the joy of this new feel.
But my body remembered to grieve. In my sleep I turned away from her. My limbs went stiff with the memory of all I had lost for loving her. And I woke up tired from weeping in my dreams.
So I sat until 10:15 dragged by, until 11:00 am dragged by and she woke up and smiled at me.
11:45 am I teach my body to remember joy.
I must remind myself I am the metaphorical rock at sea.
These are just the waves.
This is not me breaking.
This cannot be dying.
No matter how it feels to me
I opted out of a post yesterday because I couldn’t share what I was writing. Now I can. I’ve been revamping my website where I sell jewelry, www.absynia.com.
With exercise and prompts it’s become much easier to express what Absynia is about (le handmade revolution!) so updating the site was a must.
On a side note, I’m constantly surprised at how few words can take so much time.
. If they’re any artists following me who are struggling with writng about themselves, their art and/or their creative business, you can try this exercise here.
Filmmakers, A Humble Recommendation
by Lesli-ann Lewis
I’m tired of seeing black flesh tearing
Of seeing white eyes devour our suffering
Like slow cooked meat.
I hate watching our tears on their chins.
I want a film for this moment:
The moment her eyes open.
The moment her dimple appears before her smile.
It deserves an entire reel, the way love lights up her face.
"Were you watching me sleep?"
The entire world should say yes.
The entire Academy would weep.
This post is late today because I was writing something else while trying to think of what to write here. I was torn between the piece that I want published and my commitment to publishing on my blog everyday. The thing is I could…if I let go of the need to monetize everything I do,
i want to write for the joy of it and to not worry every minute I spend doing it, isn’t a minute I dig myself deeper.
So now I’m torn on what to do.
I just need to know how it’s done.
How do I become a writer? How do I become the first woman, the first person in my family to do something for the joy of doing it, without the fear of spending money or losing it? How do I make something of myself, pull myself up from the poverty that is clenching my teeth at night, grinding them into nubs I can’t afford to fix, all without sucking the joy and the freedom from the act?
I have to confess I don’t want to really be anything other than free and happy. I struggle with this idea everyday. The selfishness of it. My parents never were free, happiness wasn’t a way of life, it wasn’t even a priority. Their parents were even less so. And theirs, and theirs…what makes me so very different than the men and women who pulled a hard life out mountains they were forced into? The hubris, the vanity, the absolute selfishness of it…
Other days I think about Nanny, about the great-, great- great- grandmother who must have followed her ( I don’t know if it was a her, I just want it to be) and why they ran. Why suffering day in and day out was not a choice for them.I face nothing like they did then but I don’t think they’d want this to be the end. i’m free…to suffer. To never think about anything other than how I can feed myself for another day. To work so hard and suffer so long that I don’t care which way it ends. I don’t think the life my parents have eked out on foreign shores, remembering only to work and worry, to pay and fret, is the future they imagined. Some days, I think being happy could be revolutionary, that I could be finishing the work my Maroon progenitors started…
Today was one of the days I thought again, you’re a selfish, foolish girl. You better take this time to get a real job instead. You have family back home who could use the money.
there a bunch of little black kids hiding their poetry in the back of drawers because they think having emotions is self-indulgent and I feel bad about that
For today’s #write2014, I’ve decided to write a letter that has been in the works for some time. The quote above is just a little inspiration to do it.