Mad as Hell

Cant you see your ignorance brings pain
Over and over and over again?

Tell me, what do you get 

From being an insufferable fucking twit?
I’d smack hard upon your face

If I thought for a second it would make you change
But your ingnorance is so deeply ingrained

It’s not astounding to see you have no shame

Benefiting from bodies lain

Casually in unmarked graves
Where will you be in a hundred years

When all that remains of us are your tears

Trickling down your pale white face

As buildings burn and what’s left of your race
Are sitting on the searing coals

With nothing to eat and only each other to hold?

Open Adoption

I used to check the mailbox every day

looking for something with my name

written in loose cursive,

with a Georgia postage stamp

telling me you love me

I dream of that mailbox

barren and sad, creaky door

flaccid flag, with nothing inside

I dream of ups drivers and big brown parcels,

just for me

I read your letters

to my mother

the woman who raised me

I hear the pain in your hand

when you ask why she doesn’t write

I’m sorry she didn’t write

I’m sorry for what was stolen from us

I’m afraid you’ve died

I look up your name in the obituaries online

like a ritual

So many have died

None are your age

It’s mothers day and my dreams say

I have repressed rage

I always thought it was a super power

Being able to stash it away, but

now there is only pain

and feeling afraid

My dreams tell me

I can’t live this way

Fusion

I am angry. Furious, it would seem. That is this pain that has been lurking beneath the surface of my skin.

I smashed my body yesterday and I want to do it again. To feel it again. That abandon. That adrenaline. To feel another part of myself speak. I’d like to hear what they have to say. Reckless and rageful and they have been missing for quite some time.

I’m glad they finally showed up.

Racism in your Living Room

I’m tired. There has been this trend in my life of white people, predominantly white men, who feel the need to tell me something about blackness. A joke, a story, an observation… This need is so overwhelming in fact, that they feel it necessary to encroach upon my safety and the safety of those around me. To the point of physical violence.

What’s more, these men cannot seem to fathom the fact that I have less than no interest to hear, engage or indulge their certain to be offensive and off base anecdotes.

This seems to enrage them. Beyond reason. That’s not to say that they were all that reasonable to begin with, but they lose it. Shoot directly to rage, then bargaining, then back to rage.

Some of these incidents, the last two, actually, occur after at some point in the night, I have rejected some sort of advance from them. How dare I not allow myself to be fetishized?

I see the changes in them. See the confusion work across their face, ugly and stupid. Watch as confusion morphs into bargaining, then rage.

And when I push back? Talk back. Rage back ?!

They’re beyond reason. They push people. Hit people.  Break things. I cock my head while looking at them, watch as they throw temper tantrums on a massive, dangerous scale.

These men live in Portland. Drink at your bars, walk down your streets. Hang out in your living rooms. 

Privilege is a hell of a drug.

At times, it’s as though I can hear inside their heads, thoughts spiraling. I see the fetishization of myself in their eyes, projecting onto me like a shroud.

They move toward me, eyes glazed. They step forward, I step back. They step forward, I step back, a rage filled dance.

Until I stop.  Until I’m done. Until I move forward. Advancing. Raging. Throwing their language back in their face. Stronger. Righteous. Knowing that the odds are not stacked in my favor. Knowing how precarious the state of my body is.

But heres the thing:

I’m done. I’m tired. I will no longer allow people to press their will onto my own. Racially, emotionally, physically, sexually, I’m done. For twenty-seven years, this body has been a dumping ground for other people’s baggage – garbage that they have forgotten, neglected, or refused to unpack – and I’m sick of it.

So, the next time you have an urge to tell me (or any other black person, for that matter) something about blackness. Don’t. Just – dont.

I promise you, we don’t want to hear it.

Righteous or Racist?

IMG_20160712_130424

I’ve got some things to say.  They may not be things all of ya’ll wanna hear, and some of you may come for me, but that’s alright, I’m ready for that.  There’s nothing new with that.

I don’t really know who this letter is to.  I don’t really know what it is I hope to accomplish by writing it, but I do know that it needs to be written.  Some changes need to be made.  And I’m not coming to you with all the answers, because I’ve got none of them.  I’m out here just as clueless as ya’ll.  Just as helpless as ya’ll.  Just as surrendered as ya’ll…

…and I think that’s what we need to talk about.

Surrender.  Not to the system, because fuck the system.  We need to rage against that shit.  Rage long and hard and strong.

But surrender to ourselves, to our differences.  And here, here I’m talking to my black and brown sisters and brothers.  Here I am talking about the things that keep us from coming together and being the force we are more than capable of being, and are called to be.

I’ve been in a couple tiffs with some of ya’ll.  A sister asked me about them the other night and I couldn’t tell her.  To me, they’re petty and small and don’t matter.  What matters is breaking down the barriers so that we can come together, support each other, lift one another up and drive that energy forward.

Our community is divided, anyone can see that.  A house that’s built on fractured foundation is sure to crumble and fall.  We’re out here trying to build us a new home, and this foundation is not having it.  In some places, it’s solid as a rock and beautiful and strong, but in others, there are these wide gaps, with only tiny pieces touching.  We need to fill in those gaps.  Make a solid platform to move forward. Build up.

And I don’t know how to do that.  I don’t know what that looks like.  But I know it needs to happen.  So I am surrendering myself to you.  I am surrendering myself to this movement. To our lives, to our humanity.

I don’t need to tell ya’ll there was a protest friday night.  You already know, most of you were there putting your bodies and your souls on the line.  I was not.  I showed up after cruelty was already expressed, and bodies were already violated and pressed into the back of a bus and shipped to the Cumberland County Jail.

So I need to honor those fierce as fuck beings who were out there, doing this work.  I need to honor their experiences and acknowledge that I have no idea what it felt like to have my body violated in the deep and viscious ways they did. Have no idea what it felt like to have devils in suits (and you can fight me on that) malicously attempt to strip me of my dignity. I can imagine.  I can imagine the righteous rage and fury and pain and sadness and confusion and so many other feelings that may have been, and may still be swirling through their bodies, but I don’t know.

And it is infuriating to see the response of the Portland community.

Now, I’m talking to the rest of ya’ll.

It is infuriating, but not suprising.  Because this is what we’re talking about.  This is what we have been saying.  Black Lives Matter just turned four.  For four years we’ve been out here talking to you all about the state of the world we live in.  And there is this myth that it doesn’t happen here.  That Portland is safe, that the PPD is different.  Well, it’s not.  A friend said to me that night, as we were driving away from the jail, that Maine isn’t any different. Portland isn’t any different.  We’re just a smaller community. We are small and we haven’t rocked the boat.  Well, now we swinging off this shit and we’re gonna make damn sure it flips over.

Because there was a shift friday night.  And it can’t be moved back.  Won’t be moved back. We’re raising this consciousness and seeing some ugly truths in the process. Some of ya’ll mad.  Good. Stay mad.  But do me a favor, when you are, look in the mirror, study your reflection, is your rage righteous? Or is it racist?  You decide, and then keep listening, we’ll tell you whether you right, or not.

 

Rage

I am wavering. Loving kindness has only gotten me so far.  Rage bubbles to the surface.  Rage which washes over my entire being and wraps itself around my soul. This rage is armour. This rage shields me from the earth shaking ignorance which constantly attacks my being.

Today, I managed to press this rage down.  I massaged the knots growing inside and I let them dissipate.

Then I heard those words.  Words which shot my rage to the surface and threw it like a force-field around me, throwing everyone and everything back; I flew from where I sat and spat out my dissent. How dare they utter those words in my presence ?! Do not ever utter that sentence again. It is baffling to me that they tried to justify the utterance. How dare they?! How dare they.  I know how they dare. I am reminded every day. Every. Single. Day. My rage covers me. My rage protects me.

Loving kindness can wait, today, my rage keeps me safe.