Ink Stain Instance, Every Minute A Memory.

“Although the slave might be socially dead, he (they) remained nonetheless an element of society. So the problem arose: how was he (they) to be incorporated? Religion explains how it is possible to relate to the dead who still live. It says little about how ordinary people should relate to the living who are dead. This is the final cultural dilemma posed by the problem of slavery.”

– Orlando Patterson

Slavery and Social Death

(Parentheses mine)

____________________________________

There’s a process for me, in the aftermath of direct anti-blackness.

Uptempo third coast hip hop pulses through my veins.

(The low key consistency of adrenaline flooding the body causes fatigue, hallucinations….)

I feel the edge of a knife, the hot spittle of privileged dissent. At once boy has become enraged, incensed at the autonomy of someone he considers to be beneath him. A life is almost taken on a bright hot street in Portland OR.

I often find myself standing or sitting still, just trying to catch my breath because my heart is beatin’ like a fuckin’ drum..”

In a dream state I query the ancestors. I’m met with laughter wheezing out of necks broken by chain and rope.

Wake up with the shakes, burning flesh on my tongue, mistrust explained in a deadpan soliloquy. “I’m good,” annoying as mantra.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been spit on. It was the first time I’d had to hit someone for it.

The first time, I was around 12, waiting on my ride to pick me up after a community college basketball game. It was dark and emptying fast. My ride was late. Drunk white male doesn’t approve of my proximity. His wife slaps his shoulder playfully, pulling him away as I wiped his vitriol from my face, and glasses. That night I hated my white stepmother more than usual when she pulled to the curb. I wanted it to be my Dad picking me up so I could tell him what happened.

Instead, I never said anything.

Lethargy, followed by an intense need to clean the house. Mildly irritated by every little thing..

Bare minimum human interaction, adrift in a fiction where a post human queerity conclave awaits me upon my release from the corporate machine.

The music slows….

Our individual reaction varies. The echo that I can’t escape stems from almost dying in the name of a white dystopian fatherland. I cannot abide direct anti-blackness without stress sweat. A heightened state of wish a muthafucka would, then suspicion, fear and aggression towards strange white folks. Followed by days of internal dialogue. Even now, while fully understanding how Otherness outside of blackness also plays into the formula. As opposed to wishing away my blackness/queerness I become resolute.

I push people away, especially my white accomplices, co-workers. My best friend and nesting partner. All I crave is the company of Others. Black death turns my stomach and causes me to cry. I am blasted down to numbers and supposition. Oddity fit for consumption, annotated in these predominantly white spaces.

This will often drag on for weeks as I cycle down into depression. With a surety I am eventually investing heavily in taking on the emotional labor that I so casually dumped upon my loved ones.

I also write. Yea thou I walk through the belly of this Continuum I shall fear no evil. I know I’m fucked up. This is how I deal with it.

Telling me to let go (let God) forgive, might get you cussed out. Banned from my life at least. I have nothing to forgive. I have a right to exist, crave and love just like the oppressor offspring and pedestrians looking the opposite way.

There’s no letting go. Not ever. This is the shape of my conviction, braving the fires of this fully actualized European ethnostate. I have obligated myself to molding that conviction into melanated armor.

I am at best the forge, the waterfall and I will keep putting it in your face. I will not convenience you by shutting up. After this administration is done, memory of self is all we’ll have. Griots and fables. I plan to be in that number.

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The Love Bomb: How Men (Dick)tate

I grew up on old school music. My family gatherings and visitations revolved around an endless supply of Bobby Blue Bland, ZZ Hill and Little Milton. The Dew Drop Inn was always filled with the voices of blues singers as a sound track to domino games and arguments about who had the better swag.

As I’ve aged I often fall back on this music for comfort. Was listening to my old school list on Spotify and Love Won’t Let Me Wait by Major Harris came on. I listened through my new found lens and was horrified.

From the beginning he makes his intentions clear:

The time is right
You hold me tight
And love’s got me high
Please tell me yes
And don’t say no, honey
Not tonight

By immediately suspending any boundary his target may have wanted to enforce, sweetly, subtly. The soft melody does little to hid the menace behind the lyrics once you come to understand it from a different perspective…

I need to have you next to me
In more ways than one
And I refuse to leave ’till I see the
Morning sun creep through your window pane
‘Cause love won’t let me wait (not one more minute, baby)

Refusing to leave until his needs are met. Using love as a flimsy excuse to communicate that he is on the verge of acting on his impulse. Not really asking if it’s ok. Demanding that she concede to his dominance.

Now, we all well know that despite it being the seventies, BDSM was still a taboo subject, frowned upon within the greater black community as an aberration practiced only by white people. Even then, in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement, the assassination and imprisonment of countless marginalized leaders, we were still ruled by the church and conservative Democrats.

So let’s not bring that as an excuse.

What we have here is an individual in a position of influence, being allowed to act out his fantasy through lyrics. I can’t even imagine how many women were actually physically affected, not only by him, but other men who would whisper those lyrics to their partner in a moment of what should be mutual passion.

I’m just as guilty of love bombing as anyone else. Niggas I grew up with know what it is. We were all well immersed in the same cultural norms that conveyed a misogynistic overture, because our older male figures said that shit was cool. We admired their prowess, the fact that they could “talk any girl out the drawes”. Not realizing that, even as we perfected the beat, and laid the track, our ‘game’ was a form of gaslighting. Call it what you will, but if it took you half the night whispering on the phone, playing that special baby making mixtape, begging to the point of frustration, she didn’t fuck you cause she liked you. She fucked you to get you to shut the hell up and go away.

We have weaponized sex while also shaming non-men when they embrace their sexuality, just as we’ve been taught to do. Patriarchal society dictates that we not only hold the door, but exclude anyone who doesn’t fit into the mold made to exemplify what is acceptable to men. This is why it’s easy for us to say that Cosby was framed, R.Kelly is being targeted because he’s a black male and that non-men will cry foul because they’re too emotional. Sorry (not sorry) but non-men are not committing school massacres, shooting up churches or instigating acts of terror in the name of imposed celibacy.

That’s us homie. And it’s up to us to put a stop to it.

Now move a little closer to me
You owe it to yourself
And I will selfishly take a little for myself
And it’s because of you
That love won’t let me wait
(No , listen girl)
I need your love so desperately
And only you can set me free
When I make love to you
We will explode in ecstasy
And I won’t take the blame
That love won’t let me wait

….

Unlearned Personhood, How Fathers and Sons work to Keep the Patriarchy Alive

There is a thread I will sometimes follow. It begins at Midland Memorial Hospital. A doctor telling me how rapidly my father’s organs will fail, that I should just make him comfortable for the next three months.

I’d only known freedom for a few months, working part time at a plant farm. The felon freeze out kept me from better prospects. Desire to dream dashed by hopelessness, hospital bills and the allure of street life. That conversation with his doctor was the catalyst that propelled me to now. Determined to follow the doctor’s orders, I hit the streets with a vengeance.

I remember the stories he shared about Jim Crow era America, his dismay at how desegregation had subjected non white people to servitude of a different kind. Hustling became a reasonable out for him, with a third grade education and a PHd in grift. Jim Crow wiped out his generation, shaped him into a cold, abusive man who didn’t learn to let go ever. He was his father’s son. He walked accordingly, and with pride.

Still he died alone, no pennies to speak of, not even a grave marker, that I know of, to his name. I was well on my way to mimicking his life…

My introduction to male centric power dynamics also came through violent racism. It formed a callous on the spirit. I am traceable by numbers, a name that belonged to my ancestors owner. Older white people made certain that I knew the place they wish to keep me in.

It was further exemplified through prison, militant, patriarchal afrocentrism, an unhappy marriage, unhealthy friendships, a strong desire to do what I wanted without question.

A mans every move is governed by how well we actualize a mode of production that benefits the men already in power. Guaranteeing that they remain the lawmakers and tenants of the global economy.

We embrace selfishness, expect obedience even if we’re wrong, cause aren’t WE the ones taking bullets, running into burning buildings to cook bacon and bring it back home?

Work hard enough, be good providers, follow these shape shifting laws, enact tough love scenarios based on said laws and social norms, we stand a better chance of surviving the game. Our output should then be rewarded with absolute respect. Our punishment for transgressions vary, from ostracization to outright abuse.

News flash my nigga! This game was created so that you lose. Feeding our bodies back into the clutches of the same vultures we uphold through our production.

Even now, as America slides deeper into fascism, we choose to ignore the telling evidence of how misogyny is used to suppress the voices of non-men, snuffing out the lives of mothers, sisters and friends. We scream loud when a young black man is murdered in cold blood while the death of our trans comrades, our disabled family and others are met with silence. We’ll happily boycott Starbucks, but stay on that after hours Waffle House patty melt meal…

We expect our every bit of existence to take precedence even though we assist in committing horrific acts of violence against the most marginalized, the most hated.

It leaves our search for meaning hollow, and lacking in inclusion.

It took me almost dying twice to realize that I didn’t have to walk in my father’s shoes.

Fast forward eight years, the old man moves on to the next life. The funeral mortician dourly led me to the bowels of the building where pop’s body lay to be cremated. All bodies look smaller when empty of mass and personality. I cried nonetheless.

I carried that pain for six more years. Along with the toxicity that shaped my personality. Up until then all I had to hold onto were memories, the occasional dream where he stared balefully at me as I stumbled through life. A key to the last house he lived in.

Slowly, I’m becoming aware of myself. Found a voice through writing along with loved ones who have blessed me with the pleasure of knowing them.

I had a picture of him once, used it as a bookmark. I left it in a library book some years ago. I can hardly remember his face now.

When I let go of the myth, I began to see the truth and horror of generational trauma. How easy misogynoir becomes imprinted upon the psyche, infused with binary code switching and the work it would take to redefine how I moved through the (after)life.

I still carry that key to my father’s last dwelling, as a reminder, a talisman, a remnant. I often forget it’s in my bag.

Even now I’m easily thrown back into old habits, triggered by economic woes, murder porn, microaggessions.

I will say that I am at this point committed to the emotional labor,

recognize my own bullshit, use what I learn to be something other than.

Get over the myth… this is what I tell myself even when my partner calls me out, especially when I don’t wanna hear it.

No one can save me from myself.

Not even, but especially the ghost of my father.

Untitled Motivation Speech at the End of the Beginning

The ceiling offers no good news.

And yet here we are, staring at one another, music blaring in the background, vying for (dominance)balance…

I wish away this fatigue that has separated this depleted self from family…

The sun beckons, and me, who has begged its presence this long winter, cannot be displaced from a neutral position on the floor…

The squad is outside, the mistress/maestro caressing these tired temples, talkinbout nah, this spot on the floor is just fine. You did the people meet/greet/smile/concede and just stay right here with me baby….

At ease but uneasy, anxiety meds and cold coffee course through veins that used to pulsate with light and life…

Flex with inspiration, now knotted with cholesterol, perhaps, and also doubt..

Thinking about starting a new Nonmonogamous relationship with the floor, the ceiling and this doubt, caressing my temples…

Reclaiming My Piece of Mind from Chad and Bethany Crow

There’s a scene in Black Lightning where Gambi (James Remar) confesses to Jefferson (Cress Williams) that he once worked as a government agent. (Episode 9, The Book of Little Black Lies)

The ASA had instituted a program in Freeland that was used to distribute a vaccine in the neighborhood to make the predominantly black population docile. As he explained it, the neighborhood was a potential political hotbed waiting to explode. The powers that be were concerned that a full blown riot could erupt. Suppression of the people’s natural inclination to rebel is a tactic as old as white savior hood.

Not once during our history on this continent have we suffered from a mass delusion that our best interest was on anyone’s mind within the power structure. There have always been individuals or groups within the enslaved and indigenous communities in opposition to the status quo.

Certainly, to wipe us out en mass would mean destroying the Settler Socialism based economy of America, thereby crippling the world and plunging our planet into a darker age.

But nothing has ever stopped the State from ensuring our servitude via surgical strikes against our collective person.

Of course, because melanin is a bad mufucka, this vaccine the ASA promoted also triggered metahuman abilities in certain children. Hence our heroes origins. Gambi’s job was to search for those metahumans and turn them in to the state.

The crux, however, is that this figure, whom Jefferson Pierce’s daughters call Uncle Gambi, was also a purveyor of colonizer tactics. Many would ask, Is it fair to judge him since he’s been using his knowledge of the inner workings, and mastery of technology to help Black Lightning fight crime?

Yes. It’s quite alright, prudent even, to pass judgement on his ass.

So long as Black Lightning’s focus remained on dishing out ass whuppings in the hood, all was right in the world. But once the focus began to shift towards bigger fish, Gambi started sweating like an ethno-nationalist at a BLM rally. One has to wonder why it took so long for him to come clean if he felt that his contribution was righteous….

The answer to this question lies within the fact that, although we have allies and accomplices, many of them do not truly wish to give up the privilege that comes with white supremacy in America, and the world. They talk a good game, but are in actuality terrified of a world where their access to privilege is burned to the ground. This is why they tone police, talk about nonviolence, post MLK quotes and try to convince us that amendment to writ law is a better option than revolutionary inclinations.

Of course, none of this should surprise non white viewers of the show. This is why I belly laugh at global conspiracy theorists who assume that non white folks ain’t hip to the long game being played by these overtly callous governments. This global, class based society was shaped through the continuous desecration of the spirit of indigenous people, via mass murder, slavery, incarceration, inept healthcare and Draconian laws.

Much has already been said about how well entrenched cognitive dissonance is within the collective psyche of white America. It allows our left leaning, revolting redneck, anarchist allies to assume that quoting Marx erases any vestiges of racism clinging to their backside. It allows casual conversation between work colleagues to become a point of departure from potential friendship to stiff silence. It’s what causes me to write off anything coming out of a white person’s mouth, because I tire of simplified well actually disguised as education.

Of late, I’ve had to deal with multiple instances of casual racism. It’s beginning to reshape my daily interactions. And yet I’m put out with consistently code switching just to make folks comfortable with with my presence. So when I watch Black Lightning, all I see when Gambi speaks, is just another Chad trying to convince me that HIS way is my only path to liberation.

Born Tired

I feel myself sliding sometimes, like a raindrop on glass….

I don’t normally express the level of fatigue I’ve felt of late. I don’t like to.

But as I write this I feel myself sliding.

It’s late in the day, I need to clean and make dinner.

I’d rather sit and do nothing save watch trashy tv, finish the Binti trilogy, close my eyes…..

This ebb and flow often has more to do with navigating this country with the weight of generational trauma clamped to ones ankle. There’s no real return, save the promise that it won’t stop. I can sleep, and come the morrow, institutional slavery, economic oppression and psychological warfare will still lay in wait to accost me as I cross the threshold and out, into the world.

This tired is born of trauma. Triggered by fast moving red pickup trucks driven by disgruntled white men with crooked fingers and a rifle rack in the window.

It’s a tired born of the daily situations I don’t report. Staring contests with white boys in confederate hats, police cruising past as I walk home, entitled college kids when I walk into the Mudhouse or some rando open carry advocate itching to live out their Call of Duty fantasy.

Tired of mufuckas trying to tell me my trauma and depression ain’t real. I need Jesus, therapy and a Ram Dass Ted talk or some such.

I’m sick of people thinking I need to see a 20 year old black youth get gunned down to know it’s real.

I’m tired of memes and let’s discuss without a resolution. And radio silence. I’m tired of fence straddling allies too afraid to call out their husbands/brothers/uncles/friends cause they love dogs and aren’t afraid to wear a fuckin’ kilt. I’m tired of white saviors, white rappers, white people dying to have an excuse to say nigga. I’m tired of niggas giving they white girlfriend a pass when that hoe rock cornrows, and saying their children are multiracial.

Tired of diasporic armchair mechanics thinking a foot in the door equals a seat at the table. Tired of internet fame, misogyny and its progeny. Revamped settler politics disguised as hotepery. And intellectual snobs….

A tired born from a lack of trust when I deal with random people at a given moment.

It’s an exposed wound salted by long hours of code switching at the office. Appreciating my sexy but afraid to share a photo on the office chat because Europeans are just as antiblack as Americans.

Born from the objectified stare of a white woman at work too ashamed to speak in front of her friends, but under the right circumstances will blow me on the DL in the parking lot.

This is a tired birthed from budgeting that ever spoken for paycheck, paying bills, buying food. Worrying about whether the state will try and take my trans child from me.

I’m tired of being too broke to see my oldest and watching our relationship crumble with every passing day.

Or when our consistent activism is labeled dissent, while supposed allies laud non black high school kids for pulling similar tactics.

I’m worn out from having to walk, consistently on the go. My brain never decelerates. Steady pushing at 90mph, a knock on the door got me clutching kitchen knives and peeking out the window as the mailman walks away.

Tired of not being intimate with my partner, tired of falling asleep when the opportunity is available. Tired from the ever present allure that I used to seek for validation, only to discover that I have neglected something meaningful in search of false fulfillment.

Tired of queer men not thinking I’m queer enough. Tired of non-men being erased..

I’m tired of dying in my dreams. Tired of my dreams dying. I long for sleep but I’m tired of looking at the darkness.

Tired….

But what I ain’t gon’ do is give in.

If I have to deal with you, you mufuckas gon’ have to deal with me.

Radical Nonmonogamy as Praxis II

“I’ve also come to realize that I can love my friends and accomplices with the same amount of devotion and ferocity given my partner, inside social activist space. This is a true hallmark of radical nonmonogamy, extending my emotional availability to comrades within reason, whether we sleep together or not. This also means being able to consistently accept my failings and work towards being a better (non)human.”

– Untitled, M. Goosby

“Love is not a spackle for the rest of your humanity.”

– Salem Goosby

_______________________________

Access to Basic Needs:

I think long and often about the mechanics of nonmonogamy. How it can be arranged into something tangible that allows me to continue to build in keeping with the various movements I wish to address through my Otherness.

Many of us are working to ensure bare minimum survival rather than focus on standard issue love practices.

This is not to say that we don’t deserve respect, devotion and intimacy. In our bid to survive the horrors of a disreputable regime we are seeking to love on our own terms.

The distended value system of checks and balances on display in film and TV has no desire to envelop us in its embrace. Any more than liberal politics or mainstream polya is ready to see past respectability jargon or the myriad walls that has safely encapsulated its social capital.

Family obligations, income, mobility, sexuality, gender identity, race, all this factors into the ways in which individuals are able to fit nonmonogamy into their lives.

[Salem doing a nebulizer treatment]

We should be able to concede to one another’s distinct mode of production, and use our mutual resources for upliftment.

Time management, planning dates, budgeting, all of this requires capital, an influx that feeds the machines used to beholden the people to the Gods of Commerce.

A perfect example of this is my daily schedule. I work 8-12 hours regularly. My trip home via public transportation and walking takes an hour minimum. Then when I get home I clean, cook lunch for my toddlers and partner, plan dinner, decompress. All while attempting to engage loved ones and friends. I also write, manage my own mental health and and unpack, to ease the burden of emotional labor on my partner, who is chronically ill and disabled.

We make time to solidify our bond, be it simple conversation, snuggling while binging a show, or intimacy, if I can stay awake long enough!

Our time is precious, accounted for and extremely valuable. We both work within our separate niches to make sure that bills are paid and food is on the table. We engage and educate our children about anti-blackness, Eurocentric settler politics, gender..

Abolitionist work is just as vital to our daily lives, and the lives of the people we interact with via social media. It is only natural that time cultivates something deeper than what we know of love, viewed through a lens crafted from the fires of change. Feelings that surpass physical commitment. Growing with this foundation, relationships that are outside of the boundaries of normalized archetypes. Everyone striving, on their own path, with the same end goal in sight. Growth, financial stability, evolving into an organism that centers and shelters all involved.

If the end game is finding, and expressing love in it’s multitude, then showing solidarity with friends, accomplices and potential lovers who are terrorized by the state is just as vital as finding someone to fuck.