Proximity: A View from Dead Space



1: Productive activity, especially for the sake of economic gain.

2: The body of persons engaged in such activity, especially those working for wages.

I notice my relationship to negation, when in close proximity to those at odds with Otherness. Which is to say the world that I inhabit, although the action of displacement exhibits a sense of form. Momentum is oftimes misinterpreted, itself an act of resistance, as a sign of resignation. This was a misunderstanding typically assigned to the servile demeanor of every slave. Reality is, the plot to overthrow the merchant regimes and plantation aristocracy was never spoken aloud. Prying eyes, prudent ears, forces one to adopt a disguise sewn from defeat and dejection.

Mind, if your contemporaries are in motion, attuned to the music of subjegation, quite naturally, you also must walk in lockstep, until the call is made.

Resistance is a dance old as time.

In the fields we would deliberately break tools, burn crops, misunderstand directions, clever subterfuge that was at once genius but also allowed the master to proclaim the need to further commodify. In their eyes we were in need of management,so that our dreptomaniacal souls could gain passage to heaven. Not much has changed. Government officials and corporate Titans still assume the masses are in need of guidance and work to quell our misgivings with Hollywood entertainment, fast food and simple escapes. We feed the machine which in turn dribbles tiny bits into our open palm.

Our bodies, despite the will to move, in spite of the desire to perfect a seamless transition from Doing to Being, is still chained to a brutal economy. Touted as most advanced, inclusive, a juggernaut built from blood, bone, disingenuous cruelty, unrepentant resolve.

Copper John once relayed to me a story handed down by his Guyanese grandmother. The slaves that did not make the full journey, those who died en route, tossed overboard, their bodies were collected by angels of the deep. Carried to the shores of their should-have-been home to guide the living along the pathways to freedom.

That said I am wrapped in my ancestors loving embrace. They have lent me the strength of their conviction, etched like the marks of maturity on my weary face.

As object this is at once ethereal and the cause of taxation, time management, prone to savagery through written word and implied violence. Subjegation through the suppression of ones past, for the betterment of a disquieting mode of production. The world is deemed a playground ripe for assault, the body a tool used to terraform the Earth in the image of Eurocentric hierarchy.

Work is a requirement for social esteem, basic needs, sustainable wealth that is in actuality a paperweight on the backs of the workers. Poverty, environmental terrorism and State sanctioned psychological warfare keep the worker class in thrall to this oligarchy disguised as Democracy. Marketable dreams, sold like corner store liquor to the have nots since manifest destiny was tattooed on the skin of slaves and the indigenous First of this land.

To free the body-self from profile slavery is to be in opposition of the course. Many of us, regrettably cannot escape the corporate plantation due to fail-safes built into the capitalist model. True to the Matrix Dilemma, we feel the wrong of it within, yet struggle to remove the paperweight as it has settled into a comfortable spot between the shoulder blades. We reach and only scratch at the edges.

Our proximity to free thought, financial independence is negated by the need to survive in a land stolen and an economy drenched in our blood. Even as we formulate ways to ‘get through’, as opposed to ‘just getting by’. The entrepreneur still has to file taxes. The artist must still hock their works through commercial ventures. The writers words must be seen, to be felt. The sex worker must still utilize the Draconian health care industry in order to ensure they are healthy.

To counter this we must continue to scratch the itch until the paperweight falls away. Once seen it can be reverse engineered, reused as a weapon to advance the cause of true freedom. What I’m saying is this…..

We have always stood apart, even when we were trod underfoot. We’ve always moved in shadow as our bodies dwelled in the sun. We stand apart so we can stand firm, together. The walls are crumbling. Each fracture exposes this regime. We have to keep chipping away until the wall falls. Wrapped in the embrace of years long resistance.


Radical Nonmonogamy as Praxis I

Before I knew that polyamory held validity I wanted to love freely, unabashedly.

Growing up the thing to do was have a girlfriend and “friends” who were cool with the benefits of that tenuous status. I preferred friends, much to the disapproval of my childhood homies. The game plan was that we all couple up so that their girlfriends felt comfortable knowing I wasn’t trying to convince them to cheat. The homies needed no approval from me.

Despite intuition I eventually married. I loved my wife and worked hard to honor our agreement to remain faithful. I avoided friendships that could turn into, or be misinterpreted as mutually beneficial intimacies.

Our divorce, seven years later, was an abrupt reintroduction into the single life. I Floundered from lover to lover, used words unwisely, perused dating apps and avoided long term situations.

Again, the expectation was that I find a girlfriend or potential wife so as to be a better model for my daughter. My heart would not allow me to subvert to the lie society and family expected. Added to this was a sense of frustration at not being sexually fulfilled. Everyone I met and vibed with had something relevant to offer. Rather than choose to spend a lifetime with one who exhibited expectant attributes favorable to societal norms, the goal was to love them all equally. Of course I was labeled emotionally unavailable, a serial cheater, and a ho for refusing to fall in line with the standard issue template. One result was many years of loneliness mixed with good times.

When I first heard the phrase ,”I’m polyamorus”, I assumed it a fancy white people term for being a player. Cynicism kept me from taking it seriously. When I met my current partner they helped me gain a different, more feasible understanding of what polyamory entailed. Over time my misgivings melted away and we agreed to formulate an ethical, polyamorus union. Slowly I immersed myself into the dating scene.

Dating in the Midwest was conducive, in that I have learned a lot of useful truths about myself while discerning the motives of some individuals within the poly community. It was also emotionally unhealthy. The interest was typically physical or not at all, considering that the majority of desirable poly people were white, cis-het and male. The amount of black, queer, openly poly people in the immediate vicinity was so slim as to be non-existent.

I participated in online groups, attempted to cultivate long distance relationships, thinking that over time I’d eventually be able to solidify physical unions with the people I met. During this sojourn two children were born into our lives. Our social awareness increased and discussions about erasure, social death, racism and income inequality became daily conversations. I began to redefine my gender and sexual identity, wanting to live the truths that made me whole.

It didn’t take long before I discovered that elitism and colorblindness was thoroughly embedded within polyamory’s multiple iterations. One couldn’t expect to be accepted while also reminding potential, politically ambivalent lovers that Otherness came at a cost. Fetishizing and anti-blackness is as deeply embedded as racism.

To be fair I’ve met some beautiful souls whom I’ve built genuine friendships with. I’ve learned much about the nuances associated with polyamory and know of individuals who are also working towards remapping polyamory into an inclusive community.

I love them like true family.

Raised in street culture I had a hard time being honest with myself. Had an even harder time accepting advice or critique from my partner. This began to cause issues with my home life. I lied for no reason other than to save face. Gaslighting was a regular tactic. My erratic need to just be appreciated, and gain social capital threatened to destroy the one true, loving relationship I had. Rather than accept my faults I blamed my partner anytime they pointed out unhealthy patterns.

To cover up the growing anxiety about my place in an increasingly hostile world I continued to instigate relationships as a means of stress relief, as opposed to facing my issues head on. Depression increased its presence. Social death and truama threatened to eat away at what sanity I had left.

Many monogamous relationships have been thoroughly broken because we choose to mask up for the sake of belonging without judgement. Men attempting to mend the aftermath of infidelity is seen as socially redeemable. Particularly if you link transgression to sin, before a congregation of peers connected to a rich (insert religious upbringing) legacy. I found myself parroting this behavior even though I called myself polyamorus.

Understanding this, I pulled away, left the groups I was in, tried to amicably foster friendships with lovers and turned my focus inward.

Blogging about my various traumas helped me to talk openly with my partner about blatant denial when I did something wrong. It also helped me understand why I felt threatened when they confronted me. My near death at the hands of white supremacists, attempted assaults in prison and while homeless meant a wall of impenetrable mistrust had been erected. Letting my guard down meant being vulnerable. In a world out to eradicate the marginalized. In spite of all I had learned, even preached on, I armored my emotions in indignation and misogynistic tomfoolery. I was putting the burden of emotional labor on them, my best friend. We had been through so much together, but I got sidelined by selfishness. My partner lost friends and lovers who couldn’t be bothered to see beyond their chronic illness. They too were experiencing erasure. Slowly being punished by society for not having perfect health, exposed to perpetual trans-antagonism, while working hard to bring in money and raise children.

The realization still haunts me. I was adding more stress to our lives by fostering mistrust. I had been living a lie. I see now that the intention was not to control me, or have overall approval of my dating choices. They were helping me be more honest about what I truly wanted out of polyamory. Encouraging me to be a better person.

When put into proper perspective, I have had time to really think about who I allow into my life. Because these interactions will ultimately affect my emotions, which, in turn will dictate how I interact with my other loved ones.

Sincerely, I am doing my best to rebuild the broken trust between me and my partner. With the understanding that it takes time. Nevertheless the work is ongoing. I’m done deciphering the isms within polyamory that assail my sense of being. While in the midst of healing, I have begun to figure out a way to be polyamorus that was fruitful not only for myself, but my partner, and any potential lovers either of us began to see.

Manifesto Digitalis

The internet is an ecosystem gifted to us, the grassroots, as a way to connect, inform, love, build and further a more intimate universe. My partner and I heavily rely upon this space for community, company and growing wealth. Many of us are tied into the digiscape, like it or not. It has become us. Our footprints have worn a path meant for continuous use. Our children are meant to evolve with it, through it, and oversee its cultivation. This lovely ever morphing garden of memes, memory and information is a legacy just like the Earth.

Much like the Mother it has been abused, used heinously, stripped of vital information, seeded with lies. Weeds have sprung forth and rot infects some of its darker corners. It is this rot many corporations and government officials use as a reason to steal away our garden. Just like we fight to enjoy our fleeting freedom so to must we continue to fight for our online heaven.

Let’s stop using terms such as administration to describe the despotic rulers currently in power. They gladly accept what they are, how they view us and whom they serve.

We’ve already known that somehow there would be a push to further suppress the ongoing dissent amongst the grassroots, queer, marginalized communities by the current regime.

We’ve seen this coming since Trayvon’s assassination, the birther movement, 45’s announcement to run for the presidency, possibly even further back. We can no longer pretend that organizing under the broken umbrella of democracy will keep the blood rain from staining our faces. We can no longer dream of a world healed in the aftermath of the colonizer God’s judgement.

We have to ask, which of these powerful tech companies stand to lose from this decision? Call em. Write emails. Show up at the door when the CEO pulls up and lob questions at their heads. Our livelihood and theirs is also at stake, despite their lofty position. The world economy is at stake whether the government wants to admit it. Much as it pains us we have to flood the phone lines and inboxes of the few who attempt to serve with an even hand. And antagonize the greedy abusers who have been bought and paid for by special interest groups.

We must continue to work out ways to further our Resistance. We are an innovative, tenacious group of like minds. Our hearts are filled with love and determination. Our fists are swollen from going rounds with oppression, but our knuckles are not yet broken. We are tired. Most of us are broke as fuck, trying just as hard to stay above water. We’re out of spoons, fucks, energy.

In the aftermath of the FCC decision we have to take a beat, smoke one, vibe out and get it crackin’.

Now more than ever we must utilize our tools, our networks in place. We must also come with ways to carry on if Congress concedes to the madness

Not only am I imploring my community to stay vigilant. I’m also speaking to those organizations that have already been on the frontline. I’m speaking to the gentrified polyamory, RA and BDSM communities. I’m talking to the supposed middle class who claim to be in for the long haul but will not be so affected by the increase in prices. Some of us who rely on this free and universal ecosystem will not walk away unscathed. We’re not seeking penance or pity. Just do what it is that’s fruitful without worrying at your own best interest. Because eventually, they’re coming for you too. Without free and ready access how you gon’ call Tyrone to help you come get yo shit?

Get mad. Like we did when Mike Brown was murdered. Like when Freddie Gray was murdered. When Sandra Bland was murdered. Like when everytime we find out that one of our trans comrades are murdered. Get louder. Scream your grievances, say no more!

Let’s put in our best efforts in this round. Because even without access to our beautiful garden the fight must go on.

A Broke Radical Speaks on Love

I was watching Chasing Trane with my youngest stepson when he asked earnestly, “Why are there so many love songs?”

I said to him:

“I can’t speak on the industry saturation in general, but I can tell you why black artists sing about love so much. During slavery love was used as a weapon against us. We were not allowed to love as our ancestors did. We were taught not only that we’re unworthy of love, but as nonhumans we’re incapable of love. Any deep emotions we expressed towards one another was used to divide us as a people. A man or woman who broke the rules on the plantation would often be beaten or raped in front of family members, made powerless, and so had to suppress those feelings just to stay alive. We practiced love under the moonlight, in secret and avoided showing affection in public. The risk was too great.”

I’m thinking back on that conversation after responding to my dear comrade Rhizome’s musings on love expressions within polya.



To have expanded on this in the moment would have taken deeper introspection on my part. Only of late have I wrangled the proper discourse to lend my take on the devastation from which misogynoir, queerantagonism and internalized anti-blackness was born. From my perspective it plays into how we percieve, practice and express love across every relationship spectrum. A lense through which we are viewed most harshly, especially if you are queer, trans, or disabled.

In this (after)life we have immersed ourselves into an alien mode of reasoning. Our everyday interactions are limited, based on a perception of Being as opposed to embracing Otherness as an otherwise approach.

We’re taught from toddlerdom that everyone is worthy of love. As young adults we get those first feels, assume we’ve found the key, defend our convictions through sacrifice, dedication and oftentimes violence.

We’re also told by adults that we don’t know what love is, yet we’re expected to love thy neighbor, enemy and anyone else society deems fit for loving. This is especially true for young black people. Love, it seems is taught us in conjunction with spiritual humility, as a survival mechanism, and in some cases to instill fear.

Commodification, resulting in social death, shaped how the world conveys love in relation to blackness while allowing cultural thievery, objectification and fetishizing to become the norm.


As gentrified polyamory becomes more mainstream its problematic aspects continue to unfold. There’s a seeming need by many non-black polya practitioners to not only deem themselves of a higher level of intelligence but proclaim that they’re free from the shackles of microagressive ideology. Free of guilt, they attempt to expound upon ‘love and sex’ outside of whiteness. This extends to kink culture and rears its head in some long term interracial relationships.

Colorblindness is an objective disease that allows the infected to proclaim non-affiliation while upholding white supremacy via ignorance. Race, color and history comes secondary to humanity because, you know, love. Not realizing that love, as we’ve been given to understand is a byproduct of white supremacy. Love, in accordance with this iteration of Humanity, is granted only to those not affected by the ghostly chains of servitude. This is not to say that no work is being done to correct this erasure. There are many polyamorus folks taking steps to make polyamory more inclusive.

As of yet blackness has not been gifted the full credibility to achieve acceptance. We have had to create space where we can develop our own love ideals.

From barber shop to beauty salon you can get told how black people love on a whole other level. The passion has a different flavor. The sex is spectacular. Our exchanges, even the heated, exemplify a special connection solidified through struggle, pain and cosmic connections untold. We’ve worked hard towards carving something beautiful and worthy of love out of the scraps left us. Our developments, however powerful, are built on a colonized framework.

We have cohabitated so long with internalized anti-blackness the need to displace the unworthy has become second nature.

This is part of the reason why misogynoir has become such a prevalent, destructive factor within the black community. Grasping at tactics that frontline masculinity, money and pleasure. Even in our nontraditional spiritual practices (ankh right teachings, NOI and chuch) men are centered and women are expected to take on a secondary role. Coupled with this abuse is queer and trans phobia so vapid it has created a rift that is taking decades to heal.

We justify this shunning with Jesus, toxic masculinity, strict gender roles. Outdated and destructive notions that never belonged to us in the first place.

Queerness, Other gendered aspects, and people with disabilities are dismissed out of hand. And so we have had to break away, forming a language outside of acceptable blackness.

Not even queer theory and afro-pessimism has built language to rectify this. According to the world, black queers and trans folk don’t love as blackness, adjacent to whiteness, dictates.

For an explanation as to why I say this see again the above reply to my stepson.

Just as we have to continue to reframe our gender identity, spirituality and activism we must also revamp the way we love ourselves, each other and the world we’re dead set on burning.

For me, learning to love ones self the way our ancestors intended means moving away from the rom-com standard. This also means leaning into a new way of defining what I am. How I see myself outside the prison that is misogynoir. Which also houses colonized gender norms and manhood as we learned it from the oppressor offspring, unspoken laws, intersectional violence. Relearn love as if it’s the first time all over again. Encourage new potential lovers to expand their personal view. Explore the history so that our end goal activism is in sync with building something greater than what our parents left behind. Chip away at the old foundations, tear down the rickety houses that have impoverished our points of view.

Love. Redefined. Realized. True.

Because, you know love.

Hell Resides in the Eyes of False Saviors


It was early October 2000 and I hadn’t quite figured out that the world don’t owe/n me.


A year and change prior I had watched an older brother almost bleed out on a juke joint floor. Was almost locked away for inadvertently participating in one of the largest mass protests of our generation. Damn near beaten to death by racists. Body and mind worn to a nub. $50 in my pocket. No job prospects, no ID, no home.


Funnily, casually there was moment in Centennial Park when a voice said,

“Nigga, get rid of all that baggage.” (My concious is ghetto af).


I went with it, stuffed all useful items into my backpack, including a change of clothes, walked away.

A few blocks later I ran into John, the name relayed to me lost somewhere in my threadbare mind. He talked alot using hand gestures. He knew everyone, had a line on all the spots where free food and under the table medical care could be had. He walked fast and knew how to trick MARTA for free rides. There was an intense undercurrent in his step, danger in his eyes. He had the look of a man who hadn’t allowed homelessness to defeat him. He’d found comfort in his life, not in a hurry to change his position. My hopes were laughed off as if silver linings were a pipe dream. The idea of securing a job, a stable place to lay, lovers and friends gave way to doubt. Hadn’t the worst been left behind, whimpering in the back of a Greyhound for three days with busted insides and nightmares of bald white male stalkers?


When the question of a place to sleep came up he replied,
“Don’t even worry ’bout it young blood I got you I told I got you my nigga it’s good!”


Daylight faded quickly. I set off on solo, soaked in the night air, the smells drifting from the restaurants, the beauty of aloof night creatures traversing the throbbing sidewalks. A city brimming with blackness. The history made me hungry for my culture, having always felt outside of every circle, even ones inadvertently created.


Down on Auburn Ave. I got my first proposition. I laughed off the assumption that I’d give a hand job for $10, wandered into a small bar. The unshaven nappy headed reflection in the bathroom mirror exemplified my hunger, tiredness. Smelling like cheap weed and ball sweat. Spent $15 on a drink and some wings, absorbed the the music. Later, lit on tequila and whatever pill I got from the pop up medic who removed my stitches I agreed to let a stranger in a gray Durango blow me while I fingered his ass for $50 bucks. I walked away as he asked if I wanted to smoke some weed, get a room. The smell of my cum on his breath made me vomit up my food.


I didn’t feel shame. Bus station bathroom stalls, abandoned building alleyways, all have the same harried illusion. Minimum eye contact, save the threat of violence or the broke trick sob story. I chalked it up to survival. Being queer back then only ever entered my mind when I felt a pang of attraction. But I was still too brainwashed by a lifetime wearing a straight masculine guy template to embrace my true self.


Washed up at the Greyhound station, watched the last train pass overhead through Hightower Station, hung out near Magic City, waiting…


Don’t know what time it was when I got dropped off in front of the downtown library. Cash in my pocket, a baggie of pot, vibrating from the ecstasy that had been offered. John was there chatting up a young woman who, probably like myself was new to the streets. I couldn’t judge the look in his eye. I could have wandered the remainder of the night, embraced the solitude.

John mentioned again that he had a place.


The young woman withstood his advances, walked away towards 5 Points. So as we walked opposite back towards Sweet Auburn he raged against the Injustice, hindsight, occasionally coming to a stop, real anger in his eyes. He touched my arm, searched my face for something I couldn’t name at the time. Consent? Mutual attraction?

We eventually arrived at a dark, tired house. He went round back to open to a window. Moments later he popped open the front door, motioned me inside. We cursed and stumbled our way into a room in back. A small battery lamp, a mattress, bare stained walls.

As I sat down my bag intuition, paranoia kicked in and suddenly I needed to get the fuck out. John however had a different plan.

Cut scene from Penitentiary (1979) when Half Dead told Too Sweet that he had all night to wear him down. And Too Sweet replied, ” It’s gon’ be a long night.”

I can’t tell you how long we fought in that filthy room. He was bigger than me, fueled by lust, a twisted privilege translated in his mind as the right to do as he wished with my body. Thinking back I imagine he had been sizing me up all day. Seeing me flip a trick was justification for sexual favor in return for trade secrets. But I was hyped on thizz and fear.

Sweaty, slipping in blood, out of breath and terrified I matched him blow for blow. His haggard whispers, pleas, still fill my heart sometimes. Every punch etched a pattern across my body. I still wear those scars. My middle knuckle on my left hand will swell sometimes and I fade back, losing count of the blows landed when he went down. Senseless stumble into the dark confines of the house, feeling about, falling until finally I found the front door and the night…


The police rolled up on me, shirtless, out of sorts, coughing up blood. I’d lost my way trying to head back towards the downtown canyons. I’d tossed my Polo, knife and weed down a curb drainage ditch, washed what blood I could from my face in a stagnant pool of water. I told them I’d been attacked up the road and robbed. My backpack was still in the house where I left John. Paramedics showed up. I begged off the hospital. They examined me, taped my ripped eyelid back closed, wrapped my torso, gave me an oversized sweater, some juice and some pamphlets about the dangers of drug use. The police had searched me, ran my name. I gave a random bullshit description for them to not take seriously. They knew I was full of it but didn’t press. Jaded, lacking care and not in a mood for paperwork if I hadn’t committed a crime or had warrants on tap.

I was relieved when they drove me to a local shelter. The sidewalk was lined with lost ones like myself waiting for the gates to open. The cop talked the man up front into letting me in. I melted inside, jeans, socks and shoes all I owned.

My hopes were bloodied, shuttered away in a delapitated house to be considered at a later date.

Broke Radical Musings

“We are trying to destroy the world…”

-Afropessimist mantra

“Hey I’ma tell you right now! If I have to die today for this little African right here to have a future I’ma dead motherfucker!”

– Recorded during the L.A. Riots, 1991

Did you

know, there is profit to be made even at the point of departure?

Even if we black, brown queer, cis, NB, trans, indigenous (god)esses build spaceships set to carry us home, some industrious snake oil capitalist would try to sell us phony dilithium crystals at a mark-up.

It’s always ever been about coins, instilling dominance for the architects of democracy and their brood. Even in relative discomfort we stand upon our own bones. The bricks held together by marrow, (dead)names painstakingly etched into the frame. From auction block to sports draft, to, number assignment, stamped and carded. Standing or kneeling. Our bodies are the land and highway. Our labor the fuel for environmentally unsound incarceration.

Others look upon what has been wrought and Imagine an eventual Democratic socialist Utopia. They ignore the desecration, and fail to see that the towers, McMansions and little houses are masoleums housing our strangled spirits.

They don’t care to support our desire to decolonize our minds, sexuality and gender in an attempt to playback the sweet rhythms our ancestors sang. Going along to get along is mandatory because the bigger struggle has no room for abolishing racism, queerantagonism, transphobia and giving back the land stolen from our First Nation familia. This willful erasure is only a ploy to replace one type of white supremacy with another. To them, Bernie Warbucks and Pink pussy hats are the new black. So I’m here to tell you, a standalone complex is vital, as a way towards remembrance. Divorce the self from being a standard bearer from notions that don’t bring you Joy. Poplock, twerk, smoke, drink, be a ho with house husband/wife tendencies. Love those you wish to love, and accept your love, your blackness, otherness, youness. Be a beacon of raging fire. Cautarize or bleed as needed. No one who has not walked in your shoes can dictate to you how best to politic.

We don’t have to play their game. Knock the pieces off the board, smash em to bits. Use the bones that call out to you and recreate the game.

Cause fuck it, why not?

That’s all.

Being Nothingness, A non Buddhist Approach

My realizations often come in darkness. It’s as though I am newly born, wrapped in a shroud, pushing upward from fitful sleep. Brain waves change shape in anticipation, limbs creaking from disuse. A pinch of light salting the eyelids, beckoning me to hold on to dream stuff absurdly abstract yet striking. The body, once stiff as an unexpected erection is fluid, draining from the shallows, covered in primordial slime as though I have just been dismissed from the womb. I am cleansed, thoughts tumbling about. Shocked at my own breath, how poignant yet stale it tastes. I leave a trail of cosmic dust behind me as I stumble towards the bathroom, stepping on children’s toys.
I prepare myself to die all over again.
Dressing slowly, catch snippets of the show my partner watches to wind down from a hectic pain filled day. We whisper, kiss, hug and laugh quietly as the children sleep. All the while knowing that I am about to wade out into a terrifying waking nightmare disguised as Americana, packaged as achievement, murderous, sly.