On episode 9 of BTRtoday’s When We See Each Other, I chatted with the multi-genre duo The Black Creatures from Kansas City. We talked about all the things: their latest album, Wild Echoes, gender identity, race, current books they’re reading…! Check it out! This podcast is produced by Stereoactive Media.
We are separated now.
Our communal bond severed into a mince of galaxies collecting into dust from a distance away.
I am grateful that you are still alive, even as our separation is a sort of a death.
Memories of seeing you leap into yourself and have the zoomies, and loving each moment of it. I am here in which ether points of being available are a reciprocity. Where I can no longer depend on you for the support you brought from the comfort of your tiger striped fur.
I sigh in a longing sense to not only feel your purring rhythm, which comforted me as I gently pet the wild part, the most visceral part, which you allowed, “Yes you may touch me.”
I keep thinking your crawl will bring us right back into this room of a heart where you’re used to, you will pounce onto the bed with a look of, “This is mine!”
I’m not sure what joy I brought to your life other than you ruled my universe.
On the latest episode of BRtoday‘s When We See Each Other, I interviewed Witch Prophet, a soul artists from Toronto, about their album, ‘DNA Activation,’ as well as their experience in the music industry as a Black and queer artist. ‘DNA Activation’ is a rich blend of R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz and African vibes, that draws on Witch Prophet’s Ethiopian/Eritrean ancestry and heritage. You can check out the interview HERE.
On this episode of BTRtoday‘s When We See Each Other, I interviewed Black queer, gender-nonconforming femme, soul music artist NYALLAH. We chatted about their debut album, Reflections, and how much it is a look back at the past and journeying into a healing future. We also talked about their experience in the indie music scene as a Black queer, GNC, femme. Check it out HERE or anywhere you get your podcasts!
On this week’s of BTRtoday‘s When We See Each Other, I interview Black trans artist Anjimile. His album, Giver Taker, is scheduled to be released on September 18th, under the record label Father/Daugther Records. His gorgeous single, Maker which delves into gender/Trans identity and coming out, is so generous in sound and movement that you must listen, and mark the date for the rest of the album! It’s definitely going to be memorable! Also on this episode, there is music from R&B rising star TruVonne, and the contemplative track by composer Shannon Sea. You can listen to the interview and entire episode HERE!
A face in a square box, while my life has always been nonlinear in design to capture me in a pose. The lighting will have to render me in all essence that includes lines below my chin, possessing the means of my neck. My hair is wild and tightly coiled, a definition of my set ablaze heart. My forehead creased with question marks. My eyes as glorious as of a late afternoon’s sun glowing in the panorama. My ears piqued with sound, restless around my oval universe, seeking new varieties and variables. My nose broad and brimming my smile across my cheekful geometry. My thick layered cake lips blowing a kiss to the world.
My Black Joy is witnessing my nieces and nephews, my niblings, be alive. Thriving as the future, and me watch them and celebrate enough that their teenage, young adulthood makes them embarrass of my shout-out. Like, yeah aunty, yeah uncle, I hear you. Black joy is watching them cut up. Is that the phrase? Am I getting it wrong? When you are so right with your mashups, and your new language for something as old in its expression. Black Love is being a witness to their parent’s’ commitment, my siblings, which brought and nurtured the young in this world when Blackness is seen as dangerous.
Today and always
I am forever seeing you
out at large, a gift.
So this is a response to all the fireworks happening in the New York area and else where.
Explosions In The Sky
The sky lights up with the sound of Boom
resonating through the walls. Like thunder it
exists as a reminder of disaster, a Boom Boom
Boom so you know who is in charge. Like a
frighten dog, like a frighten cat, we escape
under the bed. We take to cover and bury our
heads into our arms. Hide our bodies and our
love ones from the terror of what the sky is
suppose to mean now. Safe? It is a word we
dream about and fight hard to attain. Safe? It
is a word that cares nothing about who is
outside facing the elements which was
created. We are looked as dangerous while
our bodies, an esse, are the most vulnerable.
Spent the evening watching fireflies
that’s what I did because it meant
observing the nature of quiet while
being restless with nerves by
all that has happened and
all that can still can…
I watched those lightning bugs ignite
pulses of pronounced intensity
shortly appear to shortly disappear
vanishing as the transition occurs
dusk is their majestic moment
where such leaping guts sparkle
intermittently, they beam a breath
of fire in the nigh night.
The weather exists outside your own intentions. The rain comes with its clouds regardless of your want to lookup at the moon, to receive and see its splendid aura. Especially at a time where I have to lookout for threat rather than beauty. The beauty in the sounds of joyous glee. The beauty in seeing the miraculousness of things of living a life. When I watch for the next killing, the next mourning in a hashtag. Am I next? Am I next if I step outside and demand my space as a human being? Will I be next because my fight/flight/freeze mode is at a vigilance, so my actions are seen as a danger, while you have been so dangerous to me!
Ignited moon gaze
ricocheting in waves of
Us, Oh the glory
We’re at the same juncture where Black people are met with the same struggle, one which seems to never end. We’re still fighting for our lives to matter. We still can’t breathe as the knees of oppression bends into our necks, killing us. We’ve peacefully marched, we’ve walked with our anger boiling beneath our rich and beautiful skin, but yet this ugly history of us being beaten down, being hosed down still continues today. A reflection of us standing up against the fences, the faces of an established denial of my place in the world, where I dream as much as you do. I wish to sing my troubles. But it is the same tune. What else is there for us to say out loud, write down and shout, We shall over come… Should I tell the next generation it’s up to them now, to carry this anger, this despair, this anxiety of living outside, while I can’t even escape it myself? My life is ordinary like the songs of any bird-call voicing an incandescent sound, but because of the hatred of my existence I am martyred for my race, for my color: Black!
Black is the beauty
of the night forever and ever
Black is what brings light
Summer nights when the air is perfumed with
barbecue and peppered with a gamut of
sounds blasting from windows and speeding cars.
The chatter of get togethers with the
occasional scandalous uproar of laughter.
Summer nights that sizzles with heat
even after the sun sets, mosquitoes mark us in
our sluttish outfits. We cool off while smelling
like the sweltering outside which dreams and
longs for a breeze to soothe the thickness of
the atmosphere. We use to gather with our
homemade delicacies given as an offering, a
ritual of the time welcoming a blaze of
fireflies saying good evening.
To survive is gonna mean more than just
weathering today as you scrape together
leftovers and create a spontaneous meal to
feed the hunger inside our hearts. It will mean
a new way of breathing, as your lungs can no
longer take the pressure of the air of the past.
It would mean your kidneys cannot renew your
blood like it use to. It would mean your heart
can no longer function as simply a tool but a
bearer of all that is alive and living. The air
which trees transport will be differently
received, reciprocated as we wear a mask
now. I am terrified as I am piqued with
curiosity of where does this passage take us.
In real life, I can count my friends on one hand
and tell you stories of us being together, like it
was yesterday, we did that thing which was so
funny to us, or we went through a rough patch
where we disagreed with each other, but some
how found ourselves back to laughing like old
times sake, and wondering when we’d meet up
again. Like a current, there’s a sweet love
running deep of many years and it shows, with
this responsibility of a connection. Intimacies
at the level where you say, you tell each other
the hard truth which needs to be heard. You
show up even while it’s heavy to be there
because this is your friend, your family.
Remembering the weekend blood pulsate
throughout my body, throbbing excitement
an emancipation from the hard work week.
Friday, meant you celebrated however you are
in whichever minuscule way of greeting how
labor felt and won a time to rest in jubilation.
The energy in the streets whether when
it’s frigidly cold, you yet emerge in fire
the electric, electric of being free for two days.
It still meant working these chores around
your home, as Sunday signified the blues
return of another Monday. You were free to be
as you became and can imagine leaving
this frenzy of just two days.
On Saturday, I participated in a virtual writing Salon, and it was very enlightening and inspiring. It definitely was thoughtful food for the soul, and I can’t wait for next month’s Salon. We were given writing prompts, and one of them was to write a Haibun, a prose/haiku poem. Here, I make my attempt, as I write about social distancing, and the mental toll it has on us.
Alone in my room, there I am sitting on the unmade bed. With my phone in hand, I scroll through what seems to be the universe of information. Like satellites, thoughts scattered across social caves. I watch cat videos, even as I observe my own. Each thing she does is more spectacular, so I document and label it. I watch the latest dance craze, that makes me young enough in my heart to want to share in the spirit of a challenge. I just watch, and watch, lurching in between rooms where you collect your loneliness and project it through the screen. A quiet longing, a hunger for connection, for touch, for community, for communal sharing. Because, we are social beings. Alone is it’s own force of meditation. You become use to listening to your river of thoughts. You time travel and revisit moments only to reflect them back as what you should of, could of. Alone becomes a sequenced pattern you follow. But this “alone” is different, as I wake up every day worrying about, well, will I make it to the other side? The other side everyone is dreaming, desiring? As the first thing you’d do when it’s over? Many say they’ll flock to shows, swarming them to capacity. To never again take for granted this freedom. In the meantime, you hang on by hanging out through a screen of online get togethers. Let’s meet again a week from today, even as we can’t tell how long this will last. Who knows for sure? Tomorrow you might be stricken.
Set apart on this
journey to the other side
where we laugh and dance