I have these dream where all the people I love are all in my elementary school, Webster Magnet, and I think we’re in 2nd grade and all the desk are too small but we don’t notice and math is really hard & that’s all we worry about.
The feeling of being an innocent target can be reversed only if...
1-we stop asking questions about the targets and start asking questions about the shooters. 2- hit back Writing down your thoughts, fears, loves, obsessions is amazingly liberating but more than that it is…
Well, it’s also scary hell. I don’t know if it’s any more amazingly liberating than dancing or singing or running, but sure, let’s say it’s amazingly liberating for me. In some ways, writing also is a practice for many, a discipline, a work. sometimes I don’t walk about from writing something feeling liberated. Sometimes I walk away feeling small, aware of all the bad in the world, all that threatens my people, my family, my loves, me. Sometimes I walk away knowing exactly who wants me dead and I’m frightened by the numbers. And yeah, sometimes it’s a place of joy and celebration and rebellion and innovation and magic, but also it’s a lot. Writing is a lot and it’s difficult. And it’s scary to be that “liberated”, it’s scary to be free someplace, because we spend so much of our time not.
Some of us are killed / in pieces some of us all at once - tragic, heart wrenching, terrifying. What’s the proper way of mourning when we’re part of the same family, that of mankind, committing murder over and over again?
I can’t tell anyone else how to mourn. No one should deem anyone else’s grief proper. The question doesn’t for me come in how to mourn, but how do we remove the regularity of tragedy and violence in all it’s many, many forms as a constant catalyst for someone’s mourning? How do we imagine building a world where violence is less of a currency? How do we work towards are most realistic utopia? And I’m smart enough to know that I ain’t got the answers.
Is it possible to find an antidote to all the sadness surrounding us?
We don’t want an antidote for sadness. Sadness is a part of being. Gods can’t avoid it. What we want is a solution to the seemingly systematic, senseless, and/or prejudice ills around us. Some of us also want antidotes.
Top five people and stories that have made you smile or even jump for joy this year?
Every something great happened to black and brown writers I love and know. So the year in Poetry. Every something great happened to black and brown people I love and know. My family in general. Me and one of my friends spent a week in the car driving being Black and Midwestern around the South. Good Shrimp and Grits.
Who are the biggest culprits of manufacturing sadness?
I can only speaking for myself in the sense I use it in the poem. But I like the idea, or rather, I understand the idea that we make sadness happen in other people. I guess there’s no way of getting around that. But ways to do it less.
What type of art do you turn to in moments of weakness? What is a sure bet to change your mood and inspire you with your own writing?
I listen to some Nina Simone, some Sweet Honey in the Rock, Jamila Woods, K. Raydio, Chance The rapper, some 90’s R&B or read some Lucille Clifton or watch The Kings of Comedy or Naruto or some Bob’s Burgers and I’m better, or at least stable. And thinking on the goodness of black people always gives me something to write about.
Today I am alive and the best part of it is that…
Period. Thank you.
Everyday is a Funeral & a Miracle
on the bad nights, i wake to my mother shoveling dirt down my throat i scream mom! i’m alive! i’m alive! but it just sounds like dirt
if i try to get up, she brings the shovel down saying i miss you so much, my sweetest boy
my grandma doesn’t know so don’t tell her if you see her with this poem
burn it, burn her burn whatever you must how do you tell a woman
who pretends you are just having trouble finding a wife that once, twice, daily, a man
enters you, how you blood smells like a hospital, graveyard or a morgue left in the sun
hallelujah! today i rode past 5 police cars & i can tell you about it
now, what to do with my internal inverse, just how will i survive the little cops running inside my veins, hunting white blood cells & bang bang i’m dead
today, Tamir Rice tomorrow, my liver today, Rekia Boyd tomorrow, the kidneys today, John Crawford tomorrow, my lungs
some of us are killed in pieces some of us all at once
do i think someone created AIDS? maybe. i don’t doubt that anything is possible in an place where you can burn a body with less outrage than a flag
hallelujah! today i did not think about my blood
what is the shape of my people’s salvation?
name a thing that can’t be made a weapon?
can you point in the direction of the doctor?
witch or medical, no matter.
i got this problem: i was born
black & faggoty
they sent a boy when the bullet missed.
look, i’m not going to manufacture any more sadness. it happened. it’s happening.
America might kill me before I get the chance. My blood is in cahoots with the law. but today I’m alive, which is to say
I survived yesterday, I spent it ducking bullets, some flying toward me & some trying to rip their way out
Elegy with Pixels & Cum
for Javier “Kid Chocolate” Bravo
they won’t let you stay dead, kid
today’s update: your dead flesh stitched digital, kid
this gravestone: no lilies, a dick pic, no proof you were someone’s, kid
i watch your ghost plunge into a still alive boy, make him scream like a bleeding kid
did they dress or undress you for burial, kid?
your mother watches you choke a man into pleasure, can’t look away, just misses her kid
men gather in front of screens to jerk & mourn, kid
don’t know your real name, kid
you fuck like an animal, you die like an animal, kid
i have the same red shadow running though my veins, kid
in my blood, a little bit of your blood, almost siblings, some bad father’s kids
did you know how many ways you can relate to a ghost, kid?
i will have no kids - no, kid. no kidding.
can I miss them if i will never know them, kid?
why do you only answer in grunts & cum, kid?
someone misses your laugh, not just the way you filled asses & screens, kid.
i bet they had a pastor who didn’t know you do your eulogy, kid.
they turn our funerals into lessons, kid.
they say blood & everyone flinches, kid.
they say blood & watch us turn to dust, kid.
they want us quiet, redeemed, or dead already, kid.
they want us hard, tunnel-eyed, & bucking, kid.
they want us to fuck more than they want us to exist, kid?
they want us to know god or be god, kid.
how close was death to orgasm, kid?
how did it feel to feel everything, then becoming a thing that can’t feel, kid?
did a boy kiss what was left of you, kid?
did he flood the church with his mourning?
did his sorrow drown the psalm out pastor’s gold mouth?
did your mother build a raft to wait out the sad?
was he the rain & you the ark, kid?
did he make a new sea to miss you, kid? was your body a fish swimming in his grief? did you float?
The Girl I Could Have Been
give me 1994 back, i want to keep the dress on, i want to dance & sing for toy soldiers, i want my Barbie back & my aunt’s weave bang still stuck to my baby hairs & somewhere near, faggot is a itch in the back of papa’s throat & stays there. don’t give me the faggot don’t burn my dress, please, it’s my only skin good enough for the mirror god, god who tells a boy he can grow up to be anything: a doctor, a rapper, a wife, the moon herself.