Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Turn Around or The Other Name for Revolution

On revolution

Between Jill Stein ballots and Trump hats
Safety pins and Jay Z concerts
Walls and wars
there exist a thin space
A place where the lines drawn fake
Of this world and the next
The seen and the unknown
Destiny and the current conditions
Is getting smaller. less controllable. more acute
And the air cuts tighter
and instead of being cationic or enraged
We be in the feeling of it all
In holding of it all
In the thin places
Other world-ness of it all

I wonder what rawness does to our souls?
How grief fortifies our hearts?
Creates new openings
For seed that otherwise would be planted on hard ground
What finally seeing what was there all along does to our eyes
I know- I was woke; I was awake and black and political and radical
If the meaning of that word
creates distance from those Uncle T Cats 
Who are scared now too.. 
And I am still weary. still afraid. 
And if that makes me weak than
I will claim weakness and not knowing
over fake power anytime
And for all the superior knowledge and 
all the analysis and
Still no a pot to piss it in or change to speak of
Still slave different chains
I will claim dazed and confused

I wonder what doors are now open  
Is it to permeable spaces?
Or is it so big and we be so small

In the same thought I float to
KKK members as cabinet officials and
voting rights completely gutted
so more of the people who love and who look
like the sweet babies who call Ms. Nicole
never know the power of their own voice

I think of camps like Aida where Muhammad
 tell the story of resisting and
 upon my return back to the states I learn he has been shot

When I was young my biggest fear was of being shot. I would say I could go in any other way
 but don’t let my body bleed out in the street.
I imagine a sea of t-shirts and all the people
who would say she was good.
She was smart. She was fun. 

Only the good die young.

Now im older my fear is living a small life
A chained life
Where self expression is never on the table
And being down is more important than being human
I want to live just
But im barely just living
Liberation seems a luxury
 I have family to care for. ones who need me
And a back that cant break 
And yes I dream of freedom but does it count if
I don’t know what it looks likes? and sometimes 
dreaming and being awake feel the same?

I think of registering Muslims and
realize I have registered a long time ago through
 check ins on Facebook and thumb print iPhone touches

And I think mostly about my bed and my heater
and how being nestled in is the safest place for me.
Nothing bad can happen in bed. That’s what I told myself.
They can’t kill me if I’m already laying down. Or maybe I just wont feel it.
Maybe fighting anit for all of us.

I have fought many wars in my life
The biggest was not to be overcome
By my man's fist and my parent's addiction
Fighting seems like a natural and unnatural instinct now
Maybe college and books beat that out of me

I float between what it all means and what to do.
 I float between visions of what is possible and
 the hair on my black woman neck being at attention
because the body can never hide tension

And for all preaching about black joy I still get stuck. But dancing and laughing aint never meant no struggle. And I’m struggling with what it means that my people are perishing and the best I can come up with is sing and laugh and dance. It feels incomplete. We know that path. What if to choose grief is to choose freedom?

I float and dream and plan and give up. I float and pray and feel. The sound of my own laugh is a both a surprise and welcome noise. I want to be entitled to my joy. I think I am. Im floating again

Not making sense. Talking in circles and riddles
parables and prophesy.
mostly just half written poems 
and unfinished work

I think about mixed babies and divided families
 like when Thomas married Annie Mae
I think damm thank God I’m here. Still here. Hoped here. Born here.
By way of unlikely relationships and a love
that some of you will say is colonized and dirty. But I’m here.

A blue passport and meals away from other wars and civil un-arrest.
When Bianca offer words Yo Vengo a Ofrecer Mi Corazon. I listen.
There is wisdom in language that is not mine.
Heirald taught me to sit with what it meant to be American.
I resist because this house has never been my home.
But when I travel I look for Wi-Fi and running water so maybe this house is mine more than I claim. 

They scream something new is being born
But I wonder if they know what labor feels like
The waiting
The false starts
The pains
Some of us have been pregnant and never delivered
When you speak of birth does our shame come into account
Are we counted in the number of mothers?
I have nursed more black men and white woman than I care to remember.

In new America race seems both a dividing line and uniting force
And if one more white woman gives me puppy dog eyes and sad stories about hope
I will scream for I made a choice this morning to protect myself from you
And you would not let me be
Your guilt interrupted my silence
And now there is no peace

If the revolution is coming
Will I be ripped from my family? Will my brother have to fight on the front lines when all he want to do is be a rapper and buy my momma a house?
Will he understand the trick of capitalism or tell me “I don’t give a fuck, if I eat, you eat, we all eat” the redistribution

The soldiers I know been armed. Pistols tucked under seats as we speed in cars going fast nowhere being young and free and invincible. I was formed in the classroom but it was the men I loved who did my political education and when they say to me Have you heard of Dr. Umar? I cringe and wonder what is it that makes bell hooks and Momma Lorde secondary players in the stories about being black.

And some of you are so concerned about what fucking rally I show up at
Or what meeting I’m part of that you forget I am from the place where blocks organized long before you started norms 
and the politics of showing up is that you cant tear movement from my womb
cant dis invite me to the tables set long before you thought being black was special 
chocolate city veins generations of place you cant replace with talk about how marginalized you are as a college educated male with a job and a place to stay. the struggle is complex i know please forgive me

its just the other night a homeless teen asked if he could pump my gas
and asked me to not be afraid of him 
and i wasn't and i had no cash to give 

And if my grandmother uses the wrong pronoun what use will she in the revolutions? Instead of yelling at her can you explain? Please I promise she is kind and can cook and will love you if you let her. 

shit I will love you if you let me. 

Or will we be educated niggers sitting in rooms similar to the west wing making choices about who among us does strategy and who fights and dies?

I work out. I know what its like to be dehydrated. I also know we need more bee keepers. Maybe we will all live off honey and books. 

I know that I aint no girl scout. I can’t start no fire. I can’t grow no food. I have my words and works. I have my love and my laughter is that enough of a contribution? 

I have my love for you is. Can revolution be built on that too?

I have no easy answers
No clear next steps
Call to actions
I barely got the little bit of analysis I had
It seems to fragile to hold on to
Theory in perilous times
I don’t want your tables
I want my grandmothers.
I want the thin space 
and new worlds. 

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