Nobody Mean More: Online Workshop for Writers/Artists/Scholars/Teachers Responding to Police Violence

june-168We are out in the streets.  We out of words to describe this.  We are walking in circles.  We are out of our minds. We are out of our bodies.  We are everywhere.  And we are nobody.  And it hurts.   This course is for those of us who are scholars, writers and artists who are figuring out our role in a moment characterized by (a need for) drastic change.  This one night workshop draws specifically on ways that June Jordan and Audre Lorde responded to police violence as poets, university teachers and public intellectuals.   We need the depth of their legacy right now as much as we ever have.

The class will draw on Sista Docta Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s chapter “Nobody Mean More: Black Feminist Pedagogy and Solidarity” in the book The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (eds. Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira.)

As she says in the chapter itself “This chapter is a meditation on what it means to be nobody in a university economy designed to produce somebody inviduated, assimilated and consenting to empire.  Is it possible to instead become nobody in the academic space? Is it possible to align with the illegible oppressed/contemporary subaltern, the falling apart abject nonsubject, inside a university English class?” (Participants in the course will get a pdf of the full chapter to refer to for the class.)

If you, like Audre Lorde and June Jordan, are a writer or teacher or a theorist or a thinker or an activist or a mother or all of these things at the same time, join us for a supportive space where we tap into the the power of black feminist legacy and empower each other (the nobodies that we are) to face this moment.

Sliding Scale Registration here.

FAQs

Who should take this course?

Anyone who identifies as an artist, writer, scholar or intellectual who wants to clarify their revolutionary role in this moment by learning about the approaches that black feminist ancestors June Jordan and Audre Lorde took.

How do I log-in to the course?

Log-in information will be sent to participants who have registered for the event on Eventbrite 6 hours before the event and 30 minutes before the event, through the Eventbrite platform. Please be sure to register before 6pm on the night of the event and please check the email address associated with your paypal or eventbrite account.   We will be using a technology called Zoom which is accessible from computers and phones.

What if I just want to read about this on my own?

Please read The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent which in addition to Sista Docta Lex’s chapter on June Jordan and Audre Lorde also includes chapters by many other activist scholars.

and i will

candle-546563_960_720Last night in honor of Michelle Cliff about 20 self-identified flamboyant writers gathered to honor her legacy by writing our love in fire.  We are taught by Michelle Cliff that the work of loving our people, embracing our divinely destined communities and audiences and writing the words that we need to burn through the systems of oppression that divide us is complex and necessary.   Through a series of activities inspired by Cliff’s essay “If I Could Write this in Fire, I Would Write this in Fire,” participants lit candles that brought our flamboyant loved ones (and the loved ones who make our flamboyance possible) into the virtual space and then we did the difficult work of mapping the distance between us and those we want most to embrace with our words.  We grappled with the depth of grief and love that our connection requires of us.  We used our own writing as a reflective surface to go deeper into the reasons behind the moments we shy away and the instances where we sometimes reproduce our separation in our own acts of articulation.  We stated our love as boldly as we could and then we found even deeper love under that.  I am so grateful to each of the participants and everyone who sent love and good thoughts for this gathering.  If you want another opportunity to learn from the legacy of Michelle Cliff, one of our newest, fiercest ancestors, consider signing up for this month’s 3-day intensive Free Enterprise: Towards a Sustainable Autonomous Writing Life.

For now, here is the group poem of commitment that we created in the flamboyant tradition of Michelle Cliff which burns through us.

 

and i will

 

a group poem by the participants in the Write this in Fire online workshop

 

“There is no end to this piece of writing. There is no way I can end it.”

  • Michelle Cliff in “If I Could Write This in Fire, I Would Write This in Fire.”

 

si pudiera escribir mi amor en el idioma de tu alma,

escribiría mi amor en el idioma de tu alma.

y lo hare

 

if i could dance this bass and rhythm in honor of pleasure and sensuality

i would dance this bass and rhythm in honor of pleasure and sensuality

then i will

 

if i could write this in a free and uninhibited, raunchy and elegant dance

i would write this is a free and uninhibited, raunchy and elegant dance

and i will

 

if i could write this in excessive glitter that will never be ignored

i would write this in excessive glitter that will never be ignored.

and i will

 

if i could write this is in the freedom of my body through swinging hips and thick thighs in “too bright”, “too tight” dresses

i would write this in the freedom of my body through swinging hips and thick thighs in “too bright”, “too tight” dresses

and i will

 

if i could write this in the erotic epiphanies that manifest in long walks at sunset when all the connective tissues of the universe become apparent

i would write this in the erotic epiphanies that manifest in long walks at sunset when all the connective tissues of the universe become apparent

and i will

 

if i could write this in free holistic integrative healthcare for all of us and everyone we love

i would write this in free holistic healthcare for all of us and everyone we love

and i will

 

if i could write forcefields of protection around the beautiful vulnerability

i would write forcefields around the beautiful vulnerability

and i will

 

if i could write this in the words you long to hear spoken

i would write this in the words you long to hear spoken

and i will

 

if i could write this in Sunday dinners that you don’t have to cook

i would write this in Sunday dinners that you don’t have to cook

and i will

 

if i could write this with the hope that i’m trying to untangle from the thorn bushes of indifference,

i would write this with the hope that i’m trying to entangle from the thorn bushes of indifference

and i will

 

if i could write this in skywriting on fire above 32 south flagg st, worcester ma

i would write this in skywriting on fire above 32 south flagg st, worcester ma

and i will

 

if i could write this in the last storm cloud you left on your bedroom floor

i would write this in the last storm cloud you left on your bedroom floor

and i will

 

if i could write this in water that envelops and holds

i would write this in water that envelops and holds

and I will

 

if i could write this in lovenotes that will reach you one day

i would write this in lovenotes that will reach you one day

and i will

 

if i could write rain into the parched places

i would write rain into the parched places

and i will

 

if i could write this into the broken places and by writing manifest something whole and abundant

i would write this into the broken places and by writing manifest something whole and abundant

and i will

 

if i could write this in oven-clay fingers,

i would write this in oven-clay fingers.

and i won’t — they are much too hot –

but i will sculpt you the poems that i owe our femme bodies, darling

i will pick your lilies

 

if i could write this into wretched tears and each drop be a new birth

i would write this into wretched tears

and each drop be a new birth

and i will

 

if i could write this in the scars and tender places on our souls, I would write this in the scars and tender places on our souls

and I will.

 

if i could write this in healing rosewater baths to soothe our wounds, so we can see each other and ourselves clearly

i would write this in healing rosewater baths to soothe our wounds so we can see each other and ourselves clearly

and i will

 

if i could write this in dirt for us to grow through

i would write this in dirt for us to grow through

and i will

 

if i could write this into the earth beneath our feet

the soil touching our soles

i would write this into the earth beneath our feet

and i will

 

if i could write this in liberation songs sung deep into the core of your bone marrow i would write this in liberation songs sung deep into the core of your bone marrow and i’m sent to

i’m damn sure sent to

 

if i could write this in the cells that are you and already know the magnificence of your being

i would write this in the cells that are you and already know the magnificence of your being

and I will

 

if i could write this onto your beating heart so you can see me in my entirety

i would write this onto your beating heart so you can see me in my entirety

and i will

 

if i could write liberation into every beating heart

a freedom that cannot be removed

that would be unnecessary

it’s already been done.

Free Enterprise: 3 Day Intensive Towards an Autonomous Sustainable Writing Life (After Michelle Cliff)

Free Enterprise: Towards an Autonomous Sustainable Writing Life (After Michelle Cliff)

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July 11, 12, 13th 12pm Eastern, 9am Pacific

The late  Jamaican black lesbian feminist genius Michelle Cliff wrote a historical novel about Mary Ellen Pleasant aka Mammy Pleasant, a freedom-fighting radical who collaborated with John Brown and also funneled escaping enslaved Africans through a hotel that serviced the richest white folks in San Francisco and who also disagreed and theorized across space and time with black and indigenous thinkers about what how black freedom could im/possibly exist in capitalism.

What does that have to do with you?

You are a writer from and accountable to oppressed communities still seeking freedom through black words  on the white paper and screens of an anti-black capitalist context.  This three day online intensive connects the freedom-seeking in Free Enterprise to our fugitivity in this moment and offers exercises, insights and technologies to go deep and emerge with tangible strategies and goals for your autonomous sustainable writing life.

Hold your spot with your $50 deposit here:  

registration for the whole intensive is sliding scale $150-300.  (Installment payments available upon request.) Email brillianceremastered@gmail.com and let me know your goals for the course by July 9th.

Write This In Fire: One Night Webinar (In Memory of Michelle Cliff)

CliffMichelleWrite This In Fire (In Memory of Michelle Cliff): Thursday June 30th 6:30pm EST

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/write-this-in-fire-tickets-26207353901

On June 12, 2016 on the same day as the Pulse massacre, we lost the genius, jamaican, black feminist lesbian author Michelle Cliff.  In honor of Michelle Cliff and her legacy and all of our unkillable queer of color flamboyance this one-night webinar is for writers who want their words to make the impossible possible, those of us who will not be content until the bodies of our readers answer the challenge of our words. Through exercises inspired by Michelle Cliff’s work and in honor of our loved ones at Pulse we will bring our words together in a cleansing, purifying, unforgettable flame.  In preparation (or to convince yourself it’s worth it) read Alexis’s 2009 essay on Michelle Cliff’s book If I Could Write This in Fire:  http://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1186&context=jiws

(what we know, don’t know, pretend to know, wish we knew and where): 125 Sites of Knowledges from Maroon Studies Session 2

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Last week Maroon Studies Session 2: Necessary as Water confronted what we know, what we cannot know, our desires around knowledge and how place and relationship transform the possibility of knowledge.  Jacqui Alexander and Chandra Mohanty in particular challenged us to produce alternative sites of knowledge and to knowledge how the knowledge we know gets made.  Here are 125 affirmations, desires, questions, places, and possible and impossible knowings we remembered, found and articulated together.

things I know

I know I am loved.

I know my ancestors are with me.

I know I am loved by my ancestors.

I know that I am loved and loving.

I know how my lover takes their coffee.

I know love.

I know that my name is a prayer that carries love.

I know loving on the land.

I know how I’m not supposed to love.

I know refusal.

I know that it was not always this way and that this too shall pass.

I know contradiction.

I know loss.

I know that plants are medicine.

I know swimming in water is good for my soul

I know that every living thing and being is connected.

I know my own little secrets.

I know the power of prayer

I know that dreaming holds me.

I know what I am here to be.

I know how to change a flat.

I know how to build a fire.

I know survival.

I know very little about most things and infinite amounts about a thing or two.

I know that somehow this is enough.

 

 

 things I don’t know

 

I don’t know my grandmother, my father’s mother.

I don’ t know the stories of my grandmothers.

I don’t know my great great grandmother’s story.

I don’t know pathways.

I don’t know survival.

I don’t know who in the hell set things up like this.

I don’t know what childbirth feels like.

I don’t know what giving birth will feel like.

I don’t know exodus.

I don’t know what happened to the journal I lost so long ago but still miss

I don’t know what of what we planted will grow, and what will just not.

I don’t know if the rain will come.

I don’t know how deep the deepest point of Seneca Lake is (even though Wikipedia says it is 618 feet).

I don’t know utopia.

I don’t know how to fly a plane.

I don’t know edges.

I don’t know what kind of spider bit me or why.

I don’t know how to talk back to harassers.

I don’t know what my face will do.

I don’t know what I can and cannot accomplish in any given day.

I don’t know when and how long.

I don’t know what day I will die.

Or the days that everyone I love will die either.

I don’t know how the story ends.

I don’t know how to make it right.

 

 

things I pretend to know

 

I pretend to know that the sun will keep rising, even though I am sometimes surprised.

I pretend to know my own enoughness.

I pretend to know who I am.

I pretend to know why I am pretending to know who I am.

I pretend to know why I am doing what I’m doing.

I pretend to know where I’m going.

I pretend to know directions in general.

I pretend to know how to handle difficult situations, right in the midst of them.

I pretend to know what’s wrong and how to fix it.

I pretend to know ethicality.

I pretend to know how to make choices that impact my children.

I pretend to know how to cook.

I pretend to know how to garden.

I pretend to know that I am hungry when it’s eating time.

I pretend to know the meaning of heart murmurs.

I pretend to know community.

I pretend to know people whose names I cannot remember.

I pretend to know what all the initials stand for.

I pretend to know militancy.

I pretend to know who my congress people are.

I pretend to know how to write academic papers.

I pretend to know how to act at an academic conference, and other approximations of upper-middle class professional environments.

I pretend to know survival.

I pretend to know loss.

I pretend to know why it hurts.

 

 

 

locations that challenge what I know

 

embodiment

my lower back

my left knee, which challenges what i think i know about healing

western medicine

my left big toe.  (people always step on it.)

places where i feel small, insignificant, unworthy, and un-belonging

boxes, corners, squares

my mother’s bed

1321 Highland Ave.

blackness

floors

colonial spaces

classrooms–sometimes more and sometimes less

meetings with my supervisor

courtrooms

queerness

my Beloved and our partnership, in more ways than i can count

the Rothko chapel

survival

the airport, which challenges what i know about human goodness, and the essential kindness and decency of humanity

Tel Aviv Airport

5 Edgegrove Street.

Anguilla BWI (emphasis on the BWI)

my altar

poetry

 

things I wish I knew

 

I wish I knew my Uncle Fred better, he’s hardly ever around.

I wish I knew how Malcolm felt approaching Mecca.  Do I?

I wish I knew that I would finish my dissertation.

I wish I knew that the decisions I am making now will be the best ones for my three children and myself.

I wish I knew how to grow tomatoes.

I wish I knew how to say no with more ease, less guilt, and with a forgiving heart

I wish I knew what it felt like to be deliberate and afraid of nothing.  Do I?

I wish I knew how to best be of service in any number of moments

I wish I knew the undercommons.

I wish I knew how to give without taking.

I wish I knew forgiveness.

I wish I knew how to unburden my mother.

I wish I knew survival.

Where does being a granddaughter go, when your grandparents leave this world?

I wish I knew the stories of my Indigenous grandmother and grandfather.

I wish I knew how to pray right.

I wish I knew how to access my dream knowing inside of my bone, and sinew

I wish I knew what my great great great great great grandmother felt like when she was dancing.  Maybe I do.

I wish I knew how to relax into sleep when it is time for these things.

I wish I knew that this too shall pass, that that possibility is a given.

I wish I knew mourning.

I wish I knew why lovely loss rises up in moments least expected.

I wish I knew love in exactly the moments I forget it.

I wish I knew how to make my love work in the world.

I wish I knew love.

Maybe I do.  Maybe I do.

******************

Now is the time to sign up for August’s Maroon Studies Session #3

Intensive #3: Blood, Water and Land August 10-12, 2015 (12pm to 2pm Eastern)

This webinar is for ride or die radicals who live to love the people. Drawing on the legacy of Sisters in Support of Sisters in South Africa, the solidarity journalism of Alexis DeVeaux, the blood ecologies of Jewelle Gomez and Audre Lorde and the salience of spit, saltwater and sangre, we will explore connections, contradictions and discursive possibilities across imperial divisions towards tangible outcomes.

8 spots are available. $175-225 sliding scale (payment plans available).

You can reserve your spot by offering a $50 non-refundable deposit here (please include the name of the webinar in the notes):

 

Prepositions: (On Our Relationships to Difference) by Maroon Studies Session 2

pedagogies-picLast week Brilliance Remastered convened the second session of Maroon Studies.  This session called  “Necessary as Water” after Audre Lorde’s poem “On My Way Out I Passed Over You and the Verrazano Bridge,” explored our contemporary challenges with relating across difference informed by transnational feminist critiques of knowledge production and black geographical frames.   We engaged work by Audre Lorde, Jacqui Alexander, Chandra Mohanty, Katherine McKittrick and Michelle Wright and shared generously and bravely from our own experiences.

On of the poems we created together is called “Prepositions.”  We started by describing what we were relating “across” in our community accountable intellectual and activist work and then we started to imagine additional relationships through alternate prepositions.  We found that holding one preposition “across” was difficult.  It felt stiff in our bodies.  We noticed that different prepositions rang differently with different nouns.  We created space for more clarity and questions about the nuances of our politics in relation, of relation, as relation.  We ultimately created an archive that we hope you will participate in.  Check it out!

Prepositions  (On Our Relationships to Difference) by the participants in Maroon Studies Session #2:  Necessary as Water

 

1. across what?

 

across time zones

across the digisphere

across partitions

across galaxies

 

across borders

across harm

across generations

across dispensations

 

across sounds

across town

across trades and talents

across life and death

 

across nations

across experiences

across what’s been forgotten

across what can’t be separated

 

across salt

across species

across the table

across her face

 

across the way

across the lake

across our adornments

across our bodies

 

across home

across poems

across circles

across domesticity

 

across children’s bodies

across our ancestors

across spirit

across forgiveness

 

2. or…  (other prepositional possibilities)

 

between

around

underneath

 

beside

with

against

 

about

in

inside of

of

 

under

behind

from

 

for

past

by

 

through

 

3.  (relate)

 

this is your opportunity to use the archive above to make your own poems

how does it feel if you replace “across” in poem one with another preposition from poem two?  Everytime? One time?  What prepositions and nouns resonate with your experiences of working across/through difference?

 

Eg.

through our ancestors

around our children

beside harm

of forgiveness…

Feel free to share your poems in the comment section!

Also if you would like to participate in the August Intensive of Maroon Studies you can sign up right here:

 

Intensive #3: Blood, Water and Land August 10-12, 2015 (12pm to 2pm Eastern)

This webinar is for ride or die radicals who live to love the people. Drawing on the legacy of Sisters in Support of Sisters in South Africa, the solidarity journalism of Alexis DeVeaux, the blood ecologies of Jewelle Gomez and Audre Lorde and the salience of spit, saltwater and sangre, we will explore connections, contradictions and discursive possibilities across imperial divisions towards tangible outcomes.

8 spots are available. $175-225 sliding scale (payment plans available).

You can reserve your spot by offering a $50 non-refundable deposit here (please include the name of the webinar in the notes):

 

 

 

 

then the phone rings/ no payment possible: debt poems from maroon studies intensive #1

41LiBkt628L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Yesterday was the last day of Brilliance Remastered‘s June class Maroon Studies Intensive #1: Debt and Black UnBelievability.  I can never repay the participants in this class for their bravery in co-creating it, the honesty they inspired in me and the generosity of what they each shared.   Yesterday we articulated the urgency of how debt and credit emerge in our lives, the false binary between the external enforcements of capitalism and how those enforcement filter into our closest relationships and the depth of incalculable love we are experiencing.  On this morning when we are reckoning with the incalculable loss caused by a murderous attack on Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC it feels even more necessary.   Below are some poems from our process.

and then the phone rings

by the participants in Maroon Studies Intensive #1: Debt and Black UnBelievability

“We felt it in the way someone saves the best part just for you, and then it’s gone, given, a debt.  They don’t want nothing.  You got to accept it, you got to accept that.  You’re in debt but you can’t give credit because they won’t hold it. Then the phone rings.  It’s the creditors.  Credit keeps track.” -Debt and Study by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney

 

then the phone rings

it’s the person i owe a bio (and i still don’t know who i am)

 

then the phone rings

it’s me asking myself am i smart enough am i good enough did i plan well enough this month

 

then the phone rings

i need to graduate in order to validate my learning

 

then the phone rings

it’s your future, the one desired for you, foreclosed, all the major appliances missing.  you are going somewhere unknown, but dark

 

then the phone rings

it’s your cousin who needs help but he always lies to you

 

then the phone rings

i have nothing to offer you because i don’t have any money

 

then the phone rings

it’s my partner who needs a place to stay but can’t help pay the rent we can’t afford

 

then the phone rings

my parents need to retire and be taken care of

 

then the phone rings

your family is trying not to resent you for being so happy and so broke

 

then the phone rings

it’s your sister, your niece is hurt, your sister is full of rage, your niece is hurt, your sister’s rage is older than both of them

 

then the phone rings

it’s auntie, she wants to know what it is i could possibly see without a television

 

then the phone rings

and you don’t answer because you didn’t do what you said you would do yet, and you did so many other things

gannetcolonies

no payment possible

(debts that cannot be repaid)

by the participants in Maroon Studies Intensive #1: Debt and Black UnBelievability

“The place of refuge is the place to which you can only owe more, because there is no creditor, no payment possible.”  Debt and Study by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney

 

i am selling my house back to the bank, but i cannot repay the land i’ve lived on

 

i cannot repay my grandmother’s labor in hospitals and schools

 

the bush tea strangers made to save my grandfather’s life when  he was a child

nearly bleeding to death in the cane fields

 

the teachers who told my mom she was smart and held high expectations for her

 

my teachers waiting while I work it through

 

my mother’s voice telling me I was wonderful before gender in the womb

 

my mother teaching me to dance and cook despite my resistance

 

the many conversations i’ve had with my mother that allowed me to find my voice

 

the experience of watching my father and his siblings dance, reminding me of an unstoppable sense of pride

 

or you for how you don’t understand and you love me anyway

 

and you for how you do understand and don’t mind when i don’t notice

*******

(And) Now it’s time to sign up for July’s class: Maroon Studies Intensive #2: Necessary as Water

July 15-17, 2015  (12pm to 2pm Eastern)

This is a webinar intensive for thirsty visionaries who value transnational/intercommunal connections and a planetary scale of transformation.  Transubstantiating the poetry of Audre Lorde, the theoretical work of Jacqui Alexander, Chandra Mohanty, Michelle Wright 
and Katherine McKittrick and the activist legacies of June Jordan and Lydia Gumbs, this webinar is especially necessary for thinkers connecting basic needs to brave visions.

8 spots are available. $150-225 sliding scale (payment plans available).

You can reserve your spot by offering a $50 non-refundable deposit here (please include the name of the webinar in the notes):

 

From the Abyss: Maroon Studies Poems Inspired by Sylvia Wynter

Yesterday was day 2 of Brilliance Remastered‘s Maroon Studies Intensive #1: Debt and Black Unbelievability.  We let Sylvia Wynter and Gayatri Spivak rock our worlds with their theories of the trickery of global debt and development.  We engaged Sylvia Wynter’s proposition that development is teleological (that the problem of debt is primarily epistemological and only secondarily economic, that we cannot survive on a planet with a project that asks the whole world to emulate the greediest and most wasteful people on the planet aka “the developed”)and what it may have meant for her to present those propositions at a conference of economists trading development strategies for Africa in the 1990s.  We engaged our personal and collective abysses.  We reflected on the primary and secondary and simultaneous aspects of our needs.  We tried to inhabit darkness without reverting to enlightenment.   Here are some poems from our process.

What You Do Not See

41l+vqrif1L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_“What you do not see does not exist.”  -Hamidou Kane, Ambigous Adventure (epigraph to Sylvia Wynter’s “Is ‘Development’ a Purely Empirical Concept or also Teleological?: A Perspective from ‘We the Underdeveloped'”)

you do not see

my grandfather’s bleeding feet in the canefields

how my hips know how to stand like my grandmother stood

how my heart remembers my ancestors’ heartbreak

my grandparents’ excitement about their grandchildren who they never met

what surrounds me when I chant and pray in the morning

what got me from the stolen shore back to the sea

what my sister is saying when she calls me and can’t breathe

what my aunt knows when she can’t speak or move

the weight between myself and a student when I tell them I cannot find them more money to attend university

how i could eat plantain every day and not grow weary

the potential living bound up in hear of talking and listening to the one you believe has hurt you the most

how i am healed each time I give and ask for help

all the fingernails I cut off so I could love the shape of my hand

the generous spaces I’ve carved in journal after filled journal to help me through the day

how we look when we don’t see our reflection

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i wish for that opening

“the future citadel…will open its wide windows on the abyss, from which will come great gusts of shadow upon our shriveled bodies, our haggard brows.  With all my soul I wish for this opening.” -Hamidou Kane, Ambiguus Adventure (1963) cited by Wynter

 

i wish for that opening where ancestors come through and have plenty of water to drink while they tell us the stories we need

i wish for that opening where one moment of being seen could fill the grooves of decades of invisibility

i wish for that opening where I can greet my future self and receive her gifts

i wish for that opening where life generating process garners more spotlight than outcome

i wish for that opening where enough is enough already

i wish for that opening where my prayer feels as productive as my work

i wish for that opening where I don’t have to wish

*******************

There is still time to sign up for July’s Maroon Studies Intensive #2: Necessary as Water

Maroon Studies Intensive #2: Necessary as Water: July 15-17, 2015  (12pm to 2pm Eastern)

This is a webinar intensive for thirsty visionaries who value transnational/intercommunal connections and a planetary scale of transformation.  Transubstantiating the poetry of Audre Lorde, the theoretical work of Jacqui Alexander, Chandra Mohanty, Michelle Wright 
and Katherine McKittrick and the activist legacies of June Jordan and Lydia Gumbs, this webinar is especially necessary for thinkers connecting basic needs to brave visions.

6 spots remain. $150-225 sliding scale (payment plans available).

You can reserve your spot by offering a $50 non-refundable deposit here (please include the name of the webinar in the notes):

 

Some Poems About Our Blackness: From Maroon Studies Intensive #1

Nanny_Collage_150rez

Yesterday was the first day of Brilliance Remastered‘s Summer Webinar Series Maroon Studies!!!

Yesterday (oh glorious freedom-redefining day) the participants in Intensive #1: Debt and Black Unbelievability focused on what is at stake in our relationships to blackness write large as the stars and our blackness in particular.  We engaged work on blackness by the geniuses Evie Shockley and Jamaica Kincaid.

We worked through contradiction and expansiveness, we got personal and theoretical and poetic (at the same time) and we created three poems as part of our process of articulating and refracting our thoughts, feelings, impulses and tensions.  Here are our poems!

9780819571403you are

by the participants in Maroon Studies Intensive #1 (Debt and Black UnBelievability)

(an ode to our blackness-inspired by Evie Shockley)

 

you are my joy in the morning

and my comfort in the evening

 

you are my open sky on a hard day

and the hard day

 

you are my hope in times of struggle

and the struggle

 

you are my tunnel for freedom

and the freedom

 

you are my bridge over the abyss

and the abyss

 

you are my heartbeat my hips

and my bliss

 

you are my scorching sun

and my shade

 

you are my lie

and my truth

 

you are my mother

and my child

 

you are my connection to my ancestors

and my ancestors

 

you are my dead and lost

and my finding awake

 

you are my sleep without dreams

and the dreams

******************************************************

some folks

by the participants in Maroon Studies Intensive #1

(a poem about our blackness—after Evie Shockley)

 

some would say you’re a death sentence

some folks can’t see                      the way you bring me life

 

some would say we are behind

some folks can’t see                         we are on a different plane

 

some would say you’re illegal

some folks can’t see                        justice

 

some would say you are skin and hair

some folks don’t know            you are thick in the air

 

some would say you’re ugly

some folks can’t see                        the swing in your hips

 

some would say you are the opposite of light

some folks can’t manage            a darkness this bright

 

some would say this is all

some folks can’t see                        all is all we need

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Blue Blackness

by the participants in Maroon Studies Intensive #1

(after Jamaica Kincaid’s “Blackness”)

blackness

 

the blackness is not water or food

the blackness is not water or food

it enters the room and sets the mood

 

no other sound except the blackness falling can be heard

no other sound except the blackness falling can be heard

black is the letter the syllable the whole word

 

the blackness cannot bring me joy, but I am often glad in it

the blackness cannot bring me joy, but I am often glad in it

the blackness cannot bring me joy, but I celebrate being made from it

 

i am swallowed up in the blackness so I am one with it

i am swallowed up in the blackness so I am one with it

i am swallowed up in the blackness so that I can create from it

 

though it flows through my veins

though it flows through my veins

blackness is love, making me strange

 

within the blackness then, I have been erased

within the blackness then, I have been erased

through the absence I live in space


At-the-Bottom-of-the-Rivershe

 

she sits idly on a shore staring hard at the sea

she sits idly on a shore staring hard at the sea

she sees my nightmares, my memories, my ancestors and me

 

she sits idly on a shore staring hard at the sea

she sits idly on a shore staring hard at the sea

she sits idly on a shore waiting for Yemaya to appear on waves tumults and beauty

 

she hears the sounds within the sounds common as that is to open spaces

she hears the sounds within the sounds common as that is to open spaces

wondering and dreaming about simultaneous places

 

she hears the sounds within the sounds

she hears the sounds within the sounds

she hugs the heart of the heart deeper within unbound

 

so enamored is she of great beauty and ancestral history

so enamored is she of great beauty and ancestral history

that she forgets her name and sets it free

 

as she stands boldly now one foot in the dark the other in the light

as she stands boldly now one foot in the dark the other in the light

as she stands boldly now ready to transform into a being made of stars and moonlight

*************

And that’s just day 1!!!

If you want to sign up for July’s intensive “Necessary as Water” you can get more information here.

Black blessings,

Sista Docta Lex

 

 

 

Maroon Studies Intensive #2: Necessary as Water (July 2015)


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Maroon Studies Intensive #2: Necessary as Water: 
July 15-17, 2015  (12pm to 2pm Eastern)

This is a webinar intensive for thirsty visionaries who value transnational/intercommunal connections and a planetary scale of transformation.  Transubstantiating the poetry of Audre Lorde, the theoretical work of Jacqui Alexander, Chandra Mohanty, Michelle Wright
and Katherine McKittrick and the activist legacies of June Jordan and Lydia Gumbs, this webinar is especially necessary for thinkers connecting basic needs to brave visions.

8 spots are available. $175-225 sliding scale (payment plans available).

You can reserve your spot by offering a $50 non-refundable deposit here (please include the name of the webinar in the notes):