leaving

they is small things

made real bombs containing medicine and plastic.

they is remedies of sorts.

call home

no answer.

they is small things

pink warheads.

waking me. calling. crawling.

bringin self to surface and moon.

i cried the first time.

pink.

now green. this one promises only gas.

not nightmare.

i plant roots deep to ground.

they is things

in mah stomach made to prolong life.

this time green

no tears

this time teeth and ginger. 

Cleaning House is Work.

Cleaning House is Work. 13.11.04

I see now what I hadn’t before.

I understand, in parts, the movings that made roads-both dirt filled and divine.

I hear his screaming at his mother, holding weight, the size of crack pipes

There was a close rage-

Things going up walls inside me and grabbing what was kept safe

His screaming no longer caramel sweet, holding an understanding of his experience- palpable

Strong in stance,

And determined to make endings of what kept us bound.

 

We in the process of taking trauma see self. Only because it is all we know.

 

He cursed what she was enough for the both of them.

Intent- release anger.

Result- the former and more.

 

This is interaction sometimes for blk children.

It do mean that at times we come to be siblings or partner like.

Poverty means all of that.

It means we experience the trauma of our circumstance on this level

Something that could be called “realer”.

Thank you racism for giving us realness.

 

I understand the thousand hurt. I know it more now than then.

At first my stomach didn’t hurt.

Didn’t burn trying to reach itself

There weren’t nightmares or voices foretelling eternities of hopelessness.

Acid wasn’t something accompanying meals

 

Depression is a dark thing

Holds our loneliness with ill intent

Creates worlds where we have silence to affirm us.

 

Being Black in this world- womyn, queer and dreamer. . .

This can make us sad

Dangerous lies spin about

But mama, that is just material, and I understand better now.

 

Your words came to me in the midst of come downs.

 

Prayer and determination. We is children.    

sun. flower. seeds.

i want to move in my anger

not to be consumed

but to understand it.

to uncover where it has roots.

find myself there

and hold him.

replant some seeds-

of love. healing.

perseverance and strength.

and most of all

the knowledge that

no matter how many times the world has ended in the wetness of tears.

it has always come back vibrant.

and in seeing new sun

we have the beauty

of choice and movement.

Black men. rage. white womyn. patience. and anger.

the more i walk in this world- the more i am present in the act of living- the more i understand a lot about other Black men. i see our commonalities in experience and understand what can only be called, “our common pain”. 

 

earlier in life, i thought that being queer would somehow shape me different. that this extrat identity would cast my life in a direction radically different from other Black men- that i would see the world differently. and i do- i hold the magic and the horror of queer life in my chest always. I talk to flowers, wanna wear dresses, fear walking down the street in front of large crowds of brothers, speak softly with sass, and like sit in my hips. these things aren’t “queer” in essence- but they are differences that have developed with the encouragement of my queerness and solitude. 

 

 i still share skin with my people. i share histor, ancestors, walk, dance, and spirit. my queerness does not remove me from a sat at the table of diaspora. and so i also share our saddness.

 

the more i attempt to stand in this world- the more i can understand my father’s anger and the sad tones in my brother’s speech too. they- like most Black men in this country, have lived lives that have filled with the joys and pains of our race and sex. i understand their silence more than anything. i am noticing the development of a quiet rage that, if not healed or held, could consume me and any other relations i have. 

 

in Babylon Black folks (like other oppressed folk- but we are speaking specifically of Black oppression here) are robbed of power. we are either expendable labor for this beast or we are fodder. self determination, the right and power to guide your life as you see fit, is stripped of us in large. 

 

for Black men- power is taken out of our muscles and speech and replaced with a numbing silence. Patriarchy gives us no tools or language to process the infinite hurt of racism. and i can see this in how little i can speak to other men about my hurt, in how much we hurt, in how much hurt we create through anger, and in how much i hurt. 

 

i have to remind myself to find calm places inside of myself instead of other outlets when i feel rage. i felt rage yesterday- pure. 

 

i work/ have to deal with alot of white womyn socialized to treate me like i am not a grown ass man. this behavior is a racist attitude held in this country for centuries. while the Black womyn is often times mammied and turned into a docilce servant or hyper sexualized- the Black male is feared and his intelligence is treated like a thing of amusement. 

 

at the clinic, that i go to. (which i am leaving soon) there is a white counselor. i had an appointment with her to renew my health coverage. after waiting about 40 minutes to be seen, i finally came into contact with her. she immediately began violating my space and trying to touch me (with hugs) and my things (grabbing at my books- asking what i was reading) she takes up my time talking about things i don’t care about and which are not health coverage related and several times i had to redirect our conversation back o the matter at hand because i am homeless and looking for work so i do not have unlimited time to sit and talk to this white womyn who was already late to our appointment. at the end of our appointment she closes the door and says “i’ve heard from others that you’re battling a substance abuse problem. . . here are our resources at the clinic.” inside of me rage built. I wanted to say “BITCH IF I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU I WOULD BE LOOKING AT YOU! IF I WANTED THESE SERVICES I WOULD BE IN HERE LOOKING FOR THEM! SIGN MY DAMN PAPERS AND LET ME BE!” I wanted to say that but I didn’t. I cooly looked at her and said “im good. i got some healing going on.” and she looked at me and once again reached to hug me. this time instead of telling her that “i didn’t do hugs” i moved out of the doorway and told her “goodbye”.

 

at work- i sat through more of the same. my boss laghed at my inability to solve a problem and when i asked if she could fix the issue she came over and was just as stomped as i was. She made me restart a project because the order that i was working in was not the one of her choosing- despite getting the same result and my process not disturbing any of the work. 

 

i left work and walked around the lake. white folks playing African drums, dancing, police, white folks vending things. .  this is Lake Merritt and this is Oakland. I thought to myself “the colonizers are here. . .” they’ve been here. they’ve moved in and settled. They taken our space. 

 

At the end of the day. i feel grateful because i am still privileged. i am homeless but i have a job, i am a recovering addict but i have community, 

 

im getting a free haircut and learning how to love myself and understand myself. i feel grateful. and i am more privileged than a lot of folk- other brothers but i am also walking in Babylon as a Black man. I am working and moving through their system as a Black and Queer man and that means things still . . . it means that these people do not have the resources, worldview, or love that i share and that they are opperating from places of false knowledge, incompetence, socialization, and stupidity that trigger me.

 

i have to write this and remind myself of the positive things in order to not sit in that anger that had my father in the bottle or my cousins screaming. 

 

and this is not meant to be liberal. or condescending. i am just processing. 

 

the next step is taking up arms with brothers. speaking with brothers and buildig with brothers around our hurt. we have to address our hurt and bring that to the larger family so that we all might heal and plant seeds out of Babylon together.  

 

right now, for me, that may look like this writing being completed and them folk being called. i am committed to starting or being apart of an organization that might save our lives- in bringing Black queer male bodies together in something other than sex and anger in clinics. thats something that can and must happen. 

 

if you are like me (a queer of color, a black male queer, a black male, etc. . .) then how do you see our healing happening on the daily? what will push our lives towards thriving?

water.

 

you gotta fill your lungs with things that ain’t water.

even if there is an ocean at your eyes

let those tears come

and move like awakening.

let them bring you ashore with all your problems and triumphs.

put em’ all on the shelf.

it would do you well to sit in your worry till it becomes nothing

no more than an hour and a shower

and then laugh at how you once were scared everything wouldn’t fit.

breaking skin: thoughts from mah diary about mah addiction

grounding:

i feel very alone and i feel very powerless.

i feel this way often even if i know that this ain’t truth.
i feel this way often even though i can feel small bits of power moving in me.
i feel this way because i am alone and powerless-

in part, at least.

and i feel this way because my mind has been stuck here and because that thinking makes mental realities into material trappings. i know that battling through and out of depression means challenging myself to see future colors, even when they are not as clear from where im at. and i know that i have to find myself, and value what is there so fiercely that it blinds any thought daring to be contrary.

i am piecing together what healing means to me and what it looks like for me. and i am so lost and have no real idea of what digging myself out of this hole looks like but i want to try. because i feel the need to-because “dying off ain’t so easy either.”, as a friend once told me in a garden.

and at core-that means truth.
even when no one wants to hear it: truth-because ultimately it is for you.
even when folks are uncomfortable-because ultimately it is for you.
even when you are uncomfortable-because ultimately it is for you.

in the process of trying to be healthy members of community we must first work within ourselves and thats why i say ” . . . because it is for you”. i believe we carry one another in spirit. so we can only be as loving with one another as we are with ourselves.

during the attempt to understand my drug addiction and depression i have/am writing. i want to start sharing some because i want to own what i am. i want to articulate where i am so that i have clarity and because i feel that i am alone and i want folk who are like me and who can maybe find this to find this.

this is an introduction and a warning for folk who may have feelings of discomfort reading about things about drug use, sex, rape, etc . . . feel free to communicate reflections and thoughts in the comments and to me through email but please do not place harmful words in the comments. if they are placed, they will be deleted immediately. i have no time for folk to find discouragement in this space.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

in my movings, i have found discouragement. i recognize the beauty in my heritage and myself, however it isn’t something that is always easy to access under the immense racism, homophobia, poverty and illness of this world. i have not held the strength to overcome and instead have sought to escape. loving Blackness ain’t easy when i can mostly remember poverty, homelessness, violence attached to it. loving my queer self ain’t too easy when no one is there with you feelin’ the same as you. this world has been made to destroy self worth because thats how Capitalism works- that is how you submit to working/breathing/and living for someone else. you do that by destroying the foundation of a being. and if you destroy enough folk then you create communities of trying hands not able to grasp the tools of their liberation because they don’t see the strength in their grasp.

when i was small i would run away from my house-sleep outside. didn’t hold friends close. hid inside myself. slept. ate. drew. was alone alot. and so on. i found every outlet i could to remove myself from the realities of homelessness, homophobia, racism, cancer, drugs, police violence, and neglect. when i graduated high school, i ran, across the country. i hoped that leaving the poverty and Blackness, that i had learned to hate, would bring about a new life. a better life. and i came to San Francisco, not knowing that moving doesn’t heal. being in a place so filled with the opposite of my earlier life took a toll. i became hateful-more so. angry and jealous of white folk for what was given to them through the systems of white privilege that exist. i saw myself more as worthless and as a fraud. i didn’t feel as though i belonged in a university because i was “poor”, a “nigger”, and a “faggot”. i was not “smart” to any of these people. and so i ran again. i didn’t commit to achieving any excellence. i committed to surviving what was to be in that school. at the same time, i felt worthless because i was undesirable in the “heart of gay men”. i was “fat”, and Black which meant a nice fuck toy or target of abuse for most men. eventually, i would be numb, let myself be that. i thought: if this is what i have, then i will be it-at least i can find some numbness in it. and through this it became so hard to see what was worth seeing: i had/have a supportive community of folk who love hard on me and believe in me, i was making it through a university while many weren’t, i was surviving — apart from family on another side of the country. my mind was/is socialized to go to the endless shades of blue instead of finding the blessings that are. i didn’t/couldn’t appreciate them. i was focused on wanting and desiring without recognizing the worth in my face. and in this negative space i was also casting a spell on myself. as allowed misfortunes to guide my sight, i began blocking out the good. becoming cynical and becoming jaded. and not speaking on it because i didn’t want to seem as pathetic as i believed i was. i wanted people to not invest deeply in my thoughts, as they rotted, because i was not permanently invested in any of this world and because i was did not want to worry anyone. i wanted to exist and then fade as quietly and as numb as possible. i recieved praise, love and acceptance in for an artist, being funny, and being “intelligent”. but i never completely saw those things in myself.

i assumed a character playing up those strengths in order to please folk and to gain another kind of high- one of ego. one built partially in a manipulation of reality because people only knew as much as i allowed them to. as much as i believed appropriate or “enough” for them to see. i took all those things which might make me “unattractive”, “unpopular”, or otherwise completely abandoned and repressed them. my saddness, my contradictions . . .
i desired to leave this world as a character i believed at the time would be “perfect”. what i was really doing was creating more walls of silence. more contradictions. more saddness.
and in arrogance, i often thought highly of myself. i felt as though i had found some intelligence and power in this reality through illusion.

i began using men for sex frequently because i wanted to not feel hurt by them. i wanted to feel power over them. i saw power in being “desired”. in reality i no longer view that as “power”-not the power i want to harvest. i don’t believe there is anything productive to be had in using and being used. this world of exploitation is built off of usage. my ancestors were used to create this nation. their lives were drained and used. their spirit energy almost completely smashed. and that continues-workers (those receiving wages and those who aren’t) are used to create profit/or personal wealth (which isn’t always monetary) for a small amount of manipulators. and in this, there is a way that “using” is normalized. in order to “succeed” (attain money, stability, notoriety) in this reality most paths require that you must use and or be used. pimping and allowing yourself to be pimped out is normal.

when i became HIV positive, i partially felt numb.

i felt it coming on-i helped to create the reality when i consciously stopped caring for myself. i did not know how to have safe sex, or speak in any way that was honest during sex because my goal was to get off a load and to leave with a false sense of power. i didn’t know how to speak to men because i was only taught to relate to other men either in aggression or sex. i was not a man. i was a “faggot” and so i never learned to have those friendships because i didn’t trust them and i never learned to feel at ease because the adult men i saw, throughout my childhood, were violent and damaging. they were hurting immensely and i turn hurting others.

and i said to myself again: “if this is what there is, then let me not feel it. not completely. it’s too much.”

when i began using meth it brought me into a more intimate place with white folk-white men. they were/are the majority of the folk with the access. for me this was/is dangerous because of the immense anger and guilt and jealousy and envy i harbored/harbor towards them-which in-turn meant that i also held/hold an immense amount of contempt and hatred for myself that is in the process working through. i wanted all of what i perceived as not having and i decided to do that through allowing myself to be used. each time more blatantly. each time i tore a new skin-i broke with this reality more and more. i began to not care because it seemed pointless. as i allowed this mantra to sink in, the drug took root in that. it grew power in that and played on that. i began to love my oppression more, and care about who i fucked/fucked over less. i began to love it because it meant that i could play in a world where i could be kept numb temporarily and so nothing mattered. i became/am someone who is unaccountable or trust worthy to myself and others. i am working towards finding again and rebuilding that. and it is hard but “dying off ain’t so easy either.” and nor is shying away from those who love and believe in you. because they can help you save yourself, if you allow them.

i was raped. i was very high and in the process of being raped. and i was so high and confused/scared and numb that i didn’t come to realize it till months later. initially, what was clear about what happened was the conclusion. a few of my friends hunted me down and found me-marched up to hell and demanded i be let out. and i was. that act of beauty and courage still astounds me.

memories still come back to me and i remember being told how to remember the event by the man who orchestrated it. and because i never saw some of of my attackers i could never clearly say what i assumed. and so i sat on assumptions and repressed them. the importance of seeing those memories now lies in their truths. they tell me where i was at/am mentally and what danger is. they tell me how to love myself and to forgive myself. they tell me how to take accountability for and how to treat my body better. and they give me lessons, that must be remembered, about trust and what evil is. and evil is hurt moving off of hurt. evil is hurt becoming sorrow and creating danger.

the point in this remembering and reflecting on parts of myself is for me. and you.

because i want to be with you (the world. the community. the family. myself)

and i cannot do that as i am. i can only be here if i choose to work to harvest the kind of power i need and want. which is the same power i see us all needing and wanting. and that is love. because that will be the basis for us trusting and moving and the building organizations, spaces, and relations with one another, that will end this Babylon system-this world of the normalcy of “use”. and that sounds mighty vague to many but it is true and simple. we cannot love or move outwardly if we are not doing so inwardly. in my understanding, part of that involves the owning of truths-the sharing of truths and the holding of truths. if i do not write or speak i will be crushed under the weight of silence. patriarchy teaches us silence, as a way of repression, so that exploitation may win. i am choosing in this moment not to use and to allow myself to be used. i wish to share what i can and hope that it can do what it will/must.

for me, i hope to continue to plant seeds of healing
and find new places to find flight.
another beautiful part of community and what i am coming to value more each day is in the love that is there and how it can save.

part of my quest to find worth in who i am and my existance here is rooted in the tremendous belief held in me. my folk will not let me fade away because they see in me a potential and value that i am trying to find for myself. that makes me want to believe and do work.

and because work needs to be done. and i cannot feel accomplished or rested as long as i know i am not contributing to that work. and love needs to be found, seen, and spread. i have seen villans and zombies. i have been them. and i know we can hold more in our lives. i have seen men cry to themselves without tears and fight when there aren’t words. and i know that ain’t inherently in us and that we can be better. and i know that the work of us being better is crucial to work of making the entirty of humanity better. and we have to do that amongst and for ourselves as male bodied folk who face particular oppressions, commit particular offense, and suffer from particular loneliness because of our hurt.

and i can’t do that work for everyone. . .

not anyone really- unless i am doing it for myself.

that makes me want to heal.

morning thoughts on being a “have not” and what power is.

we are dealing with evil.

the society in which we live is a wicked one- let there be no doubt. in a socety built on the creation of classes of “have nots”being exploited, drained, and killed by a wealthy 1% of the population, there can only be suffering. in capitalism there is only room for this kind of order- because monopoly means that there is a singular power controlling industries and profitting. there can never be a comprimise between the rulers of this world and the workers. there can only be a total shift, in which the workers and those neglected and shut out of formal “wage slavery” (aka a 9 to 5) take back their power and run the society for themselves. the oppressed must use their power to destory hierarchy and the ideas that it necessitates.

but what is “power”? and where is it? how do they have it and we dont?

the capitalist/ 1%/ rulers of this world have material power. money means power and is protected by force. the systems of government seek to care only for the wealthy while holding up the illusion of working for us all. but anyone looking closely enough will see the true nature of our “representatives”. their true faces- mostly white, owners of industry. police protect these representatives and the laws that they create. and most of the oppressed population believes these laws because we belive in “fairness”, “democracy” and the like- even though it is never in play. Where is there democracy when millions of Africans were stolen for labor, killed, raped, and tortured in the creation of this land? Where is there democracy when the native population of the Americas was wiped out to make space for the colonial European power and forced onto small pockets of the lands their ancestors thrived and dreamt on for generations? Where is there democracy when this imperial land starves other nations and forces them into slave-like labor for capitalist gain? Where is there democracy when the prison system of this country houses a majority black and brown population while bodies of armed men, given the “right” to protect us, murder us for sport? Where is there democracy when the majority of this country is dying unnecessary because of lack of access to basic health care, healthy food, and work?

there is none. there is only a dreamed illusion that supports this “democracy” and guns that defend it. “democracy” in this reality is a dangerous lie.

in creating a class system- it is important to destroy the self confidence and self fullfillment of those who will make up the lower classes. it happens all the time in this world. folks are starved, told their bodies are ugly and unworthy, given food that is dangerous to eat and wears down the body (simultaneiously destorying the spirit)- folks are given scraps of jobs (and told to be greatful because everyone else is unemployed or jailed), and given guilt- the oppressed are blamed for their condition. “you are poor/ unsuccessful, because you aren’t working hard enough, because you aren’t playing the game, because you are . . . “

all the while, the media dictates what the picture of success is- shifting every so often to include a smaller amount of tokens. (faces of oppressed populations that will help maintain the illusion of fairness- that everyone can succeed) the oppressed are being sold a pipe dream, because now to fill the void of what they/ we ,suppossedly, don’t have (“beauty”, “wealth”, “health”, etc. . .), the oppressed are told to buy their healing (get surgery, buy more clothes, purchase the shiny/ updated versions of that indigenous healing that the colonizers demeaned and destroyed) or to numb it through addiction- to food, to drugs (“legal” and “illegal”), to violence, to escapism via television or videogames, to sleep, to sex, to domination (esp in the case of working men and men of color, the society teaches you to take your power back through controlling what you can- your interactions , your children and partners, your friends)

all of this creating unhealthy dependancies and ideas of these things.

the aim/ goal in all of this is still the takng of power.

the oppressed are having their power stripped by being told that it doesn’t lie inside themselves. 

the oppressed are starved. but not powerless.

chanting down this Babylon means looking inside ourselves for what can be healing- and leaning on one another when we feel low or destructive (self and otherwise). the methods of healing and growing our own gardens are being pronounced as “new”, “trendy”, or otherwise “a thing of privilege” are ancient and ours. we, the oppressed, created them. we knew how to hold earth and breathe life before it was called “organic”. we knew the multiple beauties in our bodies before we were called fat and we had ways of harvesting food that would produce health and longevity. we created- in free time and healed through that.

part of the “power” that has been stripped from us ain’t really gone. its just been hid behind distraction.

  “i believe i have inside of me everything that i need to live a bountiful life. with all the love inside of me i will stand as tall as the tallest tree.” – celie, “the color purple”

part of that power is in self love and “actualization” and community. and it is hard to cultivate because we are surrounded by conditions that are of opposite intentions but we must seek it. we must use our lives to build community strong enough to sustain us and we must talk about the lies being fed and how to undo them through truth and establishing centers of power for ourselves where everyone is growing and knowledge isn’t specialized and held by a “boss”. we must all be workers that build together and share in the bounty of our work together. and we have to tell one another that we are beautiful- especially when we feel low because that is how we gain power. we gain it by living for ourselves and our community. we gain it by healing and living for our healing. we gain it by questioning our thoughts and our actions. we gain it by seeking life outside of these parameters given.