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Tell Them

by
Eboni Hogan

If they label you soft, feather weight and white-livered,
if the locker room tosses back its sweaty head,
and laughs at how quiet your hands stay,
if they come to trample the dandelions roaring in your throat,
you tell them that you were forged inside of a woman
who had to survive fifteen different species of disaster
to bring you here,
and you didn’t come to piss on trees.
You ain’t nobody’s thick-necked pitbull boy,
don’t need to prove yourself worthy of this inheritance
of street-corner logic, this
blood legend, this
index of catcalls, “three hundred ways to turn a woman
into a three course meal”, this
legacy of shame, and man,
and pillage, and man,
and rape, and man. You boy.
You won’t be some girl’s slit wrists dazzling the bathtub,
won’t be some girl’s,
“I didn’t ask for it but he gave it to me anyway”,
the torn skirt panting behind the bedroom door,
some father’s excuse to polish his gun.
If they say, “Take what you want”, you tell them
you already have everything you need;
you come from scabbed knuckles
and women who never stopped swinging,
you come from men who drank away their life savings,
and men who raised daughters alone.
You come from love you gotta put your back into,
elbow-grease loving like slow-dancing on dirty linoleum,
you come from that house of worship.
Boy, I dare you to hold something like that. Love whatever feels most like your grandmother’s cooking.
Love whatever music looks best on your feet.
Whatever woman beckons your blood to the boiling point,
you treat her like she is the god of your pulse,
you treat her like you would want your father to treat me:
I dare you to be that much man one day.
That you would give up your seat on the train
to the invisible women, juggling babies and groceries.
That you would hold doors, and say thank-you,
and understand that women know they are beautiful
without you having to yell it at them from across the street. The day I hear you call a woman a “bitch”
is the day I dig my own grave.
See how you feel writing that eulogy.
And if you are ever left with your love’s skin trembling under your nails,
if there is ever a powder-blue heart
left for dead on your doorstep,
and too many places in this city that remind you of her tears,
be gentle when you drape the remains of your lives in burial cloth.
Don’t think yourself mighty enough to turn her into a poem,
or a song,
or some other sweetness to soften the blow,
boy,
I dare you to break like that. You look too much like your mother not to.

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When James the fourth became king
Someone stood up at the funeral and yelled
Minus the third!

Noone enjoys a sad coronation. The doves however were in fantastic form. We had to admit.
We all indulged Uncle Larry but enough was enough. The truth does not a kingdom make. He wasn’t even blind — he saw and told all of everything- paraphrasing the latest tweet from aviary kingdoms.

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Forgetting States

Every time i write something
I feel the weight of people
listening to me

they press into me
until my back is flat and smooth

until I am pressed into nothing

until I am only anticipations little bat beat
that drums along meridian lines hot with waiting

if longing is only the space we occupy for

absent things

then what is the word we know for present?  What shallow deep breaths do I swallow

so I can know myself again in the turning glass eyes of others what Forgetting statess must I maintain

so they will listen to me. still. It must be what I want, I cannot deny it’s small cry of want-ing

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Final Notations
Adrienne Rich

it will not be simple, it will not be long
it will take little time, it will take all your thought
it will take all your heart, it will take all your breath
it will be short, it will not be simple

it will touch through your ribs, it will take all your heart
it will not be long, it will occupy your thought
as a city is occupied, as a bed is occupied
it will take all your flesh, it will not be simple

You are coming into us who cannot withstand you
you are coming into us who never wanted to withstand you
you are taking parts of us into places never planned
you are going far away with pieces of our lives

it will be short, it will take all your breath
it will not be simple, it will become your will

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“No story, though, begins at the beginning. The beginning does not belong to knowledge. I have been asked fairly often how I came to care about living things that are not human—for all that is com- monly referred to as “nature.” There is a suggestion, sometimes, that a sympathy of that kind is somehow eccentric. Such use of the word “nature” seems to refer to something apart from “us.” Yet the sympathy seems to me natural, even if the overt first impulse of living organ- isms is rarely generous. I cannot remember a time when I did not feel that attraction, that delight in lives that were not human. I have a vivid recollection of one moment of it when I must have been hardly more than two years old. I was walking with my mother along the sidewalk on New York Avenue outside our house in Union City, New Jersey. Sidewalks then were commonly made of flaagstones. Right out- side our own picket fence I saw, between two flagtones, tender new shoots of grass so young that the light passed through them. It must have been spring. I bent down to look, and I asked my mother where the grass was coming from. I remember my happiness, the sense of reassurance I felt when she told me that the earth was right under there.”

-W.S. Merwin, The House and Garden: The Emergence of A Dream

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That time diddy called Bjork a French b*sh (Icelandic b*sh)

Watch whole thing
tumblr_inline_o03fqkgu7o1t803zu_500-2.gif

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*

“The sea was cool and textured, riddled with particles and light, and stands of coral that flared up from the reefs like a flight of sparks, and he was certain he could stay down there forever. It was like radio, he thought, it was just space and waves, active and passive signals; it enveloped and protected you; it was a continous flow and you could lie down inside it and from the clamor of the land be exempt. Only there was something funny. There was something wrong. The colors were dimming as he moved ahead and he couldn’t really see all that well, and then before too long he could not maintain his depth. None of them could, he was sure of it, it could not have been unique to him, he could not have lost so much of his competence. He fought to see, and to stay down among the silent purposeless fish, but he had to come up, he had to, because his mask had clouded over with the residue of his own breath.”

—Robert Cohen, from “A Flight of Sparks”

via the paris review

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@shagey_