#BlackHistoryMonth I love black men by Kukumo #TransIsBeautiful

Tiq Milan in NOW Magazine and the NYT.

Black* Transwoman to Black Cis/Transman: An Open Letter/Poem for Trayvon and the Rest of Us

Two extracts below. For full poem click on link.
Donate monthly to BlackGirlDangerous here.
07/14/13

By KOKUMO

ATTENTION WORLD:

I, LOVE, BLACK* MEN.

From the drug dealers, heart surgeons, stuck at rock bottom, ten years sober, servin’ a dime to life, ex-con turned youth-minister, trans*, gay, D.L., paraplegic, Olympic gold-medal winnin’, current U.S. presidency presidin’, illiterate, artistic, broke as a joke, ballin’, dark-skindid, light-skindid, country-bama, Brooklyn-bred, OG, GD, Rasta bombaclot, to the European transplant and etc.

And no matter how many Jim Crow laws you revise, nothin’ can change that. I grew up with black* men. I’ve fought with black* men. And black* men have fought, for me. Hell, I was supposed to be, a black*, man. I’ve been insulted by black* men. I’ve been consoled by black* men. I’ve been schooled, had my socks knocked off, and mind blown by black* men. I’ve loved black* men, and had the privilege of having them love me back.

(…)

ATTENTION BLACK MEN:

Black* transwoman to black* cis/trans* man. I revere and respect you for living brave in a world that hunts you with hypocritical indignation. I thank you for living in the body I couldn’t and doing it with such swag, intellect, and a vengeance.

As a black* transwoman I want you to know that I never abandoned you or took the easy way out. A war was waged on black* bodies the moment the first slave touched Virginian soil in the 1600′s. So I transitioned from “male” to “female” because I just needed to be in more comfortable battle fatigues.

(…)

“KOKUMỌ is an African-American transgender woman and product of Chicago’s South Side. To KOKUMỌ surviving is passé. Therefore, she believes in sanctioning artistic, political, and actual space for other Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, and Intersex (TGI) people of color to thrive in. In accordance to this belief and her name, she created KOKUMỌMEDIA. KOKUMỌMEDIA uses film, music, and literature to create and generate realistic depictions of TGI people of color.”

Click on link: http://www.blackgirldangerous.org/2013/07/2013714black-transwoman-to-black-cistransman-an-open-letterpoem-for-trayvon-and-the-rest-of-us/

Donate to BlackGirlDangerous here: http://www.blackgirldangerous.org/donate/

 

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Can a dream compete with onions, fried tomatoes and a hot shower? “Kitchenette Building” by Gwendolyn Brooks #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackWomenMatter #ValentinesDay

Do you let a dream go by because there is so much else to do? So much to cook, take the trash out, sing out loud arias and dance around. And a hot shower makes you forget everything, a luke warm shower makes you want the heat so much that you keep standing in the hope the water gets warmer. It doesn’t. And then you’re too tired or ready to go out.
Kitchenette Building by Gwendolyn Brooks
But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms
Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?
We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.
 .

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

“I Have a Dream” Pat Parker. “i can walk the streets/holding hands with my lover” #valentines #blackhistorymonth

I Have a Dream

i have a dream
.    no—
.    not Martin’s
though my feet moved
.    down many paths.
it’s a simple dream—

i have a dream
.     not the dream of the vanguard
.     not to turn this world—
.         all over
not the dream of the masses—
.     not the dream of women
.     not to turn this world
.         all
.            over
it’s a simple dream—

In my dream
.     i can walk the streets
.         holding hands with my lover

In my dream—
.     i can go to a hamburger stand
.          & not be taunted by bikers on a holiday.

In my dream—
.     i can go to a public bathroom,
.          & not be shrieked at by ladies—

In my dream—
.     i can walk ghetto streets
.          & not be beaten up by my brothers.

In my dream—
.     i can walk out of a bar
.          & not be arrested by the pigs

I’ve placed this body
.     placed this mind
.     in lots of dreams—
.     in Martin’s and Malcolm’s—
.     in Huey’s & Mao’s—
.     in George’s & Angela’s—
.     in the north & south
.         of Vietnam & America
.                & Africa

i’ve placed this body & mind.
.     in dreams—
.     dreams of people—

.     now i’m tired—
.     now you listen!
.          i have a dream too.
.          it’s a simple dream.

Pat Parker

More black poets to read through this link.

More about Pat Parker at the University of Minnesota’s Voices From the Gaps
Women Writers and Artists of Color.

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

Established in 1970, Glad Day Bookshop is the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore and Toronto’s oldest surviving bookstore. In 2012, a group of 23 community members pooled their funds and bought Glad Day Bookshop to save it from closing.

“Our best strategy for survival is adding new revenues streams like food and drink – which means a larger space.
We’ve picked out a great spot on Church Street that would allow us to be a bookstore & coffee shop during the day and a bar at night.
It is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible washroom.

It has a cute patio, a small space for performances and walls for art.

We will be a space where everyone feels welcome, sexy and celebrated.

We will be a queer-owned, indie place on Church Street. We will amplify the love, creativity, sexuality, diversity & liberation that Glad Day Bookshop is known for.”

Black man: I’m a black man; I’m black; I am— A black man; black— I’m a black man; I’m a black man; I’m a man; black— I am— #OscarsSoWhite, Michael S. Harper, jazz poetry.

Brother John

Black man:
I’m a black man;
I’m black; I am—
A black man; black—
I’m a black man;
I’m a black man;
I’m a man; black—
I am—

Bird, buttermilk bird—
smack, booze and bitches
I am Bird
baddest night dreamer
on sax in the ornithology-world
I can fly–higher, high, higher
I’m a black man;
I am; I’m a black man—

Miles, blue haze,
Miles high, another bird,
more Miles, mute,
Mute Miles, clean,
bug-eyed, unspeakable,
Miles, sweet Mute,
sweat Miles, black Miles;
I’m a black man;
I’m black; I am;
I’m a black man—

Trane, Coltrane; John coltrane;
it’s tranetime; chase the Trane;
it’s a slow dance;
it’s the Trane
in Alabama; acknowledgment,
a love supreme,
it’s black Trane; black;
I’m a black man; I’m black—
I am, I’m a black man—

Brother John, Brother John
plays no instrument;
he’s a black man; black;
he’s a black man; he is
Brother John; Brother John—

I’m a black man; I am;
black; I am; I’m a black
man; I am; I am;
I’m a black man;
I’m a black man;
I am; I’m a black man;
I am:

.
.

Read more about this poem and jazz poetry here.

.

From The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

Poetry books by Michael S. Harper:
NEW and USED: Dear John, dear Coltrane and Images of KinAbebookds.com

Rosa Gutman Jasny: The Faraway Moon. Yiddish poetry!

Because sometimes you can’t get a woman out of your mind. Not even by watching Buffy. Or The Good Wife. This poem especially the last line, shows so much tenderness and knowing…

Rosa Gutman Jasny “produced much of their work in Eastern Europe […] also found their way to New York at various stages in their lives. The lives of several women writers were spent in a perpetual state of wandering…”
http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/yiddish-womens-poetry

The Faraway Moon

The faraway moon, has she already heard
That any minute now
She’s to become a world by herself?
No longer lotus flower, tender and bemused —
Just an ordinary drab world.

Today she shows us half her face,
drawn and pale.
That blond capricious moon —
What might she not do from rage?

Turn swiftly to her lords on high,
And scatter all dreams since time began,
Like dust into outer space?

Oh no, moon, don’t.

.

Poem by Rosa Gutman Jasny and translated from Yiddish to English by Etta Blum.

Treasury of Yiddish Poetry. Edited by Irving Howe, Eliezer Greenberg.

USED and NEW: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=13535919967

Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn B. Bennett and Gladys May Casely Hayford: poems for #BlackOutFriday

‪#‎BlackOutFriday‬ poems.

Dream variation

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While dark night comes on gently,
…Dark like me,—
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! whirl! whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening. …
A talk, slim tree. …
Night coming tenderly
… Black like me.

Langston Hughes.

1955536

Photo: New York public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Hatred

I shall hate you
Like a dart of singing steel
Shot through still air
At even-tide,
Or solemnly
As pines are sober
When they stand etched
Against the sky.
Hating you shall be a game
Played with cool hands
And slim fingers.
Your heart will yearn
For the lonely splendor
Of the pine tree
While rekindled fires
In my eyes
Shall wound you like swift arrows.
Memory will lay its hands
Upon your breast
And you will understand
My hatred.

Gwendolyn B. Bennett

 

laluah

Baby Cobina

Brown Baby Cobina, with his large black velvet eyes,
His little coos of ecstacies, his gurgling of surprise,
With brass bells on his ankles, that laugh where’er he goes,
It’s so rare for bells to tinkle, above brown dimpled toes.

Brown Baby Cobina is so precious that we fear
Something might come and steal him, when we grown-ups are not near;
So we tied bells on his ankles, and kissed on them this charm —
” Bells, guard our Baby Cobina from all devils and all harm. ”

Gladys May Casely Hayford (Aquah LaLuah)

From: “Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.

NEW and USED: Abebooks.com Caroling Dusk
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: Caroling Dusk

Other reading:

Wall, Cheryl. Women of the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.

When you long for warmth… Poems about fire – I

When you are old- William Butler Yeats
WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep 
And nodding by the fire, take down this book, 
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 

How many loved your moments of glad grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true; 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
 
And bending down beside the glowing bars, 
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 
And paced upon the mountains overhead, 
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


Burning Drift- John Greenleaf Whittier

Before my drift-wood fire I sit, 
And see, with every piece I burn, 
Old dreams and fancies coloring it, 
And folly's unlaid ghosts return.
... 
O ships of mine, whose swift keels cleft 
The enchanted sea on which they sailed,
...
Did I not watch from them the light 
Of sunset on my towers in Spain,
...
Did sudden lift of fog reveal 
...
Have I not drifted hard upon 
...
Did land winds blow from jasmine flowers, 
...
And find in Bagdad's moonlit street, 
Haroun al Raschid walking yet
...
Dear souls who left us lonely here, 
Bound on their last, long voyage, to whom 
We, day by day, are drawing near, 
Where every bark has sailing room.
I know the solemn monotone 
Of waters calling unto me; 
I know from whence the airs have blown 
That whisper of the Eternal Sea.
 

As low my fires of drift-wood burn, 
I hear that sea's deep sounds increase, 
And, fair in sunset light, discern 
Its mirage-lifted Isles of Peace.


Shelley- To a sky lark

Higher still and higher 
From the earth thou springest, 
Like a cloud of fire 
The blue deep thou wingest, 
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
 10 

In the golden lightning 
Of the sunken sun, 
O'er which clouds are bright'ning, 
Thou dost float and run, 
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.
 15 

The pale purple even 
Melts around thy flight; 
Like a star of heaven 
In the broad daylight, 
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight¡ 20