July 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
my grandmother has dementia, my cousin tells me. she is one of the few people in the world who loved me for being me. and nothing else. not perfect (for example homophobic) but at her best light and wisdom and clarity that saw through the surface of the world to capture the truth of a moment.
i would stay with her in south carolina during the summers. she protected me from my family and a world that insisted there was something wrong with that little girl who sat in the corner, read books, wrote poems to herself, drew pictures and took long walks. too quiet, too introverted, too weird. she gave me space. she was the first person to explain racism to me. at night we would sit up after everyone had gone to sleep and talk until one of us dropped into dreams.
she was the only person in my family (other than my lil brother) who actually thought me going to palestine was a good thing. and basically told the rest of my family (with all of their side comments and glaring ignorance) that they did not know what they were talking about. i still have pictures of that christmas hanging on our dining room walls.
i am grateful that there is nothing left unsaid between us.
and i wonder what world she lives in now.
July 13, 2010 § 5 Comments
the strange thing about being an atheist is well other atheists and other theists. i was trying to put my finger on what felt off to me and i think it is this:
talking to people who arent artists about spirituality or god is like talking to someone who doesnt speak my language. artists, for the most part, spend a lot of time in touch with an intuitive sense of how the world fits together. talking to someone about spirituality who treats intuitive understanding, that flash of ‘this’ or ‘yes’ or ‘right’ when looking at the world, as a rare event, i don’t understand where their spirituality, their sense of totality, their sense that the whole is greater than the parts, i dont understand where that sense is grounded.
non-artist spirituality seems to become a bunch of rules and dogmas. of authorities, of fears, of hopes, of memory verses, of parables.
i was thinking about this as i was wondering what do i believe, what am i loyal to, if not a god. really, not even a ‘higher power’. i realized i am loyal to my intuition. i spend a lot of time waiting to hear it. and i see that that loyalty pays off in ways that i cannot imagine in the moment as i am simply practicing my disciplines.
and when i dont listen to it, man, do i get burned sometimes.
July 12, 2010 § 1 Comment
1. nadia writes a much needed (to me) post on the iconoclast. oh, is that what you call it…or call me…i do feel like i wear ‘controversy all over my body’ when i am in social groups. im not trying to do so. but practicing radical honesty. seems to have etched itself onto my very skin.
Everyone in the community agrees except her. Everyone pledges allegiance and she doesn’t. She doesn’t go along with it. Society isolates the iconoclast. But tries to play a mind game with her, saying she is the one who isolates them. All she has to do is speak one word to make everyone in the vicinity uncomfortable. No one is ready for the repercussions of what she has said.
She doesn’t even have to speak. Just being her. Looking that way. She wears controversy all over her body, everyone can see. Unable to think through the un-same-ness, normal people’s minds just collapse. They don’t want her around…
2. derrick jensen in his latest essay for orion quotes his friend…
As my artist and writer friend Stephanie McMillan wrote in her essay “Artists: Raise Your Weapons”: “If we lived in a time of peace and harmony, then creating escapist, serotonin-boosting hits of mild amusement wouldn’t be a crime. If all was well, such art might enhance our happy existence. There’s nothing wrong with pleasure or decorative art. But in times like these, for an artist not to devote her/his talents and energies to creating cultural weapons of resistance is a betrayal of the worst magnitude, a gesture of contempt against life itself. It is unforgivable.”
as i am finishing up the outlaw midwives zine, i needed to read this quote. i have dedicated the month of july to ‘getting my shit done’. which basically means not over indulging in ‘escapist, serotonin-boosting hits of mild amusement’. or as i say ‘there is only so much i can take of the sparkly glittery parties. i have discovered, re-discovered, that i would honestly rather be sitting on the floor with glue, tape, pen, paper, scissors ‘creating cultural weapons of resistance’ than to performing witty with people whose names i barely remember the next morning.
in the meantime, go to thaura zine distro and order a copy of aaminah’s new zine ‘jewels for survival’. support cultures of resistance in this day and age.
July 7, 2010 § 1 Comment
okay so it’s still not finished! we were having pay pal issues and so i couldnt get done everything i hoped. but here is a decent version of the new website.
it makes me happy.
mai’a medicine: dedicating my body and life to stopping by any means necessary and possible the violence (whether it be state, military, communitarian, medical, domestic, etc.) that threatens our survival on this earth and to co-creating revolutionary, liberatory communities.
for the lovers
and always for us
so go check it out.
July 7, 2010 § 1 Comment
so, i made a wish list on amazon. for books that i hunger for but dont have.
so if you are into supporting this artist/writer/creatrix a great way would be to dip over to the wish list.
p.s. if you have suggestions for what i should add to the wish list, please drop a note in the comment. i love suggestions for good books.
July 5, 2010 § 1 Comment
1 i have been blogging a lot more at outlaw midwives. you can go over and check out some of the posts.
2 dear sister aaminah has finished her first zine and will be for sale soon! check it out at the thaura zine distro!
3 go and pick up a copy of colored girls on amazon.com. not only are three of my poems in it, but so are the work of a lot of other blogger/poets that i admire.
(pic of shadowed tree, cloth and skin, the cover of colored girls)
Colored girls is a collaborative creation of 10 rad women of color artists. We have office jobs, we are sex workers, we do hair, we sell drugs, we teach highschool, we are dis/abled, we are mamis, we are all different cultures and coloreds. We hustle for our art. In April 2009 we came together to commemorate National Poetry Writing Month by participating in the A Poem A Day (APAD) movement. Not a single one of us produced 30 poems in 30 days. However, every single one of us explored the limits of our productivity and produced poems thriving with wisdom, healing, honesty and literary excellence. Contributors include Nadia Abou-Karr, Noemi Martinez, Stacey Milbern, Glennisha Morgan, anna Saini, annu Saini, Fabiola Sandoval, Lottie Spady and Mai’a Williams with cover art by Kameelah Rasheed. This is the inaugural publication by Husters//Artist Productions. Look for Volume 2 of this National Poetry Month anthology in May 2011.
4 woman’s work, a short story collection, will be out in a week! with my lil fairy story in it. you can pre-order a copy now!
5 oh i participated in a mini blog carnival about the documentary/campaign: crisis in the crib about infant mortality rates in black communities. you can read my post at outlaw midwives and the rest of the posts linked through unnecessarean
6 i am now officially a student at aami .
i admire carla hartley’s protocol toward childbearing folk and am excited to get to study with her.
July 5, 2010 § 3 Comments
if you want to have simple, easy, surface, shallow conversations, please don’t turn to me to fulfill that desire. i surprise myself by my ability to have such conversations, but i will talk about where ever my brain goes. ana kida.
if you want to hang out with someone who follows the normal bourgeois lines of thinking, again, dont turn to me. i will probably start talking about human slavery, cultural genocide, or fairies.
if you expect me to be a purist, without contradictions, please look for someone else. because i live someone where between walt whitman’s statement in song of myself:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
and june jordan:
“(June Jordan’s) versatility was allied to her belief that being free meant the freedom to be unpredictable, whether about her own sexuality or about the causes she espoused.”