Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind


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East Berlin: An Oracle from Audre Lorde

5ab655e9615f266f4579275b9f630879You are wondering whether or not you will have to punch a Nazi.  You are wondering how these Nazi’s got so much political power in the United States.   As always, turn to the Lorde.  Audre Lorde responded to Nazi violence in the streets and in the legislature in Germany at the end of her life with protest and passion.  This is an alphabetized oracle (proper nouns mostly excluded) from her poem “East Berlin.”

For a longer article that contextualizes this within my research on Audre Lorde see my piece over at Bitch Media: https://bitchmedia.org/article/andre-lordes-abcs-fighting-facism

To activate the oracle think of your question for this political moment.  Choose a letter of the alphabet that you associate with that question and scroll down to the relevant letter.  Meditate on the words, create your own poem prompted by them, do what feels right to you.  If your letter has no words in this poem, make your own poem comprised of words starting only with that letter.

 

A

 

 

along

accents

already

at

and

approaching

 

B

 

 

be

Black

blood

by

 

C

 

cement

campcots

candles

chasm

 

 

D

 

dangerous

death

disillusion

dreams

differing

defeat

 

E

 

 

F

 

feels

for

first

from

 

G

 

got

 

H

 

hustle

hatreds

half-cooked

hand-held

hitting

hour

hitting

hollowness

 

I

 

it

in

intersecting

in

in

in

is

in

 

J

 

K

 

L

 

light

laurels

lie

 

M

 

many

my

misplaced

miles

 

N

 

now

never

neon

new

November

 

O

 

on

other

of

only

 

P

 

pays

price

 

Q

 

R

 

reported

rung

rank

 

S

 

sad

suicides

siege

shrieks

streets

stomped

skinheads

scant

still

 

T

 

to

that

tattered

through

tallies

to

two-year-old

their

their

triumph

tasks

 

U

 

upon

 

V

 

visions

volcanic

vision

 

W

 

woman

who

wink

Wall

wall

where

wed

 

X

 

Y

 

Z

 

 

zoo


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Just B: A Blessing Oracle Towards Profound Presence

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“Memory Seas” by Soraya Jean-Louis McElory

This is a blessing oracle generated out of this week’s Just B: Creative Presence as Praxis Workshop  at Western Washington University inspired by the short story “BlueBellow” by Alexis Pauline Gumbs and the image “Memory Seas” by Soraya Jean-Louis McElory.  You can read or listen to the story and study the image here: strangehorizons.com/fiction/bluebellow/

To use this oracle think about whatever is keeping you from being profoundly present in the current moment, in the movement, in your relationships, in your creative practice.  What is your challenge to being fully present right now?
Think about that question and then click on “find your blessing” in the description:  https://justboracle.tumblr.com/
Alexis Pauline Gumbs

 

 

 

 


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The Erotics of Activism

16649540_10102974922019222_503531793795443873_nToday by an epic double-snowstorm change of plans, I was blessed to be at a workshop by Alexis De Veaux, called “The Erotics of Activism,” at the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center in Bellingham, Washington.   As always, Alexis De Veaux is a gift from the divine.  This workshop healed my relationship to the word activism which I had all but rejected.   Prompted by Alexis’s perfect questions, this is what I wrote today:

I am a diligent lover of my own hands, their shape and possibility.  I am learning to honr my hands by leaving them open for great parts of the day.  I am the hands my ancestors use to continue their work in this world. I am holding onto many things too tightly and it harms the health of my hands.  I am more and less than these hands, unless these hands are also stars and fins.  I love these hands by holding, touching and letting go.  I learned long ago that sometimes I have to sit on my hands and count my breaths in order to silence the overwhelm, in order to hear my sacred instructions for what to do with these hands.

My definition of the erotic is that feeling where purpose fills me up and I am at the first moment of creation and every moment of creation after that and it is all one moment and I am creation, breathing, through these hands.

I define activism as do what spirit say do in honor of my love for the people.  I define activism as move the heavens.  Use your hands.

 

 

 

 


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BlueBellow: A New Work of Underwater Afrofuturism by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

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© 2017, Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy “Memory Seas”

Sistering is science fiction. Sistering is fantasy. The queer belief that we can reach each other across everything. The decision that we can make the world better for each other. I am excited to announce the publication of my short story “BlueBellow” in the current issue of Strange Horizons, a special issue on resistance.  This newest work of underwater afro-futurism was inspired by my sister Ariana Good and a post she wrote on facebook some years ago about transatlantic #twinning. And I am deeply honored that the pieces is published in conversation with an original commissioned work of art by my beloved sister-comrade Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy. Read it and let me know what you think.http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/bluebellow/

Or if you want: I will read it to you:http://strangehorizons.com/podcasts/podcast-bluebellow/

And PLEASE check out this interview with Soraya about her transformative art praxis!

http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/articles/artist-interview-soraya-jean-louis-mcelroy/

 


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See You on the Other Side: Journey Poems for Fugitive Intellectuals

be8d1fc926e01b60141982944e8c123cAs we closed our How She Knew: Fugitive Epistemologies Intensive last week at Brilliance Remastered, we meditated on the queer distance between here and free.  Is it time?  Is it space?  What other forms of materiality and relation grace the distance?  Using writing as a reflective surface, sound as a place to go and poetry as a skeleton architecture (ask Audre Lorde about that) we looked across.  Using actual mirrors we looked in, we relearned the frame, we time-traveled and teleported to earlier and future possible truths.   Between here and free?  It seems like a distance charted through triangulation (but that happened already), maybe more like a circle.  Probably technically a sphere.  Ask Zora. It’s somewhere (here.)

We offer our closing poem as a map and journey-song for our fellow fugitives.  And of course if you want to see if all there is between here and free is layers and layers of attenuated meaning (ask Spillers about that) and dirt (ask Alice) join us this week for Dig: Womanist Archeologies.  Today is the last day to sign up.  ❤

See you on the other side.

Love,

Sista Docta Lex

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See You on the Other Side: Journey Poems for Fugitive Intellectuals

by the participants in the How She Knew: Fugitive Epistemologies Webinar

  

the voice that never died

see you on the other side

deep seating knowing, never forgotten

see you on the other side

being here for you and me and all at the same time

see you on the other side

heart’s wanderings

see you on the other side

togetherness

see you on the other side

new limits

see you on the other side

more questions

see you on the other side

the story of Ferdinand

see you on the other side

all bills autopayed from an account that never overdrafts

see you on the other side

joy in the morning

see you on the other side

my bald and brilliant brain

see you on the other side

smiling brightly

see you on the other side

exercises of freedom

see you on the other side

sunshine on my belly

see you on the other side

baby foreheads

see you on the other side

new flesh

see you on the other side

freedom’s free child

see you on the other side

Alaina’s dreams

see you on the other side

creative presence of praxis

see you on the other side

Ouida’s farm

see you on the other side

graduation day

see you on the other side

great grandma’s story

see you on the other side

generationing

see you on the other side

all my people and the people they bring

see you on the other side

beautifully aging

see you on the other side

love and life from the eyes of an 11 year old

see you on the other side

sweetness everlasting

see you on the other side

the free and naked future

see you on the other side

the food that feeds us fully

see you on the other side

us whole

see you on the other side

the gathered grateful generations

see you on the other side

everyone who ever lived helping to free us

see you on the other side


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Above Everything, Despite Everything: A Love Poem for Our Fugitive Knowing

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“Waves in the Ocean” by Viv Logan.  On the cover of M. Jacqui Alexander’s Pedagogies of Crossing

Last night we swam deeper into the How She Knew: Fugitive Epistemologies Online Intensive.  We dedicated lines of our first group poem to our loved ones.  We shared about our journeys of creating criteria for our own boundaries, allowing our fears to ask for love, allowing our dreams to teach us generations.  We experimented with hot water, quilt pieces and greens, creating catalogs of cleansing for what we are ready to release, inventories of freedom patterns worn by the people we love and storehouses of practices that nourish and feed our spirits.  So much clarity and abundance.  For me, the major lesson was about a shift in tone.  What happens when I free myself from what “i know i need to do” and open myself up to what “i know is there for me, when i need it”?  Everything.  That’s what happens!

This group poem is about our dedication and commitment to the continued journey of knowing what capitalism don’t want us to know and slavery don’t want us to remember.  Use it as an affirmation and invitation that your deepest knowing may rise and know you are calling for it.

And again, if you want your own opportunity to dig deep, join us next week for Dig: The Womanist Archeologies Intensive.

Love,

Sista Docta Lex

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above everything, despite everything: a love poem for our fugitive knowing

 

by the participants in the How She Knew: Fugitive Epistemologies Intensive

“i couldn’t see anything but I understood there was something above everything. above everything despite everything I would find fresh air and breathe again. Above everything despite everything I would free you. my best idea yet.” 

-from Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity

above everything

despite everything

you are still here

above everything

despite everything

you are here for me

above everything

despite everything

you will not be thrown away

above everything

despite everything

you already know

above everything

despite everything

i still know you

above everything

despite everything

i can still hear you

above everything

despite everything

i will find you

above everything

despite everything

i am here for you

above everything

despite everything

the water wont stop me

above everything

despite everything

i am listening

above everything

despite everything

i hear your voice

above everything

despite everything

i trust myself

above everything

despite everything

i would choose you

above everything

despite everything

i would choose me

above everything

despite everything

the sky is witnessing

above everything

despite everything

love renews itself

above everything

despite everything

freedom is free

above everything

despite everything

joy remains

above everything

despite everything

God might not want to be called that

above everything

despite everything

color can create but can it hold all of you?

above everything

despite everything

we are still here

above everything

despite everything

we are gathered

above everything

despite everything

we are breathing

above everything

despite everything

we are singing

above everything

despite everything

make love

above everything

despite everything

follow your desires

above everything

despite everything

bring your magic

above everything

despite everything

ask them why

above everything

despite everything

be reliable

above everything

despite everything

let go

above everything

despite everything

make the time

above everything

despite everything

love love love

above everything

despite everything

tell it. TELL it!!