GALAXY

From the way your lips curl slightly at the corners,
I have seen the universe of you.
I have tasted it with my lips,
And I have touched it with my finger tips.
You fill me with bursts of affectivity,
Sprinkles of ecstasy, like air.
A love sewn as tight as a needle,
As loose as a thread.
As loose as the threads in our worn out bed sheets.

Magnetized opposites
Somehow, connected
Somewhere, in the galaxy.
My mind is stamped with the taste of your collarbone;
The scent of the sweat on your back.
My universe.
The only thing that is.
And just like the universe,
I am inevitably vast, again.
Lost in the way your lips curl,
Ever so slightly,
At the very edge of my stars.

— Sam Kinghan ©
Don’t be an Activist

Don’t be that dirty A word: Activist
Like a viral disease
It always starts in college
took that sociology or ethnic studies class
joined that outreach recruitment center for
underrepresented youth of color
you wanted to hold it down for the struggle
at the rally for undocumented student rights
and then it happens
you become an activist
the symptoms will kick in fast and heavy

Your parents will tell you to get a real job
Fox news will tell you you’re unpatriotic
Your friends will call you too sensitive
Your family will call you too liberal
Your community will call you too communist

You’ll work at a non-profit organization
cause you said you want to make a difference
cause you certainly aren’t making any money
even though your official job title is just program coordinator
You’re really also the organization’s social media director
youth outreach manager
office technician
staff personnel therapist
grant writer
program assessment evaluator
and in-house cultural competency trainer
You’ll wonder how many top ramen will it take before you give up
on your close to impoverished 50hrs a week
$800 Americorps monthly living stipend
You will buy extra lip balm for all the future ass kissing 
you will do to potential grantees and funders
all in the name of community
…and to keep you job
…cause your grant contract ends by the 2017 fiscal cycle
way to stick to the man

You’ll feel guilty for listening main stream hip-hop
and that your favorite song is Tyga’s Rack City
even though that song represents everything that you stand against
misogyny, male patriarchy
the commodification
hypersexualization
and dehumanization of womyn
that beat is still so DAMN good
rack city, rack rack city
I mean Sac City, Sac City…ssstitch

Don’t be an activist because you’ll just be angry
angry because you learned that everything evil in this world is rooted
from colonialism, white patriarchy and capitalism

Paulo Friere called it
when they made the matrix
once become conscious, you can never go back
and with liberation comes burden
that burden sits heavy like asthma

Ignorance must really be bliss
because it’s exhausting
looking through Facebook newsfeed
without saying “gooddammit this shit is fucked up”
without seeing white people throw peace signs and make squinty eyes in pictures with the #asianpose
without having another “conversation” with your
well-intentioned but racist ass friend
who commented on your scholarly post on
“microaggressions in the classrooms”
without seeing another fraternity throw another
cinco de drinko “cross the border” party
without seeing another newscaster blame the victim
and defend the rapist
without another black body being shot
by another gunman named officer

and feeling
like you can never do anything
ironically enough
you try to brush it off
so you can procrastinate on your 8 page sociology paper
on institutionalized racism in the California prison system

It will hurt
it will hurt because
it will come from your own people
they tell you, you too cocky
that you’re an opportunistic
that left South Sacramento for a job at UC Davis
and that you a sell out
and so you buy into their thinking
and they said you were never REALLY down
and so you tell yourself that you were never REALLy down
and they called you out for saying something problematic
so you think of yourself as a problem
you didn’t get enough petition signatures
you didn’t stay long enough at the town hall meetings
you didn’t mentor enough youth
you weren’t there for your community when they needed it most
and so you questions everything that you are
everything that you stand for
you hit this point of confusion
of what it all means
and you succumb to self-doubt
and burn out
you get tired
of being tired
and you tell yourself
“I just want to be normal
just like everyone else”

That heavy anxiety sitting on your shoulders
makes you want to scratch your skin off
but then you realize
normal
normal is that bystrander effect
that MNC chokehold that stops you from raising your voice
and forces you to turn you head away from injustice
and face down at iphones screens
Normal is making it easier for you
to keep up with the Kardashians
than to keep up with the sake of humanity
Normal is that basic shit!
Normal is that stuff that makes people cynical
cause being cynical is always easier than critical
Normal is making society a status quota
number of soldiers pulled out
the dowe jones down
unemployment up
climate change doesn’t exist
Racist republicans still do
and so we confuse normal
for this substance that cynicism made ugly
validation, acceptance, love

and you finally realize that it was never about you
and it wasn’t about them
but it was about everybody
It was about humanness - Ubuntu
a justice that institutions are incapable of achieving
so you’ve been forced to dream
you check your privilege for low paychecks
to implement your social justice
be the monkey wrench in the machine

activism is not a sprint
it is a lifelong marathon
and your most crucial asset in your run
is the not the power in your legs
but the strength of your heart
so you must protect it
You must pace to it to give it resiliency
you will be your biggest critic
but the minute you look far too much
in your own steps
you will lose vision
so you must keep your head upright
never lose sight of your finish line

this world does not need normal
it needs relentless unafraid pursuit of compassion
every action or inaction
disrupts or perpetuates that power of oppression
but you choose
to upset the set up
disrupt the corrupt
stand against the standardization
hunger strike for the hungry

you were meant to be different
you are greater than Normal
you are more than an activist
you are deeply and truly necessary

God, I hope you know that I’m here for the stormy skies and the teary eyes when you have them.
  That I’m here from the tightness in your chest that accompany thoughts that deafen you with screams that won’t rest.

  I’m here.

  I’m here not only for the bright and shining moments filled with laughter, but also the ones where the dark clouds roll in and put a whole shadow on the sun that lies in your head and heart.
  Those times where you are so done and you want to cry and yell and tear your whole world apart.

  I’m here. For all of it. For you. 

   You’ll never have to cry, or scream, or sit in agonizing silence alone ever again. I hope you know that.
  I’ll go through the motions with you every step of the way. I’ll try to help you make tomorrow a better day.

 Just never forget, that I’m by your side always. 
 Everything is going to be okay.
 I love you.

—  A.C.F
Open letters to my Dad

Dear Dad,
I think the hardest part for me was letting go, and realizing you weren’t coming home.

Dear Dad,
I went to prom with a boy who broke my heart three weeks later. Dad he said we were okay, and then broke up with me.

Dear Dad,
I started using again, but I’ll stop soon, like I always do. I don’t know for how long I’ll stop this time, it might only be a day. It’s been rough lately. I keep crying, I miss you. I’m trying to figure things out, but I miss you more than ever. I feel so alone.

Dear Dad,
I’ve been trying to find a way to say this for years. Jake ruined me long before you were ever presented the chance. If I had told you years ago, you would’ve cried and held me, but then you would’ve killed him. I’m your baby girl, he’s only your nephew, and he ruined me.

Dear Dad,
I lost my virginity to a boy who never cared about me. But then I gave myself to another boy who probably doesn’t remember my name, and I’ve been told it’s covered under the daddy issues clause. I fucking hate myself. Tell me it’s okay, tell me it’s not true.

Dear Dad,
You didn’t kill him, he stepped in front of the train on his own. It doesn’t matter what radio host says it’s your fault, they’re wrong. They weren’t there. Please stop making jokes about it. If it were your fault I would tell you. Don’t cry, daddy, please.

Dear Dad,
I miss your deep chuckle and persistent jokes. I miss the tickles, field walks, tractor rides, and dances. I miss you., dad.

Dear Dad,
I want you to know, your boys are alright. Ben’s scaring me, but I think we can handle it. I won’t let him go, as hard as he pushes me away, I promise I won’t let him go. I check in on the others every few months. She tried to kill herself last year, but she stopped drinking and she’s herself again. She’s getting married, but she still loves you. I don’t really know the guy. But Jacki, she’s doin’ alright. Also Daddy, momma’s lost without you. She’ll never admit it, but we all know.

Dear Dad,
I’m starting senior year in a few months, I’ve got new friends now. I think you’d like them a lot. They’re good for me, they’re family. There’s Abby, she’s basically my sister, I don’t know what I’d do without her. I wish you could’ve met her. There’s Rachael who I strongly believe would’ve been your favorite, she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve met. And you already know Blake. I thank her everyday for keeping me strong, just like you would’ve wanted.

Dear Dad,
I miss you everyday.

Dear Dad,
There’s a boy, and he kissed me on the eye, I smiled the whole way home. I think I’m going to love him one day.

Dear Dad,
You’d love him as much as I do, he’s everything you’d want for me.

Dear Dad,
We broke up, it just wasn’t right.

Dear Dad,
I told them everything about you, and I remember stories sometimes that I’ve never remembered before. I heard your voice the other day.

Dear Dad,
This is the sixteenth letter. Sixteen is important because in 2016 I will graduate from highschool. I know you’d be proud. But it won’t be the same without you. I just wish you could’ve seen it. One last congratulatory hug, and forehead kiss. One last “Rugrat, I’m so proud.” But I understand.

Dear Dad,
You’d love Abby, you’d also thank her. Today she kept me from following in your footsteps, I’m not so alone after all. I just… Could you give me a sign that I’ll be okay?

Dear Dad,
I know I said I’d stop using, kind of like how I said I’d come visit, but damn this is hard. I walked into the counselors office completely strung out. I feel like a fuck up, Dad. I can’t get it right.

Dear Dad,
I’m trying my hardest, and I think I’m doing better.

Dear Dad,
I never thought I’d be okay again after what you did. But today I made it through with out once thinking about you. I’m sorry to say that this will be my goodbye, my last open letter to you. Anything further will be discussed between me and you the day my heart stops beating. By then I will be old, and wise, and I will have been loved to the fullest extent despite who I have been. Until then, I love you more than ever.

Love,
Your only daughter.

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THEY WON’T SHOOT ME (I am not Freddie Gray): a spoken reflection.

As with many of you, my heart has been aching for this nation.
It is a long ache, and not one that will go away. Not as long as our eyes are open, and our hearts warm.

It is tempting to ignore the pain, to live our lives simply thankful that it is not my brother lying on the autopsy table, my community being torn apart.

But then, I remember: it IS my brother.
This IS our community.

And so we speak.

-j

Just A Few

“A few minutes”
You say
“Just a few minutes honey”
You say
Well that was three damn hours ago
And I’ve had just a few minutes
To think about
How much I fucking
Deserve this
And how many times
You fucking warned me that
Something like this could happen
I’ve had just a few minutes
To send you 9 texts
And call you twice
I’ve had just a few fucking minutes
To realize that
“Karma’s a bitch”
Is no fucking cliche

Whether or not you didn’t want me because of me or because of you
I’ll do what I gotta do to stay away
No I won’t pray for you another day
Ima do me, be the baddest bitch that ever walked the planet
Turnin every head like damn, I wish I had her
Compliments ain’t shit, but I’ll admit, they had me goin for a minute–
But not anymore, time to say fuck it and close that door
Nah, you didn’t ruin me, you didn’t wreck me
All ya did was show me how I’ve gotta be
To take no shit, give no gifts
Hold my head high, and never let another guy
Do to me what you did to me
Fuck me and make me fall in love, thinkin you’re doin what’s innocent
Well fuck you for that
Once you hurt a woman like me, she don’t forget it
You thinkin we be cool now, but just you fucken wait
What a shame ya couldn’t appreciate this ass while it was sittin on yo dick
Now ya just make me sick, thinkin back on everything that ya did
Maybe you played me and won, but Ima slay you and be done
—  Gotta Read It In Nicki Minaj’s Voice
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Please watch and support youth speaks Seattle team at (Brave New Voices) BNV this year!!

A simple but great truth.
Get unglued quick!!!!
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