Working Poor

Sip fancy coffees; Step over body outside he door.
Him fancy condo; He she call PO PO, me sing too loud.

I keep on knockin’. I keep on knockin’, but I can’t get in.

~ Fantastic Negrito, “Working Poor”

 

Criminality and Blackness

Criminality, once it touched black life, was a stain hard to remove. ~ From Bluebird, Bluebird, Attica Locke Truth isn’t necessary. A suggestion is enough. A picture of an unsmiling face and a narrative rife with descriptors that imply an aggressive nature will suffice. It only has to happen once. It doesn’t take much. And when these narratives are presented, there is often no way to refute them. Alternative narratives don’t matter. Disproving claims of violence or criminal behavior isn’t effective either. And if these humans are ever victimized, know that they will immediately be criminalized.

Penn Cage’s Liberalism?

Blood is a hell of a lot thicker than sympathy. ~From The Quiet Game, Greg Iles Is this what liberalism looks like? Is it a public championing of a cause, but a quiet willingness to retreat if need be? Maybe it is. I don’t know. I’ve often wondered about white people who can so easily explain the struggles of minorities in this country without ever having to experience it themselves. Even when their arguments make sense, I’m left with questions: Are they truly concerned about what justice looks like? How dedicated are they really to the fight against racism and related evils? Does their whiteness automatically grant them distance they will gladly take advantage of when given the chance? I had questions about Penn Cage when I read the Natchez Burning Trilogy. While his father seemed to consistently risk his life to help his black patients—not that his relationships with black people weren’t complicated—Penn Cage seemed a little less devoted

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American Pill

American pill will wreck and kill.

~ Fantastic Negrito, “Plastic Hamburgers”

I live in a world where everything is potentially harmful and the rules we are taught to follow may very well destroy us; where evolution and technological advancement has left us questioning little, trapped in our own ideas and safe from others; where the violence of yesteryear, once hidden under hope for change, has reared its ugly head holding tiki torches and marching through university streets; where one wrong move leads to death by a badged gunman; where mass gatherings incite anxiety of mass violence. I live in a world I don’t like. I live in a world I don’t understand.

Let’s break out these chains, let’s burn it down.

~ Fantastic Negrito, “Plastic Hamburgers”

 

Grief and The Year of Magical Thinking

Grief, when it comes, is nothing we expect it to be. ~ From The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion I don’t like to think about death. It scares me. It’s not the mere fact of it or the inevitability. It’s the loneliness. I remember when my grandfather died. I was 22 and had just started graduate school. My world was shaken by his absence from it and the truth was it had been a while since I’d seen him. I had been so busy with work (I was working two jobs) and the transition back to school that I just didn’t have time. So I was broken by my lack of time. I could have had more time. I ran out of it and that hurt. But I couldn’t imagine what my grandmother was going through. I remember seeing her at the wake. We all showed up and sat around waiting to welcome the people who would come, view my grandfather’s

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I’ve always felt that tomorrow is for those who are too much afraid to go past yesterday and start living for today.

Stevie Wonder, “Joy Inside My Tears”

 

 

2018 The Year of Challenges?

I am not usually one to do challenges. I don’t follow rules well. I’ve tried the “bookstagram” photo challenges and just managed to scrape through and complete all of the prompts. But it wasn’t really fun. It was taxing even. And the prompts served no real purpose for me. Ok, so I put up a few extra pictures. For thirty days straight I was actually consistent. And sure, maybe I learned some cool photography techniques in the process, but it didn’t do anything at all for my reading life. That doesn’t seem to be the point. The point is to take and post pictures of all the lovely books you own. I certainly didn’t need an excuse to buy more books.  So I stopped doing those challenges. But when this year started, I wanted to push myself and attempt to read outside of my comfort zone. So, I turned to challenges. Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge had always been something

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