The sun was finally out in Washington – humid with looming thunderstorms that backed off to allow eager tourists to shop without getting their purchases damp. Also to allow Day 2 of Capturing Fire to fully bloom. Now that I know my way to the DCC my walk is so confident people stop me in the street to ask for directions. I only know my way to where I’m going.
I got to the DCC for Optical Illusion workshop with Paul Tran – he/we managed to cover a lot of people & territory in less than two hours. I opted out of the next couple events to relax back at my hotel, get cleaned up & was back for Alchemy hosted by the energetic magnetic Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi – a reading by trans & gender challenging slammers: a river muddied by the way we tortured the sea – a war zone will hold your weapons but not invest in you – a living allegory of the cave – your Mom calls you ladies’ man, neither of which you are – existence does not start with your gender – your flesh means nothing to the truth – a misgendering set of curves – outfitted to match the expectations of our oppressors – a cape washed in the blood of the fallen, which is as close as you (Catlin Jenner) will ever get to them – terrorists don’t deserve booty from you – she was digging in my closet before I knew I had one – my mother likes my name for the body she buried there – the boy in me breaks like a fever – I’ve fucked enough liars to know what they look like – as if hearing my sad story gives you street cred – acts as if being accepted is like being understood.
Spanish steps 1
I barely had time to catch my breath before heading across the street to Busboys & Poets for the Capturing Fire slam. Great food kept me alert for the next four hours – hours that flew past thanks to the 18 slammers in competition. Fewer & fewer made each round until the final two were given five minutes to free write a brand new piece to be crowned this year’s winner.
Round One: I didn’t want pills but my LCF (?) prescribed them – bring her stuff in a river of lost child – we are just trying to find ourselves, who wants go missing – as if he had never fucked in a bedroom full of smoke – black ain’t in nobody’s rainbow – the blackest church on two feet – you’re not disabled enough – I’m in the presence of those who don’t have the privilege to hide – people can’t look past my weight – alines children walk amongst you – I smile like a girl who has never tasted rum – I’m trying to remember that one day there’ll be a day when I can go out – we claim every stall & urinal, easier to dress others than to dress ourselves – when it seems no one will claim us we claim each other – I’m your 2015 nightmare of truth – where’s my Malcolm X – it’s not that different from what we do in bed – being gay is the least interesting thing about me – I’m not a writer I just don’t want to forget things – dial tone after the call for mating – they look him in the eye of the storm – your smile is a war zone – I experience gender like a moth darting between two flames, both of which will burn me – thin line between free wheeling and free falling – gay or faggot are not synonyms for stupid or weak – the immaculate conception is your fantasy – George Taki is not loud enough to drown the white voice out – my friends like to ask me black questions – if you fucking want to know where to get weed, why don’t you ask your Dad – shirts to match my new gender pronouns – my brother reminds me of bugs – I was just trying to communicate with a different kind of hive – I thought I could see so far through me I’d see her – another winter passing away is my memoir.
Spanish steps 2
A sampling of the poets who went on to the next round: see your reflection in my skinhead shine – cruelty needs no excuse – I speak a language too ancient to be be allowed – find something else to do with your hands – the mouth can make the vulgar seem digestible – I have a lot of bad habits like self-silence – the thought of what kind of animal you might be – a night of tear gas & tanks – the open season has become year round – it took us thirty-five years to find forgiveness – a father you met on a hill who’ve your first beer at the age of twelve – I thought I looked like Vin Diesel gum ball – broken & bloodied but whole – it’s like a carnival ride & a crime scene – I’m sick of feeling my trauma defines me – disrobed of trendy junk – high on a hill of deliberate ignorance – I was raised to love your skin – are you trying to become a body of water – is God just another man you can’t get to stay – thought all I had to do was what I was good at to be successful – I become aroused so I thought was going to die –
Round 3 – no memorial stones for people of colour – stop waving your penis around like an SOS – it’s best to hide as there is no way to tomorrow – I don’t think a # can save the world – don’t single me out from the tribe, anything but that – the hand I’ve been dealt is limp – the hospital doesn’t care about you if you don’t speak English – keep our teeth white to colonize our mouths – language has never been a fair fight.
Spanish steps 3
For the flash writing round the final two wrote to the prompt ‘what happens to a dream deferred: it shatters – after this explosion then there was only black smoke – a voice that eats the black away – hear the one about the boy & the bullet, only one of them found the way home – and the winner was Timothy DuWhite – the first slammer to go up in round one & the last one standing four hours later. The blog title is one of his lines.
Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr
Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr