I got lost, again 🙂 even after carefully plotting the walk to Columbus Heights & took a wrong turn at one of the DC corners where three, or was it four, streets converge then diverge. I kept walking in the general direction, saw some fine art, got to Columba & followed it to 14th. Needless to say passing all these sweet Latino men made me wish I had an eyeglass camera 🙂
I arrive at Coffy Cafe at 6 & was happy to finally see a few familiar faces: Regie Cabico, Sasha Sinclair both looking tired & happy. Plus Goddess X & Venus Selenite looking glamorous. Both of them performed in Alchemy: An Evening of celebrating the words of Trans Gender Non-Conforming Artists hosted by Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi. It also included Kokumo, Goddess X, J Mase iii, Venus Selenite, Xemiyulu Manibusan a Salvadoran Nawat.
Alchemy was one powerhouse performance after the other. At times emotional, theatrical & always raw & direct I was drawn in by the talent of these writers. I want to say ‘amazing’ but that word has a subtext of surprise & I am no longer surprised when talented, gifted performers to powerful work. Each brought different insights to their journeys. Hearing Lady Edidi sing portions of her work gave me chills.
A few lines: fears adorned with blue notes, the microphone was her weapon, my ancestors held libraries, white men have burned so many books, my life work is my body, the gospel of the curl, sheets of white on stole land, this brown transgirl is hustling hustling, infested with gin & poltergeists, does your God pray with you, I hear I am an intruded in my own home, when I was raped I though hurry up your wife looks like she wants a turn, my body is not your homework, there is a bullet collection in my purse, there a bullet casings in your mouth.
Queer Squared: An evening of dynamic duos. First up was All Her Muses who did a set of sweet, yearning songs with tight harmonies accompanied by a single electric guitar. As much as I enjoyed them I found myself wishing for a greater sense of exploration. They reminded me of Cowboy Junkies – slow tempo sensitivity.
#BLACKTRANSMAGICK was J Mase III and Kukomo tackled music in a different way with compelling deconstructions & repurposing of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean: becoming ‘my body lies over the ocean, please bring back my body to me’ & then, for me, a stunning rendering of ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.’
Finally we got to the Queer Cookie Slam hosted – Gowri K. No cookies this year though but some tough slammers. So many in fact only half got to compete with the other half compete tomorrow night at Busboys & Poets. Growth means change & change is good.
A scattering of lines from these poets: is the snake (in Eden) male or female, ran from everyone who loved her wrong, the way to felt/like falling, your arms wrapped around me like a noose, the sun erupts behind his teeth, only see the body not the soul, native privilege isn’t one you want to see – it is building a casino and losing every hand, in nature’s design we wouldn’t be wearing clothes, a crip is a bitch – a witch you can’t burn, there was no penis in vagina, so it didn’t count, I am not an attractiveness barometer, if I have to live in a body make it small, cheeks cleaned like their tuition money depended on it, children not cursed with a gender as they grow up.
Blog title from a piece by Goddess X (I think). Whew – keep in mind it only escalates from here as the Fire spreads 🙂
Past Washington posts http://wp.me/P1RtxU-1e3