i've moved my blog!

check me out here: http://dopegirlfresh.wordpress.com 

i'm still getting stuff organized on that blog, but i've moved my archives there, too. 

happy reading!


i really don't know what to say

because, at one point in my life, nobody ever loved me enough to say things like this

not to my face
not on their blogs
... it either wasn't something they felt/ thought, or they weren't brave enough to say so.

thank you, girl. 
for reminding me of me.


it's done.

i quit.

no more.

last day's next friday.



fronting: an undoing.

peeling off, peeling out, laying the dumb shit to the side.
seeing myself, wholly, in bright light
not allowing myself to be lost in the crevices between what he says, what she says
slipping through cracks that seem more like caverns
i am no longer willing to be held hostage by image or ego, whether mine or someone else's
coming undone has never been so dope, and i love how it feels
i have started to embrace la loba within.
and for the first time, in a long time, i don't feel the overwhelming urge to tattoo or pierce, to cut my hair or get my eyebrows waxed.
i'm fine how i am, where i am
because i'm meant to just do what i do
there's nothing to stop me
no one to slow me down

the only one in the way of this is me. and i've decided to move on over.


knowledge of self: a stream of consciousness.

understand me when i say i've had a breakthrough. about who i am, about where i am, about where i'm headed, and who i'm stepping into being.  i don't worry so much anymore, because i've never been this certain. i've never been this self-possessed.  i've never, in my life, been more aware of one simple fact: i'm the truth. i am the best thing that ever happened to me.  i have figured it all out: i am equipped with every tool i need to get to the next place, to do the next thing, to take the best care of myself and all of my needs.  when i really listen to myself and trust my own intuition, i am unstoppable.
i am bigger, better, stronger, and flyer than anyone's imagination -- my own included.  i will not be stopped by anyone else's fear or jealousy of me.
i am a walking miracle. my very existence on this earth is the product of praying grandmothers & my own resilience.  i will not lose. ever.
i am the first born daughter.
the mark i make on this earth will be indelible.


i still don't know

if it's safe for us to talk.  i still love you.

i still wish we could be friends, sometimes.  you certainly knew how to remind me of how capable i am, how sexy i look in dresses, and how there's nothing wrong with being myself.  that was you at your best: bright, visionary, revolutionary love personified.
but at your worst, you were callous and crass, inconsiderate, ruthless, bordering on inhumane.
i loved you despite, but had to turn my back. i couldn't do it anymore.

and now, here i am. years later. dreaming about you.  again.

i pray for your peace of mind, that you have found the happy medium from which you were so far removed.
maybe we can talk again one day, when it's not about ego or stature.  it can be about love. i would welcome that. 


resignation letter, part two:

dear administrators and mid-level supervisors:

fuck y'all.





on-time surprises


word of mouth


red wine

white wine

pizza (though it'll be my last one for a while)


generous friends

rose scented soaps


hot pink tights

foot spas

cherry coke




a letter long overdue.

this is the first of what could be many blog posts in dialogue with goddess jaz at goddesses rising.  we have taken it upon ourselves to examine our feelings and thoughts on intimate partner violence, triggered by the rihanna/ chris brown incident.  this series will not just discuss them, but IPV against women across the board.  to facilitate a flow of words, jaz and i have opted to follow the letter writing format utilized by the women who write the kitchen table blog.  i intended to post my letter shortly after jaz's initial post, but the words just would not come. alas, here i am now with more to say than i ever thought.


first, thank you for agreeing to do this with me! it's an honor and a privilege.  let's see if we can't make a dent.  

i've been rolling my thoughts around, trying to best articulate my disturbances around this whole thing and attempting to string those thoughts together to create a coherent point.  my mind keeps coming back to one simple point: this is bigger than these kids or twitter, bigger than any blogs or newspaper articles.  unnecessary violence, particularly in close relationships (romantic as well as familial) is a problem that belongs to each of us.  so, it is with that thought in the forefront of my mind that i'm processing the entire mess and the conversations/ actions that have resulted from it.  these conversations and actions concern me much more than the current state that either rihanna or chris brown is in right now.

my concerns reflect yours, definitely. and my initial desire was to see to it that we discussed the impact of various kinds of media (especially gossip blogs, twitter, facebook status updates, and the text message fowards) on public opinion.  but i'm now in a new space.

because i've seen a photograph of rihanna's face after the incident.  i'm in angry mode. again. the gossip blogs have, from the beginning, been on my nerves in varying degrees.  but now one of these blogs is the source of the very photo i did NOT wanna see. it was easier to imagine the horror than to see it with my own eyes. not that it didn't seem real before, but that it made the whole situation that much more real to me: rihanna's privacy was not protected or respected.  not by persons in her camp or at the hospital where she was examined, not by people who know her or her alleged attacker, not by the LAPD employee who leaked her photo to the internet, and most certainly not by the media.  

this whole incident has a crazy tone to it, a media circus for lack of better words.  it went from speculation to insane made up justifications for the attack itself.  crazy rumors about STDs, jealous fits, and failed breakup attempts abounded. all the while, my concern was the repercussions in the world at large. children discussing these things amongst themselves (and sometimes with adults) might have concerns or questions similar to the grown folks who seemed to be all over the internet talking about it: how long had this been going on? was it likely to happen again? would they get back together? why would they get back together? in my opinion, it matters less what we know about chris and rihanna.  it matters much, much more what we know about the women who are counted in the statistics we hear about so often and the women whose stories we catch on the news. i believe that the seriousness of the situation itself was diminished greatly by the fact that this involves two "celebrities" instead of everyday citizens.  because they have wikipedia articles, we're not supposed to know when we've encroached too much on their lives? yes, it is important to discuss intimate partner violence. yes, it is important to fans of an artist to know how well their favorite artist is doing. but what we don't need to know -- especially because neither chris brown's people nor rihanna's people haven't said anything -- is what kind of relationship they have. we don't need to know any of that unless either of them decides that it is necessary (as part of their healing, and only then) to speak on the situation or the nature of their relationship. no. 

what we need to know is that violence is the norm for too many of us.  what we need to know is that children who grow up in abusive environs grow into teens and adults who don't know how to deal with conflict in a non-violent way.  what we need to know is that intimate partner violence does not lie specifically in the hands of the men, of the women, of the heterosexual or the underprivileged.  there was a sentiment of, "they shoulda never gave you niggas money," a la dave chappelle as rick james. but i give thanks that these two young folks have their privilege.  why? because we now have contemporary faces for this problem. there is now a more immediate reason to discuss these issues with our children, with our peers.  this is the opportunity we as concerned community members must utilize to have dicussions.  

i've struggled with what i wanted to say here, because i want it to be impactful and clear. but something i've realized over the past few days of writing is that murky situations very rarely yield clear responses. it takes time, it takes dissection, and sometimes it takes walking away from the issue and reviewing it with new perspective.

it is my prayer that these two young folks have some new perspective -- and that if they have not yet gained it during their separation that they develop it -- so that they  can begin to heal themselves.


giving words to the unspoken: intimate partner violence.

i am thankful every day that i've never dated someone who has or would hit me.  that is a terror i've never known, and pray that i never will.  i do know what intimate partner violence can do. the losses of asia, latoyia, and san-dee serve as reminders to us all that women die because of intimate partner violence (also known as domestic violence, or domestic abuse). the very idea of the typical domestic abuse victim is seared into the consciousness of many people in the united states: she's timid, she's probably very pretty, she is attacked without having provoked her mate, and she always goes back.  the attacker is always someone who's been emasculated to some degree -- maybe his education level isn't what hers is (or anyone else's, like being a 10th grade dropout when everyone else is at least a high school grad), or he's dyslexic, or whatever.  it's mister from the color purple concentrated, it's laurence fishburn as ike turner, it's every lifetime movie shitbag boyfriend joined together like voltron.  

it's never the sparkling smile of chris brown that spits threats or curse words, bites you or calls you names.  it's never rihanna's pretty face that is pummeled with fists. it's always some nameless or faceless couple on "cops." it's always someone whose name has been changed to protect her because he's stalking her. (and it's always a hetero couple, but that's another issue for another time.)  and this seems to be the root of the problem to me: celebrity, or fame, and the perception of "our" stars as anything other than human.  they are not necessarily regarded as human, even in times of tragedy (see: the losses jennifer hudson's, bill cosby's, and the late marlon brando's close family members).  they are still these perfectly unreal creations -- half of "their" public's imagination, and half illusion borne of spin doctors.  celebrity is a tricky thing.  it's fleeting, but so demanding. what does this pressure cooker life do to someone who's barely a maturing child when they enter it, and is simply fortunate to be a functioning adult if/ when they leave it?

i ask this question because i don't believe for one minute that this is a black and white situation (meaning chris, the aggressor, bears all the fault or that rihanna, the victim, instigated her own ass kicking).  i take into account that chris witnessed domestic abuse for as many as 6 years of his life (that's 1/3 of his time on earth, roughly).  i understand that the highly invasive reports that are being shared pretty much confirm that rihanna was upset over a potential (or continued) infidelity on chris's part. i understand that it's likely that brown no longer wished to be in a relationship with her -- but check this out: you can end a relationship with someone without hitting them.  you can make your point clear without fists and bitemarks.  

my concerns are for the privacy and safety of both of these young people. there are threats being made against both of them, there's a lot of hearsay and conjecture. there are terrible jokes being made. it is now a verb to chris brown someone -- to beat their ass.  unacceptable.  the facts are known only by the persons who were present for the incident that was reported to the police.  that's not for any of us to learn about or gossip about. this is deeper than whether someone gave someone herpes, or whether someone's cheating on someone else.

it is indicative of the fact that we all have work to do: work to heal, work to grow, work to end cycles. violence is never okay in a relationship, regardless of who throws the first punch.  intimate partner violence exists when women hit men, when men hit each other, and when women hit women.  intimate partner violence exists when we are unable or unwilling to talk about what hurts or bothers us, and when we don't understand that it's never okay to strike someone you love.  unless it's self defense, it is wrong. always wrong.

this interview that jay smooth did with elizabeth mendez berry speaks much to why it doesn't matter specifically that it's a celebrity dealing with intimate partner violence. 


dreaming of colors, light & sound

the first hints of the arrival of spring have visited my city.

the sun shines, the snow melts, it's nearly 60 degrees & my toes cry out for sun. flip flops, open-toed wedges, etc. i want to craft, and to wear pretty things that my beautiful friends make. 

i feel like walking to run, running to take off flying.


on the eve of your birthday

i wanna tell you how to get free as quietly as you please

because loudness draws attention that you say you don't want.
i know that the sparkle in your eyes is dimmer, because of years of shit piled on top of you
the paradigm you never chose is the one within which you exist
nobody ever said it was okay to leave
i'm telling you it is
demanding that you do
for the sake of yourself, as no one else is important
no one is. 
walk forward w/ head held high
one foot before the other
start running towards you, instead of away from you
this is a new chapter.
5 is oshun's number, multiplied by 10 you are to step into the abundance she promised you when you knelt in orun
blessings are meant for you
love is meant for you
peace is meant for you
take hold of it.


i don't know how to take this.

dear citizens of philadelphia:

i want us to do better. period. 

dear philadelphia police department:

remember that the stop snitching mentality is yours, too -- only yours applies to your FOP brethren. you're not fooling anyone.


how do i explain it?

i don't wanna write here cuz i'm busy writing elsewhere. good god.

maybe i need another blog hiatus, until i am either angered or inspired enough to write here.


a farewell kiss

because we have to send him off right.

i figured these would hurt the most, no matter where they hit him.


links for the week of 18 january 2009

i'm etsy obsessed, so here's some of the things i've found that make me REALLY happy.

from flytie, the babygirl gathered dress, sweet azul dress, and pop life sweater.

from sew sew suck ur toe, the frida kahlo softie! also, the dia de los muertos softie is awesome.

from my close personal friend mariam at the hand of fatima: a badass lariat necklace, the primp and proper necklace, & roses for claudia earrings.

go check out l'elephant rose! there's going to be a sale on until the 20th, and all new stuff in the store on the 21st.

because i think renee at womanist musings is a freaking genius, i'm sharing her post about her moon time.

finally, a new post at the bliss project, called first things first. :)


perfect doesn't exist.

yet i can comfortably say that i am perfect the way i am. every moment i change, i grow toward the light like a sprout. i am reaching upward continually.
striving toward my own satisfaction is what makes me perfect.
it centers me, gives me my reason for getting up each day, & will provide me with the legacy i wish to leave the world when i die.
i'm not here to lose, & quite honestly, i never have.


the plight of the fucking year:

how am i gonna be loved and sustained when everyone's either trying to fuck me because it's cute, or make me their healer?
i am fetishized
i am othered
i am dismissed
i am misunderstood
i am desired, yes
i am sexy, absolutely
but what of it when you're trying to get me to explain to you what sex with a woman feels/ looks/ smells/ tastes/ sounds like when it's not about that to begin with?
what of it when you're whispering behind my back to other women that i "just don't know what [i] want," that i'm greedy or confused?
that's the same thing as telling me i'm being picky while i'm in the middle of an allergic reaction to fish.

how do i deal with the isolation that seems to come from being dedicated to being myself?
what do i do when all i want is to be held, and to trust, to kiss & touch & build without being put on stage (or on blast)?

some music, to lift our spirits.

the abundance mixtape by ppp (you may know them as platinum pied pipers). 

if you're a fan of dilla, slum village, or any of the bling 47 stuff, you're undoubtedly going to love this mixtape.



i am simply tired

of washing the blood from the hem of my skirt
not knowing whether it's yours or mine
hearing the blood curdling screams of my ancestors as they overlap with the gritos of souls aching for justice & peace.

may the ancestors welcome you, adolph grimes.
may justice be visited swiftly upon those who snatched you away from this realm.  iba ara t'orun.

(and, for good measure, fuck the police.)


links for the week of 11 january 2009:

becoming a quality black woman, by monica @ transgriot.

if oscar grant were an athlete, by the super hussy herself.

aliyah's choice, by melinda @ muslimah media watch.

i haven't done a lot of blog reading this week. but if there's more, i'll come back with it.

i support the DREAM act.

it's quite simple:

people with the opportunity to advance themselves tend to be functioning, contributing members of society. if we have fewer of them, we develop something called social decline.  social decline means fewer teachers, fewer qualified persons to replace retirees, brain drain in college towns and states w/ great education systems, and all around suckage.

i don't want the united states to suck because people who came here as undocumented minors aren't allowed to improve their lives. especially if they actively seek the opportunity to improve their situations -- isn't this why parents would risk legal action by the US government in the first place? to see their kids improve their situations?  isn't that what any parent wants for their child(ren)? if we're allowed to go to the polls and vote away another person's rights, why can't we influence our lawmakers to grant rights to others? the right to incur obscene amounts of student debt and then work their asses off to pay it off? the right to go into the armed forces to serve in whatever capacity necessary?  there are undocumented minors who want to do this. so why say no?

to encourage the obama administration to pass the DREAM act, click here. to read about the DREAM act and the people who'd benefit from it, go here.

gratitude #8

peach iced tea
radical women of color
teena marie
growing hair
clean clothes
lace panties
friends who're makeup fiends
neti pots
piercing parlors
grapeseed oil


five things you can do right now about the oscar grant shooting.

(link courtesy of jay smooth)

Oscar Grant, an unarmed man, was killed by an Oakland police officer. Here are five things (compiled by Makani Themba-Nixon) that you should do right now to respond to the senseless death of this 22 year old Black man. Video footage of the shooting recently surfaced.

1. Digg the story so that the national media can pick up on it

2. Contact BART Director Carole Ward Allen and demand that 1) the officers involved be taken off duty without pay and charged and fully prosecuted; 2) there be an independent investigation of the shooting that includes a review of training and hiring practices; and 3) BART establish an independent residents’ review board for the police Call her at 510-464-6095 or email the BART Directors at BoardofDirectors@bart.gov

3. Call the BART police to complain about the officers’ conduct and demand immediate action: Internal Affairs: Sergeant David Chlebowski 510.464.7029,dchlebo@bart.gov; Chief of Police: Gary Gee 510.464.7022, ggee@bart.gov

Call them toll free at 877.679.7000 and press the last four digits of the phone number you wish to reach.

4. Talk it up on your blogs, networks and talk radio shows (call Michael Baisden 877-6BADBOY or Rev. Al, etc. to get this on the national radar)

5. Stay tuned for other actions, protests, etc., especially if you are in the Bay.

i'm not really good at this.

naming names, dates, times, events, etc.

i just know that militants are not the same as children playing on rooftops.
i know that if neutral parties are telling us that the news stories lie about casualties, & aid groups can't get in, then it is not about anything other than massacre.
women & children
robocalls, telling the ppl that hamas has abandoned them . . .

this is all designed to destroy them, and for what?

to assuage the guilt of the rest of the world for standing idly by when camps were built to kill jews en masse?
to spill blood on land that's meant to be holy? for what?
when they're all gone, what are you gonna do next? start firing at someone else?
the right to exist has nothing to do with a right to destroy other people. i'm sorry.

like i told bfp the other day, i feel more than i think about it & i daresay you're a chickenshit if you don't.
all that academic shit, all the historical citations and shit just give you a reason to be detached from it
because you know you could never sit idly by and watch your children and your neighbors' children die by the hundreds. because you know, full well, that your comfort would no longer matter if you sent your nine-year-old to the store on an errand and he came back to you only in the pieces discernible from the bits of other folks.


public pressure. if you wouldn't dare advocate this shit in your own back yard, don't advocate it in someone else's.
all i want to do is scream because at the end of the day, this is about fighting over land that's important to everyone & really belongs to no one at all.