Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves

never up for debate
June 9, 2020, 3:25 pm
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never up for debate
(C) 2020 by margaux delotte-bennett

black lives don’t matter
they are divine
they shine, strive and survive
they have kept whole generations alive
milk stolen from swollen breasts
hands never permitted rest

black lives don’t matter
they are made of star dust and excrement
grit and grime fashioned into jazz
food that feeds all souls

black lives are the goal
the standard
the litmus test
always coveted
and copied
sloppy approximations of swagger and slay
trying on words and affect today
later making those same words pay
prove more
explain in a different tone and context
narrowing languages’ complexity

everyone gets up to get down
until it’s time for justice to come round

black lives breathe vitality
they are sacred
not because of what they do
but because of how they be
despite how institutions try to strip their majesty

black lives mattering is just the baseline
this was never up for debate
hence we work to dismantle racist trappings within the nation state

with every breath

I am breathing

we are breathing

we are breath

some thoughts about this particular time
June 5, 2020, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

having some time off from work this week means that i have a little more brain space for poetry. I’ve been revisiting and revising this piece all week.

mother(ing in the)hood
© 2020 by margaux delotte-bennett

“It was another fear, a fear that the child, in challenging, the white world’s assumptions, was putting himself in the path of destruction.”  – Baldwin (1962) Letter from a Region in My Mind

I’m the mother of a moving target
because their imagination can’t see
my black boy’s beauty
my black boy’s bounty
my black boy’s birthright
to a life
untethered and unrestrained

you can not whitewash my pain

I have not trusted the police
to secure and protect a damn thing
in years

there are hardly enough tears for the fate
my beautiful black boy would face
in their grips
like sand through fingertips
(this is not a baseless quip but matter of fact
reported and frequently unresolved/
too many of these truths
never make the evening news…)

his school fieldtrips to the stations
don’t make the fears subside
if we were to really discuss
what’s currently happening outside
my little black boy would wisely want to run
at only 6.5 rotations around the sun

he and his best friends are endangered
unlike a species
but most certainly at risk
so much more than your favorite retailers
day spas and cold brew suppliers

and who is really setting some of these fires?
(black people don’t burn churches and cars)

it is unclear
to both protesters and pundits
which tactics
will stop police violence
institutional racism
seeing black bodies as once and still property
easily disposed

but attention has been grabbed

and momentum towards justice
has always occurred
outside zones of comfort and

this moment is a ring shout
this time is a guttural scream
a chorus of breaths steadily rising free

as my black boy quietly sleeps tonight
and my black boy
oh so vividly dreams

i wrote a piece that was published!
October 30, 2019, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

hello friends.

I have been meaning to share that I had the honor of contributing to a beautiful collection that is full of imaginings and reimaginings of a world without violence.  my poem can be found at the end of Wakanda Dream Lab x Resonance Network’s latest anthology, Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Re-Imagining Gender in Wakanda! This anthology is a collection of visual art, short stories, poems that answer the questions: what if a new story of gender prevailed and the pain of ancestors lost to gender-based violence was healed? how do we practice justice and accountability, and what does that look and feel like?


free download available at . Let me know what you think! #WakandaForever



Year in Review [or 44 (+1) of my favorite pictures from my last trip around the sun]
October 24, 2019, 9:00 pm
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I have been working on this blog post for a while now.  what was supposed to be a birthday inspired reflection (in early November) became a review of my past (calendar and chronological birth) year. On November 17, 2019 I had a monumental life change.

Here is a video segment from the news.  At 43 seconds in you will see some familiar faces…


so now back to the blog post I planned…

birthdays are sacred, wonderful and important to celebrate. I have always appreciated the idea of celebrating for the full month as more time just means more joy. I have gathered 44 (+1 for good luck) of my favorite pictures from the last year. I have not posted many pictures because my son was in foster care, but our adoption day already occurred and that is something to celebrate as well! we are a forever family as of November 16th, 2019 (DC Adoption Day).

the pictures are roughly in order from October 2018 to now…

1) first trip to see grandma on the train.


2) I adore making pea shoot pesto. I also adore my Three Part Harmony Farm CSA.


3) taking a cooking class together taught by our favorite Auntie Kiki.


4) Kittie (government name Heaven) is a constant companion and emotional support animal for my little guy.


5) my presentation was only 5 minutes but I did all I could to stretch their minds.


6) we had a strawberry plant for a moment. we can try again next summer.


7) any and every splash park is divine.


8) sycamore island in glen echo is one of our happy places.


9) fun playing with stuff on the island.


10) little people having spring concerts makes the heart smile.


11) my college friend Chad came into town and D immediately loved him. Dads are pretty neat.


12) Learning about new instruments (this one made from the jaw of a donkey) is always exciting.


13) don’t all ninjas wear gold sequins?


14) had a great time in the family friendly DC Pride area.


15) things got a bit silly during the pride parade.


16) we like to support our artsy friends. this is after a great production called mothering while black put on by Young Playwright’s Theater in partnership with Sasha Bruce Youthwork.


17) when your inner Spider-Man makes an appearance during your Pre-K graduation luncheon.


18) sometimes you just need to commune with a chicken while at the Button Farm Living History Center.


19) Hanging with grandma Marianne is always a treat.


20) I made this little orange peel lamp just because the internet said I could…


21) The fire hydrant outside of grandma’s house makes a great motorcycle.


22) visiting with grandpa at the rehab center over the summer.


23) Pirate Daring D at your service!


24) we loved participating in the summer reading challenge. we got this fun little t-shirt as a prize.


25) Watermelon Day at Sankofa Books & Music. Baba Bomani is one of D’s favorite local artists.


26) Art you can climb on is pretty stellar. this piece was entitled play.


27) beach bummin’ in the Bronx.


28) interactive art installations at snark park.


29) listening with grandma in church.


30) I can’t remember if these were from our CSA share, but donut peaches are delish.


31) the day I received permission to adopt my little guy.


32) Dr. Takayama and I have been working at our alma mater for 5 years.


33) the death of our colleague Sam was a shock to our department. this beautiful piece of art made from rice was on display at his campus memorial gathering.


34) my little black panther is fearless. it’s a good thing that uncle aaron is always ready.


35) Uncle Rick is also great at spotting. His move to DC meant more time, more love and more support for both of us.

36) Our farmer says purple veggies are the best! We agree. Purple pepper power!

37) I had no idea grapes could be roasted. Yummers.


38) The death of Rev this year was hard. We felt blessed to be by his side as he transitioned.

39) I was published this year! the anthology is beautiful and full of so much thought provoking artistry. You can download the anthology here. my poem is at the end.


40) I wanted to feel closer to my mum, so i “borrowed’ her kurta and set he a picture of me wearing it. she wasn’t as moved by the gesture as i had expected…


41) there is a count dracula mask under the black panther one. it really makes the vibranium POP.


42) sometimes there is a flower left on my pillow.


43) making a wish takes lots of concentration.


44) the little and big men in my life make me swoon sometimes…


44+1) he is my good luck charm. he is my reason. he is my sun. and now he is also my son.

Onwards and upwards in 2020! Wishing you all more love, a deeper sense of peace and motivation to make change in small and great ways. Amen, Ashe’ and so be it.

reflections on my first (foster) mother’s day
May 12, 2019, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

things have been quiet on this blog for a spell, but there was something that I wanted to share before this day was done…


reflections on my first (foster) mother’s day
(c) 2019 by margaux delotte-bennett

of all the things you have given me
(and you have given me so much
little one)
the greatest gift is the title of mommy
a designation so full and ripe
and mine
for the first time

it’s as if you are settled into the womb of my love
connected and drawn by my every move
both subtle and gross

each day we spend together I bare witness to you birthing a new you
with unique possibilities you are
dreaming into reality
we don’t know what will unfold
but we are walking there
hand in hand
heart in heart

you often tell me that I’m a good mommy
and I wonder what your little spirit
feels and knows
how I truly measure up to
the one that gave you life
the one that shares your blood
and your face

you now share my musical tastes
and all my space
even when I want to retreat
to only taking care of myself
that distant reality left on a shelf
with my dancing shoes

and so today
on my first (foster) mother’s day on this side of visibility
I thank you for the gifts you have already bestowed:

-a cuddle in my bed 30 minutes before I wanted to get up
-a piece of your watermelon attached the end of your spit gleaming fork
-using my legs as a chair as you watch cartoons
-all the little songs you created with words like auntie, booty, love and meow in them
-the silly dance you said you would teach me later
-the endless supply of kisses and hugs that flow between us throughout our days

I have been engaged in mothering work for years
but you made me a mommy
and I’m eternally grateful
for that truth
this life
our path

a new poem and an event!
June 5, 2018, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

hello poetry friends!

I’m going to be performing a few poems next week at my local library. It is one of the events connected with an exhibition called “The Soul Tent: a Resurrection City Installation Project.” This is a traveling exhibit to four library branches to educate the public on the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign. There will be live events, story collecting, workshops, all connected to this theme. At the Woodridge Library there will be a screening a Nina Simone documentary and I have been asked to warm up the audience and give some poetic reflections about Ms. Simone’s life and times.

More info about the larger event can be found here.

Info about my specific poetry performance can be found here: MDB Nina Library event 6.12.18

and now for a completely unrelated poem.


what lingers
© 2018 by margaux delotte-bennett

though I no longer love you
the me that you revealed I do adore
she still lives
still responds to the name you gave her
still shows up and shows out
in the ways you encouraged

I underhand her brilliance at times
dim her down
aiming to make her more palatable
though you consumed her like fire
never flinching
always hungry
each glimpse a tasty morsel
as she eeked her way out of their too small reference/ frame

she is the same, but more authentic
self directed
as we all tend to be in safer/ braver spaces

though I no longer love you
I love who you inspired me to be
and thankfully
that does not only sit
in bittersweet memory

napowrimo rewind, 23 of 30
May 21, 2018, 10:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

i started this poem in april and never finished it.
it may still be unfinished, but i wanted to make sure that 30 poems were created and shared in my little online universe in 2018. due to the rigor of a daily challenge, i find that my poems tended to be shorter. this one was longer and i was able to add more to it as i posted it here.

happy reading and happy writing!

precious Pearl
(c) 2018 by margaux delotte-bennett

there is much about his family
that i don’t know
he being the man who helped conceive me
but decided to leave me
by walking out of the frame before i turned 3

this man’s mother
known to be as valuable as her namesake pearl
as round
as hard
as free & needing of salt water & time
to be her truest self
Mama Pearl condensed to MP

she came to the big city from Jamaica
working as a hotel cleaner near a NY airport
joining the legions of women smelling of bleach
feet tired & swollen
marching the halls
disinfecting the stalls
trying to be swift, but only

she sent money back to the island nation
where her mother was raising her kids
american money able to buy finer things
more provisions
thoughts & dreams with a brush stroke of
big apple visions
that never brought intimacy
as her children grew & changed exponentially
more & more distant they seemed
each time she returned “home” from overseas

grandmother called Mama Lee
& she, mother, simply called “MP”
delineating roles & ranks for all to see

i remember monogramed towels
given or swiped
at the end of the night
from the fancy hotel

i remember feeling a distance
no recollection of cuddles & kisses
but still love
nurturing wrapped in resources shared freely

my mum remembers asking to borrow her salary
for a few days or up to a week
a request often granted
without a need to speak

MP, big of bone
and brown of hue
trapped in shell-like capitalist confines
scattered by the sea
yet still

napowrimo rewind, 24 of 30
May 9, 2018, 6:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

musings at tea time
(c) 2018 by margaux delotte-bennett

I drink my tea
with sugar from the plantations of yore
Continue reading

napowrimo rewind, 25 of 30
May 9, 2018, 6:11 pm
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the poem i’m avoiding
(c) 2018 by margaux delotte-bennett

the poem i’m avoiding
is filled with inconvenient truths
draped around the need to be seen one way
and known

how does one juggle the masks
when aiming to live
an authentic life?

you don’t.

laying down what no longer serves
is the invitation
and the destination.

truths known on the cellular level
spill forth without effort or

napowrimo rewind, 26 of 30
May 8, 2018, 10:08 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

friendly reminder
(c) 2018 by margaux delotte-bennett

your joint open letters in support
of powerful men
only prove that the
to make one’s experience of violence
up for public debate
and then
once more.