Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves


responding to this election…
November 21, 2016, 8:31 pm
Filed under: DC life, media, performance

on November 9th i felt like i woke up in a new country…

but not because so much had changed. in this ‘new country’ a man who in no way represents my interests will now be my face out in the world. madness.

i started this poem a day before the election and in the wake of the results a call to artists was made by Quique Avilez, one of my poetry godfathers.  on Sunday there was a community showcase of music and poetry by artists and activists at GALA Hispanic Theatre.  it was an honor to share the stage with my dear friend Ruth Young as we offered some Postcards from Trumplandia in the form of poetry, a list of no longer improbable things (2016 edition) and two short plays. a performance is a great motivator to finish a piece.  enjoy.

me-at-gala

what the pundits won’t tell you
© 2016 by margaux delotte-bennett

election day ballots are not the proper place for dreams
the paper and screens
already contain what is and what is possible
the options for this day
pining for those not there
will not make them appear
or make those that are there
go away

dreams dwell in the streets
in heartbeats
eyes wild and wide
jaws jabbering jive
about
it is what it is and yeah

new visions reside
down halls of justice
inhabited by who the ballots decide
blackened circles saying yes it is your time

but I still have a say in how and who represents me
my interests
my vision
my rights and responsibilities

when I don’t like what is
I make it known
with my feet, my voice, my pen, a stone
a poem reminding me that
elections have never been
where it all goes down

but what is that sounds?

it is a troubling wind kicked up and surrounding
these foreboding times

there is a precipice on which we stand
divided

some have already decided
to throw up their hands
but we must remember to
resist

resist

resist

it’s what these times demand

me-and-ruth

Reunited and it feels so good!
Me, Walker/ Wally and Ruth in the lobby of GALA Hispanic Theatre.

me-wally-ruth



The little I can do (a new poem)
November 27, 2014, 12:49 am
Filed under: media

When the world does not make sense and hearts are broken, poets can provide some solace through the storm. This may still be a work in progress, but it is what I have at this moment and what I need to say to me and to you…

 

#blacklivesmatter (regardless of time and space)
(C) 2014 by margaux delotte-bennett

girl
child
black
10 years on this planet
raised by parents that strive to give her voice
watching the legal system fail us once again
she wonders at our collective wondering

“why did they bother doing this?
we already know what was going to happen
i’m only 10 years old and i could see this coming!”

my heart can not handle her candor
my heart can not handle her truth

as a human rights activist
i have been schooled in
genocide
death camps
killing with impunity

why am i seeing this on the TV
in cities and towns i’ve visited
around the corner from where some folks worship?

violations of order and peace
are supposed to happen over there
to them
because their governments don’t respect the rule of law
or the rights and responsibilities due to all

this america has no moral high ground to stand on
we have fallen from our pedestal
constructed on stolen land
with broken promises
and deferred dreams

babies have yet to emerge from this womb
but i have mothered and nurtured
and done without so that others can have
i have given and sustained life
and it pains me to think
how cheaply it can still be
bought and sold
quickly from warmth, rendered cold
proverbial candle dimmed and snuffed
before the light could reach out
banishing the darkness beyond

i wish i had a swan song
for each mother living a gun violence statistic
gasping for breath
or a hint of sanity
or a promise of justice
in these troubled times

but all i have are these few lines
and more hope than can/ should fill my chest

i choose love
for my friends with boy children
squeezing them a little tighter this evening
hoping to never see them on the evening news

i choose love
for my friends with girl children
who doubt they will make it to 16 and still be sweet
because life is a bitter pill
when you are massacred in the streets
left to bloat in the sun
and it is still your fault
that you are dead

i choose love
because hate will make me into
the monsters we a fighting
and fear ties up hands
and tongues
and time

i choose love
because it is powerful enough
to look bullshit in the face
and call it out by its name

it is honest enough to dismantle systems
crippled by racism
misguided by hate
steeped in institutional terror

love is patient enough to
tell the precocious girl child
that she is wrong
because another world is possible
and her help is essential
in making it real
in my lifetime
and in her waking dreams



a new poem
August 16, 2014, 12:16 pm
Filed under: media

in a state of emergency
(c) 2014 by margaux delotte-bennett

there is a reason to cry
a reason to cry out
a reason to lash
a reason to lash out
a reason to laugh loudly with the hysterics of madness
a reason to be quiet
reasons
to just
be

bullets and ballots
both border on benign
when they are not
put to ‘good’
use

hands hastily heed the call
to allow them both
to help
or harm

intentions always
stand at the crossroads
causing bullets
causing ballots

to implode
and/ or
inspire.



poem of the week: Ekphrastic Poem
February 21, 2013, 11:15 am
Filed under: DC life, media

i recently learned a new term for some that i have often done, ekphrastic poetry. Ekphrasis: writing that comments upon another art form, for instance a poem about a photograph or a novel about a film.

as a poet i freely take inspiration from all sorts of places. on saturday i went to the portrait gallery here in DC and used one of the signature images in an exhibit called “drawing on the edge” to set my pen in motion…
merwin (merf) shaw by mary borgman
here is my muse created by mary borgman and here is my response…

boychild
© 2013 by margaux delotte-bennett

boychild leans
boychild sways
boychild struggles most days
to grow into a manchild
worthy to one day
just be a man
boychild must crawl before he can stand

sometimes boychild gets chopped in the hand
as he reaches for what he’s due
sometimes boychild is too focused
on clothes and shoes
sometimes boychild makes it on the news
barely surviving his teens
boychild’s mama yells
his papa screams
boychild’s life is sometimes coming apart
at the seams

but boychild leans and
boychild sways
boychild made it to today
he sees you seeing him
he hears you pray
from a crawl to a stand he will make it someday
from a child born a boy
to a man who knows his way



poem of the week: after hearing about another mass shooting
December 11, 2012, 11:24 pm
Filed under: media

i started this poem after the Sikh temple shooting, but i never finished it. sadly, the recent Oregon shooting provided enough motivation to work on this piece some more. I don’t think it is completely ‘finished’, but it is ready to go out into the world…

 

after hearing about another mass shooting
© 2012 by margaux delotte-bennett

the house in which we dwell
is crumbling
no one is safe
at prayer or at play
because people with guns
kill people again
and again
and
again

hate and fear are bubbling to the surface
and the loss of life
is no longer rare

growing old should not be a luxury
and one should not feel that
they are taking their life in their hands
when going to the mall or mosque
temple or classroom
government building
or greasy spoon

how much violence
(often fueled by intolerance)
do we need to stomach
before we make it stop
and we can
make it
stop
with our questions
and our counseling
through our parenting
and our policies
and our sheer will to turn the tide

we can and should do better

lives are in the balance
lives are on the line.



places where men can transcend
November 4, 2012, 10:06 am
Filed under: media, performance

this is an article i wrote for another blog (a little while ago), but it was never published. I enjoyed the exercise of writing it and wanted to share it here to see what others think.  free free to share your critiques, comments and/ or concerns…

 

places where men can transcend
(c) 2012 by margaux delotte-bennett

So. I have this theory that males in the animal kingdom have the opportunity to show off, strut their stuff and be generally fabulous; and this is something that most male humans also long to do. The lion has the sexy, shaggy mane. The peacock’s feathers put the peahen’s soft down to shame. Horns, tusks and antlers even have the power to make me swoon… sometimes. This is just the way things are in the wild and we even have a funky term to describe it.

Dictionary.com defines sexual dimorphism (noun) as the condition in which males and females in a species are morphologically different, as in many birds. Writer Erae Nelsen explains in an online article that,
“Sexual dimorphism is the variation within a species between their genders. The differences are often in size and coloration though in more elaborate dimorphism there may be additional feathers, horns/tusks, and non-reproductive appendages.”
I am one who believes that we have never truly lived in a world that only exists with gender in a binary context, but that being said, what I want to focus on for this blog post are male humans in their peacock glory. I know that there are many who are content with looking like and acting like everyone else. But they are not my concern. As the Woolly Mammoth Theater community touts, I am concerned with those who defy convention and live out loud.

People are animals in need of spaces where we can be seen. Whether it be in all of our wacky wonder or simply while we are being our authentic selves. Fashion week, weddings, Quinceaneras, Sweet 16 parties and random Saturday nights are all opportunities where females of our species are able, allowed and encouraged to dress in ways that enable them to shine. Gold boots, feathers and spandex are not uncommon elements sighted at any of the aforementioned events.

Sadly for males, there are not so many comparable opportunities. I think for some men, funk music icons like George Clinton and Bootsy Collins were essential in making it ok to sometimes look a hot funky mess. Bold color, exotic facial hair and even a minimalist diaper worn on stage were all part and parcel of what made Funkadelic a safe space for gender exploration and explosion.

I have always believed that professional wrestling, specifically the brand I grew up with that provides the backdrop for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, was another safe space for men to be wild and free. Spandex is like a second skin and its color and texture are an extension of the spirit and power of the wearer. And even in those days, there were some wrestlers who just wore their wrestling briefs in black, blue or red. The ones who caught my attention were the gender transcending fellows who knew that shocking pink, leopard print tassels and a well placed feather boa also belonged in and around male spaces. As I prepared to write this post I reviewed a number of amazing images of Superfly Jimmie Snuke, Hulk Hogan and my hero, Machoman Randy Savage; all men with clear understandings of their place in the animal kingdom. Firmly situated amongst the “…additional feathers, horns/tusks, and non-reproductive appendages.”



poem of the week: for troy davis
September 22, 2011, 9:40 am
Filed under: DC life, media

if you have not heard about the case of Troy Davis yet, here is a video that i found to be informative and creative.

the poem that i am posting is not specifically about troy davis or about the case, but it is about the work that activists need to do. i believe that use of the death penalty is always a human rights violation. Some great fact sheets explaining why can be found here. as a country we are far away from abolishing it. thus, step by step we can and will change the system that fails to promote justice and peace…

 

one step
© 2002 by margaux delotte-bennett

stepping
stepping out into the possibilities
leaping on top of the dream that says
my pockets don’t need to be empty
stomach full of growls
eyes hiding my silent prayer

“maybe this empty boiling pot will lull them to sleep?”
“maybe they won’t notice that I only eat what they leave behind?”
“maybe this can plus those won’t leave them feeling empty today?”
stomach full of growls…

stepping
marching
demanding to be seen and understood

one step for each child without lunch in school
(the programs are supposed to leave no child behind)

one step for each unpaid doctor’s bill
home remedies that we can still afford

one step for each inaccessible job readiness program
in a language or location that leaves hands ties

stepping
marching for justice with peace
a peace that can be translated into any language, gender,
socio-economic ladder without the missing rungs

stepping
marching
one step for the churches picking up where the government has failed
one step for the communities loving, living, working together
one step for the Kensington Welfare Rights Union
one step for the Friends and Residents of Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg
one step for Amnesty International
one step for the organizations in our hearts
just waiting to be born out of this move
meant to connect us socially, politically, economically, civically,
culturally defined as
eyes open
hearts wide
hands raised in prayer
for the ones who didn’t make it to today

we are walking
we are marching
we are stepping
for our lives.