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



african musings…
June 13, 2014, 5:57 pm
Filed under: DC life, performance, travel, women

things have been a little quiet here on my blog… but actually quite active in my personal life.  I frequently think about posting here, but carving out the time to do so is often a challenge.

even so, my creative life has been very rich these days and here are some of the highlights:

in January i went to Ghana with a rag tag group of beautiful folks and i’m still processing the trip.  the poem and pictures shared at the bottom of this email are from that adventure.  i am currently reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’ Americanah and it helped me to finally finish this morning the poem that i started months ago…

my theater group, Wild Women Theatre, created a new piece for the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival and we are in the midst of a robust rehearsal process.  Letters To and From Me opens July 12th, 2014! We are also doing a fundraiser for the show and details for that campaign can be found here. I created the video, so make sure you check it out.

I completed the 30 poems in 30 days challenge in April, but I have not had the time to type up all that new poetry. It might need to wait until after our successful Fringe Festival run, but we shall see.

i hope that you are taking time and making space for your creative endeavors!

****************

Afreeka

© 2014 by margaux delotte-bennett

not unlike the sun blanched
vulture picked
remains of a Serengeti kill
there are parts of Ghana that look as ravaged
reminiscent of hollowed ribcages
upturned towards the sun
like fingers whittled from bone
praying silently for mercy

there are areas that puzzle the mind
remind the heart that there was once vitality here
but now
the eye only feasts on
scarred urban landscapes
bushes blooming with plastic bag flowers
struggle laden survival
etched on proud faces

even out on the plains
life is never taken passively
it must be tracked
stolen
bargained
so that the pack
can continue to flourish

colonialism produced excellent hunters and marksmen
the greener pastures of Africa
skinned for their bounty of gems
minerals
strong flesh
limitless cultural nourishment for the body and spirit

independence fought for and
pushed onto
handicapped nation states
power drunk politicians
laughing their way to the world bank
singular and plural

The land near to Accra’s beaches is dying.
Erosion due to structural neglect
waterways choked by raw sewage
saving landscapes is less important than
saving lives

but art is still produced
clothing designed
wood carved
children dancing in the dust
as goats wander past the
skins of their kin
laid out in clusters
being dried for
export quality drums

cast iron tubs filled with scotch bonnet peppers
weaving through Accra’s traffic
causes one to ponder if
peppers plentiful in Ghana
also made their way to the Caribbean
in the trans atlantic trade in flesh?

were seeds tucked into braids?
were peppers simply brought onboard
to spice the shipmates’ gruel?
is spice the reason we venture from home
in our longing
and in our lust?

questions and screams that are silenced
turn to stones in the mouth
weighing down
bashing the language of horror into
yes miss
no master
haloo, haloo, Halloo!

do not come here for rest.
do not come here for relaxation.
do not come here for service.
do not come here for peace.

Ghana is not here to give you anything.

She has given and given and given through the ages
and now wants to know
what is it
you bring

Ghana cultural performanceGhana fishing boatsGhana bananas



poem of the week: cracked
November 10, 2013, 4:24 pm
Filed under: mental health, performance

This is a fairly new piece that came from a writing exercise that uses pictures to inspire poetry. I was drawn to a picture of 2 eggs and this is what moved through me. I performed this at an open mic recently, but as I typed it today, it changed a bit. I’m at peace with my poems shifting until they feel done…

cracked
(C) 2013 by margaux delotte-bennett

my sanity is fragile
like the shell of an egg
with a crack in it

the secrets
dramas & dreams
scrambled just below the surface

and if I’m not handled
gently
your grip will crush me
force me to ooze between
your fingers

I am not hard boiled
or pickled
the sunny side is
seldom up

I spin smoothly on my side
circling the pitfalls & missteps
of others
that could leave me splattered
nothing more than a wet stain
on the unassuming sidewalk
of this life
scattered bits of me
speckling the passing pavement

like the shell of an egg
with a crack in it
my sanity is fragile
I am letting you know
because I must
be handled with care



poem of the week: poised to perform
September 2, 2013, 2:43 pm
Filed under: DC life, performance

IMG_2887

poised to perform
© 2013 by margaux delotte-bennet
photograph by Beandrea July
artwork by Arijit Das

pulse and pause
the body is poised to perform

performance as body made public
the body performs a pulse

form made permanent with preparation and pause
preparatory forms parade past

using the pictured and poised body as a vehicle
a pathway to put vision into painted form

art in poignant vision made flesh
visible flesh made into playful art

pulse
pause
start.



poem of the week returns!
July 19, 2013, 10:07 pm
Filed under: performance, women

in honor of my current foray into the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival with Wild Women Theatre and our production Four Women (read a review of our piece here), I wrote this piece in a poetic form called a fourteener. I learned about the style in the wonderful book, poetry everywhere by Jack Collom & Sheryl Noethe. The poem starts with a single line that must be restated in thirteen different ways. Tickets for our show can be purchased through this link. I would love to see you in the audience! the dates, times and location for the rest of our run are:
July 21st at 6:30 pm
July 25th at 6:45 pm
July 27th at 2:30 pm

Studio Theatre – Stage 4
1501 14th Street, NW
(At the intersection of 14th & P St NW in Logan Circle)

and now on to the poem!

 

wild women fourteener
©2013 by margaux delotte-bennett

wild women must define themselves.

women willing to be unhinged can tell you how they came to be.

girls gone feral howl to their own moons.

you can’t tell them how to be because they already told you, loud and clear.

their female bodies won’t fit into your molds or your limits.

when she opens her mouth, you will know who she is.

that which is untamed is free.

you may want to tell them that they are this way or that way, but they might eat you.

their rabid pack of unfiltered truths breaks down walls that never should have existed in the first place.

who wrote the dictionary anyway?

teeth bared, the lion like ladies lecture and lead.

she always thought that tame was so lame. they agreed.

they made a bonfire of your definitions and danced naked around it as they grunted and cackled.

wild women are whoever and however they choose to be.



poem of the week: Celebrating Robert Burns
January 29, 2013, 11:50 pm
Filed under: DC life, love, performance

once again i was able to attend a Burns Night supper in honor of Scotland’s beloved poet Robert Burns who was born on January 25th, 1759. robert burns trilogy

i used one of his pieces as a catalyst to write my own. Here is a poetic conversation through the ages. Both pieces were recited at the dinner and you may want to also read them aloud.

 

One Fond Kiss
by Robert Burns

One fond kiss, and then we sever;
One farewell, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Who shall so that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?

Me, nae cheerfu’ twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.
I’ll ne’er blame my partial fancy,
Nothing could resist my Nancy;

But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love forever.
Had we never lov’d so kindly,
Had we never lov’d so blindly,
Never met–or never parted–
We had ne’er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee well, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee well, thou best and dearest!
Thine be every joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure!

One fond kiss, and then we sever;
One farewell, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee!

 

but a kiss was ne’r enough
by margaux delotte-bennett

of just one kiss you speak such fire
but we both know our true desire
would turn that simple kiss to ash
because like wind and waves we crashed

a love that in its first moments made clear
the heart wrenching end that always stood near
as we loved so kindly
loved so blindly
that it seemed enough, my dear

but life and fortune in their twisted wit
have plans for young lovers who propose to sit and try to dream out their future days
make plans for a road with which their very love is paved

and now these lips know naught but want
your continued hopes for good things seem to taunt
my heart to beat one more time
forgetting the cotton wool and the lime that fills my chest and ears and eyes
but like the moon and the sun
it is just my soul
left to rise



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.”