Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves

art everyday month 2017
December 1, 2017, 7:14 pm
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i didn’t know that art everyday month was a ‘thing’ until a month ago!  it sounded like a very noble venture and i already aim to live a creative life. though i didn’t generate new artwork every day this month, i did write poetry, take pictures, cook, bake, paint and add more color and pizazz into my clothing choices for the month.  my feather fascinator showed up in a meeting and 2 of my colleagues did a double take and commented on my ‘look’.


  1. i started the month by playing on paper in my art journal…


2. and baking a quiche! spinach and fresh mozzarella.20171102_215838-2.jpg


3. more paper playing


4. some of these leaves are currently drying in a book because I needed these colors in my possession


5. birthdays are great inspirations for artistry


6. my art journal makes me very happy


7. still a work in progress. all month i planned to paint this page, but it will just need to happen in december.


8. pictures of the moon rarely show it’s true majesty…


9. caught in my (fish)net


10. the still life


11. tea time is always a time for creativity


12. along my path one evening


13. a poem I have been meaning to write for a few months

gut reaction
(c) 2017 by margaux delotte-bennett

it has become a gut reaction

the sight of a busted tail light
causing my heart to race
the sight making me worry
for safety
for life

and if the driver is poor
(walter scott)
and black
(philando castille)
and woman
(sandra bland)
a busted tail light is a
chronicle of a death foretold
a story book ending bought
with raw video sold
to the highest bidder

the bureau of justice finds that
black drivers are 3X more likely
to be stopped by the police
and being stopped by the police
could mean being stopped
rest in peace

and i don’t want that for the driver ahead of me
and how dare we live silently
in a world
where this could be


14. apple and pear crumble


15. self study


16. from the roof of the newseum


17. MSW program paint night


18. painting with light (day 1 of a 7 day black and white instagram challenge)


19. work still life (day 2)


20. day 3


21.  cleanse (day 4)


22. building and decorating as a creative act (foster care room prep)


23. twisted texture (day 5)


24. on family and memory (day 6)


25. breadfruit still life (day 7)


26. she is my sister/ friend’s creation, but she is my muse


27. at the nail salon


28. the colors and the negative space stopped me in my tracks…


29. homemade meyer lemon and satsuma curd


30. beet greens with ginger, apples, mock turkey and pumpkin seeds

art every day! i hope that you create the opportunity to make art in big and small ways…


The power of yes
September 13, 2017, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

YPT staff and Producer Farah Lawal Harris and Emcee Rayceen Pendarvis

as an artist that lives in community with other artists, i often have the opportunity to collaborate with or contribute to amazing happenings. monday night was no exception! the 4th iteration of Silence is Violence, Young Playwright’s Theater’s (YPT’s) social justice programming, was moving and necessary and beautiful. the theme was lgbtq+ you. using the writing prompts devised by YPT, i contributed two poems to the curated event.  you can read one of them below. my poems were included in a larger theatrical piece performed by a groups of artists including SMYAL youth. hooray for art making!


​Dear United States of America
© 2017 by margaux delotte-bennett

dear unites states of america,

you are drunk, girl!

the power and privilege have gone to your heard
your babies are dead and dying
those in your presence keep crying out for you
to get it together!

hold some of your power in check
do a little something to protect your neck and
your sanity

vanity has made you believe
that you are light years ahead of the rest
but your quality of life is repressed at best

you are running on reputation
it has been a while since you have shown anyone
something to envy
from your politics to your schools
from the travesty you call your “rule of law”

black bodies stacked like tinder
sawed down and splintered
as you laugh
at some inside joke
putrid and raw

so many not included
in your justice for all

Wake up!

Stop being so inept!

Have you forgotten what it means
to be part of a global community?
it seems that you never knew
just eschewed any responsibility of focusing on anyone
that is not you

these sobering times

make me wish that you were too

here are some fun pics of other contributors to Monday night’s amazing showcase…

Xemiyulu Manibusan reading poetry

j. scales on bass!

Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi singing

Asha Santee on percussion

SMYAL performance ensemble

how the event made me feel…

just sit with it…
August 25, 2017, 8:29 am
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photo by Tanya Williams

i’ve always wanted to be an alum of the Urban Bush Women‘s Summer Leadership Institute (UBW SLI).  it may sound funny, but i know so many amazing alums and i just wanted to be great like them. well, one needs to be a participant before one can be an alumni…

in january of 2016 i added attending the UBW SLI to my “major intentions and goals” list, but a fall, ruptured patella tendon and reconstructive surgery put the 10 day dancing intensive out of reach. but this year, was my year! i told anyone that would listen that i planned to spend 10 days dancing and dismantling racism. due to a long standing partnership between UBW and the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), the 2017 members of the UBW SLI went through 3 days of PISAB’s undoing racism training before working collaboratively to make art for our culminating performance. a sharing rooted in the research we were asked to do prior to our time together. our critical text was Raoul Peck documentary and companion book, I Am Not Your Negro, along with a host of books, articles and videos that i will continue to reference for the foreseeable future. a beautifully edited video of our UBW SLI culminating performance can be found here.

UBW Founding Artistic Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
photo by Tanya Williams

as the hours of daily dancing and creating as a community drew to an end, we were encouraged to just sit with our knowing and our feelings.  to allow the UBW SLI experience to take root and inspire us to continue to be embodied and activated anti-racist organizers.  here are a few of my preliminary reflections…

  1. this body of mine appreciates moving daily: though i left each day with new aches and pains, in the “dance for every body” class, i felt that my body was cared for, challenged and strengthened. i know that dancing/ moving daily is within me, so doing it for 10 days reinforced that knowing.
  2. earned physical fatigue is righteous: when i realized that even my sweat was sweating, i felt proud of what my body did and attempted to do. pushing one’s body as a way to identify and step beyond one’s “limits” is a practice that we were encouraged to engage. though i felt tired, i also felt joyful.
  3. mind over matter is no joke: we had a sequence of steps that started with a lean that lead into a fall that lead into a roll before ending crouched on all four limbs. when i thought, “i can’t do that because of my previous knee injury,” i wasn’t able to do it. when i let that thought go, i did it poorly, but i did it. what else am i stopping my matter from doing because of my mind?
  4. doing the hard work of understanding and undoing racism first makes the collaborative process run smoother: the learning facilitated by PISAB made the sharing of our assets/ skills/ muses/ techniques feel equitable and made us listen more intently. it also gave us the space to take more creative risks in service to our mission of anti-racist organizing.
  5. i am an urban bush woman: not a member of the dynamic award winning company, but a member of the beloved community that they have been intentionally building for the last 17 years through the SLI and the last 33 years through their dance making. my art and my life needs to be anti-racist, generative, embodied and honest. our world depends on it. my life requires it.

and here are a few short poems/ tiny love stories inspired by my time in the UBW SLI…

foot flexed & lifted
power & potential concentrated
walking on air

the necessary hard work
once embodied while examined
changes postures & perceptions

one can not know true joy
without the kiss of sorrow
lingering on lips forming truth

lock eyes, breathe & pause
as the cipher is entered
holding space for freedom

movement vocabulary firmly planted
in my strong ample limbs
no longer waiting to bloom

in the concrete jungle
black women constructed a container
for us all to dance free

photo by Tanya Williams

-shared by a proud 2017 UBW SLI alum

July 8, 2017, 3:20 pm
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within these walls
(C) 2017 by margaux delotte-bennett

this house
my house
the house I live in
is owned by me
and the bank, of course,
because of a lack of generational wealth
but that is another
for another

this house
my house
is a refuge
a resting place

in the house I live in
there have been gatherings
lamentation and quite a few tears

in here
it is safe to unwind
in here you can just be
within these walls
in here
there is nothing to see
beyond displays of affection
without affectation

this house
my house
it calls to the traveler
share your stories
unpack your heart
lay burdens to rest
as breath enters you again
no longer deflated

this house
my house
the house I live in
is owned by me
it is the definition of a
you see

May 19, 2017, 7:40 pm
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there are poems that bounce around as sketches in my mind for years before they are ‘born’.  this is one of those poems that I have been meaning to write for years, but never did. recently eating a banana at the greyhound station in DC reminded me that this topic needed to be explored poetically…

untitled #05192017
(c) 2017 by margaux delotte-bennett

my brother doesn’t eat bananas
in public
because of racism
because of the constant policing
of black bodies
because that one time someone smiled
too broadly
in his direction the one time he did

think about all the potassium
he has had to forgo

think about all the shame he carries to this day
a grown man relegated like a child

we are so practiced in being the things they tell us we are
denying our humanity
our wants
being the other
sorely needed
to ensure supremacy

now that is only
monkey business
I can see

Napowrimo, 30 of 30
May 6, 2017, 10:45 am
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I made it! 30 poems in 36 days! inspiration comes in many forms and carving out time and space for creation is important. I will be sharing some poetry at the end of this month at the 14th and V Busboys & Poets.

(C) 2017 by margaux delotte-bennett

does it bother you that I watch you
tune into you while you work
not to analyze or assess
but to appreciate

I try not to stare
but you entice me
draw my eyes
and my attention
forcing me to note
wherever you are in the room

you flourish under our gaze
seem to bask in the light
black women can’t get enough of you
or so I’ve seen
felt and known
within my own skin

especially when you begin your craft
listening to interpret
and understand

eyes and face
mouth and hands
aligned and engaged
you take the stage
though small
but vital
as you bridge worlds
and ensure

napowripo, 29 of 30
May 2, 2017, 10:56 pm
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tonight’s poem was inspired by six word memoirs.  have you ever written one? they are pretty fun!


six by six
(c) 2017 by margaux delotte-bennett

loving you feels so very easy.

your heart hears me, without fail.

your laughter cleanses. your eyes caress.

i like the me you inspire.

home is found in your arms.

hands held open. ready for love.