Wednesday, December 10, 2008

so i finished my trauma triptic

so its not quite a triptic, more like a triptic +3
here goes....
___________________________________________________________________

1. when you walk into your church as an 8 year old understudy in a play about slavery where the kid that your understudying gets his eyes gouged out in the play and comes up to you after church when everybody has left and you are small and wearing patent leather shoes and little lace socks and a poncho that was crocheted by your mema and a dress with at blue top part and a tie in the back and he looks at you and smiles at you and asks if you want to have sex with him but you do not know exactly what sex is but you say no anyway but he’s a big 13 year old. a big 13 year old man. and you know that if you run you’ll be punished for running around the church and if you scream you’ll be punished for yelling in the lord’s house because the Jennings family just does not do that and because god doesn’t like ugly and you know that, little girl. and anyway he has put his dirty sock in your mouth because he knows that even though you would be punished for yelling in the lord’s house and that god does not like ugly you might scream anyway. and you have to be careful not to bleed on your church clothes. and you don’t remember what standing up felt like after, thank the lord. and you don’t remember how long it was before he got off of you, praise jesus. and he didn’t make you promise not to tell anyone anyway, hallelujah, praise him. a mother to the motherless and a father to me.


well when you walk out of that church, falling into a black hole seems less farfetched and getting into a plane crash seems more likely than living till the age of 13,15,17,20 and a it seems only right that you may be mauled by a bear eaten by a lion scooped up in your pool by a shark or a whale that you couldn’t see through the chlorinated water or be eaten by piranhas in the bathtub that were cleverly obscured by sweet smelling bubbles that grandma dumped in so that you could be clean on the lords day before Sunday school, let the church say amen. i mean who doesn’t worry about monsters in their closet at 19 years old or strangers waiting under their bed as they sleep ready to stab through the mattress at a moment’s notice? is it not somewhat likely that i may be walking down the dirt path behind mema’s house and be sucked into a whirlwind that i later find out is the rapture and meet jesus tonight, hallelujah praise him?

2. Ms. Ruby is the glue. She is my entire childhood, only midtoned person I knew from home. She is an event, an archetype; teacher, auntie, neighbor lady. Well manicured hands stretch four year old thighs, adult enough to touch, child enough to hurt, a sadists dream. As soon as I thought I was just grown enough, just grown enough to like it for myself, just grown enough to understand why and how and when people touch each other like that, just when it became an act that I could perform every Sunday on my knees with an old ladies pussy that smelled like moth balls and musk she would pick my thinking self up and cradle me. call me her baby. her little baby thing. outside her grandkids would have birthday parties, my family would have barbecues throughout sweltering summer nights laughing in each others company and smoking menthol cigarettes. I was inside, quietly swallowing old lady cum, deep as wine with mucus in it. she did not happen to me, she lives in all of my stories. every summer of childhood, every first kiss, first fuck, school dance, she lives. she moved, went home as i left for college, her house is for sale.

3. a strange thing happens to me when i envision myself scheduling a routine pap smear. routine, it should be routine, somebody told me i need it. for the health of my vagina, just my vagina not me. i can see myself, adorned in with the same stomping boots, a little longer in the tooth and with softer leather, that i did when this routine was started two years ago. the brisk brushed iron door know mirrors the ice block that makes its way to womb when i think of what will happen next, what did happen next.

all of me, every part at least, wishes that i had walked backwards, recoiled from the ice block doorknob and walked home backwards. every part of me wishes that instead of the office having a window into a waiting room full of worried, sweaty women it would have instead contained a mirage forecasting my impending rape. instead, me and legs walked in to the waiting room full of worried, sweaty women and picked up a clipboard with my last name on it. legs and the other parts of me settled quietly into a chair closest to where the counter was. once the silence assured me of my safety i told arms and fingers to fill out the form the black receptionist gave me. Johnson, Cyree. age: 17 .gender: dyke. sexual orientation: dyke. reason for coming/concerns: questions about safer sex/ std testing. race: black.

when the doctor greeted me, his blackness let me slip into a warm dark comfort. tall african man, face wavy with age and shiny and dark. i followed him to the room with the paper slip and leather bench stealing the pen that arms and fingers wrote with. the clipboard with me on it was in his hands until he left it on the table without so much as a glance.

feet hung heavily in metal stirrups, the examination began without questions or conversation. ashy knuckled, gloveless hands pumping in the tight, sticky pink mass. My vagina became something unfamiliar and completely unattached , a family secret, a cracked vase, sharp points and jagged edges everywhere, burnt bread, an unworthy friend.

4.5.6.

sometimes my brain gets stuck on things, not unlike a balloon on a tree. not pictures, just words. when i smell vintage clothes, my nose picks up the odor of menthol cigarettes. when i see a kid have a birthday surrounded by plastic furniture with loving relatives all around i dare not eat cake, why would i, it would only taste like cum and cheap box red wine. every teacher, auntie and grandma seems a predator with arms long enough to hold, but also choke. my vagina stays clenched, cracked, burnt. lovers see the broken bits and make the pieces into necklaces that they give to other women, never thinking i may need them back. they push the tight, sticky pink mass and are revolted, no matter how much perfume i wear, it’s not a secret it’s the whole story. people see me and at once, see raymond, ms. ruby, the doctor. people see me and make polite conversation but ultimately turn away. lovers, always lovers, use the cracked vase secret to cut away at me, to jab at me. lovers. they ask me to keep secrets where they are ms. ruby, countless times, cigarettes waft through the window.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dear Hampshire College

Dear Hampshire College,
I know you specialize in creating smelly, oblivious, colorblind racist white people, but I have recently met some of your top anti black people of color! Congrats guys.
love love love
sea jarelle

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Bitch Slap to Femme Sex and Womanism



Just when I thought it was safe to go back to the movies again, former Baywatch episode director Rick Jacobson** kicks another homocapitalizing, feminism killing, commodity femme piece of bullshit. Before all you femmeists, feminists and womanists start getting comfy in the idea of the “new breed “ of woman hating bullshit, apparently the old guard is alive and well. As much as I can appreciate a patriarch just coming right out about his love of plastic, airbrushed, cartoon women can dykes really continue to support a movie that bills ITSELF as

““Bitch Slap” is a modern throwback to the “B” Movie/Exploitation Films of the 1950s-70s, mixing hot girls, fast cars, big guns, nasty tongues, outrageous action and jaw-dropping eye candy with a message … don’t be naughty! “Cult Classic” and “Cinematic Masterpiece” barely encompasses this cat-fighting, girl-banging, pile driving, go-go dancing, bronco-busting, bumping and grinding, philosophy-touting, breast-augmenting, femme-tastic f%@#-fest-fight-fantasy of epic proportions. “Bitch Slap” — You know you want it!”?

This is perhaps the most easily deconstructable movie trailer ever, rife with random and ill fitting “chick on bitch” *grunt grunt scratch balls* action, needless titty shots (because what is a woman without her bouncy bouncy rack?) and of course, a wet motherfucking t-shirt competition.

video

The movie revolves around “three bad girls…a stripper, a drug runner and a corporate mogul” Hmmm…so there are two pasty (I mean alabaster) white characters and WOC named…Camero (yes like the piece of shit car parked in my g-ma’s backyard) played by America Olivo . OMFG I wonder who the drug runner is! Is it the white chick in the front wearing the gold foil? Please also notice that even in the poster they are all holding makeshift phalluses, just so any manguybrodude knows on sight that while there is HOT babe on chick on girl action (im sure in tender slow motion to emphasizes the boob jigglidge) in the movie all of these tasty ladies are still on the penis market and they love the cock!

Manguybrodude in Chief (Director Rick Jacobson) had his film billed as “Grindhouse done right”. Please excuse me while I puke up a hammer to smash the patriarchy with but can you do Grindhouse right without a time machine* to make sure that evil little flick never saw the light of day in the first place. I mean, when the best thing that you can say about your movie is that it features “a trio of beautiful, well endowed women loaded up with assault weaponry” it doesn’t exactly sound like you remade the Sankofa trilogy.

* personally I would rather said time machine be used to separate Quentin T.’s parents before they ever created that slur spewing cosmic turd of a man*

** I cried a little when I found out this man made episodes of Xena Warrior Princess, but it explains so much.

***babe on chick action is a term (coined by Clone High) that refers to the way that female bodied folks (often femmes) fucking each other is looked at because of the male gaze

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Disarming White Woman Tears

Interestingly, I attend (on money sucked out of the pockets of the trust funds of hipsters and hippies) one of the most expensive colleges in the U. S. of A. Hampshire College specializes in taking children of the finest boarding schools, private, and Montessori (with the occasional public school kid) and sculpting them into a self-righteous ball of idealistic dreaminess. Of course, that’s the upside of attending a school like this. The downsides include but are not limited to; intense classism, a very obvious divide between rich students and the few poor students, not acknowledging class in regards to race, an overpowering sense of white entitlement to all causes they throw daddy’s money at and VERY FEW PEOPLE OF COLOR IN GENERAL. The number at my school is estimated to be something like 14 percent. I think that this number is greatly exaggerated for many reasons that this post is not about, but it does contribute to the prevalent idea that white folks called “white allies” must be involved in all the day to day dealings of people of color.

Defining a white ally is difficult by any standard but at Hampshire, it mostly just means “very good white friend or lover who never ever says ‘nigger’ out loud to me unless their telling a joke or singing gangsta rap.” This definition is the main one used to determine which white people are allowed in POC spaces and in conversations concerning race. Now, personally, I think the whole concept is a pile of shit, white people ain’t changed so much that I believe that they even KNOW HOW to help my black ass. Who teaches regular white people to be white allies? If its POC I beg the question of why we would teach white folks anything, I have never felt obligated to teach a white person anything, and if its White folks, then damned if they’re going to learn anything. This is not to say that I don’t have any white friends that I really love, I just don’t think my love is enough to make them not racists.

Anyway, I recently had a run in with a self appointed ally who “high mindedly” intercepted a fairly civil conversation among POC about the role of Blackface in modern popular culture. In all caps and in a very typical white woman way, she descended upon a conversation her white ass admitted to not having read, and proceeded to use incorrect parallelism and reverse racism theory to attempt of justify her written disarming white woman tears. If you are not familiar with disarming white woman tears click here to see the urban dictionary definition (recently submitted by myself) or see below

Disarming White Woman Tears [n]

When a white female bodied person realizes that what they said was blatantly racist and begins to panic, defend said statement and cry until she has garnered sympathy and pity for her plight purely by virtue of social love of milky white skin and the ideal of white barbie womanhood

ex: white woman: i say the n word all the time because it makes me closer to black people.
poc: thats pretty racist
white woman: i cant be racist! Im a lesbian! *insert disarming white woman tears*

I understand the need for white anti-racist work, but I think white folks who do anti-racist work need to drop the self aggrandizing title of ally without any *non-academic* general public conversation about unpacking white privilege. Yes, I am well aware that there have been many books about unpacking the knapsack but there needs to be a television show, a pamphlet, something to tell all these quick to cry racist white grrls to keep their oppressive tears in the pasty white faces.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fashion Forward Feminism? *Chuckles Heartily*


“Does she even know she’s a girl?” Stacy on WNTW

So my bucketloads of free time have yielded yet another interesting hobby; watching fashion shows on TLC. Am I proud of this fact? No. Do they come on enough that it fills up all of the free spots in my day that aren’t eaten by food or blogs or my bosses elliptical machine? Why yes, yes they do. The most odious of these shows in my mind, more disgusting than even 10 years younger, a show that puts women in a glass box and allows onlookers to express exactly what aspects of the patriarchal beauty imperative they can adhere to if they want their faces, breasts and… wait, women don’t have any other parts anyway, right? Yes, the only show that I find more insidious than that is a program that is dubiously called self help, What Not To Wear.

Sure, the show is about as addictive as crystal meth, and the prospect of getting 5000 dollars to shop in New York sounds like an orgasm waiting to unleash itself upon me but the INSANE amounts of gender bias, heterosexism, and racism always shines through just enough to make my fingers curl into a Spritzhead beating fist. For those who are not familiar with the show, it involves a team of pornifing fashion consultants, hairdressers and makeup artist who take an “unattractive” ugly duckling who doesn’t even have the sense to make sure that all of their clothes are picked out by a jury of their peers into a “beautiful” and thoroughly pornified sex object.

As if strict adherence to the secretive rules of the beauty imperative were not enough to damn the show in my bitter, bitter, hateful little eyes, Stacy and Clinton (the shows hosts) consistently tell women who may very well not own a mini pencil skirt, backbreakingly high heels, or some other sort of “girl” coded clothing that they must not know that they are indeed “girls”. That’s right, the idea that women can age out of the beauty imperative is no longer valid, so look out dyke auntie the botox brigade is comin’ for that ass! Most notably for me was the episode (to my knowledge there is only one) where they have an out lesbian on the show. They proceed to tell her how to get an hourglass figure which of course she wants to know because she’s a “girl”. Exactly when do “girls” become women, might I ask? A better question seems to have been asked by the professor “what if we didn’t expect women to look like girls and girls to look like women?”

Now, yes, I am indeed a big black dyke, but am I anti-fashion? Ok, yes, who am I kidding, I do hate fashion as a woman killing merchant of death industry that promotes eating disorders and broken ankles by using waif thin women on stilts (stilts which I now own, the patriarchy affects us all) while telling them to look 7 and a half by hook or by crook. I suppose shows like this worry me because expanding the beauty imperative to all women eliminates the little pockets of safety from the beauty brigade that existed (i.e. age, lesbianism, membership of the academe, radical feminism) and the new virus says that this is no longer the case.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spritzheads and Their Baby Boys

Jesus, will women stop treating their boy babies like they are the best thing to ever be associated with a vagina please? I don’t think that this tendency is super concentrated in the southern united states, but given my status as an outsider, and the LOADS of free time that I have on my hands I’ve begun to see the basis of this. I was riding my bike when I saw an absolutely gorgeous but terribly frazzled looking black woman walking to her car holding the hand of a 4-6 year old little brown boy, telling him fervently that he could have absolutely any “cold drink” he wanted when he got to the store before whatever game he had that day. Children in general are a) stupid, b) obnoxious, and c) annoying enough anyway but to make matters worse, this little boy was wearing a shirt that proudly proclaimed “Stud In the Making”. Although I realize that the crisis of masculinity affects male bodied folks in profound and stifling ways, there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE to dress your child as if he shits out gold nuggets purely because he was born with a sex organ more than ¾ an inch in length.

As if this did not make me want to grab the nearest Hothead Paisan Spritzhead Beating Bat there was a little girl behind this woman, no older than 3, carrying all of the bags and tottling as quick as her fat little toddler legs could carry her to keep up with her mother and older brother. I am sure that she was not offered any soda she wanted for taking on the official role of the girl child/ adult personal assistant so common in black homes. I felt especially bad for her in light of the fact that every little girl ( I assume this is not exclusive to black folks) knows that the glimmer in mommy’s eye changes when she finally fulfils the ultimate woman goal of shooting something out of her cooch that has a ballsack attached to it.

Don’t believe me, look at your local grade schools PTA dinners. Women will make the crrazziest excuses for their little boys poor behavior both black and white (he don’t sleep enough at night, he’s just bored, he’s too smart for the class, he’d rather be in gym) when all my bitter ass hears is “ how could you NOT love my little boy? I mean, little boys are a mothers gift! And he has a penis, that means that he could be the president, love him LOVE HIM YOU LITTLE BITCH!!!”

And of course, mothers love their kids in general, but when’s the last time you heard little Shanice, Susana, or Suzy’s mom defend her with these sort of wholeheartedly loving gems. No when a little girl fucks up in school… it must be because of a boy “ Oh Shanice just can’t stay away from those boys, I tell her to keep her head in the books but her fast ass just wont listen.” Yes, people seem to convince themselves that girls fuck up of their own volition and someone is out to get ever little boy on the planet.

Studies show that this sort of mollycoddling is bad for both boys and girls. Time Magizine called it the "soft bigotry of low expectations". The low or nearly non existent expectations of boys may be what accounts for both lower rates of college admission and higher rates of violent crime. So before you go all Spritzhead on little Stud Man Guy Jr. with "Iluvsmyperfectlittleboy"
  1. please note how stupid you sound
  2. remember that you may be hurting him by letting him do whatever stupid shit popped into his little egg head
  3. read a book
This black dyke will thank you

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fuck Nina Garcia

“tight, short and shiny are the quickest ways to look cheap”-Nina Garcia

if you know me, you could easily assume that right now i am wearing

a) booty shorts in an ostentatious color that fit me like audrey hepburn’s black elbow gloves (tiiiggghhhttt and riiiiiiggghhhtt, baby!)

b) a top that may or may not scoop down between my non existent titties

c) biiiiigg black boots

d) every black woman’s crowning glory; a nappy, curly, sweet smelling halo of hair

this is how ive looked since i found my body under 70 pounds of weight lost in a way that almost killed me. my booty shorts are a litany of survival. they’re a reminder that the human body ( and the goddess) can take more abuse than you ever though it should and still look damn good, baby! getting dressed every day is a celebration, and a confusion for men who see me storming down the street.

one would think that i dress this way because it makes me feel sexy. those who make that assumption are completely wrong. the way i dress has a great deal to do with the length of my browner than golden brown thighs and calves; a height that turns pants into capris, skirts and shorts into everything mini- and actually minis into, well….headbands.

call me what you like, but this is the first time in my life where i rarely cringe when i look into shiny things.

*amendment* yes this post was once called "fuck michael kors" I then realized that Nina Garcia said the quote in question, although neither seem like veritable feminist icons to me anyway.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

are we not femme? an elegy


I swear to god i was a feminist once. at 11,14,even 16 pre-bulimia breasts proudly proclaimed that this cafĂ© au lait skin, kinky curly hair, and white woman stickin’ white boy ass kickin’ shiny black combat boot combination was exactly what a feminist looked like. of course, the shirt was babydoll pink for retention of that idea of femininity and didn’t come any larger than a medium so it did not hug my frame, it squeezed and bulged and was completely unflattering. i had ordered the shirt from NOW because it just looked so becoming on the model, a girl of about my age with curly brunette hair, not like mine, staring in mock defiance towards the camera; her pale complexion and even paler blue eyes washed out by the lights and the computer screen. Even then I was bitter “what in the motherfuck does she have to be so angry about?” i pondered silently to myself in the darkness of my living room, for once free of the taunts and homophobic chatter of my mother’s oft violent boyfriend.

I swear to god i was butch once. soft butch. liquid butch. and goddamnit i fucking owned that shit. but in all honesty its hard to understand marginal femininity while only dating 86 pound blonde waifs in a town full of 86 pound blonde waifs. No i didn’t have money for a brand spanking new stud wardrobe, i had rent to pay, but i found every last flannel my mother’s first wife left in boxes and wore them well, although they reeked of attic water and spousal abuse. I tailored my own pants. I wore suspenders. I did my best. there was nothing mysterious about the way i had to act, it is no different from my attitude now. it was firm, direct, straightforward, confrontational, tender and usually aching in silence. but then someone told me that i wasn’t doing it right. its not like i never owned a skirt or something, i was exactly what i was, a liquid butch who sometimes wore skirts. a kiki. a switch. even a stem at times. my exit from whiteland purchased me a school full of studs who instantly coded my body, my movements, everything i did as femme. i didn’t care enough to think about what they were saying. if loving to wear skirts because they kept my coochie from getting hot, well then i was femme. it didn’t seem to matter that much.
i swear to god i was a femme once. ruby red lips shining on perhaps the most liberal campus in America. shiny white teeth. check. winsome smile. ill work on it. enough money that buying “femme” coded shit isn’t a problem . uh, ill work on it? perceived invisibility… hell the fuck no. im a fucking jersey girl, my moms a fucking jersey girl you cant ignore me if you were blind and crazy, shitttt. oh yeah and im black you know, like not a person of color, like nigger. like ms. nigger. i cant hide in a crowded room because i promise that room will be full of gaggles of white women squabbling about anything but the tuition and talking about passing and i cant pass for anything but another kind of black. but quietly i resigned myself to the philosophy of not needing a terrible amount of overlap to connect. i mean, were all queer, were all femmes. right guys…right? solidarity, completely based on convenience did not come when femmes would only refer to their lovers as “my black boyfriend”or when the other femmes of color or femmes with lovers of color did not check that choice of language. it did not come when i thought that i would have to swim out of the room on a wave of disarming white woman tears. in fact it just plain didn’t come. if that is what a feminist looks like. if that is what a femme looks like, or sounds like. if that’s what solidarity feels like i hope that i am not a femme.

I caught myself today, thinking about that woman from the Now website that i credit with making me realize that my experiences were womanist experiences rather than feminists experiences. i wonder if she was a femme. i wonder if she worried if strangers on the street thought she was straight. i wonder if she would have unwittingly shown me the door in a space that i was willing to fight for with a wicked combination of white skinned privilege and glib self interest. and to this day i wonder what it means to be invisible when one is silent.

silence is voluntary invisibility

Saturday, July 12, 2008

lament

more cordial than ice water in a southern gazebo on the 18th of July
i
have approached thousands of
shiny white women in crowded parties ripe with the scent of black friends.
in homes that i mistakenly thought were my own
ever offering them
round brown booty in a take home bag
at half price
i have spent years sitting on the couches of family
remembering white last nights
that expand into sponges of weeks months worth their weight in sugary stupidity
rarely morphing finally into the castrating ecstasy
of exit

Friday, June 27, 2008

Let the Church Say Amen

when you walk into your church as an 8 year old understudy in a play about slavery where the kid that your understudying gets his eyes gouged out in the play and comes up to you after church when everybody has left and you are small and wearing patent leather shoes and little lace socks and a poncho that was crocheted by your mema and a dress with at blue top part and a tie in the back and he looks at you and smiles at you and asks if you want to have sex with him but you do not know exactly what sex is but you say no anyway but he’s a big 13 year old. a big 13 year old man. and you know that if you run you’ll be punished for running around the church and if you scream you’ll be punished for yelling in the lord’s house because the Jennings family just does not do that and because god doesn’t like ugly and you know that, little girl. and anyway he has put his dirty sock in your mouth because he knows that even though you would be punished for yelling in the lord’s house and that god does not like ugly you might scream anyway. and you have to be careful not to bleed on your church clothes. and you don’t remember what standing up felt like after, thank the lord. and you don’t remember how long it was before he got off of you, praise jesus. and he didn’t make you promise not to tell anyone anyway, hallelujah, praise him. a mother to the motherless and a father to me.

well when you walk out of that church, falling into a black hole seems less farfetched and getting into a plane crash seems more likely than living till the age of 13,15,17,20 and a it seems only right that you may be mauled by a bear eaten by a lion scooped up in your pool by a shark or a whale that you couldn’t see through the chlorinated water or be eaten by piranhas in the bathtub that were cleverly obscured by sweet smelling bubbles that grandma dumped in so that you could be clean on the lords day before Sunday school, let the church say amen. i mean who doesn’t worry about monsters in their closet at 19 years old or strangers waiting under their bed as they sleep ready to stab through the mattress at a moment’s notice? is it not somewhat likely that i may be walking down the dirt path behind mema’s house and be sucked into a whirlwind that i later find out is the rapture and meet jesus tonight, hallelujah praise him?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

i walk fast everywhere

so i’m trying this new thing where instead of sitting at home talking about how much I hate nola or amherst or anywhere else I write. i used to write a lot, and then things kinda got hectic. i used to have a xanga, but who needs a xanga, really. nola is beautiful and full of personality that hits you when you leave the airport in a way that makes you wheeze faster than the humidity does. but the humidity hits you too and makes you sticky so you barely even notice that mosquitoes have stuck their tiny dino back-from-the-dead bodies onto the unevenly tanned patch on your arm. everyone smells so good that you just wanna follow them everywhere. people say hi and want to talk on street corners. i am from new jersey. people do not want to say hi and talk on street corners there even if they know you. the mississippi river is not my river but it is a friendly river, when you are on the ferry it looks like a straight shoot down the river. the mississippi river makes me feel very black especially when i rode it on juneteenth, no longer being sold up or down the river from the mighty slaveport of the french. but that’s besides the point. all rivers smell like home to me. even the connecticut which for all intents and purposes smells like the old white folks that live near it and let their dogs swim in it and then swim in it themselves, maybe even with the dog i figure. when i walk through the quarter in booty shorts people ask me thinly guarded questions to determine whether or not i am a prostitute. no one cards on bourbon street. men follow me in cars. they honk their horns even when i don’t look at them. i walk fast everywhere.