October B.L.U. ~ 2019 Poets & Writers' Connecting Cultures

that's right so I'll say something about the world stage first because the world stage press is the younger cousin of the world stage itself so let me get some stuff straight founded by a drummer Billy Higgins founded by a poet come out that would two leaders two amazingly peaceful men the most peaceful black man I've ever met in my whole life I started coming to the world stage in 1992 it was founded in 1989 in that workshop every Wednesday from 7:30 to 10 or so I became the best human being I could ever become that's the world stage this is the world stage press I don't know how to follow that I am the younger brother of the cousin of the world stage press the world stage press was founded in 2014 24 years after a Nazi Writers Workshop was founded by Comodo quick story I was in high school going to Dorsey high coming to the world stage after football practice where I could barely get in and see the poet's I graduated high school and went off to college came back with a poem and it was Peter J Harris and I can't think of her I'm Pam Ward I read my poem and they ripped it to shreds Peter said take this one line and this is the beginning of your poem I came back the next summer and then read that same poem after I rewrote it and he said now you have five lines of a poem because of that and because of who he is made me a better writer the world stage presses for the creation and proliferation of black african-american and Beyond writers confessions of a firework by Angela Aguirre poets my friend poems my friends gave me by Charlie Becker tonight we have October blue and Shakira Peterson representing the world stays pressed next is my wife October Beulah yeah a little bit about how I grew up between Hooper and Naomi I grew up believing the star shines brighter in my Eastside realities than they did and others West Side dreams vision kinda hazy peering through guns smoking weed chokes I was born an urban baby Similac first Mills seeming to lack for nothing yet everything at the same time my block seemed long during my short-legged days had no shame busting out my five-dollar book of food stamps when the donut truck hit the block back doors open drawers pulled out one glazed twist one old-fashioned and a few extra donut holes I bought as collateral I had to get the best girls to turn the double-dutch before the street lights came on hit the corner store for RC Cola a pack of now laters watermelon flavored and a note from my auntie this is Miss Jackie please send a soft pack of Benson & Hedges menthol with my niece still had enough change for a giant icy cherry flavored blackberry clearly Canadian and a pack of salty plums with $5 I rained on my block Friday nights headed to the high school navigating past the dog guarded like gates there was an Eastside safari making it just in time to be hit by the sweet funky scent of a lot this $1 would get you the works parmesan paprika butter Lyman mayonnaise and we never questioned the mayonnaise Saturday morning aloud but distant sound a squeeze horn and an off creased cut off-key soprano the my less my alarm clock rushed out the door sliding in my house shoes because I didn't wear slippers into my adult years one effortless motion dressed and out the door snatching up the last two Castle tamales out of the black trash bag line pops no Chop Arado I preferred carnations instant cocoa and somehow I always forgot the salsa running back to get in the house because cheap mills and morning smokes brought the cute boys out messy had forgotten scarf and I didn't want my neighbor's to clown I I grew up seeing that the Stars shined brighter in my East Side realities because they did it was family revolt backyard gardens unrest Bloods and Cripps 2.25 miles in total and I cherished my small part of it between Hoover and Naomi a little bit about what gets me angry when there isn't enough religion or justice in the courtrooms manhood in the nation if it should require the lynching to protect a woman's position and delicacies from ravenous beasts I say Lynch a thousand a day if necessary I would rather see a thousand die before a Negro goes to the polls before a white woman Rebecca Felton the founding member of the feminist movement regarding pink beanies your pinkie thank you for that your pink kitty beanie doesn't quite match my RBG we ain't never wore the same wery you mad I won't force we're on to the soles of my shoes for your tiled robes it's clear your privilege is showing you expect me to brace body against your picket fences well not today I won't be marching in protest of your perceived mistreatment nor breaking glass ceilings in your glass house we ain't never been sisters and suffrage we nursed your babies washed your floors served your meals and your men at Seneca Falls stood in the back of your lines during your marches your wins and never increased our stats or bettered our community equal ain't never been on the table separate always on order you push naming rights and equal pay strengthening your position in supremacy while we fight to be treated as human to be educated for the lives of our children our men our resistance is our existence you've turned a blind eye to the poisoning of our children our wounds and water not able to whistle walk on sidewalks drink water win thirsty where were your pastel print during forced sterilization or in the aftermath of Tuskegee we are still birth being infected babies our wounds don't grieve the same we weren't accepted in the now back then we ain't never shared the same pain Alice Walker said women ISM is so feminine as purple is to lavender you not seeing color won't ever clear the picture besides your pink kitty had to get lint in my locks me and my folks we gotta fight together our struggles are never gender person never gender specific we need each other we're on the front lines and I am reminded every day that I am a black woman in that order

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